Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Look what I've found...

Some journal entries for 2001 when I was expecting Alice. It is great to compare how I am feeling now to how I was feeling then - tiredness seemed a common complaint!
The main points I had forgotten and am amazed it and which totally illustrate the importance of journals is 1) I was pissed off with my parents back then as well and for the same reasons, 2) I was so calm about birth, 3) I knew she would come 'early', 4) even so we went away when I was 37 weeks pregnant(how mad was that!!).
Reading it has also made me realise how much I am expecting of myself now - I have 2 active children to look after, no real chance of a lie-in or chance to rest until atleast 9pm, all the stress of worrying about this baby and I still expect myself to be on top of things and keeping going as normal.

Anyway, here's the journal so I don't lose it:

I go off on maternity leave in 8 weeks and I can’t wait. That leaves me with 6 weeks before baby comes to relax, sleep, do my yoga, watch videos, read and finish my college work off. I’m planning on going swimming as well, or atleast to the pool to do some aquanatal exercises. Anything to help flexibility and to strengthen my body for birth.
I will be off work until the second week of January when I returning for 4 days a week which will be great although I’m sure leaving the baby during the day will take a little getting used to. I think I have gone with the nursery idea as I think I could be more professional than a childminder but I will have to look into it over the next few weeks cause they can get booked up. In fact I might make some calls tomorrow and arrange to see some when I am off work in a couple of weeks time.
I can’t wait to finish work. I don’t feel too tired at the moment so it isn’t too much of a hardship but I don’t have enough time to relax ad I’m not sleeping very well at the moment cause I can’t get comfortable so I do get pretty tired by the time I have finished at work. It will be nice to have time to relax and to do a few things that I won’t be able to do when we have the baby – like read for pleasure!!!!!!!
I really think baby is going to come early. I don’t know how early – hopefully not by too long but I have a really strong feeling that it is going to decide to say hello sooner rather than later.

I still have a very positive attitude about birth. Birth is inevitable, there is nothing I can do about it but try to make it as relaxed as possible and I want to be as prepared as possible. I still believe that having a positive state of mind, trying to be active and remembering that it is only a day of pain will be most helpful. A day of pain, even really bad pain which you know will ease, really is nothing. I’m obviously not looking forward to the pain side of it but if I can use visualisation to imagine being one step closer to holding my baby, I think that will really help as well.
I love feeling baby kicking, that is so fantastic. When I am at work I look forward to the end of the day when I can start to relax, lay down and play with baby by making it move. It loves to kick a lot at about 4am as well. I usually go to the loo round about then and that is when it wakes up and likes to kick about which I love, just laying in bed, dozing and feeling it kick. I can’t wait to meet baby and I can’t wait for Gary to meet baby cause men definitely miss out on a lot of bonding during pregnancy although I think Gary will bond more with baby when it starts kicking out more. It has only been doing it for a couple of weeks and it is due to have a growing spurt again over the next 2-3 weeks so that could increase the kicking until it gets too big to move too much and starts to stay still quite a lot – must read up on that cause I don’t know how much baby is supposed to keep moving as it gets bigger.
I love being pregnant although it is a scary time cause I am not in control of anything, I feel vulnerable at times and I feel frightened of the huge responsibility which lies ahead but I am also excited about all of these things at the same time. It has made me understand and realise the importance of relaxation, being able to spend time with and bond with my baby before it is even born.

Am currently playing Mozart through headphones to baby who is kicking quite nicely. Don’t know whether baby is enjoying it or not but it is provoking a reaction. Hopefully it will help calm baby, especially after it is born.
Thought for the day: Love being a pregnant mum and I can’t wait to be a mum to a baby on the outside.

MONDAY, APRIL 09, 2001

With all the learning I have been doing about myself for the counselling course I have been thinking a lot about my parents, namely my relationship with them. Dad and Rita have just been up to visit which was lovely but I will never see a great deal of them and I think both parties know that. I am happy to speak to dad every few weeks and to see him a few times a year – I’m sure we might see them a little more often now that grandchildren are involved. But we are such different people and Rita does tend to get on Gary’s nerves cause of her family values. She is very mumsy and doesn’t really like anything which differs from her way of doing things. I think she pissed Gary off a bit during the visit, not only because of the whole marriage debate but because she kept saying stupid things like Gary should watch out cause I keep patting my tummy – what does she expect me to do, I’m excited about being pregnant and that stems from the fact that this baby is made from me and Gary, we are making our own little family, we are showing our commitment to each other but that obviously isn’t enough.
She also made comments that she was surprised I was drinking so little alcohol and that I had correct posture (?!!!!!) and it is fine to say those things but it is a little annoying when judgement is passed despite the fact that we see each other twice a year so she has no idea who we are, what we do, what we like…
I’m sure the way we raise our child (ren) will come into question at some point as well.
As regards mum and dad I am pissed off that they haven’t made the effort to drive up here especially as we have been in this house for over a year now and I probably won’t see them until after the baby is born now. I will need to have a word at some point though to let them know that we will not be spending weekends driving up and down the motorway to their house so they can see the baby – they can make the effort and come up here. The journey is too long for the baby and me and Gary don’t want to spend our weekends in the car when it is our time together, we will have work to do on the house for some time to come and we want to do things with our child.
I think a chat will have to take place along the lines of: they have a grandchild they can get to know and build a relationship with (they don’t have that with any other grandchild) but they have to make the effort for a change with their time and emotions not just by throwing money at it.
Mum and dad need to learn that not everything comes to them that they have to make an effort. They don’t really like making an effort for anything. They are not very self less, they always have to get something out of a situation. Well of this situation they can have a relationship with their grandchild rather than feeling bitter and hard done by when a relationship doesn’t form and their grandchild doesn’t know them and doesn’t want to spend time alone with them. And the situation will be the complete opposite with Graham and Joyce cause baby will see a lot of them, especially as this will be their first grandchild.
What I must learn is greater patience with my parents – to be able to state my case and say my piece but not to lose my temper and become unreasonable because I don’t want to ruin the relationship I have with them and I don’t want all the baggage of mum’s lies and lack of understanding regarding the rest of her children and grandchildren to come out and ruin things.
I’m sure having a child will through up more opportunities to discuss problems with my parents, mainly mum and dad as it has to made clear to them that I don’t want the relationship to be based on lies, like my childhood was and for which I have paid.
As long as I am able to handle it calmly and maturely, even though they can’t, I will be happy that I have handled the situation to the best of my ability.
TUESDAY, MAY 01, 2001
I had a look at some nurseries as well and I have decided that the one in Monkseaton is the best one by far (from my limited experience at least) I definitely got a good feeling about it as opposed to the others.
After traipsing about all day on Wednesday I felt really knackered that night so when I got back and had a snooze and I think I had a bath as well but that night I started to get period like cramps with low back pain. I really didn’t feel very well but I ignored it and just stayed on the sofa before going to bed after ER had finished. When I saw Judith the next day she said that she was concerned that I had had a threatened labour but as the pains had gone away I wasn’t going to go into labour. However she said that I needed to take it easy as it was my body’s way of telling me to stop and take it easy. She said if I had those pains again I should go straight to the hospital cause it might be labour. This has really upset me cause it has made me feel very vulnerable and fragile and I am scared of over doing it cause I didn’t do that much walking around on Wednesday, although I suppose I was on my feet for a while.

SATURDAY, MAY 05, 2001
Shouted at Gary and then cried lots earlier for nothing at all. I must have been tired cause afterwards I went to sleep for about 3 hours and then felt much better. Not quite as irrational and paranoid.

SUNDAY, MAY 5, 2001
I’ve had such a lovely day today mainly cause I’ve been doing nothing. I promised myself a lazy day today to recharge my batteries after a week at work, especially as I have to go in tomorrow, a bank holiday. I do feel much better today as I was really tired yesterday although I was okay yesterday until midday when after going shopping and sitting in the sun at the Wooden Dolly I felt really really exhausted.
All I’ve done this afternoon is read the paper, watch The Fugitive and lay on the sofa playing with baby. It was a bit quiet earlier but has perked up this afternoon. I think it is probably going through a growing phase and, as I’m quite tires, it doesn’t want to kick too much. I can feel baby moving, changing position but sometimes it doesn’t kick as much as other days.
I am so looking forward to finishing work in 4 weeks time - 17 ½ days to be precise – not that I’m counting. I’m definitely tired and I would like a little time to relax before baby arrives and I know I will be much more relaxed when I know I haven’t got to think about work for some time, it can allow me to focus on preparing for the arrival of baby, getting some rest, reading and watching videos. I’m also convinced that baby will be a little bit early as well.
I know I have said this before but I am so looking forward to having baby with us. I want to meet my baby and I want Gary to form a bond with baby cause I feel that I have started that process already through playing with it and getting it to kick in reaction to my stimulation.

SUNDAY, MAY 13, 2001
God I am ready to leave work – only 3 weeks to go!!!!!!!
It’s not really the thought of actually working that is the problem, it’s more a case of getting to work. The thought of the journey, a relatively short and simple one, makes me feel knackered, let alone all the rushing around I have to do all day in the office.
Feel very tempted to pull a sicky tomorrow. I probably won’t cause I hate lying and I’ve never pulled a fake sicky at the Chronicle but I do feel very tired. I’ll see how I feel in the morning. If I did that would leave me with only 3 days to work this week cause I’ve got Friday off. In fact I’ve got a long weekend next weekend cause I’ve got the Monday off as well.
Apart from tiredness I feel fine. Back has started to ache a bit but I think that is mainly because I am sitting down for so long. I just need to think that in a few weeks I will be tired with a newborn to look after but I won’t feel worried about my tiredness harming the baby cause it will no longer be inside me. I need to remember that when I am in agony in labour, that all that pain is worth it cause it will end weeks of feeling very uncomfortable with a growing baby inside me and all that that means with back ache, heartburn, lack of sleep, tiredness, etc. I know I probably won’t feel this way when I am in labour but I really can’t wait to meet baby now. I feel like I have bonded with it through touch and speaking to it, I know it knows when I touch it compared to anyone else, I love it when it just pushes against my hand when I apply pressure to my tummy. It doesn’t need to kick it just moves against it and I think that is a comfort thing cause it knows it is me doing it. That’s what I feel anyway.

SATURDAY, MAY 26, 2001
This should come as no great surprise but I do. I feel like I’ve started to bond with it already and in only a few short weeks now I will get to meet him or her.
This pregnancy has gone really quickly. It doesn’t feel like 5 minutes since we were only 7 weeks pregnant – now that is all there is left of this pregnancy!!
I still feel pretty well as well – although I am very tired now and I tire pretty easily now but I only have one more week left at work. Well 4 more days to be precise!!!!!!!! Don’t get me wrong I still love my job but I am too tired and preoccupied with giving birth and becoming a parent to concentrate on it properly. I am definitely ready to have a break before I go through labour and cope with a newborn baba.

Have been off work for a week and a half now and it is, in a word, GREAT. I feel much more relaxed and bonded with baby who has taken this time to grow a little bit more and, as such, I can regularly feel a foot or a knee in my side on a regular basis.
I have arranged for the birth pool to arrive a week earlier (from 37 weeks instead of 38) as we can stay at home from 37 weeks and I want to feel secure in the knowledge that I can use water to help with pain relief. I have also arranged a night away in a hotel the day I get to 37 weeks. It looks like a very nice country hotel in County Durham (not too far away for obvious reasons). I fancy the break but, more importantly, its for Gary to have a break, catch up on sleep, go for a walk or a dip in the pool and eat some good food. Hopefully baby won’t come before then.
Since Friday I have been having strong Braxton Hicks with accompanying back and abdominal discomfort which peaks in the middle of the contractions. Sometimes they come every 20 minutes for a few hours and then they space out over a few hours. They definitely aren’t the real thing but I think they also have something to do with helping baby engage its head. I’ve no idea whether this is all an indication of imminent labour or not. I was upset and panicky about it on Saturday but I feel much better now cause I can’t do anything but watch what happens, keep timing the contractions to see if they get closer together or change in intensity.
FRIDAY, JUNE 22, 2001

I feel very fed up!!!!! Have been for a couple of days now.
I just feel so big and uncomfortable. I’m not sleeping properly, my hands and arms ache cause I’ve developed Carpal Tunnel, my bump is very big and heavy and I’ve got enough stretch marks to make me feel like a road map. The truth is that I don’t mind any of these things really cause it leads to us having our beautiful baby in a few weeks – I just wish I could sleep easier.
Occasionally I start to feel scared about labour, how long it will last and how much it will hurt but then I have to remind myself that there is no point feeling scared cause I have to go through this, all I can do is try to remain as positive as possible and to work through the pain which is going to lead to me having our baby. I say all of this now and will be a different story when I have to cope with unbearable pain but there is no point in panicking cause I have to go through it

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I'm still in a pretty shitty mood. Actually I think I'm a bit depressed, I have very little patience (just ask the kids, Gary, the cat...) and all I really want to do is hide in my bedroom and watch crappy TV until this is all over. This, of course, I can't do - I have 2 children and a husband to look after and spend time with. All of this is not helped by the fact that I am so so tired, I wake in the morning as tired as I was the night before and the house always needs tidying, it's like the Forth bridge, there is always somethign to tidy. And if I leave the house I have to speak to people and pretend that everything is ok, when is really really isn't. I endure jokes about the size of my bump (which I adore but I wish everyone would stop going on about and let me enjoy it) and questions about whether I am ok ( I am usually very British in my response and say that I am fine when infact I cry everyday and the rest of the time feel so completely numb it scares me).
Yes I am definitely not my usual happy self.

And I've been thinking about postponing all return visits to the hospital for a month. Obviously I will go back if I feel that I have started to get loads of extra fluid but, until that happens, I think I need to stay out of the hospital. I want to try to enjoy the last few weeks of my pregnancy and not worry that it is all going wrong. I want to try to connect more with my baby and trust my instincts, rather than trusting the medical theories and scans. Gary is a little worried about this but I won't do anything to put my baby in any more danger, I just need to connect with my baby, stay as positive and stress free as I can and get my head round the birth, which needs to take place in hospital. I'll call the hospital later this week and take it from there.

Hopefully I can shake this very shitty mood by next week, which is half term and get out and about with my girls. And I need to get my eyesbrows waxed, better do it quick incase that is my key to a good mood!

Something that has been on my mind as well is whether I can do all of this again. If my baby doesnt make it, do I want to try again for a third child, or will I accept that I have had my third child but he or she died. This has been the most fantastic pregnancy (apart from the emotional stress) I feel good, I am mobile (when I thought I might be on crutches by now) and I would have been able to continue as normal, if it wasn't for the emotional stress. I need to celebrate it, take loads of pictures of my bump and write more about my pregnancy, my baby.
But could I do it all again? I don't think I could. If this has the worst outcome, I think I have to celebrate my baby but focus my energy on my family - on my girls and on my husband and continue to make a good life for us. My girls mean so much to me that I think I could move on and focus on having 'bigger' children and not miss the baby stuff so much. we will get through this but, at the moment, the tunnel seems so long and dark it is hard to imagine an end.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Alice: mum, you know how you have a big belly cause you have a baby growing in there
Me: yeeeeees
Alice: but why is your bum getting bigger as well
Me: speechless

and here was me thinking I hadn't put on much weight with this baby - I'm obviously in complete denial

Saturday, May 19, 2007

more good news...

we've had the final results back from the amnio 3 weeks ago - all clear. I know we agreed to the amnio, and at the time it was something we wanted done because of the diagnosis of the heart problem but I really do feel like we've been through the medical mill. My hope and dream at the moment is that when the baby is born they find no atresia and only a minor heart problem, as at this stage the doctors admit they can't really say how serious the heart condition - it could be very serious or it could be remain stable and be fixed over time. I may be deluding myself with this but I have to believe that I will be bringing my baby home.

The best I can do at the moment is try to relax as much as possible, stay as stress-free and rested as I can to give my baby the best chance it has of being able to grow big and strong. I feel sad that I'm no longer working but I know it's for the best and I have to do everything I can to benefit my baby.

Now I just have to plan for a birth in hospital. It is unlikely I'll be able to use the pool and I'm pretty sure they will want me to have CEFM which means I can't use a TENS machine but I hope to be able to get answers to these questions in the next few weeks so I can prepare properly for the birth.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Beautiful baby

We had another scan yesterday - baby growing well, very active, heart doesn't appear to be any worse - and we saw baby's face. So so amazing, we could make out its little features and it looks so much like our girls. Gary thinks baby is a girl. I said we could ask but he wants to wait. Patience is not my strongest virtue but I guess I can wait a few more weeks to find out if I have made a girl or a boy.
I feel quite positive about it all at the moment, although desperately hoping that our hopes don't get smashed at the next scan. I asked about the birth and, at this stage, there is no reason not to have a vaginal birth, especially as I have already had 2 straightforward births. Atleast I can feel normal again - afterall I am having a physically good pregnancy, now I can prepare for the birth the way I would normally do. It will be so different being in hospital that I need to get my head round it but I know I can do it. I just need to talk to the consultants about my labour not being treated as high risk as I would like to be as active as possible and I'd love to use water again. I can't really imagine doing it without being in water. As long as baby stays well and I don't go into labour before 37 weeks, I will aim to treat labour as normal as possible - it's only after the birth that baby needs to be closely monitored and tested.
We've got a few weeks to go yet though, so we need to hope and pray that the heart doesn't get any worse and that we have a chance of a healthy baby. But for now, I am concentrating on staying calm and stress-free, planning alice's party and preparing for the birth of my baby.

Friday, May 04, 2007

My pregnancy

I'm huuuge, I have a lovely big bump which I love and I realised today that it is big and I definitely feel pregnant now!!
In all probability this will be my last pregnancy and I wanted to write more about it but, due to all the anxiety about the baby, the joy of this pregnancy has been overlooked. So I want to write this for my baby.

Thank you for being there, thank you for being made. My desire for another child was very strong, I don't know where the desire cam from but it was there and I know I wanted a chance to have another child, to add to the 2 amazing children I already have. You were conceived after 3 months of trying and I was so so so happy. I suspected I was pregnant when, on the walk home from school with the girls, the exhaust fumes were so strong and I remembered that from being pregnant with the girls. I tested the next morning, and the next and the next...

Apart from the concerns about you, this pregnancy has been so easy physically. I haven't been particularly tired, I haven't had headaches or mood swings - in fact I've felt really calm and happy. I felt and was sick until about 19 weeks - lots of retching and rushing for a loo or a bin. In the end the girls found it very funny to watch mummy be sick down a drain on the school run or using the bin in the living room because I couldn't make it to the loo.

I felt you moving early, flutterings from 11 weeks and kicks when I put my hand on my tummy from about 20 weeks. Now I'm in 29th week and I love your movements and kicks. You have hated most of the scans and kicked ferociously at the sonographers and consultants when they pressed on my tummy. I love it when you wriggle, when I can feel you legs stretching out.
This week has been the best, I can feel your head near my pubic bone like a ball moving around. I had despeately wanted to feel that again and it has made me so happy. I feel great, I have a fair bit of energy, my back and pelvis doesn't hurt (I am mobile!!!!) and I feel content knowing you are there growing inside me.

Despite all the anxiety, stress and tears, you have made me so very happy and that is why I don't regret making you. You may not be here yet but you have added something to my life that wasn't there before. I have learnt so much about myself, I am more patient with the girls and I feel much much closer to Gary.

I have to believe you can survive because you were made with love, you are loved and I have so much to thank you for.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

regrets, I don't do these as a rule but...

I can't help thinking that if I didn't desire another baby so much I wouldn't be feeling all this pain right now. I would be being a mother to my gorgeous girls, planning weekends away with my husband and working on building up my business, which has now ground to a halt.
BUT then my baby kicks and I feel so happy to have him/her - it was a very much wanted baby and I need to give it all the chances I can to be healthy. I don't regret this pregnancy at all, I have been very happy, even with all the anguish over the last 2 months. It is only since last Thursday that I have been feeling so very low, and I'm not in control of that. I can't shift it.

I play with my girls, I cuddle my girls, I kiss my girls and I feel lucky and happy that I have them but I also feel so sad that I really might not get the chance to do all of that with this baby, this baby may never know how much we love it and how much we wanted it and it may never know its amazing sisters and that fills me with so much unbelievable sadness.

If someone could take away this pain that is stripping me of any hope, if someone can make me feel numb please do it now because this is just too hard and I really don't know how much of this I can cope with. I want to sleep for 2 months, I want to hold my children and never let go, I dont ever want to feel this pain again. Actually I want to zoom forward in time by 2 years when the pain and anguish will be over and I can get on with my life with my family. I want to look at my husband and not see the pain in his eyes. I want my baby to live.