Sunday, 30 May 2010

To Do List

I just saw some upper body photos of moi.

And there are a few comments I'd like to make.

Firstly, I have just had a baby. I am the lady who has "just had a baby." But, honestly, if you saw these hideous photos - that will never make it anywhere but the Computers Recycle Bin - you'd think I was the lady who'd "just had triplets."

I've put on a bit of weight...okay, a lot of weight during my pregnancy. I think I gained three stone (that's 14lbs x3). Some of that may have been placenta, fluid and baby...but the rest (probably a good majority) is Mama Blubber.

Some might say I used to be obsessed about my weight.

At one point it ruled my life and there's no chance of me going back to those days filled with crazy practices like weighing out my food (boring) and keeping diaries about my weight/food intake/exercise/time spent sitting down.

It was so boring and draining living that life that I think I got a bit carried away with this life - where I just threw the towel in when it came to food. I stopped caring. I got pregnant and ate whatever I needed too, which felt like I was eating for a small army. It was enjoyable and I started to love my body.

Which is great, grand and fantastic. But carrying extra weight is not loving your body. So, tomorrow it's back onto an exercise regime and ploughing full steam ahead in a trial to get fit.

I'm not so much bothered about the weight as I am bothered about the things that come from being overweight; type 2 diabetes, heart problems, stroke and varicose veins. I don't want those nasties catching up with me when I could have fixed the problem in my 20s.

I am still a beautiful woman - I was very proud of my skin, legs, hair and face (even if I do say so myself!) in those photos and I know when I'm 65 years old I'm going to look back and wonder what all my fussing was about - so I don't want to start talking myself down when I could be enjoying these fabulous years!

If I have a daughter  I want her to have a positive image of herself and I know I can't do that when I think all these harsh things about myself. I want to improve myself for Roman, too. He deserves to see women as everything that they are and should be; strong, empowered and in control of themselves.

Operation: Get Happy With Self/Get Fit.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Four Months and counting...


From Bump...

To Baby.

Tuesday, 24th May marked Roman (middle names removed) Quinn turning four months old. I can't quite believe how fast our family has grown into this wonderful little unit that we have become. I absolutely love and cherish my role as a mother - I am so proud and I think I might burst!

I will keep saying this: my birth was amazing. I'm not sure I will ever find the words or description to explain just how amazing it was. From start to finish it went beyond anything I could have ever hoped for. I say that because we're met with a lot of negatives about labour and birth - a twofold event in my view.


It was a scary start because I wasn't sure of my journey ahead, but I remember feeling very woozy and crampy. I couldn't eat and only managed half a toasted pitta bread. I drank loads. I remember at the start of the journey that all I wanted to do was have music playing non-stop and no one was allowed to do anything aside comfort me (haha how reasonable of me!).

It got tougher as the day dragged on - but it didn't really drag. Time was speeding ahead of me and I kept asking for the time expecting it to be earlier and was surprised every time I was told it was later than I thought. I remember about half past three in the afternoon I just felt tired and wanted to lie down on the bed. Bryan joined me because the one thing I didn't want to be was on my own. He sat on the end of the bed and told me lots of small, whispering comforts that really pulled me through my discomfort.

I can't really remember contractions, but if you've ever suffered from a bad period then you're probably close to a contraction. It also felt like a really bad stomach ache, hence why I didn't want to eat anything. A few hours on the bed, these tightenings got stronger so I decided to end my labouring at home and put myself in the hands of the doctors and midwives at the hospital - a decision I broke down and made. I was scared to go to hospital and that's why I spent so long labouring on my own at home. A few people who'd had home births had told me things like; "It's probably better that for your first, you're in a hospital." I just didn't believe that. I made a decision that if I was going to go to hospital then I'd go at the point where they couldn't do too much to me in terms of drugging me up to hopeless hormones that just landed me a C-section.

I was very lucky to be blessed with such an amazing mum and parents-in-law. They didn't make a fuss or cause a scene or leap about screaming "You're having a baby!" (Which I might have been prone to do if it was my daughter or daughter-in-law, haha). They were all so calm and the whole drive I forgot I was in labour - apart from when we drew nearer to hospital and I really had to bare down with each spasm.

I was taken into triage and then examined. I was told I was 4cm dilated and had gone into "spontaneous labour." I was a week overdue and this basically meant my labour had started and was progressing. No need for the horrible induction - if you're two weeks overdue in the UK they medically start your labour - that I had been dreading and was booked for the 13th of February. I had visions of being stuck in hospital on Valentines Day - my first Valentines Day as a married woman, stuck in hospital.

Things got a bit hairy when they took my blood pressure and pulse - both were up so I was whisked down to the delivery suite. Every midwife or doctor that came into the room said I was "dealing with the pain so well." and "Breathing through each contraction so well." To me this felt like a gold medal because at home I'd really been struggling in the last few hours and began to think I was weak and pathetic. The midwife said I could have pain relief and I said I was fine - at home I'd been begging both my mum and husband for an epidural, ha!

So I continued breathing through each contraction and honestly was dealing so well with things, I even began to picture having the all-natural birth I had so wanted. This wasn't easy to cope with, but I honestly felt I could go for the non drug route. How wrong I was.

The midwife came in and explained that my blood pressure wasn't dropping the way they had wanted it too. That it was actually rising. That this might mean I have pre-eclampsia and all other manner of scary things. They said that giving me the blood pressure drugs wouldn't work as quick as they'd like it too so the next solution to help me out (and baby) was to go for the epidural. The midwife said she knew it was against my birth plan, but she really recommended it. I cried at this point because quite frankly the epidural scared me. My mum has had four, one of which didn't I was terrified.

I sat with my mum and we talked about it. I decided to go for it because at this point I'd come this far labouring and I'd only opted for the epidural if I'd medically needed it. I was lucky that the anaesthesiologist was in the other room at the time I made my decision, because by the time I'd decided to go for it he was free for a chat. He was lovely and explained everything at great length. I signed the consent form and they brought through the trolley with the needle and drugs through. I looked at my mum and saw she was terrified - I told her it was okay to look away. And she did. It sounds weird but her scared face actually made me feel strong. I felt like I could do it, if she'd gone through it so many times, then I could do it this once.

The epidural was really strange. That's the best verb I can conjure up to explain it. It felt like they were cracking my back and kicking my tail bone all at once. It was freezing cold. It was strange having my head planted into a strangers arms and sobbing all over them - crying is such an intimate thing and I shared it with everyone in that room. Everyone in the room told me it was okay, that it would be over very soon. Once the needle was in place I felt better. I stopped crying. I sat up and did everything I was asked to do - I didn't want to mess it up and end up paralysed. Again, the specialist was so nice and made everyone feel at ease.

At some point my mum decided to swap over with Bryan (stupid hospital policy that I won't explain here because it will just make me upset and I might cry thinking about how much my mum missed). He was annoyed (just stating a fact, dear) that he'd been kept out of the loop for three hours. Three hours? It had felt like twenty minutes to me!

Also, at some point they'd broken my waters and set up a hormone drip to speed up contractions. In reflection of the events I don't remember a single medical person asking me if I wanted the hormone drip in - they just did it. At the time I wasn't phased, but now, when I think back it annoys me a bit.
After my epidural was in place I was feeling no pain whatsoever. I wanted to eat! (Ha!) But wasn't allowed because it might make me sick. Things were pretty non-eventful after the epidural, just some checks and some moving me about because baby had moved into a posterior position...and because I'm no good at explaining that, here you go:

"A less common position, known as posterior position, occurs when the back of the baby’s head, or occiput, is against the mother’s tailbone. This position often results in prolonged labor and is accompanied by greater back discomfort."

I hated having the trace monitor strapped around my belly - it was so tight and horribly uncomfortable, so they attached a monitor to the baby's head and took off the horrible belt restricting my belly's comfort.

I slept a lot (read: napped, woke up and got bored) and all in all the run up was very boring indeed. I was examined at three hour intervals and was progressing super fast. At one point I had dilated 3cm in half an hour - earlier in the night they had said that they usually allow for 2cm every half hour up until the transition (the before the head coming out bit). At some point my epidural had worn off and I could feel really strong contractions at this point - the kind where I couldn't talk and no one else in the room was allowed to talk when I had one haha. The student midwife (read: my guardian angel) said I should have gas & air. It was magical. I drifted off for ages on this stuff and in between puffs I kept singing, saying things to the midwives and my husband and generally making a fool of myself. Haha.


At 5.20am I was told that I was 10cm dilated. I couldn't believe it. Somewhere in the recesses of my mind I remembered that something happens when you reach 10cm dilated, but I couldn't put the pieces together in my drugged up mind (I wasn't really drugged, gas & air leaves your system very quickly). Then the midwife informed me I would have to come off the gas & air - I honestly felt like breaking down into tears. I also did not feel ready for delivery. My body was ready - I knew it was, but my mind was not willing to co-operate.

Before I knew it my husband was telling me he could see various facial features of our baby - at first it was the top of the head, then the ears and then he said the head was out and whoosh out came the rest of the body. All in all I spent forty minutes pushing. It truly felt like five minutes. Then my husband said; "It's a Roman!" in this really moving and excited tone of voice I will never forget.

I couldn't believe the weight of this boy on my chest. This precious, warm child cawing and blue - I have no memory of him being blue at all, but Bryan says he was. Then he was taken away. He needed oxygen and they took him to Resuscitation - which didn't freak me out whatsoever, I just knew everything was going to be okay. On the walk to Resus he started breathing normally and was brought back to me. I was exhausted and overwhelmed. I wanted my mum. I told Bryan to get her and the midwife told him she would tell my mum everything, that we needed to be together in that moment. I now know that was just a way of getting things done on their agenda and if I could go back in time I would have phoned her up - me in the delivery suite and her in the waiting room, barely metres apart yet separated by a stupid policy and staff agenda.

My mum was in the room after they spent three hours stitching me up. She took several photos of the new baby and was desperate to hold him. She called my dad and I remember being on the phone and wanting but not wanting to speak to him. I felt overwhelmed with so many weird and wonderful feelings. I wanted to tell him how I was truly feeling and I wanted him to swoop down and save me from all the madness going on around me.

Then my mum and B left and I felt this huge feeling of being alone. I had acted like I was fine with them going home and actually told them to go - what choice did they or I have? My brother needed to sleep because he was working that night, neither my husband or mum drive and I didn't want them heading back on the train/bus because they'd been here all night, sitting on hard chairs. I didn't want them to go, inside of me I was screaming for them both to stay...but I knew that was selfish and really silly. I'm glad they did go because all I did was sleep.

It was weird adjusting to the new boy. Breastfeeding was great at first, but went weird. His sleeping patterns were all out of sorts - some nights he'd sleep all the way through and some nights he would wake three or four times. I felt like a failure a lot, but I kept going despite these crisis's with my self-esteem. I plowed through it all.

And now, at four months old, he's the most delicious little man you could ever hope to meet. He sleeps exclusively in his crib (he has a separate daytime one). Our evenings are our own again. That little piece of freedom has given us all a happy family feeling. I am so blessed each and every day more that I get to spend with this One.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Feminism, but not as you know it.


Lately, I have been collaging a lot. I love it. I can never pick just "one good" photo because each and every one is just perfect to me (totally unbiased, balanced view there).
The Sugar Free thing is going fairly well - I have dramatically decreased my chocolate intake, which has made me a lot happier and feel fuller for longer.

It's surprising just how much I don't want
chocolate these days. Weird.

So this might be a fairly serious post because lately I have been doing some serious thinking...strange, but it does happen from time to time.

In my 365 of the Day I said something about how women have ended up taking on more these days - and I still stand by it. I was browsing (read: stalking) some "Mummy Blogs" last night and came across a Christian blog where one Mum talked about how 20-something year old young men find a woman's earning power more attractive than her ability to house-keep. I know, I sound like a soap powder ad from the 1950s, but I'm a Capricorn and we're apparently very traditional and house-proud, so I'll blame it on astrology if all else fails.

It kind of disgusted me. This fact. If it is a fact. Because I don't even know if it is, but say if it were, then it disgusts and doesn't surprise me at all in this "me me me" culture we live in. I can't really explain myself without going off into a million tangents, but here are some of my thoughts:

I think it's great that we, as women, have the choice and the ability to make the choices we want where before us plenty of women didn't have such a luxury of choice - things were silently expected, or in some cases and cultures not so silently expected. We can be women with careers, kids and mortgages and be juggle it all. We can be stay at home mothers. We can be anything we want to be, right?

But at what cost? It seems to me that as women we're taking on these massive responsibilities and we're ending up doing more work, more everything. I can't talk about these things without sounding horribly sexist, but I approach this internal debate with myself bearing in mind that we live in a very much patriarchal country with very archaic views (UK).

Where men are not taught in the home the same way as women are (excluding my household/upbringing where my mother had a balanced view for both sexes).

I think that there are many amazing role models out there. There are many women who can balance a job, children, a marriage and a home - and to them I really take my hat off. I don't have a proper job right now and it's really putting a strain on things, I don't mind saying that. For other reasons, my husband does not work - and I don't resent that. But I do wish there was some way we could role reverse things, so that I could be the one who stayed home instead of being the one who worries about looking for and then keeping down a job.

It's funny, but when I was pregnant people asked what my job was and were astonished when I said I didn't have one, that I was a student. Now no one bothers to ask me what I "do" because I'm assuming that they all assume I'm just a SAHM (Stay At Home Mum). But, to those that don't know him, Bryan is always asked without fail what he does as his job. What if he's the Stay At Home Parent? Which he is, even if not technically solely right now, he potentially will be.

Yet, it's assumed I'm the SAHM and he's the breadwinner. And all because of our sexes.

Now, I don't disagree that if this is possible that all couples should try to make a way of making it work - however, no point being a Miserable Mum who stays home just because she feels she has too. Some people need the challenge of a career and are actually better parents because of that. And some fathers are better Stay At Home's than some mothers, so whatever works for you.

However, now that I have had my Little One I crave for that SAHM role. I really do. For so many reasons, not least of all just to be with him. I want to keep on breast-feeding him exclusively for the next two months and I don't see a way around that (I do not express well at all). I don't want to miss a moment. I know that I can't be there for absolutely everything but I really don't want to miss important milestones - first word, first crawl, first steps. I would give up my hunger for education, for a career just to be with him. I think this would be my biggest lifetime achievement, if there was a way to make it happen...but clearly, there just isn't.

It makes me dislike those women who resent their children even more. The ones I have worked for in the past - where they couldn't wait to get away from their children and go off to dinner parties/book clubs/shopping/lunch/have their eyebrows dyed - oh yeah, that one was priceless! She said she was gonna be home in time for us coming back from nursery - which I helped out with in the morning - and was away all morning and afternoon having her eyebrows and eyelashes dyed.

And that's another thing - those idiots who spend fortunes on stupid stuff they don't need. Like acupuncture, or yet another sweater that will be thrown to the back of the wardrobe to join all the other sweaters they'll never wear. It makes me so mad that there are people out there like this - why aren't they spending that money on something that brings them and their children closer together? I don't understand these things and I probably never will because I don't have money and I wasn't born into it.

It all seems pointless if you're continually spending it on yourself - your time and your money. Especially when there are people like me out in the World who would do a lot to be in that position of SAHM when right now all I am is a nervous wreck about finding a job and being everything; mother, house-keeper, wife, organiser of everything dirty, worker. I am just starting to feel like as women we're maybe biting off more than we could chew and I'm sorry if that sounds outdated or patronizing...but it's how I'm feeling.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

In My Wildest.

One of my fantasies right now: Nope, not being air-lifted then dropped into a huge vat of Fry's Peppermint Creams. It's sleeping through the night. A good, sleepy, uninterrupted naughty eight hours. Isn't asking for much, right? I mean a lot of people have on average about that every night, right?

Not parents. And the worst of it is this: I've heard stories of FIVE YEAR olds still waking up in the night - and we're not talking mopping brows/puke we're talking about the little "darlings" crawling out their pits and pestering their parents two hours after bedtime. Now, I wasn't a perfect kid. I used to have troubles drifting off to the Land of Nod myself when I was a kid, but at least I kept my problems contained to my bedroom.

I would literally lie for hours and listen to my sister snore in the bed next to me. Or sometimes I would go to our windowsill and try to read a book by the light of the street lamps - I should have another blog called "Memoirs of an Insomniac." And be given a gold medal. Made from Frys Peppermint Creams.

Every night I know I won't sleep more than two/three hours without being woken. Reason: one Master Quinn.

I don't get it. I thought after three months their sleeping was supposed to settle down? Or is this some kind of way I'm being punished for being an insomniac as a kid and pestering my parents? Now I wish I'd been addicted to sleeping tablets or tried lavender tea.

I keep telling myself that he keeps waking up because he is because he is breast-fed. Everyone else seems to think so, anyway. Experts (Google) and well meaning mothers is "everyone" in this case. And I believe it to be so myself because I have many friends who have recently put the bottle versus breast thing to the test - at least the test in my head.

Bottle-fed babes: sleeping soundly from 7-7, in their own beds, very content.

Breast-fed babes: awake till 7, sleepy at 8.30pm when they get their last feed on the sofa. Down to bed for 9pm, awake a little after 10pm, another feed, change, back to bed. Awake again at midnight. And so the cycle continues on a two/three hour schedule. Then wide awake at 8am.

So, as I have a breast-fed Little One, my schedule is the above mentioned. I'd love to be one of those parents who proudly exclaims things like; "Oh yes, my baby sleeps right through the night." Instead I'm a dark-shadow under the eyes bird nest for hair kinda parent. I'm tempted, for the sake of my sanity, to start bottle feeding him.

There, I said it. I have turned into a selfish cow because I've become a little sleep deprived and I am really craving sleep more than I ache for confectionery. If I could do some kind of deal with God where he let my baby sleep through the night for the next eighteen years in return for me not eating any kind of sweet thing, cake and every other piece of processed nonsense for the next eighteen years then I would definitely do some deal making.

I love my sleep, I would give anything to travel back in time and take it less for granted. All those lie-ins, all that delicious time I could have spent asleep I am now grieving for. And the naps I could have taken!

I'll just have to hold out until Roman's a teenager - I've heard they like to sleep a lot. And I have vague memories of being a lie-in teenager (Mum, you can step in and clarify that point).

Then the scales are tipped in that teenagers bring a lot of baggage to the table at that stage in their lives - so you're probably losing sleep worrying about them (Ha! With all those years of unclaimed sleep? I think not!).

So today I decided to do something I haven't done in a long time. I had a half hour nap. And it was very good. Very, very good.

Parents of newborns: if you get the chance, take your naps with them. In my case my husband was looking after our Little One while I napped - the way to a woman's heart is a husband who looks after Baby just as much as she does. The reason I say this? You never know when you might be kicking yourself for that unclaimed amount of sleep you could have had.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Sugar Free.

I promised myself I wouldn't blog today. I did everything I could to avoid it. I sat on my hands, I avoided logging into Blogger and I even went as far as doing housework when I got tempted to blog.

Okay, so one of those statements is a lie. It's up to you, the reader, to choose which one.

So lately I've been going bald.

This is serious. I have been losing clumps of my hair. It just keeps falling out and what I'd normally have collected in a week in my bath's plug hole I found today, just a mere three days after I'd cleaned the bath.

Ridiculous. What's even more ridiculous is my sharing with the World about my female pattern baldness when I have a baby as cute as this:

And there's more cuteness where that came from:

I absolutely adore this boy. He is so worth waking up for and taking better care of myself for. I may live to regret this but I have decided as of tomorrow I'm going to go sugar-free. I've been eating far too much chocolate as of late - Gillian McKeith, you would not approve. And my bank balance, heart and waistline are suffering as a result.

Also, on a more serious note, I don't want to give crap milk to such a gorgeous boy. We both deserve better than this and I want to be better. I don't have any goals to reach, - they make me crazy and too obsessive - just guidelines for myself.

As for exercise...well we'll have a re-think about that some time tomorrow - there's lots of boring, depressing reasons why I haven't given exercise a proper go, but I am willing to try that, too if it keeps my health in check.

I don't want this to be just a phase, but I doubt it will be - look at the Vegan "thing." AKA my diet now is purely Vegan and I've stuck to that for six years - not counting the times where I've mistakenly ate something Non-Vegan - so I am pretty positive I can achieve this.

As for the baldness? I don't really know what that's all about. It's real, though - my hair is falling out by the clumpful. I am hoping this is some kind of post partum three month hair falling out thing.

Oh, and by the looks of things on Doctor Google it looks like I can rest easy:

"Most commonly, hair loss after pregnancy occurs between three and six months after pregnancy*. "

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Mama with a Camera.


Our second child was born two weeks ago. Or should I say, we adopted.

From Cash Converters.

Now, I know what you're thinking and no, I didn't pull a Madonna. I bought a new camera for my 365 Project.

I felt sick at the thought of purchasing such a camera. Why? Well, because it's big. I know that's a lame line of logic (ooh, with this alliteration I really am spoiling you, dear reader) but that was one of my reasons. To illustrate my point I bring you to Exhibit A (to your left), a photograph I half-inched from Google.

This was not my choice of camera.

1. I had wanted a professional DSLR camera - lens quality is improved by adding lenses, whereas this Little Fish has a fixed lens. It's also a point & shoot camera. But it introduces me to the World of Photograpy - a World I'm totally loving and geeking up.

2. I had wanted to spend a lot more money on a camera. Not because I don't know what I'm buying - I did my homework. I wanted a Canon 40D DSLR because I have seen the picture quality it produces and my tongue was positively hanging out for one (picture a dog on a hot day).

3. Said Canon 40D camera's are mighty expensive. We're talking about £400-500 for a used camera.

So my decision was made. I have to admit to feeling like a kid at Christmas finding this camera in Cash Converters - it was under priced, even for a used camera of it's calibre. And no I'm not telling the World how much we spent on this camera. Just be happy that it was under priced. I know I am.

I've loved every minute of owning this camera. As soon as I got home I was snapping photos - it's heavier than your average digital camera so I had to get used to that. I also had to get used to something I absolutely loathe - flash photography.

I'm a firm believer in natural light - to the point where I'd given up taking pictures at night. But then I realised that with the flash on my photographs were less blurry and less grainy.

There's loads I have yet to learn, of course, but right now I'm thoroughly loving this baby. And so is Baby Bear. He knows the camera now. Every time he see's it he stops whatever he's doing - usually crying - looks up to the lens, flashes about a million poses that I can snap and spread all over the Web.

Though, he's not your average model, because he likes to eat carbs...

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

My Biggest Fan.

Well aren't you just the lucky lot - exclusive pictures of my Little Man and my self-indulgent ranting.

Uploading this picture onto Blogger has unfortunately reduced picture quality - but it'll do. It doesn't take away his cuteness; the rounded face, the soft skin and baby quiff of blonde.

So I've started a "365 Project" with Master Roman. This is a one year operation. A photo and a story every day for one solid year. And no. This isn't my picture of the day - although that would have made sense, would it not?

Possibly. But I'm not designed to make sense. And if you're really curious to stalk, I mean, follow our progress you can track it here:

I've just had the horrible realisation that I haven't updated this Project (it's been getting updated via my Facebook) since Day 36. And today I hit Day 67. Oh no. Mass update and spamming ahead.

Today our Beauty of Beauties turned 14 weeks. This scares me because it means next week he will be at the four month mark. It's going too fast for my liking. He's growing out of absolutely everything 0-3 months. Last night I attempted wrestling him into a 0-3 month Debenhams (hello, it's Debenhams! Posh alert) baby suit. Not only was it snug - no wedgies or anything, but the poppers had a hard job of fastening round his "ample" bahookie - but it was also like those dreaded "Pedal Pushers" everyone thought were ever so fashionable in the late 90's/early noughties.

When the end of the suit met the knee - where the ankle should be - I knew it was time admit defeat and changed him into something a little more comfortable. And the weird part is I think he was enjoying being a fashion victim because he screamed at me when I dared put him into an all in one baby suit. That's men for you.

And on another note. I found out something about myself today that really disturbs and amuses me all at once.

I hate super-organised super-freaks. Seriously. I hate them. They are far too highly strung for my liking. Of course, the super-organised super-freaks that I know happen to all be really lovely, nice people that I always say I'll try and be more like - ha! Ikea would just love that. Wouldn't you my sneaky Swedish conglomerate?

So me + hating organised people =

I think I hate it so much because I'd LOVE for people to talk about how I have mad organisational skills. Instead I'm called bossy. These tears are tears of joy, honestly!

I know exactly where my hostility comes from. But I will talk around where it comes from for fear of anyone tracing themselves in this post and secretly hating me for secretly hating them and their talents that I so desire and lack all at once.

My hate manifested itself when I was pregnant. Books and people told me I needed to "get ready for the baby." Gee, because I don't have nine months ahead of me to get ready for the baby. I mean that's the whole point of those nine months. And what did the cave people do? Well, probably a lot more than me.

Anyway, naysayers and cave people behind me. It was made out as if you had to be "ready for the baby" the day you got pregnant. The nursery colours had to be picked out and painted. All 500 of your baby grows had to be bought, laundered with a baby-friendly product and stuffed into the drawer-that-turns-into-a-baby-changing-unit-with-hidden-baby-bath.

The thing that compounded my disdain were the various others who were pregnant at the same time as me. They had been a heck of a lot more productive and organised than me. Of course that will not come as any great shock to those who know me. I'm the sort of girl who will send text messages to people I'm meeting saying "I'm five minutes away" when in actual fact I'm still in bed. Or do stupid things like wax my arms and have DVD movie marathon sessions when I'm supposed to be moving home. True story alert: When we moved out of our flat in Alloa loads of people called by and they would say things like; "I can tell you're moving" and that would make me laugh. Because they were referring to the mess that was our living room. We hadn't packed a single thing.

There is something that especially irritates me about these Stepford Preggos, though. And it's this: There is absolutely no need for your rushing about. You have MONTHS ahead of you. I get that you're going to reach that horribly uncomfortable stage where you basically can't walk five minutes without needing a seat - or a wheelchair - but seriously, do you need to annoy everyone with your Nazi organisational streak in the first trimester? Because it is annoying, despite being admirable or desirous.

I get that I might one day die from some kind of heart failure from rushing around like a blue arsed fly at the last minute and I've really gone and shot myself in the foot marrying someone of the organisational skills of a goldfish. Bryan Disclaimer: no offence intended. I love you dearly, but we both know it's true.

So, there we were, four days before the Baby was due and still had nothing for the Baby to snooze in. No crib. With hindsight I shouldn't have stressed over this as much as I did. And not because my amazing, admirable and organised friend let us borrow her crib. Neither the fact that my amazing, whirlwind organised aunt POSTED us a crib - it's an amazing pop-up travel cot that's been much snoozed in, just for the record.

But because of this: The Baby didn't grace us with his lovely presence until a week after the due date. We had another week! Ha! In your face Organised Army!

And of course. If you're any normal person you might learn from this and snatch up your second chance like it was going out of fashion. Not me. For that whole week I just fretted about the birth and complained on the phone to every company going - I had a theory that it might scare the baby and he'd want to escape my scariness. Yeah, that didn't work.

Fortunately for me I had been saved. By my Mum. The Queen of all things Organised. Me? I can't organise a bun fight in Mr Kiplings. My Mum? Saves the day, every time. One time, when I was 10, I had ONE NIGHT to pull off a fantastic science project. I had had weeks to prepare. Then I let slip I had this science project to do. My mum asked when it needed to be done. My reply? Well, I told the truth so that's something to go in my favour.

With a heavy sigh my mum, who was probably more than used to me pulling these sorts of stunts, pulled out a cardboard box and started her magic in creating a miniature version of my bedroom. It was amazing. She had even included a little light - it had a lampshade and everything - that I'd made in a previous science project and had to be, somehow, integrated into this project.

I really hope I can keep up the pace of the 365 Project. I'm pretty certain I can. I'm finding delight and joy in it. No, seriously, I am. I wake up every day thinking "wonder what the photo of the day will be today?" and lovely messages in my inbox about it - which is amazing and keeps me going.

I hope to integrate a whole year of amazing events into the 365 Project. And Roman, my Dear, I hope you're my biggest fan.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Sort it out, woman!


I'm committed to actually updating (and keeping it in that state) my blog.

What's spurred me on?

Well, Bryan has grown tired of my rants. He's my husband for those of you not in the know, although we have been married for a good year and a bit - yes it has been good. Admittedly not a whole year and a bit of being good, that would just be weird and Stepford Wife-y, but for the majority of that year and a bit it's been amazingly amazing!

This is the rant following off from another rant part coming up. Being married is great. It's actually the best legal contract I could ever wish to enter into. But it's weird. It's like those American films where the kids go off to "college" (we Brits tend to stick to calling it Uni) and end up with room mates that they have to adjust too. If any of you have never lived with A Boy before - brother's, uncles, cousins, fathers, step fathers etc don't count - you'll understand my perspective on the subject.

You start to admire Bruce Lee. Eating as much as you like? Sure. Go for it. There's no girls to sit with and have those "Oh I'm so fat and here's a list of what I ate today" conversations. Dirty bathroom? No problemo.

Uh, wait a second. Did I just say dirty bathroom?

Why, yes, I did.

Okay, so maybe it is a tiny bit of a problem. And not only does the bathroom start to be a problem...other rooms start to get messy. The bedroom. The living room. The kitchen. And before you know it the landlord is calling you up to tell you that a flat inspection will be carried out because they want to re-evaluate the property and so you're scrubbing, polishing and stuffing things in over-stuffed wardrobes 'till midnight and setting an alarm for 7am so you can get up and finish the job before your eviction notice is served.

See, being married is all about team work. You yell at each other over who should do what in terms of housework but then you snap out of it and like a whirlwind you pull your resources together when the Health Visitor/landlord happens to "pop by."

Oh, and talking of Health Visitor this brings me abruptly to my next point; we had a baby boy on the 9th of February of this year (2010).

I got pregnant within a few months of being married. A few nosey people who I don't particularly care for have asked us "So did you plan this pregnancy?" as if we were two 16 year old chavs who'd feel very welcome on the Jeremy Kyle set. Of course, the answer is yes.

I'll spare you (and my boy who might read this one day) the details, but yes, it was planned. I used to feel a mixture of nausea and laughter whenever people said they "planned" their pregnancies. We just decided why wait for this to happen? And I'll be honest I thought it would take a good few years for any little people to appear on the scene so I felt ready.

Then the Boots bought pregnancy test revealed I was pregnant and my World crumbled. I don't mind saying that, or having it on the World Wide Web for every one and their Granny to read. I'm more than aware that there are many childless couples out there who suffer all kinds of heartbreak and more than ever I really felt for them when I was pregnant.

No joke intended. I thought more and more about those couples who have their hearts broken at the thought of never being pregnant and here I was, up the duff and miserable with it. It didn't really lift for the whole pregnancy. I don't know what was up, but it was weird. I didn't wish my baby any harm whatsoever, but I really didn't feel excited at the thought of it all. I felt scared at the thought of giving birth - actually, more than scared because I had it in my head that my family don't do "easy labours." Not even middle of the road labours. Every labour story I'd heard that came from family members was like a scene from some scary film. Everything seemed to go wrong for them and their labour took about a week to produce any baby.

I'd been building up these stories for years. Making them worse in my head.

Then I went into labour. I got on with it. I breathed through my pain. And yes, okay, I cracked and said "I can't do this, you're all wrong I'm weak!" and "Get me to hospital and get me an epidural." Then we hit the hospital and I was back to being Mrs. Calm.

Yes, I did end up with an epidural but that's a whole other story. For another time. 'Cause this entry has gone rather long and now you might have some insight into what it's like in the Life of Bryan ;).

So for now I bid you a farewell!