Closing the bath-time chapter

That time has come. The time I never actually thought would ever happen.  My babies all of sudden, way too quickly, without me even seeing it have grown too big to share a bath any longer. This makes me sad, very sad.

T now 5, and G, now 3, have taken baths together since G was a small baby.  Initially I started bathing them together to save time, water, energy, as I imagine many other mums with do when they have more than one child under 2 years of age. It was a success on all counts. I managed to get both children bathed and ready for bed, two for the price of one, I established a good evening routine, and both T and G developed a good strong bother/sister bond, and I had two clean children!

But over the last three years, the bath times have slowly become more infrequent, the evening routine has slipped, and the playful baths have turned into more of a squabble over space, toys, attention, who gets to take out the plug, and who gets out last.

Tonight really was the last straw for me, a sad one I realise now, but the last nevertheless. I lost count of the number of times an argument broke out over the lack of space. T wanted to practice her swimming, G didn’t want to move out of the way so he splashed her in the face, she pushed him, he kicked her, he got her hair wet, she pulled the toy out of his hand, it went on and on and on and on. Referring siblings is difficult at the best of times, but add a bath full of water and it just becomes a nightmare.

Therefore, for the sake of my sanity more than anything, I announced rather loudly in the middle of the last shouting match “That’s it! From now on no more baths together. You will have baths on your own!” . I rather naïvely thought that that would bring a halt to the noise; it did but not in the way I expected. They both cheered! They seem to like this idea.

So, while I have been clinging on to the idea that they enjoy their baths together, they have probably been wondering when Mum is going to wake up and realise that they want to bath solo. So it appears that another chapter in their childhood is closing. I’ll leave the bookmark in there though and revisit it when I want to remember my babies when they were at such a fun time in their lives; it has been a period of time and growing that I actually enjoyed witnessing and will miss.



Hello stranger…

It’s been a while since I posted anything. What can I say it’s been a whirlwind in our house in the last few months. My day to day life seems to have gotten so busy, finding the time and sometimes having the energy to have a shower is a miracle, let alone to sit down and write anything.

Christmas has well and truly been packed away. The tree went back in its falling-to-bits box (We don’t have a real one – maybe one day); the fairy lights put away all nice, tidy and not tangled up although, I am sure the un-Christmas fairy gets top marks for sneaking in during the year and undoing all my good work, tying them in complete knots and therefore putting me in a foul mood when that time of year comes around again; the left over wrapping paper has been put away ready to re-use for next time, but I can never remember where I put it so somewhere in my house I have at least three years worth of Christmas wrapping paper; the Christmas chocolates has nearly all been eaten; credit card bill has been received; the mountain of rubbish bags have been collected; the Christmas booze has been drunk, nearly.

We are now on day one of the second week back at school/work. The first week was a long one. Hearing that alarm clock go off on the Monday morning was quite possibly the worst noise in the entire world. My muddled and groggy brain simply could not function. I was convinced that I had got the days mixed up. Unfortunately it was when the Husband stomped into the bedroom, dripping from his shower and spraying his deodorant, that I realised just how wrong I was. It was 5.35am and time to get up, throw on some frankly disturbing clothes – good job it’s dark – and drive Husband to catch his 6.03 train.
Coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee the voices in my head were hollering. I would need it by the bucketful today!

I usually creep around to get myself dressed once I am back to avoid waking up the rugrats. You simply do not realise just how noisy you can be when putting on foundation and eyeliner! There is nothing worse than trying to make myself resemble anything other than human when there are 3 children; grumpy, hungry, ratty, loud, arguing, demanding, whining, zombie-like children around. That was not the case on this morning however. After two weeks of not having to get up early and going to bed a bit-too-late, they were well and truly still on school christmas holiday mode. They were not getting up. No sooner had I pulled the various duvets from them and turned around, they had pulled it back again. Oh lordy it was a struggle.
I begged, played along, moaned, shouted, bribed, tickled, I did everything, short of dragging them by their hair, they were NOT getting up. In the end it was the (empty) threat of all their new Christmas toys being put in the bin that got them out of bed.

I can only assume that every parent had the same struggle I encountered on that first school morning of 2014.

But….on this, the second school week of the year, you would not think that I had the same 3 children in my house. All 3 were up and causing havoc just after 6am today.

Welcome home Gorgeous!

So my eldest daughter, L, has been , and since returned from a holiday with her Dad. You may recall I posted about this a while back “holidays during term-time” and I can now sit back and honestly say that I feel as if a weight has been lifted. Normal service has since ressumed.

For the past few weeks, the situation had been hanging subconsciously over me like a stubborn cobweb in the corner of my head. I don’t like being apart from my children, any of them, for any longer than a school day. (Am I weird? I must be!) I hate that they are with someone else. Call me a control freak, but I like to know what my children are doing, where they are and that they are happy and safe. They will hate me when they are teenagers. I may just microchip them – Is that allowed?

I tried not to dwell over it, but it bothered me and niggled away; eventually the day came when I had to say my goodbye to L and watch her go off. I was happy and relieved  that she was excited, but I still could not shake that dull nervous feeling I had. It was the ‘what if’s’ that bothered me. You know the…..What if she is ill? What if she gets lost? What if she gets upset? What if…….

In the end I had to accept that she was gone for two weeks and that I had two other rugrats that still needed me, so I looked for the positives of only having two children for a short while:

  • No school runs to do each day – so it was almost like a holiday for me. (Although T still has preschool three mornings each week)
  • No having to make a packed lunch for two weeks
  • No clothes/shoes being dumped and left around
  • No Disney channel shows – we can stick to good old CBeebies
  • No arguing/begging/pleading for her to GET UP and OUT OF BED every day!!
  • No backchat
  • No begging to stay up later – as a result bedtime was done and over with by half 7 each night!
  • No fussy eating habits at the table

It seemed odd only having two children. I was not restricted by the clock and “school-run” time, When we went shopping, during the day, I felt as if I was doing something wrong. I didn’t have my mini-me with me. I almost felt as if I were playing truant. I know that sounds ridiculous, even the Husband said I was mad.

I actually missed the school-run. I missed seeing my friends each morning for a moan and a gossip. I felt as if I were missing out on things. It’s funny how a simple thing can become such a large part of your daily life.

I pined over making the packed lunches. Day-to-day, as a chore, I loathe it. But take it away and I suddenly have this empty period of time which I didn’t know what to do with. Hands up I’m a routine kinda-gal, especially since having children. But a change in that routine, in any way (unless its driven my yours truly) completely throws me out!

The first week went quite slowly and seemed to drag on and on and on. It felt as if the impending second week would do just the same. However, after various trips to the Doctors (T had a chest infection) and learning to relax and play with just two children, the second week was over, and before I knew it I was opening the door to my smiling, grown ever so slightly, browner, blonder and happy L.

Welcome home gorgeous….now get your backside back to school!!

My miracle girl

I love all my children with all my heart, every mother would say the same. I do not have favourites. They are all equally annoying, loud, messy, hungry, expensive and loveable as each other. But they are mine, and I wouldn’t have them any other way. I wouldn’t give them up for anything.However, I count my blessings everyday that my middle child T is with us. She is my miracle girl in more ways than one. Statistically she shouldn’t really be here.

Me and my girl approx 3 weeks old

Me and my girl approx 3 weeks old

When I met the Husband, he had been married previously with two children (who I would add are pretty amazing step-children), and had undergone a vasectomy. When we got together we talked about having children ourselves, and investigated the possibility of having it reversed. However, we discovered that we would have to have the procedure done privately, at great cost.

We spent a long time, months and months,  investigating the procedure, discussing the possibility of the success, sorting out money. The Husband had to take a very long three and a half hour train journey to Hartlepool for a consultation, and came back with a pretty uninspiring and confusing set of notes, hand-drawn diagrams, quotations and paperwork.  His vasectomy had been carried out 13 years previously, and we were told that the success rates of reversals drops considerably the older the vasectomy. However we decided that we would go ahead and try. We had to.

So, we discussed everything with our other children, my step-children and my own daughter, with our parents (mixed opinions were given, sometimes a bit too harshly) and with our friends. We booked the appointment and waited. We were excited and apprehensive and I felt that this was a special journey for us to take together as a couple.

Bearing in mind the odds were against us, we remained positive. I will save The Husbands blushes and will skim over the gory details of the procedure-there are some things you don’t need to know about. I will however, tell you that only half of the reversal could be carried out (only one tube could be re-attached) so this in itself lessened our odds even further. I was starting to feel less positive about the whole thing. But I kept quiet and my doubts to myself

Following the procedure, like any, there were a list of do’s and don’ts given to us. One of these was that we were to abstain from sexual activity for 6 weeks following the op. ALL the rules were adhered to. (!)That would be one bloody expensive rule to break!

Neither the Husband or myself actually talked about the possibility of the procedure not being successful. It went through my mind A LOT; it must have gone through his too. I suppose we each kept quiet, so as not to scare or worry each other.

Well, as I am sure you can gather, the procedure WAS successful and almost eleven months after the operation was carried out I gave birth to my miracle girl. I am fully aware of just how lucky we were. I know many couples go through so much to have their own child. I know we were very blessed.

But she nearly didn’t make it. My T was born two weeks prematurely by emergency Caesarean section. Unbeknown to me, I had suffered a placental abruption (a condition where the the placental lining has separated from the uterus). This is a traumatic condition which can have devastating effects on the baby, and the mum. But I didn’t know this. To be honest I didn’t even know something like this could happen.  I had never even contemplated having a C-section, so didn’t know what this entailed. But looking back now it was scary, although that the time with all the midwives and registrars flying around, taking my blood-pressure, reading the print outs from the monitor, I didn’t have the opportunity to think about it. I actually felt happy, my body felt good. In my mind I was happy, I was in labour or so I thought. I do remember that I needed a wee, badly. Annoyingly though  I wasn’t allowed to get off the bed. Humph!

What I wasn’t told, until the day after, was that T was in trouble. I won’t pretend to know how they knew this, because I simply don’t. However, I suppose that I realised that something was up when the senior registrar came up to me and very quickly put a consent form on my stomach and told me that they were going to be carrying out a Caesarean section; it had to be done quickly, there was no ifs or buts; “the baby” was in trouble and this was necessary. Cue the tears.

Daddy/Husband and T less than one day old

Daddy/Husband and T less than one day old

I am not sure why I started crying. I was scared I think. This had not been in my plan. This was not what I wanted. I felt like a failure.

Being wheeled into the operating theatre was the scariest I have ever been; even more than when a spider is running at me! Husband wasn’t with me. He wasn’t allowed in whilst they were carrying out the spinal block (similar to an epidural, but short term). I was terrified. Everything was completely out of my control. I am actually struggling to put into words exactly how I felt. Anxious. Terrified. Disappointed. A failure.

Goodness knows how Husband must of felt. He was allowed in once the spinal block had been completed and I was prepped.

He sat next to my head and we just held hands. Gripping onto each other. It was very tense. The nurse who was on my other side was very reassuring. He kept talking to me, and trying to lighten the mood – a very difficult task. And I was very very grateful to him.

I do not know how long we were in there for. Time didn’t seem to have much impact. But eventually, after the feeling of having a washing machine on spin cycle going on inside my stomach had stopped, T was pulled out……there was silence….a lot of low talking (this did seem to go one for long time!) I held my breath. I was thinking the worst. I could hear someone counting the time. There was no sound; no crying. Nothing.  I do remember I my tears, rolling down my cheeks, running into my ears and gripping husbands hand, tight. And then she whimpered and my heart began beating again.

The relief I felt was immense. My heart was pounding so fast, but in a good way. T was fine. I think she just decided to enter the world in her own way.

Every time I watch an episode of One Born Every Minute where the Mum has to go have an emergency C-section, my heart goes out to them, and all those emotions come flooding back. T really is my miracle girl. Although it doesn’t stop her being any less annoying  than her siblings.

Me and my girl in hospital 1 day old

My miracle girl in 2013

My miracle girl in 2013

L & T - my girls back in 2009

L & T – my girls back in 2009