Wednesday, 26 March 2014

A Fictitious Conversation With My Daughter

"Mummy?"

"Yes, sweet cheeks?"

"I love you"

"I love you too darling"

"I mean I really, really love you"

"I know"

"In fact, I love you so much that..." secretive, mischievous smile "I have decided I want another Mummy."

"What?!"

"Not instead of you, silly. As well as you. Listen, I've worked it all out and it'll be brilliant.

"And it isn't just for me. YOU. ARE. GOING. TO. LOVE. HER

"You know how you really like hanging out with your female friends having tea and cake? Well, this will be like having a best friend with you all the time, and you can do all sorts of things together, every day, which will be really, really fun.

"Now, she will be a bit younger and probably cuter than you. So you might find that when your friends come round they are suddenly more interested in chatting to her. But it is only because she is new, they still love you, you just aren't quite as interesting.

"Obviously because she is has only just arrived I might have to spend a bit more time with her than with you, to begin with anyway, just to help her find her feet and know what is going on. So I might not be able to give you my full attention any more.

"You look concerned.

"I know what you're worried about. Don't be.

"Daddy will absolutely adore her too. He'll give her lots of kisses and cuddles - just like he gives you now.

"This is going to be FANTASTIC."

Is it any wonder children get jealous of new siblings?

I'm thinking I should start trying for number two sooner rather than later to hopefully sneak one in before Olive becomes fully sentient and twigs what is going on. Luckily I have two embryos on ice so I have a head start on my next round of IVF, the next step is to work out exactly when to plunge back into that drama.

Watch this space.





Sunday, 16 March 2014

What they never told you about having a child

There is a time in every infertile-turned-parent-blogger's life when we are compelled to write the obligatory "what they didn't tell you about being a mother" post.

These posts generally take one of two routes:

1) The graphic "what has this done to my body" route? Why did no one tell me about stitches/ hernias/ incontinence/ droopy boobs/ leaky boobs etc. Possibly my friends who have had babies lack any sense of shame, or boundaries, but I was pretty clued up on the whole physical side effects of birth. I mean, don't get me wrong I was as shocked and revolted as anyone else the first time I heard that many women shit themselves when giving birth ... when I was 11. But nothing much has surprised me from that side.

2) The slushy "I never knew I could feel this way" post. In which the blogger rhapsodises about how they thought they had known love before but nothing could prepare them for this out-pouring of love and devotion that they feel now they are a mother. This has annoyed me in the past and annoys me now. Don't get me wrong, I am well aware that I have done my fair share of infatuated blogging since having Olive but I was prepared to feel like this. How I feel about her is everything I ever imagined, but it is just that - what I imagined.

Remember when Maeve Binchy died? There was an article about whether her writing would have been better if she had experienced motherhood? The article is here.

The final paragraph is the killer:
"Binchy, whose first novel was about a 20-year friendship between two women, didn’t need the experience of motherhood to write about love and friendship in a way that charmed millions. But she might have dug deeper, charming less but enlightening more, had she done so."

Frankly the article says more about the journalist's lack of imagination than the author's.

You pretty much know that having a baby is going to result in sleepless nights, cleaning up every body fluid known to man (and a few as yet unidentified) and you don't even get a decent conversation out of it.  All that work for the reward of a few smiles - some days not even them? Of course you are going to love them deeply, irrationally, totally and completely. Babies wouldn't makes it past the first three months if this didn't kick in.

So this post is a relentlessly practical one. Things that I genuinely never knew. Discovering them (mostly through the help of my NCT buddies who share these hidden secrets) has revolutionised child rearing.

A) Why baby's vest are made like that.

See the neck line of this vest? You know the overlapping bit at the side?  I assumed that was to get them easily over a babies head. Makes sense right?

And then that day happens. The day when you wake up to a literal shit storm. It is everywhere; up the back, pooling in the foot, hidden in every fat roll, and smeared over the inside of the vest.  The last thing you want to do is pull it over your little one's head. That is where the genius of these little neck holes come into their own.

Because, you don't take the vest over the head... you open it and pull it off over their hips.

Genius.

But no one ever tells you that. You heard it here first.

B) Nappies.

Nappies are pretty easy to put on, right? As long as they aren't back to front, or inside out you are laughing. Or so I thought. Then I realised there was one extra adjustment needed to ensure the perfect seal (to stop that shit storm described above happening).

Nappies have a sort of frill inside them. When you put the nappy on rather than tucking the frill in, like so:


Flick it out, like so:

If I have saved one person the hell of a leaky nappy my job here is done.

C) Sleeping through the night

What would you say constitutes "sleeping through the night"? I would have thought it was pretty obvious it is when the baby sleeps from when you go to bed until you wake up (with a half hour leniency either side). Apparently not.

If your baby sleeps in a continuos stretch for five hours this is counted as sleeping through. This means that if your baby goes to sleep at 7pm and then wakes at midnight, or sleeps from 10pm to three am, that counts as sleeping through the night. Which is clearly insane.

In theory based on that Olive has slept through the night on several occasions. She isn't a bad little sleeper but still needs a boob feed at about four in the morning to push on through until six thirty (which I still count as night time). On the plus side the clocks go forward at the end of this month so maybe I'll get the luxury of a lie in until seven thirty, but I'm holding out for that night when she doesn't need her midnight snack. Then, and only then, will I consider her having slept through the night.

*****

Too much baby talk? Read this before you comment.




Monday, 10 March 2014

Snide Comment

Today I received this comment on my blog:


Officially deleting from my reading list. So sad that once a person becomes a parent they no other thoughts [sic] than baby.....guess you won't have anything to think about in 18 years.

Huh?!

I have no problem with people not wanting to read this blog any more. I have a baby - I am where many, many people who started to read this blog want to be. I've reached the finish line.

I fully expected people to stop reading. I wrote about that here way before I even got pregnant.

But you don't need to tell me! What possible motivation do you have for leaving such a snide, bitchy little comment? 

You'll notice that the number of posts I write has dropped off dramatically. Partly this is because I am too tired and my free time is too limited to write but also I find myself hovering over the publish button. Is it too much? Do my readers really want to hear more ramblings about the joys - and sometimes the lows - of being a mummy? So another post goes unpublished.

And let's be clear: when I was trying to get pregnant I had lots of other things going on in my life other than infertility. I didn't write about it because that wasn't the nature of this blog. Now I have less going on - things do revolve around my baby, I am on maternity leave and I have to look after her 24 hours a day but that doesn't mean that I have "no other thoughts than baby", but they are what I choose to write about.

But don't worry I will have plenty to think about in 18 years.

In 18 years I will still be thinking about my daughter, in 26 years I will still be thinking about her, in 37 I will still be thinking of her. But not exclusively. I am sure I will still have other things to do and think about, as I did before her and I do still now.

Do you know what I think would be worse than writing about my daughter? If I continued to write blog posts that whined about being infertile. About how mothers who got pregnant easily can't relate to my "struggle". How I am still infertile even though I have a baby and people should understand that having a child doesn't wipe away the years of hurt. (It does by the way - there is still a small stain but so much of the pain of the last seven years has been eradicated - and I'm telling you that as encouragement not to boast). 

I once read a post on another blog - again way before I got pregnant - in which the new mother asserted that infertiles loved their babies more than people who got pregnant easily. This is utter, utter horseshit. That made me stop reading the blog in question (and I just stopped; I didn't comment). The only discernible difference I have noticed between mothers who found it easy to get pregnant and those who didn't is some (SOME!) will talk more readily about when they want to get pregnant again to get the perfect age gap between their children.

So dear readers, who have supported me and seen me through the very lowest of times - thank you. If you choose to move on I totally get it. 

I would. 

I have in the past.

But don't tell me! 

Right, maybe I'll go back and publish some of those written but unpublished posts.