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Archive for March, 2015

Solar Eclipse

Yesterday the UK saw a 98% solar eclipse. I had been looking forward to this for weeks having recently joined an astronomy club. I had bought my eclipse glasses in good time and I had practised taking photos of the sun through various filters and using different settings to get the best image. I was ready 🙂
We woke up to thick full cloud coverage. I was devastated. I did the school run whilst looking upwards hopefully, treading in all manner of things and bumping the pushchair into post boxes.
Once I was back home I had pretty much decided I was not going to get to see this wonderful event. I decided to sit outside anyway and just observe the temp drop and the darkness. I had my camera sitting in my lap. I did not even know which way to look. I couldn’t even tell where the bloody sun was!!
Then there was a tiny patch of sky visible through the clouds. I watched it move over the sky. I willed with all my might, that the tiny patch of sky might line up with the sun…and then this happened
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I was literally hopping up and down with excitement! I was so excited that I, the optometrist looked directly at the sun, and looked through the viewfinder of my camera to photograph it. Yes. I did the very thing I had been telling people not to do for weeks. I never even used the sodding specs!!!
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And in this moment I pondered. The moon happens to be *just* the right size to cause eclipses of the sun. And then it all just happens to line up perfectly sometimes. And it just so happened that the moon and the sun lined up perfectly that morning, and so did my tiny patch of sky.
Beautiful.

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Over it now.

Cleo is now 5 months old and I think I am pretty sure I am over her birth. When I close my eyes to sleep at night, I am not giving birth anymore. I don’t think about it during the day either. When I think back to the day I gave birth to her, I remember key moments that were lovely not the horrific ones.
She is definitely feeling real to me now. I haven’t blogged about my feeling of her being surreal have I? I am concious that one day my children will read my words and my thoughts and it does play on my mind that it would upset Cleo to hear about strange and weird thoughts I had in her first few months of life. I think that part of my feelings were due to the fact I loved every inch of her with all my being, and the fear of losing her, the fear that she might not ever have been, how close we came to never even having her certainly didn’t help.
Self hypnosis is a very powerful thing and I did it expertly. I had to convince myself that I was ‘done’ having babies and I handed the reins over to my wife to complete our family. This was not easy for me to do. I had always been the birth mother, had never experienced things from the other side. I was looking forward to seeing Stacy pregnant, seeing her change, seeing her experience what she longed to experience. Whilst I knew I would enjoy all of that, I was very worried I would experience envy and/or jealousy. So the hypnosis I did on myself was there to protect me. This was certainly what I wanted. I didn’t want it to be any other way. I was not going to pregnant again. *Say on repeat to myself in my mind over and over for a year*.
So when the reins were handed back, and I was pregnant within a couple of days of making a decision there was never time for me to reverse this mental place I had got myself too. When we got the positive pregnancy test, it was shock. I can liken it to someone getting pregnant accidentally on the pill or something. It took aaaages to fully engage with the fact that I was indeed pregnant again.
Add to that the fact that I had to think of Stacy’s feeling throughout the whole thing. I also treated it as ‘her’ pregnancy. She came to every appointment. I gave her more say in the way things happened than I had done before. I had two other children to look after and there was pretty much none of the nesting that had happened before. We had all the clothes, we had all the equipment, we just needed the baby and we would be off!
The birth is a blur of drugs and pain and the first few weeks were full of hospital admissions and more appointments.
Once Stacy was back at work and I was on my own, Cleo fitted in with what was already happening.
Remember that hypnosis that I said to myself? I wasn’t going to be pregnant again. Once I had given birth, remembering being pregnant was hard. If I was never pregnant, I didn’t have a baby…did I?
Cleo felt almost dream like. She wasn’t entirely tangible to me.
I felt like I might wake up one day, and she wouldn’t be there because it was all a dream.
I felt a bit panicky at times. I loved her so much, she was beautiful, she gave me so much joy. I was perhaps too happy… all the while Stacy was entering a period of depression, struggling to connect with her also, struggling to bond.
I was also suffering with post traumatic stress from the delivery, which didn’t help matters.
Then Stacy began taking anti-depressants and slowly but surely returned to us in a physical and emotional presence. My preoccupation with Cleo’s birth began to melt away. Cleo became an easier baby and I could just take time to soak her up! Soak her up I do. I just stare at her sometimes, sleeping in a cute position, under her play gym learning to use her hands and her legs, while she breast-feeds, while she kicks and splashes about in the bath. She is just adorable in every way.
I am now in a place where she does feel real. I still feel a bit weird about the pregnancy, I still can’t grasp onto memories of it that well. It doesn’t matter. Had Stacy given birth, I would still have had a baby without a pregnancy. It really does feel sometimes that she did come from Stacy.
They are now well bonded. Cleo gives Stacy all the best big grins. Her face lights up when she spots her!
I can’t imagine a life without her in it.
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In Charlie news, he went back to school today. I don’t know if he was allergic to any of the drugs he was given whilst poorly. He certainly was reacting to something, and I am not sure how we move forward with deciding just what that something was??.

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Charlie often says he feels ill. He likes Calpol, he likes cuddles and he likes to stay at home best of all. He often feels sick in the mornings too before his breakfast, but feels fine once he has eaten. So when he said he felt poorly on Friday morning, we gave him Calpol and bundled him off to school as normal. He had only been there half an hour when I got a phonecall to say that he had been sick. I went to get him and they told me he had been covered in vomit, that they had cleaned him up as best they could. I felt bad for his teachers having to deal with it, and he looked so sad and poorly.
I got him home and put him to bed, but he vomited every 10 minutes or so for the whole day.
At one point I was feeding Cleo, Rosa was sitting on the potty yelling that she had done a poo, and Charlie was throwing up. I had to SOS Stacy home from work to help out!
Stacy was amazing and slept on his bedroom floor to help him through the night. When he woke up he was feeling much better. We gave him more Calpol and got on with our day. However later that afternoon he became really poorly again with a raging temperature and massive tonsils. An appt was made for him at 11.45pm (pm!!!) with the out of hours doctor. It was weird that he become ill so quickly after feeling so much better.
Stacy again slept on his bedroom floor.
He woke up feeling better again, yay! He went outside and played in the garden, he said he felt a bit poorly again so I gave him more Calpol. A couple of hours later and again his temp is raging, and he is vomiting again!!!
It seems to me that he becomes ill after being given Calpol (paracetamol in a suspension).
We have avoided ibuprofen this time as the last couple of times we have given it to him, he has come out in a hives type reaction on his arm. He also got this hives reaction this time with the paracetamol.
For now, he is asleep and feeling better again. I am keeping him off school tomorrow, I have already made that decision.
I wonder how we will go forwards with this?

In one of the periods of him feeling better we went to get our new chickens. Yes new chickens. Stacy has managed to persuade me to try again with chickens. She thinks my problems last summer all boiled down to the fact I was pregnant, grumpy and with a very sensitive nose. Chickens made my Stacy very very happy, and so I am going to give them a good go again. We have gone for two small birds this time, bantums, and they are beautiful. We have also been given back 2 of our old birds! They are bigger, noiser and smellier….so it is still not a certainty they will remain….
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They also have a new plastic (incredibly expensive) coop! It was chicken mites that made me get rid of them last summer, and Stacy thinks that the plastic house will prevent an infestation like before. We also plan to Frontline them regularly. This makes me happy.
Stacy has spent any time she could grab this weekend building their run, which now has a lovely plastic roof and a new fully functional door. She is very proud.

I have recently got very into stargazing and using my telescope. Taking photographs is my thing, so I immediately wanted to capture what I was looking at. I invested in some equipment to mount my camera to the telescope and have been practising taking photos of things in space. It’s a steep learning curve, but very fun! It is also something my Dad and I can share doing together. He has been bitten by my bug to get into it and we are planning overnight stays at my parents house for us to keep at it.

Cleo is now 5 months old! Can you even believe it??
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She is such a happy little baby! She smiles all the day and is very content. I am happy to be leaving the newborn phase behind. She was hard work as a newborn. She is now able to be put down in her bouncy chair and watch her siblings play, under her play gym, and in her jumperoo and I am able to get things done! I only have to catch her eye and shoot her a smile and I get a beaming big smile response. In the midst of the weekends illness awfulness, Stacy looked her at and she grinned.
‘She is such a ray of sunshine’ she said.
That she is. That she is.

Oh I hope my gorgeous boy wakes up feeling better.
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