Unbridled. Unburdened.

A friend recently told us she was pregnant and I think that’s the first pregnancy announcement in years that I’ve honestly met simply with joy (IVP announcements excepted). No bitter aftertaste, no cynicism, no jealousy, no poor me. It was wonderful. I think our family really is complete and I think the scars of infertility are finally fading. I know it’s been a long time, but I’m a Scorpio, I hang onto things!

vee xxx


We are those people

Before we had actual children, living in our actual house, when we were still trying and hearing and reading of everyone else’s pregnancy and birth and parenting experiences, we learned with horror of many beloved family pets getting the old heave-ho once baby put in an appearance. We were judgy, my friends. We talked of how it would be for us; how we would never, could never turf out our furbabies – receptacles of our baby-love for so long. We read with scepticism of how “it was better for Fido”, or how “Tiddles would be so much happier elsewhere”. Not us, we swore, not us.

But now we are those people. Three days ago, we returned our elderly cat to the rescue centre we got him from nearly five years ago, for re-homing. We have (sorry, had) three animals, a dog and two cats. Add kids and they each bring their own issues to the household. The dog, who we have had for 14 years and love dearly, adores adults but is growls and is snappish and utterly untrustworthy around kids. We have to keep him separate or closely supervised at all times. Cat one is unbelievably tolerant of being dragged round by a toddler and couldn’t be a more perfect feline friend to our boy, but he sprays urine in the house and so needs to be kept outside or again, closely supervised. Cat two, the one that has gone, is ridiculously timid and terrified of pretty much anything and everything. He retreated outdoors during the summer, sleeping out in a kennel and refusing to come in even for food. Once the weather turned, he deigned to come inside once more, but only as far as his igloo bed in the utility room and absolutely no further.

Yes, he was unhappy. Yes, he was stressed. Yes, he’ll be better of with someone who can give him attention and a calm environment. But if I’m totally honest, we were unhappy and stressed too, worrying about him, and I think our home environment will be calmer without him. We were all making each other miserable. I feel kind of pathetic for not being able to just suck it up and get on with it. I feel humbled now the boot is on the other foot. But mostly, I feel relieved, and I hope he does too.

vee xxx

Merry Christmas and all that

Season’s Greetings all. Happy New Year for tomorrow. This blog is a bit of a desert these days, but I’m not making excuses.

Today, we’re escorting a little witch around our local children’s museum. Dressed in black leggings and one of mummy’s vests, with a black shirt for a cloak and cardboard buckles sellotaped to his new slippers, he looks cute and slightly deranged. This is a momentous day for our son, who up until this point in his life, has shunned dressing up utterly, much to our disappointment.

Life is good.

vee xxx

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She’s here!

She’s here! Jay gave birth to our beautiful daughter 8lb at 8pm yesterday evening (01/10/11).

Mums and baby doing well. Jay was an absolute star!

Photo and name to follow in a password protected post. Just as if you don’t have the password and you’d like it).

vee xxx

And so we wait

Oh, I forgot how horrible the waiting is.

Jay’s waters broken yesterday evening at 6ish. There was meconium in the water, so they wanted us to go and get checked out and now they won’t let us leave! They gave her a cervix ripening pessary and said they’d be back at 4:30am to start her on a drip. It’s now 8:30am and we’re still waiting. Lack of staff apparently. So not exactly an emergency then? I don’t see why we couldn’t have gone home. Our room is windowless and the staff are overworked and humourless and we’ve got to stay on labour ward not in lovely birth centre as Jay had hoped. We’re both pretty fed up but, hey, there’ll be a baby soon and we’ll have forgotten all about the disappointment.

More news as it’s in.

vee xx

not yet…

So here I am at 4.45am on our EDD (the 12 week scan one, not the clinic one, which was 2 days ago).

I’ve been having irregular contractions since 9pm last night, managed to get some sleep, then they woke me up and I lay awake for a lonnnnng time wondering which piece of vee’s advice to take in the absence of my own common sense;

* don’t let contractions keep you awake counting them obsessively. Take a paracetamol and sleep as much as you can,
* if you can’t sleep, eat or drink something and the contractions might stop.

I chose the second option (partly because I was fed up with lying in bed and loathe to wake vee up as she had a rubbish nights sleep the night before, thanks to my, ahem, *pregnancy related* snoring). The bottom line is, it seems to have worked, so I’m going to try and get back to sleep.

Well, I only have about a 5% chance of giving birth today, right? And all these women keep stressing on messageboards that they’ve been having contractions on and off for days and even WEEKS.

Ooh, better get some kip then.

Xx jay

tick tock tick tock….

Tomorrow is our official (original, based on insem, not on scan size) due date. Tomorrow?

(And yes, the ticker is wrong. Fresh milk doesn’t last THAT long!!)

Back to the cleaning….

vee xxx

Freaky feeling

I bought milk last night on my way home from work. The use by date on it was post EDD. There is a distinct possibility that the milk in our fridge will last longer than the rest of our pregnancy. That’s just the strangest feeling.

vee xxx

Potty issues

Just recently, BB started showing an interest in his potty, which has been gathering dust in the corner of the bathroom for some time now. We went with the flow and at home we’ve been having some reasonable success.

We’ve run into a couple of problems though and are unsure now whether to plough ahead or put it all on hold until a later date.

Firstly, at home, our boy can go naked or just with pants on (that’s underwear). He generally takes himself off to wee and can handle the pants ok if need be. At nursery, there’s none of that naked or semi naked foolishness and Trousers Must Be Worn. Somehow, BB doesn’t seem to be making the same connection when in additional clothes, and more accidents are happening.

Secondly, and far more worryingly, though peeing on the potty is ok in his book, pooing on it is most definitely not. Pooing requires a nappy, apparently, and he will not be dissuaded of this. The only successful occasions have occurred during some distress and desperation on his part, which is not nice. Worse still, he’s now holding his bowel movements rather than go on the potty and we’re worried he’ll get constipation which would make things a whole lot worse.

So, back to nappies to resolve the poo distress and forget about the progress on the peeing? Or forge ahead?

vee xxx

Pregnancy and stuff

So,  in completely astounding news, I find myself 37 weeks and 1 day pregnant.  Some days I find it hard to believe I’m even pregnant AT ALL, never mind due to pop within a month.  That’s the thing, folks; I look at my belly from above and it looks like I’ve maybe had a few too many pies, then I catch sight of myself in the mirror and think HOLY SHIT, WHAT HAPPENED?! [Photographic evidence of this can be found here, for those who like belly shots and stuff.]

And now I have to try and squeeze an entire person through my vagina (or my ‘gina, as BB calls it, which sounds a lot better).

All things considered, though, I’m in a good place at the moment – thanks for asking, K – which is basically a huge relief because I was really heading for The Crazy Place until a couple of weeks ago.  To cut a long story short,  I was experiencing a lot of anxiety and could not cope with any kind of stress, which kind of led to what I think was prenatal depression. My lovely doctor gave me a prescription for Prozac but when I read the side effects for the baby – not likely, but still possible – I just flipped and could not take any.  Look, I’m the kind of person who worries endlessly if I have a25ml beer, so taking antidepressants would actually have made my anxiety worse. Ho, hum.

The weird part?  Since then, I’ve felt SO MUCH BETTER. I saw the doctor again today and she says she doesn’t care why I feel better (it could have been the yoga, the 3-day babymoon we had, the visiting my family, the fab support I’ve had from the amazing vee and some friends) – it’s just good that I do.

I’m hanging on to the Prozac though, just in case, and am trying to line up a counsellor so that I have someone  to contact if I get PND.

Aside from that, I have complete nesting fever, am waking up a zillion times in the night to wee, and, despite trying EVERYTHING possible to avoid them for the past 9 months, was devastated to discover that I now have piles. Just. My. Luck. Right?

Buddy is moving like a little maniac most days, though, and almost making me wish that I could stay pregnant for just a few more months, hey.

I’m joking, vee, really!

xxxx jay

Bed without bars

We’ve finally bitten the bullet and taken the sides off BB’s cot-bed, rendering it all bed and zero cot. It’s been about a week now, and though it did take him a couple of days to work out he could get out by himself, he soon got the hang of the pop-up. We put a gate on the door (no idea whether that’s actually a good idea or not, it just seemed to be a good idea at the time), and he frequently hangs over it, loudly demanding “milk” or “cuggles” before throwing all the books off his shelves and scaling the changing table.

Tonight though, I’m very proud to report that, after a serious little chat about the whole thing, he stayed put and is sleeping soundly as I speak.

Of course, that may simply be down to him being super tired from arseing around so much at nap time, but I’ll take what I’m given!

vee xxx


Grandad we love you…

Grandad we do. Even though you’re “a bit scary” apparently. Toddlers aren’t known for their tact, are they? Luckily, Grandad is not easily offended.

We took a trip North to visit jay’s side of the family this weekend just gone – last chance before baby. It was a good weekend but we were all glad to be back in our own beds when we got home.

Talking of beds, not only is BB in a proper bed finally (whole other post), but the baby now has somewhere to sleep too, after we scored a babybay cosleeper on eBay. Now, I just need to find the time to assemble it!

vee xxx

Can I have a quick word?

I dread hearing those words when I go to pick BB up from nursery. Not that we hear them that often, but still. I got them tonight. He’s been pushing, and not for the first time. Why does The Talk always feel like a criticism, even when it’s not meant that way? Why do I get the impression staff are expecting me to provide a magic solution that I should know about, except I don’t? And why am I always left feeling like I’m the only parent who ever gets The Talk?

Staff said it started this time when they moved one of his buddies into the next group up for a couple of hours. After a couple of time-outs for pushing other kids, he started taking himself to the time-out cushion and apologising unprompted, but still going back and pushing again. He does it calmly and seemingly unprovoked, just for the hell of doing it. He escalated to pushing and smacking a staff member today. He can name what he’s done, (“I pushing”, “I smack” – and I found that odd, as I don’t think smacking is something that’s never been mentioned at home, or at nursery, let alone done to him.)

I really didn’t know what to say. He doesn’t really behave that way at home, and if he does, persistently, he’ll get a brief time-out after a warning, same as there. I suggested we all try talking to him more about the whys, rather that just telling him no, so we’re all going to try that, but honestly, I feel completely clueless and rather lame as a mummy. When he was a tiny baby, I read all the books and felt that I knew a lot about tiny babies and their behaviour. I felt I could manage. Now I just feel a bit out of my depth, like I’m blundering along, making it up, cos I haven’t managed to find the time to clue myself up.

Do you have any ideas on how we could tackle this, or any essential reads for managing toddlers? I just feel like I should be doing better.

vee xxx

update from the roasting one. *now with extra photo goodness!

OK, so vee didn’t manage to finish the July blogging challenge thingy, but she tried, and it’s the taking part that counts, right?  Either way, we’re due an update. It’s going to be a bullety one…

  • As the title of this post might suggest, we’re very hot weather-wise at the moment. This is NOTHING compared to many other parts of the world, but we’re in the UK, and traditionally, British people love to complain about the weather. We’re rubbish at any kind of weather; heat, cold, rain or wind. So, yeah.
  • The above point does NOT sit well with my general pregnant feeling of being a giant hot water bottle. Most of the time, I just wander around in a vest and underpants… luckily, I work from home(!)
  • Have I enjoyed pregnancy so far? Um, no. The only part I’ve liked has been feeling Buddy move (as s/he does, frequently) and being reminded that we’ll soon have a baby to smooooosh and smother with kisses. Thank god. It simply doesn’t suit me – I’m sick of being hot, heartburny, tired and emotional. The emotional part has been, without doubt, the worst part of this pregnancy — not a lot of point going into it, but I think we’re all just hoping I don’t have some kind of depression and that when Buddy pops out, I’ll suddenly morph back into jay again. Please.
  • My wife rocks. Poor vee. Group hug? I think she deserves one, for putting up with cranky, crazy me.
  • PLUS: She’s currently covering for me at work because I’ve had a bit of a hard time with some work lately and I’m not coping with pressure well. I know, I am very lucky.
  • I also know that I’m very lucky to be pregnant at all, and just wish it worked better for my body, but that’s life eh?
  • On a much happier note, I’m pleased to report that BB is amazing. Today, he told us he didn’t think he liked his ‘bigboy’s underpants’ much, after wearing them for the first time. I think we have some way to go with the potty training…!
  • And finally, if you got this far, here is some bonus (and long overdue) photographic evidence of BB’s amazingness:

A typical shouting BB at a visit to a science park (with lots of HOT! RED! FIRE! and gushing water, which of course led to at least one outfit change).

… and more outfit changing insanity, this time drenching our back garden early one morning, as you do.

So yeah, that’s it from us for today. Our ticker says we have 69 days until our EDD. Unbelievable!

xxxx jay

Apple for the teacher

Day 8 – If you had to teach something, what would you teach? (If you DO teach, when did you discover your love for teaching/the subject?) Do you think blogs can play a role in education?

I’d make a rubbish teacher I think. I’m too impatient and too critical. I’m working on it.

If I HAD to teach something, it’d have to something I enjoy and that I thought would be useful to others. Examining my skill set, I’m rather short of options.

Maybe I’d be good at teaching adults how to get really good at reading aloud to children. I LOVE reading aloud to BB; well, to any kid really. I love seeing their rapt expressions and their excitement at the story or the pictures and I don’t have to do the hard work of writing and illustrating myself, just be good at bringing it alive. I’ve read avidly since a young age and have a very active and multi-accented internal voice – perfect for turning to reading aloud. Repeated requests for the same book don’t daunt me; I find a way to make it new every time (though admittedly that’s partly to entertain myself). And, yes, I think it’s be a useful skill to pass on, because it’s so tied up with engendering a live of books, and that’s a wonderful, wonderful thing.

Can blogs play a role? Sure, why not. They can certainly inspire educators and give a window into lived experiences or events one might find almost impossible to tap into via conventional means. The fake blogger scandals of late though are a timely reminder for caution in the search for authenticity.

vee xxx

Grub’s up!

Day 7 – What’s your favorite thing to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Do you read food blogs or would you ever consider writing one?

I love a good fry up – fried egg, fried bread, sausage, bacon, beans, tomatoes, mushroom, all washed down with a big mug of tea. If I don’t have to cook it or wash up afterwards, it tastes all the better. I once went on a cycling holiday in Northern Ireland and ate an enormous fry up every morning. I’d lost over a stone in weight by the time I got home – that was a lot of cycling, but totally worth it for the breakfasts alone!

For lunch, good fresh French baguette, an assortment of soft cheeses, kettle crisps and a cold, cold glass of Oyster Bay.

All time top favourite dinner is a tie between a slap up Indian meal and a good old Sunday roast.

Man, I’m hungry now! Whose bright idea was this.

I’m not a fan of food blogs in the least, and wouldn’t write one. I might be more interested if someone developed a way of smelling and tasting the goods. I’m not a great one for following recipes, so maybe that’s why they don’t do it for me. I feel similarly about TV chefery.

Off to raid the fridge.

vee xxx

Fresh, fresh, exciting…

Day 6 – When was the last time you tried something new? What was it and what was the result? Have you ever done something just so that you could blog about it?

Ooh, this is a hard one. Mostly because I have a rubbish memory. Um, I’ll always try anything new food wise, so maybe an edible?

Oh, and I’m sleeping on the ‘wrong’ side of the bed at the moment, so jay can sleep more comfortably on her left side. I guess that’s new.

And I’m newish to twitter. I like trying new geek things ( G00gle+ anyone?).

And I’ve probably done lots of things just so I can blog about them – staged photos for Photo Friday spring to mind – but I don’t think I’ve ever done anything weird or attention seeking just so I can blog about it. Apart from being a lesbian and having ivf I mean ;-))

vee xxx

Day 5 – Birthday girl

What do you prefer to do for your birthday?

Have I caught up yet?

So, my birthday….

My birthday is right near Guy Fawkes night and as a kid, I always thought the fireworks displays I could see from my bedroom window were somehow for me. Overinflated sense of self-importance or what?

As an adult, I’m still thrilled by fireworks, but I’m not sure they’d form part of my ideal birthday celebrations anymore. I do love having a winter birthday though, so a cold night please, with an open fire, Indian food and good friends around me. Oh, and some decent red wine. No loud music, no dancing, no silly games or party hats.

Now I’m a parent, I do wonder how my birthdays will change as my child (soon to be children) grow. BB is getting to an age now where birthdays are exciting events and I look forward to sharing my birthday with him this year and enjoying his excitement. It’s a big old birthday for me this year, and we’ve got some big celebrations planned. Well, as big as is sensible for mummies with a 5 week old baby!

vee xxx