Some of you may remember I recently wrote a post about the Sleep Nightmare with trying to wean H off her dummy so I thought I would update you all and also see if there are any other opinions on what I am doing.
In a nut shell, the attempt has been made for H to no longer have a dummy at all. Since then she has done really well in that during the day she doesn’t ask for it at all, it means the tantrums have hightened but even for her day time nap she no longer has dummy. Admittedly her daytime nap is now rarely in her bed, simply because we have been out and about during the holidays and she has napped in the car or pushchair.
Night time is a different story though. Since my last post she hasn’t improved and I have resigned to letting her have dummy at bedtime because I couldn’t deal with the tantrums in the day coupled with the crying to sleep at night and the waking 3 to 4 times a night. We stayed with family over the weekend, and the strange environment added to the whole issue. One night in particular she took 3 hours to settle even with her dummy. We got home on Tuesday and for 2 nights now she has slept with dummy, without waking and I have caught up on my sleep.
So now we are in the situation where the dummy is back and H is apprehensive every night as to whether she will have dummy or not and that’s putting us all on edge at bedtime. Part of me wants to forget the whole thing and leave it to settle down again for a while. She isn’t the sort of child who will have her dummy till she is 5 or 6 and I’m really not worried about her teeth, because once asleep she spits it out and she now only has it for bed. Thing is though she is back to her dad’s next week and I know he really wants her to be without her dummy. Plus he did put in alot of effort the 1st week to get her off it and a part of me thinks he will really hold all this against me. I just know he won’t see my point of view and that bugs me.
So am I doing the right thing in sticking with dummy so as to relieve us all of the bedtime anxiety and then give it another go in a few weeks? I know some of you will say I’ve done the wrong thing but I can’t help think now is just the wrong time, what with her being off nursery and visiting her dad’s and other family more often. I’m just hoping I’m not putting off the inevitable by waiting until she is back to the normal routine!!!
I woke this morning to the sound of my radio alarm as normal. I half heard a news article about new statistics showing that 100 babies a year die due to be born out of normal working hours. I pressed snooze and rolled over.
Driving to work I heard the same news piece and being awake was able to listen. The evidence says babies born out of normal working hours are more likely to die if they need special assistance, in particular due to oxygen starvation. I got a lump in my throat and began welling up with my own horrific flash backs. How poignant this should be mention just 48 hours before H’s 2nd birthday.
This time 2 years ago I was on the countdown, 11 days overdue, I had already had a sweep and was due to be induced the next day. I was apprehensive, although I already had B, she was a planned section due to being breech – I felt like I should have felt the 1st time round, not knowing what was to come.
Those who know me or have read other posts know the story, I was induced and all was going well, but in the early hours of 18th July 2008 things went wrong. It was known by me, something was wrong, I felt it. I was rushed to theatre and put under a general anaesthetic as time was the key. I prayed, let her live no matter what happens to me – the one and only time in my life I have embraced the idea that death could be round the corner.
When I woke, I knew H must be fine, because I was sure I wouldn’t have survived if she hadn’t. I was expecting her to be lying beside me, but she wasn’t there. Panic set in, I didn’t care how I was, I wanted my baby. I was told she was in SCBU due to being starved of oxygen, as my womb had torn and she had been delivered into my stomach cavity. At this point she was breathing for herself. A few hours later she was put on a ventilator and had to be sedated as she was fighting against it. I was told to be prepared as no one knew what would happen.
The first time I saw my daughter she looked like a doll, the only movement being her lungs as the ventilator did it’s job. It didn’t feel real that just 24 hours earlier she was inside me, being active and healthy. It was hard, she was on the ventilator only 12 hours, although we had been told to expect her to be on it for at least 48 hours. I never once let myself believe she wouldn’t survive. The staff were fantastic, they answered all my questions and were completely honest. She could be brain damaged if she survived, she may take a long time to catch up with mile stones. As long as she lived I would deal with anything.
She lived of course and although now my flash backs to those awful, yet joyful days don’t happen so frequently, this is the time of year I feel it most. The memories are as vivid as if they were yesterday. The heart ache is as strong, maybe stronger now than when she was born. I don’t know what I would have done had she been one of those in the statistic that’s come out today. What I do know, is that the the midwifes, paediatricians and SCBU nurses at Peterborough SCBU and Maternity Ward did an amazing thing 2 years ago and they don’t get enough praise. They continue without question, to help new born babies over come what is a very difficult start to life and I for one can’t thank them enough.
Two years on and H is a happy, chatty, well developed little girl. She is very intelligent for her age and has so far hit every development stage early or on time. It amazes me a child who would have most probably been still born only 10 or 15 years ago, now shows no signs of the start she had. My heart goes out to anyone who has lost a child, I am so thankful I am not one of those, but I can begin to imagine the awful pain that parents go through.
I am constantly amazed about how much I worry about my kids, but just lately I seem to be worrying about everything and I mean everything! It’s all stuff I know is nothing, or is a phase, or isn’t enough to be a serious issue. Today though I found myself worrying more than normal. Today is the last day off work with both girls at home before my ex returns from working away and we start the lovely separated family sharing the kids regime again. So, maybe with that in mind, I am just worrying because what if he gets back and finds something wrong with the kids that he uses against me as a bad mother?
So here is a run down of my day of worry……..woke at 9am, no noise yet from either of the girls – are they ok? No, hang on, there we go H is out of bed and I just heard B cough so both ok. Girls climb in bed with me, I really shouldn’t have started this habit, we should get up and have breakfast. Go to the loo, H cries because I have left her behind, she follows then cries because I am done on the loo and she wants to stay in the bathroom! She cries a lot lately. She can’t be tired she is only just up. Get dressed. B goes to get dressed and has a strop about having nothing to wear. Get clothes out for H, nappies are all downstairs!
We get downstairs and I offer H breakfast, finally she agrees to have Cheerio’s, but they are full of salt and sugar, I really shouldn’t have let her eat them after she was ill and went off Weetabix a few weeks ago. She won’t touch Weetabix now and that was so much more healthy. B comes downstairs in clothes I am sure I threw away a month ago because they are too small for her. Am I crazy? I did sort her clothes out didn’t I?
H ate most of her cereal but now she wants a banana, I know it’s healthy and she could be asking for much worse, but is it really ok that she is only really eating bananas for breakfast these days? Is it a sign of something? Right, it’s now 10am, H needs to be dressed, S*** I didn’t change her nappy when we came downstairs. She probably hates me for making her sit in the same nappy she had on all night. Thankfully it’s not too full.
Off out for the day now. I hope they don’t get bored, we go for a walk, then find a play park. I brought some Hula Hoops with us as a snack as we are out over lunch. Hula Hoops for lunch? That’s not healthy. It’s not as warm as it has been and the kids are bored of the park already so lets head home.
EMERGENCY STOP, H is choking on her Hula Hoops, should have waited for her to finish before we headed home in the car. But she eats so slow, and the plan was they would occupy her so she didn’t nap till we get home. She shifts it before I get to her and B thinks she was going to be sick – because lately H has just been being randomly sick while eating. She’s not ill. And no 1 food triggers it. She didn’t have reflux as a baby, but I can only liken it to that. But it’s not all the time. Anyway, choking issue over so back to driving home – slowly, looking in the rear view mirror at her lots!
We get home at 1pm and now I am feeling really guilty the girls haven’t had lunch. H just wants cheese. She has a Babybel and a yoghurt. B has a babybel, a slice of bread and butter and a yoghurt. H goes for a nap. Me and B wash the car. She does a great job helping. Should I be making her help? Is she really enjoying doing it or just saying that? All done and we are soaked so we both put on our PJ’s. B wants to watch Wizard of Oz so on it goes. I sit and look at her. Is she putting on too much weight? I really should buy her new clothes. Her recent growth spurt means she only has about 3 outfits that fit properly now. Her shape is changing too. She’s only 7 should she really be changing already?
Ok it’s 4.30pm and H still isn’t up. Why is she sleeping so long? I know she used to but lately she has been having an hour max. Need to make tea too. It’s Sunday and we are having chips. That’s not right either is it! Too late to change it now though. H wakes, I cook, we eat in front of the TV. That’s not the norm but I have worn myself out with worry today and guilt is making me break the rules! H eats the ketchup off her spoon, doesn’t touch the fish cake or chips. In fact point blank refuses to even look at them. She even leaves her piece of cake for pudding. She’s hardly eaten today, is this fear that if she eats she will choke or be sick? She hasn’t eaten since the Hula Hoop choking incident other than smooth stuff – yoghurt and ketchup!
Bath time now, B doesn’t want one she is watching Jonathon Creek. Should she really be watching that, not only that should I have recorded it just for her? I run the bath and strip H’s clothes off, her belly looks huge. It’s like a beer belly. Is that normal for her age? Did B look like that at 20 months? No, no, must be fine else Mum would have noticed too. She asks for her toothbrush. I’m sure I should brush her teeth for her but she is little miss independent and likes to do them, but only when she is in the bath! Time to get out. Cuddles downstairs, nappy on, chocolate milk as she won’t drink milk. She won’t drink chocolate milk either lately. One mouthful and she is done. PJ’s on and off to bed. She settles straight away. I really need to get rid of dummy for sleep times though! Oh and I’m sure I should have started potty training already.
Time to read with B. She doesn’t want to read. I convince her. We don’t read enough. I mean we read every day, but should she be doing more especially as it is school holidays. She is also meant to write a bit each day about what she has done and she hasn’t started – we are a week into the holidays too – oops! Haven’t even checked her bag for Maths homework too! Am I really bad at this organisation thing, I bet all the other Mum’s and Dad’s have got homework sorted and PE kits washed – which while I think about it, I still need to do!
And stop, kids are both in bed, I can sit down once I have made lunches for tomorrow. Have I worried about enough. Does every Mum worry about the same things? Can anyone give me any ideas on the whole H refusing to eat thing, oh and the being sick? Worst thing is I know I will have this much worry about my kids till the day I die, the worry will just change!!!
I tried to find 2 pictures of the same things but this is my girls both at approx. 18 months – yep that’s right these are 2 different kids of the same age not the same kid at different ages. If I posted a picture of H at around a year old though………
Now for anyone who has never seen my kids in the flesh, you are probably not seeing as many similarities as there are in true life because we all know the camera is a frozen view, but believe me when you take into account facial expression etc, they are probably 95% identical! That’s not a bad thing in itself, but I do find myself making comparisons on their development based on the fact that looks wise they are so alike!
They both started walking at around the same age, B was 16 months and H was 14 months, yet both started cruising around 7 months and with both I had expected the first steps to come sooner. They are both chatter boxes and there’s no stopping them babbling away. They both sleep and did so from and early age. (I honestly don’t like to shout about it because I know I am in the minority here!) But the differences are amazing.
At 18 months we took B on our 1st family holiday. We went to sunny Majorca with my parents and brother and I have clear memories of it. I remember B holding full conversations with us all, full sentences and tone – the works. Now I know I say H is a chatter box, but she is only just mastering 2 words together, she can do “yes please”, or “juice please” but she doesn’t say “Can I have more juice please” like B used to. Maybe this is one of the reasons why I still see H as much more of a baby than I did B at this point. At 18 months B was just starting to be fussy about her food. She was just coming out of the eat whatever is put in front of me stage (excluding most veg of course) and it was beginning to be difficult to get her to try new foods. H on the other hand loves her food and although she does push some things to side of her plate, she has never (touch wood) refused to eat a meal, unless she has been ill or over tired. The big thing though is the tantrums. B didn’t really start with tantrums until she was about 3, I mean massive tantrums that last over 5 minutes of screaming, stamping feet and the like. With H this has started and it started about 6 months ago!
Now I am in no way trying to find reasons, because the reason is simple – they are 2 different people, B was an only child, H has an older sister who tries to talk for her, has tantrums she can copy and leaves toys around which H plays with. Plus I am a different person, I’m now a single mum, more relaxed about parenting as I have some experience this time, and in myself a much more contented person. It just fascinates me every day that 2 children, who so far look so alike, and are so alike in many ways, can also be so different. Bringing up kids is amazing and this is just another reason why!
Oh and if you want similarities, this was me at the same age!
I’d love to hear about the similarities and differences between your children too!
I love crafting. I enjoy card making – just don’t get as much time as I would like. Over the years I’ve done various different things. Crafting with the kids is something I’ve always had issues with though. Why? Because I get frustrated they don’t do it "right". However, after conversations with other mum’s and reading other blogs I realised that crafting can be fun even when letting the kids take the lead!
The recipe was really simple :
2 Cups Flour, 1 Cup Salt, 2 Tablespoon Cream Of Tartar mixed together, then add 2 Cups Boiling Water, 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil and Food Colouring and mix well.
I’ll be honest I had seen recipes before which involve boiling it all in a pan etc, but this was so simple I would definitley do it again. The girls both enjoyed it, H took her time to touch it, I plonked a piece in front of her and she poked at it with the chopsticks and spoons, but didn’t hold it till I passed her a piece and then she was well away. B on the other hand was straight in their. Neither of them built anything, H was happy just to get used to the feel of it and poke at it while B tried to be creative and then just ended up squeezing it, breaking it up and squishing it back together. I grinned and beared the fact I hate the feel of the stuff and joined in a little, then when H started trying to eat it I knew it was time for lunch!!
After lunch was Easter bonnet time. H had a nice straw hat to decorate, B on the other hand decided she didn’t want one of those but would use a polystyrine ring and decorate it. The only thing I did for H was put the glue on – I wasn’t brave enough to let a 19 month old loose with PVA! Plus it meant I got my hands covered in glue!! Anyway, H picked her decorations, told me where to put the glue and then stuck each piece in place, which B was let loose. I gave her a bit of guidance when she realised what she was doing wasn’t working how she wanted. But I tell you what we had so much fun! I am definitly glad I have finally done this. I have never seen them both involved in the same activity and playing really well together like they did today. And, the big one for me, the laptop has been switched off for most of the day! I’m already planning our next crafting activity – paints!!!! I’m in shock that I am actually really looking forward to it!
So, for anyone out there who is like I was and wary of letting the kids do “messy” things at home, go for it, if I can brave it and enjoy it so can you! And if you have any ideas for me to try with the girls I’m ready to give things a try now!!
It’s 2.30am, bump has been wriggling about since I came to bed and all I want is a hug from my man who has been working away for 6 weeks and is on his last night of night shift before our long awaited weekend together. I hear the bedroom door open and the words “Are you awake I need to talk to you”. I know it’s over, after accusing him of seeing someone else, and being told not that he loves me and never would want any other, but that it says a lot about our relationship if I trust him so little. But the words hit my heart like a knife as he tells me it’s not just anyone but my best friend of 15 years, who had stayed with for the 6 weeks he was working away. Bump kept wriggling in oblivion of the fact my world has crashed. In the next room B sleeps deeply in her world of dreams. Even the dog is walking around tail wagging not realising life has ended. The knife is twisting and hurting even more as I listen to the words that seem to fall so easily from his lips, the lips that only 24 hours ago were mine. It’s not an affair, he loves her, he never loved me that way, it’s over, he will move out, I can stay in the house, he wants to be with her, he has always loved her since the 1st time he saw her……….why all the words, surely with this amount of pain my heart will burst and so I will die and I don’t need to be told this as life is over.
NO life can’t be over, bump is still reassuring me inside, the kicks are strong now, stronger than the pain and I know what I have to do. It will be hard, there will be tears and I will miss my friends, my work and my life but I have to go and start again. A new life. I have to go where my heart can heal. I have to be with people who can help me, support me and most of all I have to make sure my children don’t feel the pain I am in right now. I have to go to the only place I can think of going, where I know there will be open arms, where I know there is unconditional love, I pick up the phone….”Mum, can I come home?……….”
Picture Credit: h.koppdelaney
That was almost 2 years ago. I’ve proved myself wrong and everyone else right – I can do it and I do it every day without even thinking about it. Oh don’t get me wrong, the thought of that night, writing it down and recalling the emotion is still hard because you never loose the memory of pain that betrayal causes. But I am 100% happier than I remember for a long time. Being a single parent was something I never thought or planned to be. I didn’t think for a second that H would end up with a half sister only 13 months younger than her. But life does sometimes throw the unexpected at us. And to top that, other people throw stereotypes around and think that because my marriage ended while I was pregnant and that I moved the length of the country, that obviously I had the affair, and the baby must not have the same Dad as B. Oh and because I went into the benefits system I am now a scrounger, even though I lost my job due to the combination of moving, maternity leave and the credit crunch.
So why write about this? Why now if I am so happy? Why bring this up again, everyone knows my story, everyone knows it’s been hard and I have learnt to shrug the stigmas off and not care what others think! Well it’s because now I feel I can walk away from the old life and truly run into my new life. I wake up everyday with a smile and my girls are happy (well, excluding the usual kids stuff). I’m starting work soon and I have just had a brilliant end to my week which has made me realise “I’ve done it!” This brilliant end to the week included a day of non stop laughter and smiles with three people who I can say are my best three “Since I became single” friends, i.e. they didn’t know me in my old life. So, here’s the sentimental stuff, Friend #1: Thank you for showing me that this sort of crap happens to others and that not only can I take help I can give it too, we’ve had some fantastic times, too many to mention here and you know I love you and here’s to many more. Friend #2: I for one wish you weren’t moving to Oz, sod the kids missing each other, I’m going to miss you and our mid week trips out with the kids. I hope you find happiness and I do understand that sometimes a new place can mean change in a lot of ways – Good Luck! And Friend #3: I gave you Twilight and you gave me blogging and boy oh boy am I grabbing this by both hands! We’ve had some laughs and if ever your feeling like you need a laugh I will gladly thread a bracelet and then drop it everywhere – your laughing now aren’t you!!!
Picture Credit: aussiegal
I’ve probably bored all my other readers now, but the moral to this tale is simple; life only throws at us what we can deal with, and that which doesn’t kill us makes us a hell of a lot stronger. Change might not be wanted but we have to grasp it in both hands and make the most of it and who knows, we may end up happier in the long run – I have, every morning I wake with only 1 certainty, that there will be satisfaction guaranteed!
I have just been reading the blog of fellow Mum Slummy Single Mummy, about how the age gap between our kids can effect the way we parent. It got me thinking…….
The age gap between my girls is 5 1/2 years and it was neither intentional or accidental. We had spent 3 years “trying” for B, I had ended up on the fertility drug Chlomid, and conceived on the 5th cycle. I had 95% convinced myself I would never be a mum by this point and that was something I couldn’t face. My pregnancy was not what I had expected. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t hard compared to others but I thought I would feel “glowing” for a whole 9 months, but morning sickness was constant through my waking hours till I was 6 months gone, when the indigestion and back ache kicked in. I hated the fact I was covered in stretch marks, I looked like some weird Zebra Woman hybrid!
I had a planned section at 40 weeks as the little tyke was breech. Having been convinced I was having a boy I was surprised to hear “It’s a girl” as she was briefly shown to me over the screen round my head! At the time I couldn’t admit to anyone – not even myself – but I felt like I was lost. I didn’t experience that 1st wave of emotion for B, in fact I didn’t even believe she was mine at first. It took me a while but eventually we built a bond. I grew to love motherhood but blocked my early experiences from memory.
With the hard experience of B, we didn’t really talk about having more kids until B was 3. I was back at work, B was completely dry day and night and as a couple we were getting some time back to us. Life was great and although we had said when we 1st married, that we both wanted a big family, we decided that we would only ever have B because we couldn’t risk her happiness on me having to go through fertility treatment again. We had tried a few times since she was born and never caught so said enough was enough. That all changed just after B turned 4. He had been away with work and came home and said he wanted to give it 1 more go, and see a specialist if need be. We set my 30th birthday as the time limit – if nothing by then we would stop and be thankfully for 1 beautiful girl. Nine months later I was staring at a positive pregnancy test and my gut instinct was pure dread and fear. In hindsight that was over my marriage which was about to crumble, but at the time I even contemplated not telling him and having a termination. (No-one knows that, not till now!) I had never felt so scared and unsure about what to do. I had a management position at work, a great group of no kids friends and a daughter who was at a stage where she was gaining independence by the day. It took me all of 1 minute to push that aside and realise I had conceived without intervention and was over the moon and so my future began.
So as you can see, neither planned or accidental, but the age gap exists. Now it’s not the gap I have an issue with. I had the same gap between me and my brother and my parents did a fantastic job at making sure we were both loved and supported in all we did, and family outings catered for us both where ever possible. What has got me thinking is the fact that B can see the difference in the way I treat them both. She is 7 now, so I do treat her completely different. Mentally she is probably older, she saw me go through a lot while I was pregnant and she had the upheaval of her Daddy moving in with her Mummy’s best friend, who she could no longer see. Oh and moving the length of the country and changing schools without any warning at all. It did mature her but that’s not always a good thing!
I do worry she will take the differences she see’s as meaning I love H more. I don’t! It is true that a mother loves all her children equally. I could never choose one over the other, but at the same time I see them as 2 very different people. H gets away with everything in B’s eyes, B copies H and doesn’t get away with it, H gets a cuddle when she wants one while B is expected to be old enough to understand she has to wait till I am free. I heard something that hit home last week – We spend the 1st years of our kids lives teaching them to walk and talk, and then when they can we tell them to shut up and sit down – that’s so true. H is always on her feet and jabbering away and that’s fine by me, but B gets told to stop it when she does the same! Hopefully in time B will see that things will change as H gets older too, but I do worry that because she is older I expect too much from her! Does anyone else worry about this?
Picture Credit: martintoy
Wow, it brings a tear to my eye but that’s it, my baby days are over, never again will my home have a cot. I don’t know why, but it’s a big thing for me this time round. I guess it’s because H is number 2, and I am 99.9% certain I won’t have any more kids, so not only i it a mark of her getting olderbut it’s a mark of me getting older too.
I had been thinking about the cot to bed transition at Christmas. I decided against it then mainly because of so much other stuff going on at the time, but she is now 19 months and thats slightly older than when B moved from her cot. So thats it, no going back. I was secretly dreading bedtime. She had already climbed in and out a couple of times, so she knew what was waiting for her at bedtime, but I was expecting her to think it a new game, being able to get out of bed. I think I covered my anxiety well though and bedtime was the same as usual. I got her ready for bed, she had a drink of milk and then off we went. So far I have had to go in to her once and that was because she had dropped Igglepiggle on the floor and didn’t even think to get out of her bed to get him! That was an hour ago. While B is still singing to herself – loudly – there is no noise coming from H. I don’t want to count my chickens though, we can’t say we have cracked it until she has slept the night through, and even then I won’t be celebrating until she has had at least a week!
On a slightly different line though, I feel like it’s kind of pushed me forward a little. I have been single now for coming up 2 years and as much as would love to be in a relationship for my own personal reasons, the fact H is so young has stopped me. It’s strange though, now the cot has gone I don’t feel like I have a baby in the house any more, so in a strange way I feel like I can move on completely now!
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