The best day of my life.

I was inspired by a friends blog to write about my own experience of the best day of my life. The day my son was born.

It was not an easy pregnancy, from three months the morning sickness began, only it didn’t limit itself to morning, it was morning, noon and night. Some days I left work, went straight to the hospital to be given injections and put on a re-hydration drip. On a good day I would be home in a few hours, others I was kept in overnight.

At twenty weeks I went for my routine scan and discovered two things, first I was having a boy and second I had a low placenta. They said it may move as the pregnancy continued and not to be too concerned. However that changed very quickly. Two weeks later I began to bleed. After a couple of hours of waiting, the bleeding stopped and I got to hear my boy’s heartbeat. Everything was fine but the placenta had pulled further down and this meant a C-section would be needed, eventually.

Things settled down for a few weeks and was progressing as expected, even the sickness stopped.

Then, with two months to go everything went into free fall.

Sitting at home one afternoon watching television I had the strangest sensation, like a rubber band had snapped inside and then the bleeding really started. A quick phone call to the maternity unit and my mum and I made a quick dash to the hospital and was admitted to the delivery suite.

The placenta had started to come away and I was in slow labour, they had to stop this as quickly as possible. Within an hour I was hooked up to numerous drips and machines, on total bed rest and fifteen minute observations. I was given steroid injections to boost babies lungs, and gave me a dead leg. Thankfully the intervention worked and the contractions stopped, as did the bleeding, and through it all my little man was totally fine, oblivious even.

I was moved onto the long term stay ward, with three others in a similar situation. For the next two weeks I wasn’t allowed out of bed, and had to be taken to loo in a wheelchair. After this I was allowed to get up but not off the ward. Every day I got to hear my boy’s heartbeat and every other day I had a growth scan to ensure he was doing well, and he was.

The problem was that I wasn’t doing so well. My white blood cell count had gone through the roof and they couldn’t understand why. This was putting extreme strain on my kidneys and liver, by the end of three weeks in hospital my consultant was really concerned. Although the baby was doing well, if left much longer I was at risk of kidney failure and serious lifelong problems.

On the Monday they came to discuss options and after a bit of negotiation we agreed on Thursday for a planned C-section, however I was to have blood and urine tests twice daily and if things deteriorated further then I would go straightaway.

So twenty-eight days after being admitted I was to have my baby !

On the Thursday morning, I went and had a shower, changed into the lovely backless theatre gown and paper knickers, then mum and I walked down to theatre. First I had a quick scan for them to take further measurements and make the finally decision. It was one I was dreading, epidural or general anaesthetic. I was hoping for the first but it wasn’t to be. Unfortunately the placenta was once again causing issues and stem bleeding and keep control of the situation it was better for me to be under a general anaesthetic.

The short walk to the theatre was going well until the nurse said ‘say bye to your mum’, it was as if she’d told me I’d never see her again, the nerves kicked in and the tears began. The poor anaesthetist spent the next five minutes trying to calm me down enough to take deep breaths without sobs and snot getting in the way. Then off to sleep I went…..

A good few hours later I woke up on the ward, baby-less for the first time for seven months. He decided to cause his own chaos on arrival, he went from being perfectly happy and healthy to his lungs collapsing and being resuscitated within a few minutes. He was transferred to the special care baby unit (SCBU), put on oxygen and into an incubator and being fed via a tube through his nose. I had to wait until the following day to see my beautiful boy. Once I was allowed out of bed there was no stopping me, I would have breakfast then disappear down to SCBU until they threw me out in the evening. I could only touch him for a short time through the port holes in the incubator, it made changing nappies (especially dirty ones) interesting. Feeding was small and often, 2ml of milk pushed slowly down the tube into his stomach every hour. Too fast and he was sick, too slowly and he got gassy. That was when he wasn’t pulling the tube out ! He was naughty from day one….

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By day five, I was at breaking point, all I wanted was to hold my boy. The hormones kicked in and the tears and sobs arrived. The nurse was an angel and knew instantly how to solve the issue. It took around ten minutes of changing tubes, replacing equipment but finally I had my baby. I had my first and the best cuddle ever. The nurse said the first contact should be skin to skin as this helps both mother and baby regulate bodies and bond.

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Boy did it work, within two days he had really improved. His oxygen levels stabilised and he was out of the hot room and breathing independently. After twelve days we was up on the ward with me and exactly 14 days after being born we came home. He was closely monitored for the first year but never looked back, I however deteriorated as the year went on. Blood clots and Graves disease (caused by the pregnancy) meant almost seven years of treatment and operations and finally now, 12 years later I’m healthy again.

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It was the most traumatic time of my life, has given me some of my greatest problems to overcome but I wouldn’t change it or him for anything.

 

 

 

 

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Where have we been ?

We’ve had a few adventures so far this year. We started the year with a visit to Chillfactore snow park in Manchester. We had a snowboarding lesson, which Oscar loved and did really well but I couldn’t stay upright (I have enough issues on flat, dry land) then we had an hour of free play on the luge, downhill tubing and sledging. It was freezing when we arrived and I was gad we had wrapped up warm but within a few minutes both us were sweating and had to remove a layer or two. I was a little expensive but as a special treat and a day to remember it was worth it, we laughed a lot.

As usual in school at winter time plenty of bugs meant both us spent sometime in bed feeling dreadful and as a result of Oscar missing a few days of school he missed a lesson he had been looking forward to for weeks, cooking a pineapple upside down cake. So we made one at home, it was a great success and both Oscar and Grandpa loved it.

We had a very busy week away at half term, but I’ll do a separate post about that. Then before we knew it Light Night had arrived again, the yearly arts event in Liverpool when galleries, museums and many other buildings are opened up to the public for arts events, it’s good fun and we get to do and try lots of new things and see inside buildings that are closed to the public. I took the ‘proper’ camera out with us this year and Oscar took some really good photo’s (I took the top 2 on the left and bottom right)

I have also started knitting again, keeping it simple as some new baby boys (not mine) are arriving soon so pram blankets for the autumn/winter time are in progress.

Lastly we had a night out at the Liverpool Echo arena to watch the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team, what a fantastic night. We laughed, danced, sang, cheered and at the end got to meet the players. We will be returning to see them again and would recommend it to everyone, even if you don’t know anything about basketball. A really good show and amazing skills.

 

An enjoyable start to the year, things are about to change but hopefully it will be better for us in the long term. More to follow…

 

A bit of plastic

A couple of weeks ago a small piece of plastic came into our lives and made quite a difference. What is this ?

 

A fidget cube, a small cube, 6 sides with something different on each side to fidget with. Very simple, but also effective. I fits neatly into the palm of your hand and even for a child its comfortable to hold. I bought it for Oscar, to try and stop his nail biting (he’s hardly got any left) and it’s working. Each side has a different action, some click whilst others are silent, each has a different feel.

It was originally designed as an anti-stress ‘toy’ for adults, however for children with anxiety or sensory issues it also has advantages.

After a quick chat with the teacher it was decided that he could have it in class, provided he didn’t ‘mess’ about with it or use the clicker too often. It has been successful. He says it makes him feel calmer and it helps him concentrate.

Unfortunately the small size also makes it easy to lose, as was the case a few days ago. We turned to house upside down but nothing. I ordered a couple of spares, and true to form the original one turned up on the day the spares arrived. I find myself quite often holding it and it is calming.

 

100 posts and counting …

My last post was also my 100th post, so many things have changed since that first one, even blogging has changed for me. At the start it was new and scary, but a few posts in and I was enjoying doing things, looking for reasons to write.

Then life changed, in many ways and my world became tiny, distanced from friends, no routine. Lonely, boring and not blog worthy.

I’ve been thinking about a few dilemmas over the last few days. So here’s where you might be able to help me. As a single parent, making decisions can be terrifying, so having people around to discuss ideas, suggestions and recommendations is always helpful.

The current dilemma – to get my son his own mobile phone or not ? He’s starting secondary school soon. Here are my thoughts …

Around half of the kids in his class already have one, including some that he wants to keep contact with when he leaves for secondary school. I understand the pressure to be the same, keep up but it worries me. Is he old enough for the responsibility of a phone and internet access. I trust that he will tell me of any issues, and we’ve discussed rules. He already talks to me about any issues he has, so will it make that bond stronger or push him away ?

Getting one now will give him time to get used to using it with kids he is comfortable around before he moves to his new school. Also they could be a good support when he moves if he needs it.

So what do you think ? Any advice, guidance will be appreciated.

Thank you my friends for being around and the support you’ve given me, here’s to the next 100 posts….

Last Month

December came and went so fast, I realised whilst updating the list that I didn’t tell you any of the fun we had before, during or after Christmas.

My birthday is in December so for a treat, Oscar and I, went to Liverpool for the day. We went ice skating and then had 3 goes on the ice slide, which was hilarious, and yet again I fell over, I need to start drinking alcohol ! Afterwards we had a lovely meal.

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We had a visit to craft fair at Birkenhead Priory, not somewhere I’ve ever visited before but we will return for a proper look around as it was beautiful, if a little cold and Oscar was spooked by the darkness inside, I bought some lovely handmade presents. Maybe a summer visit next time.

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Christmas eve we went bowling, and even though I got 3 strikes Oscar still won, I’m sure the machine was broken ! The usual excitement and nerves kicked in waiting for Santa to arrive. Thankfully he did.

Followed by a quiet few days whist Oscar was away with his dad, which gave me some reading and sewing time.

New years eve he was home, just the two of us so it was a quiet one. We made his 3d jigsaw (thankfully all the pieces are numbered), played games and did some reading whilst waiting for midnight and the fireworks. A lovely end to a not so pleasant year.

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Proud Mama moment

Sorry but sometimes you just have to brag. My beautiful boy has a love of reading and writing, even with dyslexia and concentration issues, he ploughs on through.

Earlier this year he heard about a creative writing group and wanted to join. So off we went and it was fantastic. They talked, played games, made notes, wrote poems and stories but most of all he made friends and built his confidence in his ability.

His story was published in a book, which we gave to relatives as a present. img_5734

Don’t let anything hold you back. If you enjoy it, then do it (as long as it’s legal)

One thing being a parent has taught me is that children just do. It’s only as we get older that we let fear hold us back, but fear of what ? Usually failure or looking stupid, well don’t worry about it because whilst you think you look stupid, other are watching thinking how brave, I wish I could do that.

Make 2017 the year you have a go..