Saturday, 24 August 2013

Going back in time

Last week, Seth was running a young mens camp for our church and so it was just Caleb and I in the house for a couple of days. On the Thursday, Lins, Sam and Caitlin came down to see us. I always love catching up with my family. I know I get to see Mum and Laura quite a bit but I don't see Lin and her family as much. We are a really close family and I miss living close to them and seeing them a lot so any time I get to see them is a novelty! Sam and Caitlin were so excited to see Caleb and to see the progress he has made, he changes so quickly!

The main reason for Lins and the kids coming down is so that we could all go and visit our old haunts. You see, I actually spent the first 8 years of my life living only about half an hour away from where I currently live. You would think that being as though it is so close I would have gone back to visit and have a look around, and yet I've not done it. I don't really know why I've not got around to it, it's one of those things I've been meaning to do. We were pretty excited about being able to do it with Sam and Caitlin. The first port of call was going to the home where my family lived before Laura and I were born. Lin told us stories of when she used to live there and the mischief that she got up to! Sam and Cait were entertained by it all and enjoyed climbing in the trees that Lin used to play in.

The next stop was Lesnes abbey ruins. The abbey dates back to 1178, so it's pretty old! I was really excited to be there again, as Lins would often take Laura and I there when  we were younger and we would have fun playing and climbing all over the ruins (yeah, we weren't meant to do that, but they were just so inviting, what child could resist?!). Sam and Caitlin kept up the tradition and spent a while playing while Lins and I chatted and Caleb entertained himself with a bottle of water!

We went to visit our old school and as luck would have it, it was open! Workmen were there painting it so we went in to have a look around. Lins and I commented on how it hadn't changed at all since we were there, which was 23 years ago for me and slightly more for Lin! There were some small modernisations but other than that it was pretty much the same. Being back in that school, it felt like no time had passed at all, it was very strange being back in there but also a lot of fun to revisit it.

When we left the school we went to visit our old houses and went to the park in the local village where we lived. It is so much cooler than when we lived there, the park is huge and there are so many fun things to play on. I may have played on a couple of things. I'm not saying that I did, just that it is possible......


I had so much fun being with my lovely family and taking a trip back down memory lane. I had such a great childhood and it was really nice to be able to share it with Sam, Cait and my own child!

Friday, 9 August 2013

Why I wouldn't want to know

If you have particularly strong views on finding out the sex of a baby, then you might not want to read this in case I say something which unintentionally causes offense. But if you're just curious to find out my take on it, then read on!

Before I got pregnant with Caleb, I didn't really have that much of an opinion either way when it came to people finding out the sex of their babies. I had spoken to people who had and hadn't found out and I could see the reasons behind both. Some people say that they like the surprise throughout the pregnancy and it keeps them going through labour, while others say that the fact you get a baby at the end of it all is reward enough.

When I fell pregnant with Caleb, I knew that I didn't want to find out the sex (I'm a bit of a hypocrite, I must say because despite me not wanting to find out, whenever friends were pregnant, I always wanted to know what they were having!). Seth did, but I won that argument! (ha, not that it was an argument, I pretty much just said that I didn't want to find out, he put forth all of the reasons why it would be a good idea, I said I still didn't want to find out and alas, we didn't!). During the pregnancy when people asked me if I wanted a boy or girl, I just said that I wanted the baby to be healthy. I think deep down I was probably leaning towards wanting a girl. I only have sisters and I could just see me being a mum to a baby girl. I kind of thought that I might have a boy though. Not based on anything to do with how I was feeling, but 2 of Seth's older brothers have 2 boys each and so I just thought that we might follow that pattern! The second Caleb was born and I found out he was a boy, all of a sudden I wanted a boy all along and all thoughts of a girl went completely out of my head!

I recently read an article about a woman who had been told that she was having a girl, spent £3000 on pink clothing and everything girly, only to then give birth to a boy. I told Seth about it this evening and said that this is one of the reasons why I wouldn't want to find out. I know that scans are pretty accurate and everything but there are times when they (or the sonographer) are wrong! If I were in that woman's situation, I wonder how easy I would find it to then bond with the baby after thinking that I was having a girl for all that time. I wouldn't want to have prepared myself for a certain sex if then I end up having the opposite. You may completely disagree with me and say that it wouldn't be a big deal at all and you would love that baby regardless. And of course, I would. It may be that I would have no issues in bonding with the baby at all.

I remember all of the feelings when I had Caleb. I was quite ill for a while after I had him due to it not being a straightforward labour and delivery, etc, etc. In hindsight, I think I probably suffered from postnatal depression and I hate to say it, but as much as I did love him and as much as I love him now, I didn't really feel particularly connected to him. It felt like he was someone else's baby and I was just trying (and what felt like failing miserably) to look after him. I think it probably took a couple of months before I started to really feel a bond with my boy, once I had started to recover. Now, I'm not saying that a mix up in the sex of the baby would cause me to have postnatal depression, but in my mind, I would want to try and minimise the chances and not find out, just in case it would be a contributing factor. I kind of sound like I'm talking it up, having postnatal depression in subsequent pregnancies, don't I?! I definitely want more children and hopefully all would go swimmingly, but would I find out what I am having with the next baby? I'll keep it a surprise, thanks!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Being pregnant

As I just typed the title of this, it made me wonder how many people will click on this and read it because they think I am in the family way again? My Mum would probably have a heart attack if she read the title and thought I was announcing a pregnancy on here without telling her about it first, so just to set the record straight, no I am not pregnant! Now that that's clear, I shall continue with my tale.....

When I was out shopping the other day, I was walking behind a woman who was walking really slowly and awkwardly. From the way she was walking, I thought that she was probably pregnant and quite far on in her pregnancy. When she turned, she had a tiny bump, hardly anything at all, even though she was walking like she was about to give birth. It made me think back to before I was pregnant. When I would see women walking like that, I vowed to myself that I would never adopt the pregnant waddle. It seemed like some women seemed to enjoy walking like that as another way of showing the world that they are pregnant, aside from their bumps, of course. (How many of you are hating me now for confessing to thinking that?!)

Then when I was pregnant with Caleb, I realised. It wasn't as bad early on in the pregnancy but from about 30 weeks onwards, it kicked in. Walking was agony; my hips and pelvis felt like they were on fire and I had never known pain like it, along with painful ribs from where they were expanding to make room for the baby. But the walking part and the pain associated with it was the most difficult. I had heard people talking about pregnancy aches and pains and I hadn't really thought that much about it, but I didn't know how painful it could be. I remember having to stand up from my desk to go and get something from a filing cabinet for one of the students and I was literally holding on to furniture as I walked over to the filing cabinet because the pain was so bad. I tried to play it down but I didn't do a great job with that, as my lovely colleague, Kerstin then started to bring me anything I needed so that I wouldn't have to get up. I don't know if I had it, but there is something called symphysis pubis dysfunction, which one in four women suffer from in pregnancy. It basically makes walking and moving around agony. For the most part, I did still try to walk as normally as possible but sometimes it was enough of an issue to manage walking in the first place and so in those moments, I didn't really care how I looked when I was walking, just the fact that I could get from A to B was a victory! When I was pregnant, I never wanted to complain about aches and pains of pregnancy because I knew that it was a blessing to be pregnant in the first place and if you're reading this, I'm not whinging about it now (well, maybe a little, but that's not my intention!). But looking at that pregnant girl walking along in the mall made me realise how much my view of things have changed since being pregnant and having Caleb. We've all heard the saying, "don't judge a person until you've walked a mile in their shoes". Well, I walked the mile when I was pregnant and I have learned my lesson on judging the pregnant waddles! Instead of thinking about how she was walking I found myself wondering how far along she was and if she was suffering with any pains. Now don't get me wrong, I didn't enjoy having those pains, it was a rite of passage that I think I could have happily lived without but in a small way I am glad for them because now at least I feel like I have some sort of an idea of what some people go through. Lesson learnt!

When I was 38 weeks pregnant.