K – Kicks

Three pregnancies later and I’m not at all blasé; it’s still the most incredible moment.

The first real kick.

Routinely followed by 10 minutes of incomprehension, whilst trying to picture another being living inside your tummy, a tear, a giggle, a shout to other half, a patient hand placed upon the belly, an awkward moment, a disheartened retreat, another kick, another squeal, another patient hand…

Never gets boring.

For me anyway.

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Throw me a … Bouquet?

Way before I had picked the dress I had decided I wanted a wild flower posy as my wedding bouquet. But back then I was sure my dress would be some vintage lace number.

But I’m sure I’m not the first bride-to-be be thrown by ANOTHER dress.

So my dress, isn’t lace, and more simple and elegant than vintgae.

But I still want a wild flower bouquet.

It’s just a bit trickier finding one that doesn’t contrast too heavily with THE dress.

Blue Posies?

blue posy

Or something with deep Red?

deep red posy

Or the winner so far…

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What do you think?

G – Gina Ford

Gina Ford – the Nazi disguised as a nanny.

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Here she is – not at all scary right?

 

Gina Ford is a woman who has made a lot of money telling parents how to bring up baby. Not ‘their’ baby, not ‘a’ baby, not even ‘the’ baby. Just baby.

 

And right now my piss is boiling. Is there any way to patronise a mother more, or dehumanise a child, than a phrase like ‘put baby down and wash and sterilise pump and bottles’? 

 

Not only does she tell you the best time you should feed your baby, what time they should sleep, but also when you should do the washing up!

 

Gina Ford is the author of ‘The Contented Little Baby Book’ and more. This book “saved my life” I was told. 

 

When I was pregnant with my first, and had a lot more time on my hands, I decided to read widely in advance. I was bored with people telling me “you should read this” or ” you should follow this routine”, so I did a bit of wide reading to get a full picture. Gina Ford was on my hit list.

 

To be fair, I did find some of it useful, just to get an idea of how often your child should be sleeping, how many feeds they are expected to take, but then I came across phrases like “when giving baby your last feed avoid any eye contact’ and that was enough for me to give in to the desire to slam the book shut and toss it out of the bed.

 

People swear by Gina Ford’s books, for some Mums they are the parenting Bible, her word is law. But I struggle to take advice from anyone who hasn’t had children. Yes its objective. But is it realistic? Not for me. 

 

I have no doubt the routine does work – and after a week ‘baby’ will stop screaming its lungs out when ‘put down’. And if the amount of sleep you get is your number one priority after having a baby, by all means, go and buy the book. But, for me, bonding, attachment, pleasure and nourishment were all much higher on my list.

 

 

M – Maternity clothes

Before I had any children, and was trying to get pregnant, I would wistfully turn to the “Maternity” section of my NEXT catalogue and daydream about what I would wear if I were pregnant! Oh the irony! Because all I did when I was pregnant is flick through magazines daydreaming about the clothes I would be able to wear if I wasn’t pregnant.

 

Some shops used to do a “maternity” section – a lonely, forgotten rack of clothes, so inappropriately placed in the shop, if you blinked you’d miss them. Or so forgotten that when asking a shop assistant if they had a maternity section she’d look puzzled and shout over her shoulder “Marie, where’d you stck them maternity clothes?” And if you were lucky enough to find it, you would have the choice of a pack of two T-shirts – (one black, one white),a pair of black work wear trousers, an attempt at an “evening top”, one very unflattering dress and a pair of boot cut jeans. If you’re lucky there may be a nightie as well.

 

Now most high street shops, have opted to remove this rail, to make more room for mini skirts and skinny jeans and when you ask where the maternity section is they’ll say “we do it online”.

 

So, you shop online, guessing about what these unusual items with extra elastic and no fastenings will look like. You buy them, over the bump, under the bump, they’re all bloody uncomfortable. The only thing to wear whilst pregnant are floaty dresses and maternity leggings – in fact I think after discovering maternity leggings last time round I’m never going to buy a pair of normal leggings again. They are the most comfortable (and probably unflattering) piece of clothing ever! I recommend them to all you pregnant ladies… And non-pregnant ladies too – Go on treat yourself!

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O – Operations

I’ve been very lucky; I have  very healthy boys. As parents we have manged to avoid the painful drama of visiting A&E at daft-a-clock and as health goes the children have had a fairly smooth run (meanwhile us parents continue to fall apart as our immune system plummets under the pressure).

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However, my middle, adorable boy has suffered with chronic nose infections since he was born and we finally got forwarded on to a specialist who,without hesitation, booked him him for an op.

I was so focused with him getting better, I didn’t absorb the whole “operation” procedure and what, emotionally, this entailed.

So the day we took him it hit me like a wrecking ball in the chest.

The Childrens’ Ward is full of heartbreak. No matter how clean or colourful or how many toys, DVDs and smiling nurses, they can’t plaster over the fact that children don’t belong there. And every colourful wall is darkened by the broken look upon a parent’s face.

We had to wait 5 hours on this ward before he went down to theatre, then an agonising hour and a half till he came back. Because I’m breast feeding the baby I had the perfect excuse to opt out of the hard bits; like carrying him down, watching him go under, leaving him there.

But I have three images I’m struggling to shake: his tiny teddy-bear-patterned gown folded on the overbed table; his dad carrying him down, a heavy eyed bewildered expression upon his face; him returning, sleeping silently with a tiny cannula bandaged against his little foot.

That night his dad stayed with him in hospital, I went home and slept with both his brothers in the bed with me. I kept waking in the night finding myself looking for a third child in the bed feeling like “I’d lost something”.

Those images, that feeling, remind me how lucky I am. For us it was just two days.

The doors to Childrens’ Wards are never still. Tiny veins have seen a life time of needles, beds are changed but rarely empty, some children go in and they don’t come back out. I have the up-most respect for parents who have poorly children, parents who are on first name terms with doctors, who have to spend hours, days, weeks, in waiting rooms, waiting for appointments, waiting in children’s wards.

Two days was enough for us to feel the strain.