Sunday, 15 December 2013

Itchy Liver - Part One

I've had a funny couple of weeks.  I stopped work on the 26th November, just over 2 weeks ago.  I managed to get most things sorted in the couple of days following that, buying all the bits I needed for my hospital bag (giant nightie from Evans - check!!) and generally had a busy few days with school fairs, drama finales and labour ward tours (never did write about that...)

Then came the sickness.  It started with excruciating pain between my shoulder blades which kept me awake most of Sunday night.  The pain literally took my breath away at times and I genuinely could feel my resolve to have a natural birth ebbing away from me, "How can I birth a baby naturally if I can't even cope with chronic indigestion?!"

By Monday morning I was a bit of a mess and begged Andy to stay at home with me that day.  He got Scarlett off to school and prepared to go to a work call from here, meanwhile I was glugging Gaviscon and Peppermint tea on the birth ball and praying for the pain to go away.  I even called Labour Ward because I had no idea whether I should be worried.  They weren't worried and told me it didn't sound obstetric and to go A&E.  Oh.  No sooner had I hung up the phone to them, the pain started to ease, and finally by 8:30ish I felt normal again.  I sent Andy off on his call and sat on the sofa watching The Goonies.  I managed to stay awake until 1ish to pick up from the station and then came home and promptly fell asleep.

Then the itching started.  I woke at about 6:00pm itching all over, but especially on my hands and feet.  Oh shit.  I immediately did a Google for Obstetric Cholestasis and decided that was what I had.  I kept mostly quiet to Andy that night despite itching like mad all night long.  By the time his alarm went off at 5:30 I felt terrible asking him to take another day off work but I really thought I needed to get it checked, not least of all because I hadn't really felt bub move since the previous evening and panic had set in about that.  I called Labour Ward who took my details and advised me to go straight to the Maternal Assessment Unit for 8:30.

I managed to get myself into the shower and dressed, worrying the whole time about bub.  The previous evening when I'd looked it up, the only thing which popped out was, "It can only usually be cured by giving birth" and I immediately started preparing myself for a caesarean.  We had seen the two theatres up on Labour Ward the previous week and I was in some ways thankful, I could clearly picture where our baby might be born and the process that would take place.  I reconciled myself to this pretty quickly.  Which probably all sounds so bloody melodramatic but I was pooping myself with worry!

Long story short, we went to MAU, they did bloods and monitoring of the baby which was all good.  We then spent the afternoon running around buying Moses basket mattresses and picking up the car seat base, both essential items we still hadn't sorted but figured we might need by the weekend!  I then proceeded to spend the next 2 days in MAU each morning for bloods (I had to go again on the Thursday as they also needed to do a full blood count to check my platelets which they'd forgotten to take on the Wednesday!)

So what is Obstetric Cholestasis (OC)?  As far as I can understand it's to do with bile salts and liver function.  I still don't understand the ins and outs of it but everything pointed to me having it.  My bloods came back that my bile salts were okay but my liver function was raised.  Apparently as soon as you have the itching and raised liver function, they class you as having it.  Though I wasn't told that until this week and finally prescribed tablets - one set to help with the liver, Vitamin K to help with clotting (as it can cause your platelets to drop) and Piriton to help the itching.

I'm pleased the report that with regards to the latter I haven't itched since the weekend, I felt okay by last Wednesday but did have another bout over the weekend which thankfully was nowhere near as intense and was mainly just my arms and feet.

So by the time it got to Thursday 5th December I had my mind set that I would ultimately probably be having a caesarean to get the baby out and stop anything going further wrong with my liver.  I requested an appointment with the Consultant's team to discuss my options which was booked for Tuesday 10th December.

Back to MAU on Monday 9th December feeling absolutely fine, shortest trip there yet!  Good trace on the baby, although they thought he was possibly squeezing the cord after each movement which was worrying them but he soon stopped and I was released!

Then came Monday evening...  I just really was not well at all and I think we'll leave it there...!

So come Tuesday afternoon and my appointment with the Consultant's team I was ready to get this baby out....

Part Two of my Itchy Liver Adventures will be posted at 8:30am on Monday 16th December so do check in if you want to hear more....

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Fear of Faffing

It's a topic that is quite emotive.  The Birth I Want.  The Birth I Deserve.  Or sadly for some, The Birth I Wish I'd Had/Been Allowed.

To clarify, I had a Caesarean section with Scarlett as she was breech.  With hindsight, I think she was probably slightly premature.  I think I was naive and terrified and I wish I had waited, or tried, to turn her.  I was going to be 'allowed' a water birth last time (although as my husband helpfully points out, every time I give a death glare to my consultant when I complain for the hundredth time that I wanted a water birth, the hospital I was booked into last time only had one birthing pool, so the chances of me actually getting one would've been slim!!)

I think ultimately, I know, and I have to trust every instinct in my body, that our boy will get here safely, one way or the other.  I have to believe this.  I have to put faith in the fact that all will go according to plan.  And if it doesn't go according to my plan, which is to have him 'naturally', he will get here just as fine through the sunroof as Scarlett did before him.

But if it does all go according to plan, I have massive misgivings about going into labour, because I just don't know what to expect.  It's weird, I know once I'm in labour what my plan is; stay at home, bathe as long as my waters haven't gone, walk, breath, chant, sing.  It's a routine I have practised over and over in my head.  That I will stay here at home for as long as I can.  For as long as the lure of gas and air stays out of my mind!  The fear of monitoring and 'faffing', as I have termed all the shit they're likely to inflict on me at hospital, makes this plan exciting.  My plan to try and defy the system, to prove them wrong, to prove that I can have a natural birth, despite my previous caesarean and my high BMI.  Might I possibly become an 'Oopser' or will our baby be BBA (Born Before Ambulance)?

My fear of faffing, is greater than my fear of giving birth.  In some ways, that's glorious, for I do not fear birth, but in other ways, it's troubling, that faffing has become such a byword for me for unnecessary intervention, that I fear that the most.

In spite of my fear of faffing, there's still that niggle in the back of my mind.  What if you rupture?  What if he's in distress and you don't know?  What if, what if, what if?  I try to answer all my niggles with the response, "My instinct will tell me."  My inner monkey will tell me.  Surely?!  Right?!  I'm sure no one can give me an answer either way.

Those who have read Ina May Gaskin and others like her (although, her book is the only one I've had time to read) will agree, instinct and inner mammal will tell me.  Those slightly more favourable of CEFM and generally, keeping tabs on a fat VBAC bird (which is honestly how consultants make me feel), will disagree, and suggest that I come in to be monitored right away.  I can, honestly, see both points of view.

It's no secret that I would like, one day, to retrain as a midwife.  I'm therefore not completely stupid as to why CEFM is practiced (half because it is useful, and half because our poor midwives are so overstretched, it helps them look after 3 women at once, at least, that's the conclusion I have come to).  However I think I want for some utopian vision of birth and midwifery care, where mothers do see the same midwife during both antenatal care, birth and postnatal care.  It's something that I know isn't going to suddenly change overnight and it's certainly not something that is going to change in the next month before I give birth.

I think because I so desperately want to just be with one lovely midwife during birth, that I sort of worry about going into hospital and submitting to some of the faffing with different midwives and consultants.  I know the midwives aren't doing it to be mean (at least, I would hope not!) but because they're sort of under orders to.  If there was just one of them to every woman in labour, apart from there being a hell of a bill to pay, I do kind of feel that maybe intervention rates would go down because they have more time to watch and listen (and in some cases, possibly learn?) to labouring mothers and spot the signs of complications a bit sooner, or at least, a bit more compassionately than a machine currently does.

It is that fear of the faffing that puts me ill at ease with the whole process which lay before me.  I don't want a pre-sited IV, I don't particularly want monitoring, I certainly don't want induction or augmentation of labour, but that is my own personal choice and surely, as we're told regularly, we're meant to have a choice in childbirth these days.

I know deep down, I've read it and seen it and truly believe it, staying upright, moving about, kissing my husband, mooing like a cow; all those 'hippy' things, will help my labour progress without the need for fake hormones and IV lines and being 'strapped to the bed' as I term it.  Sorry to anyone who believes in all these things, but to me I personally just find them all a bit unnecessary and terrifying (in my case).

I do have one secret weapon in my war against the faffing - my husband.  My darling man has diligently read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth on the bus this week.  Whilst it has made for an hilarious anecdote; he turned the page to be confronted with a naked, crowning, fully pubed mother in a state of pure ecstasy during birth (ah, orgasmic birth, another post for another time...) which had him hastily turning pages in search of sanctuary from any funny looks it might have garnered!  But aside from naked ecstatic mothers, he says he's learnt a lot.  About kissing, about positions etc.  He now has a completely different take on CEFM to the one he had before (he was quite pro, he felt it was the safest thing, Ina May has turned him) and generally feels ready to ask for peace, and calm, and dimmed lights.  To ask for time before being rushed into anything and to help me get the best out of labour.  He knows it's become quite important for me to have my 'hippy' labour and birth.

When I sit back and I try to visualise the task which lay ahead of me, I see two very distinct things; being here, in our bedroom, pacing, breathing, swaying, and then I see myself in hospital, moments after pushing our son out, eyes wide with awe and wonder and what I've just achieved and marvelling at our boy.  I get almost crazy excited and tearful when I think of the latter.  Because I know I can do this, I CAN do this.  With Andy by my side, and Ina May in my heart, I can do it.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Ready as I'll ever be?!

I'm 35 weeks pregnant today.  That means that in no more than 7 weeks, we will have our baby boy here.  As you may recall, if I get to 41 weeks it's game over and straight into theatre.  I am seriously hoping it doesn't come to that.

I finish work in just over a week now.  In real terms I actually only have 5 full days in the office, by the time I've done a half day Thursday for antenatal classes (more on that later) and another half day on Tuesday for a Consultant appointment.  That's such a lovely feeling, so close, and yet, still so far as I feel I have quite a lot to finish off.  I'm trying to hand quite a lot of stuff over but I'm feeling slightly guilty as the team are already creaking slightly under the pressure.  But anyway, screw work...!

I was lying in bed this morning, feeling bub moving about, thinking about his imminent birth and as I got in the shower, I thought how strange it's going to be in a few weeks time to call myself a mother of two.

Which still feels alien to me.  5 and a half years down the line and I still find it odd to be called 'mummy'.  Which probably sounds like a really horrible, bitchy, selfish thing to say, but I find myself in an odd sort of limbo - half stuck between my uni days (I had only graduated 18 months before I had Scarlett) and half stuck between the generation of mothers at Scarlett's school.  That's not to be rude either, they all seem nice enough, but they grew up in a different time to me and when I'm never at the school gate, I feel quite alienated and distant from being a mum.

I'm hoping next year I can try and lose some weight, have a bit more confidence and generally get out there a bit more.  Maybe I'll feel more like a 'mum'?!  I think being at home, on my own, with bub and having to fend for myself will probably make this all feel a bit more real.  It really is a bit like being a first time mum.  Last time we sort of lived in one room upstairs, and Andy was there all the time as he was caring for his mum.  So it was more like being a couple of teenagers with a baby than it was being 'grown ups' with a baby.

That probably sounds really stupid, but I think that's what I'm so looking forward to this time.  Being a grown up.  Having the whole house to ourselves and our family.  It being 'proper'.  Being a housewife, doing the school run, meeting other mummy friends for coffee (because thankfully this time I have a few, I'll post about it separately).

'Proper' seems such a daft word to use, like my weird ideal of having a family wasn't quite right last time.  Heck, it kinda wasn't in any way, shape or form.  It's why I've been so obsessed this time; having a proper bump, feeling him wriggling, doing antenatal classes, getting a nice new pram all for ourselves.  I feel sure we won't have any more, for various reasons, I feel I'm just going to be happy and blessed with two.  So I guess that has added to the desire of it being 'proper' this time.

It's probably also why a new epithet should be invented for what I've become, Mumzilla, maybe, or a Pregzilla anyway.  Determined to have it my own way and make it all 'just so'.

This time has been so monumentally different.  It really has been like a first pregnancy in some ways.  I've ended up seeing our boy 6 times through various scans, had multiple midwife and consultant appointments (although sometimes I wish I could just go for a coffee with the specialist midwife I see, she's just brilliant, I wish it was her who would be there when I give birth...!), started antenatal classes, fully prepared a space for him, and clothes, and toys and just generally, I feel quite prepared.

Or do I?!

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

The formation of our birth plan?!

Yesterday we had our long-awaited appointment with our consultant.

Cue an hour of waiting in the most ridiculously busy waiting room at St Helier - thank God we didn't have to get Scarlett from school because it was 4pm before we actually went in to our 3pm appointment!

We met one of the Consultant's Registrars.  Excuse my ignorance, is a Registrar below a Consultant?!

Let me retrace my steps slightly, I had spent the morning writing a birth plan and doing research.  Chatting to a few people on Twitter, people I really respect (and wow, the power of an open Twitter account...!) I felt quite empowered to have a VBAC, I even bookmarked a Doula who I thought about contacting to help us through it.

Then I stumbled across two RCOG (Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists) pieces of guidance.

The first, my word, clearly not written for the general public, the language used was kind of shocking.  It was their guidance on the Management of Women with Obesity in Pregnancy.  To clarify, my booking BMI was 49, it has since come down to around 46.5  It all left me feeling a bit like, why should I bloody even bother trying for a VBAC when they're going to do the 2 things I really don't want them to do; constant monitoring and a pre-sited IV.  More on the former later...

The second bit of guidance I read was RCOG's Birth After Previous Caesarean Birth.  Figures leapt out at me like, for women with a BMI greater than 30, a successful VBAC is only achieved in 40% of cases.  Compared with a 72-76% success rate for a planned VBAC after a single Caesarean.  So that's kinda half.

All of this lead to me deciding by 1pm that I was having a Caesarean and that was going to be safest option because it seemed likely I'd end up having an Emergency Caesarean if I even attempted a VBAC and from hearing other people's stories, a planned is very different to an emergency!

So, back to the hospital.  We were finally called in to see a lady with a name I didn't quite catch!  (We're back again to see the Anaesthetist this afternoon so I might ask!)

I had planned that I would go in and lie and say I'd given it no thought (despite the fact Andy had printed my birth plan and was hiding it in my handbag!).  Don't know why I bothered because as soon as she started talking I interrupted her and just blurted out, "I want a Caesarean, it's going to be safest as you're going to hook me up to so many wires I won't be able to move, will just have a slow labour and end up having a Caesarean anyway.  You're going to remove my control so I'd rather know that I'm having a Caesarean which I can control!"

She was stunned but then continued with her reasons for suggesting a VBAC.  I gave her the 40% figure but she just gave me a look and dismissed it.  "But the RCOG said it!" I retorted.  Bless her, she continued anyway.

Eventually I shut up long enough to tell her my worries: that I didn't want to be hooked straight up to a monitor so that I couldn't move, couldn't use a birthing ball, couldn't change position, couldn't walk.  I told her I've read and seen enough (on telly, to which she rolled her eyes again, hahah!) to know that being on your back, being monitored is basically a fast track to an EMCS (Emergency Caesarean Section).  And that I didn't want to be induced and that I didn't want a pre-sited IV - again she sort of pulled a face at that last one but I just said, "Look, you need to get one into me in a hurry, someone will manage it!"  To which she smiled.

She explained that I would certainly be able to move off the bed, use a birthing ball and crouch to help ease the pain.  I explained I was happy with that outcome as I wanted to try and avoid an Epidural and was keen to try hypnobirthing and breathing techniques alongside a little bit of gas and air.  She seemed happy with all these suggestions.  The only bit which might hold me back is the birth position, I had hoped to give birth on all fours or kneeling over the back of the bed but she said all fours might certainly be difficult with the monitor.  She suggested they could use a clip on the baby's head but again, from hearing other's experiences, sod that!!

She also explained that once I'm 4cm they class it as active labour.  She suggested that I stay at home for as long as I feel comfortable and generally speaking, active labour is when you're having 3-4 contractions in a 10 minute time frame.  I said to Andy on the way home that we'd buy a paddling pool so I could at least spend my early labour in water!  So we have our benchmark on that.  (I did say in the evening whilst watching The Midwives on BBC2 - which was quite useful lastnight as they showed a VBAC in a slightly bigger girl, she did well! - what would he do if I had an accidental homebirth in a kid's paddling pool?  He didn't seem amused!)

The Registrar went on to explain that they like to see progress of 2cms every 4 hours.  So, generally speaking, if I go in at 4cms, get strapped up, I should in theory only be strapped up for 12 hours at most.  She said that they will usually allow a mother attempting VBAC to push for an hour before either intervening with forceps or ventouse depending on how far the baby has descended or if the baby is still way up, they'll refer for an EMCS.  This in a strange way made me feel better, that the most I would be allowed to struggle on would be 13 hours.  That seemed somehow achievable and made me again feel determined (that, coupled with the resolve to labour at home for as long as possible.)

I also stated quite firmly that I wanted my consent to be explicitly sought before anything was carried out (basically because I really don't want a cannula in my hand, it was the worst bit, genuinely, about having Scarlett, it was so restrictive!)  This is also the reason that I don't particularly want an Epidural, the cannula and the lack of movement (I did say I would probably be climbing the walls begging for pain relief and she said that was fine too!)

So we agreed the following:
1: Not keen on Induction of Labour
2: Not keen on augmentation of labour if slow progress
3: Happy to be monitored once in active labour (oh go on, if you HAVE to!)
4: ELCS (Elective Caesarean Section) at 41 weeks if no spontaneous labour
5: ELCS if no progress after 4 hours of active labour

Overall I felt quite pleased with the outcome.  Andy said he was proud that despite going in all guns blazing, I had pulled back and calmed down enough to shut up and let her speak!  We both felt reassured knowing that if nothing has happened by New Year's Eve we'd have a clear deadline (albeit a Caesarean which I still go back and forth in my feelings about!)

Ordered the VBAC hypnobirthing set last night and will look into a birthing ball.  Have also decided to try and start maternity leave at 37 weeks so that I can ramp up efforts to get baby out before Christmas.  I'm also going to gauge how work feel about allowing me time off on a Tuesday morning to do aquanatal classes - not sure it's going to go down well!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Tuneful Tuesday: Kraftwerk

I'm going to introduce one of my (hopefully!) regular weekly topics - Music.

Now, I've said it before, and I will smugly and annoyingly say it again - I have impeccable taste in music....  

I know what I like, and I'm not ashamed to hide it and I love talking about it.  I have MANY guilty pleasures which I will unashamedly share with you over coming weeks and I'm not going to hide from the criticism and yes, my love for the Beatles may well have to feature over a number of posts because my love for them surpasses my love for most other things (no, I lie actually, because whilst yes, I could live on nothing but the Beatles for the rest of my days, if I didn't have a smattering of Blur, Beastie Boys and 1990s house and drum and bass, I might not make it through....)

And so, maybe I shouldn't say I have impeccable taste, rather I have an eclectic taste.  In some ways, I want these posts to serve to help my children in future years understand why mummy has such a ridiculously broad taste in music!  Which not even I understand but my love for many bands, songs and genres runs deep in their own special way.

Which brings me onto my first topic: Kraftwerk.  Now, I'm going to admit, that I'm not familiar with their entire oeuvre, but today I was listening to Autobahn, in the car, on the way to work, as you do and it reminded me of all those times associated with Kraftwerk in my past.  Maybe that's the point of these musical passions of mine, some, though certainly not all, are related to specific times in my past and Kraftwerk is one with a few associations for me.

The first time I remember being aware of Kraftwerk was when my friend first introduced me to them aged roughly 15 or 16.  We were big into Orbital at the time and there's a lot of Kraftwerk in Orbital, listening to Autobahn today made me acknowledge this properly.

I then recall my dad producing Kraftwerk CDs from his collection.  Well, that was it for me.  My dad.  Likes Kraftwerk.  My dad, whose own musical taste I want to delve into in a future post because it is, quite frankly, staggering the breadth of stuff he's into (and probably where I get my eclecticism from - have I made that word up?!)  I really won't delve into his musical tastes as I'll spoil the surprise, but anyway, dad likes Kraftwerk.  Okay, cool.  Respect.

I'll say again at this point, I'm really not familiar with all their work, but maybe, do you have to be?  Do you have to like everything a group has ever done to say you like and enjoy them?  I probably only know a half dozen of their tracks, which, lets be fair, accounts for about 3 hours of music, but I do like listening to them.  A guy at work once told me he listens to Kraftwerk when he has to concentrate and I know exactly what he means.  They're good zone out music.

{As an aside: I'm listening to the Chemical Brothers as I type this; Dig Your Own Hole to be specific.  Andy has just appeared and in his usual cynical way has asked, "What IS this you're listening to?  Anything with whistles doesn't sit well with me".  Ah, my husband, I'll talk about his musical taste another time too....!}

Anyway, back to Autobahn and why I like that track in particular.  Andy and I had been together for approximately one month when he decided to buy an Audi 80 2.8l Quattro on eBay.  We duly travelled by train from Leicester where I was at uni up to Bedale in North Yorkshire.  This car seemed okay and boy did it go like stink (it later transpired the radio was wired in using household wiring blocks and the front wing was stuffed with newspaper but we loved her nonetheless).  We named her Suzi (Suzi Quatro, get it?) and our ear worm of choice whenever we were in her was of course Autobahn.  Because, yknow, she was German....

So maybe, in conclusion, I only like Kraftwerk because they're a bit of a cliché?!  I'm not sure that's the right word (but we certainly thought we were ironic and drole listening to Kraftwerk in the Audi).  To be very simple about it, they're pleasing little ear worms.  And that, ladies and gentleman, is the extent of my knowledge on Kraftwerk.

Oh, and I prefer Das Model to The Model because of the sexy German lyrics.  There, I said it.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Breastfeeding - Vive le Différence!

Ah, the eternal touchy subject for mothers, mothers to be, healthcare professionals, people who have absolutely no bearing or interest in breastfeeding and so on.

I'm not sure why it's such a touchy one.  Surely, each to their own, live and let live, vive le différence etc etc.

I have a number of reasons for being on the, "who gives a shit" side of the fence.

First, the argument that it creates obese kids later in life.  Right, let me stop you right there.  Yes, I am obese, morbidly so as they like to point out at the GPs.  Yes, I was exclusively bottlefed.  My husband?  Oh yes, my husband is also morbidly obese.  He was exclusively breastfed.  Therefore, shove this argument up your bum because clearly, it has no basis....  Okay, so we're just two people and I'm sure they've done further research than just studying the outcome of two individual upbringings, but I kinda believe that it was actually as a result of depression, low family income, living on benefits for a time, cheap, processed foods and comfort eating that my husband and I are in the state we are.  Coupled with naff all self control and will power (yeah, I'm going to start wheeling out the excuses for being fat!) it's a shit outcome.

Add to this, the fact that I was only able to breastfeed my daughter for 7 weeks before going absolutely, murderously, dangerously psychotic that I switched to formula, at which point, she thrived, I became happier, I think we probably bonded more and I enjoyed leaving the house with her and I got my independence back, both with her and without her (sod off, we all need that time off, and let's not forget that until 4 months previously I had 100% freedom to do whatever the heck I wanted!).  Is my daughter obese?  Far from it.  She's always been long and thin!  She's incredibly active and eats a balanced diet (it's just that my husband and I are secret, sedentary eaters that we're in the mess we're in).

My second reason, the bonding thing.  I am not, for one minute, going to doubt that it must create a very strong bond between a mother and their newborn.  However, I also believe and have experienced, that same closeness from bottle feeding, maybe not AS close, but still a strong bond.  I don't need to have my breast in their mouth to feel that love and surge and bond.

My third and final reason is to challenge the fact that it isn't good for the baby (although to be fair, I haven't really thought about this to such an extent that I had a defined list of reasons!).  If it wasn't good, they wouldn't continue to sell formula.  As a friend of mine has just pointed out, we're not mainlining crack to our kids for heaven's sake.  She has also experienced how her child has thrived since the switch to formula.

Just because someone has taken the decision to bottle feed doesn't make them a bad person!  We are all just trying to do what is right for our babies and for ourselves.  For me, the decision to stop was something I struggled with for a while, I had pressure from my husband and pressure from health visitors, but once I made the decision to switch, it was like a 10 ton weight had lifted from my shoulders and for the first time in 6 weeks I began to enjoy my daughter, and not dread her next cries.

In the current climate, it is increasingly hard for a mother (and father) to decide to bottle feed without an onslaught of dirty looks, harsh words and lack of support.  I know it's the government recommendation, but come on, midwives and health visitors are humans and 8 out of 10 are also mothers themselves - would a little bit of human compassion, understanding and support hurt?

If someone wants to bottle feed, whyHOW, can the healthcare professionals they rely on for advice and support just turn their backs?  Isn't that more dangerous?!  Especially with first time mothers, it's bloody bewildering and hard as it is without tuts and dirty looks from health visitors and midwives who just continue to man handle your breasts into your child's tiny mouth?!  (Genuinely, this all happened to me; I had a midwife on more than one occasion take my boob out and shove it into my daughter's mouth and I had such dirty looks, raised eyebrows and basically was told to piss off by a health visitor when I eventually said, "I cannot do this to myself and my daughter any more, I am switching to formula.")

Now, I'm sure this post will earn me some flak (from all 0 of my readers) from the 'Breastapo'.  But what I really want to say, is PLEASE ladies, stop being so horrid to each other!  It isn't empowering.  It isn't smart or helpful.  It's HURTFUL!  On both sides, and I'm probably just as guilty.  As I said at the start, each to their own, live and let live, vive le différence!  I just find it so heartbreaking that other mothers can all be so mean to each other over what is a very, deeply, personal choice.

As for my next foray into child rearing?  I am going to give it another go and be better prepared this time, but, if it doesn't work out and my child isn't thriving and it's ultimately causing more harm than good, I am going to have no qualms about cracking out the Aptamil!

I do solemnly declare...

...that I will be a better blogger.

I mean it this time.  I really, truly do!  7 months (alright, nearly 8 but who's counting!?) after my last post, I do promise that I will do better at this blogging malarkey.  I'm good at it when I set my mind to it.  Some of my posts might be a bit controversial (like the one I'm about to copy from my ill-fated, short-lived, anonymous, pre-official-announcement mummy blog....) and others just plain dull, but yknow, I try my hardest in between everything else.

So, the main news is that we're expecting again, with the arrival due Christmas Eve (who the fuck timed that one out?!) so I'm very nearly at the halfway mark, which is kind of a relief because I was starting to get a bit bored, at least now I can feel it wriggle every now and then but I hasten to add, I have no bump and thanks to my existing tummy coverage I'm unlikely to really have one (nor will I have a pleasant shaped one which I want to show off, but more on that in another post...)

I've got various notebooks, and diaries and calendars and blog planners in front of me, but I'm afraid Downton Abbey was a bit more interesting tonight and so I'm finding myself waning slightly and so, inevitably, these will all have to wait a while (though I have just had the super idea that I can print one of my blog planners into a proper little stapled booklet tomorrow which has excited me greatly!!)

Anyway, I'll leave you with a couple of the posts which I had written over on the anonymous blog and run for cover....


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Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Happy New Year!

I know I'm like, a week late on all this New Year shiz but I was back at work on the 2nd and then have just celebrated Andy's 30th Birthday yesterday so it's been a busy week.

Which is annoying in some ways as I really wanted to make a fresh start with the old blogging.  I have lots of ideas (which I really need to start writing down because it's like as soon as I start trying to focus on the little idea that floated through my mind a week ago, it teases me like a wisp and disappears completely!!)

So, I had ideas for my New Year's Resolutions, my Life List (Bucket List), my creative writing, my weekly story, words of wisdom, Notes on a Depression, lots of little random bits and I need to sit down and pull it all together and try to come up with a weekly blogging plan and try to stick to it.

Which is hard, as there are only a few hours between Scarlett going to bed and my own eventual slink up the stairs to crash and burn in a haze of tired stupor...  Not to mention the fact that I really ought to start working out as my weight has spiralled out of fucking control the last 2 months, it's obscene how much I currently weigh and having seen images of my arms at the weekend it's small wonder that I've managed to resist taking a carving knife to them as I'm pretty sure my bingo wings could cure world hunger right now....

So, there we go.  I'm currently off work with some disgusting tummy bug I've picked up so once I've fixed the tumble dryer, sorted the washing and dashed to the post office, I'm going to sit down and write a proper plan for my blogging in 2013, because I'm a bloody good writer, I just need motivation and prompts and perhaps attending a course, because quite frankly I should be the next EL James or whatever!