Thursday, 24 November 2011

Since J was born, as I may have mentioned, the anxiety has pretty much gone away.

It feels good. It's a relief. After living on a knife edge for so very very long, from October 10th to June 22nd, it's nice to be able to breathe out, and - mostly - relax. Maybe it sums up where I am if I tell you that I still get up every so often to check that J's still breathing, but that I don't use the breathing pad with his baby monitor?

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I did believe it was that simple. For a while.

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I can tell you what day it was that I became aware of the spoken word blog round up. It was Sunday October 23rd. I know it was that day, because I nearly recorded and posted a new video for the project there and then.

I wanted to record a new post, and I remember the date, because... that's the date in 2009 that the baby, my snowflake, stopped growing.

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I thought that - slightly inappropriate pregnancy reactions aside - I was OK with pregnant women these days. One of my lovely real-life-and-internet friends is pregnant at the mo; she told me fairly early on and... actually, I *didn't* have that reaction with her. Because she knows my story. She's read my blog, and she's sent me lovely messages at difficult times, and I know she gets that the odds are good but there are no guarantees.

But suddenly I was confronted (mostly on the internet, but still) with three women telling me they were 16 weeks pregnant. One of them is a fellow BLM at that. But here they all were, having waited until 16 weeks to announce their news, so super-cautious compared to many, really.

But apparently, even when a pregnancy isn't my own, 16-17 weeks sounds incredibly dangerous to me.

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Today a lovely woman came round to my house. She runs a local company (I won't link for reasons that will become clear but if anyone wants the details please just ask) that does trials of real nappies for two weeks. She unexpectedly brought her toddler, but that was OK. I love kids, and her toddler is a great specimen! But she also brought along her bump.

If someone had asked me yesterday or even this morning whether I was OK with pregnant women these days, I would've said yes, although possibly with the caveat of 'but I must try not to freak them out'. But apparently... I'm still not. Not really.

(Or maybe I'm OK as long as I get bracing time?)

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I've been hyper-aware since the beginning of October of the date. Of all the dates. October 2009, I was pregnant. October 2010, I was pregnant. This year, J is here in my arms. It's strange to think of the synchronicity I mentioned last year - the thought that maybe my snowflake stopped around for a year, only leaving after J arrived.

And - as I'm sure you can understand - I'm hyper-aware of the march towards 25th November. The date we found out it had all fallen apart. It's past midnight now, so it's my friend's little girl's second birthday. I found out H had had her baby by text as D drove us to the hospital two years ago tomorrow, Friday. It was sunny. H's girl was born and all was well. We were going to get an extra peek at the baby. What wasn't to love? Life was good.

Except, it wasn't.

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I'm extremely tired at the minute. J has this lovely (...not) new thing where he won't stay asleep when I put him down. It meant that last night I only got two hours of real sleep.

The tiredness is so bad that I'm finding it pretty hard to cope. (And yet here I am posting at 2.20am. Damned night-owl-ness.) I even found myself snapping at J. I hate myself for that. My poor baby. It's so not his fault. He doesn't choose not to go to sleep. I can see how tired he is, how much he needs mummy cuddles. I just feel so helpless when he's fussing and I can't figure out what's wrong, or when he wants to feed for hours on end, or...

I don't know if it's just the exhaustion, or if it's the coming anniversary.

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I'm not crying. I don't know if I'll cry on Friday. Anyone who lives in this postal code (or who's been reading for a while) will know that the run up to an anniversary is almost always worse than the anniversary itself. I do know I've resolutely avoided planning anything at all for that day. I don't know how I'll feel, what I'll be like. I might go up to the cemetery with J (not taking him for any reason more profound than he goes where I go). I might stay home. I might go into town and have lunch, and remember. I might decide not to think about it. Not to relive that day.

I'll do what feels right when I get there.

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That was the worst experience of my life, but I would never choose to undo it. Neither to undo that baby's tiny life, nor to make him or her into a baby that survived. Not any more. Because to do so would undo J.

(I'm aware that I'm almost certainly an oddity around here for that. I'm kind of OK with that.)

I've always been very aware of how precarious our paths through life are. It was so unlikely that I would meet D. So very unlikely that I would fall for him. So not-going-to-happen that he would fall for me too. So add up all the circumstances that had to fall into place for me to get pregnant with J, and he's the most unlikely baby ever to exist, and yet the most perfect baby ever. And I am so happy, and so lucky, to have him.

(Times I went to check that J was breathing while writing this post: 1)

Monday, 14 November 2011

Keep meaning to do an update on the last post - no time to do so now other than to say J is getting his tongue tie snipped in the morning. Keep everything crossed, OK? It's really simple procedure but still scary.

I also have my arm in a splint because I have de Quervains tendonitis. It makes typing interesting.


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updated to say that it went fine :) baby boy hasn't got used to his full range of motion of his tongue yet but he's already getting there! so relieved!

Saturday, 12 November 2011

The woman upstairs has been playing loud music for hours. She's driving me insane. Luckily the baby and the hubby are fast asleep.

(she's in her 50s and nice during the day. but at weekends she goes a bit mental and starts playing very loud music, often repeating the same tracks again and again AND AGAIN. not to mention the, errrm, let's just say *loud noises* that we often hear. In FAR too much detail. in contrast, the 20-something lad next door who's pretty rough looking we rarely hear. the one time he had a party and really disturbed us he was mortified to realise quite how much he'd disturbed us and promised not to do it again, and he hasn't.)

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Anyway.

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  • I found out for utterly-sure today that J has a tongue tie. I've thought so for a long time but have brought it to the attention of numerous medical professionals who's basically gone 'hmmmm' and then ignored me. I suspect this is the cause of his extreme weight gain: feeding extremely often to compensate for not getting as much milk as he should per feed. May also be related to his reflux issues and the fact he often chokes while feeding. Poor guy.
  • He also has a hydroceal on his tes.ticles and an umbical hernia. No one serious problem, but loads of little things.
  • While I need general anaesthetic (!) for a minor procedure on my ears. I'm a bit horrified. But my ears have been bad since mid-February and the (mean) consultant was insistent, saying it's important to find out whether there's an underlying cause of my recurring problems. Which is all very well but I'm pretty scared (read absolutely terrified) of the whole idea. Partly for me - I've waited so long for J. I don't want to be taken away from him. But mostly for J. What if something goes wrong? What if I have a bad reaction to the anaesthesia and die? Extremely unlikely but what the hell would he do without his mummy? I'd rather go deaf. Seriously. Deafness in one ear is a million times better. At the very, very least.
  • I also have either tendinitis or tenosynovitis in my left wrist. Got a referral for physio for next week - thankfully they put it through as urgent because I'm actually starting to have difficulty picking up J, who at nearly 19 weeks weighed 19lb 15. According to the chart, that's the weight of an average 9 month old. I used to find it amusing, before I realised that extremely rapid weight gain can be related to tongue tie.
  • You're supposed to be able to use moby wraps up to 35lb, but I was told today that 20lb is a more realistic weight limit as beyond that their weight means the wrap comes untied too easily. So I need to either figure out the mei tai I bought a while back (which is apparently Ok but not great) or invest in a woven wrap. Which wouldn't be too much of a problem but...
  • The car seat that is supposed to take J up to 13kg (incidentally I hate working in both kg and lb but need to use both) is going to need to be replaced soon, as although last time he was weighed he was only 9kg he's already nearly too long for it. Which is more of an issue because...
  • I found this website and now we're going to get him a rear facing group 1 seat, which will necessitate a trip to York - the nearest shop that stocks them. Bloody marvellous. If only we'd known beforehand...
  • The neighbour's boyfriend is just leaving (3am) and i went round to ask her to keep it down in future. (Maybe I should've waited til the morning but I'm pretty sure that if I did I never would have said anything.) I was nice about it and just said 'can you keep it down in future, the music's been pretty loud'. She responded by bitching in extremely vulgar terms about a problem we've been having with the drains that we thought we'd sorted out. I will talk to her in the morning, but seriously. I've never been entirely sure about her and it's nice to know she really is a nasty piece of work. (Well, not nice, but at least I know for sure.)
  • I am sick of living here.
  • But! I just realised I'm five months into my maternity leave. Which is nearly half way through what's planned. And honestly, right now, I can't imagine ever leaving him until he's much older. Which is an issue because I'm the major wage earner.
None of these is a major problem, but put 'em all together and mix with a bucketload of sleep deprivation and I'm finding life pretty tough right now.

Friday, 4 November 2011

I would mostly call myself OK, these days. Cautiously. But yeah, mostly OK. The anxiety is a million times better than it was, and I'm so thrilled to get to mother J, my little darling.

I would like to think that I'm aware of other people's circumstances on fb - not even those I know about, so to speak. But those who I don't know have lost babies, too. I try and keep it low-key. But I can't resist sharing pictures of him. Strange, when at first D had to twist my arm to put any pics up at all.

But.

But.

When someone tells me she's pregnant, these days, I can - and do - react in the socially acceptable way. Oh, fantastic! Congratulations! How far along? That's what people in the non-babylost world want to hear. And to be honest, these days, it really is the first thing that comes into my head.

But from that second onwards, I have to stop myself from saying the second thing. Because what I want to say at that point isn't to share my most recent pregnancy, or tell stories about how the little creature in my pram or my arms. How he tormented me with not-moving, or his birth story, or how fantastic a baby he is.

I want to say, I lost my first baby. If you get bad news, if you end up walking this path of the babylost, please tell me. Even if you can't see me because you can't bear to see my happy ending - and that's OK! - let me point you in the direction of glow and blogging and the places that helped me. Let me know your baby's name, if you want to, so I can remember him or her. Let me tell you that it's OK to back away from people who don't support you, or even to cut them off entirely. Let me think of you on the dates that hurt.

A neighbour told me today that she's pregnant, and that she has her first scan on Monday. The neighbour who helped us push our car out of the snow the morning we went to the communal cremation ceremony, at that. And I so had to stop myself from saying 'you remember that morning our cars were stuck in the snow? Guess where we were going that morning!'

Seriously. She told me she has her first scan on Monday. I said 'I hope everything is perfect'. I meant it. It was the only honest thing I could think of to say that wouldn't freak the poor girl out. But at the same time, I was thinking I hope everything's OK. I hope you don't have to go round telling people it's not. I hope, I hope.