I want to be that mother who can stand up and say I am a strong confident mother and I know what is best for my children. We breastfeed and co sleep, We listen, We include, We eat chocolate and snot smoothies, we trampoline and grow frogs, we sling, we carry and we try and understand and work with our children without resorting to punishments, threats or coercion.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

If you aint got nothing nice to say, dont say nothing at all

Platitudes platitudes. There really is very little to say. If you can't think of anything. Say that. Don't platitudes.

Don't say.

You can have another one. I know that. I want the little girl I had. Don't you see the difference? You can have another one. I know that. But do I? No one knows that. What if I can't.

You can have another one. Maybe, but I'm in pain now.

Right now is what matters. Its a platitude, it's insensitive and it doesn't work.

Don't say.

At least you have your other three. Yes but I wanted *her* to be my 4th. She was wanted. I meant be thankful for your other three. Are you implying I ought to be satisfied with what I have? That I am not already thankful for them and love them?

I meant they must be keeping you busy. I don't want to be busy. I'm always busy. I want to switch off for a while.

Don't say.

Cheer up why don't you smile. Why don't you fuck off. I'm not in the mood for smiling. Of course I feel depressed. Do you know what's just happened? Don't be insensitive. Don't be ignorant . It's not my job right now to ease your awkwardness.

Don't say.

How are you? Unless you really want the answer. Because I will tell you. Even though I have no proper words to describe how awful I feel, if you ask I won't say fine. Be prepared for a raw answer.

My raw self can't handle platitudes. My raw self feels everything. My raw self reacts massively.

Don't say anything.

If you don't know what to say. Just let me know you're here for me and you are sorry for my loss. A hug usually helps too.

Meltdowns - sooooo many
Losing the Plot - just the will to get out of bed
Breastfeeding - too tired and forgot that's 2 nights in a row

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

I'm not meaning to pick them!

We've been watching family films a lot this weekend. I've been trying to keep us close as a family in the evenings just before bed instead of our separate screens.

I went through Netflix and added a number of 80's films that were classics and I remembered enjoying and thought the kids would like them too.

The first one we watched was Look Who's Talking. I remembered there was a kid talking to himself (we could hear it as audience) and that it was quite funny and probably what swayed me then and now, was that it had Bruce Willis's voice in it.

First off, I forgot about the whole conception scene at the beginning, the animated talking sperm and egg scene and then I forgot about there being scenes of an animated fetus from inside the mothers belly. Honest to G-d I pretty much forgot the entire first part of the film consisted of mostly pregnancy and fetusbaby and birth related stuff.

I almost freaked the fuck out and panicked that the kids were going to be really upset about seeing it. They didn't seem to be and I stifled the way my heart jumped into my mouth when the fetusbaby started thinking and talking. Completely forgot about that part too. *sigh*

Aside from that, the rest of the film was sweet and funny in places and terribly outdated in others. And yes I did shout at the TV during some of the birth scenes and yes my hubby did shout at the TV for them going back and forward to baby's room instead of cosleeping.

I watched Fools Rush In - didn't know there was a miscarriage scene (which actually turned out not to be) which caught me by surprise, made me cry and had me cursing my stupid choice of films this weekend.

We then watched as a family, Look Who's Talking too because the kids enjoyed the first one. The beginning was similar but I was more prepared and anyway it was mostly missed because Millie was insisting there were two babies and was becoming upset with me for saying there was only one. It was that becoming upset way I recognised as the...about to explode and NEVER recover..kind of upset. I negotiated my way out of that meltdown like a pro.

The next one I watched alone was Philomena but what I thought was going to be a quirky slow film about two mismatched sad people turned out to be the true story of this tragic tale of woe about the practice of the Catholic church in Ireland at the time, forcing unwed mothers in their care to give up their children for adoption. This particular mother had been looking for her son for 50 years but in the end he had died but it turned out he had wanted to be buried back in Ireland where he was born in case his mother ever came looking for him. Every time the mother had gone to the home to look for him, she had been fobbed off and told lies. He once went there from America, on his almost deathbed, and he was also told lies and that his mother wasn't looking for him. You know real high end never ending tragedy.

Netflix really does give ridiculous descriptions for the films and I often just go by name and the picture. I had a rough idea of the genre, family based or funny. But OMG they were crazy choices!!

It seems no matter what film I pick there is some reference or scene about miscarriage or pregnancy or those kinds of things. It's like some weird cruel coincidence joke that's not really that funny.

Meltdowns - a few
Losing the Plot - I don't have the energy to be shouty
Breastfeeding - she didn't ask tonight!

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Unknowns and empty knowing

I went to EPAS (early pregnancy assessment suite) today. EPAS is where we went the day after Neshama was born. We took her and her placenta there to be looked over to make sure she was all intact and nothing was left inside me. I didn't take much in when we were there initially and she said it was clear I had been in shock.

I am thankful for this thoughtful caring midwife who took the time to sit and talk with me.

I needed to talk to the midwife who attended to me to clarify some things for me. I needed to hear from someone who last saw her. I needed to cry.

I just turned up and asked if she was a available and we sat in a private room and chatted for about an hour. She took the time to listen and answer all my questions and we chatted, about inane things and also about her stillbirth at 36 weeks and how things were so different back then. Losing a baby later on in pregnancy must be a billion times worse than this feeling, I don't know how I could recover from that.

I really just wanted to know how old she thought Neshama was and why there weren't any signs or why I didn't notice or feel the moment she passed. I knew she couldn't really answer the other questions but knowing her approximate age felt important. One of those math absolute number things. A quantifiable known.

I also needed some confirmation about how quickly things went wrong and that there wasn't anything I could have done. She said that If I had gone for any scans, they would have all shown a healthy growing baby and somehow I think it would have been even worse to go from the excitement of passing the so called worrisome stage to losing her after. It would also have been even worse to have known she had passed and then have to wait for her to be born, not knowing for sure or knowing it could happen at any time but not knowing when. Too many unknowns.

We talked about what will happen if we try again. If there is anything different I need to do. Am I too old now? She said there were more 'older' mothers nowadays. She said I would more than likely be very worried and I can come and be scanned early or be seen at any time. Do I want that though? What if it happens again, I just can't imagine wanting to know early on with the having to wait around in the agonising limbo phase.

She gave me a pregnancy test to take at the 3 week mark to check my hormone levels and that everything has completely passed.

I don't know if I can bring myself to do it. There is really something desperately tragic about taking a pregnancy test to check I am completely empty.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Algorithms are not the best ways to cope 

I keep wondering if there is bleeding quotient, like they say you usually bleed for 6 weeks lochia for full term so is it 40 divided by 6, which is about 6.6 but is that days or what and then I don't know how to convert that to the relative weeks.  I want a smart clever little formula.

Then I realise that all women are different and experience physical things differently. It's probably not possible to quantify that kind of physiological response. Most information sites say anything from few days to few weeks but a lot of forums with posts from real people talk about bleeding still after 6 weeks.

I'm not worried about my bleeding as it has been tailing off and only coming back if I exert. The clots are now small and the pain is usually minimal.

I just want it to be a tangible exact quantifiable known. I have this need for something solid and undeniable. It's as if having this handy mathematical way of working it out means something makes real sense. Quantifiable sense. I am useless with numbers and hate maths but I know it's absolute. I know certain formulas are always one way. Pi is always Pi. Speed is always distance over time. Bleeding will last x amount of time.

Instead it's all just full of unknowns and smattered with possibles and maybe. Its hard to find something to hold me down.

I'm always all about feelings and emotions and I don't understand why I'm suddenly desperate for a math sum! It's weird.


Meltdowns - mainly due to physical pains
Losing the Plot - not so much
Breastfeeding - one thumb for right two thumbs for left...just a little morning and in the night

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Space between the moments

Space between the moments.

That's what I dread.   Those moments when I'm not busy being busy or when I'm not needed for anything.  That's when the fragmented moments of time have a chance to settle in my mind.  The unsettling ones that remind me of the shock and disbelief of that night. The ones that take me straight to that shattering sinking moment when all hope had gone.

We've been away for 3 nights. A Camping Wedding!! We weren't sure if it was a good idea to go or not. It was a long journey, we were both still in shock and it seemed like a huge effort but I was so looking forward to seeing my friend get married after all her adversity.  I also knew it would be such a fun and lovely wedding and it would do us good to be living communally amongst friends. The tent was already set up for us, which was a huge load off. We also, thankfully had real beds not mats on the ground. There were 4 or 5 other families, loads of kids and some of the couples family.

The couple are the most laid back, beautiful, wonderful, fun family ever. The whole wedding was just super.  And, it was entirely a field!! It was so hard to leave. I don't want to return to real life.

It was really satisfying watching the kids all playing out in nature (despite the occasional upset).  It was also just great having my friends around me. Friends who knew, that even though I was loudly and enthusiastically introducing myself to others (but not fully present during chatty times)and even though I was busily organising various things (but not wanting to deal with kid conflict issues or not handling it when things went slightly awry) and even though I was dancing like a whirling dervish at the evening party (knowing it would set off my bleeding again but not caring because..dancing), they knew, that there was still that space between the moments.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Neshama's Birth Story

** Warning...upsetting content but no pictures **



On Sunday 3rd September in the morning, I saw blood when I wiped, I had a look with a mirror and thought it was maybe from a cut. The blood was dark and I didn't feel unwell, I had a look on few forums and most threads were along lines of this happened to me and all was ok. I remembered a number of my friends had bled all the way through their pregnancies.

Sunday evening after work had cramp/ache in what felt like back leg top of bum area at the end of work but had no other pains or cramps in my stomach, had had an hours rest at mums in middle of shift.

Sunday night had proper look with torch to see if cut was bleeding. It wasnt. I spoke to some friends and a few midwife friends in the evening, who mostly said try not to worry, take it easy, get it checked soon.

Monday morning more blood fresh. I made an appointment to see someone but still not feeling any major urgency as was just spotting with no cramp or pain or anything.

During day on Monday I did feel a slight wierd sharp sensation in cervix every so often, through the day and put it down to me having had a look in there the night before and having used my finger to check how high the blood was.

Around midday, I went for a dog walk with friend and had wanted to tell her that I was bleeding a bit but had Maia with us and didn't want her to worry. Few hours later, after lying on sofa watching film with Maia, I picked up kids from grandma's and took Millie to Rainbows. I spoke to my SIL and had all but decided what will be will be. I came home with older two, did a few light chores then started bedtime around 8.30pm.

Whilst lying with Ellie,  I felt what I thought was maybe drop of blood coming out, so went to the bathroom and did a pee. No blood. Didn't realise it was waters leaking.

At around 9pm after I had come back up to lie with Ellie, I almost straight away felt even more of a gush, stood up then felt my waters break. Half panicked but trying not to in front of kids, I said Barry's name and rushed downstairs sat on toilet, about a cup of blood fell out.

Just as I was stepping over to the bath, I put my hand under for some more stuff coming and Neshama was born into my hand. (Barry later told me I said in an anguished cry 'Its my baby', I don't remember this) 

I remember thinking I don't want this to be a scary panicky moment, there is nothing to be done just let it be done. So I tried to remain as calm as possible. I also didn't want to freak Barry out who was already wanting me to go to hospital. I knew he was coming from a place of love and fear and worry so I made a conscious choice not to allow that to panic me as well. I knew I was not hemorrhaging, I was in hardly any pain from cramping and it was all just quietly happening in front of me.

I half sat laid back on a towel in the bath holding her still attached to the placenta and I waited and waited until I was able to move and she wasn't attached to me. I sent Barry upstairs a few times to check Ellie was asleep as we had had to leave her. I then sent him to get candles and he turned off the light. We occasionally hugged in awkward positions and talked about what to do. I talked to a midwife friend who said if I went in to hospital they would most likely just keep me in overnight and not do any checks until morning now anyway. I envisaged an ambulance coming to the house, possibly waking the girls.  I thought about the bumpy noisy ride to the hospital. I thought about the bright lights and intrusive atmosphere and I said out loud, I don't want them to take my baby. We decided to stay at home.  I concentrated on holding my tiny wee baby safe.

After some time I felt some of the umbilical cord slightly rip like a thread breaking, then the rest broke off and I was able to move her. We placed her in a small box. We then waited again until I thought most of the placenta was out. (turned out to be just clots, I thought it was pieces of placenta). I was in an empty bath for about an hour before the bleeding slowed down enough for me to get out.   Also I was becoming too uncomfortable and getting a sore coccyx.

I then lay in bed and for the next 4 hours and I would get up every 15-20mins to allow more blood and clots to come out. I had the portable toilet beside the bed, with wipes and toilet paper and mats on the bed.  I was kind of on automatic pilot by now and rested between. Barry would occasionally get up and empty the toilet and he also rested beside me. There was very little pain which I am so thankful for. I was just trying to focus on expelling everything so nothing would be retained incase I became unwell and I basically tried not to focus on the reality of it all.

At 1am I unexpectedly birthed her placenta and that's when I realised the other stuff had just been clots. My sister was on messenger with me and explained that clots are gelatinous mass that break apart easily on touch and the placenta would feel solid. It gave me a bit of a shock because it was so many hours after. I felt relieved so much had come out as it was becoming more and more unlikely to be retained (stuck inside me) which can be serious.   I suddenly really felt I wanted to make a print because that's what I had done for my other babies. Barry went and found me some paper and I made a print. It was really small and looked like a mouse. I felt better that Neshama also had a print.

After that we fell asleep until morning. Barry took the girls to school whilst I slept some more and then we went to the hospital to be checked over where she said everything looked ok, as in mostly all out, and to keep an eye for clots and fever.  They were very respectful and made no awful comments or upset us at all. (I have heard some awful stories)  When we said we didn't want her to take Neshama or her placenta out of the room to check, she understood and stayed in the room. 

The next day we buried her in our local cemetery.  A few family and friends came. That was comforting.

She lived and she was born. She was loved and very wanted from the start. 

(I had not even thought yet about writing a birth story for this birth. It was only when I saw Barry typing something quite fast and I asked him and he said stuff and when I pressed him and he said 'Neshama's birth story, I suppose it is' I thought, of course..she deserves a birth story too)

Friday, 8 September 2017


From July 2016

Did you have a bad dream
Nods head
What happened?
You went away

Where did I go?
I don't know
Did you call for me?
Nods head
And here I am, I will always be here.

Need. Want.

I didn't mean for Neshama to die because of my need to have another baby.

She wasn't able to live, I don't know why, but we created her and somewhere along the way something happened to her that she couldn't do anything about, neither could we.

She didn't choose this for herself, who would? But I feel we sort of did, because I wanted another baby.

I say I, because I spent 5 years persuading Hubby that it would be an amazing awesome idea to have another one and he finally conceded that he did also want another baby but was terrified of not being able to manage emotionally, financially, physically and on even less sleep.  

Hubby absolutely wanted her when I told him and he obviously subconsciously wanted her when we conceived her,  because if you're not using contraception...well....you could get pregnant! I hope he doesn't blame me for persuading him because now look what he's having to deal with. I hope he's not blaming himself either. Yes I know, blame isn't healthy. I can't help it.

My need and want for another baby is raw right now. I need that life growing back inside me. I need to feel that unbelievable overwhelming love that only comes from knowing you are sustaining your child's life inside you.  Except I didn't sustain Neshama's life. I want her back inside me and for none of this to have happened. I want her back inside me but I would also want to have another baby inside me right now because I know that it's not possible to have Neshama back.  It doesn't mean I've stopped loving and wanting her but it does make me feel guilty for thinking about another different baby.  I feel not in control of that need to have a baby inside me.  Or my thoughts about how I feel.  Is this a good time to start blaming hormones?

When my kids say to me 'I need this' I more often than not automatically respond with 'You don't need it, you want it'   I know they don't understand the difference yet but one day they might. One day they will be able to deal with not being able to get that vital all encompassing whatever and soon they will differentiate between how much they really need something compared to how much they want it. Then, I hope they work damn hard to get what they need, then once they have what they need, they work even harder to get what they want.

Right now I want and need another baby in my belly. Intellectually, I know it's too soon, don't care.

Whatever way I look at it at the moment, I think i will always feel awful for not being able to help her survive. And a bit selfish and slightly (more) crazy for wanting another baby again already.

Meltdowns - on the increase but all in hand and understandable
Losing the Plot - no energy really but if it happens it happens.
Breastfeeding - I told Millie I couldn't on Monday bedtime because I thought it might cause a contraction. I had never thought about it being an issue before or with my pregnancies with the other two breastfeeding and I had also never felt it give me a contraction during this pregnancy.  I wonder if subconsciously I knew something wasn't right. An hour later I birthed her. Now, I don't think it would have made any difference.  I remember feeling sad that Millie had been upset and taken a while to get to sleep and I could have fed her and it would have made a difference to her.

Telling the girls

The worst most horrible part is having to tell my girls they won't be sisters come February. It's beyond anything I can imagine having to do. Worse than birthing her beautiful body last night in the bath whilst they were blissfully unaware falling asleep with hubby who was going from me to them. Worse than delivering her placenta 4hrs later whilst they slept peacefully unaware. Worse than sending them off to school this morning after Ellie had laid with me and discussed baby names and worse than being checked over by midwife whilst they were blissfully unaware at school.

Dreading this part much more than anything else that's happened so far :'(

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Psyching myself up

I haven't been to see anyone yet for this pregnancy. I realise this may be shocking to some of you, I imagine you can't conceive of not having a health professional involved right from the beginning or not scanning at every possible moment.

For each and every pregnancy I have had hassle from health professionals for my choices during pregnancy and labour. I refused nuchal test. I asked for short scans to minimise ultrasound effect, I refused antibiotics, I refused insulin, I refused constant monitoring, I refused more scans and ultimately with my first, I refused to go to hospital. I decided what I wanted to do based on the risks and research my husband and I spent inordinates amount of time doing.

Almost everything was a fight, a hassle. We had to explain ourselves to many different people. We were rarely supported in our choices and it changed the whole magical experience into basically a stressful pain in the butt. We were vilified and demonised, patronised and ignored.

I just don't want to go through all that this time round, so I have been enjoying my pregnancy (the crappy parts as well!) and staving off the inevitable negativity for as long as possible.

I have been researching possible obstacles I might face since I am now classed as an older mother and I have increased likliehood of gestational diabetes again.

It's not looking great. I can expect my age to be brought up numerous times with an impending sense of doom attached to it.  My age brings risks of pre-eclampsia and there will probably be increased pressure to be induced as soon as I hit 40weeks. They might try and persuade me to take aspirin or clexane or have a sweep or ultimately be induced. Funnily I never reached 40 weeks with my girls so that could be something to cling on to!!

I really need to psych myself up to talk to them and I really can't arsed with it all. You know. The questions. The risks. The tests. The distrust of medical/authority types who see me as this one generic pregnant woman who has to adhere to policy procedure and avoid the death of my baby at all costs and it's all my fault if I don't do as they say without question or knowledge. Yes sir no sir three bags full of amniotic fluid sir. Your baby could die if you don't obey us.

As usual the fear of social services means I will soon be contacting them to allow them to join me on my journey but woe betide anyone who pisses me off with their risk averse negativity policy driven mentality!!!

Breastfeeding - still happening amazed milk hasn't dissappeared
Losing the Plot - probably with NHS
Meltdowns - increasing unfortunately I blame impending teengery hormones

Monday, 3 July 2017

Fight to the end...of summer

I can't believe how awful Ellie is to Millie.

All I ever wanted was a family full of kind, loving, fun and happy children with the occasional falling out that was dealt with in an understanding and gentle manner resulting in even more understanding of each other and living in a loving family unit and I've tried so so hard over the years to engender and make this happen but Jesus fuck she is so so mean to her and Millie is at an age now where she is fighting back more effectively and aggressively.    She is starting to retaliate in the same ugly way she is being attacked by Ellie, but at 5yr olds level.

Ellie and Maia are similar ages so whenever they had issues I was always on hand to help sort it when they didnt have the emotional capacity and words to handle it. Now that they are older, Maia has learned the art of compromise and the beauty of letting go (mainly from hubby ) and the skill to stand up for herself or involve me when needed.

The age gap however between Ellie and Millie is such that Millie doesn't understand certain things yet and is unable to be fully aware of the consequences of her behaviour.  She also is thankfully still at an age where she is willing to back down and still wants the family unity to bond and to live in a loving environment but I can feel the relentlessness of the arguing and fighting is wearing her down. 

With Ellie's aspergers, the same kind of thing applies, she still doesn't understand certain things yet and now I realise she might never. She seems to not care about the consequences of her behaviour but in all possibility she also isn't fully able to. She is very reluctant to utilise the same methods of handling it as we used when it was just her and Maia. As she is older, it's much harder to distract her or intercept things and move things along before it gets out of hand or deal with it using sibling rivalry techniques learned over the years.  She is unable to see Millie's side of things and cannot imagine how it must be for Millie to constantly have her eldest sister on at her and basically bullying her. I talk to her about it and try and get her to see how her behaviour is affecting the relationship...not just with Millie but how it affects us all. I try to give her tools....remove yourself from the situation, come and get me, don't get into a back and forth match with a bloody 5yr old. I also talk to Millie about her behaviour and find she is more receptive.

The other realisation I have with her having aspergers is that according to Ellie it is NEVER her fault. She never takes responsibilty for her part in anything. She likes to explain at great length why it's all Millie's fault. She refuses to back down and often ends up being the highly upset and affronted one when it's because of her attitude or behaviour that we are in the sorry mess.

I think in the past I have consistently tried to find ways of dealing with this that come from the emotional angle. That whatever is bothering them can be sorted out by discussing things and working out what the problem is and where it may have started and what can be done to sort the issues out. It just doesn't work. It's such a convoluted mess of past digressions and lingering resentment that it's never possible to untangle things.  There is always confusion of events and feelings and it just becomes more convuluted and frustrating trying to sort it.

I also can no longer keep thinking she is older therefore she should be more able to back the fuck away, not get riled up so much by a 5yr old and stop personalising things so immensley.

Anyway....that's been on my mind recently...a lot of the fighting today took place whilst I was driving which makes it doubly hard to sort. 

First week of summer is nearly over and ocht it's not been too bad otherwise. We've been quite busy doing fun things too.

The fighting just really gets me down and I'm finding it hard to know what to do and I realise that it also triggers lots of sibling fighting memories from my childhood which defintely doesn't help.

Meltdowns a plenty
Losing the plot is inevitable
Breastfeeding it's all part of the process

Friday, 23 June 2017


We just played our first ever game of sardines yesterday evening before bed and it was brilliant...admittedly it did start of as mummy hide and seek....you know where I find a fantastic spot that takes them aaaages to find me.  Initially Millie thought she was to hide (in a different place) as well as Maia, (avoided a meltdown from Millie about never being the one to hide & negotiated a deal with her to be next...without consulting Ellie and Maia which could be a disaster but ocht fuck it deal done let's carry on.  Then while still looking for Maia, Ellie tricked Millie into thinking Maia was hiding under our bed covers, so Millie and Ellie hid there so when I came along I thought they were all hiding there and before I whipped the covers off I stood marvelling at how insanely still and quiet they were both being (whilst trying not to laugh at them still thinking I can't see them)

We played for over an hour and really it is the first time we all managed to play together where no-one became irrevocably upset and everyone got a turn. There was lots of the usual negotiating, behind the scene tweaking and relaxing of rules without anyone realising!!

It was a magnificent feat of ingenuity and yet a wonderful connecting family moment.

I wonder if other people put *that* much effort into maintaining a simple game?!! It was worth it though.

Still took nearly two hours for bedtime. Nothing tires these girls out!

Meltdowns - redirected a few
Losing the plot - nope all good clean fun
Breastfeeding - not whilst hiding!

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Permanent Shell Shock

I've been thinking about something and how to word it. Most evenings I feel like I'm recovering from the day..each and every day feels like an achievement yet I feel like a bit of a failure....I was trying to find a way to explain it....I kind of wanted to use the PTSD term..but kind of didn't as it's strong and has associations with soldiers and combat but there is that feeling sometimes like I am in a war zone...we've survived this day, the next will be easier!!  Sometimes it is, realistically though most days are a quagmire of negotiations and dealing with situations to avoid meltdowns and mayhem. I've often felt I have to be on a constant state of high alert and 10steps ahead of game. Always trying to make life go smoothly whilst ensuring all my children feel heard and understood and worthy and wanted. Many days it feels like I needed to carefully manage and control how the day goes....an impossibility I realise with 3 kids, but with one having Aspergers it's become a necessity. So at the end of the day when all 3 are finally asleep until the next wave of night time parenting begins, I breathe and allow myself to relax...a little!

We only recently received a diagnosis so before the 2 year process began, I often questioned my parenting skills and continually looked to the future benefits of Continuum Concept parenting. Now I realise the many ways it has absolutely benefited us as a family and even enhanced our situation....never using CIO, never using naughty step or time outs or other punitive yet ineffectual techniques and punishments.

As the diagnosis became more and more  apparent I wondered wether having a label would help other people be more understanding and tolerant of Eliie's flooby behaviour...it has helped me too.

I wondered whether it would help her make more of an effort to try and control her floobiness, because she will now know that there is a reason that sometimes she can't dial herself back....I'm beginning to realise how difficult this actually is for her.

I wondered wether maybe it would stop her feeling so bad about herself being unable to dial herself back in those moments....or indeed if she even does feel negatively towards herself...I'm seeing that she rarely connects the two and thankfully has positive self esteem for the moment...apparently this will become harder for her as she gets older.

One of my goals for my children is I never want them to feel bad about themselves. This hasn't changed since the diagnosis but equally I don't want her giving up trying to be a kinder person who understands others feelings as well as her own. Saying it out loud I realise thats a difficult request of anyone let alone someone with Aspergers. Who really knows how to understand and deal with their own feelings? I clearly dont!! I realise how difficult it is for Ellie and try to help her navigate this daily.

The day we got the diagnosis I was kind of numb and kind of not surprised and kind of shocked and kind of scared and kind of wish we hadn't started the process and kind of not sure what to do next and kind of wanted to curl up and cry and I was kind of all over the place and then I realised I kind of have a reason for such a difficult parenting journey and then I started to feel sad for her and Maia who seems to handle it so much better than me.

I started to realise a few things too.....I worked out that my idea of having lots of kids playing together and keeping themselves busy and not needing my involvement much hasn't really worked because Ellie never 'played' and always needed my guidance and input and now they are older her and they spend a lot of their time on their tablets doing minecraft and poor Millie who loves imaginative play doesnt get the chance much and when they do play together it usually ends in upset because Ellie takes control and doesn't do imaginative play very well and they always have the same narrative and the whole thing ends up in arguments and fighting. I feel Maia and Millie could play well together given the chance but Maia still feels Millie is too young and Maia is on her 'safe' tablet all the time where fighting and arguments happen less.

I'm sad for what everyone has missed out on and that I haven't provide Maia and Millie with more opportunity to play. It felt like they have lost a lot of possible sibling together playing time. We have now started to organise situations where Maia and Millie can have that time together and Ellie can have 1-1 time with one of us. Finding 1-1 time individually with each child is proving more of a difficulty.

After the diagnosis I started to wonder was it purely down to rules, boundaries, fear of authority and doing the wrong thing that has allowed Ellie to go through the school system unnoticed? Questioning my parenting style again.  Every parent's evening has always been glowing academically and behaviourally and we were always left wondering how can she be SO remarkably different out of school. Is it a girl boy thing? Would it become more noticeable in secondary school? They said it may start to become more of an issue the older she becomes the whole girl high school socialising thing. ...this scared the shit out of me as I struggled SO much with bullying. I console myself that for now the lines of communication are very open, Ellie always feels able to tell us everything  (for the moment!) and the way we raise our kids is totally different to how I was raised.

Since the diagnosis nothing much has really changed....there is still that daily struggle and endless stressing. There is still the constant reminders about ok behaviour and pre-empting them, something I have always struggled with.  There is still a lot of managing and handling and dealing and sorting but now there are finally some answers to the craziness that is my life and with the support from the school and the help of outside services I am starting to worry less and less about authorities swooping in and tearing us apart...my focus is returning, the sun is returning....I can feel my resolve returning.....I feel I can maybe do this...this being a parent thing!!

Meltdowns - so glad I embraced this term and it's connotations rather than being sucked into the whole tantrum bad behaviour naughty girl slap back of knees paradigm.
Losing the Plot - it's still possible, there's a shit more parenting needs to keep happening and a shit load more crazy from me
Breastfeeding - it's been an interesting 10yrs so far and I am thankful for never having mastistis.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Love me more and more and more and forever

Ellie and Maia were out for the evening tonight at the theatre. Barry and I played hide and seek with Millie (5) in one room..it was really funny...I wish I'd filmed it...she hid in the same place every time! She basically had our undivided attention for almost 2hrs and she absolutely loved it!  She was heard and understood and no-one called her an idiot or stupid or pulled her hair or hit her for no reason.   

 It was an interesting and relatively easy experience nighttime parenting only one child and I'm going to be honest, I did for a brief moment wonder what life would be like if life hadn't happened and we were parents to just the one. I'm not proud the thought slipped in there, but there you have it, it did. Anyway, as quickly as the thought appeared I confused it out my head with the complications of time travelling and Millie being the youngest (or would she be older?) and the other two not existing and ages being different and would she still be 5 or would we always have started a family when we did and...sod it. ...it wouldn't work, no point even thinking about it. Yet I did.....

I remember parenting one child and how overwhelmed and different I felt. The only one *still* breastfeeding at 1, the only one not initiating weaning to go skiing, then only one actually carrying my toddler in a sling and *still* sharing a bed. Then the 2nd came and I carried on parenting in this different way, by then I had found a few others who parented the way I did, through La Leche League and Nurture in Nature.  I saw others breastfeeding part babyhood and bed sharing with their children. There was no-one tandem feeding but I didn't feel as different. I did begin to feel the tug of war between siblings and with my body....one needs me over there, one needs me here...then no3 came along...I didn't know the meaning of overwhelmed and different!!! 

Having more than one kid changes the way you are able to love each child. There is always love to go around, just most-times there isn't enough of me to go around.  There is a constant battle of guilt in my head about giving everyone what they need and that constant nagging feeling that I'm somehow failing each kid of their right to have a complete childhood because they constantly have to divide me and share me and fight for my attention. I realised yesterday I could distinguish each child by their repetitive mum mum mum call. Each one is different!

The girls came home quite late but full of excitement from their trip. I deliberately took the time to connect and listen before encouraging them upstairs. Words are futile at times like these. Times when they are beyond tired yet still enthusiastically awake. Repeatedly asking them to start bedtime falls on deaf excited ears.  I know they just need a bit of mummytime before the mundane. Listen. Connect..then let them follow me to toothbrushing and bed. 

My girls are getting older....soon all three be in school and that 'me time' I am constantly trying to carve out will become that much easier...a new phase awaits us all. 

Last night Millie eeked out every ounce of mum and dad time she could until hubby went to pick up the older two, then she squeezed just a bit more love from me until she fell asleep....mummy "whisper in my ear" she said...."say I am worthy, I am wanted, I am loved...mummy loves Millie". Yes she does. She loves each and every one of you. Completely. As much as she can.

Meltdowns - none tonight with only one
Losing the Plot - not even a little
Breastfeeding - Natural term feeding at its finest

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Love the crazy mean people again

I have this massive almost sometimes debilitating fear that people I dont know very well, but see almost daily (so IRL...in real life) don't like me and that I have done something to upset them and then I have this GREAT urge to talk to the person, apologise for anything I have ever said or done or thought incase I did, say or think something that might have upset them.  It's a vibe I get....you know you can just tell....stink eye.

Then I go through phases of thinking fuck it who cares. It's their issue with whatever I was saying. Transference, it's about something else. We all live differently. I've got nothing to apologise for...it's me not them. 

Then I don't want to be thought of as someone who hurts other people's feelings. I don't like it when it happens to me.

Why do I have this need for people I hardly know to like me? I'm already stressing about the people I do know and wether I've upset them in any way...I don't need it with strangers!!!!

I think I'm basically top of the needy chain..but I'm not sure what I need. It's not a comfortable place to be.

I don't want my kids growing up feeling like they need to apologise for themselves all the time. Like they might have done something wrong for having a different way of looking at life. I want them to feel freer and happier with who they are and be around people who are kind and understanding. I want them to feel confident and happy with who they are but not in a mean way.

I try to be that for them but I know they are learning meanness from me because some days it's not easy and some days I am mean to them. Hopefully they are also learning how to apologise and know when to.

I tell my kids that consistently grown up mean people sometimes didn't have enough love around them growing up and probably just need a hug from their mummy or daddy. People who are sometimes mean are maybe having a hard time at home or they are tired or hungry. I try to help them understand it from their side and hopefully that's helping them not feel it's their fault all the time. Sometimes it is....believe me sometimes it is their bloody inconsiderate unhelpful ungrateful fault!!!

Sometimes I say they weren't breastfed as a baby..you know, cos I like being controversial... 😜

Love the crazy mean people. I'm one of them sometimes. Love me. Love me. Love me. Like me? Ok just be civil to me at the very least. It must be exhausting giving me your negative vibes all the time.