Tuesday, 11 January 2011

latest stage...!

So the CRB forms are here and I am probably about 8/9 weeks off being a registered childminder. 'Cited! I have a second hand Maclaren Double buggy, am looking for an offroad type affair too. Am looking for a toddler table and chairs for crafts and lunch etc, and then I will feel a bit more prepared.
Mentally I am there. I think. :)

Friday, 7 January 2011

Neglected, oops

I haven't posted in nearly two months. Forgive me, I have sinned. Actually I haven't, I've just been stupid busy and Facebook is by far the easier social scene to dip into. Will try harder though.

Childminder registration under way, CRB checks about to be done, will be registered in March I hope, did my ChIP course in December and loved it (bit odd, me).

Business name: Aunty Sarah... tee hee. A friend is going to sort my logo out - despite my Graphic Design degree I just don't have the time or inclination to be creative.

What else. Harry is good, illnesses aside and teething of course. Hubby and dog same old but happy (I think!?).

That's us!

Friday, 12 November 2010

Yesterday, today and tomorrow, 2009

It’s getting ever closer to Harry’s first birthday and we have a million things going on so I can’t sleep, bah. I wanted to blog the second part of Harry’s arrival story anyway so I may as well do that now.

It is a story of yesterday and today last year (if that makes sense!)
We pick up the story on Wednesday 11th November which was our designated induction day as we were 9 days overdue at this point...

Having been had mild contractions through the night at home, lasting about a minute and coming every ten minutes we felt we were well on the way to having our baby.
We arrived at the hospital at 8.30am, tense, nervous, but really unaware of what was to come. I was allocated a bed in the ‘five bedded bay’ held over for lucky ladies being induced. We expected to wait a little while, then for me to be examined and then the first prostin pessary to be given, and then for things to start moving. Unfortunately, most women in the county seemed to be giving birth that day (honestly, they were) and as the same staff cover the induction bay as delivery suite, obviously the ladies actually in established labour got priority. Rightly so but didn’t *quite* feel that way at the time.

I was still contracting but very irregularly, so we knew we weren’t going to progress under our own steam. Finally after several cups of tea and some slightly suspect sandwiches, we got seen at about 4.30pm. Examined and told my lady parts looked – ahem – unfavourable and not looking up for imminent action, prostin was given and we were told to get on the move to try and get things started.
We waddled (well, I did) around the hospital, bumping into NCT classmates Sonya and Hector on the way. We hadn’t realised but their daughter Ada (born on 6th Nov) was back in hospital after having problems feeding, so obviously they were hugely concerned for her but still had time to chat to us and sympathise with the endless waiting we were going through. Love them for that. So kind.

The contractions did pick up a bit but not enough to think anything was happening so we decided (me, very reluctantly) that Simon should go home at about 11.30pm. I was now alone and pretty petrified to be honest. No idea what was going to happen and constant moans and groans from the other cubicles as people constantly turned up with problems either in early or late pregnancy. Some people in pain, some people just snoring.... It was very loud and I was given some tablets for the discomfort of the contractions and also something to help me relax. They didn’t work very well so I had a very uncomfortable night.

Simon returned at 7.30am the next day (12th November) to find me very distressed at having no sleep, privacy or hope of the induction working. Though I was in increasing pain, the examinations kept showing the same thing; nothing had changed. So they went on to give me a second pessary at 9am and again told us to get on the move. Again I waddled on, but as the day went on I was in more and more pain, and every time I was examined I was told I wasn’t in labour and there was no real pain relief available. At some point I think late morning we heard familiar voices pass by the cubicle. It turned out to be more NCT classmates, this time Laura and John. I soon bumped into Laura on my waddles through the close by low risk birthing unit where they were all set to have Daisy. I will always remember the mix of total envy and pure excitement to know that Laura was in *proper* labour and would be having her baby very soon. She actually gave birth that afternoon just the other side of the wall where I was which was quite comforting to know – this might sound odd but it was good to know that some people were actually having babies in this hospital!!

By the afternoon I was really starting to become beaten by it all and Simon was finding it really hard to cope with seeing me in so much pain. He was my rock through this whole process, and from here onwards had to do everything for me, including fight my corner when I needed pain relief, advice etc. The day turned to evening and the pain was just getting worse and worse. I was in more pain than I ever could have imagined, especially as I knew it wasn’t ‘productive pain’, it wasn’t from proper contractions, it was just pointless. I was eventually given some pethidine at about 8pm and then another jab at about 2 or 3am. This made me into a zombie so I don't remember much of these hours though I know that the staff kept telling me I wasn’t in labour, that these were the legendary ‘prostin pains’ they didn’t mean labour was starting and that I should have a bath to help relax me. Later that night we begged for more pain relief so I had some more co-codamol as well as temazepan. I think I also had another shot of pethidine and that signalled the sweetie shop closing for the night.

Later on the Friday morning (13th November @ 8.30am-ish) a midwife told me she had a plan; that the doctor would come back and examine me but as I was so tense (and frankly hysterical at this point) she would allow me to use the gas and air to let them examine me more easily. They moved me to a separate room where they had the gas and air rigged up. When the doctor examined me she said the words that made Simon and I cry with relief...”Sarah has some surprises for us, she is 4cm dilated”. Talk about music to our ears! I have since wondered when this started to happen. I suspect it was happening all night slowly but surely. So anyway, this meant I was officially in labour and from thereon would get one to one care and whatever pain relief I needed. (48 hours after arriving at hospital, and approx 16 hours after feeling pretty serious pain) The doctor broke my waters to try and pick things up a bit and I was taken to a delivery room near to the main desk so they could keep a close eye on me. As I was so exhausted with the pain and no sleep we decided I would have an epidural straight away as the thought of the slog through labour without it was unbearable. It went in with no problems, the anaesthetist was really amazing and put me at ease. Through the afternoon they started the syntocin drip as I got to 5-6cms on my own but no further. We listened to music including a Welsh male voice choir. We can’t listen to that cd without crying now.

It got to a point where I hadn’t had an examination for about 3 or so hours at least and I felt that I had been laying flat in bed for so long this wouldn’t be helping the situation (plus I could feel it was putting loads of pressure on my back). I asked to move positions and tried going on my side. I think this was the move that really helped things as shortly after this and me asking to be examined, they did so and I was fully dilated! This must have been about 9.30pm. After a huge amount of elation that we would meet our baby soon, I came back down with a bump when I realised the hard work involved in pushing. As I had had the epidural in for so long and had multiple top ups, I was struggling to feel anything. I also hadn’t eaten anything for about 33 hours so was severely lacking in energy. With each contraction I was doing my best to push but I was getting more and more panicky with each one as I felt it wasn’t working. I tried to change position and hung over the back of the bed on wobbly legs to let gravity help me. I think I tried for about an hour and still no baby. At this point things started to get more serious, a button got pressed and suddenly we had a room flooded with people and they were all trying to encourage me into pushing harder but I had nothing left to give.
It must have been about 10.45pm when they told us that they needed to get us into theatre, there was a small swelling on the baby’s head where it was sitting on the cervix for such a long time. They were topping up my epidural and were going to try for a vontouse. Simon had to get into scrubs in a mad rush and I can remember watching him get changed feeling like it was an out of body experience. It was all a bit surreal as I was being wheeled down the corridor mid contraction and push... Then we got into theatre and the lights were so bright. I strangely wasn’t scared because I knew that now I was going to get some help.

Tell me before this whole thing started that I was going to end up in theatre and I would have run a mile. Strange how things turn out. I knew I had given it everything I had and was now excited to meet our baby.

They transferred me onto the proper theatre bed and then went on to start the vontouse. They seemed to be struggling with it and the doctor said she couldn’t feel me pushing and that if I didn’t, she would have to do a c section! I shouted back that I didn’t care – I was so exhausted I really didn’t care about what they did to me anymore. She then shouted for forceps. I couldn’t really feel anything but was pushing as hard as I could. The next thing I knew, our baby was pulled up onto my chest and Simon shouted It’s a boy! It was 11.26pm. He was so alert already, I can remember him blinking and staring around him while Simon and I cried and I said ‘That’s Harry!’. The cord was clamped and he was taken off to one side to be weighed. We discovered he was 8lb 15oz and we felt so proud that our boy was finally here. We were wheeled back to our room and he fed immediately. He was so quiet, just blinking and taking in his surroundings.

He was (and still is) *the* most beautiful thing I have ever seen.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

This day last year

This day last year was my designated due date. For due date read 'date randomly picked from a hat'. Or more accurately, 'randomly picked from the midwifes pregnancy wheel thingy'. On 2nd November 2009 I found myself in a 40 week midwife apppointment in front of a midwife called Catriona I had never met before and who knew nothing about me except what was in my pink notes but who thought it was appropriate to put the fear of god into me. Prepare yourself for a c section she said. Get in touch with a local taxi firm who accommodate infant seats as you won't be able to drive, cook loads of meals and freeze them (ok, so that was a good tip) and above all, be calm. Be calm woman I spluttered through the tears?! Be calm?! Well go and have a nice glass of wine she said. BTW, the reason she said it would be a section was that I was carrying a 10lb baby at least. Anyone who knows me in real life knows that this would not be a problem for me ;) Childbearing hips you see!

So I went for my glass of wine and got in touch with my NCT teacher who did an amazing job at calming me down. Nonetheless, Harry wasn't interested in either coming on time or indeed coming completely naturally... My ideal of a water birth had gone out the window ages ago for various reasons and looming ahead now was an induction which would prove a trial to say the least...

To be continued!

Monday, 25 October 2010

New plans

So besides signing on, filling in the tax credit forms, applying for every job locally that I feasibly can, trying to claim mortgage payment protection insurance, trying to communicate with my ex-boss and friend (FAIL), working out what cake to make for Harry's party (eek) and the many many other things I find myself doing these days, I have come to a decision.

Working with children is the way forward.

So as I mentioned before, I am definitely pursuing childminding (and possibly nannying in the interim) as my most logical option. I have sent off the form and a deposit cheque for the initial briefing and I am hoping there will be a course nearby in the not too distant future. I will call them and chase it all up tomorrow. So I will be needing more equipment (double buggy - quite fancy the Jane Powertwin, but second hand of course) and I am starting to think of activities. The latter may be jumping the gun a tad but I am keen to do creative things. I feel this aspect is important as well as all the early years guff you have to cover.

I think this childcare path is right because the panic has eased off a bit since we decided this was a viable option. And that has to be a good thing.

My very good friend has just qualified/registered and I hope she doesn't feel I am treading on her toes. We are a little over a mile apart from one another, commuters would use different stations for each of us and we will probably offer different environments too. I hope you don't mind Net, if you're reading this. I am coming at it from the same angle as you. I get to be with Harry and earn money at the same time. I hope we can do some stuff together. Music and arty things maybe... :)

Tuesday, 12 October 2010


It's coming up to Harry's first birthday and therefore it is a time of much reflection for me. I find it amazing to believe he is nearly one. This time last year I had already been on maternity leave for almost 3 weeks as I just couldn't keep heaving that lump of a bump up into London. I was beginning to get bored and frustrated, wanting to have my baby with me NOW! I think we had just finished our NCT classes which I am so glad we signed up for as I now have 7 fabulous mummy friends who all gave birth pretty much within 2 1/2 weeks of one another other so we coped with the madness of childbirth, sleepless nights, feeding problems etc together. I couldn't have coped without them!

It has been a wonderful year of change. Everything possible has changed really apart from where we live (mores the pity but that's another story!).

The change having a baby causes to your relationship is quite incredible not to mention challenging at times. It becomes accepted that the third person in the relationship is the one on the pedestal, loved with total unflinching, unconditional love by the original two, while the latter play the loyal supporting roles, thinking only (mainly) of this new gleaming, shining light of a child. It is only really toward the end of this first year that we have more time for one another again I think. Whoever said having a child could save a relationship is clearly insane.

The change to me both physically and mentally is immense. If I told some of my oldest friends that I was considering becoming a childminder they would laugh so violently the chardonnay would shoot out of their noses. Yet I am; I had to give up my London job as I could have been away from Harry for 50 of his average 84 hours of waking hours a week. Something that seemed ludicrous. So childminding will mean I can be with him while he gets to spend time with other children too. A perfect scenario. Physically I am so much stronger. Carting around a 29lb-ish (not had him weighed for ages) wriggling child has made me that way. Being able to pick him up with one arm (my left!!) and get to my feet from the floor unaided strikes me as almost chimpanzee like - I suppose we regress in our primeval roles.

So lots of change, and even more to come as we wind our way through the next year and the next and the next. Preschool starts next September...what a thought.

Onwards we march, but with love in our hearts.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

dealing with disappointment/worry

things to be disappointed and worried about:
no job
no money

things to be happy about:
harry <3
there might be some warmer weather at the end of this week
and many other things including a new kick ass cv

money worries? I laugh in your face...