New Year Stuffs…

2016 is coming! 2016 is coming! How on earth can 2016 top 2015? I mean, we were blessed with a BABY who is the scrummiest boy in the world! 2016 needs to seriously up its game if it wants to even think about competing…

I don’t think 2016 can win. Sorry. BUT, I think it can set us up for an amazing 2017. You see, I want to use 2016 as an admin year. I want to continue our excellent work at debt reduction (we’re so close to being debt free I can taste it), and so hopefully come October time we’ll have nothing except the mortgages and also have money saved for round 2 of IVF! You’ll remember me saying we have 5 frozen embryos, so this means that our next 5 attempts will be significantly cheaper – around £1500 a shot – than traditional ICSI. If blessed with another baby, I am determined to have a year off. The fact we can only afford 6 months this time makes me so sad I can’t put it into words. I feel it’s gone too quickly. I go back to work in a month. Madness. My baby is still so small!

Next time round, a whole year for baby and Logan ❤ , and then I want to return on part-time hours. Maybe 30-32 hours a week rather than 40. If I can do 3x 10hr shifts I’ll be really happy. That would be perfect. Yes, it would mean a wage cut, but with no debt it would be possible. I just wish John’s job role supported part-time working. I know he’d love to spend more time with our little man.

So, yeah, as I mentioned, October will be the month we start trying for baby number 2. We’d like a small(ish) gap between siblings so that they hopefully grow up playing together…wishful thinking, maybe?

We also want to start saving towards our rear extension. Our house is lovely, but the kitchen/diner is way too small. I want an open plan living area with an island in the kitchen, a dining area, downstairs toilet and folding doors to the garden with a hot tub…It’s been costed up for us and comes in at around 20k for the complete renovation. Pretty happy with that. Luckily, John and his dad would do a lot of the manual work so that halves the bill. If we needed a builder, it would cost close to 30-35k. Anyway, that’s way in the future – most likely 2018 for completion. Before that starts, we need to finish the front extension. The weather (rain, wind, dark nights) and our builder having a knee replacement (father in law!) has stalled our plans for 4 months. We have the new door in our living room and John’s bonus will pay for the rest of the materials and stretch to the block paving and raised flower bed to replace the rockery too. I want the house to have a nice curb appeal!

Reading this back, there’s a lot of wants…I guess I want a lot. Yes, I do. I work bloody hard for not a lot of money or recognition, so of course I want my home and family life to be perfect. Who wouldn’t? 😀

Advertisements

Baby’s First Christmas

This was a year of firsts, and as we look to close the curtain on 2015, I’m still high on the buzz of love surrounding Logan’s first Christmas.

Our baby is so very loved.

John and I both agreed not to spoil him (especially this year) as he won’t remember the day. We did very well too! We bought 2 big teddies from the movie Monsters Inc (Sully and Mike), a bubble machine, and another teddy from Hamley’s. Father Christmas bought him an activity centre handheld toy (non-electronic) 😉 . We also decided to pop an extra £20 in his bank account for future things. That way, when he’s a bit bigger, he can buy some toys he likes. He now has more money saved than we do! A bank account, an ISA, and all his child benefit saved so far! Go Logan!

12458789_10156331245130375_432809566_o

Our friends and family were far too generous. Little Bunny is so lucky to have so many people who love him. Sometimes, I still get a little down when I look at my extended family and the way things have turned out, but when special occasions like this come along and our friends rally around us – it’s amazing. It’s not about what they buy or gift, but rather that they want to spend time with him (and us!) and that they care.

Although, Nanny Smith bought the toy shop I think! He has a Disney pull along train, bath toys, rings, clothes, books, CDs…so much! On Christmas morning, Little Elf Logan opened up his presents and found a posh outfit from the Disney store: a cute shirt and bow tie. Mummy squeed as Daddy dressed him up for lunch. Ok, he just had booby and then sat in his highchair as we ate, but still!

462335_10156379795065134_3370783665413734246_o

The Christmas Loot! What a lucky boy!!!

The day was amazing.

I’ve been converted and I’m now a Christmas lover! I genuinely can’t wait to start lots of family traditions in the future. I want to make it a special time of year for the right reasons: family, charity, love and happiness.

First new tradition: instead of ‘Elf on the Shelf’ we want to do something with these two cuties…

1457_10156385955775134_8465440269145602493_n

Left: Reindeer. Right: Lady Fox

We need names for them, any suggestions? The traditional Elf on the Shelf scares me a little. I find the eyes and facial expression a bit creepy, and I’m not sure I like the idea of the elf ‘reporting’ back to Father Christmas on whether or not Logan has been good or bad. A bit too Orwellian/1984 for my liking. However, I do like the idea of the Christmas duo turning up and doing fun things overnight for Logan – perhaps prepping art and crafts or activities?  Yes, I had them in the bathroom for a day or so 😀

Next, I got this gorgeous advent calendar in the sales. 75% off and it’s so so sweet. Made of MDF but painted,945293_10156329058600375_8692825969906301171_n the drawers are a great size and will accommodate cars, LEGO, bubbles, trinkets etc really easily. No chocolate for this baby! Yes it will cost more than a £3 calendar from the shops, but if I get things during the year the cost will be spread and it’s far more personal.

I’ve also been walked over and taken advantage of. It’s taken years and years of heartbreak and disappointment for me to toughen up and finally feel relaxed and comfortable (emotion wise) and I don’t want to project any insecurities on to our son. Christmas is a great time of year to show him what’s important, how he should behave always, and how giving is always better than receiving.

Talking of giving, Logan (ahem!) made these for 2 sets of special people…

12449706_10156331249830375_568965095_o

Left: Oddparents, Lee & Charlie. Right: Oddparents, Hannah & Dan (pic inserted after this was taken!)

Last month, we asked our best friends Lee and Charlie if they would be Logan’s ‘Oddparents’. We’re not getting Logan Christened as neither of us are religious, but we want him to have guardians that we trust to look after him if anything were to happen to us. We love Lee and Charlie, and they love Logan (and, I think, us?). So it was a perfect choice.

But wait…there was another couple who loved him as much as Lee and Charlie -my sister, Hannah and her partner Dan. Hannah has been more than my sister for the last 6/7 years, she’s my daughter and Logan therefore is as much her brother as he is her nephew. So we have 2 sets of wonderful Oddparents for our gorgeous, clever little boy. 😀

We closed the Christmas period off by meeting up with some friends for a long overdue catch-up. Over the years, we’ve all moved away or started different jobs so getting together is tough, but with 3 babies already here and 1 on the way, the next generation need to start the friendship bonds early. Logan has taken quite a shining to Imogen. Young love, perhaps? He’s already buttering her up with cuddles! There’s talk of trying to make the get togethers a regular thing, especially around Christmas. I think that’s a great idea 😀

12464007_10156331291480375_756787606_n

Imogen & Logan

969780_10156388615770134_7117506270249798727_n

Left to Right: Imogen, Lexie & Logan

Here’s a few more piccies from the last month:

 

15 Awesome Things from 2015

It’s so easy to get caught up in the negative. I’m incredibly guilty of always dwelling on the bad times and fretting about things that are outside my control that sometimes I forget about the good stuff.

As 2015 draws to a close (less than 2 weeks to go, folks!) I thought I’d list 15 things from 2015 that have been incredible, or good, or simply made me smile. I urge you all to do the same.

  1. Of course this is going to be Logan. The (relatively) safe arrival of our firstborn is, without a doubt, the best thing to happen this year. Hell, it’s the best thing to happen in any of my years on Earth! Everything about him makes me smile. Even the poosplosion nappies!
  2. Bathroom renovation. I have a freestanding, deep bathtub that is just divine. I’m actually typing this blog post while wallowing. Heavenly.
  3. I’m back to pre-pregnancy weight and slowly losing poundage. Hurrah!
  4. Whilst on maternity leave I discovered The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Suits, Reign, Sense8, Grimm, Once Upon A Time, Bates Motel, How To Get Away With Murder, Jessica Jones and many more great tv shows. Why does this make the list? Because I was able to relax and watch. Something I never had time to do before baby. Logan has made me realise that actually, it’s ok to say no sometimes. It’s ok to have some ‘me’ time and be selfish. It’s not a crime.
  5. With some smart financial planning, we worked out we’ll be debt free (bar mortgage) in 30 months. That’s a 2015 win because it was this year we turned the corner and upped the payments.
  6. Ex Machina. This is my movie of 2015. At the time of writing this, I’ve not seen the new Star Wars, so it might change, but Ex Machina made me smile in so many ways – intelligent scifi that didn’t rely on special effects. Much love for Oscar Isaac too. That man won my heart in Agora a few years ago.
  7. A GBH conviction whereby the offender tried to gouge the eyes out of his victim and sent a load of revenge porn images to her family. This case made the national news and was one I oversaw and worked on. Probably one of the most memorable cases from the last 9 years.
  8. The continued growth of Grimbold Books and Kristell Ink. Without such supportive and enthusiastic authors our little publishing company wouldn’t be around. 2015 brought many trials our way and we tackled and brought down them all. 2016 promises to be bigger and brighter.
  9. Unsolicited and praising reviews of my book. Yeah, this is a big smile maker. I received some lovely positive reviews of my book that have encouraged me to find time to write…soon.
  10. Meeting up with Grimbold authors at BristolCon and FantasyCon. Simply amazing. I’m so lucky to have these people in my life, and honoured to call them friends. The tee-shirt reveal for the launch of ‘The Heir To The North’ was a highlight for me.
  11. Meeting my friend’s babies – all of them. Oliver, Oscar, Eli, Alex, Lexie, Imogen, Amber, Isabella…gorgeous, all of them. What a year.
  12. Celebrating my 7th wedding anniversary. Ok, I was heavily pregnant and we didn’t actually do anything, but we made it to 7 years! Here’s to the next 7 (and beyond!)!
  13. Our pets took to Logan really well. No jealousy or issues. With 14 cats and 2 dogs there was always the risk that one of them would turn. A massive relief and euphoric feeling knowing that they all get along.
  14. A generalisation here, but…being a better person overall and the realisation that grudges and negativity breeds discontent and unhappiness. In 2015, it clicked: don’t let the bad shit get me down. I’m calmer and feel more focussed, because of that I think I’m a better friend and person.
  15. I’m alive. I have a house. I have a child. I have enough money to pay bills and feed, clothe and take care of Logan and myself (and hubby). These are all things to be proud and happy of.Give this a go. I’m sure I’ve missed off some huge, happy and amazing events of 2015 but these all popped into my head and were typed in quick succession. Do remind me if I’ve forgotten anything that I should be shouting about!

Conquering Fears

When I was 17, I went for braces on my teeth. I should have had them years before, but, as was typical with my mother, it wasn’t considered a priority until the free treatment deadline loomed…

The process was horrid. The orthodontist was slapdash and rough, bruising the inside of my mouth and cheeks. The cement used on the brace anchors was slapped on and covered my teeth where it shouldn’t, leaving a rough feeling all over my enamel. It was painful, very painful.

Every check up during the 18 months left me crying and sweaty-palmed. Wires would rub my cheeks where they weren’t trimmed down and on my final visit, the metal ring/clamp around my back tooth was removed with so much force it cracked my tooth and I was in agony. The orthodontist referred me to a colleague to have it repaired free of charge, but I didn’t trust him and now feared dentists.

I had a root canal done privately (my only treatment up to that point) and was sedated with tramadol during the process. It was ok. I don’t remember much from the procedure, only the bill – £480.

That was 12 years ago and since then, I’ve only been to the dentist once – around 6 years ago for a check up. The experience of my orthodontist left me with a phobia and even thinking about the dentist now makes my teeth and jaw hurt. Right now, typing this, I have a shooting pain in my jaw that I know is psychosomatic. The tang of the antiseptics and mouthwash assails me, and the sharp jabbing on my teeth and gums is as vivid today as it was 15 years ago.

Today though, I’ve pulled on my big girl panties and booked in for a check-up on Monday. Pregnancy can do very bad things to teeth. The change in hormones paired with breastfeeding and a nutrient sucking vampire-esque baby can leave teeth prone to cavities. I don’t want that. I have that one root canal and that’s it. Except…the last few weeks I’ve had some sensitivity when eating hot and cold foods, and now I’m worried. So, I’ve bitten the bullet and decided that if I need any work doing – now is the time. Not only is it free until Logan’s first birthday, but if there are any issues I need to get them sorted before they get worse and before any sibling. I don’t want my teeth to crumble and fall out.

Wish me luck. I will need it. :/

Grimdark Magazine’s Great Big Battle-Off – Nomad Makes The Final Seven!

Joanne Hall

aof2coverThose awesome folks at Grimdark Magazine are currently running a competition to decide the greatest small-press fantasy battle, and The Art of Forgetting : Nomad is in the running for the Battle of Kingsmere (The One Where Someone Steals Rhodri’s Boots).

This is a competition voted for by the public, and there are heaps of fantasy and SF battles to choose from on the site, so get over there and get reading and voting for the one you enjoy the most. Actually, it’s Grimdark, so you should probably vote for the one that makes you wince the most, thinking about it…

If you’re a small press author and you want to get involved the competition details are here (published work only, no WIPs, but self-published work is allowed) and the competition closes on September 14th. It’s really great to see GDM supporting smaller authors in this way, so please do…

View original post 131 more words

Changes

I didn’t intend to write a blog post today, but sometimes when the urge comes, you just have to go with it. A lot of you are on my Facebook and you’ll see how much I bombard people with pictures of Logan. I can’t help it. Every moment I look at him I swell with pride and love. I want to show him off to the world and shout ‘see, this is what we made! In spite of everything, we made this perfect little boy’.

IVF isn’t an easy ride. I find it difficult to put into words just how draining it is. I felt like half a woman before having Logan. My body unable to create what nature intended. I’m not the ‘mother earth’ type, but as the years went by, I lost so much confidence in not only my physical self, but my mental self too. If I was unable to do this, what else would I fail at? I filled my days with goals and achievements and looked to help anyone who needed it. I wanted to be useful, to validate myself in a way. You all know I’ve suffered with confidence issues and low self-esteem, and I’ve blogged about reasons why so I won’t go over them, but for me, being a family was something that I wanted, and I wasn’t able.

Logan arriving made me realise I wasn’t a failure. My priorities shifted and my eyes are on him. The love for a child is so very different to the love for a partner. Yes it’s unconditional, but there’s more to it than that. They consume your every thought. They’re the first thing you think of when you wake, and the last before you sleep. They make you question everything. You find yourself thinking of things and ways to bring pleasure to their little lives (even though you are their world and just a smile from you will be enough).

I do still get sad though. I see him changing every day and I worry he’ll grow up too quickly, that he won’t be my baby for much longer, that he won’t need me and I’ll become redundant. Then I have to remind myself that he’ll always be my baby and always need me, just as I’ll always need him. And so I savour every moment with him and take as many photos and videos as I can, so that when we’re older, we can remind ourselves of this magical time. Instead of looking back and crying that the first 9 weeks have gone so quickly, I need to look forward at all the weeks, months and years to come and how we’ll all learn and grow together as a family. Kindness above all else. My baby will become my little boy, and one day an adult with a family of his own. I hope our values are passed down to the next generation.

One of the stupidest and yet most hurtful things ever said was that my son doesn’t have a soul because he was created with the help of science. The person who said it isn’t worth mentioning, but let me just say this: my son *was* created with the help of science, and whether you believe in souls or divinity aside, he is perfect in every way. He represents the strength of love, of our relationship and shared goals and dreams, and of never giving up and working together and keeping your faith and belief that one day, it will be all right.

Did You Know…

There’s only 98 sleeps until Christmas?

Those that know me also know that I’m not a big lover of Christmas. I’ve always found it to be expensive and over the top. Several times I’ve tried to get into the spirit of things with decorations and social events, but it’s always left me a little dead inside, and sad. I make up for it by getting people awesome gifts so that I can share in their happiness and hope it rubs off on me. Sometimes it does, most of the time it doesn’t.

Part of it comes from my childhood. When you were made to wrap all your siblings Christmas presents AND your own, the magic is lost. Year after year, I’d wrap my own presents…what was the point? I’d know what I’d been bought and there was no excitement. I do like surprises.

I loved Christmas dinner at my grandparent’s. That was always great. Everyone gathering around the dinner table (and I had my spot between Granddad and Nanny), smiles and laughter. It was one of the only occasions where there wasn’t shouting or arguments. With hindsight it’s easy to see that the lack of tension was false and forced for Christmas, but that doesn’t really matter now.
Now we have Logan, I’m excited again.

I want a tree
I want decorations
I want the Christmas jumpers
I want him to have an elf outfit
I want to make a gingerbread house with him
I want personalised stockings
I want him jumping on our bed in the early hours with excitement
I want the happy Christmas dinners with his Granddad and Nanny Smith
I want…everything

It’s my goal for him to experience the magic for as long as possible. Even when he realises that Father Christmas isn’t real (SPOILER!), I want him to have fun and excitement. I won’t spoil him with gifts or money, but  I will with love, happiness and fun times with family and friends.

Big Decisions

Life has changed so much in the last 5 weeks. All for the better, I might add! In the early hours, while feeding little man, I find myself thinking about all the fun things I want us to do as a family: trips out, arts and crafts and so on…I can’t wait to do all sorts of things with him that my parents failed to do with me and my siblings.

Of course, all things cost money – even the cheapest of activities (stuff at home) has an outlay and with the cost of nursery from February costing in excess of £600 a month (which is practically all our disposable income), we need to be able to afford to do these things with him.

So, I’ve decided to put a halt on my degree for the foreseeable. At the moment I pay between £100-200 a month to the Open University depending on what modules I’m doing. I’m 1/2 way through and realistically have another 3 years to go. That’s a lot of money I could be putting aside and saving for Logan and his future, for his enrichment with experiences and for him to have fun.

My degree was for my ego. For me to say to myself ‘I am not stupid.’ In the last three years I’ve grown as a person. I’m more confident, calmer, more secure and feel less of a loser. I know I’m not stupid. I co-run a business, I work hard, I have a close group of friends, a welcoming home and loving pets, and so far I’ve aced all of my university modules…I’d say that’s not bad!

I will pick up my degree again in the future, but my boy is more important. I want to have money saved for emergencies and for him. That’s more important than a piece of paper and a few letters.

Shake It Off, Shake It Off

Ok, that title is in poor taste, but I can make fun of myself.

These blog posts are all over the place time wise, so I apologise. It’s because I didn’t write anything for 4 months and now I’m playing catch up!

So, at the end of May when I was 30 weeks pregnant, I ended up in hospital after having a seizure at home. Very bizarre experience. We were getting ready to go baby shopping and get the final bits for Logan’s arrival and as I brushed my hair I started to feel incredibly hot and dizzy and my right side was weak and tingly. I went to the bathroom as I wanted to be sick but I couldn’t actually puke and so walked downstairs and told John I was going to get some fresh air outside. He went to check on the dogs before we left and I stood against my car and closed my eyes. I remember thinking ‘I can’t wait to get in the car and have the windows down’.

The next thing I remember, John is calling my name and I was on the concrete driveway between the cars. John was on the phone to the ambulance and my face hurt. He was panicked and the first thing I thought was ‘I hope Logan is ok’. He answered lots of questions and within a few minutes a first responder arrived. After my obs, the ambulance was called and I went over to hospital and was taken to the maternity day assessment unit. They were worried that it could have been pre-eclampsia.

John repeatedly described what he saw to many different docs: I was standing, I fell and then had a grand mal seizure with body jerking. My breathing was off but it didn’t last longer than a minute. I was disorientated but only briefly. I scraped my face along the concrete and had a big graze and scab. My wrist and knees were scraped too.

I was incredibly tired and wanted to do nothing but sleep. As we all know though, hospitals and sleep don’t go together and so for the next four days I was regularly monitored, pricked with needles and had 2 CT scans, heart monitoring for 24hrs and an echocardiogram, x-rays and ultrasounds. Importantly, little man was fine. That’s all I really cared about.

I saw a neurologist who tentatively put the seizure down to ?epilepsy. She explained that for one seizure, they don’t medicate but if I had another they would look to try me on some meds. An MRI is booked for October to see if there is anything untoward. I have a 2cm mass behind my eye that was seen on the CT scan and will be investigated properly next month. I’ve done a little research myself (based on what was written) and it could be a birthmark of sorts. Which is pretty cool.

I’ve been well since the seizure, and not had another, but I have felt ‘off’ several times in a way I can’t explain. I’ve made sure that I lay down and relax though and I find that I fall asleep really quickly when I feel ‘weird’.

So, there we go. Pregnancy does strange things to your body. It messes up your brain chemistry and puts a huge strain on your physical wellbeing. I have a light pink scar now on my temple from the scab. I like it. It’s unique and has a story behind it.

Would I change it? No way. I’ve got my little munchkin and he’s safe and well – nothing is more important!

4 Month Round Up – Part 1

Part 1 – more posts to come and not in chronological order. Too much to talk about and besides, it’s more fun this way!!!!

Where has the time gone? I realised last week that I hadn’t updated my blog for 4 months. 4 months! A lot has happened during that time. The most important thing is… I’m a mummy! So let’s start with the best blog post 😀

On the 6th August 2015 at 11.15am, I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy: Logan Alexander Frank Smith. He weighed 8lb 7.5oz and is just perfect.

My birth plan that consisted of water, gas and air, went completely out of the window…let me explain…

During the 5th August, I started getting really uncomfortable cervix pains (sorry if TMI!) and when I picked John up from work, I complained the whole drive home. It felt like someone was stabbing me with a hot needle up my vajajay. Later that evening my ‘show’ (mucus plug) came away and John started to get excited. ‘This is it,’ he said. ‘Logan is coming’. I repeatedly told him to calm down and brushed off his comments. After all, it was 4 days before his due date and first babies are usually late…

That evening I started to get really bad period type pains. They would come on in waves and I took 3 baths to alleviate the ache. John suggested he time the pain and low and behold, they peaked every 3-4 minutes. Contractions. The pain I felt was actually contractions, who knew? I hadn’t given birth before so had no idea!

Around 2am we went to hospital. I was in agony and so kept moving and standing around the assessment room whilst the midwife went through my notes. I stood by the sink and gripped the porcelain while growling (I wasn’t speaking). It felt like my lower uterus and cervix was being twisted by a fist and pulled apart. Every time the midwife came in and placed the monitoring bands around my tummy, I removed them. Logan hated it and wiggled and that paired with the pain was just…awful.

When the midwife returned properly, the first thing I did was ask for drugs. Birth plan gone out of the window. It was horrible. Before I was allowed any pain relief though, I had to be examined and my heart dropped. As a result of my operation and medical conditions, I knew this was going to hurt. Luckily, I had a letter from a consultant at the JR basically stating that I was to be given whatever relief I wanted and that childbirth was going to be a lot more painful for me than most. Yes, seriously, this isn’t an excuse, promise!
Soooo…the midwife examines me and informs me that I’m only 2cm dilated. Just 2cm. I was pretty embarrassed and upset. I was in agony and only 1/5 of the way there. ‘Active labour’ doesn’t start until 4cm so technically the hospital should have sent me home but instead I was admitted and given a shot of diamorphine. I was so relieved and thankful for that letter!

The contractions continued and the diamorphine lasted about an hour, but during that time I got to grips with the gas and air and things became a lot more manageable, though I was sick several times. My ‘hind’ waters then broke and once I hit 5cm, I was given an epidural.

The epidural took 4 attempts, and I had to sit deadly still – which is ridiculously hard when you’re contracting! However, I had the best midwife ever. Her name is Diane Fagan and she is an angel! She calmed me down and ensured I didn’t freak out.

Let me tell you know, an epidural is the BEST THING EVER. Within 40 minutes I was back to myself and the pain was gone. I could smile and actually maintain a conversation! The contractions felt like pressure and nothing more. For an hour, I was relaxed and happy. But…

Logan’s heartbeat started to go from 96 beats a minute to 190. The midwife wasn’t happy and so she decided to pop my main waters to put a clip on his head. John told me she produced this hook/knitting needle thing and popped the water. Logan had done a huge meconium poo and my waters were dark brown and green. Apparently this is a sign that he was in distress. They attached the clip but his stats didn’t improve, and so the Consultant then decided to check his blood oxygen level. To do this he inserted a tube into my vagina and asked John if he wanted to see Logan’s hair. John took a look and told me that, yup, our baby had a good head of hair (that heartburn had been worth it!). The doc then sprayed Logan’s head with anaesthetic and took two samples of blood. The results came back very quickly (within 2 minutes) and immediately they decided that we needed to go for a C-Section. ‘You’ll be a mum within the hour’, said the Consultant, and John was whipped away for scrubs.

My epidural was increased and from the ribs down everything felt like sponge. Very weird. As I was wheeled into the theatre, I started to shake. I’m sure it was the drugs but I couldn’t stop. The staff noticed and were so, so kind and wonderful. John came in and whispered, ‘These scrubs are so tight I’m worried I’ll split them if I sit down.’ – always makes me smile, that man.

C-Sections are weird. You can feel everything – the cut, the fumbling and rummaging around inside, but there’s no pain. At one point there was so much tugging I thought I was going to be dragged off the table! One of the nurses asked John if he wanted to look, and so he peeked over the curtain and exclaimed ‘He’s so big!’. It felt a lifetime, but eventually we heard his cries and I cried. I can’t put into words how I felt at that moment. My  baby was here. The little boy I’d been nurturing and talking to for months had arrived.

He was wrapped up and handed to John and I kissed his squidgy face and had a small cuddle. I wasn’t able to hold him properly or for long, and we spent over an hour in theatre as I lost 2 litres of blood and it took a while to stem it all. When we were moved into recovery, I had another haemorrhage and lost a further 500ml. John dressed Logan and I got a proper cuddle and managed to give him his first breastfeed. Perfect.
We noticed that he was shaking and the midwife first thought that he had ‘morro’ and explained it was normal, but after a few hours, he continued to shake and after a heel prick test for blood sugars, they found his were low. On their advice, I gave him a bottle of formula and an hour later they checked the blood sugars again. They were lower at 1.3 and so he was taken off to special care and hooked up to a glucose drip and some antibiotics.

I went to the main ward where for the next 3 days and nights, I remained babyless. After the first 24 hours I was able to move off the bed and so with my drain and catheter in situ, John wheeled me down the hospital to Logan and I got to have lots of cuddles and kisses. It’s absolutely heartbreaking being away from your baby after giving birth. The hormones are going crazy and your natural instinct is to feed and nurture your baby. Not to have him with you is torture.
When he did get to come back to me, it was amazing. I spent the night cuddling him and bonding. I hadn’t been able to breastfeed or express properly and due to a shortage of donor breast milk, he had been on formula bottles.

After 5 days we came home (and just went to hospital daily for Logan to have his antibiotics in his cannula) and we started to breastfeed and bottle feed. I slowly reduced formula and increased breast. He took to it like a duck to water. So proud of my little man. It was simply wonderful having John home with us. He’s been off for the first month and during that time we’ve experienced everything together as a family – the explosive projectile poop, Logan peeing on his own face, the facial expressions, the baby noises, the works. Priceless memories.

So the birth wasn’t straightforward and he was a poorly boy. I’ve held back some of the other stuff, but this is our story and journey towards parenthood. ❤

I can’t quite believe we’re at this stage. After the last few hard years and misery, to have Logan is a dream come true. I find myself kissing him and just breathing in his baby smell so much. I love everything about him. His floofy hair, his little nose, his chubby hands and tummy. I’m sad that in 5 months I’ll be back at work, but I’m going to cherish every moment I have with him.

Here’s a few pics none of you would have seen on Facebook.

Next few posts will mention…

My seizure, 3 day stint in hospital and ongoing investigations for epilepsy
Finishing work and the freedom it brings
Review on several baby products
My decision to postpone my degree for the next 2 years
Grimbold and Kristell Ink musings
Several book and film reviews
I don’t really like people all that much