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#blogtober day four: Dates which changed me

date

Today’s prompt: dates

Welcome to day four! Pretty impressed with myself for managing to post for four days in a row, I must admit!

Hexmumblog’s #blogtober writing prompt today is: DATE.

Now, there have been several significant dates in my life.

21.10.1990 – the date I was born;
6.4.94 – the date my brother was born on the lounge floor;
19.9.09 – the date I started university;
28.10.10 – the date I met my husband;
21.10.11 – the date he proposed;
12.4.14 – our wedding date;
18.1.15 – the date we found out we were going to be parents;

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A pretty life-changing date

…and many, many more memorable dates which have shaped my life in one way or another.

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The dates we saw our baby 

Another pivotal date in my life was September 11th 2015. Our baby’s ‘due date‘ (a term I now seriously resent, and one which I will not think about if we have another baby – more on that here!)

Except, this magical date, the one we had spent months waiting for, came and it went. And so did the 12th, and the 13th, and the 14th of September. In fact, lots of days went by, and there was no signal that our baby was imminent. We had planned a home birth, and everything we needed sat in a box, waiting to be used.

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Our due date came and went

I had a sweep, which did nothing, and I was booked for an induction for 40 weeks + 12 days, if baby hadn’t arrived by then. This would mean no home birth, that our baby would be born in hospital. My god, I tried everything to evict Squid naturally to avoid induction! Pineapple (so.much.pineapple!), curries, raspberry leaf tea, stomping on the beach stones, bouncing on a birthing ball and as much sex as a small whale can manage, but absolutely nothing was going to convince my womb-fruit to vacate!

And the 12th day after my ‘due date’ came and our baby had not arrived. So off we went, to the hospital for our induction.

(I didn’t know there were other options available to me – in the naivety of being a first time mum, I agreed with my health care professionals when they said that I ‘needed’ to be induced at 12 days ‘over due’, despite a text book pregnancy and no signs of foetal distress. I know for next time, but that’s a whole other blog post!)

At around 10am, I was induced via a pessary, and we were sent home to wait. Cue much more stomping around, up hills and staircases, and I began to have contractions. This was it! It was happening! We were going to meet our son.

The date was September 23rd 2015.

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The date of our first induction passed without much action

Except… by around 5pm, the contractions had tailed off and were much less frequent, though still painful. At 7am the next day, again we hauled ourselves to the hospital for another round of induction via pessary, but this time, we weren’t allowed home: we would be at the hospital until our baby was born.

The date was Thursday, 24th September 2015.

The second induction didn’t work. I was contracting, but not dilating; in pain, but for no reason. No bugger would give me any pain relief, and it was agony. I was marching up and down the hospital stairs, bouncing on the ball and contracting away on the maternity ward, surrounded by other mamas who were being monitored for reduced movements and other pregnancy complications.

Between contractions I remember eating a chicken tikka baguette – the best baguette of my whole life, I’ll tell you! That was around 5pm, and after this, someone ran me a bath.

I spent about 4 minutes in the water before needing to get out – the pain was so intense that I felt as though I had lost my mind. I kept being told that I ‘wasn’t in labour’ to which I can remember retorting that if this wasn’t labour, someone would need to shoot me right then, because I couldn’t handle it for another second.

Finally, finally, someone listened to me and I was examined. And it turns out that, in actual fact, I was in labour, and already at 8 to 9cm dilated. All on one chicken tikka baguette. The midwives panicked a bit then, after realising I hadn’t been exaggerating about the pain, and whilst I was bouncing on the birthing ball, humming Humpty Dumpty to myself (it helped, okay!), someone, an angel, wheeled in the gas and air. Oh, gas and air. It was glorious. It was 7pm, I was finally ‘in labour’ and the gas and air was making me feel like I had drunk a whole bottle of gin. It was bliss and between contractions, I felt like I was on cloud 9!

After a while, the midwives asked me to walk to the delivery suite, and upon this instruction I am told that I apparently legged it, wearing nothing but a hospital gown, out of the labour ward and down the corridor to delivery!

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Cheese and biscuits anyone?!

The rest is a bit of a blur, but highlights that I do remember include:

  • Declaring to the midwives that it felt like I was at the student bar and everyone was my best friend;
  • Asking the midwife if she liked cats or dogs, because I couldn’t let a dog lover be present at the birth of my baby;
  • Declaring that my legs had turned into tentacles and I was, in fact, a squid!
  • When the midwife asked if I had been drinking plenty, I replied ‘Who do you think I am?! I haven’t had a drink in 9 bloody months!!!’
  • Getting cross that no one believed me that I wasn’t having a baby, I just needed a poo…

And then, finally, after all the commotion, I birthed our beautiful baby boy, all 9lb 9.25oz of him, in silence, untouched, in the birthing pool. It turned out that I didn’t need a poo, and the midwives had been correct: it was a baby…

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Not on his due date but on the perfect date

It was 8.30pm exactly, on September 24th 2015.

The most eventful, the best, the scariest, most emotional date of my life.

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Our long-awaited first date

What are the dates that changed your life?

Join me tomorrow for another #blogtober post – all about education! Catch up on my other #blogtober posts here!

Find me on Facebook and Instagram!

Love, Squidmamma x

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#blogtober day two: babies! What not to say…

Wahoo! Hello day two of #blogtober!


Day two’s prompt is ‘babies’, and the first thing that sprang to my mind when I saw this was all the things people say to pregnant mamas and new parents – all those ‘innocent’ questions and ‘helpful’ bits of advice! So I’ve compiled a list: 7 things NOT to say to a new or expectant parent!

1. ‘Was it a planned baby?’ 😮 yes, ladies and gentlemen, this was a genuine question, asked by a colleague in the middle of the staff room when I announced my pregnancy with Squid. Quite frankly, whether a baby is conceived as a result of a one night stand or after years of wanting and hoping and trying, it’s simply None of Your Bloody Business.
2. ‘Are you SURE it’s not twins??!!’ Yep. Totally sure thanks. I know I look like a beluga whale.


3. ‘Any signs??????’ – infuriating when you’ve gone past that magical ‘due’ date and people start asking if you’ve had any signs of labour… I once replied ‘well baby’s head is engaged, my cervix is 1cm dilated and I’ve lost my mucus plug, but no, I’m not in labour!’ – the questions soon stopped!!
4. And then when the baby is born, it’s ‘Is he a good baby?’ – no, he’s the worst baby ever, he’s robbed a bank and mugged a pensioner already and he’s only 6 weeks old, I’d like a refund please. 🙄🙄 Babies can’t BE bad – they eat, sleep, poop and repeat!

Really bloody knackered!

 

5. But of course what they REALLY mean by asking if you’ve got a ‘good’ one is ‘How does he sleep?’ Answer: in bed, with me, on my boob. He sleeps just like a baby.

6. ‘When will you have number 2 (or 3 or 4 or 5…) then?!’ Seriously, I’m not sure my stitches had even dissolved before people were wanting to know when my next womb occupant might be expected!

7. ‘Not lost the baby weight then?’ Yes – another one I have genuinely been asked. And nope, I’ve not lost the baby weight. Because I’m a bit busy right now, raising an actual human. And you know… eating cake…
What else would you add to this list? I’d love to know!

Join me again tomorrow for another #blogtober post!

See yesterday’s post here and have a snoop at other people’s #blogtober contributions here!

Catch me on Facebook and Instagram for cat/toddler updates!

Love, Squidmamma x

#Blogtober17
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Things no one tells you about… pregnancy

Warning: not for the faint hearted! This post contains overshares and too much information. You have been warned!

Things no one tells you about…

Pregnancy.

***disclaimer: this is not a pregnancy announcement! I am not pregnant, good God no.***

From a very young age, I wanted to be a mother. I wanted 6 children (and a farm, and a tractor-driving husband and 30 cats…). I wholeheartedly expected that when I fell pregnant, I would be some kind of Earth mother, who relished and adored the whole experience. But let me be clear on this one… I really, really did not like being pregnant. Sure, I was thankful we were having a much-wanted baby, grateful that I was finally fulfilling my dream of becoming a mother, excited to meet our child, and hopeful for our future as a family, but pregnancy was a means to an end for me, and there were so many surprises that pregnancy had in store…

Tiredness

Now, everyone tells you that pregnancy is tiring, and how you should try and get as much sleep as you can, but no one tells you that being pregnant is actually like having 9-month-long (well, let’s face it, 10 month long) jet lag, and a simple task like putting your socks on can mean you need a 90 minute nap. I was so tired, all the time. 7pm became my bedtime, and prising myself from my bed each morning was enough to make me sob. I was so tired, I felt like someone had whacked me round the head with a spade most of the time, and that feeling lasted my whole pregnancy. Funnily enough, as the owner of a sleep thief, I still have never felt as mind numbingly tired as I did during my pregnancy.


Wolverine

Being dark haired and with Portuguese heritage, I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve always been a bit hairy. Nothing unmanageable, just a few moustache issues from time to time but nothing a bit of bleach can’t fix…! However, pregnancy makes you next-level hairy. I’m talking Chewbacca style hair. Hair on your belly, on your chin. So much hair. And of course, the bleach isn’t safe to use in pregnancy so you have to rock the hair in an ‘I’m growing an actual human over here’ kind of way. And silently cringe every time your midwife asks you to lift your top so she can check on the sprog.

Undergrowth

Another excellent wonder and marvel of pregnancy is that you can no longer reach places. Places like your feet to put on your socks, your toenails to paint them, and your… ahem… lady parts to sort your bikini line. You try tending to it with a razor when there is a small human in your way. A solid, ball of a human, who won’t move, no matter how hard you try to smoosh your growing tummy to the side. I suggest visiting a reputable salon to have someone else do the job for you, or become one with nature and embrace it…! Oh the glamour.


Fat feet

As if I wasn’t thrilled enough with my ever changing form, another wonderful side effect of pregnancy is that, as well as your tummy (and boobs and face and hands), your FEET seem to grow in size. Given that my feet are already a size 8 when I am not with child, you can imagine my joy when my flippers stopped fitting. Squid was a September baby, and so during the last trimester of my pregnancy it was warm enough to wear flip flops, which was lucky seeing as that was all that would fit my trotters.

Screw driver head

When I was in labour, apparently I told the midwife that it felt like the baby had a screwdriver on his head and was trying to get out. I don’t remember saying that, but I wholeheartedly maintain the sentiment – from the time you’re about 30 weeks pregnant, you get something magical occur pretty regularly – lightening crotch. It quite literally feels as though someone is jabbing a lightning bolt (or screw driver. Or other sharp instrument) at your cervix. It’s barrels of fun, let me tell you. Especially when you’re in the middle of a maths lesson, trying to explain how parallel lines never touch, when you get hit by one of these delightful lightning bolts. You can’t stop it, and it really bloody hurts, enough to take your breath away – I guess it’s all just preparing your body for what’s to come… ha… ha… ha!

Hormonal Harriet

Obviously pregnancy plays utter havoc with your hormones, but until you’re pregnant, you can’t quite appreciate the levels these hormones will take you to. I remember once sitting in the carpark of Sainsbury’s, about 25 weeks pregnant, sobbing my heart out because I had imagined what Squid would be like when he was an adult. I was crying because I was sad that one day he would be an adult, and that would mean he wasn’t a baby anymore. I cried for about 15 minutes before I could get my shit together enough to drive! There were countless times when I cried for absolutely no reason whatsoever, and in fact many times I would pause halfway through my sobs because I actually couldn’t remember why I was crying. Pregnancy is an emotional rollercoaster, and it was not a ride I enjoyed at all!

Smoothie brain

You’ve probably heard of the phrase ‘baby brain’, and maybe even scoffed at the idea, but honestly, pregnancy makes you feel as though as your brain has been put into a blender and blended to a pulp. I would forget where I’d put my keys, forget where I’d parked my car, forget what I was saying halfway through a sentence. This was always particularly bad when I was in the middle of teaching, and my brain would feel like it had shut down and I’d trail off mid-sentence! Having said that, I am not convinced that my brain has returned to its full capacity even now – I am just too sleep deprived!

Burger nips

Last but not least is my favourite surprise that pregnancy brought about… giant nipples. Yes, really. Giant, dark nipples, which just seemed to spread and grow. I was constantly surprised by these throughout my pregnancy, and I was genuinely fearful I was going to be left with burger nips for life. I have since found out that the reason for the growing and darkening of the nipples is so that a new born baby can find the breast themselves, as demonstrated in the ‘breast crawl’ where the baby shuffles up the mother’s body to find the nipple to feed. Amazing really! However, I am thankful to report that my nips have since returned to normal (and when you breastfeed a toddler, you don’t need great big, dark signposts on your boobs for them to find their milk… toddlers can seek that out from across the room!)

So in all, you can see there are so many reasons to feel like you’re blooming and beautiful when you’re pregnant. Of course, I never took for granted the fact that I was incredibly lucky to be pregnant, but the less-talked about side effects of pregnancy took me by surprise, and that, coupled with the heart burn, super sense of smell (the smell of one of my colleague’s aftershaves made me heave – and it’s a really nice scent!), the restless legs, the constant weeing, the tiny feet squashed into my left rib cage and the shortness of breath meant that I really could not wait to get that child out. And the little terror punished me by being 2 weeks late, I guess that was karma!

Squid’s 42 week bump!

What did you find surprising about pregnancy? Did you enjoy it? Let me know!

Find me on Twitter and Instagram: @squidmamma and on Facebook: facebook.com/squidmamma

Love! x