Sunday, 29 December 2013

A year to the day since the fateful pregnancy test

One year ago today R took a pregnancy test. She had been getting positive ovulation tests for five days, which seemed a bit odd, as the ovulation window tends to be perilously short. I googled it and discovered that these positive readings can also mean pregnancy. I tried not to get too excited but casually mentioned it to R and encouraged her to take a test. It wasn't the first one we'd taken, but this one felt different. We were just back from a few days in Wales and set to host a New Year's Eve party the next day. 

R took the test kit into the bathroom and a few minutes later the following statement emerged:

"There's a very faint line, so I guess I'm not pregnant."  My heart stopped. Many of you will know that with an ovulation test, you're not properly ovulating unless the line is definite. However, with pregnancy tests, the rules are very different. She came in with the paddle she had just wee'd on to show me, and I breathlessly explained, once I'd looked at it, that she was probably pregnant. Silence. Neither of us knew what to say. We were expecting a baby. We hugged and no doubt talked all kinds of nonsense before calling our parents. 

From this moment, all would change!

And here we are, one year on, with a three and a half month old beautiful daughter with whom we celebrated Christmas in our new house. Here she is in her very first toy box. How very lucky we are! 

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Top ten parenting milestones

Everyone who has a baby will be familiar with the idea of milestones - first smile, first sitting up, first steps, first words, first dry night etc etc etc. So, with that in mind I have devised some key parenting milestones:

1) Abject terror - some point in the six hours after you get your baby home and realise this is now your life. 

2) Projectile poo on several items of your own clothing thanks to your baby - week one

3) Develop ability to make cups of tea while still asleep - week two

4) Confusion because there are so many guidelines about feeding, sleeping and general safety that make logical sense but do not seem compatible with your baby - one to four weeks. 

5) Guilt about the above - four to six weeks. 

6) Decision made to stop feeling guilty about the guidelines you don't follow because you know your baby best - six to eight weeks. 

7) Look at newborn babies and barely remember that your child was once that small and new - eight weeks. 

8) Sense of achievement that you have finally nailed your baby's routine and have a much better idea of what you're doing - around ten weeks. 

9) Utter horror that everything has changed and your baby has stopped doing anything predictable suddenly - around three months. 

10)Sigh that this is your lot as a parent - around three months. 

Yes, I've been through all these (and many others). What are yours?

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Everyone has a good book inside them right?

They say that everyone has a book in them. Well, I can confirm that there is more than one in me! It's been fantastic writing this blog, and hearing feedback from you, my lovely readers. I only really started writing about my parenting experiences from a selfish perspective, as an outlet in a way. However, as I have carried in and my audience has grown, it has occurred to me that there is perhaps a book here. From what I gather there is pretty much nothing out there in mainstream literature about being the 'other mother' even though it's clear there is a hunger for information out there. So, here begins my bid to publish my story. 

What do you think? Would you buy it? (Please say yes!)

In my other life, before I was a parent, I published a novel called Four Movemenents, the extraordinary tale of an ordinary upright piano and its owners over 50 years. Download it on Amazin and see what you think:

The sun shines through

There are moments when parenthood is unremittingly tough. It's one long cycle of snot, puke, wee, puke and tears - I include myself in that! You wonder why on earth you did this thing to yourself. 

And then, your baby smiles, and you feel like the most amazing person on earth. You wonder why you felt so moany in the first place. You wonder how you possibly survived life without her and what purpose you had!!

Thank goodness the sunshine comes out. 

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Attack of the germ fairy

I can safely say that the last two weeks have been thoroughly miserable. Poor M started it off with a nasty cold. The snot fest was quite spectacular, and after a few days she started a quite terrifying wheeze and cough. In the end I braved a two hour wait at the local walk-in GP surgery last Saturday morning. The doctor was dismissive to start with - he clearly thought I was behaving like a neurotic mum. Thankfully though once he'd listened to her chest he agreed all was not well and prescribed antibiotics. I was thoroughly relieved, especially as her temperature went up that afternoon. 

As she started to feel better, both me and R began to come down with the same nasty virus. In fact, less than a week later I was back at the same out of hours clinic with a bad asthma attack. R and M came with me because I wasn't well enough to go alone, even though it was late in the evening. The doctor however seemed less than sympathetic. She seemed to overlook the fact that I was struggling to breath and told me I was fine. She asked who R and M were, so I explained that R was my wife and M was my daughter. She furrowed her brow, and then referred to me as R's husband. I didn't have the breath or energy to contradict, but R did, explaining that I was also a wife! The doctor simply stated then that we were lesbians and that seemed to be the end of the matter for her - although not before telling us our daughter really ought to have a hat on. Never mind the fact that we were in a stuffy surgery...

M thankfully is now fully recovered, and R is well on the way to recovery herself. I'm slowly improving too, but I can safely say that all of us being ill at the same time has been utterly awful.