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Why did I cry when I found out I was having a boy?

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When we had our first 12 week scan, it was a fantastic feeling, seeing the healthy little baby shaped being in my belly. We were both drastically excited to find out if we were having a boy or girl, we so eagerly awaited our 20 week scan.

The sonographer definitely did not need to tell us wether it was a boy or girl, it was plain to see, we had a little fella on the way, it was amazing, seeing how he had grown, he looked all in proportion, the sonographer soon confirmed he was perfectly healthy, my first thoughts were I get to buy some dungarees, and of course, the nappy changes are going to be a little bit more difficult than a girls!

The first thing we did is drive to the shop to buy our baby his first outfit, it was the most enjoyable 5 minute shopping trip I had ever had! Heading home though reality struck, boys like rough housing, playing football, running about and just being boisterous, how can I play the games with him that he is going to love, will he build the same bond with me as he could have done if I was mobile? The tears came, how can I be a good mother when I couldn’t do the normal every day things boys generally find fun? I can’t provide for Ryley financially, I can’t work, if I can’t be a good playmate either what kind of parent would I be?

As time has gone on I realise there are some things I wish I could do with him, that I won’t be able to, but I will try to bring him up from the start as an understanding child, that mummy wants to play and have fun but sometimes, we need to be gentle, and sometimes it may have to wait a day or two, but we can always try find a new activity, I will play to my strengths, I will be finding lots of crafty things to do that we can do together, get messy but still mummy can stay comfortable, puzzles, board games, paints and glue can make fun playtime for both mummy and little one, being a parent means always trying to make it work, and work it will!

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Doctors visit, my time with my son, I will enjoy, hell of high water.

I visited the doctor yesterday, my pain is too much now, I couldn’t do the washing up, load the washing machine, cope with standing long enough to make his bottles and it was getting too painful having my boy on my lap to feed him his bottle.

Feeling like I couldn’t appreciate the time I had with my son or be a decent mother to him was really hard to manage. Doctors don’t want me on any kind of pain medication at all, constant use of pain killers isn’t good for your body, I understand that, however, now I am a parent, I can’t not do certain things to avoid getting into pain, I can’t not feed my son because it hurts, I battle on and then spend the time between his needs suffering too much to play or cuddle him.

I have expressed my need for quality time with my son, I have still not been put back onto the morphine I used to be on, but am trailing a new medicinal patch, which slowly releases a pain killer drug through the skin, similar to a nicotine patch.

I will be posting soon about good tools to use to have quality time with your child when you are sore or such like, what tools I use to help me doing the simple but important things that I find painful. I am looking forward to showing you these techniques and tools, I so wish I had some more information about these things while I was pregnant, I hope someday this helps someone in my situation.

My son is stirring wanting his evening snack so this will need to wait!

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Why wont I use walking aids? Why do I find parking in disabled bays so frustrating?

I am constantly getting the evil glare as I walk away from my car in the disabled bay, even though I display my blue badge and have a disability sign on my back window, people judge me before checking, not all disability is visible, many conditions cause a lot of pain and issues without being obvious from afar. I too give the evil glare, but only if I have checked they aren’t actually disabled, we all know that sometimes people are in a rush, or just plain lazy, sometimes they have a child and seem to use that as a excuse, I have seen people park in the parent and child when the child is in fact a teenager! Parking is a thing that gets every ones backs up, often hard to find and often expensive. I perfectly legally use the disabled bays, but as I have a child people seem to think I am parking there for ease, people seem to think if you are disabled or ill you wont have children, if anything it made me want children more, (not so I can get them to do the hoovering, I promise) because I didn’t get to achieve the other things in life.

There is so much judgement around the world, it seems even if you do use walking aids, people will judge you as a benefit cheat, your only way to not be looked at so stereotypically is to have a limb missing. I decided to not use a wheelchair, I feel to vulnerable, confined, like I have admitted defeat, I want to be as normal as possible, I deal with the consequences of walking instead when I get home and the pain catches up. I have sometimes used crutches, most of the time when I do it will just be the one though, but this is a risk in itself for me as my shoulders have dislocated hundreds of times in the past (thankfully I managed to stay out of hospital most of the time as it always pops straight back in, counting my blessings!) and if it pops out while I am leaning on it I am likely to just go splat on the floor. I’m sure if I stopped being so stubborn and used a chair I would find some things a bit easier, but the pain tends to catch up with me anyway just from being sat straight for some time (the best way for me to be comfortable and avoid tight muscles is to have my knees raised and bent), even so, now I have a baby and a pushchair that would be a nightmare in itself, having a pushchair with a full bar is making my life much easier though, being able to lean on it and release a bit of pressure makes it a lot easier to walk and do the shopping with the hubby.

No one seems to give benefit of the doubt any more, its all read a book by the cover, I find nothing more difficult than people looking at me judging me to be one of those people that say they are disabled to take taxpayers hard earned money, and cheat it out of the worthy peoples hands, in reality I only get a small amount of DLA, realistically just the tax my husband has taken would pay my benefit. We have since Ryley started receiving child tax credit and benefit, but we still scrape by, we still feel like we need to find someone to beg for help, at least we are working and sacrificing to try get a better life for Ryley and hopefully come off benefit someday.

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Support Networks and Sacrifice

Any new parents know it’s the bees’ knees to have family support just around the corner, in our first two months of parenthood we were literally a street away from my parents, I wasn’t exactly asking them for help but it certainly helped me feeling secure and close in case a total breakdown occurred! Its a lovely feeling sharing your newborn with family and friends, everyone likes a baby, its a fantastic event that brings people together (as long as you don’t involve poopie nappies).

Well, as previously mentioned, we had to move two months after Ryley was born, to a whole new area, where no family or friends were close by. We relished in the time we had, having the frequent family visits, and of course our ritual Sunday lunches courtesy of Father and Spifftastic cakes courtesy of the Mother.

So we now live 2-3 hours away from my family and even further from the in-laws. I am in the routine okay, but living here feels like a bit of an anti-climax, the new flat feels like home, but as soon as I pass through the front door, I enter the unknown (kind of sounds like I am about to tell some sort of horror story).

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Why did we move so far? We started paying for a work from home style course for hubby a few years back, he would have to do some modules at home and then spend a week or so at the training centre to do his practical units, of course, nothing is smooth sailing though and we lost some of my benefit, I desperately wanted to use the money to plan a better life for us and our future family, we could barely afford to continue paying for the course let alone losing the work pay and the amount it would cost in travel, accommodation and food for the practical weeks. Johns course came to a halt, we hoped we would find a way soon to get it restarted, but with me now in too much pain to work, we were living month to month, struggling to pay our bills and John was working all the hours god sends, 12 hour night shifts. We finally realised that we would have to bite the bullet and sacrifice living where we wanted to be able to complete the course and earn a better income to provide a good life for Ryley.

Our family is great, they understand we are tight on cash, and know we can’t visit often, they try and visit us as often as possible, which is just as hard on them, my mum has bad hips too, added with an iffy back and head after some clumsy accidents.

I am not a fan of getting help, I feel so ashamed at the state of my home, I know people understand but that doesn’t make me want help with the dirty washing anymore. Even if not a person that wants physical help, I know its still important and needed to know they are there, emotional support is gold. I don’t really like talking about these things, writing it is always easier but again knowing people are there, means everything.

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Making the decision to have a baby, when disabled.

Well, my name is Kate, this is new to me, so bare with!

I am a first time mummy, to my son Ryley, born 9th march 2013, making him 3 months old as I write. Becoming a parent is the biggest challenge anyone can undertake, but I find it hard to stand long enough to make my own dinner let alone the constant 24/7 job that is parenthood, you see, I have fibromyalgia and some yet unknown medical condition causing me dislocations on my shoulders, incredibly tight muscles and snapping tendons (I had to have 2 surgeries on each hip to release the tendon). I have constant chronic pain that can’t really be cured, all the x-rays and the super-duper medical machines and mumbo-jumbo couldn’t see why my pain is there. So at the moment it’s taking each day as it comes.

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I got married to my husband (of course) in April ’12, we had a discussion about what was most important to us, getting married or becoming parents. We both agreed we wanted to be married before having a baba, but also wanted to get on and have said baba! So we planned our wedding in 7 months, with all the financial short cuts we could possibly find, I hand made my bouquets, table decorations and invites, everything was the cheapest we could find and we decided on a simple registry office ceremony, and said we would have the wedding we wanted with a church and the bells and whistles as a blessing when we are rich and famous. We were ecstatic to get a positive home pregnancy test at the end of June the same year.

Finding out I was pregnant was the most blissful and magical moment but also filled with fear. I would have to manage on less medication. How would I face each day when I was in too much pain to get out of bed, how would I cook food when hubby was working nights? How would my hips and legs cope with the pressure? Well surprisingly part some major pelvic pain, the pregnancy hormones were doing me some massive favours, I still struggled a lot, But I could cope.

I had an early induction after being on insulin for gestational diabetes, because of course nothing could be easy for too long. I was already 2cm dilated when i was transferred to delivery suite, my waters had to be broken before Ryley was fully engaged, they wanted to check for signs of distress, I had high blood pressure and pulse, Ryley’s heart rate had started to go rather high, all was clear though and I started getting some good contractions, with a drip in one hand with a line of glucose and insulin, and a drip in the other hand with the induction drugs. By having the drip stands, one on each arm I was quite restricted with movement. Trying to sit my buttocks on the toilet was a trauma in itself. After I sat in the end of the bed and waddled my backside up, I felt trapped. I was contracting pretty constantly after an hour or so on the drip, but I hadn’t dilated at all, after 4 hours of contractions every 10 to 20 seconds I had only dilated to 3-4cm, the doctor said if it didn’t start developing in the next couple of hours I would have to have an emergency c-section. Surely enough a few hours later, I led eagerly crossing my fingers, just to hear that nothing had happened, before I knew it I was already prepped and heading to theatre. Having the spinal and quickly feeling my legs disappear was bliss, I couldn’t feel the pulsing, burning, sharp pain I hadn’t felt relief from in years. My Ryley came into the world at 23:48 a few minutes before mothers day arrived at a healthy 8lb1.

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My next blog will be telling you about the first day of motherhood, the exhaustion of not actually having had any sleep for 48 hours, and managing my first week of being a stay at home mummy.

The boy in the cot at the end of the bed is worth every sleepless painful second my life has.