Mutterings of a Fool

Man, Dad, Runner, Chief dog walker

Tag: Pregnancy (page 1 of 2)

Entering the red zone – round 3

Alex 33 weeksThis is it, we’re entering the red zone, 4 weeks and counting until due date which means it’s entirely feasible baby boy could arrive at any time. Scary. We’ve done this twice already so there isn’t that fear of the unknown, of what birth will be like and how it will feel to hold him for the first time. But I’m still nervous. Nervous I think about the reality of having a newborn again and of having 3 children. The latter is perhaps the most scary, the first few days with a new baby are always chaotic but with 2 other children to think about also it’s likely to be even worse. I’m sure we’ll settle into a routine soon enough but I can imagine our patience will be tested, little steps each day though right?

I really hope Matilda and Henry get on with their new brother, I think they will, they talk about helping him do things. Matilda tells us that she’s going to hold his hand when we cross the road, which is far too cute. But you never know do you? You never know exactly how they’re going to react to a baby having our attention a lot of the time rather than them. When Henry was born we made sure to give Matilda attention and also not just ignore her whenever he cried, we had a plan for integrating but this time we’re going more on feel. Perhaps that’s what happens when you’ve been parents for a while? You sweat the small stuff less and learn to adapt as you go along rather than assuring yourself that your grand plan will work.

However I did come across this photo while writing this post, even at 14 months old Matilda loved having a brother, let’s hope it’s the same 2nd time around.

Matilda with a new born Henry

We’ve decided to have a home birth this time, in fact we decided that with Henry too but there was no midwife available in the end on the day he was born, so this time we’re hoping to have more luck. What I love is that the midwives we’ve had this time and with Henry have always been so positive and excited about a home birth, they’re all 40+ so maybe they like someone who doesn’t want a birth surrounded by hospital machines? I’ll be honest, a home birth does make me a little uneasy, I like the vision of a baby born at night and having Matilda and Henry come down in the morning to meet him. But I worry about the what if; our first 2 births have been pretty straightforward but you who knows what will happen this time. Plus of course there is the ‘stuff’, the bodily fluids and all that *shudders*, the lady of the manor is a nurse so has seen far worse, I on the other hand am a little squeamish. I also have visions of turning around and finding Bracken trying to eat it and running off with a piece of placenta in his mouth when we try to stop him.

Planning for the birth has so far involved working out the many permutations of what the children could be doing and who will help look after them if we need it. We’ve also packed an overnight bag for them and the lady of the manor. Finally I’ve bought enough plastic sheeting to cover the whole of the downstairs in preparation for all the ‘stuff’, the only thing left to order is the birthing pool. We did have some debate over the pool when I discovered it takes 3 whole tanks of water to fill, but apparently the fact we’re on a water meter shouldn’t dictate the birth plan.

Now we wait……..

Reminiscing

I think it may have finally sunk in that we are having a baby in less than 8 weeks (or thereabouts), which I know sounds a little silly because I of course do know we’re having a baby but it doesn’t feel that real when you’re not the one carrying him around in your tummy. This little breakthrough for me came at the weekend, I was snuggled on the sofa with Matilda and Henry watching the videos on my phone. It’s one of their very favourite activities and also probably one of the few times they both actually sit still.

Matilda picked a video from last year just after we moved into this house, it was from a day when the lady of the manor was working and I was at home with the 2 of them. The video showed a crawling, babbling Henry and a small barely 2 year old Matilda running around like a crazy thing. Then it dawned on me; I’m really excited about having a little baby in the house again.

Matilda just born

I’ve always told myself that the baby stage didn’t excite me that much and that it was when I could start having a proper interaction that I really started bonding with them properly. But looking back at those videos has reminded me how much fun it was to have a little wriggling baby. To have those days where you watch them ever so slowly figuring out how to roll over by swinging their legs and then getting that pesky arm out of the way.

I’ll be honest though I’m not so excited about weaning a baby (although Bracken is excited about the food that will be coming his way) and sleepless nights obviously aren’t something I’m in a rush to experience again. But this is most likely the last time we do go through all the firsts again which I didn’t think I’d get sentimental or emotional about but actually I think that’s starting to hit home a little.

It’s amazing how quickly you forget all those things which actually happened only a couple of years ago but feel like a different life time. Life with children is crazy and hectic and often about getting through the day, it’s hard to stop and remember the little things. That’s actually one of the great things about being a blogger and of course one of the reasons I started this blog, you have a ready made reminder of your child’s development. Although I’m not sure I believe my two were every this small.

Matilda and Henry lying down

Now I think I’m going to have a little lie down as I come to terms with all this very mature emotional stuff. After that is the small matter of planning a home birth, but more of that later.

 

A toddlers view of pregnancy

This is the first pregnancy where we have children old enough to understand what is happening, or at least understanding as much as a 2 year old and a 3 year can. Matilda was so young when Henry was born that she probably can’t really remember what life was like as an only child, But it does worry me a little how they’ll adjust when they can’t get mummy’s attention so much and how they’ll cope with just me doing bath time most nights. After all a toddlers view of pregnancy is very different to ours.

So we’re spending some time talking to them about it, that the baby will be a boy (very important for Matilda who is desperate for a sister) and getting them to bond him as much as possible. Every night they now give the bump a kiss and say goodnight which is far too cute, but quite a simple step to getting them used to there being someone else to share mummy with. Henry however also takes the opportunity to say goodnight to the lady of the manors breasts as well, he gives them a kiss and says “night night boobies”. Clearly 18 months of breastfeeding developed a strong bond with them, not sure what he’ll think when his little brother starts feeding there instead.

Silence just means they are thinking of more questions

Silence just means they are thinking of more questions

Note also I say share mummy here, it’s abundantly clear who they miss the most. If the lady of the manor goes out there are tears and many promises that she’ll be back soon. If I go out I get a cheery ‘see you later daddy’ and a hug from Matilda. Not that I’m bitter of anything.

When it comes to baby names the conversation has been a little more interesting:

Me: So Henry what do you think we should call the new baby?

Henry: (without a second thought) MR TUMBLE

Me: Okaaay, do you like any other names?

Henry: NO!, Mr Tumble

Me: What about you Matilda? What should we call you new little brother?

Matilda: I think we should call him Thomas or James.

Me: You mean like the tank engines?

Matilda: Yes or we could call it Iris

So there you have it, people name their kids after all sorts of famous people right? So why not Mr Tumble? If anyone has any better suggestions for boys names then do let me know as we’re struggling. For some reason we’ve always found choosing girls names much easier, or at least choosing ones that we agree on rather than wielding the veto.

I’m also imagining there are going to be a lot more interesting conversations to come when the baby actually arrives like “how did the baby get out of mummy’s tummy? Why is its tummy button sticking out? and why is his poo black?”. The answers to these questions are of course; magic like Mr Tumble does, because he hasn’t eaten all his breakfast and too many blueberries.

A party of five

HEAR YE, HEAR YE, this fool is pleased to announce that he has again demonstrated the prowess of his little swimmers and our crazy little family is going to be getting a new addition.

The alternative version of this story is that the lady of the manor finally wore me down with her arguments for a large family. We compromised on 3 children as a happy middle ground between her wanting 437 and me wanting to stick at 2. Now I have to come to terms with the children outnumbering the adults in this house. Scary stuff.

Today we had our first scan which confirmed that there was only one baby (phew), it has all the right limbs etc (awesome) and it’s a fidget arse (just like its dad). Having moved last year we are also going to maintain our record of having each baby in a different hospital. Although the lady of the manor is talking of having a home birth, not quite sure about that and just have visions of Henry diving into the birthing pool while our backs are turned.

Third time around feels very relaxed, especially now we’ve had the first confirmation everything is ok. But that moment when you first see your baby squirming on the scan screen never gets old does it? First time it really becomes real for me given it’s not growing inside me, feel a bit more connected to the pea now that I’ve seen it. Before now it’s all a little surreal, you know it’s happening but it hasn’t really sunk in. Now it’s definitely real, I’ve seen the baby wriggle!

The pea is apparently due on 16th October, which is going to be interesting as I’m running the Yorkshire marathon on 13th October. Might have to run that one with my phone just in case.

So here’s to being a party of five (plus one dog), to being outnumbered and to having to buy a people carrier. But most of all here’s to the lady of the manor who makes the most amazing babies.

The Pea scan photo

 

Darkness

Her eyes told me all I needed to know, no words were needed. We’ve been here before and I know what comes next, doesn’t make it any easier of course.

The thing that every parent-to-be knows is a risk but never expects to happen to them has happened. The thing that you soon realise has actually happened to most parents but is never talked about. A name never spoken unless in hushed tones.

But we should talk about it. Miscarriage is a bastard with a capital B. The darkest of days as a parent. Where once there was hope, expectation and excitement there is now nothing. A gaping hole where you expected your son or daughter to be but you’ll never know what they were like.

But it feels surreal, 3 weeks is only just enough time to start getting used to the idea of being a dad again, I don’t have that physical bond that the lady of the manor feels. I want to feel the loss and attachment, but it has to mostly come through her grieving and pain. If I can take the burden for some of that pain then I will in an instance of course but otherwise I feel a little lost.

You may have only been a few weeks old my teeny tiny boy (for the lady of the manor assures me you were a boy) but you were still ours and we shall live our lives wondering what might have been.

 

Labour, a man’s perspective – part 2

This is the second post about the birth of Henry, the first can be found here.

So here I sit, a moment of calm after a night of adrenaline fueled activity. My little purple dude in the cot next to me, I’m watching him closely just to make sure he’s still breathing. Doesn’t matter that it’s the second time it still as scary as shit isn’t it? I mean it’s magical and all that how humans are made and born but you still take some convincing that it’s an actual real life human that has popped out and is now lying in front of you. (and yes I know they don’t just pop out but hey this is a man’s view don’t forget).

This birth involved nothing that we planned, no home birth for us as there weren’t midwives available to send. We had no bag packed, no plan of what to take or where it was. No decisions made about what we wanted to happen at the hospital etc. Somehow I seemed to have managed to get pretty much everything we needed into a bag in 5 minutes and off we went. But it worked out, it went well, it went quickly.

We lucked out and there was no one else in the delivery ward so we could use the pool. Which although we’d never discussed actually suited us pretty well and in hindsight made for a really ‘nice’ labour. Certainly the lady of the manor seems to have recovered much quicker than with Matilda.

There was a real heart stopping moment right at the end of the labour when the cord got stuck around his neck and the midwife wanted the lady of the manor out of the water NOW. But she stood up and his shoulders popped out and we were home dry. But then we looked at him and he was blue, I mean really blue. And not breathing. SHIT. My heart  was beating at a hundred miles and hour as they put him on the resuscitator. Then we heard that all important cry and touch wood everything looks to be ok.

Now we have a few hours of chill out in our own little cocoon in the delivery suite while the little purple dude warms up. A precious few hours before we face the reality of 2 children under 2 and the chaos of the many visitors to come.

I’m pretty tired, but no man is brave enough or stupid enough to actually say those words out loud in a delivery suite are they? I mean it was tough doing all that on 2 hours sleep but ‘all that’ isn’t much contained to the woman’s job is it? The lady of the manor was of course a legend, honestly never ceases to amaze me how she deals with the whole thing with just a bit of gas and air for assistance.

The big announcement…..

The lady of the manor and I have always liked a challenge; in 2005 in the space of 2 months I graduated from university, started a new job, moved house and we got married. In 2009 we bought a house in a town that we visited for the first time when we viewed the house. In 2010 we started renovating said house with zero DIY experience or skills and bought our first dog. In 2011 Matilda was born and the day before she was born we ripped out the bathroom. Not forgetting of course going to New Zealand this year for 3 weeks, in a camper van, with a baby. So with all that completed we were getting itchy feet and needed something new to keep us busy.

I’m therefore pleased to announce that on May 26th (or thereabouts) I will become a dad for a second time. Yes that’s right just 14 months after Matilda was born we’re doing it all again. We had our 12 week scan today and I’m therefore pleased  to introduce you to Baby Sprout for the first time.

DSC_0109We always planned to have a larger family (although how large is still subject to approval by the management team) so there is no point hanging around is there? This was a little sooner than we had planned though, but turns out you only have to do it once. Who knew? Thankfully we did consider the next child when buying things for Matilda, we have a pushchair that will take 2 babies for example. Plus if it’s a boy he’ll just have to like wearing pink.

So my lovely blog readers, here’s to an exciting year ahead of us, to the chaos that will reign, to the laughs and the tears that will no doubt come and most importantly to family. Who could ask for more?

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