Archive for the ‘the hatchling’ Category

February Fill the Ditch

February 15, 2010

Actually it hasn’t rained too much down here the last few weeks, its more cold and nippy. Its a serious business, the weather. Inspired by PennyGolightly I am giving serious thought to what I should plant at Shep Towers this year. As instructed I have seeds from thr Aldi and Poundland so I am starting with windowsill herbs and 3 kinds of bean. I want to give tomatoes another go this year as we have the perfect greenhouse environment in the kitchen but need to find a better indoor variety.

On the baby front we are all well and good. The wee baby is much more co ordinated these days and is all about clutching and slobbering over her little collection of rattles and stuffed friends (the me to you blue bee is v popular this week). She is very jolly and rewarding.

Meanwhile I still haven’t had a driving lesson ( i have a start date though) but am enjoying not really having a schedule and actually not being really stressed for the first time in a good few years!

Meanwhile meanwhile I am now addicted to mumsnet and arguing!

January Stuff

January 22, 2010

Everyone who has kids kept telling me that after 3 months it would start to get easier and I didn’t believe them. Then the 3 month mark came and went and suddenly it did. Zadie has a routine now and goes a few hours between feeds now instead of every flipping hour (Gina Ford can poke it – every 4 hours – yeh whatever). Actually going completely decaff helped with that too.

The wee baby is not so wee anymore and growing likes it going out of fashion. She has moved off her centile curve and it heading to the next one up which is the middle average. Shei s very jolly and friendly and has recently started laughing.

I went to look at a nursery for her yesterday. I found a montessori in Plymouth for her which is very nice and i’m hoping if it works out that she can stay there until its time to go to school.

Meanwhile I have finally started losing weight. I can’t go mad because I am feeding Z still but I have organised myself a bit and gone for low fat options here and there. So far I have lost 5lbs! I have also been swimming at the gym over the road as a way of building up to working out properly. Now I feel a bit stronger I have ordered one of those arm band things you put the ipod in and when it arrives I reckon I have to start the gym proper.

I think I will mourn the loss of LivingWell in Leicester when I moved south forever. There is a Cannons in Plymouth but its a bit of a walk and I decided that going there and putting Z in the creche after I’ve trained her to take expressed milk from a bottle was just way too much hassle when the hotel gym here was open until 10 weeknights and my baby goes to bed at 6.30…and she only has 2.5 months left until weaning anyway. I digress. The gyms down here are generally quite provincial and quirky and not always in a good way and patronised by some right types. Old men wearing thongs was a feature of my Torquay gym.

Recovery from the c section is funny thing. I can’t seem to gaugue it. I feel for ages as if nothing is happening and then periodically I wake up in the morning and realise I’ve got a bit better. But its a slow slow process.

ps. Since I can rarely get to the cinema I bought the book on which the forthcoming and much critiqued film ‘Precious’ is based. It is the most social worky book ever and well, shocking isn’t quite the word.

Who Knew

December 9, 2009

The last few days have been a period of almost enforced reflection. Myself, the wee baby and Grandma took a trip up the line over the weekend all the way to North Herts. It had indeed been a while. I think the last pilgrimage was for my Grandad’s funeral sometime in 2003. My Mum had been a regular visitor until George died on 2007. After we unpacked the baby she went out to the car again. She said ‘i’ll knock on the door to get back in’….to which i replied ‘who else would it be?’. Mum said ‘no, it won’t be him will it?’. I think it was a rhetorical question.

Since my mother is part of some discount club for adventurous pensioners we stayed at the Milton Keynes Hilton so we could march around Ikea (we have nothing of the sort down by ‘ere) to procure a coveted wooden baby gym. This was an unsuccessful venture and Grandma was quite furious that Ikea were displaying it but not yet stocking it. We had more of a shuffle around the big mall in MK and I was quite brave and fed the baby in the restaurant in John Lewis but the christmas crowds got a bit much after a while. I did buy Grandma a new knitting pattern book so the wee baby can be kitted out in all manner of cardigans and bobble hats before it gets old enough to be embarrassed by them. I wish Plymouth had a John Lewis. Very much.

Anyway the point of the trip was to go and visit the clan so that my cousin and I could look at each other’s babies for the first time which was fun and strange because even though Emma and I are parents now, my 3 cousins and I still seem like the kids in the family. After that it was back into the familiar territory of Letchworth Garden City to inspect my aunt’s new Great Dane (size of a pony but scared of me unless I approached it on my knees – absurd!) and my middle cousin’s enormous, credit crunch bargain house, complete with heritage protection and original arts and crafts features.

After all that excitement we retired to the Pizza Hut on Eastcheap, long familiar from eating there since 1989 during visits from Mum when I still boarded at school just up the road. I could never have imagined we’d return 20 years later with my baby daughter.

I don’t feel like dancing

December 1, 2009

Been meaning to write blog posts for ages but i never seem to finish one. Its not so much the demmands of a 7 week old baby, (she is still very easy and goes to bed at 8 and sleep through until at least 2am) more not knowing what to say. I feel like having her has sucked the personality out of me. People come around and I have nothing new to tell them except bits and pieces about the baby, and this only really appeals to friends who have children.
I have also been through a period of feeling very low about my body although this seemed to lift unexplicably a few days ago. A post baby body coupled with major surgery induced constant fatigue had led me to empathise with that analogy older people use when they say ‘I’m ready for the scrapheap’.
There have been small mercies. Yesterday a friend’s mother enquired how I was feeding Z, when I told her she was breastfed her response was ‘That is HARD WORK’. YES IT IS!!! This made me feel better because amongst all the praise I have had from midwives, health visitors, GP’s, family and the general public that was the first acknowledgement that although very worthy and effort, breastfeeding is not easy.

BF is so physically demanding I have a silent strop about it most days. I cannot ever miss a meal or not eat enough- Z will feed heavily and not get enough from me and get very distressed. I learnt this the hard way a few times but I did get a call back through NHS Direct from a very understanding nurse who explained all this to me so I was able to take a break and carry on. I think unaided we might have resorted to formula by now which would have killed me. BF is also extrmely inconvinient. I cannot leave the house until Z has fed enough and during the day she prefers to graze feed and fiddle about with feeding so I never really know. Luckily she doesn’t do this at night. Thank god! Once I have gone out I have to think about where I can feed her if I am not in the car which is most of the time. Despite my mother and others campaigning in the 70’s for breastfeeding facilties they are very thin on the ground and always busy. Mothercare dutifully provides a changing/feeding room but thats one venue in a city of 300,000. It also irks me that the (usually crap) baby changing tables are usually located within disabled toilets. I have resorted to feeding Z in toilets a few times but feel resolute that I won’t do this again (although she seems to like it because of the quiet). I have been braver lately and fed her in Sainsbury’s cafe, outside a pub and in Debenhams restaurant. So far no one has given me any grief but I am a bit worried as it was on the news recently that a lady was asked to leave a cafe in London. I have decided that if this ever happens (and I’m feeling very brave) that I will stand up and ask all the customers at once if they mind me feeding my daughter and see what happens!

But wait…I have more! I still have wardrobe issues. I have to plan not only what is breastfeeding friendly but also tummy friendly too. I am still sore from my c section and anything tight or chunky (belts/jean waistbands) gets really painful after an hour or so walking about. I bought control pants to wear imediately after the birth which are very unsexy but at least allow me to wear jeans as they protect my tummy a bit. Thank god its winter! On a lighter note I bought some hareem pants from primark yesterday which have a loose, wide waistband (much comfier), shame they are so thin and flimsy. All this amounts to not feeling very carefree before the baby even comes into it.

I do, however, fit into my disco leggings and I did manage a brief night out on saturday. However I don’t think I was quite ready for it and felt far too fat, poorly attired and self concious to enjoy it that much. My friend got the dj in the club we went in to play Scissors Sister for me and I just burst into tears. We went to a gay club. It was a good call by my friends. I was ready for upbeat, fun and lets not take ourselves too seriously. I am not ready for posing in trendy bars.

Meanwhile I am starting a post natal excercise class after chirstmas which involves using the baby as a weight and power walking with the pram which sounds hilarious to me. If I can manage that I am starting at the gym fomerly known as Cannons which has a creche and a pool etc and will hopefully enable me to run the Plymouth Half Marathon in May. Yes I know I might not manage that but I’d rather be motivated to try than presume failiure.

Aside from all this the little baby is for the most party very jolly. I bought her those pram books with the black and white faces. She concentrates very hard and smiles at each page. I am relieved to put her to bed at night but miss her when she is asleep.

Over and out.

1 Month Old

November 12, 2009

And all is well, seemingly. The goblin is asleep in her basket. We’ve broken the back of the laundry mountain and had a reasonably good nights sleep. Later I will steel myself and take her cards down from the windowsills although I want to leave them up for months. I already have a bag of clothes she has outgrown, ready for Shep’s niece’s little daughter, due 20 weeks after Zadie, although I held back the tiniest pink stripey vest because she really will never be that small again.

Zadie weighs 8lbs 2 ozs now and looks alot less flimsey. She smiled properly for the first time yesterday, not for us but for Grandma!

Now that I have healed somewhat…

October 27, 2009

The little goblin is now nearly 3 weeks old. The following are some thoughts from the last few weeks:

1. Being induced, starting labour and ending up with an emergency c section was about the least fun i’ve ever had. For those sans children, contractions were excruciating (still not as bad as root canal but still pretty bad). The breathing technique that makes them more bearable is v effective (had to be expereinced to be believed by me) BUT you cannot do anything elese at the same time as the breathing thing otherwise it won’t work. This is particularly unhelpful when you have a doctor and an aneasthetist insisting on reading out all the consent forms to you and not seeming to understand this whole contraction business.

2. Panic aside the c section was ok. I can see why women elect to have them now even though i’d have been critical of that in the past. Having the labour pain amounting to nothing and then having the c section was a joke. Also this urban myth about c sections interfering with important baby bonding is an outrageous lie. My baby came out very serene and latched on to feed less than an hour after she was born and seemed to have no doubt who I was.

3. Not all midwives are nice. Angry night time MW practically accused me of morphine addiction the last night I was in hospital. I asked for painkillers because I couldn’t sit down to feed the baby. Nice day time MW was v cross about this (the other MW, not me).

4. Morphine will mess with your head. Especially a 4 day bender on it. It also makes you vomit. A lot. Shep didn’t quite believe about this until I threw up gallons in front of him.

5. Despite all the cakes I ate in the last month my baby was so dinky when she hatched all the clothes I bought were far too big. My Mum had to go and buy her premature baby clothes and when I brought her home she had only two babygros I could put on her. She has a few more now though.

6. Although recovery from the c section has been quick, the first few days were really hard. Its very frsutrating to not be able to sit up, laugh or cough or sneeze without it hurting alot. Its not very dignified either. What with the maternity pads and the breast pads (i abandoned the disposeable pants early on), you do feel like quite the invalid for a while. However, the rest of the world expects you to be an invalid for a lot longer and seem amazed that you can get up and go places and manage the baby.

7. Looking after the baby is easy. Its the tiredness that makes it hard work. And the laundry.

8. If you breastfeed then midwives and health visitors will praise you lots. But other people will go to great lengths to justify why they didn’t – whether you judge them or not.

9. Baby sick is very tenacious! This morning it went straight through the moses basket liner, then the wicker and made a puddle on the wood floor underneath.

10. People love to buy baby gifts. My daughter already has an extensive wardrobe of far too big clothes to rival Victoria Beckham.

1 week to go…

September 19, 2009

I have not yet hatched. Any tips on hurrying this up gratefully recieved. Meanwhile at Shep Towers we’ve been busy playing with all the baby junk. Here is Shep, practising….


baby carrier



bum cover

So as you can see, if I give birth to a build a bear we’re totally prepared!

Up the creek and through the mill

September 10, 2009

No, firstly, I haven’t had the baby yet. She’s still allegedly got another 2 weeks to cook. I’ve been quiet lately due to being holed up in Teignmouth with the mother since Shep is STILL away and I can’t really be home alone this close to hatching date. Also I am feeling a bit reluctant to invite contact with a good few people right now, hence low facebook activity. But thats another rant.
The last few weeks of my degree stuff were arduous to say the least and did involve several meltdowns due to evil stomach infection the week of my last exam and me throwing up over the kitchen sink about an hour prior to said exam. not fun and mentally well, a bit too much for me. I don’t have my progression results yet. If I can graduate this year then great but if I can’t, no one can say I didn’t bloody well try – which is more than can be said for a few other people I know – see above. Grrrrr.

Meanwhile I have been having a lovely time at chez mama. Mostly we have been collecting up random baby things from charity shops and hospital bag things from random shops around here. I have begun collecting Beatrix Potter books from said charity shops – I now have 8! Yes, I know I could just buy a set but this has amused me plus I don’t want my daughter to be overly precious about new/fancy things. She has also aquired a v cool black and white velour all in one to make her look like a cat for £1.75 from Cancer Research.

Apart from that I have mostly been idling along the beach and eating ice creams and generally resting and hugging the cats. The baby has been busy doing her pointy baby dance at all hours.

The Final Furlong

August 10, 2009

1. In 2 weeks I just *might* finish my degree. Its quite a big might but I am plugging away at Asylum Seeker Mental Health, Children and Families, Social Theory and my practice portfolio. No one can say I didn’t try quite hard. I feel like a giant pumpkin at best and get tired all the time, especially on the days I am stuck with the feel hungry all the time but everything I eat makes me nauseus routine. Also I think I have lost my dyslexia tutor but i’m getting a bit past caring about that. I just want to finish.

2. In a month Shep will come home and hopefully fix the loo seats before I throw them off the balcony. He is trapped on his prison ship (oil rig) for a while yet. He is busy writing poems to the baby however.

3. In 6 weeks the baby is due. She at least now has a bedroom and lots of stuff, and some clothing. So far we are kitted out mostly by Ikea, Jojo Maman Bebe, ebay and John Lewis but the nicest baby clothes came second hand from a table top sale at my Sure Start. We don’t have a pram yet but I will be getting a nice red one from Quinny soon enough when I have decided who deserves the £600 the most (not toys r us). I’ve had some mixed reactions about this but well, tough – I wouldn’t put her in Primark shoes either.
Otherwise I am getting irritated by this whole reuseable nappy business. I find disposeables really quite vile so I am keen to have washable nappies but I just want to buy a kit with everything including a nappy pail and the detergent etc and theres seems to be some politics around that.

Meanwhile here is a lesson in manners:

‘Excuse me, whats it like to be pregnant?’ – is a reasonable question which will not cause offence.

(after my back has turned) ‘Oooh, I wonder what being pregnant is like’ is rude! I’m pregnant – not deaf!!

You can have it all but how much do you want it..

July 29, 2009

Being incensed always seems to tempt me back to blogging more quicly than joy. Sad as that maybe.

I am trying to finish my degree before I hatch. This is increasing difficult because a. I have until 21/08 to do it if i want to graduate this year. b. i keep falling asleep. c. i have tons of baby things to do and d. can’t seem to bloody think straight!!
I think i’d get a lot more done if i wasn’t silently ranting about a few things. I feel like i’m letting people down (mostly my daughter) if i don’t finish this year. I’m scared it will be even more difficult next year.

Sadly the main reason is that i don’t want to be at uni with or have to share my graduation with some people i can no longer tolerate being friends with. They would be ‘oh god i’m SO stressed about my law exam thats in 3 weeks and my 3 other essays i didn’t bother to do in the year i don’t know how im going to do it all but i’m going on holiday with my boyfriend for a week’ and also ‘oh god my observation was awful!! Bob was sooooo mean to me he’s so rubbish’ (thats Bob who’s a colleague and friend of mine who has assessed me twice (both v positive experiences) and whom i also trained as a practice assessor). Have you met my friends ‘get off your arse and do some work’ and ‘learn to take some fecking criticism and grow up’?? They are so much fun!

My midwife said yesterday very sagely that ‘its all well and good this idea that women should be able to still to everything while they are pregnant but the reality is – they can’t’ I felt a bit better after that.