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Wednesday, 28 September 2011

The Fear

The other day I felt a little sick. Not much, just a little off. I also had a bit of a cold, the slightly stuffy claggy-down-the-back-of-the-throat kind. Nothing to write home about, really...and then I brushed my teeth. The claggy-down-the-back-of-the-throat feeling combined with the tooth brushing gave me what recently had been a very familiar feeling. GAG. Retch-gag. My first thought was 'Well, that was a bit yucky' followed swiftly by my eyes bulging open in an 'Oh NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!' expression. Good lord, no. Impossible. I CANNOT be pregnant again...I mean, I've even had an installation to prevent such occurrences. The feeling was SO pregnancy-gag though. Good lord, no.

The Fear.

I have The Fear very badly now. I thought before that there was no way I could manage being pregnant with the other two kids, wait, not just pregnant but then having three kids (!) - the implications on working, finances, space, relationships...but I didn't have the fear of it because I never saw it coming, and assumed it wouldn't happen. Ok so fine it did happen and in the end it was alright. But now FOR SURE there is no way I could manage being pregnant again, no way. Not now certainly, not ever (?). (I have added a question mark because I suppose never say never - my husband did mention perhaps another one. Interestingly, this was while I was in the birthing pool of all places and times to choose such a discussion. Maybe part of his plan, of course, because the likely answer at that particular junction was of course a snarling "Are you out of your mind??!!") With my new ever-constant dose of The Fear on board, I had booked an appointment ASAP for a NMBP device (No More Babies Please) named Mirena, as soon as I was eligible, 6 weeks after the birth of lovely baby number 3.

I saw the GP who then asked me a series of questions about this and that, why do I want a coil fitted etc., which she then answered out loud for herself as she looked at my file on the computer screen:

Child 1: aged 3
Child 2: aged 1
Child 3: aged 0

"Oh yes, well, I think this is a very sensible decision indeed!" she said. I had to agree.

As I was booked in for my Mirena fitting I was offered an appointment which was three days prior to my husband returning from his fellowship away, or the next available slot was in 4 weeks time. "Yes please, the early one please, yes book it right away!!!" I replied, almost panicky. I couldn't even fathom taking the chance of my husband's return, of him even being beside me, or being in the same room as me, or being in the same country as me, without adequate protection. The receptionist I am sure could sense The Fear, and booked me right away.

Since my installation I definitely feel 'safer' in a more permanent, yet non-permanent fixture sort of way. This thing will last me five years, five years of no worries! Five whole long years of no babies! Yet I can whip it out if I feel some crazed need for yet more children. What I hadn't bargained for was the (what it seems like) five years of constant bleeding. ARRRGGGHHH. When you are breastfeeding part of the 'pro' department is that you don't get your period for ages, perhaps even the whole time you are breastfeeding and sometime afterwards. This cursed Mirena, since the very moment it has joined me, has caused spotting - with no end in sight. Of course this is a listed side effect, but, really, REALLY???? it has been three months already I've had it and I have not been without underwear and a liner. ARRRGGGHH again! I thought the breastfeeding would counteract this evil effect, but it hasn't. On the bright side, as a method of birth control this constant bleeding side of things is certainly effective, limiting any *activity* to the confines of the shower stall to avoid

I also thought naively that it would be put in, and I wouldn't even know it was there at all. I guess I get on with life and I effectively don't really know it is there, but I know it is there by the crazy wiry strings hanging about *in there*!!! They are crazy! And wiry! And I so notice them. How strange. At my follow up appointment the GP had a look and she even had to sort them out, my crazy wiry strings, as they were "all tangled up"! Bizarre. It is so worth it though. Knowing I don't have to have The Fear anymore.

Until that other morning that is, until the pregnancy-gag toothbrushing incident. My eyes bulging open in the 'Oh NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!' expression, I do what any panic-in-the-moment woman would do - bust the pregnancy tests out. I knew it was impossible, but was it merely improbable? I do seem to be a fertile lady...if someone were to get pregnant with one of these things installed it would be me, I just knew it. I had 8 leftover test strips from my cheapo internet pregnancy test order from the last scare, and cracked one open, did the deed. As I was waiting, it struck me as a novelty that this test, actually, will likely be negative. Any other test I had taken was planned, or I had just known would be positive. This time deep down I did know it would be negative, but because of The Fear, I just had to check, I just had to be sure. Negative. Phew.

So now I have 7 tests left, to calm any future irrational symptoms of pregnancy that come up in the next five years. Don't get me wrong; I love my kids, and I wouldn't trade my circumstances for the world - although the little one was a surprise he is the best surprise of my life and I couldn't imagine life without him as a part of our family. As he is likely the last baby I will have I am also really appreciating every moment, and holding him a little longer after his night feed so he can snuggle sleepily into my arms, pooching his sleepy lips, nuzzling his sleepy head. I am really paying attention to all of his moments, I don't want to miss a thing.

Hold on then, make that 6 tests to calm my irrational symptoms. I'll save the last one just in case my husband does become out of his mind again...and I feel like having another nighttime baby snuggle - just in case I missed something the first three times.

Until then, me and my new best friend Mirena are getting along just fine. I might even go have a shower to celebrate.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Things that bump in the night

Cough cough. cough cough cough. Cough. Thud. Moooooaaan. moan moan moan. Moan. moan.

The sounds are from middle son's room, 10 pm-ish. He just turned two in August, and on the weekend we took the side off his cot; the Big Boy Bed. Although he is in these sort of 'training sheets' that zip up the side so he doesn't fall out of bed easily, he still has managed to sausage his way out of the roll, if you will. The zipper makes the duvet into a sleeping bag type situation, the duvet now attached to the bottom sheet which is attached to the mattress. With a built in pillow too. Theoretically he could get up and walk about with the mattress strapped to his back if he liked, little legs out the bottom...that would be a precious sight! Anyway, out the top he must have come, as when I went in the room his little face was pressed on the floor alongside one shoulder, the rest of him suspended by the one remaining foot still up on the bed. Why he stayed like that while awaiting rescue I don't know, perhaps he didn't want to get up and around in the dark - given, he must have also been in a bit of a shock delirium being just torn from sleep so suddenly. Bless.

'Oh dear, have you fallen out?'
'Yes, fall out bed!'
'Are you OK?'
'Let's get back in then'

What might have been a simple insertion at that point did not occur. For some reason, he made himself stiff as a board, so as I was trying to bend him to get him back into the cocoon I only succeeded in lifting him up repeatedly, his face the fulcrum point of my efforts. Again, bless him, poor thing. My laziness in not opening the zipper in the first place had been beat out. In he went and that was that. That night.

Since the four nights that have passed with him in the new bed, not one has passed without incident. One night he was out completely, thumping about his room in the pitch black; another his beloved sleep dolly had fallen out onto the floor. Curses! He was sleeping perfectly without any trouble at all before this changeover, why WHY!!!!??? I think to myself, why did I do this? If it ain't broke don't fix it and all that.... but I do know that whether I did it last week or six months from now the same things would occur, as part of the learning process of being in an open bed. So fine, I accept that. At least the baby is no trouble at all now, really - after 10:45 pm he doesn't need tending until morning. (Instead I do often need to listen to him party to himself for an hour, between 4 am and 5 am. At least I don't need to get out of bed). As a mum with three young kids I accept that somebody (or somebody x3), for some reason, will have me up skulking about in the dark between 10 pm and 7 am.

What really gets me though is when it isn't a child, but the blasted cat. On the rare occasion that no child disturbs me, the fates insist again that I must never get a whole night's sleep. Over the past few months we have had a rattling radiator problem, which numerous times in the night we were awoken by the cat using it to jump into the window - I nearly paid someone 100 GBP to have it fixed it was making us so crazy - but then I brilliantly stuffed a towel down the back and that seems to have done the trick. Hopefully once the heat goes on this doesn't burn the house down or cause some other associated disaster (!). The other favourite of Thierry the cat is to barf, on the white carpet of course. In the middle of the night. If not disgusting enough to have to clean up after this foul cat habit, his cat highness always ALWAYS does it at night. I astutely tear myself from sleep the moment I hear the indicative, quite distinct cat retch....there is always a preamble of awful cat retchy noises that if I am quick enough I can scoop him mid convulsion for safe receipt on a stone or wooden floor. What actually happens though is I end up slightly too late (retch preamble two or three! aack too late!) and I make the mess worse by creating a lengthwise spray trail en route to the hard floor, the hard floor ending up unscathed but the carpet and adjacent walls decorated quite artistically. Last night we were up at 4:30 am, armed with the Vanish carpet spray, once again. Oh but he is so cute and cuddly. Damn him.

The worst shock in the night was when there was an almighty *SMASH* - the sounds of cracking and tinkling that only broken glass makes, and although I am sure only lasted seconds the sound seemed too go on forever, and SO loud. We leapt out of bed and downstairs to find the giant hall mirror on the floor, mirrored glass just everywhere, everywhere. That was a couple of years ago and I swear I still find bits of glass from that scattered about in dark corners. The mirror has since been replaced by the couple of giant wooden lizards we brought back from honeymoon, a much more innocent hall feature!

I know I have at least three more years of broken nights. And my husband commented last night to me that I probably need some botox. Perhaps these points are related? I do look a little night-of-the-living-dead nowadays - so hey, if he's selling, I'm buying. In the meantime, if I do have an undisturbed night of sleep between 11 pm and 7 am, I will quickly report. But I wouldn't wait up for it if I were you.

Sunday, 18 September 2011


It seems I find myself under control again. And awake.

If you had followed my other blog 'Singlemarriedmum' you know it seemed to just stop abruptly February 24th; I was 8 months pregnant, working, with two toddlers, and alone. That can be paraphrased in one simple word that explains it all. Tired.

The last 6 months were survived, I believe, due to some kind of autopiloted semi-wakeful coma. I am not exactly sure of the details, but in that time I have had a new baby, stopped work, regained my husband, and rejuvenated two happy little boys. I have been on a short holiday twice, had grandparents visit thrice, and have seen my sister and the cousins a good two handfuls worth. I have a vague memory of even baking a pie. Things are looking up.

I feel like my new equilibrium has been found. And with my new one-size-larger cheap sale Gap jeans wedged snugly in between the two car seats in the back, we are ready to drive off to new horizons.

And suddenly, I don't feel so tired anymore.