Sunday, 29 November 2009

I am not pregnant...

I can't quite believe that I am posting about this.  After laying awake thinking about it last night the only way I could get back to sleep was to think through what my blog post would say.  So I've taken that as a sign that I need to do this for my sanity and hope that it will be somehow cathartic.

To start making sense of the title I should explain that I was pregnant.  Not very, only six weeks, but I definitely was pregnant.  And then, after a visit to A&E and two nights in hospital, I wasn't.  In fact I had only been kind of pregnant for the preceding two weeks.  During my hospital stay I was scanned and a 'pregnancy sac' and 'yolk sac' was found which is what you would to expect to see at four weeks, not six.  I should have had a little bean, but I didn't.

Now I know that as a miscarriage goes, to have it happen so early is relatively non traumatic.  But I am finding it quite difficult, and this has been surprising to me as I'm normally a pretty tough, unemotional, resilient soul.  On analysis, which I am too good at, there are reasons for this that I will now endeavour to explain.

If you didn't already know I am 40 and I have one perfect son, my little Star who is 13 months old.  Star did not come to us easily.  We started trying to conceive when I was 36, immediately following our wedding (I know, old fashioned !) but when nothing was happening we had tests only to be told we were both perfectly formed in the reproductive department.  By the time I was 38, still nothing, so we started down the 'assisted conception' route.  Thankfully we were given three goes at IUI and on our last!  I stressed badly until the private eight week scan showed a heartbeat, I stressed badly until we were past the twelve week high risk period, I stressed badly until the downs syndrome scan and blood test the results of which almost destroyed me (our risk was 1:160) but  I couldn't take the chance of an amnio induced miscarriage, so I stressed some more until the anomoly scan told us all was well.

Somehow I made it to the end and Star was born by elective c section which was fantastic, as was he.  I always knew however that I didn't want Star to be an only child.  As with all parents I'm sure, I have only ever wanted the very best for him.  In my book one of the very best of life's good things is to have a sibling to share your  childhood with.  Someone to play with, someone to talk to, a companion.  Someone to teach you how to get along with people...the most valuable of life's lessons.  I felt so strongly about this that it was a condition of having Star...that we would have another.  Of course, now that he's here I couldn't imagine not having him, but before he was conceived I would have preferred to remain childless than to have an only child.

So, just before Star's first birthday back to the clinic we went.  Thankfully after some tests they agreed that I was still reproductively young enough to have another three goes at IUI before moving on to IVF (which I desperately don't want to have to do - far too invasive for a holistic person like me) and bingo once again, it worked.  I was pregnant on our first attempt.  My overwhelming reaction was one of relief.  Thank goodness, a sibling for Star.  Thank goodness, no more IUI treatments,  Thanks goodness, no IVF.  Thank goodness, I'm just 40...not 41, 42, 43, 44...  And as, despite my stressing, my pregnancy with Star had passed, pretty much, without event and he was such a prefect outcome, I relaxed.  I didn't worry.  My body had done all this before and coped, dare I say even did a good job.  So this time I would enjoy my pregnancy and not worry...

I did just this...until I was six weeks.  I did it so well that I met the fate of my pregnancy with disbelief and shock.  I couldn't believe it.  Things like this don't happen to me.  I'm healthy.  I don't drink alcohol...ever.  I don't smoke.  I don't drink coffee.  I eat organic food.  I take supplements....I'm too old.  It's not going to work for us this time.  Poor Star.  I've let him down.  I've failed him.  I've failed him.  I've failed him...

My eyes are welling up just writing this but I can't seem to get it out of my head.  I know it will take time but I haven't got time.  We'll be back to the clinic in January to start it all again, and I must be in a calm, confident, positive frame of mind but I'm finding it so hard....


Thursday, 26 November 2009

My favourite things about Star

As I seem to be frequently posting about how much I don't enjoy motherhood I thought maybe I should do a post about some of the things I like about my precious little angel (he is 13 months old by the way)  Just in case you were thinking it's him I don't like...


I love the way that he opens his mouth REALLY wide when he's smiling about something.  No toothy grin for my catching gob.

I love the fact that he has so many teeth that I have lost count (12 at 12 mths and more since) and we have had not one sleepless night and not one grouchy day.

I love the fact that he has never (yet) had a clingy stage.  Despite spending the vast majority of his time at home, alone with me, he is in no way shy.  Men, women, old, young he greets everyone with his wide open gob and outstretched arms.

I love the way he uses his pincer grip.  Put some peas and sweetcorn on his plate and he will masterfully pincer each individual piece and pop into his mouth, using alternate hands.  Unless it's chocolate covered raisins (my one concession to his healthy eating regime, and then only if they're organic), when it's left pincer only.

I love the fact that my boy looks as though he will be left handed.  I prefer slightly unusual in all things.

I love his fascination with eye lashes.  His own or anyone else's that he's close enough to touch.  He very gently puts his index finger on the end of the lashes and then blinks.  He also likes to blink his lashes against my cheek when we're cuddling.

I love the way he sucks his thumb, with his index and middle finger hooked over his nose, whenever he is tired, hungry or cuddling with mummy.

I love the fact that he likes grown up things.  From 9 months he has eaten grown up food (Thai curry, chilli con carne, spag bol, moules...) and insisted on only drinking from a glass (other than bedtime bottle)

I love the way whenever you go towards him with a tissue/wipe for his nose/mouth he opens his mouth slightly and makes a continuous noise so that you can pat over his open mouth to achieve a 'cowboys and indians' style sound effect.

I love his attempt at kissing.  He will lean in, mouth open and when you pucker up he closes his mouth over yours.  If you're lucky he doesn't use his teeth.

I love the fact that when he has his bedtime bottle, he stops after 3 or 4 ozs, not for wind, but to play pat-a-cake and have a cuddle for 5 mins before returning to finish the last 2 or 3 ozs.  (I know it's not a big bottle but he has never liked milk much - unfortunate for a baby I thought)

I love the fact that, other than kissing and cuddling, he's a real 'boys boy' as my health visitor once put it.  He likes climbing, ranting and rough and tumble and doesn't seem to feel pain.

I love the fact that he is happy in his own company.  When he wakes in the morning, after his morning nap and after his afternoon nap he will quite happily play in his cot for, well, I don't know how long as I've never left him longer than 45mins but he is still happily playing with and chatting to his soft toys.

I little Star immeasurably x


Finally passing on the award...

You will recall that I was very kindly given an 'honest scrap' award by The Mad House last week and the deal was to pass it on to 10 others.  I'm sure some on my list will have received it already, so apologies if I'm duplicating, but these are my best reads, the ones I immediately click through to when they appear on my blogger dashboard.

For completeness I will now outline the rules that come with the honour that is the honest scrap award...

1. The Honest Scrap Award must be shared.
2. All recipients have to tell 10 true things about themselves that no one else knows.
3. All recipients have to pass the award on to 10 more blogs.
4. Those 10 blogs should link back to the blog that awarded them

In no particular order the award goes to...tension building pause...

Now, a couple of housekeeping points.  Some of you may notice that I don't appear to be following you. Well there is a simple explanation.  I can't find the 'follow me' button on your blogs.  If it's more complicated than that I can't cope so perhaps you could help me out ?

Also, just wanted to say that I found it really, really hard to pick 10 as there are so many I love so if you're not here, I love you anyway :)


Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Giving away my old life...

This is my first writing workshop post so I'm not sure how it will turn out or if I'm doing it right but I'll give it my best shot...

A few weeks ago I truly understood the term life laundry for the first time, and in particular the emotional baggage that goes with it.  This is quite a convoluted story so please hang in there while I start at the beginning...

When I met 'The Daddy' seven years ago I was very happily in a successful corporate career.  I had achieved....the power suits, the perfectly manicured nails, the company car and all the benefits that go with it, the big office complete with fridge, the PA..and I was respected throughout the company as someone that would get the job done without upsetting people, something I was very proud of.  I also had a house,  full of 'my stuff'.

Over the next two years things started to change, and ultimately go very wrong.  I took on a different role at work, I moved from Devon to Berkshire, I moved house, I gave up smoking...I was signed off with stress/depression for 9 months.   At this point I moved in with 'The Daddy' and started to rebuild my life.  Suddenly everything I had achieved seemed hollow and meaningless so I took voluntary redundancy, let out my house, put 'my stuff' in storage and retrained as a holistic therapist.  Everything was good again and I felt that I had found the 'true me'.

About a year ago we decided that as the economy was looking dodgy we would sell my house, and the contents would remain in storage until we had more time to sort it out (Star's due date was rapidly approaching)

Fast forward to today and I am a SAHM and not feeling fulfilled, feeling that I have lost the 'true me'. So. when we had 'my stuff' delivered from storage we had to decide what to do with it.  Now we have a house full of our things and no room or need for another two king size beds, a wardrobe, a dressing table... and five boxes of kitchen equipment, books and general rubbish.  So, what should we do with it?

Unfortunately this was a rare occasion when 'The Daddy' and I had 'a heated exchange of views'.  The Daddy being in 'fix it' mode decided that we should take most of it to the tip and the bigger pieces of furniture we could sell.  Well. I flipped.  I don't do it very often. At all.  But I flipped.  This was the last remains of a time in my life when I felt fulfilled, proud of my achievements, successful...none of which I feel now.  The thought of taking it to the dump and/or selling it for next to nothing filled me with horror and left me feeling bereft.  How could I get rid of all that it represented, even if I didn't actually want any of it ?  Worst of all how could I sell it and get peanuts for things that are priceless in terms of what they represent for me?  It would feel as though the buyers were telling me that the best that I had ever been was worth only pennies.

The outcome was difficult to get to but after a few weeks to calm myself I decided that I should give it away.  If I gave it to a charity I felt that they would be grateful for it, and value it, and it would do some good...and my old life would move on in the world with it's head held high.  So that is what we did.  The Daddy sorted it all out ( as he always does) checking with me at every step to make sure I was happy and a very nice man from The British Heart Foundation came and took it away.

He was grateful, they did value it, and it will be doing good.  And I am happy with that.

This post was written for Sleep is for the weak's Wednesday Writing Workshop, prompt number 4, 'Tell me about something precious you gave away'


Saturday, 21 November 2009

10 things you didn't know about me(me)

Well here it is, in all it's glory.  The award I received yesterday from the marvellous madhouse  Never thought I would feel so proud of receiving an 'honest scrap' award. Hmmm, cue drawn out period of self analysis...

Anyway, following on from my post yesterday I vowed to return with the 10 interesting (?) facts you didn't know about me.  And most surprisingly, here I am.  Two posts on successive new found dedication astounds me.

So, here are 10 things that most people reading this won't know. (I just can't think of 10 things nobody would know).  Here we go...

1.  I received 5 genuine proposals of marriage before meeting my now husband (The Daddy) aged 33.
2.  I never wanted children.  At all.  Now I have one, I adore him and would lay down my life for him without hesitation, but still don't adore being a mother.  At all.
3.  I have had two very different careers before becoming a SAHM.  I was in financial services (last stop a 'Location Manager' for Zurich) and then became a Holistic Therapist...aromatherapy, reflexology, indian head massage, nutrition, reiki...
4.  I have a tattoo of a pheonix on my right hip which was chosen by The Daddy and me one valentines day.  It is gorgeous and I love it.
5.   During the Holistic Therapist period of my life I volunteered at my local hospice offering complementary therapies to the patients.  It was the most life affirming thing I have ever done.
6.  My mother seriously thought I was a lesbian as I had moved on, yet again, from the latest of a string of long term relationships at the age of 33.  I was virtually disowned for 6 mths as a result.
7.  I have OCD tendancies.  For example, I can only use a mug with chickens on it at breakfast time.  To use it at any other time of the day would offend my sensibilities.
8.  My favourite drink is tea.  Earl Grey tea with milk to be precise and I would choose it in preference to any beverage, including alcohol.  Tea is more than a drink you see, more like a hug in a mug.  But not the chicken mug unless it is before 10am.
9.  I don't like films.  I either find them too boring or too stressful.  Having said that, if I must watch a film it needs to be either a la 'Bridget Jones' or 'Hannibal' and nothing in between.
10.  Boredom is something I suffer from greatly.  'I'm bored' was my most common complaint as a child, and it has been a life long curse ever since.  It drove my relentless ambition whilst I was a corporate soul, it drove my pursuit of domestic bliss in my adult relationships and I fear it now drives my lack of enthusiasm for my current role.  I think I will leave it there as this could turn into a whole post of it's own.

Phew.  Now, I don't know if I'm also supposed to pass on the award to 10 other blogs but I guess if I am someone will shout at tell me...


Friday, 20 November 2009

oh gosh, feel I must do better now that I have an award :o

I'm not sure where to begin.  You see, I feel this is, and must be, a new beginning for me and my blog.  I have made a stuttering start to date.  I quite like the posts I have done, but they have been few and far between and I don't feel that there is any flow.  I can never think of anything to write you see.  And when I do think of something, it is not an opportune moment to sit down with the laptop ... and then the day overtakes me ... and when I finally get an opportunity...I can't remember what it was that moved me to want to blog about it in the first place...Doh !

But all of that is going to have to change now that I have been empowered to be a better blogger by the marvellous, wondrous woman, wife and mother that is Mad Mummy @The Mad House.  I do not feel worthy, but do now feel obligated to try harder.

Without wishing to sound as though I am already making excuses I am currently on holiday and am about to go for dinner so the 10 things you didn't know about me will have to wait until later/when I next have internet connection.

I bet that's left you begging for more...not !


Friday, 6 November 2009

The Torture of Self Inflicted Sleep Deprivation

When I say self inflicted, I don't think I'm totally to blame.  It's a joint effort between Star and myself.  I know compared to many, and one in particular that will be reading this ;-), I have a luxurious existence having an average of 7-8 hours sleep a night.  But you see, that's just not enough for me.  I shall explain...

Apparently I have always liked my sleep.  Legend has it that there was concern that I would not manage at school without a day sleep.  And in my adult years, before Star, I would always sleep for exactly 10 hours on days that I wasn't woken by an alarm clock.  On these 'alarming' days I would invariably fall asleep on the sofa after dinner to reclaim any shortfall.

One of my many reasons for deciding that I would never have children (Ha!) was that I knew that family life and my need for, and love of, sleep was not compatible.  And other than the thrice daily angst and stress surrounding Star's meal times ('he must eat lots of very healthy food' versus 'I must not give him food hangups' - but there's a whole other post there !) sleep, or lack of it, has been my biggest challenge.

But here is the irony.  If I were to go to bed at say 10pm I could get my 10 hours.  But I don't.  Going to bed at 10pm just doesn't suit my bodyclock, or The Daddy's, so I 'start' going to bed at about 11, fiddle about for 20 mins, then  read and finally attempt sleep around midnight.  Now I know that I am very lucky in that my little Star doesn't wake up until 7.30/8.00.  But it still means that I feel dog tired the next day...until 10pm when I feel wide awake - Doh !

After months of trying to resolve this, unsuccessfully, I have in recent weeks taken to having a nap myself in the day.  When Star goes for his morning, or afternoon, nap (he likes his sleep too - that's my boy :-)) I do the same.  I may only have an hour but it is marvellous.  It stops me feeling like death, and gives me the energy to get through the day in good humour.

So I have found a solutions of sorts, but would dearly love to change my internal clock so that I was ready to sleep at 10pm or even 9 !!!  I have run out of ideas as to how to achieve this other than resorting to alcohol which is not something I do.  Any ideas...anyone...please...

PS  Previously mentioned series of posts on pregnancy et al temporarily postponed due to bad cold and resulting lack of enthusiasm for anything requiring concentration...


Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Do I need a note for absence ?

What can I say, I had hardly begun and I went AWOL.  Well I do apologise for my flakiness (?) but feel the need to provide some explanation.

Last week, as many of you know, was half term so as well as Star I also had my 11yr old step son and adorable 12 and 9 yr old nephews to entertain/supervise.  Oh and the dogs of course.  So it was a very full on week.  Does this sound convincing ?  Well it is true but only half the story.  You see I have inexplicably become addicted to two games on Facebook - Farmville and Cafeworld.  I have never been interested in computer games of any kind, not ever.  So why this, and why now ?  Is it pure escapism ?  Is it some kind of outlet for my now redundant business brain ?  Or is it simply, unfathomably addictive ?

I don't have the answers but would be interested to hear any theories...

I would like to say that I have kicked the habit, but this is not so.  I have however decided to be less intense about it - slower growing crops for example for those of you that share this guilty pleasure.  In it's place I will return to my blog.  I have had a thought about a series of posts I would like to do...

It was Star's 1st birthday a couple of weeks ago and it took me back to my days of trying to conceive, and being pregnant. It was not a straightforward process and over this period I read lots and learned loads.  Much of what I learned was not common knowledge or even an orthodox view but I believe that Star's arrival when I was aged 39 was testament to the validity of my findings.

At the time I found it hugely frustrating that I couldn't share the knowledge I had gained but decided that I could rectify this when I returned to work (as a holistic therapist).  Well I'm still waiting for that to happen due to a lack of childcare and/or useable treatment room and/or energy and/or inititative.

So I have decided that I will do it here.  I may not have many followers (yet) but hopefully if I post about something that people find interesting and relevant the people that need to know will find me  ...