Last summer I was having a bit of a clear out. I decided that I was done with baby making so I took a number of items including a baby bath and my double buggy and donated them to a charity shop.
I’ve been kind of kicking myself about that one now. The thing is a lot of the baby equipment that I have left over is on its last legs, but I absolutely resent having to buy new stuff for what will absolutely 100% be my last baby. I’m looking at my high chair and wondering if I can stretch its use just that little bit further…. I have already accepted that a new stage one carseat is in order. The donated double buggy is a real sore point for me too as I think I will need one for a few months at least until Little A is big enough and competent enough to manage the school run twice a day on foot. Squishy was 2 and a half before I retired her buggy and 3 years old before I retired the buggy board and expected her to go everywhere on foot. There will be overlap of maybe four months where a double buggy will be handy, and I could cry at the thought of spending a minimum of £200 on a buggy for those few months.
So when I saw the same model as my old double buggy for sale on my local Facebook Buy It/Sell It page for the princely sum of £50, I had to snap it up. Now I have to A: try and not be superstitious about having it in the house and B: Hide it from the eldest as we still haven’t broken the news.
The funny thing about all of this is that money isn’t an issue. I could easily go out and buy a brand new buggy and any number of other baby related things, it’s just long experience has taught me how brief the space of time these things are used is and how quickly all your lovely new baby stuff acquires a patina of slobber, spew and unidentified foodstuffs. I am so far over the first time mother mentality that I had where everything had to be shiny new. I remember actually crying because the eldest slept in a borrowed moses basket and had a borrowed bouncy chair because it all had to be a sign of her impoverished childhood. Now I am quite happy to reuse whatever I can. In fact all of my children as newborns have gone into the same pack of side fastening baby vests. Hopefully later this year they will complete 12 years of service.
Am I being a cheapskate? Or am I just frugal and practical? I suppose I could always hand-make some seat covers with Cath Kidston fabric and give the chassis a coat of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and tell people I’m upcycling. It’s all very Kirstie Allsop, darling!
As for the donated baby bath…. well I think we’ll manage just fine with the kitchen sink.
Today I am having my first WTF am I doing have a fifth child? freak out. It has been a hellish morning. First the eldest child refused to get out of bed (nothing new there, it usually takes bribery/begging/pleading/threatening/dynamite to shift her). Then she couldn’t find her blood glucose monitor, so the natural explanation for that had to be that I had sneaked into her bedroom in the middle of the night and stole/hid the monitor for shits and giggles, because that’s how I roll. It couldn’t possibly be that she had just misplaced it in the pit of doom that is her bedroom. This meant she screamed a lot at me, repeatedly telling me to “shut up.” This is her standard reply to anyone who attempts to speak to her before about 1 o’clock in the day. I don’t know if it’s the hormones or the hyperglycaemia or a combination of the two, but she is the devil in an A cup.
Next up, the boy, who has been home sick from school for the last two days with a sore throat who highly unimpressed at the thought that he had to return. He refused to get dressed. Then the Squishy one threw an absolute fit at having her hair put in bunches to go to nursery. The walk to school took on the feel of a forced death march as the two of them wailed inconsolably and I felt my blood pressure rising. I was actually shaking by the time I dropped them both off. Then I started to completely panic about how the hell am I going to cope with another one? Have I made a huge mistake?
Having a teenager (well technically she is 12 but has the hormone profile and personality of one) is by the far the most difficult part of parenting I’ve encountered so far. It’s definitely made more difficult by her diabetes, which is pretty poorly controlled at the moment and leaves her prone to mood swings of epic proportions. She is in many ways a giant toddler, with zero impulse control but a much better vocabulary to tell me why she hates me. It’s actually like living with a bully in the house as she verbally abuses me, the husband and her siblings on a daily basis. I’m locked in a constant battle with her to get her test her blood sugars and to inject her insulin and catch her before she indulges in yet another secret sugar binge. It is taking up a vast amount of my mental energy and leaving me with very little energy or patience for the others.
And I’m going to bring another baby into the mix?
I must be f**king crazy.
I am actually dreading telling her that I am pregnant again as I don’t anticipate her reaction to be a good one. I’m kind of hoping maybe I can slip the whole thing past her unnoticed. Oh this baby? I got it aaaages ago, it’s just been sitting in the wardrobe. Of course it’s not a new one!
I am feeling enormously anxious right now.
I had my booking appointment this morning. It was all the usual stuff – medical history, height, weight (their scales weighed me 4lbs later than my scales at home, yay! I like their scales), blood pressure, urine test (trace of ketones, boo) and blood tests. I had a very nice student midwife who is weeks away from qualifying. She told me she’s the oldest child of 9 and loves it when mums come in who have large families like mine. It is really lovely to see the progress being made in maternity care, for one thing they immediately gave me the number for contacting the Supervisor of Midwives should I have any problems. I remember in a previous pregnancy having to argue to get the number (though it was completely my right to have it and speak to her). They’ve provisionally booked me for a home delivery so let’s hope that baby plays ball this time and we have no issues with him staying breech. I also hope that Group B Strep doesn’t rear it’s ugly head again. They said they will do a vaginal swab at 36 weeks to check for it. I’m going to spend the next 26 weeks fervently crossing my fingers for the all clear. I would dearly love to finish my pregnancy journey at home as the boy and the Squishy one’s births were such lovely positive experiences. All that remains now is to await my appointment in the post for my official dating scan.
I took a big step today and asked about Down Syndrome screening. As it stands in Northern Ireland you are only offered the screening tests if you are above 35. In other parts of the UK, woman are routinely offered the triple blood test and a nuchal translucency scan at 13 weeks. At 32 (almost 33) I suppose I am probably still fairly low risk but a friend of mine (who is the same age as me) living in England recently had the NT scan and triple test and came back as high risk. She’s since gone on to privately have a Nifty test (it’s a blood test that tests circulating fetal DNA in the maternal bloodstream) and is waiting for her results. I suppose it is all playing on my mind now, especially as I have such a large family already and I find handling the eldest’s additional needs with her diabetes to be quite straining at times. I’ve been told I can ask at the dating scan about the triple test, but I don’t know if they will consent to that or perform a NT scan and my understanding is that the two are best looked at together. Our other option is to go privately for it at a cost of around £200. All of this could potentially open another can of worms as it seems like the available of Harmony or Nifty tests are very limited in Ireland (and cost around £600) so the only other option is amniocentesis or CVS, both of which carry a high miscarriage risk. There is every possibility that you could get a high risk result on an NT scan/triple test and everything could be fine. It’s hard weighing up what is the best thing to do, and it’s a very uncomfortable conversation to have probably because it’s still such an alien concept to screen for it in this neck of the woods. I have a little time yet to make the decision though.
One thing I need to start doing now is taking bump pictures, though I’m starting out about 15lbs heavier than I was in my last pregnancy and my stomach/bump is waaay bigger. I’ve been forced into some maternity clothes too which definitely accentuates things. Finally, I am pleased to report that the cyclizine is definitely helping. I feel horribly nauseous for about an hour in between doses but generally it’s taking the edge off and helping me to feel much more human. I’ll start experimenting soon with seeing if I can live without it as hopefully things will calm down as I head into the second trimester.
My doctor has given me a prescription for cyclizine and I have high hopes that it will help me to feel at least slightly normal again. It definitely takes the edge of the sickness enough for me to get on with things.
Yesterday was an odd day. In the morning I saw my GP and in the afternoon I took a notion and decided to book a private scan in the new place that has opened in town. I had a look at their facebook page to get the contact details. You know what Facebook pages are like, they show you if any of your friends have also “liked” a page. I was quite surprised to see that my sister-in-law had liked it. Being a naturally
nosey suspicious curious person I started to wonder, hmmm is she pregnant? It seems like a very niche page to like.
Anyway it’s not exactly the sort of thing you can just come out and ask if I put it out of my mind and went ahead and booked my own scan, without “liking” the page and giving myself away.
Last night I went with my sister. I’ll be honest I felt a bit silly booking the scan. It really was down to my own paranoia, but then I thought to myself this is DEFINITELY my last pregnant and with three losses in my past maybe it’s okay for me to be a bit precious and seek out some reassurance when I feel that I need it. I’m very pleased to report that little Loki (I have nicknamed the bean that on the basis that I think there’s a very good chance it was conceived while watching Avengers) is doing well. He/she is now measuring 9 weeks and 1 day, had good cardiac activity, a visible cord and yolk sac and was wriggling all round the place, waving its little limb buds about.
So freaking cute.
After the scan I was home again and then it was time to go out with husband. This was the sad part of the day. We were going to the wake of his cousin’s son. He was only three years old and died of a very rare genetic disorder. I cannot put into words how heartbreaking it was to see him. It’s not the natural order of the world, no parent should ever have to go through what they are going through right now. It was such a strange juxtaposition, there I was just an hour before taking a peek at new life and then…
If you have kids, hug them extra tight and be glad they are there to drive you crazy.
Sister-in-law was at the wake helping out with making tea and handing out sandwiches. We were standing together having a chat and I discovered that my hunch was correct. She is pregnant, not only that but we are both due on the same day.
A very strange day altogether.
Oh glob the nausea…..
the horrible, horrible nausea that is there from within an hour of waking up in the morning and doesn’t leave all day.
I have never had nausea like this. It’s genuinely interfering with my ability to get on with my every day life. I just want to spend my time swooning on my bed and groaning. I can’t face cooking, walking, sitting, talking, reading etc. all of which are necessary activities when you have four other children to look after.
It’s so bad I shall be taking myself to the GP on Thursday morning to cry and beg for cyclazine. I feel like a massive wuss but the thought of a month or more of relentlessly feeling like this makes me want to cry big fat snottery tears.