Sunday, December 30, 2007
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
We'd had a bit of a fraught 3 days where I monitored every twinge, mainly because Thomas's parents had flown in to meet the baby so we so desperately didn't want their trip to be in vain... Anna had other plans however. Finally on Tuesday, the date I had calculated from my period to be my due date, Thomas came home from work and mentioned an ex-colleague, Elspeth, had suggested a massage between my thumb and forefinger would do the trick. Laughing, he held each of my hands and rubbed them for 30 seconds or maybe less. An hour later, I sat down on the couch to watch Gordon Ramsay and felt my waters break! Coincidence, I suspect! It was 7-30pm. I monitored contractions thereafter. They were mild and infrequent and by 10pm I figured labour wasn't going to start till morning.
In bed I felt them become stronger and didn't manage to sleep. After midnight I felt things were becoming more imminent so I woke Thomas and my dad at 1am. In the 20 or so minutes I waited on my parents to arrive to babysit the others, I had frequent, painful but short contractions so assumed the birth would be like Pudge's and mentally estimated it at 10am.
On arrival at triage, a fairly grumpy midwife confirmed I was only 1 to 2cm dilated and insisted I lie on a bed hooked up to 2 monitors, one measuring contractions, the other, the baby's heartbeat for half an hour. This was sheer torture. Anyone who has ever been in labour knows lying on your back is on a par with lying on a train track watching the virgin west coast intercity hurtling towards you. Unable to lie still I watched these monitors slip all around my belly, not registering any of the contractions while the grumpy midwife waited next door, popping in flippantly declaring from time to time that I wasn't really contracting much... if I'd been within reach of a machete, Derek would have been defending me in court next week! Not bloody contracting? I was contracting every 3 or 4 minutes for a minute or more. Worse still the baby heart monitor was also slipping about, not registering, so looking like the baby was asleep, therefore confirming to the numpty nurse that my baby wasn't even noticing the contractions and therefore that I wasn't really in labour yet. She suggested returning home or sleeping overnight in an all-female ward while waiting for labour to start. I had been unable to sit in dad's car on the way in at 1-30, so I sure wasn't going to sit in a taxi back then in my dad's car again the following morning at rush hour. I also didn't believe I wasn't in labour as I couldn't stand, walk, sit, lie and was in excruciating pain. I quite believed it would take all night as I have always had 20 hour labours but I knew I was already in advanced labour.
We reluctantly opted for the women's ward. I was quite annoyed given the triage ward with its 3 or 4 beds was completely empty and Thomas was allowed there. He went out to reception, I went next door to another empty ward and they left me beside a hospital bed that was up as high as it could go in a room where all the chairs were at the other side of the room. I was in too much pain to try to adjust the bed, I was in too much pain to cross the room to get a chair. Between the next 2 or 3 contractions, I slowly crossed the room and walked a chair back, unable to lift it. I had been abandoned so couldn't ask for help. I sat down on the chair backwards leaning on the back and waited maybe another 15 minutes. I felt desperately sick and started to reanalyse my birth plan request for no morphine. Morphine makes me sick so I didn't want it but figuring I already felt like vomiting and potentially had another 8 hours ahead alone, I decided to attempt to cross the room to the buzzer and ask the midwife's opinion. It took ten minutes to walk the 10 paces to the buzzer. A new midwife arrived nonchalantly on the scene. I started to explain I was considering morphine for those reasons when I felt a great deal of pressure in my bottom. The midwife looked panicked and asked me to quickly jump on the bed for an internal because I wasn't acting like the 1cm dilated patient they had been told to expect and had been ignoring assuming she was tucked up in bed for the night.
She helped me on to the bed and put her fingers into me. I'm so sorry, she told me - I assumed that was to be followed by - you are still only 2cm dilated but in fact it was followed by: you shouldn't be here, you should be upstairs, you are nearly 7cm dilated and if you have dilated that far in half an hour you must be in terrible pain! I cancelled the morphine, realizing the degree of pain was actually in keeping with the degree of labour... and I wished once more for a machete..
Buzzers were pressed, wheelchairs ordered, Thomas found and we ran to the lifts to get me upstairs in a record 5 minutes. Within 10 minutes of arriving upstairs, I was fully dilated and ready to start the pushing phase. I remember little of the next 15 minutes. I know there were foetal heart problems and I was made to turn round while a monitor was fitted. I know I was given oxygen and it ran out which felt like someone was strangling me, so I had to scream at them twice that the tank was empty before they heard.
Finally I felt her head pop out about 30 minutes after arriving upstairs. The nurse, this one was lovely, as was the 2nd one, started to tell me not to push her out till the next contraction, but as I felt her shoot across the bed, simply fell silent. The heart problems, it turned out, were caused by the cord being wrapped around her neck.
Thomas tells me he cut the cord but to be honest, I was only vaguely aware of that, as I was still shaking in shock on the bed slowly coming to terms with going through 10 hours of labour in slightly more than 1h30!
I think they felt guilty at the cock-up because the usual 1 hour you get to spend together postnatally in delivery eating toast went on from 4-24am to 7am, in this case, leaving me time for a bath, some extra toast and also the loss of several scarily large bloodclots.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
I have now had 4 kids, all at the Queen Mother's maternity hospital in Glasgow. As the trance of birth, caused by pain or adrenalin or whatever wears off each time, I find myself slowly rejoining reality staring up at the ceiling where in the corner of each room is a socket and wondering what possible purpose a socket 3 metres off the ground can serve? Now, I didn't have any drugs the last 3 times so this is definitely not just in my imagination and to prove it this time I got Thomas to take a photo of it along with the many others he took of Anna that day... Answers on a postcard please!?
I feel oddly sad!
Friday, December 21, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
If pregnancy were a book, the editor would probably cut the last 2 chapters...
I can relate to that, in fact now I am past the end of the last chapter, I am beginning to wonder what the editor would do with the epilogue!
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Hope this posting answers the flood of email arriving in my inbox daily, entitled: 'You still here?'
Friday, December 14, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Have I moaned about our new kitchen? It looked fairly bland but functional when we first moved in - how wrong can first impressions be? Firstly, when there are 5 of you and 2 out at work, then the dishes take every free minute in the evening and leave you no time for DIY, family life etc, so number one priority had to be to buy a dishwasher we couldn't afford and have Thomas plumb it in as plumbers are too dear.
Then there's the built-in oven. Now if you bought a house with a dirty built-in oven - wouldn't you assume it had actually been used? Or would you assume John Wayne had been round with his cowboy mates building it in without actually linking it to the electric circuit, and worse still tiling over the cooker socket so you can't find it to reattach? A real electrician has since quoted us £250 to rewire it all the way to circuit board 2 rooms away...
At least the integral fridge and freezer are working... well kind of - I mean the light doesn't work in the fridge so I'm not overly sure it works at all and milk goes off every 2nd day because it isn't cold enough but at least there's nothing wrong with the freezer - well apart from the fact that the door fell off it last week so it suddenly didn't look so integral, oh and the fact that today everything in the top drawer defrosted suddenly without warning. Talk about bloody cowboys - it is just as well we were planning to install a new kitchen eventually anyway but it is so frustrating not being able to make anything at all oven based in the meantime - with kids constantly moaning about steak pies and pizzas and Yorkshire puddings... I just hope they didn't use John and his mates for the extension too!
Monday, December 10, 2007
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Nesting instinct? Never...?
Now Scotland, if you don't know it, is a country where the average female graduate salary does not cover two simultaneous private nursery places for under 5s, where the average house price requires two salaries to pay it and where students aren't out of debt from their uni days till they are into their 30s... and they report people are having less than two kids but want more... hmmm - I know I'm no rocket scientist but come on?
Friday, December 07, 2007
Today took the biscuit though. I was busy in the living room. Everyone else in the family was upstairs... Léon was quiet... Léon was too quiet. He walked in and announced 'cheese' to me then walked up to Thomas and announced 'ost', and proceeded to sit down on his little red chair and munch his way through at least half a block of mature cheddar before I managed to salvage enough to put over everyone else's pasta!
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
I suppose if I was a betting man, my money would be on tomorrow... I am meant to be going to a funeral in the morning and Charlotte also wants me to go into school to take part in some Christmas-decoration-making activity for parents, not to mention my book club also expects me to make an appearance at 7ish, having finished some book I haven't had the energy to start because of all the contractions!
Failing that I'd go for Sunday - the date for the HarperCollins annual staff childrens' Xmas party - failure to attend that is sure to find me dead, knifed in my bed one morning given that it can be summed up as 2 hours solid free teethrotting sweets positively being forced upon them plus a free gift :-\
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Sunday, December 02, 2007
(By the way, the curry didn't work, so I'm away to make another cup of raspberry tea...) :-(
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Léon came into the dining room tonight having found this old ghetto blaster in a box that was still to be unpacked. He asked what it was and we replied a ghetto blaster. He thought seriously a moment, then wandered away happily muttering telly bastard to himself over and over!
Note to self: must speak more clearly in future...
Monday, November 26, 2007
I have a Facebook account myself, though I don't use it much, but Bebo is definitely aimed at a much younger audience, I feel - it's bright, it's messy, it's noisy and trendy - in short it makes me feel old. I mentioned Facebook to Marcel and he looked blank - I logged in to show him it. He looked for 2 minutes and concluded - oh Facebook is a tidy boring Bebo for adults! I actually find it quite strange Bebo is pretending to be enforcing a 15 limit, given Marcel and many of his school friends have not only uploaded photos, showing they are really just little kids, they have created groups like 'Kirkhill primary' group - primary? A sure giveaway you aren't 15 if you go to primary school, no?!
Anyway, as is to be expected - the Bebo pages are full of little kids trying to sound all grown up using pseudo swear words etc. I figured my best bet, instead of heavyhandedly banning its use, was a bit of supervising, and threatening to check up and actually creating a Bebo account of my own, linking it to Marcel's so I would be notified of any updates he makes, and logging onto it periodically. At first it seemed to gain me some 'cool' Brownie points - a mum with a Bebo account! Within 2 hours of creation, I'd had an email from his 11 year old friend Kristian asking me to be his 'friend'! Sweet! By the time Marcel got in from school, however, I think the cool factor was wearing thinner - he asked me to log in so he could create a profile for me, complete with photo and a background of red roses chosen by Charlotte - I think my bare bones Bebo was starting to embarrass them. By tomorrow they'll have attached some dodgy Youtube clips, a gif or two of Homer Simpson farting or burping and no doubt some stick dogs shagging!
I have to conclude I am way too old for Bebo, I can just about cope with Facebook, but am really more of a Bloggy Flickrer myself, sorry!
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Saturday, November 17, 2007
...1 hour later - why oh why are England always so bloody hoachy?
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Friday, November 09, 2007
Thursday, November 08, 2007
This is madness.
I had Marcel at 29, and Lots just 4 weeks before I turned 32. I felt it was just about right. I had had time for uni, time to backpack round Europe till my heart was content, time to work a bit and buy my first flat and I was young enough to cope with the sleepless nights, working full time for years on end on broken sleep.
I had Léon just before I turned 38. The pregnancy was harder. My hips hurt more, I was tireder, everything just a little slower. This time round the same is true. I lie awake in pain from my hips night after night and feel exhausted trying to work a 21 hour week.
What I am trying to say is that I have tried pregnancy at 30 and at 40 and your body is definitely better suited to it at 30. You conceive quicker too. You have fewer complications, fewer miscarriages. You give birth to babies who in general stand a much better chance of still having grandparents into their young adulthood. Why is this so frowned upon here? Why am I less of a woman if I put babies before career? I've tried both and I know for sure which is the more important job. Ironically, over my years in industry I have watched a succession of real career women work hard till their late 30s, try to squeeze in a late baby and then realize that is what they preferred all along. And those are the lucky ones - the ones who didn't leave it too late. More and more in the UK with stagnant wages but ever-rising nursery costs people turn to their parents for childcare but how does that work? It is bad enough with this generation, our 20-something parents are becoming grandparents mid-60s and yet many are expecting those 60-somethings to babysit 7 hours a day for up to 5 years per grandchild, but imagine our kids also wait to 40 - will I be expected to babysit Léon's or the new baby's kids daily from 80-85, if I am alive and not yet senile? Crazy! But if costs keep rising there will be no alternative. Currently you generally need two salaries to pay a mortgage, and yet each child costs you £600-£700 a month in nursery fees for 4 years minimum. I calculated once that I had laid out £60K on childcare by the time Charlotte started school at 5. Something needs to change.
I firmly believe we should stop pressurizing women to wait. I'd happily have started having kids around 26 but felt society would frown on me for squandering my education if I did. I think my kids are happier for knowing their grandparents and hope my grandchildren will too. I am not saying never have a kid at 40. If you only meet Mr Right at 40, of course have a kid at 40 but if you marry Mr Right at 25, why wait 15 years for nothing? It is just wrong.
The temper was usually marked by Gordy doing something Léon disapproved of, Léon screaming Bad boy Gordy and Gordy then pushing Léon, though of course two seconds later they were back hugging and snogging as always.
The territorial bits seemed to involve them both wanting the red Ikea chair, but again that was resolved by distraction, thanks to Charlotte.
The bullying, however, was unexpected and quite amusing. I put them both in the car along with Marcel at 4 O'clock to go get Charlotte who was attending gym club. As Gordy is the younger, I put him in Léon's usual seat and Léon in the age 1-4 booster with back that I usually reserve for the over 3s. First, Léon teased Gordy: Nénaw (that's what he calls himself) big boy seat, Gordy baby seat. Gordy didn't bat an eyelid. Then Léon tried: Gordy no touch Nénaw's jacket, again Gordy just stared at him, so he upped the ante with and Gordy no touch Nénaw's big boy seat!.
Kids! Why is it we teach them to talk?!
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Well today turned out to be interesting. I had an ante-natal at the hospital instead of my usual GP one. Last time I was at the hospital around 8 weeks ago, I asked whether there was anything special about the way they were going to treat me given my age. At the time they said that the only consequence of being so old was that they would not let me go past my date and have me in on my due date with a view to induction.
Today I saw the other consultant and nonchalantly mentioned to her that I saw little need to book an appointment that day as she had just told me the baby was much further down in my pelvis than she'd have expected for 35 weeks. She said her policy was quite different on induction and told me that if she was the one who saw me the week I was due, she would only induce birth if there were signs of placental breakdown. She went on to say that if both the baby and I were well, she would wait the normal 10 days and then induce me. I laughed and mentioned that 10 days meant December 24, so assumed she'd reconsider. She didn't see any need and booked me in for 12 midday on December 24. I mean this is kid 4 and I have never got to a due date yet, so doubt I should be worried but on the off chance the different genetic makeup does delay labour, wouldn't that be ironic? The only heathen in the family would manage to provide a grandchild for the ministerial family on Christmas night - hahaha! If she'd been a boy, should we have called her Jesus?
Saturday, November 03, 2007
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
Then there's the Internet problem - I can't blog there because we have no Internet so I have to try to remember anything I want to blog till the next time I am in the flat. Given a few of the things I considered blogging this weekend were kids-related (surprise surprise), I thought I'd take appropriate photos to upload today while I was in the flat. I brought the camera and sat down to upload them, only to realize that I have the camera here but the USB lead in the house - grrr again.
Finally, I did think it prudent to charge my mobile phone while I was here tonight given all viewers for the flat come in on that number. Can I find the charger? Of course not! Is it in the house? No idea! Will I ever sell the flat if my phone runs out of charge? Six weeks till D-day...where should I leave my bag once I pack for the hospital? These questions and many more will be answered on the next episode of Housesoap :-(
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Sunday, October 21, 2007
I just recognised Gordon stopped his fish gasping for oxygen……well anyway I cannot stand this puppet who bites his fingernails and picks his nose…
Originally uploaded by jl7887
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Mum made me laugh the other day by suggesting we should name our daughter Britann Rose. An odd choice I thought but she went on to explain - these celebrity types like to choose either place names (you know Brooklyn etc) for their offspring claiming often they were conceived there. Mum thought given we lived at Rose street at the time - that would give us 'Rose' but to make a place name we could combine the two granny's first names: Brita and Ann, to make a pseudo-place name: Britann - hmmmm am not convinced she'd be happy going through life as a Britann!
Friday, October 12, 2007
Monday, October 08, 2007
I guess I might be stuck with sandals in the snow this year! Ho hum...
Saturday, October 06, 2007
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Anyway, I guess limbo is going to be full to bursting by the time I and my unchristened offspring pop our clogs! (well as long as we manage to live a fairly saintly life ;-) ).