22 February 2007

Continued from earlier

Have had a real bad mommy afternoon. At about 3pm Martin left for his interview and Jenna and I made couscous, as we were getting hungry. She poured some on the floor and I handled it excellently by my standards. We got out the dustpan and cleared up, and she helped me and was being really lovely. Then we ate, and after Jenna had had what she wanted she started putting her hands in it, and as I walked (rather too leisurely I guess) across the room, she *smeared* it into the carpet!!

Well I said something about food being for eating and NOT making a mess on my floors, and plonked her in the comfy corner, which was a really bad move. When I use it as a punishment in some small way I violate it as her sanctuary, and then she doesn’t feel she can go there to be “safe” and hide out when she’s tired. Thankfully she was tired anyway and really rather felt like burying her face in the pillows to calm down, so she didn’t seem to register that I was being super-awful with her (at least I hadn’t shouted much for once).

Two minutes later I went to make myself a cup of tea, and came back to find her experimentally pouring her juice onto the floor! Little so-and-so, I was so furious with her. After such a calm lovely day, and handling so much silliness calmly, I just lost it and shouted at her to “GET BACK IN YOUR COMFORT CORNER NOW!!”.

Morgan had been crying most of the while that I’d been eating and tidying messes, despite through it all being in the sling with me trying unsuccessfully to latch her on. She cried and cried, while Jenna (exhausted from being a pickle) slept in the corner oblivious to everything. She’s still an unhappy baby, and she has fed and cried for a while with no reason I can work out. So… another day where I’m totally contented with everything turns into another day where bottles and cots and babies crying in other rooms seems all too easy. :(

Much better (apart from no money lol)

Literally while I was writing my diary I got the good news. They got home safe and sound yesterday afternoon, and all is well. Naomi seems like her confidence is pretty low but she's doing so great. I just find it so incredible that either healthcare professionals can get it so wrong without there being any comeback, or that anyone could come through all that still so strong!
Today I have seen my first pictures of Tristan, and he is SO beautiful. I can't wait to meet him in real life - reminder to self DO NOT crowd the new mother. ;)

Anyhows, in my life... No news really, apart from the usual screw-ups LOL. JSA stopped Martin's payments again because of a mistake THEY made months ago. So we're broke til the 5th of March. Annndd, well Morgan is really unsettled when she's with her Dad - she's most definatley having a growth spurt. Annnddd, Jenna is over her cold entirely now and she's really bouncy (and eating to make up for four days of eating less than a mouthful of food a day).

Today she helped me with my coursework. Nice. You know when you ask those really dumb questions of a two year old?

Me: "Oh no! Jenna what did you do!"Jenna: "I did a hippoptomus. "

I was actually laughing too much at her honesty, and that she could manage the word "hippopotomus", to be annoyed with her. Ah well, MUST remember to keep the folder out of her reach. I can't even think of it as a discipline issue really, since I didn't tell her not to draw in the folder, and it does look very much like her folder (not to mention the biology colouring sheets inside that must have looked just so tempting to her!). I don't know reallt wether to get new sheets or not even. I wouldn't have thought one measly hippopotumus should lose me too many marks. ;)

And on that note, I have to go and help her. She's dressing up - as me I suspect - in my Diana wrap and my yellow coat!

21 February 2007

Awful news from a friend, worried

Later yesterday there was terrible, terrible news, the hospital have been causing problems and I am so broken up for my dear sweet friend. If someone as prepared, and as wise, as her can have things go so wrong… It makes me so afraid for all of the unprepared, frightened first time parents. Oh I hate it so much that those meant to take care of us can treat us so badly and can have their efforts so misplaced.

They took her baby, they gave him formula, they made her doubt herself and they threatened to call social services if she discharged herself. I spent hours on the phone to La Leche League, who say that sadly the hospital is immune from prosecution or any kind of comeback even though they are one of the worst hospitals in the country. Both for breastfeeding rates and for infant mortality! Even my Mum said what a bad reputation they have.

Everything in me wants to be by her side and fight for her. But she is without an advocate, and I know that just like me she gets bullied because she stays quiet when someone in authority criticises her. I am so bad for keeping quiet when I should raise hell, and I’m barely learning now after two years that my children suffer when I give in. Oh God what an awful way to learn that, stuck in that awful place and not even allowed her partner by her side.

Yesterday after waiting for news so long and spending such a lot of time trying to find her some help (how I wish I was closer!), I started thinking about something that has come to me fairly often in recent months. I think someday, I would like to be a doula.

Thinking that, and reading up – I was once more realising how unlikely it is to happen given the expense of training…

And then today, on one of the boards, someone said to me that they think I should be a doula and that they wish I had been at their birth! Talk about a confirmation.

It is so hard thinking about it though; I am full of doubt as to whether I am too immature, too inexperienced. And then I think about how I could leave my babies. Then I think about transport and the fear of learning to drive I’ve carried for so long. Then I think about how we’re so unlikely to afford another car, let alone driving lessons for me and the training fees and… The dream gets crushed before I’ve even started colouring in the details.

Still hanging on the end of the phone (and checking the net every minute or two) in the hopes that Naomi is even now on her way home to get some decent support for breastfeeding.

20 February 2007

Some lovely news

This morning Naomi had her longed for baby son. Baby Tristan David made his (eventual) entry into this world at 5.52am after an incredible 48 (and a half) hours of labouring!!

He weighed 6lb 15oz and was born in hospital in the end, apparently when she discharges herself ;) later today we'll get the full story but I gather she wasn't given an option about the delivery LOL. Still, I can't BELIEVE how strong she was through the entire thing.

I spend a happy lunchtime making pancakes with Morgan tucked under one arm, daydreaming of her and her new baby and remembering my first meeting with both of my children. I know every year I won’t be able to fail remembering them, as I did today, making pancakes for Shrove Tuesday. My heart was so full!

Today has been a beautiful day, and Jenna is so much better. I can’t wait to have Naomi back and hear her birth story…

19 February 2007

Not much better today

Poor honey is still limping away, but I don't really know whether to be worried or not. I don't fancy the idea of trying to see someone at our GPs as we haven't moved surgeries yet and I'm worried about backlash from our crap family GP. :S

On the other hand Jenna *is* getting over her bug and is way more perky this morning. She managed a tiny bit of toast, a babybel, and a bite of cold pizza for breakfast - what can I say, I was so glad she felt like eating! She feels pretty hot to the touch still but a cold cloth and no clothes has been helping with that. And she slept well. :)

Morgan seems to be having a growth spurt.

And Naomi has been in labour more than 30 hours now!

I'd love to write more, but both girls are crying (Morgan wants more milk, and Jenna wants to play on the computer).

17 February 2007

What's up with Jenna's leg

Well... The hospital were really worried about Jenna's ankle - the nurse practitioner who examined her said that very young children are very honest about pain; they can tell you very calmly that they are in agony and can't stand up, but they won't make a fuss in between times to try to get sympathy because it doesn't occur to them! So much for "she'd cry if it hurt" lol.

Anyhows, it wasn't something they could do anything about. Apparently it's ligament damage at the knee, and they won't be able to tell how bad it could be long term until it settles down a bit. We have to go back and see them again if she's limping still on monday in case anything else is presenting by then, but they confirmed that she absolutely needed to be examined properly; they were undecided about whether to x-ray her after she was first seen as she couldn't stand up for a while on friday.

She was walking again yesterday, amusingly limping (we went for a walk and she was carried a lot of the way, but on uneven ground she was a total scream, she couldn't keep her footing at all bless her!). Today she's worse again. :S I'd feel worse for her if it wasn't for the fact that she's now seriously sick as well and I'm more worried about that.

We're just praying she didn't pick up something serious at the hospital. Last night she started throwing up and now she's just sleeping fitfully, her little head burning up. If it isn't one thing it's another eh?

And in other news, Naomi's baby is on his way! Her waters broke this morning. :)

16 February 2007

An apalling appointment with the GP

I just can't believe the time I've just had at Morgan's 8-10 week examination! AARRRGGHHHHH!!

OK well I *should* understand why it was this bad - the only doctor they could book us with was the same one who 18 months ago told me it was "socially and morally disgusting to breastfeed a child past their first birthday". I don't think I have strong enough words for what I think of her after that (and the fact that in the same appointment as that she told me it was a good job I'd miscarried as two under two would be awful ).

That's just for the record, what kind of doctor this woman is. Well today, first she rowed with me about contraception. We told her we were happy using condoms. Apparently condoms aren't reliable at all *rolls eyes*. "Relying just on the condom will mean you get pregnant again very quickly, it's my duty to tell you that.... As long as you're happy to have another baby right away!" Martin pulled her up on that - he said, "Of course, we'd be delighted to have another baby. Why wouldn't we?!" *grins*

Then we fought about weighing. She said that I absolutely have to have my baby weighed every week to two weeks, and that it is neglect not to bother. She would NOT conceed even that the formula-fed charts are more reliable for formula fed babies than breastfed ones. In fact she got really nasty about it.

She kept saying, "AS a medical PROFESSIONAL...." When I told her that other medical professionals have explicitly told me that constant weighing is more for reassurrance and that there are other factors that better indicate thriving, she said, "Well obviously they must have more knowledge than me, I trained and worked in peadiatrics for eight years before I moved to general practice." I'm seriously going to complain about her this time. It's not good enough. :(

My last peice of news for the day is that Jenna has come back from the In Laws (two nights! I'm so proud, but I missed her SO MUCH!) and she now can't walk. At all. She won't put any weight on her left foot at all, although she says it doesn't hurt. We're taking her to A&E in one moment - because the doctor said there's nothing wrong with her, "she'd be crying if it hurt"! Just because she doesn't complain doesn't mean she isn't hurt, she never complains about anything. :(

And on that note... I'm VERY stressed out now!

14 February 2007

Still a bit unbalanced

I have no idea what's up with Morgan. I'm really worried that she might be seriously ill. She has never cried like this! It's got worse and worse over the last two days until last night she was just crying hysterically and constantly and wouldn't even feed. She's feeding again now but after sleeping really well as usual she's crying again this morning. :(

I know she has a tooth (!) but this doesn't seem like teething. Or much like colic. She is just crying and crying and when I move her she goes ballistic - I've never heard cries like them. Thank goodness she's going to be checked over on Friday anyway, I know that it's likely nothing if she's feeding and sleeping well but everything in me wants to rush her to the hospital. Maybe I should obey those instincts, like I'm always telling everyone else to.

It's Valentine's day! I shouldn't be dealing with this! ;)

Last night I decided that EC was on hold until our guests go home, I'm just missing too many while I'm stressed and struggling and don't really want to be tuned in so much. Tuning in to Morgan doesn't usually mean any sacrifice in parenting Jenna but the last few days I *have* been bad and I want to tune in to my big girl instead and sort out the shouting. No wonder Jen isn't listening to me if I can't be polite about it.

But then last night after I put Morgie in a nappy I knew she had to go a few times - and caught two poos and three wees in the evening when she was yelling. So far from giving up, last night was one of her few totally nappyless night times, and I caught through the night as well. Before when we've tried through the night her pad has got wet, but not this time. I'm kinda proud of that.

Well she's in nappies for better or worse now, but I'll carry on taking her to the potty if I get the urge. It will eliminate misses for a while anyway, and maybe her signals will get clearer if she doesn't want to be in a nappy?

Jenna still has this blinking dummy, but at least today I'm taking the path of least resistance. I need to make friends with her before I start being inconsistant and making sanctions for the sake of sanctions. Why am I so sure she doesn't need the dummy right now? We can decide another day, when I'm not so prone to fly into a rage, cry like a soap actress, and walk out (leaving her with the sainted piece of yellow and red plastic still in her grasp).

Wish me luck for the rest of the week, one way or another I'm going to get through this with my babies (and maybe even my sanity) intact. :)

13 February 2007

Not feeling right with myself recently

So far this week has been so majorly stressful I haven’t even wanted to get online. It’s exhausting looking after two extra people no matter how much we love them and want them here. Actually it would be easy to blame them for the extra stress but to be perfectly honest I think it’s just me in Mother Mode wanting to boss them about and make everything perfect for them when really I should just let go and it would be fine.

Whatever is up with me though I’m being awful with Jenna. I just can’t stop shouting at her. Martin is the same right now too so between us the stress levels are ridiculous. I’m getting what would be dramatic to call suicidal thoughts – but for me they feel that bad lol – I feel like just going to the nearest shop, buying up their stock of bottles and formula, and dumping both kids on the nearest passer by.

I haven’t ever really truly felt like I don’t want them, so these feelings are awfully hard to deal with. I mean, when I think about it, Morgan sleeps and feeds so well why would I WANT to give formula? But it’s just these voices in my head… Maybe when she cries and won’t feed, maybe formula would fix it and make her sleep and… Yeah you can’t escape those ideas even when you know it’s rubbish.

Besides, I think Morgan is only colicky because of the stress around here! The last two evenings have been awful. :(

In other news, the Jenna Dummy Dilemma has been… erm… solved. :S My drastic solution, which I was never more than vaguely happy with, has somewhat backfired. She no longer steals other children’s dummies! But the one that I brought her this morning to try to get her over the idea that they’re fascinating, has barely come out of her mouth all day. *sigh*

Let that be a lesson to you, what they want they sometimes really really want and can’t be parented out of by sneaky mummy. Such attempts may well be counter-productive. If you don’t want something to happen, don’t let it happen. Trust me on this. ;)

11 February 2007

A very wise statement on AP

Last night we went to a party at a Church round the corner from us - we were just this huge convoy of toddlers and babies with (it felt like) way too few parents between them. Chloe, Jenna, Priyah, Aiden, Morgan LOL we were certainly the noisiest people there! It was a really lovely night.

I had two people ask if Morgan sleeps well "when you put her down at night" and total shock and horror from them when I said I don't put her down at night, she sleeps in my arms. In both instances I'd just told the person asking that Morgan is so quiet and sweet and undemanding, and that she's no trouble. And then they found out we're co-sleeping! Their faces were a picture, after all, only BAD babies "have to" co-sleep.

And there again is why people didn't seem at all threatened by us attachment parenting with Jenna. We "had to" because she was a "difficult baby" so it made people feel kind of relieved that they didn't have to go to the awful lengths of taking their babies into bed with them. So now, no-one can understand why we'd choose to share our bed with a baby who would probably not mind about being in her basket (where she belongs LOL).

Another lady approached us later though, and asked about the wrap. She said she used to be a midwife and all the slings she used to recommend were far inferior to the lovely one I was wearing. And "it's so nice to see a baby being held PRO-ACTIVELY, rather than because it's the only way to shut them up."

That clicked. There it is, in a nutshell, how AP with Morgan is different that with Jenna. With Jenna we weren't pro-active. What we did we did with bad motives, just to shut her up no matter what it took. And how I regret thinking like that - we could have so enjoyed carrying her if we'd let ourselves. Now we're AP because we want to be. Because we think it's actually preferable, not because there isn't another way.

With all the other way we've tried, we can only thank God that Jenna turned out so well-balanced! Or maybe we can thank the slings we had from ten months... What's the old adage? Never take too much credit; never take too much blame. ;)

10 February 2007

So far having people here...

Well so far it hasn’t been too bad, though I really have gone into major mummy-mode on Evie. I keep having to tell her to take her coat off and put it upstairs – I don’t want Morgan and Jenna breathing in the smoke off it!

Don’t mind me – I kind of like being the martyr. ;) No, I promise I’m not making my guests miserable or moaning about them constantly. Last night for instance was great fun. Bath time with two toddlers. *big huge grin*

9 February 2007

Expecting guests and some inconveniences

Evie arrived today with Priya. They were coming next weekend. Then she asked if it would be OK to come a couple of days early. Then she said she was arriving on Wednesday. “But that’s Valentine’s day!” “Don’t worry, I won’t get in the way.” Then she called yesterday and said she needs to get out of the house so she’s coming today.

Martin is too chicken to say no. Actually, I can blame him, but I’m too chicken to say no too. She needs support, and she needs a family who have time for her, and for now we’re it. So even if I know I’m going to get frustrated, I love her and I don’t want her to be fed up many miles away when I could take care of her. Plus she is an appreciative audience for my cooking, and I secretly like having a houseful of kids - I’m counting Martin and Evie in with the kids for this week. ;)

Before Priya arrives and craft is limited to things-that-are-easier-to-clean-off-two-toddlers-and-all-four-walls, Jenna and I are doing some painting. I’ve been brutal in planning just what we can and can’t do this week, and where we’ll all be when, so that we’re not all in the house with nothing to do driving each other nuts. I mean, just being in the house for a whole week with my OWN kids drives me nuts, we all get antsy after a day or so. Unfortunately it isn’t as easy as it could be to paint, because I still can’t get Morgan to like being slung on my back. So painting today will last the duration of Morgan’s patience.

If we’re ever going to do more of this stuff, I’m going to have to practice newborn back wraps…

8 February 2007

Difficult thoughts about being commited to AP

Last week I had an interview to start my volunteer befriending course. Not befriending volunteers… Volunteering to befriend vulnerable families. I was pretty sure I could do it before, but the interview kind of knocked my confidence. The woman clearly thought I was too young and inexperienced, and that I was only interested in helping families like my own. :(

After trying to keep out of rows on the board, I’m actually worried she might be right. I have friends with all sorts of families – and of all ages too – but I do find it hard not to want to help, not to arrogantly think I AM helping… Maybe I should drop the whole thing.

Anyhows, that was Tuesday, and for better or worse I’m going to do the course. No good worrying about it yet.

The last few days I’ve been really tearful still, but at least Martin and I are sorting ourselves out. And we’ve been out a lot so less shouting at Jenna too. We’ve had lots of positivity about the slings though – a few AP families we’ve met around and about. Someone we’ve seen a few times before even commented today that she’s seen three different slings with our family now and she thought *she* was addicted. I didn’t confess to the seven she hasn’t seen. *blushes*

5 February 2007

Addition to yesterday's entry

Yesterday I got caught up with writing about Morgan again (lol) and utterly forgot what we had actually done all day, which was all about Jenna (although, yes, Morgan had another day with not one single miss *OBSESSED*). We went to Aoife’s third birthday party, and Jenna had a whale of a time. She adores Aoife so much, and she told me all the way home (in true toddler style) that Aoife is her BEST FRIEND. hehehe

Mind, she also told me today that Morgan is her best friend. Aww. :) She calls her “Morgsie” which she made up all on her own. It’s very sweet, though she’s still struggling with gentle hands. I’ve started having so impose only one-finger-touches when I’m nursing, because otherwise Morgan won’t feed – too worried about getting hurt!

4 February 2007

Relationship is everything

Last night Martin told me that EJ had asked about the nappyless baby (yup, I braved taking Morgan to the toilet while we were at the restaurant). She said that she considered doing it with Aiden, but couldn’t work out when he was signalling. Martin told her that you only really stand a chance if the baby is in your arms ALL the time – I think that might have put her off.

But one thing that struck me, she called it “Potty training from birth”. Is that what they think I’m doing? Like an add-on technique that means I don’t have to potty train? I’m not laughing, honest.

I won’t repeat the same old lecture about it being about relationship. But THAT is the point, and THAT is why I feel bad when I haven’t bothered taking her to the potty all day – because that means I’ve been going for convenience and not responding to what she’s telling me. I’ve tuned out and not cared. And I want to care.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a martyr to it; it’s way way easier than I thought, which is why I’m still playing at it! It isn’t taking time away from other things, it’s just another great way to respond to her. And to learn her language. She has started saying, “AH” before she signals for milk – I can’t believe that she’s already making attempts at “real” talking. I so underestimated babies before now.

3 February 2007

Not so great really, but children fine

The last few days have been pretty hard work and very emotional. I’m suddenly feeling very tearful, and Martin and I have been falling out a lot. Things aren’t going so great – and I’m so awful this week I’m not even sure it’s his fault.

I’m not ready to go into all that actually. :( It feels like the end of the world still and I’m not ready to sort it out.

This evening we’ve had a lovely meal out with Dougie and EJ though. Which is a big deal, in the circumstances, and with toddlers that seem to want to try to kill each other most of the time! It was surprisingly peaceful. Except for the random balloon fight – instigated by Dougie but finished most definitely by Chloe (who got time-outed on a chair for getting carried away!). The constant refrain when Chloe does something to Jenna is, “She’s only two, she doesn’t know any better.” But obviously some things step over the line and then the big guns come out.

Nope, I can’t possibly comment. That seems to be exactly my method of dealing with Jenna too right now – ignore it ignore it ignore it WHAM. I really want to stop shouting but I seriously need encouragement, which I only get online, which is harder and harder to get now I’m getting into good habits spending time with both children…

One thing I really don’t think is a discipline issue is food. I know it’s not possible to force a toddler to eat, and that if it is possible with some toddlers it isn’t desirable as a way of getting nutrition into them! On the other hand, I DO wish she’d eat more. I do seriously worry some weeks that she seems not to have eaten anything. She just can’t be bothered with carbs.

Less Happy Stuff

Last night was a little trying. Morgan didn't bring up her wind as well as usual and was really fretting. She was too upset to be winded, but feeding was making it worse, so the two of us spent a couple of hours trying to make her feel more comfortable.

It was heartbreaking, she had never cried like that before, but I guess also that makes me feel pretty good - that until the tummy pain last night she had never worked up to distressed screams.

Oh, also yesterday was a slightly hairy day for another reason. Jenna has decided that she can carry her sister, and the moment I went to make a cup of tea she demonstrated this new idea. Unfortunately, a friend who was staying with us (and who was in the room with her at the time) yelled, and poor Jenna nearly dropped her little sister. :S Both of them were unscathed. Morgan was disgruntled at being moved when she was happy, and Jenna was disgruntled at being yelled at (and was looking at me as if to say, "what's the fuss about mom?"). In fact she managed to say, "It was a yittle bit OK, I had her safe in me yarms!" before bursting into tears.

Since then I've caught her moving Morgan twice, just kind of shifting her gently along a bit to make more room or to prop her with a cushion, stuff like that. I don't really want to stop her, although it sounds dreadful to say it doesn't worry me that much. Morgan isn't that breakable and Jenna supports her head well - obviously I don't want her carrying her around the room but neither do I want to nag and not let her near her in case either Jenna decides that she hates her sister or decides to try to proove to me that it's OK by doing something dramatic!

So far today has been really great. Morgan and I had a bath, and Morgan cried when she had to get out (again) even though she was shivering because the water had gone cold lol. Then we came down to find that Jenna had had her breakfast and was playing with her train track. Morgan had Daddy cuddles and I got to play with my big girl for a bit. :) It's so nice doing things with Jenna again, we get on much better when it comes to Discipline Situations after we've had a morning laughing together.