Bedtime

Feb. 27th, 2009 01:01 am
ailbhe: (Default)
Just thinking, because Rob is taking tomorrow off sick and will unexpectedly be here with us.

We've come a long way in ten years.

We've both changed a lot, too.

It's quite exciting to think how we'll have changed over the next ten years :)

Our anniversary is in April. I must think how we can mark it. Not with a blazing row, anyway.
ailbhe: (Default)
My mother hates the word "poorly." I love it - it's a useful one to go along with ill and sick, with different nuances. But she hates it, because of a card her English cousin sent her little sister once.

The card said "I'm sorry to hear you've been poorly."

The little sister had died of meningitis a few days previously.


I'm sitting here looking at the children's Little Red Books, or Personal Child Health Records.

Linnea has had vaccinations for (or against) Diphtheria/Tetanus/Whooping Cough/Polio, but not Hib/Men C, aged 2 months, 3 months, 4 months and 3 and a half years, when she also had a Hib one. She had her first MMR just before she turned 2 years old. She's due the booster for that, I think.

Emer had Diphtheria/Tetanus/Whooping Cough/Polio, Hib/Men C and something called Prevener LT at the same time, at just over 2 months, 3 months, and 5 months. She had a Hib/MenC jab at 14 months, and the MMR and Prevener at 17 months. She's not due anything more until she's 3 years old.

They appear to be up to date with the NHS schedule, though googling for Prevener didn't give me much information. I keep meaning to phone the doctors and double-check what they have and haven't been immunised for because they have different schedules, things changed after Linnea was born. In fact, the schedule changed after Emer was born. And, of course, I was operating in a haze every time I went near a medical professional, which doesn't help.

They've both been exposed to but not contracted chicken pox and hand, foot and mouth disease. Rob and I both got the BCG and Rob got a polio vaccine and I caught rubella. I had measles and whooping cough as a toddler; I faintly remember the measles but I wasn't very ill with either one. I was shocked to learn that Roald Dahl's daughter had died of measles, when I read it in the dedication of one of his books.

I've had chickenpox three times. Rob isn't sure he ever has. I hope the kids inherit his immune system, and not mine.
ailbhe: (Default)
Local newspaper article.

When I saw the initial headline, "Baby dies after circumcision," I knew where it had happened and had a horrible feeling I knew the doctor, too.

It's the one who inspired me to change GP surgeries when I was pregnant with Linnea. Same one who said he couldn't sign me off sick with stress when I was in that last job.
ailbhe: (Default)
The toddler who visited us yesterday today has Hand, foot and mouth disease. "Symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease usually start to appear three to seven days after being infected with the virus." Oh, and "The virus stays in the faeces for about four weeks after the person has recovered. It is therefore vital that adults and children wash their hands thoroughly after going to the toilet, or handling nappies." Lovely.

I shall keep an eye out for Emer getting EVEN MORE cranky, then.
ailbhe: (Default)
Emer was up a lot in the night. At about 5 am she had a prolonged series of coughing bouts which even woke Rob. Her nose is blocked and her chest is gungy.

I sweated out a fever, too.

Linnea appears well today. If Emer's still ill on Monday I think I'll take her to a doctor to have her chest listened to.
ailbhe: (linnea 4y5m and emer 2y2m)
Emer woke with a hacking cough and Linnea looked wan and miserable, but ways in which today is not the same as yesterday include the following:

Both children ate breakfast.
Both children ate something at lunchtime (though not as much as I'd need to call it "lunch.")
Both children submitted to pyjama removal and warm day-clothes being put on.

There are still rivers of snot and acres of laundry to deal with, but they are apparently feeling a bit better.

Still subdued enough to be mainly in front of the TV though. Still, progress is progress.
ailbhe: (Default)
I got easily eight hours' sleep last night. I had three Weetabix for breakfast, Emer napped for 90 minutes, I got Emer's and Linnea's clothes sorted out - in the right places in the drawers and wardrobe, sorted out the confusion between which child wears which clothes, etc - and got a load of laundry on. Rob hung the sheets on the line outside.

Moving back into my home after two months of not really being present even if I was technically here is peculiar. I went into hospital with the virus on 5th January. Today I discovered that the steel wool balls that stop scale building up in the kettle have vanished. Yesterday I found the cafetiere with the teabags, not the coffee (which reminds me that I can use it to make looseleaf tea; must try that).

Yesterday Emer discovedred Kleenex. It just keeps coming! Yay! Uhoh, Kleenex machine is broken. Turn it over and bash it. Uhoh, still broken. Maaaaammmmmeeeeeeee!

Backwards, crawl backwards, oh child on the floor - crosser and crosser, she crosses the floor.
ailbhe: (nana)
Today wasn't all bad. To being with, Linnea and I had tea together for the morning snack. I filled the teapot from the miniature set with tea and cold water, and filled the jug with ricemilk and filled the bowl with sugar (it took two spoons!) and found a small plastic spoon for her to use with it.

She poured her own tea, added milk and sugar, stirred, and drank. Several times. It was lovely. We ate bread and butter with it. (I had hot tea from my own pot; a pot each seemed to work well).

We sat and read together, then; me with Emer on my stomach in the sling (ow) and Linnea on her chair.

She buttered some bread in her own personal way; apply lump of margarine to centre of slice, eat lump off slice without touching bread; ask for more margarine.

We had a little chat about Emer, and when she's going to be big like Nea.

We cooked some hard-boiled eggs and waited for them to cool. She peeled her own, which went fairly well.




Then we had the distaster afternoon from hell. With hindsight, I think it may have been because lunch was late and inadequate.



When we got home from the hospital, Rob went to fetch Linnea from Nicki's house and I called my mother. Since becoming a mother myself I appreciate and need her so much more. I didn't need advice from her; I just knew she'd understand exactly how I felt all the way on the other end of the phoneline, and I wanted to talk to someone who really would understand. She did.

Motherhood has been life-altering for me. My self-image has entirely altered just because now I know that someone felt about me as I felt about Linnea the day after she was born - and I feel about them both now. And the underlying love will still be there, though I assume the anxieties and pride have different focusses now. Foci. Dammit.

And I think I benefitted from being my mother's fourth child. She was 37 when I was born, on her birthday. She'd had a lot of practice, seen clearly where doctors had given bad advice and where childcare gurus had been insanely wrong, seen where her instincts were to be trusted, that sort of thing. I learned my parenting instincts as an infant, like most people, and mine were learned from a mother confident in her instincts and sympathetic in her approach.

My mother says I'm obviously very confident in myself as a mother.

It's not obvious to me, but as long as it's obvious to the kids, that's ok.

Scar

Sep. 9th, 2006 04:45 pm
ailbhe: (sky)
The wound is healing. The scab is coming off the scar, which is freaking me out a little. One internal wound still hurts, but apart from that I have no pain in repose (except SPD of course, but time will fix that.)

I don't trust the healing process. I don't trust stitches to hold me together. I don't trust wound edges to knit.

But they are.
ailbhe: (Default)
No-one is sitting on me. Emer is asleep lying down in the pram, not in the hugabub, and Linnea has been stuck in front of the telly and I hope she stays there all day or longer.

Along with sneezing, my incisions have also decided now is a good time to develop a cough. We managed peanut butter on toast for lunch. I really need to drink more. And birth injuries from Linnea's delivery mean I now have to leave two children unhappy while I hide in the bathroom and scream.

I must try to reread my nomination for Fiona soon and see if it's worth sending in yet. MORE COMMENT PLEASE.

I think Emer just woke up.

Stupid cows

Sep. 3rd, 2006 08:20 pm
ailbhe: (mamahastwo)
So I ate milk yestrday. How do I know this? The 19-day-old's stomach is distended, she's farting like a stag party after the take-away curry and she's miserable as sin. Really miserable sins, like despair, not fun ones like fornication.
ailbhe: (Default)
Rob's going in to work again. Today was supposed to be TOIL of interrupted paternity leave when he worked last week; they called and he's going in again now.

I'm livid.

I'm much angrier than that, in fact.

This is the fourth time they have interrupted his paternity leave. Twice the day he went in. Once on Sunday - on a Bank Holiday Sunday when he was on paternity leave - and then today. Why? Because they need his help on some technical documentation they've been working on for months. I have never encountered more pathetic time-management. It seems like nothing at all is ever planned for accurately in this place. When he took the job, he asked at the interview about things like daily working hours being adhered to, not being on call, not being routinely required to do out of hours work, all the usual things that enable one to have a life outside work. And he got satisfactory responses. They are completely not living up to this. I'm furious.
ailbhe: (Default)
(1) It is absolutely appalling that the most pain I am in now is caused by Linnea's birth, not Emer's. I will stop taking codeine immediately. I spent over an hour shaking from pain yesterday evening, and slept incredibly badly because of it.

(2) Tandem feeding works well for us, though it's difficult to position both of them to feed together on my actual lap; in bed, Linnea snuggles up beside me and I hold Emer, and in an armchair Linnea stands on the floor and I hold Emer, but Linnea would like to be on my lap.

Engorgement, however, is much easier to deal with with a toddler. I'm leaking far less this time around. It's wonderful.

(3) I am starving to death. I can't eat enough.
ailbhe: (Default)
Emer is nine days old today. Rob did four hours of work, two and a half of them in his actual office. I'd love to know what they'd have done had he refused outright to interrupt his paternity leave. As things stand he's going to go back to work a day late, which we somehow feel to be a remarkable concession on their part.

Other than that, things are fabulous. Today I left the house. I walked to the community garden, which is easily twice as far as Elle's Baguettes, and we were over halfway there when I realised that it was two whole hours past the time I should have taken my pain medication. Once in the garden, I sat around for a while until Rob came with my meds, and after I took them I was able to walk around with my mother and look at the garden. We fed and changed Emer, and then got the call from Rob's work so had to leave earlier than we wanted to.

But it wasn't until Linnea was 14 days old that I was able to walk to Elle's Baguettes, leaning on the buggy all the way, and it took me an hour of sitting outside to recover from the walk enough to walk home. I was medicated to the max before we left, too.

This is so different an experience that I am baffled by it. I can't believe how much I can do - and I have to stop myself doing too much to prove to myself that I am not sick, am not incapacitated, am not disabled like I was last time.

And the SPD is almost all gone; I have a little ache in the middle bone now but that's about it. No more sharp pains, no more feeling almost weak enough to collapse outright. I haven't tried climbing into the bath, mind you :)
ailbhe: (hospital)
On Friday evening, late, my mother arrived by ferry and train from Dun Laoghaire. On Saturday we all went into town to fetch a wheelchair and give the invalid (me) an outing. On Sunday we rested and Rob took to his bed in the afternoon with a slightly queasy stomach.

On Sunday night we called a friend to take Rob to A&E as he was vomiting uncontrollably and his temperature was dropping faster than we liked. Early Monday morning he came back, and I started vomiting. Later Monday morning Rob was in bed, pale and wan, and Linnea was being babysat by a neighbour while my mother took me to hospital. I was attached to monitors which I had to detach in a nurry to rush to the loo, and later a doctor came in and asked "Are you ok?" as I spewed into a cardboard bowl. I wasn't in a position to retort anything witty, unfortunately.

They took some blood, and as the baby was apparently fine, said it was ok to come back in the following morning for the section, but that Rob needed to be asymptomatic for at least 12 hours, preferably 24, to be allowed in.

We found someone else to care for Linnea after I got home, and I lay on the library floor while Rob lay in the master bedroom, both sick as parrots, trying hard to rehydrate. Late in the afternoon Rob managed to eat a fair bit of toast, and Linnea came home. We decided he was well enough to attend the section.

So on Sunday night I got less then three hours sleep, between Rob being sick and my being sick, interrupted by Linnea being woken by the commotion. And on Monday night I got about four hours, between pre-op nerves and alarms set so that I could take my pre-op antacids.

However, come Tuesday morning, I was wide awake and cheerful - optimistic even - and I even made Rob drink something before we set off. Linnea woke in time to be kissed goodbye too.

Home!

Aug. 19th, 2006 08:05 pm
ailbhe: (Default)
We are all home and well, and I am still too tired to write the birth story up :) Hardly surprising, given how ill we were before going in.

I'm very happy. Rob's very happy. Linnea's very happy ("Where's my baby sister? I NEED him!") and Emer's very happy. My mother's very happy - I can hear her singing to Emer now.

Birth went well, healing is going well, Emer came out of the oven fully cooked and ready for the universe, feeding is going well - tandem feeding coming soon to an icon near you - and I have plans for getting involved in a group aiming to improve maternity services in the hospital where I delivered both times.

Emer has HAIR. And is unfeasibly tiny. 7lb 2.5 oz is a lot lot smaller than 9lb 14oz. She's 1.5oz bigger than I was.

Oh, and this time? Her first bowel movement was passed outside the womb, so we got to see it. Wow. (She also peed all over the obstetrician; ob said "She just weed all over me!" and I said "Good girl!" for some reason.)
ailbhe: (Default)
15 August 2006, 3250g, 9.39 am.Amazing how tiny.

She and I are both well as poss given circs. Ihave lovely story and some breastfeeding "help" rants for later.

birth was like a party.
ailbhe: (Default)
A few more hours, before they tie the knot...

Rob hasn't been sick for about 24 hours now, so there should be no problem with him attending the birth, if he can stay awake long enough. I wasn't half as unwell as he was anyway - he started off exhausted, and I started off well-rested and well-nourished.

We're both much better. The whole household was in bed by 8:30 pm, which was good given that the previous night even Mum, who was perfectly well, only got about 3 hours' sleep.

The anaesthetist will probably be thrilled with me; all I've eaten in the past 36 hours is two pieces of white toast with jam, and I've drunk water and some lemonade. I also took the most amazing antacid, as per pre-op instructions; I'd love to get my hands on a jarful of them and blow the corks out of vinegar bottles. We used to shoot pill-bottle lids over the roof of the house on Aran.

At 6 I need to take another antacid, then do my hair, have a proper shower, get Rob fed on dry toast and weak tea etc, make him shower, and book a taxi. He and I will go to hospital, and Mum will stay behind with Linnea. I do hope Linnea wakes so that we can say goodbye; she won't be impressed if she wakes and we're gone. Also, we haven't seen much of her since all the illness started.

I'm not much nervous. I'm certainly not having panic attacks. I had no nightmares. I'm not excited either, but that could be because I'm tired and hungry. My main worry is that we'll forget the Travel Scrabble. Or perhaps that Linnea will be very very cross with us - she was pretty unsettled by us both being ill yesterday.

I haven't the faintest who will get later updates or when. Rob's journal is at [livejournal.com profile] rrc so there might be something there. If your number is already in the phone you might well get a text message. I never got around to figuring out text or voice LJ updates from my phone.

I'm going ot see if I can get another hour's sleep before it's all go, innit.
ailbhe: (Default)
Rob got back from A&E at about 1 am and I went in to hospital at 7:30 am. We both have viral g-e. They are not postponing the section tomorrow morning, however, and if Rob is asymptomatic by this evening he will be allowed to attend. I'm allowed to attend anyway but may have to go it alone.

Rob is upstairs in bed and I am lying on a camping mattress on the floor downstairs.

It coud be worse; my sister has just got back from Rumania, where she was bitten by a stray dog who might have been rabid.

Edit: Mum arrived safely but late by train and ferry, Friday evening, and we had a lovely Saturday. Rob did no overtime this weekend.
ailbhe: (going places)
The cleaners came today and cleaned while we were swanning around town; they even got the scale off the sink, though I have no idea how. I think they scratched the porcelain but I'm not complaining.

There was also post; I got some tie-dyed baby clothes, which I can now pack in my hospital bag, and another cheque for the new book, and a wedding invite for self and Rob, and some junk. I'm very pleased about the clothes because I was looking forward to them and hoping I wouldn't have to buy nasty pastels or stuff from websites outside the UK with uncertain postal practices.

We bought lots of things for Linnea's lunches for while I'm in hospital, so that packed lunches will be easier, and we bought a vast amount of meat for roasting and slicing and freezing.

My mother got a ferry ticket and train tickets and should arrive sometime about 7 pm tomorrow, all going well. She also has a mobile phone, which I'm delighted about. I hope she likes it as much after a week's use as she does now.

Being in a wheelchair is massively liberating on account of not being able to walk around otherwise, and takes Attitude. It would be very, very easy to be invisible. One guy responded to "Excuse me" in a shop with "I'm leaving in a minute." A few minutes later a shop assistant asked him to move to let me past, in my wheelchair, and I said "Oh no, he's already refused to move once." He got Looked At by everyone else there, I think. (If he had any physical disability preventing him from moving swiftly and nimbly, it was cured by the shop assistant asking him rather than me asking him).

Reading town centre is beautifully set up for wheelchair use though, really - I knew it was good for buggies, and it turns out that that does translate to good for wheelchairs. In general, people in shops were pleasant and responded to me when I spoke, though a few people responded to Rob. I have been wondering how to find out what it's like to get a wheelchair onto the buses that give me trouble with a buggy, but I can't figure out an honorable way to do it, since it's clearly a misuse of the free loan of a chair from the shopping centre.

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