“beer buggy lady”

1 month ago I took a stroll to a very well stocked beer shop up the road. At home I had been struggling with a rather difficult 4 month old baby. I had fed him, changed him, let him play on the floor, played with him on the floor, tickled and kissed him and bounced him on my lap, sat with him holding him up so he could play in a sitting position and frankly he was very unappreciative and was still moaning and yelling so my last resort was to take him out for a walk. Now I’m useless at just walking, I need to have a purpose, I can’t walk around for the fun of it, I’m not going out for my own pleasure you understand. So I searched my mind for somewhere, anywhere I could go. The beer shop was the obvious choice. On choosing my special beers I had a bit of banter with the owner who remarked at my good choice, then on the high alcohol content of my choice, then on whether they were for me! I replied yes. Then the subject of whether I needed a bag for my beer purchases came up, to which was my witty reply “nah! That’s why I had a baby” ha ha ha ha and stuffed them under the buggy. Leaving behind a bemused owner and as it seems, a bit of a rep!

Yesterday me and my husband visited the beer shop again. My husband¬† had a bit of banter with the owner while I tickled the baby’s chin and remarked how tired he looked and that maybe he should have a nap, when the subject of whether we needed a bag for our beer purchases came up. To which my witty reply was “no that’s why we brought the buggy” ha ha ha ha! (Such a great joke had to use it again!) The only slightly amused owner looked at my husband who declared that “we do have an actual baby in it though, we didn’t get the buggy just for beer” The owner being a little cautious of our comments but presumably wanting to be polite replied “You never know, some of the S******d Mum’s that come in here…”


*town name removed to protect identities!

I only went and did it!

4 years ago I started this blog. I was struggling with my low mood after having the boy and finding that being a stay-at-home-mum meant, for me, I had no one to blub and rant express my feelings to. So I let rip here.

I tailed off expressing my feelings here because I found life quite a lot better, I found I had less to say and frankly the boy stopped napping so I had a lot less thinking time and more to engage myself with. About 18 months ago we made the ridiculous decision to have another baby and my last post was a lament to that not having happened yet. Well, I threw everything at baby making and wham bam! we’ve a 5 month old baby boy.

So I think I’m back. Not because I’m struggling (amazingly I feel as fine as I could possibly feel in the circumstances) but because with this new experience I think I have some more to say, and again I have no one to tell. We moved from a leafy London suburb to a slightly less leafy West Midlands City suburb (4 weeks before the baby was born – grrrrr – but that’s another story) so blubs and rants expressions of my feelings will come this way.

I’ve dusted off the blog, given it a tweek (I’m not 36 any more :(¬† ) and hopefully someone will read it.

good egg

Well, it’s clear now – I’m barren, my ovaries are unfruitful and my uterus a desolate waste land. I’m unproductive, obviously too old and shriveled to be any good.

And to think how I waited for hours at the walk-in clinic to get a repeat of the pill, what a waste of time, and I must definitely be suffering from folic acid poisoning, I’ve nearly finished a whole, bumper pack. And for no use, I’ve absorbed it all.

I’ve cut out alcohol, cut down coffee, started preconception vitamin supplements, eaten full fat diary at the start of my cycle, used an ovulation predictor to predict ovulation, been loving towards my husband at the appropriate times (and even at inappropriate times), gone back to fat free dairy, eaten pineapple and brazil nuts. And nothing.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the boy was my last good egg (but what an egg)!

night night sleep tight

I have always dreaded the night that proves the boy has inherited his fathers sleep disturbances . I’ve always waited for the sound of tiny feet clambering around the bedroom, or loud one way conversations, or a complete panic and a few minutes of petrified between sleep and awake moments, in the night.

Well, apart from a few bad dreams, a few night-time separation anxieties and one way chats and giggles, it’s yet to be proved.

According to BabyCentre http://www.babycentre.co.uk/a558175/toddler-sleep-concerns-nightmares , nightmares in under 4 years olds is unusual. The boy did go through a stage where he would wake after a vivid and frightening dream and was able to recall what he had been dreaming of. Now, they didn’t sound like frightening sleep disturbances, but in his tender innocence I guess they were the most disturbing and upsetting things his little brain could come up with.

Here are the frightening encounters (as far as I could gather them!)

  1. a cow was sniffing his toe (his left, big toe – this is actually a recurring dream which he still has now but manages to shoo the cow away)
  2. someone ate all his crisps (my husband had earlier in the day eaten one of his crisps)
  3. something about purple and counting
  4. Peter Rabbit (just “Peter Rabbit” sobbed over and over)
  5. a cow was sniffing all his toes
  6. there was a bee in his bed
  7. he lost his big banana and he wanted it back
  8. he lost his handle on the bus
  9. he wanted his chocolate cake back

I consoled him with a cuddle and a kiss and back to bed, I consoled myself that if they were the worse things he could think of as happening to him then we were doing ok.

Starting nursery

The boy had his first day at nursery today. I want him to go to nursery, its a nice, small, friendly nursery and we were really lucky to have been offered a place. He was ok, he didn’t love it, he didn’t run in shouting “bring it on” (as I secretly hoped but of course didn’t expect).

I was a total mess, I wept a little a first (I was going through his “red book” with his teacher – so many memories) then I moved on to sniveling into a tissue and then exploding in tears (this seemed to take the teacher back a bit, I think she was on my side up until then).

I do want him to go to nursery but I’ve been trying to pin point what it is I’m anxious about. I’m worried he’ll be forgotten about, accidentally or purposely ignored, spoken to needlessly harsh, not cared for in the way I care, not given the food he likes, not put on the toilet the way he knows how to, to be left fend for himself in anything. These are things that might not happen, but they might. They are small things that every child has to bear at some point and of course quickly recover from.

He can’t possibly function without me can he? I do want him to go to nursery (have I said that?)

I think I’m also worrying that perfect boy will be ruined and it will turn out that my lovely, sweety, honey is actually a sappy, mummy’s boy, weakling. Or my lovely, sweety, honey will learn to scratch, bite and spit from “Alfie” and the little boy I knew will be gone for ever.

Update – We went again today and it was fine!

a whole new world

I was wondering what I should do in the year before I turn 40. I really want to do something crazy. Something thrilling with an element of danger. Something unexpected of me. Something life changing.

Yes, I’m going to try and have another baby.

I have just turned 39 and have entered the insane world of OPKs, DTD, DPOs, 2WWs, HPTs, BPNs and BFPs. At first I thought that I’d just have to have sex with my husband, but no! I have to learn a new acronym-ised language and become expert in biological statistics.

I’ve discovered a whole new world – to be ostracised from.

The most amazing thing I’ve discovered is that contraception is totally pointless. I can have sex the day before, the day of and the day after ovulating and not get pregnant. In other circumstances it would be quite liberating.

So I’ll be using my OPK then DTD, counting my DsPO, agonising during the 2WW, taking a HPT and hoping for a BFP. And if I get a BFP, I’ll be shitting myself!

Guest Post: An exercise in control

“Exercise helps fight postpartum depression” according to this latest study from Finland. Seeing as we have known for some time that exercise helps improve mood in everyone (whether depressed or not), it’s not going to make headline news.

But what this seeming statement of the obvious hides is that exercise benefits women suffering from PND (and all new mothers to some degree) above and beyond the action of the endorphins. Because what usually accompanies exercise is space. Whether you leave the house or simply go for a solitary walk, you gain a bit of distance from your children and your thoughts. When you’re feeling low and the children are demanding all of you, it can be very difficult to gain any sense of perspective. Knowing you’ve got an hour (or however long you have) of time, where you set the pace, you control what you do and how, can be enormously liberating. And if you can build it into your weekly schedule, you can also enjoy the anticipation (“I just have to get through this truly terrible day and I’ll be out”).

Exercise also literally helps you to feel like yourself again. As mothers of babies and small children, it’s so easy to spend all our time meeting the needs of other people. Sometimes it can feel like we’re having an out of body experience. When I was in the depths of my depression and you’d asked me how I was feeling, I’d have looked at you in astonishment. How on earth would I know? I had outsourced my feeling to another being.

But whether you’re doing pilates or yoga (great for stretching out shoulders and backs tight from feeding and carrying babies) or dancing the zumba, moving your body helps you become more aware of your own feelings. And once we start looking after ourselves, everything else starts working better too. Our relationships with our children and partners improve. We feel a bit calmer. There’s a bit more of a sense of a world outside of the feelings of insanity and pain.

It’s not a magic bullet. Exercise was just a part of my recovery, which included taking antidepressants, learning mindfulness, blogging and work. But it was (and remains) an important part. Over Christmas and New Year when I wasn’t able to get out and exercise because of looking after sick children, I felt trapped and exhausted. Some of the old feelings came flooding back. Because, at its core, choosing to use your body in a way that makes you feel good is a way of taking back a little bit of control. And when you’re struggling with PND or just finding motherhood tougher than you thought, that can mean the difference between keeping your head above the water or sinking.

Cat Dean blogs at http://www.postnatalsurvival.com and is the author of The Postnatal Survival Guide, available to download on all e-readers.