40 week’s pregnant disorganised person

It’s was my birthday yesterday at 40 weeks pregnant. Yep, birthday due date for a birth-day.

First time around Audrey got the star-prep: hypnobirthing, raspberry leaf tea, fit ball bouncing, massage; all the recommended stuff. And of course, I had no labour and a quick c-section.

Second timer gets: day 39+ 1 = first listen of hypnobirthing CD. 39+3 = reading breathing techniques. 39+6 = damn, no raspberry leaf tea in our local Sainsburys. 40 = waters break and we realise newborn clothes are in loft and need washing.

Basically I’ve slacked off because I have another child who is my entire focus (at least, that’s my excuse!).

On the plus side, I have packed a thorough hospital bag. So we (Ted) lug it across town, getting the bus so we can stop off and buy baby clothes on the way. I’m checked over and as I’m not in labour, we get sent home to wait and see what develops. Audrey is enjoying a mini break with her Bibi (Grandma), so after lunch we basically sleep. 

So here I am on week 40+1, contractions came and went in the night, so we are on our way in to be induced. The house is a mess, I’ve been last-minute cramming with my hypnobirthing book and I think maybe we’ll treat ourselves to a taxi ride to hospital today!

The little man will hopefully be with us today/tomorrow! Eek!

Here’s one I made earlier…

  

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Feel the love

  

Last night Audrey wouldn’t settle on her own, which is reasonably rare and after a cuddle and sing song with Daddy, the crying started again. So it was my turn to have a go. 

She cuddled me with one arm tucked around me, with her other hand on my hand, interweaving fingers. I told her we were holding hands and she whisper-giggled with me at the fun we were having in this dimly lit room. I rocked in the chair silently and we gazed at each other whilst playing with our hands. A moment of perfection. I could feel our love. Her face – just the most beautiful little girl I’ve ever seen, her gaze fully locked on my mine, looking very much like a child who is not sleepy and will not be rocked to sleep!

Yes, it crosses your mind: er, excuse me miss, we had just started a new series on Netflix, I was about to put my feet up with a glass of milk (a pregnancy heartburn must)… But at that moment I just felt such bliss at being there for her. Being her mother. 

I’m sure I bang on about this in every post, but it’s a heightened feeling when you’ve had such negative thoughts about your child and your imagined relationship in those early days. It scares me to think that a “syndrome” label made me question the love and connection I would have for my daughter, but it did.

In fact, I’ve just recently been filmed sharing thoughts and feelings after diagnosis for a short film that will hopefully help new parents. And on an email calling for more contributors, a mother with a grown up son with Down Syndrome questioned her involvement – she wouldn’t want him to see her talking negatively about his life. Which I completely understand. However, I really hope to explain to Audrey one day that the reason I’ve shared so much online (including some pretty upsetting thoughts and feelings) is that I want society to move forward and I want to take as much of the negativity away from other parents as I can. And I want her to know that it’s because of her, because of her fabulousness, that I feel so strongly about banging this drum and changing perceptions.

Of course, in an ideal world I want someone to receive the diagnosis and think; ‘Who cares?’, but I appreciate it won’t be that simple. But how about, after the initial shock/upset/confusion, you quite quickly move forward by thinking about a family you saw online…? A mother who wrote about love, beauty and fun… She showed that your life with your little one might just be how you had expected things to be pre-diagnosis; singing songs together, reading books and cuddling before bedtime, sharing in a peekaboo joke… The path is a smaller deviation from the original than you might think and the overriding fact that should help take the negativity away is: you are their parent and you will love one another no matter what life throws at you. 

I’m thinking that’s parenthood as standard though, isn’t it?

  

Seconds

I’m writing this before our little man arrives (I suspect my blogging time might be a little reduced following his birth..?).

A second pregnancy is definitely a different beast. The first time around you can truly revel in being ‘with child’. When maternity leave hits, (all going well timing wise), you can have weeks to nap, read, chill out, enjoy decaf coffees… 

Audrey is a July baby. I had at least 5 weeks before she arrived in sunny Brighton, just enjoying some ‘me time’ and falling asleep regularly to my hypnobirthing CD.

This time around, I finished work with 4 weeks until due date, I fear he’ll be early (we’re week 38 now), but I only get 2 days a week of “me time” anyway (whilst Audrey is at nursery) so it’s really not the same. I don’t feel like I have blank weeks ahead that I can fill with baby grow folding and preparing for birth. I have our usual routine, plus tiredness, plus heartburn and I’m waking in the night for all manner of reasons (Audrey being one of those from time to time, but being uncomfortable/needing a pee/leg cramp etc etc also involved).

I have to lift Audrey a lot because, well, she can’t walk. And I have to walk around pushing her in the buggy because we don’t have a car and that’s how we get about, with a bit of bus travel thrown in. It’s not a big deal, but it definitely makes me tired. And she’s tiring because she’s a curious child who wants cuddles or books or snacks etc. Or me sat on the floor with her or her sat on the sofa with me. (She’s kinda bossy).

I have several fears this time around (last time I think I put it all off and didn’t feel like a baby was really coming, this time I can’t deny it!)…

– Exhaustion is probably number one, because I love and need sleep and I cannot see how I’m going to get enough with two kids to look after.

– Labour is also up there; I didn’t go into labour with Audrey, she stopped moving and I had an emergency C-section. I’m happily trying for a ‘natural’ birth this time (with no objections to a few drugs!), but the unknown is still strange and scary.

– Doing enough: how on earth can I breastfeed, entertain, cuddle, feed, clean, rest, leave the house… With 2?!? Eek.

– Just being a good mother and having enough love to give to a second child that is following in the footsteps of one of the most loved children on the planet.

At the same time, I know it will all be worth it to grow into a family of four. I also realise a lot of people have had two or more children and have survived to tell the tale.

But wish us luck anyway please!

    
 
  

We go together…

Just a short crazy post about watching Grease “live” on TV today (a recording of the Broadway musical that went out live on US TV and was shown on ITV2 this afternoon).

Something so silly, so simple and yet it made me think…

Look I know this is stupid, but when I was growing Audrey in my tummy (probably even before that), I had daydreams about my daughter and the things we’d do together. Shopping for clothes, tea and cupcakes in a nice cafe, PJ nights with a girly film… And for some stupid reason when little Audrey popped out with her extra chromosome, I felt (in those early days) that all that had been ripped away. This wasn’t the daughter who would care about fashion or want to do girly things with her mummy. This was an unknown child, I wasn’t sure what she’d be capable of or would want to do, I felt completely thrown and unable to daydream about our future.

Fast forward to February 2016. Audrey is 2 and a half, she wakes from her nap and we join in on his performance of Grease just after Greased Lightning. She has just woken from a nap so is snuggled on my lap, sucking her thumb. I sing along to some of the songs, she’s gazes up at me with her beautiful eyes. When she is a bit more awake, she sits next to me on the sofa and we boogie to ‘Born to Hand Jive’, she tries to copy the moves, she sings a little. I am in heaven. My little girl and I, doing just what I always imagined we’d do together. In fact it blew me away that we shared this moment when Audrey is only 2 and half.

She continues to amaze me.