Rest and recovery – who am I kidding?!

It’s been 4 days since I went into hospital to have an impacted wisdom tooth removed… Other than them finding the tooth stuck in my jaw bone and having to remove part of the bone which has led to a slower recovery it went incredibly well…

hubby came along with smallest boy so that I could feed him as normal, and the staff on the ward couldn’t have been nicer, they let me stay in the waiting room with them until it was time to go to theatre, and then let them both come in to recovery so that I could feed him there in peace…. the consultant was a lovely man probably in his 60s and as soon as I said I was breastfeeding he couldnt have been kinder, from making sure he didn’t give me anything that wasn’t compatible with feeding, even down to antibiotics which he said were safe but might make milk taste funny so he’d avoid those too…he even congratulated me on bringing smallest boy with me to feed!

sadly there were 2 members of staff who couldve done with some better training… the first who told me I absolutely could not have a general anaesthetic if I was breastfeeding, the second who told me I had to express milk before I went into theatre because I couldn’t feed him afterwards….

the old me would’ve just bowed to both of these comments and probably would’ve ended up back at home with wisdom tooth still intact! Luckily my new found confidence made me question both of these people, and they both disappeared off to ask someone else and came back knowing that I was right…

i was told to go home and rest and recover… on a soft diet for 2 weeks until my jaw bone heals (which is great fun for someone who is already the fussiest eater going!)

Hubby had the next day off work so that I could rest while he took care of the kids,  and my mum and sister did the school runs for me on Friday so I didn’t have to show my swollen bruised face…. but having 4 children doesn’t exactly  make for much rest!! especially when smallest boy seems to be coming down with something and only mummy or boob will do…. he was up 8 times during the night last night! To say I’m exhausted would be a bit of an understatement!

my mum took middle boy out for a few hours this afternoon when he was going stir crazy, biggest boy was at his dads and stepdaughter went round to friends too so I had a bit of peace with only the smallest grumpy boy to look after so I at least feel a little less like I’ve been hit by a truck now – though I’m much more bruised today so I probably look even worse than before….. not really looking forward to the school run tomorrow!

I have absolutely no plans this week so may just hibernate with smallest boy until i feel better (at least until I can manage to eat enough calories to actually have the energy to do anything other than sit and feed which might be helpful!)

School holidays are very nearly here so I need to feel better quickly, I’m looking forward to 5/6 weeks with all of our monsters (no need to remind me of this when 2 days in they’re all driving me crazy!)

Sunshine and smiles

We’re still basking in the longest heatwave in my entire lifetime so far, we seem to have finally got used to the heat and are enoying the sunshine… the boys are loving it (which probably means it’ll all be over and back to rain again very soon – ever the optimist I am…)

the paddling pool has been permanently out for 2 weeks, they have played together, laughed together, they’ve even stopped laughing hysterically and trying to run away every time I put their suncream on!

Smallest boy has enjoyed splashing around in the washing up bowl floating in the paddling pool, and bathing in my mums washing up bowl in the garden after covering himself from head to toe in food! Baby led weaning is hilarious, and I’m very thankful it’s summer and we can just hose off the high chair once he’s finished!! He’s also learnt to crawl this week and is very proud of himself…. I on the other hand am exhausted…. and can’t quite believe he’s 7 months old this week, I need time (and him!) to slow down!

The end of the school year and summer holidays are well within reach now, yesterday was biggest boys sports day, and today he’s gone off on a school reward trip to the zoo as he’s had a fantastic year both academically and behaviourally…. I honestly never thought I’d see the day, the last couple of years of primary school were far from easy, but high school really has done him so much good – I’m incredibly proud of the young man he’s turning into – even if I could do with a little less attitude from him!

Middle boy has his sports day too this week, though I may have to miss it for the first time ever as I’m going in hospital tomorrow and not sure whether I’ll have recovered enough to even get there – I’m gutted but it can’t be helped and I’m going to try my very best to either be there or to be ok enough for hubby to leave me at home and him to be there so I’m just hoping he won’t be too sad if I/we don’t make it…

In all honesty I think I’m going to just write off the rest of the week whilst I recover, you never know an enforced rest might do me some good (haha rest?! who am I kidding with all these children 😂)

Body confidence…

Actually the title to this should be lack of body confidence….

as we’re mid heatwave I decided this morning that I was going to be brave and leave the house wearing only one top…. this probably sounds quite ridiculous to most people, however, other than when I’ve been pregnant, I haven’t left the house wearing only one top in probably 12 years 😱

i ALWAYS wear a vest top underneath whatever I am wearing to hide my belly…. or a dress/jumper over the top…regardless of how hot it is I have never been confident enough not to.

However after a couple of months of physio recently, and realising that this is it now, this is as good as my body is ever going to get, coupled with the fact that feeding smallest boy whilst out and wearing 2 tops in 31 degree heat is just not comfortable for either of us, this morning I took the plunge and left the house wearing just my vest top…. I put on 4 different tops before eventually deciding on one, and even then, before actually leaving the house I made middle boy take a photo of me and sent it to hubby to check I didn’t look too disgusting…. and then very nearly bottled it and got changed when biggest boy told me “you do look a bit ugly”….

but I did it, I did the school run and nobody ran away from me or threw up at the sight of me (or at least I didn’t notice them 😂) and I actually felt comfortable rather than like I was going to faint due to wearing so many layers!!

So…. I’m going to brave it again this afternoon, and maybe even tomorrow…

Think I’m going to get hubby to get my exercise bike back out of the shed, and find my hula hoop with the aim of actually doing some exercise instead off sitting eating biscuits whilst littlest boy sleeps (Like I’m doing now!) However in reality I’ll more than likely just let them both sit gathering dust in the bedroom for a few months whilst I think about it 😂

I may never love the way my body looks, and I’ll definitely never wear a bikini ever again… but I’m pretty proud of my body these days, after all it’s given me all 4 of my beautiful children, and it’s doing a fab job of feeding smallest boy…. so I’m determined not to hate it anymore…. it’s just another one of those things that I just don’t have the time or energy for these days…. I won’t push my luck too much, I doubt I’ll ever like what I see in the mirror, but I’ll settle with tolerating it, even that is a massive step…. it’s taken me 12 years to get this far after all… who knows, in another 12 years I might brave getting my legs out too 😂

 

 

What mother’s do…

After a particularly “challenging” evening yesterday with middle boy, and a not so brilliant morning this morning either I was feeling particularly exhausted as I sat down to eat some lunch, I was contemplating doing some kind of housework whilst smallest boy slept, but instead I (rather guiltily) chose to let him fall asleep on me and sit and read a book a lovely friend lent me a few weeks ago…

to be quite honest it’s the first time I’ve just sat and done “nothing” in a couple of weeks, life has been ridiculously busy just lately, but I still felt guilty for taking half an hour to just sit and cuddle him whilst he sleeps when there are so many jobs that need doing…

The books title “what mother’s do especially when it looks like nothing” said it all really, I am quite often found saying that I’ve “done nothing all day” when I guess the reality is far from that….

ive also recently found myself feeling guilty when conversations have come up about when I’m going back to work and my reply has been that I’m not anytime soon…

its ridiculous really, I’m not ashamed of my choice to be a stay at home mum, because it is exactly that … a choice… a choice made by me and hubby that we are both happy with, and that works for our little family, we have to make sacrifices so that it is financially doable…. but we knew that before we even thought about extending our family…. and it was a decision we made together, about the right thing for us all…. yes we may have to be extremely careful with money for a while and cut back on extravagant things like gifts, days/nights out and holidays, but that’s a choice we have happily made.

deep down I don’t give a damn what anyone else’s opinion is anyway…. but that doesn’t stop the tiny guilty feeling every time I say it out loud…. doesn’t stop the need for me to explain why, and justify our decision…. on occasion even to strangers when they ask questions in the supermarket!

I am loving every minute of motherhood this time round and am so much more confident than I ever have been before…. not only in my parenting choices, but also in myself, which is lucky given smallest boys mission to have me whip out a boob everywhere I go…. a year ago I couldn’t even imagine myself feeding in public… oh how far we have come 😂

Before he was born i set myself a goal to breastfeed for at least 2 weeks… gradually I extended that goal to 1 month, then 2 months…. 3 months, then eventually to 6 months…. and now we have passed that goal too and we’re still going strong… I’m incredibly proud of how far we’ve got and how easy it’s been after a rough couple of weeks at the start.

The introduction of food recently – and the fact that he’s now over 6 months old -has prompted several comments – that I should be breastfeeding him less, the fact that he still feeds several times in the night, or asking when I’m going to stop…… in all honesty before i started this journey I never imagined we’d make it this far…. to get past the official guidelines to exclusively breastfeed up until 6 months felt like a massive achievement and now I honestly I don’t know when we will stop…. I haven’t set myself a new goal …. the world health organisation guidelines to feed up until 2 years old seems like a million miles away but we will just take one day at a time and see what happens…. what I do know is that right now it works for us, and I’m proud of how far we have come.

So back to the book I was reading (whilst I’m sitting here “doing nothing” all afternoon 😂)

I’m not actually doing nothing…. in the past hour and a half alongside writing this, I’ve ordered the weekly food shop….  I’ve sorted out some bills that needed paying…. I’ve written lists…. checked emails…. replied to a couple of texts…. mentally sorted tea for us all…. and I’m feeding a little person as I type…. an extremely happy, smiley little person who has more than doubled in size in the last 6 months…. and I’m the only person who can take any credit for that…(I can 99% accurately say that the minuscule amounts of food he has consumed over the past 2/3 weeks haven’t had that much of an effect!)

So if nurturing this little man is “all” I achieve some days whilst the others are at school then so what?! The ironing can wait, time passes too quickly, all too soon he won’t fall asleep on my chest, or feed to sleep…. soon enough he’ll be as independent as his big brothers and I’ll miss these days….

So I ’m making a mental note to myself not to stress about the things I haven’t done…. let’s see how long I last!!

 

6 months

It’s hard to recall or even imagine the sheer terror I was feeling this time 6 months ago…..the night before I went into hospital to have our littlest man…

That’s right, he is 6 whole months, half a year old tomorrow, the whole time flying cliche seems pretty apt right now!

The past 6 months have brought immeasurable joy, happiness, a little tiredness (not enough to complain about generally) and a few stresses, but 99.9% euphoria and a general feeling of completeness….. I’m well aware that I’m turning into one of those annoying mother’s posting a million pictures of my beautiful baby using terrible cliches like #soblessed etc and …..I DONT CARE 😂😂😂 i have a very select group of people on my social media accounts for the very reason that I don’t need or want the whole world to see my children – exactly why I’ve never posted their photos or names on here…. and I’d like to think I’m not one of those people who only posts the good parts of life too…. I like a good moan as much as the next person!!! So I’ll apologise to those who are inundated with pictures…. #sorrynotsorry 😂

Anyway, I digress….

This past week or so has brought a new reflux medication (that we’re yet to see any benefits from) and the introduction of food which has been fun! It’s also seen him well and truly on the move, he can get from one side of the room to the other quicker than I can turn round, there’s no stopping him!

Baby led weaning is a whole new journey for me as well as for him, and it is testing the limits of my mess handling skills for sure 😂 it’s going to be a long slow process, especially for a boy who loves nothing more than boob….but so far so good!

Hes developed a real little personality just recently, and he really is such a happy, smiley little man almost 100% of the time, his little giggle is amazing!

So, heres hoping the next 6 months are as happy as the past 6 have been…. it’d be lovely if they’d go a bit slower too….time needs to slow down a bit hes (in fact all 3 of them are) growing up way too fast!!

Im off to peel the snoring sleepy baby off my chest and put him into his cot, kiss all 3 of my boys goodnight and climb into bed with a bowl full of strawberries and melted chocolate at 8.30pm….because it’s monday, it’s the first day back to school runs after 2 weeks off and I’m blinking exhausted…. so blessed maybe…. but still shattered!!

 

Strange…

My beautiful girls 13th birthday has been and gone, and I’m still here and still smiling…. it feels rather strange (and perhaps I feel a little guilty) to admit that this year I seem to have coped far better than I ever have before…

i know my babyloss friends will be with me in saying that it’s usually the few days before and after that are the hardest, and I’m not ashamed to admit that usually I would spend each day for a few days before up until 8 days after (the day of her funeral) reliving exactly what happened at each moment 13 years ago…. from my last scan and amnio drainage on the morning of her birth, to every single visitor (I’m still grateful to every single one of you) to the last time I held her, and going to visit her in the chapel of rest, right down to her funeral…..

this year, although all of those things were in the back of my mind each day, that’s all they were.

of course I was sad, and I shed tears for my beautiful girl on her birthday, and all that should’ve been, but I carried on as normal, I didn’t lock myself away from the world, in fact I spent the day of her birthday surrounded by my closest friends – all 4 of smallest boys godmothers, and for the first time ever I laughed and smiled all day long….i was absolutely exhausted by the end of the day, and very full of biscuits…. but relieved that I had  made it through in one piece…

for the next week I was on holiday with all of my family (as we always are this week of every year – so that’s not what made it different) and since we got back I’ve spent 3 lovely days with my little family…..

I’m not sure how I feel now…. happy that I’ve coped so well, or guilty that maybe that means I’ve moved on….

i know I’ll never get over losing my precious girl, and I’ll never stop loving her or missing her, but I guess i should be thankful that life is good at the moment and I can still smile even on the bad days…. maybe that whole cliche of time being a healer is somewhat true… or maybe I’ve just been lucky and next year it’ll be horrendous again…  Who knows…. I guess even this far along the journey it’s still unpredictable, and I just have to ride out whatever feelings and emotions I come across…. to cherish the good days, and ride out the bad ones…. right now I’m just going to try not to feel guilty and to make the most of the happiness…. I guess I have my boys to thank for that 💙

Different

After having a bit of a “woe is me” moment earlier (my beautiful girl would be 13 this week) it got me thinking…

Although this past couple of weeks have been hard work with smallest man, things are SO incredibly different and so much easier than they have been at this stage with any of my other children….

5 months after having my beautiful girl I was still in the darkest place of grief ( and also in the early stages of  pregnancy)….

5 months after having biggest boy we were in a weird kind of new normal, with daily visits from nurses, at least weekly hospital visits, and a mass of medications, tubes and monitors….

When middle boy was 5 months old we were in the middle of a completely different type of battle…

all 3 times, my heart was full of love, but life was far from easy…

fast forward to now and looking back certainly puts things into perspective…. yes there have been struggles and worries, but life is pretty damn amazing…

this week is going to be tough as I think of all the should have beens, and relive all the memories I have safely stored away, but I have my wonderful hubby by my side, my 3 boys to hold onto, and the knowledge that life is much happier and easier now than it has been for a very long time, I just need to ride out the storm, let myself grieve once more and hold my boys close this coming week.

I’ll never stop missing my beautiful baby girl, there will NEVER be a way to find a positive in losing her, but ill always be thankful that I am her mummy, and grateful for all that having her has taught me.

Life is very different to how it’s ever been, different in a good way, our crazy, dysfunctional, unorthodox, untraditional family is happy and complete, and with them, the rest of my family and friends by my side even the shittiest of weeks can still contain smiles and laughter…. fingers crossed