Battle scars of parenthood

Battle scars of parenthood

I know most mums will say their body changed during pregnancy and some warn that it never really goes back to normal afterwards either, well I’ve been keeping notes and can report the following are the four biggest mummy battle scars after producing two children. (This is the stuff they don’t advertise about motherhood!)

1. Your tummy will continue to look like it’s been lived in, which technically I guess, it has. Mine currently resembles my old stomach encased in an oversized baggy holdall. Am thinking it could be used as a weekend bag, although that would only really be useful if I were ever to go away for the weekend, which after two kids is unlikely. I like to kid myself that this will eventually go away (normally whilst eating some form of chocolate or cake..)

2. Your hair falls out. Big time. I think this actually gets worse with each pregnancy as it’s seriously coming out in handfuls at the moment. Gross. And very annoying when cleaning the shower. I keep finding little clumps firmly grasped in my baby’s fists which can’t be a good thing and I think the Hoover might be about to go on strike. If only I could sell it to wig makers, I’d make a fortune out of being bald! In the meantime I’m planning a big chop.

3. Your knees get their very own calluses. Lush I know, I am truly the envy of gardeners everywhere. These delightful things have been gained from 3+ years of kneeling on floors constructing train tracks, changing nappies, crawling with a child on my back, putting together jigsaws, zooming cars around and playing games. I seriously don’t know why we bother even having sofas in this house!

4. The dark rings around the eyes that develop through lack of sleep. I thought I had these before I had kids from late nights out and the occasional hangover, but now they’re an even darker grey from not sleeping more than a couple of hours at a time. I do console myself that smoky eyes are “in” right now, it’s just a shame mine are on the wrong eye lid!

Attractive, no?

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Me, before the hair started falling out!

Are there any others I’ve missed, or should be looking forward to?

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My Rainbow

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I’ve been wanting to post about this for so long but couldn’t find the right words.

I’ve also been afraid of what others may think about me making this public, but in my heart of hearts I know that this is the right thing to do.

I’m talking about miscarriage. That horrid thing that I honestly naively thought would never happen to me. Hadn’t I already managed to produce one amazing little boy? Surely my risks were so low as to be discounted?

Then in 2012, I had two miscarriages. In the space of four months.

While this was happening to me, I scoured blogs and websites searching for someone who this had happened to, and who had gone on to conceive and have a healthy birth.

Luckily others had been brave enough to post, and write quite detailed accounts of their experiences. This provided such support to me in my time of need so in a moment of solidarity I thought I should do the same.

Miscarriage is singularly (actually in my case, twice!) the most terrifying experience I have ever gone through.

I felt completely lost although at the same time horribly aware of where I was and what was happening; alone despite all the support from my husband and family; in simple terms just utterly, utterly broken. I was at the very murky bottom of a deep deep well unable to climb up the sides into the open air.

I know miscarriage is rarely anyone’s “fault”, but seriously, when it’s happening to you, all you can do is blame yourself. I remember apologising so many times to my husband, which didn’t help either of us really.

The support I received was second to none, however, and really helped me climb out of that well. My husband excelled himself in just knowing when to be silent and when to hug. My family were amazing and so many friends and colleagues were able to tell me that they too had had miscarriages and all had turned out ok. I know that some find it incredibly hard to empathise, some don’t see a miscarriage as a loss, and as there are really no visible physical injuries I think some find it hard to know what to do or indeed how much it hurts.

Our first miscarriage happened while we were on holiday, so we had to find a local hospital urgently. All the staff we met there were amazing. They saw us promptly, held my hand, checked my husband was ok, and told us how common this is, and how it wasn’t our fault.

The second time, three months later, we were at home, and the local hospital staff here weren’t as supportive – it’s a bigger hospital and they just seemed to be more dismissive. Or maybe it was just the person who met us, she barely looked like she was school leaver age and just could not empathise with my devastation. I’ve therefore seen two sides to how victims of miscarriage are treated, and can see why some people can take a lifetime to recover.

By far my biggest comfort was Elliot, who at only 20 months was happily unaware of the huge events taking place around him but seemed to know that mummy needed extra cuddles. I had always wanted a specific age gap between my children, and suddenly it was getting bigger and bigger. This for me was really hard to come to terms with – of course now I think the age gap is perfect, but at the time it seemed like an additional blow each time. Everything was taken completely out of our control. I learnt that these things can’t really ever be planned; they are miracles.

I know I’m one of the lucky ones as we now have Alexander, our ‘Rainbow Baby’, who in time will grow to know just how very special he is to me, just like his brother. He has healed a big hole in my heart, and made us complete. However, I never want to forget the ones we lost, and therefore as soon as I can I’ll be getting into training mode for the 2015 Blenheim Triathlon* and raising money for the Miscarriage Association.

*I’ve decided after years of competing as part of a team, I now want to go it alone and do all three elements myself. This is no mean feat as I’ve not done anything like this before and obviously haven’t been running or anything for quite some time. I’ll be updating the blog as I get this organised! I’ve learnt not to attempt it while I’m still feeding A, so that’s why I’m not doing the 2014 one. Watch this space 🙂

National Hug a Pregnant Woman Day

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Everyone loves a hug, and this week I’ve had so many people comment on the size of my 24 week pregnant bump its really beginning to annoy me so I’d like to put some myths about bump size to rest and invite everyone to simply hug a pregnant person, rather than comment on their bump size (and yes I am hoping that I’ll be included in all the hugs..)

So, without further ado..my top 3 tips for things not to say to a pregnant person:

  1. A pregnant woman had little/no control over the size of her bump, therefore saying things like “ooh, you did this [i.e. get huge] last time, didn’t you?” is really not helpful unless you mean successfully growing a new human, in which case yes I did. I don’t need to be reminded of how big I got last time, believe me it’s all I’m thinking about.
  2. The size of a bump does not dictate how big the baby is, or necessarily how many babies there are happily growing inside. So everyone with a comment of “are you sure there’s only one in there?” please stop right now. It’s not helpful or kind.
  3. The size of a bump equally does not dictate how much longer is left before said pregnant person departs on maternity leave, or indeed gives birth. Making assumptions based on this fact alone is a very dangerous hobby and one I would advise most people, unless medically trained or wearing body armour, to avoid. Or at least just keep it to yourself. If one more person looks at me with shock when I tell them I’m hanging around at work until he end of November I think I may weep.

Yes my bump is big. I know that. I do not need anyone to tell me that as if it is something I hadn’t noticed.

The fact is I am 5 ft 2 (and a bit) inches tall and due to how my body is built, have very little space between my ribs and my hips. This is also my second child. I therefore am going to be big, and am quite likely to get a whole lot bigger before this is over *shudder*

 

A week full of good things

The past week has been particularly good!

Of course we had the excitement of a new Royal baby last Monday – congratulations Kate and Will, baby Prince George is a cutie!

I also had a jaw dropping, skipping-about-the-kitchen moment when I actually got tweeted by Raymond Blanc himself (am a bit awestruck!) – he was replying to a tweet I sent him about his AMAZING chicken, morels and leeks recipe (please give it a go, it’s so easy and so yummy!)

In other news, I’m now 20 weeks pregnant, so officially half way to meeting our newest little one. We’re so excited. Found his/her heartbeat on our Doppler on Friday night, such a strange but beautiful sound. 

Am feeling bigger than I thought I’d be at this stage. I can’t really remember what I was like at this stage with Elliot but I do feel like a whale already.

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It was good timing therefore that I won a giveaway on the lovely Honest Mummy‘s blog for £100 of maternity clothes from Seraphine. For someone who never wins anything, I am so very excited!! Luckily the order arrived in double-quick time and is sitting at the end of my desk at work waiting for me to get home and try them all on. I ordered the following things, here’s hoping they all fit!

Crochet Trim Maternity Dress - Black - Google Chrome_2013-07-29_11-27-33

I looked at this crochet trim tunic dress when I was pregnant with Elliot and coveted it from afar. Am really excited to see how it looks on. Blue Linen Waterfall Maxi Cardigan - Google Chrome_2013-07-29_11-28-26

This waterfall blue cardigan is going to be such an investment piece I can already tell. From covering up expanding waistlines, to breastfeeding and beyond, I think it’s going to become one of those cardigans I can’t live without!

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Lastly, I thought I’d splash out on a top that will make me feel less like a whale and more special. I think it’s good to have a few things in your maternity wardrobe that don’t feel like maternity clothes. We’re going to a wedding soon so I’m hoping this silk printed tunic, teamed with some sparkly heels will make me feel a little less frumpy.

Oh, and did I mention that it’s my birthday next weekend? So far the second trimester is going well!

Secret post #1 9.4.13

This is the first of a series of secret posts I have written over the last few months. We are actually now 18 weeks pregnant, but I’d like to take you back to when we had just found out :-

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This post is so secret I haven’t even typed it. It exists in a notebook, written in pencil.

You see I have something to keep secret for a little while longer, but I don’t want to forget how I feel right now.

On Sunday, 7th April 2013, we found out we are pregnant! I think that makes me 5 weeks along so far – too soon to tell anyone but not too soon to celebrate quietly on our own with a touch of anxiety thrown in…

Sadly, in the last 9 months we had the misfortune to go through two miscarriages. I haven’t blogged about this as although I wanted to, there is so much of a taboo about the subject still, and I guess an element of admitting to others that you’re trying, and failing, to get pregnant was a bit off-putting.

However, here we are and our fingers are firmly crossed that this little miracle decides to stick around.

Hang on in there little bean. Together I am sure we can make it!

Lots of love,
Mummy x