Saturday, 22 July 2017

The hardest weeks of my life

Being a Mum  parent brings lots of challenges and guilt.

Once you've cracked one problem there's swiftly another to be solved. 

I knew adding a 3rd baby into the mix would make family dynamics change and get more difficult.

I knew balancing 3 children would have it struggles.

What I wasn't prepared for was the struggle we had since the May half term.

It was a long half term due to Alex having teacher training days added on, as well as being shut the polling day too. Also my mum is often around the holidays as she works at a school, alas she and dad were enjoying a lovely holiday.

It was pretty hard balancing a young baby, who I had only just got to grips with feeding myself without being too sore, and keeping the older 2 occupied, happy and not fighting!!

One day started very badly with Alex, angry, temper tantrums, not doing anything he was told to, lashing out at his brother and hitting me whilst I was feeding, he tride to run out of the back garden too!!

I thought things had finally calmed down when Alex and Sam had gone quiet upstairs, so once Zac had fallen asleep I started heading upstairs to see if I could join in the fun with them...

Then, half way up the stairs I heard the spray of a deodorant can and soon realised they weren't playing lego like I thought they had been.

Then the smell hit me like a wall. It smelt like the perfume shop had exploded.

Our room was a mess, there were spray marks over the walls, mirror, window, cupboards and more. Our duvet had been spread with my make up, a football sized patch covered in foundation and bright red lip gloss smeared in places also. The thing that made me most mad was the babies bed matress had been ruined from them pouring half a bottle of expensive, and strong smelling perfume.

Not going to lie, I was livid, not only was I disappointed, I was upset that items I don't normally treat myself to had been ruined and wasted. I rarely spend money on myself so I was gutted.  

This day was the start of a lot of change, Alex changed, it's like the red mist hit him and nothing would change it.

We had weeks of terrible outbursts, some lasting more than two hours, he was breaking things (like cutting the straps off brand new shin pads we had bought him the week before as he's just started football training), throwing items and just generally been mean, angry and at times quite scary.

My parent's witnessed it too, I think they thought I was exaggerating things at first but were surprised when he wouldn't stop for them!

June was just such an awful month throughout, one day he refused to go to school for a good 10 minutes purely because he's forgotten to choose a golden time toy despite being ready to leave for 15 mins. I had Alex going one way, Sam starting to head off (and crying because he didn't want to be made late for preschool) and Zac in the pushchair, I will admit I didn't know what to do and could feel the anxiety and anger bubbling away inside.

There was a bad sickness bug going around his class too, as he has a severe fear of being sick this made everyday another battle, as it was constant questions like "am I going to be ok" "but what if I'm not ok" "am I going to be sick". We had tears before school, some days I had to drop him off practically forcing him through the door with his teachers, some days the only way he'd eat at school was in the class not hall. He's never been in trouble at school before but I got called over at least twice in as many weeks for being awkward and just not nice.

How do you deal with angry outbursts? Time out has never worked for him as it leads to even more battles (he can go on for over an hour if in a really bad mood).

What tips and tricks do you have?

Thankfully since this happened things have eased a little but we are still having issues, it definitely started as a cry for more attention after having Zachary, but the anger is still there or a day to day basis.


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Saturday, 24 June 2017

Baby haze. The early days

Every one says the early days of a new born are hard but I don't think anyone can actually prepare you for it!

The final weeks of pregnancy take their toll on your body both physically and mentally topped with labour (no matter how long or not it is) so when that baby is placed in your arms you need the adrenaline that your body runs on!

This time I think I was running on adrenaline for some time as I couldn't sleep in the hospital despite being up over 24hours.

The first couple of nights I barely slept, not sure if it was some baby insomnia where I was just too worried about baby to sleep!

Zachary was a good baby in that he would sleep laying flat which our other 2 wouldn't do, but the first few nights were hard I had barely any sleep, one night I didn't manage any until 3.30am!

The first few days seemed like we were in de ja vu as we ended up at the hospital on the day 3 (for me with a big clot/membrane), the following day we went to the children's ward for Zachary to have a jaundice check (thankfully fine). I was just in a daze and not with it at all. The bleeding seemed heavy this time around, after pains strong although not as bad as after Sam and I was just an emotional wreck.

Typically when the midwife mentioned heading to the hospital for the jaundice check I burst into tears, partly from tiredness but mostly from baby blues, that was the day my milk came in and thankfully the jaundice worked it's way out after that.

I thought I was on a roll then, thinking that breastfeeding was going well but then they got so sore. So sore I bought an electric pump and then gave him the odd bottle of expressed milk to give me a break and time to heal. I thought that was working but then another spanner in the works.

On about day 9 he screamed from lunch time, he acting like he wanted feeding but then when I tried either breast or expressed bottle he would fuss and arch. He had a small feed at 12am and woke at 7am I was so panicked. He seemed lethargic, hadn't a dirty nappy in the night and I was really scared something was wrong. So much so James went to the docs and managed to chat to my midwife who sent someone earlier than she was meant to be coming over that day.

The midwife was happy nothing serious was wrong, typically (although thankfully) he wet his nappy as soon as she turned up. No temp although warm to touch, fontanelle not sicken, we eventually put it down to him possibly having a sore tummy or something!

I was glad I got to see the midwife I had throughout my pregnancy a couple of days later (I had a couple of extra days on the books and not the typical 10)  and she weighed Zachary who had put on over his birth weight at 8lb 3oz.


I always had in my head that his pregnancy was the easiest out of them and that he would give me a run for my money in the early days!

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Our water birth

Throughout this pregnancy and probably the one with Sam also I was tempted to try a water birth.

Unfortunately with Sam the pool rooms were taken which made me want to try it more so this time around, particularly as this is our last baby (unless anything drastic changes in the next few years)!

I was so pleased that when we got to the birthing centre the second time on the 6th May that we had a room with a pool.

I couldn't believe how large the room actually was!

There was the pool, a typical hospital bed, low bed, beanbag, birthing ball and an en suite.

With my stop-start labour  (read previous posts) I actually didn't get a lot of chance to be in the pool. I think I was only in there for 30mins max and most of that time I was pushing Zachary out!

Having said that I was so much more relaxed when in the pool, beforehand I was in agony, grabbing onto James's hands and even trying to bite my arm! I even had some gas and air which I didn't have with either boys!

Once in the warm water the pain, although still there, became more bearable, I no longer used the gas and air ..but still grabbed James's hands!

I still felt the burning sensation when Zachary was making his way out, I know some people say that the pool can help with this. I do wonder if I had been able to be in the pool a little longer whether this may have helped with that.

Zachary seemed to be quite calm when he came out and it was quite nice being sat in the pool a short while before needing to get out.

You do feel slightly 'on show' in the water but I think by that point you don't really care...it's not like the midwives haven't seen it all before!

The hardest part about the water birth is probably the getting in and out! Getting in I was mid contraction and getting out helped my placenta come (due to gravity I guess) at least I didn't need the injection to speed things along, it always feels super gross to me when it comes out!

If you are thinking of a water birth I would definitely recommend it, even if only for the pain relief!

The staff and facilities we had at the white horse birthing centre, GWH were amazing too.


Friday, 12 May 2017

Our 3rd birth story

So if you haven't already you may want to read my previous post to catch up...

The midwife quickly filled up the pool for me whilst I sucked in the gas and air through the now piercing contractions.

I was a little bit out of it when James and the midwife wanted to move me across from the bed to the pool. I remember having a contraction but not being able to really talk and tell. I think the midwife thought I didn't want to get in the pool!

I took the slow walk with each arm in one of theirs over to the pool and the steps into it were hard work.

Instantly I relaxed in the water, the warm water helped so much with the pain. I no longer took any of the gas and air.

I was knelt down with my hands either Ron the pool handles on in James's hands.

I instantly got the pushing sensation and got the go ahead from midwife to do so. My waters went (something that's not happened to me naturally before) and shortly after the head was born.

I was exhausted and really felt like I didn't have it in me for the next few pushes but itstill weird how your body just takes over!

He was born at 11.35pm, making the last stage of labour only 30mins!

I was quite in shock when he was born I must admit when first holding him I was in a bit of a daze. He seemed to come so quickly!!!

He must have been eager to be one of the 5% of babies born on their due date as he only just made it with 25mins to spare!

And yes, it was another beautiful baby boy.

Atb7lb 12oz he wasn't even my biggest baby despite being born a week later than the other boys.

After the placenta (which came without needing the injection) I sat back on the bed and had the check for stitches (which I definitely needed the gas and air again for)! Thankfully I didn't need any (never have woop) and after the gas and air wore off I had those all important skin to skin snuggles ans feed with our new little man.

James text our parents and even rang his older brother who lives in America as he'd knew they be around unlike most of our family due to it being past midnight.


The quiet time was perfect ano he even slept in the hospital crib after his checks.

I had a shower (always a horrifying experience post birth) and felt much more refreshed. We tried a little sleep but I was running on adrenaline...James on the otherhand was snoring so loud!!

I couldn't stop looking at our bundle of joy!

James asked when it would be possible to go home as we knew we'd be comfortable there. After all the paperwork etc we were let out about 5 or 6am.

And there we left the hospital with Zachary tucked up safe in his car seat.

After a little snooze back home we woke around 8ish and worked on choosing his middle name as we were far too tired beforehand to think of one.

So introducing

Zachary Jack Spencer
6.5.17





Stop/start labour in 3rd pregnancy!

It's crazy to think that this time last week I was still pregnant.

Dreading the school runs due to all the usual "still here", "no baby yet" comments.

Deep down I knew that things were imminent due to a few signs but it was only James that knew.

I tried to get anything sorted that needed sorting whilst the boys were at school, just a quick clean up of house mainly!

Late that night I had what was an obvious show rather than me guessing it could have been. So had a nice long shower and settled down early ish.  I woke at 1 and we am with slight pains. At 3 they had cranked up and I was getting so nervous about it, I think I actually made myself think the pains were worse than they actually were. So much so that I woke James at 4 and got him to ring. We didn't get to the birthing centre until around 6am.

I sort of knew once there that things weren't progressing like it had with both the boys. But I wasn't prepared to be told I was only 1-2cm and be told it was best to go home.

Not going to lie I was so apprehensive about doing so, but understood that the contractions had no become quite irregular in strength and the time between each one.

In my head I thought this labour would be quite quick due to having Sam a few hours after entering the hospital.

I felt so deflated and cried to myself in bed when we got home.

My mum left with the boys and packed a bag incase they'd need it for later.

James and I were so bored and frustrated all day long. We didn't really have anything to do and it was literally a waiting game, I was so short tempered and quick tongued. We were so fed up of texts and messages off other people who some were unaware of what was happening.

At one point the contractions had slowed down so much that I thought it was never going to happen that day! They were 20/15mins apart but not always strong.

Gradually they started building up again still varying in length and strength but by 6pm ish things really cranked up!! Just before we left they were 4 mins apart and James started to panic we wouldn't make it in time!

Thankfully we did, unfortunately they slowed down slightly again and when I was checked was only 3-4cm. I just wanted to cry.

The midwife didn't want me to go home though this time they suggested going for a walk around the hospital for an hour and to try the stairs as baby still needed to move round and move his back around slightly.

We found out from near enough every midwife we'd seen that day that 3rd babies can be notorious for stop start labour and then making a quick arrival!!

At 9pm I couldn't take anymore walking around the empty corridors, I was so exhausted and the contractions I was having were unbearable standing up.

The midwives suggested getting a little bit of shut eye as we were both so tired.

Luckily we had a really big room, I've never had a birthing pool room before so was pleased to see it when they showed us in. There was a high more 'medical' looking bed which James chilled on and one low bed which I took. I couldn't really sleep but managed to rest at least.

The rest seemed to increase the time between contractions but come 10pm they started getting more unbearable.

I was literally flinching and grabbing James'shand or belt so tight. I felt that low feeling and had to get the midwife in.

I don't think they thought I could be that far along yet as they seemed adamant to see how dilated I was at 11.30pm which would have been 4 hours since last being checked.

But by just before 10.45 I has to get James to ask when I could have the pool ready and when she saw me again suggested gas and air (which I've hated before now) because I couldn't cope with the pain!

She examined me again and said I was 7cm and she'd get the pool ready...

Read the next post for the rest of the birth story!


Thursday, 4 May 2017

Labour anxiety and totally fed up at 39+weeks

So as the title suggests today I am 39+5 weeks pregnant.

I'd had both the boys at this point, with Alex being 6 days early and Sam 8 days early I was certain this one would follow suit.

Unfortunately that has not been the case, unfortunately I had in my head that this baby would be with us no later than the bank holiday.

I've had over a week of on and off 'false starts', wishful thinkings?

I honestly thought at 2am on the 3rd that it was the real deal. But here I am, still here, still pregnant and wide awake at 4am...

I'm not going to lie I am so fed up now. I wish I hadn't got into my head that this one would be early like the others.

I wish that everyone else didn't think the same thing too as I am so, so sick of all the messages, texts, calls and chats at the school gates. I just want to scream "NO I HAVEN'T HAD THE BABY YET, NO I HAVEN'T GOT SIGNS" but of course I don't, and of course I know everyone is just being friendly.

With everyday that goes by I am getting more and more anxious about the birth.

It's been 4 and a half years since my last labour.  To me that seems a long time, I've been lucky in my last labours, I've not torn and with Sam I even managed without any pain relief.

As time goes on I keep thinking this baby is just getting bigger and heavier. I'm so worried about how big they will be and the impact that will have in labour and in my downstairs region!!!

I really want another natural labour, I really want to give a water birth a go this time, I really want to do it without pain relief again.

I'm finding everything hard work at the moment, from school runs to cooking the dinner, to trying to keep the house somewhat tidy. I've had help with morning school runs and have been doing the afternoon ones as much as I can, it's a mile each way and every time I do it I think 'this will help kick start things'.

I've no motivation when it comes to cooking, especially dinners at the moment. Everything is just giving me heartburn, I fancy the plainest foods but obviously that's boring for everyone else.

Every night I have my shower, a 'just incase I go into labour tonight at least I'll be fresh and clean'. And every night the past few days I've been in tears.

In tears because I'm finding it all too much.

In tears because each day that goes by is another day I've had time to worry about everything.

In tears with the aches and pains that make life so difficult in the late stages of pregnancy.

In tears as this could still go on another 2 weeks yet.

I really hope my next post will be more cherry and with some happier news to share!!


Wednesday, 12 April 2017

The final weeks of pregnancy!

On Monday I had my final blood test and unfortunately along the way I had been bitten by a dog!! Luckily it really wasn't that bad but it had managed to break the skin in 2 places. Because I knew I was heading straight to the doctors I just rushed off-I do hate confrontation with strangers!!

I was quite shaken up, and as soon as the nurses in the room asked if I was ok, I sort of half burst into tears and felt very embarrassed. It was one of those moments when I really wish they hadn't asked if I was ok as that just let the flood gates open-at 36 weeks pregnant it doesn't take much at the best of times!!

Anyway whilst there I asked whether I needed to take anything or buy special cream and as they were unsure they said to ask reception for a call back from the doctor. Unfortunately I need antibiotics for the next week! So now have indigestion pains from them as well as baby!

Tuesday morning I had my 36 week midwife appointment (potentially could be the last...) and was pleased to see it was with my normal midwife this time (not that there was anything wrong with the fill in one last time), always nice to see a friendly face.

I was so pleased that the bloods came back fine, I have been on iron tablets since the last blood test and luckily my levels are around 12 so I am fine to have baby in the birthing centre.

I am so, so relieved with this, I found Sam's labour in the birthing centre so much more relaxing than when I had Alex on the ward, it really didn't feel like I was in the hospital at all, I do have a little bit of a fear of hospitals generally otherwise!

She measured bump which was all good, she noticed how tight it is under my ribs and how little room there is left, I was pleased to find out baby is head down, with it's body to the right and limbs on the left (explains the weird poking out bits I've had this past week)! Baby wasn't engaged, but in bed last night I had a really bad sudden discomfort down below a few times and lots of pressure, so I am wondering if maybe it is now or making a start!! EEK

I am tempted this time to try a water birth, the pools were in use when I had Sam, and I won't be totally disappointed if they are again, I just think it would be nice to try, and with this being my last pregnancy I would really like to give the opportunity a go. I am just wondering whether I would get too hot and then start feeling ill.

We are almost sorted with everything baby, my parents kindly took the boys away Friday night-Monday night in Bournemouth and as James had the weekend off we sorted out our room, cleared some rubbish from the house, and after a year of having no thresholds after laying our hallway floor we finally got them down along with some hallway lights up, as it was so nice weather-wise we didn't do as much as we had planned too. But we only really have the babies crib to make up now, the rest of the DIY will probably wait another few months to a year I'd expect!!

It was so nice to have some time to ourselves and just have ourselves to think about without worrying about feeding, bathing, and bedtimes! We caught up with some friends and family, and took a wander around Cirencester-where we had a yummy lunch!





Plus the boys had a fantastic time away and it was probably much needed as we really don't have much planned this school holiday!


So I am going to try and enjoy the last few weeks of pregnancy, despite the tiredness and general aches and pains, and also being without a working car at the moment (hopefully being sorted asap)! I also have a haircut appointment today which is much needed as I haven't had my hair cut in over a year and I so need it!!

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