About Me

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This is a 'tea and chat' style blog where I blog about whatever fills my head each day. Many posts are about my experiences as mummy to my little boy born 16 weeks early :)

Thursday, 3 May 2012


Blaine's talking is coming on in leaps and bounds. Although he has probably been a little late off the starting line in terms of speaking I am so proud to say now that he has started he is a right little chatterbox and is asking questions, expressing himself and even giving his thoughts and opinions! 

His vocabulary is amazing me every day and his personality is shining through :) 

As the saying goes 'kids say the funniest things' ... well he is a constant source of amusement and joy everyday.
Some of this weeks Blaine-isms:

Where do birds live? 'In tree houses'

When taking his glasses off as he nods off for a nap: 'I need them mummy - my eyes will get cold!'

To his daddy: 'You are naughty and you are rude. Go and be rude in another town.'

Of the cat: 'Simba is my brother'

'Me and daddy are going to the pub. You're not allowed. You're a girl.' 

After kissing both his eyes at bedtime and on giving him an extra kiss: 'I not got 3 eyes! I'm not alien!'

Watch this space. I'm sure there are many more to come!

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

An unusual type of grief

I've been wanting to write for a while about the 'grief' that can be felt after you give birth extremely prematurely but it is such a complex and difficult subject. From speaking to other women I know that it is a common feeling.

I went into completely unexpected, spontaneous labour with Blaine at 24 weeks and 5 days into my pregnancy. I was still at work and hadn't bought much baby stuff - no pram, no moses basket, cot, nothing really. I had just had the second scan 2 weeks previous and was really enjoying the pregnancy. I was looking forward to all that was to come, ante natal classes and birth plans.

It all happened so quickly that I arrived at the hospital at around midnight and 5 hours 20 minutes later I was no longer pregnant. My baby wasn't placed on my chest. My baby wasn't in a cot by my bed. I didn't even see my baby. He was taken straight from me, behind a screen and then taken away. I was left sat on a bloody bed being offered a shower and a cup of tea.

In the shower I couldn't bear to look at my body; I quickly washed and dressed. Sat on the edge of a bed and offered more tea. After some time I was handed various leaflets and eventually handed a laminated photo of my baby. I found it so hard to look at that photo. This wasn't how it was meant to be.

For a while after I bathed in my top. I couldn't stand to look at my tummy. I hated the touch of it. Soft, jelly-like, empty. Where was my baby? Why wasn't he still inside me? I still had months to go. I was embarrassed to see people - what if they looked at my belly? When they saw me last I was pregnant, blooming, I had a big round belly and now it was gone. No round belly, no pregnancy, just a saggy empty belly but no bouncing baby in a pram.

At home, lying awake in bed, I felt the same. I was no longer pregnant but had no baby next to me in a cot. From the moment you find out your pregnant you expect to have that baby with you. To be separated is agony. Hormonally your body is pregnant and psychologically you yearn for your baby.

For the next weeks/months you go through the motions. Somehow get up, make small talk, travel to hospital and sit for hours by an incubator praying, longing and hoping to take your baby home. Every day drags but you get up and do it every day. No words can describe watching a baby the size of your hand, your baby, fight for it's life. Prodded and poked every hour of every day, machines bleeping and for a long while more setbacks than steps forward. The hope keeps you going.

Aside from this, you go home each night and there's no pregnancy and no baby to hold.

It is a strange type of grief. Grief for your lost pregnancy and grief for your 'take home baby'. Lots of people say 'it must've been awful but all is ok now' and yes, thank God, it is but it is a strange thing to come to terms with and difficult for anyone who hasn't experienced it to understand. It's as if when you lost that pregnancy you lost that baby and I only came to terms with this recently. The feelings are completely aside from Blaine. It is very surreal and impossible to explain, or understand unless you have experienced it.

Is it a type of Post Natal Depression - I don't think so. A sort of Post Traumatic Stress - again, I'm not sure but I do know from talking to other mum's that it's a common feeling. This post is a sensitive topic and is not meant to offend anyone. I know I am lucky - and am forever thankful - I have my baby and cherish every moment.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Due Date - 6th Jan 2009

When I first found out I was pregnant I remember straight away thinking 'Ooh, when will my baby be due then?' and excitedly working it out on a calendar.

The next exciting step is the first scan: the dating scan. How exciting that I am going to be told the date my baby is 'due' to arrive!

After this, everyone asks 'when are you due?' and everything is on countdown to that date. It was on my calendar at home, at work, on my phone and on the calendars of friends and family!

You start counting the weeks, and days, looking in books, on websites, tracking the growth and progress of the little bundle of joy.

You plan your foreseeable life around this 'guide' date and make decisions on when to finish work, go on holidays, buy baby stuff ...

Then 'Hello Mummy!' Blaine arrived. Noooo. It wasn't the 6th Jan 2009. It wasn't even 2009. I hadn't finished work and hadn't bought much.

So, 22nd September is the new 6th Jan- we can handle that! But old calendars still read 6th Jan, my notes are adorned with it, consultants refer to it and often measure by it and it is etched in my mind.

When Blaine was in hospital those first few months of his life we were often told to still go by his 'due' date as a coming home date. So it remained on the calendars, the countdown of months, and days, continued and all was prepared for the 6th Jan.

Just before this date it was decided that Blaine needed laser eye surgery. I was devastated. I remember sitting in his room, the eye doctor packing away his instruments and saying 'he'll have the surgery on 6th Jan!' I burst into tears; fear and regret for my baby but also saying 'don't they know what that date is!'

So, today is 6th January again. My baby's due date. No, he wasn't born on this date and no, he didn't come home on this date but today we got his (pre) school uniform and had a dress rehearsal and he looks so smart and gorgeous and we have spent the whole day laughing and playing.

Happy 'un' birthday to my special boy :)