Monday, 25 June 2012

How can a child not be welcome at his own Dad's wedding?...

Yesterday I woke up at 6am in agony, the usual pregnancy back ache, you know how it goes. I tried to ease it and get back to sleep but it just wasn't working. It was so quiet in the house so I did what most people do now a days and checked my facebook for something to do... I think I was half asleep but what I then saw made me sit bolt up right.

A wedding picture 'not unusual for facebook' I hear you say, but this was a family picture, of Kyd's family at a wedding that had happened the day before............ the wedding of Kyd's DAD & his partner............ His own DAD............ His brothers were in the picture too........... BUT NO KYD. Well Obviously there was 'No Kyd' because he was at respite round the corner so not in Cambridgeshire with them.

How can you have your own wedding without your eldest son being there?? OR without him even knowing anything about it?? They were all on my facebook and I had not seen a single thing about the wedding until that moment how can this be?? Surely they must have put facebook status' up about nerves or plans.... No?..... Yes!! but for some reason I was the only one who couldn't see them... FUNNY THAT!

Now I'm not saying the relationship between myself and his Dad has ever been easy. We didn't really speak for years, things were said on both sides but generally we had just left it as Kyd was better off not having the issues the arguments would bring. He never really fought for him but I put that down to his age and non understanding of Kyd's Downs and medical problems. But for the past few years we have had a decent and civil friendship and he has been seeing Kyd, not regularly I must admit, but he has been seeing him when we have been in the area he lives, which is the same area as members of my family. It has always been me doing the trip to him but I understood his current situation as I had been in a similar one for years. He had a new partner and 2 more children and they were struggling to make ends meat and at one point were even homeless for a while. I understood his issues and I had agreed that it wasn't a huge issue for him to only see Kyd when we were in the area but for him to keep in contact in other ways ie Facebook etc. Maintenance wise, I had said we had never had it so we wouldn't miss it if he still didn't give anything towards it. I thought this was quite reasonable as like I said as a family they were struggling to cope so why would I take the food out of those children's mouths. I could've been awkward and demanding but I am not like that.

Strangely enough I was saying this to a friend who has known us both since day one just yesterday, whilst they were partying no doubt and she was practically hitting me over the head and telling me I was a mug and that he needed to do more! I said it was fine and that he'd changed and it worked for both of us and although he didn't see him often he was really making an effort to be there for him.... I even went into detail about the fact that when I get married I am double barrelling my last name so that Kyd could keep my name and not have to take on another man's name out of respect for his Dad..... uhhhhh obviously he's not that bothered!! I now feel like a complete mug and will not be putting myeslf out for him AT ALL!!!

Why did we bother to start seeing him again if he was never really that interested... well mainly because as Kyd got older he understood more about families and that you have both a mum and a dad... so where was his dad? He deserved to know and after a long conversation with his dad we decided it was time, that it wouldn't be too in your face at first and he would be happy just being there whenever he needed him or wanted to know anything. He also had a brother at the time and the other one was on it's way so we thought it was a good idea that he understood who they were too. There was no reason for me not to allow him to have access and understanding of this part of his life he was old enough to understand and although I'd never stopped contact I had a complete understanding of both sides of our history now and so I thought it was the right time.

It was going so well, Kyd was so happy to be a big brother, he knew who his dad was and he looked at pictures of them all the time. His brothers knew him too and his Dad was happy to know what he was doing in his life via facebook, phone and the odd visits around birthdays and Christmas'. Kyd knew that some dads live elsewhere and that families often live in different houses but he was still loved on both sides.

SO why now has his dad completely forgotten he exists? I have struggled during this pregnancy and we haven't really made any trips to Cambridgeshire so contact has been at a minimal. We've not really heard much from them either but it wasn't an issue I just thought they were busy too. We sent a Fathers Day card the other day and he made it all by himself on moonpig and he was so proud of himself. We didn't really get much of a response when I explained online that I'd sent it to his mums house by accident, just a 'yeah got it thank you'... I thought this was a bit weird but didn't think about it too much.

I've worked it out now though he was organising his wedding and avoiding contact because he didn't want him there.... and I'm not being funny but if he can afford a wedding he could afford a few £ in petrol to come and see his first born and/or maintenance......... No?

When I saw the pictures of them suited up and his partner in her gown and all happy and smiling I couldn't help but think 'he's not even given him a second thought'. I tried to think about it in a logical way, maybe it was a rush job and very last minute? Maybe I just hadn't read a message on facebook or something and completely missed it?..... NOPE!! It was non of the above. He literally had just not wanted him there and instead of manning up and saying 'this is what's happening and this is how I feel' which I would've understood and all would've been fine, He just avoided it and got on with it without a care for his own son's feelings. Kyd wouldn't have minded not going if there was a valid reason, he wouldn't have even known and I wouldn't have been annoyed at it as I'm not that much of a bitch, I think I've proved this with being so reasonable about the access and maintenance or lack of it. So I just didn't get it....... so I asked him, I tried to keep it as civil as possible but I put across my disappointment and upset by his blatant dismissal of his own child on such a big day in his life....... here was his response.... broken down so I can react and respond accordingly to what was said. I couldn't bring myself to reply to this, due to the fact I didn't want to react like a dodgy bird on Jezza so I have left it at this... I'll respond on here as to what I wanted to say..... in a nicer way to what it would've been yesterday! He knows what I think so there was no need to reply.....

'its nothing like that at all alice i would of loved to have rhys there with the other boys but lets look at this reasonably the situation would of been awkward and as you know or will know as you are tieing the knot that on your special day you want everything to go perfect with no problems or let downs.' 

Let's analyse this for a minute... YOU ARE SAYING having your own son at your wedding would be Awkward?? and he'd be a Problem and/or a Let Down?.... Really??? How so??? I can only see this as 'awkward' if you feel awkward about him being your son or people knowing he's your son. Or it's awkward because he wasn't the product of the Bride like the other 2 son's... this has always been the case and it was never a problem before. If it would be awkward because you think I'd have had to be there with him, I'd understand that as that'd be awkward for me too, BUT I wouldn't have had to be there as other members of your family would've been there to watch him even if it was only for a few hours. He's nearly 10!! he's not a toddler he needs watching and looking after but he'd have been happy with your mum or dad for a few hours.

'i would never forget my son as you put it. its not like me and rhys have a connection anyway that bond between father and son were gone a long time ago, which not being funny was your decision'

How the bloody hell was moving away to be around family and in a safer environment and closer to medical help, the reason you have no connection with your son?? My dad lived on the other side of the country from me from the age of 2 yet I spoke to him every other day and saw him every school holiday, birthday and Christmas! I moved because we were destructive, you were a mess and our son needed more help than a normal baby and where we were the distance between him and the hospital was too much for me to be travelling regularly. Plus if you know you've lost that bond or never had it surely as a father you'd want to gain that back or work out a way of doing so... not just leave him to think you don't give a sh*t.

'you and dan have raised rhys to be a fine young lad, but its you and dan that are his parents and who it looks for guidence,'

Does this not bother you as a father that he looks to someone else for guidance and not you??? As a man even? you might as well have just written 'Have him' on a post it note and shoved him on Hoff's doorstep. What a cop out. How dare you just dismiss him like that. Like he's just nothing in your life and he doesn't exist. You are right we have raised him well, we are his parents and he will always get the right guidance from us because we love him, we care about him and we want him to be a bigger and better man than you will ever be. If he is going to learn anything from you, it's how not to live his life, how not to treat people and how not to walk away from your responsibilities as he will know how this feels from his own experience.

'but i cant help the way you feel or see things all i can say is im sorry for any dissapointment on your behalh and also wish you dan and rhys all the best with family new family and marriage soon.'

This is how he left it! Basically saying 'have a nice life son you won't be seeing me again'....NICE! Thanks for the best wishes but you can shove them up your....... Oh and he then wrote 'sorry some mistakes but I'm hungover'........ again NICE!!

I am so angry with him. As much as I know Kyd is better off without him if he's going to be like that, as a mum I love my son and can't understand how he can just dismiss his existence like that after actually becoming part of his life. A few years ago if he'd have married without him I would have understood as he didn't know him really and visa versa. In a way I am lucky that although he has understanding of his Dad's existence and who he is, he really won't care too much until he's older about seeing him regularly and I can deal with it then rather than now. I am so glad that we didn't get to the stage where he was seeing him regularly as I now think this ending was inevitable.

I can't even begin to understand why or  how anyone could disown, dismiss or neglect their own child once but when you purposely have that child back in your life when he's then old enough to understand who you are and then do it again........ I think you need a good smack in the head and a reality check.

It's sad that he had to be let down in such a way for me to understand what he actually thought about his own child. He's let himself down more now than he did back then when he didn't care the first time as this time there really is no reason or excuse. I'm almost glad I saw it now rather than a few years down the line when Kyd is old enough to understand a lot more about what a let down his father is and is able to be upset by it. I feel really sorry for Kyd, he not only has lost his real dad...... again...... he's also lost the two brothers he's only just gained and that he was so proud of AND WHY? I still don't know, because the above was all I got out of him as to why.... and that had no answers in it. Actually I'm not angry I'm more disappointed that I couldn't prove to others that people do change. I had so much time and faith in him to do right by his son... I just feel a bit like a mug right now.

Looking into the future...

Kyd has a fantastic life here with us, he has an amazing role model in Hoff and if he grows to be even half of the man Hoff is I will be the proudest of mothers. He has a little brother on the way and I know he will be as proud, if not prouder of him as he is with his other brothers. I hope that in the future they and he will understand that I tried everything I could for a long time to make him accepted by his dad and that it was not my choice for this to happen or understanding as to why he didn't want to know. I will never stop Kyd from knowing about his family and I will never purposely bad mouth his dad to him no matter what he does. I think, if I'm honest, he will understand completely by himself without me having to say anything.

It's a sad day for Kyd... but luckily he is completely unaware of it..... as I've deleted anyone who was at the wedding on facebook, not out of malice but because I don't want Kyd to see them all there in pictures without him... he knows what weddings are, after all we are getting married ourselves, we have had to explain the whole thing! It would be a shame for him to see that and feel as let down as he has actually been.

Actually reflecting on this whole thing, I'm really not that angry, I am more disappointed in him and I know that we aren't missing out on much without him there. We will cope... we have done for 10 years...... the biggest difference now is we have a loving family home to support him in and we didn't have that before......... Kyd will be just fine!!!

Pregnancy Diary: 23/06/12 - My Baby Shower

Baby Shower?? Baby Shower?? What the hell is a Baby Shower?? I hear a certain generation shout...

Well Baby Shower's are a new phenomenon from over the pond, a creation from our lovely Yankie neighbours where women celebrate the new baby BEFORE the baby is even here.... A bit like wetting the baby's head for the men after the birth, Mum gets a treat before struggling with the efforts of a new born baby. She gets to get people running around after her and a good old gossip with her friends too.

I think it's a great idea it means you get all the present giving and visiting out of the way all at once, so you don't get inundated with them in that precious and tiring first week of baby's life! Some folks don't like the idea and think it's a way of making people buy presents and they think it's quite indulgent and selfish... I think this is silly! If you don't want to buy presents DON'T BUY A BLOODY PRESENT! lol nobody is saying you can't come unless you buy something for the baby, that'd be awful and indeed indulgent... plus you don't have to accept or even go, so it's not all bad.

Anyway my lovely cousin Red organised an amazing Baby Shower via facebook for me and although I knew it was happening I had no idea who or what was going on just that I had to keep the date free.

Now I'm going to be honest this HORRIFIED me! I admit I'm a little bit of a control freak... but this whole experience made me realise just how much of a control freak I really am... Honestly it was hell. I hate not knowing what's going on. I trusted her to organise an amazing day but the not knowing was killing me! I just needed to know a few details but NO I was not allowed to know a thing. It made it worse when she said there were a few BIG surprises up her sleeve... OMG what the f would they be?? I even started having nightmares about it. I'm surprised my heart didn't give in.

The day came round really quickly, considering it was like hell not knowing! Lot's of cake baking was going on the day before apparently and lot's of restless worrying about who's coming and who isn't BUT all went well. A few mishaps with a few no show early doors helpers *cough cough* MOTHER & SISTER *cough* but it all managed to go swimmingly. Red had bought some lovely decorations and Goldfish (a friend) had baked some fantastic cupcakes and flapjacks. All sandwiches were made and everything was going way too smoothly for our liking... SO they cracked open the wine!!... This rang alarm bells to me as they had the biggest glasses of wine ever seen and nobody had even arrived yet...

Anyway after they gulped down a lot of wine the day went like this....

So the surprises were what I was dreading... I was expecting baby photos etc... I was an ugly kid so I was not happy about this.
I was standing in the kitchen talking and a car pulled up outside, I looked, I looked again, got confused as to who the car belonged to, carried on talking, had an odd realisation feeling, looked again, ran to the door and had this overwhelming girly moment and ran down the drive....

It was one of my oldest friends, she had come all the way from Cambridgeshire just for the Baby Shower!!! I didn't cry....... OK I did cry....... I couldn't believe it! I couldn't believe she was there!

She was there at the birth of Kyd you see, she'd hopped on a train from Cambridgeshire and gone all the way to Yorkshire when I told her I was in labour aged 16. She then appeared out of nowhere half way through a contraction scaring me and proceeded to taunt me from the corner of the labour suite the whole way through. Until she started crying at the end when he was born. I think I've put her off having a baby for life!

I was so happy to see her we don't get a chance to catch up face to face often as we are so far away. She looked really well considering she suffers so badly being trapped in her 80yr old body (she has dodgy medical issues!) and she had bought with her her lovely fella... who just so happened to have gone to school with us too, so it was lovely to see his face again... even if he did bugger off to the cinema to watch a musical on his own... poor lad it was the only thing on at the time, I can't imagine what the other cinema goers thought, he's braver than most men I know.

I really hope it's not too long before we see them again! It was the BEST SURPRISE EVER!!! (although I did tell Red I hated her for doing it.... I didn't really I love her even more for it... if that's possible)

Entertainment was a hard one with this event as what on earth do you do to entertain all the different ages that would be there. You can do anything at these things as it is relatively new to the UK so you have no expectation to do certain things. A few games and Wine is about all Red came across whilst searching. Whilst at a friends house for a Pampered Chef party I decided this was a fab idea for a baby shower as it would suit all sorts of age ranges whether they cook, bake or eat out, I thought I'd put that idea across to Red giving her an option of entertainment.

About Pampered Chef - (taken from their website
The Pampered Chef—UK, Ltd. is the premier direct seller of essential kitchen tools, and has been helping families prepare quick, delicious meals since 1999.
We believe that multi-purpose tools are the cornerstone of an efficient kitchen. Our products are designed to be used in more than one way, so kitchens are no longer cluttered with rarely used utensils.
Our products are available exclusively through our sales force of Independent Pampered Chef® Consultants. These highly trained professionals bring our products to life at in-home Cooking Shows, where guests learn time-saving cooking techniques and sample great-tasting, easy-to-prepare recipes — all in a relaxed atmosphere with good friends, plenty of laughter and lots of fun!

We had a lovely lady (Dawn) coming to do the Pampered Chef demonstration and she was amazing. She came and set up, talked us through a few things and then showed us how to bake a few muffins and tarts too. It had everyone glued to it and we had a few people in stitches... dirty minds! I would suggest this as a good form of Baby Shower entertainment if you're organising one. You basically are leaving the hard work to the party host and enjoying yourself instead of running around like a mad man. Plus you get some Freebies too! Whoop everyone loves Freebies!

Red had rustled up some games and had decided to charge for the entry to them to raise money for Kyd's Down's group you win half the money raised and the rest goes to the group. What a fab idea! We had guess the baby's weight, birth date and also guess how many Jelly Babies in the jar... HOFF WON that one... I was over the moon as I then got to eat the Jelly Babies and I loooooovvvvveeee Jelly Babies! We will have to wait and see with the other games who's won as baby is the key to the answers. The great thing is is that we can get those not involved in the baby shower ie. Men to guess too so the game is ongoing!
We also had a hilarious game of Pinata in which we were all so aggressive that we broke the string and ended up just bashing it on the floor!... It was funny to watch.

I'd like to thank EVERYONE who came for their lovely gifts and for joining me in celebrating this little miracle growing inside me! I really appreciate it all. I'd like to thank Red and everyone else involved in the organising too I have been so poorly during this pregnancy it was lovely to see a lot of my favourite people all at once and remind me I'm not just a baby growing machine and I do have a life and friends outside this house... this is how it feels sometimes!

I had a lovely day with some lovely people, I think everyone should have a baby shower as it's nice to have people running around after you... whether you're a control freak or not!!

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

When Nanny Comes To Stay (a poem)

Nanny lives in Yorkshire, She lives there by the sea,
She works in the big hospital where she drinks lots of tea.
She also works at the Coastguard where she uses BIG binoculars,
She always gets to go on boats and fly in BIG helicopters.
She likes to draw and paint, She likes the Cricket too,
We always have Bacon Sandwiches on the beach where we laugh at donkey poo.

When Nanny comes to stay it makes me smile and jump and sing,
I spend the whole day asking When? and Where? and thinking what's she going to bring?
Nanny comes down on the train and she always brings her suitcase,
She always brings us presents, which puts a huge smile on my face.
She also eats squashed bananas and she drinks a lot of Tea,
She takes me to school in the morning and she reads funny books to me.
She helps me with my words and sounds, like Puh puh puh and Suh,
She drives my mummy crazy, she spends the whole time saying SHHHHHHHHH!!

I don't often get to see her but when I do it's lots of fun,
We laugh a lot and play silly games and enjoy annoying Mum.
We may not get much time together but I love her lots and lots,
She spends all of her time, when here, WITH ME....... when she's not out buying cots...

I will soon have to share her with my baby brother,
But even though I have to share the time, she'll know how much I love her.
Next time she comes to stay he will be right here next to me,
And there will be lots and lots for her to do and lot's for her to see.
I will have to help her with the baby and show her what to do,
But I'm sure if she loves me........ she will always love him too.

When Nanny comes to stay I have the biggest smile on my face,
But when she leaves I get so sad......... well until the next time she brings her case!

Kyd xxx

(Kyd told me everything he loved about his nanny coming to stay, I then put it into a poem for him.... his list of things were hard to group together so excuse the randomness of it all)

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Pregnancy Diary: 19/06/12 - Name Picking Politics

How the hell do you pick a name and stick to it????

Everyone always says picking the name for your baby is the hardest decision you'll make in the whole 9 months of pregnancy, many not having made that decision by the time the baby is born. You can't pick a name that will offend family, you can't pick one on someone else's (who's already expecting) list, or one that someone's just called their baby and you can't pick one your other half absolutely hates! You also have to take into the equation that the kid has to live with it forever and that many other people won't like what you do eventually pick no matter how hard you try..... IT'S HARD WORK!! This is why people read books, think up crazy names for themselves using random words, mix their names together, follow a family tradition to keep people happy, pick their favourite character, celebrity, family member, friend or even food type!!... It can cause endless list making and arguments between parents and family members but in the end it is all about the RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH..... oh and a little bit of what YOU like of course!

Isn't it funny how we all have different opinions on names too! Some people love what other people hate. But we all associate a certain name with certain people we've known through the years. If you were bullied at school you are unlikely to love the name that your bully had and so you would avoid that name at all costs. Yet if there was a really pretty girl/boy at school that everybody loved, you would happily angle your thoughts towards that name and not rule it out. This can be hard work if you know as many people as we do though as it seems like literally every name you can think of is in the 'NO' category of the other! This can lead to extreme measures like the above mentioned 'name mixing' and 'random word selection'.... I'm not too sure about this concept!

I do think some people take the 'trying to be different' thing to the extreme. I like to be different but I would never call my baby 'Cauliflower' or 'Rainbow' they have to live their whole lives with those names! You evil, evil people lol. Imagine if Cauliflower grew up and wanted to be a lawyer.... can you imagine any sane person actually hiring a lawyer to represent them with the name Cauliflower??..... NO!! You are restricting their future and undoubtedly increasing their chances of being bullied all their life!... unfortunately this is not against the law but brilliantly these poor people have the option of Deed Poll... thank **** for that!!

So let's face it most women (and some men too) have their baby names picked from a silly young age, a bit like their wedding plans... these change from year to year adding new bits to the plan but some people really do stick to their favourite names they picked years ago, I quite like this. I was too young to have thought of names when I was pregnant with Kyd so it was hard work to decide on one. I was 16 and determined not to stereotypically pick a teen mum name and his dad was completely the opposite. Kyd's name was a last minute change from one we had picked at the beginning and we honestly thought we would stick to that name, mainly because we couldn't agree on any other name! One day though I was waddling through the town where we lived and I saw a name written down and I actually liked it... I didn't know anybody with that name so I thought I'd suggest it to his dad when I got home... strangely enough he liked it and had a story behind why he did.... that was it, we had changed the name... a few days later he was born... and here is where that story ends, as he's stuck with it now but it suits him and I'm pleased with my selection... even if it's now become quite popular! I was too one of those people who liked certain names though after that, even though I didn't think I'd have any more children I had loads picked... BUT all the names I have liked and decided on through the years, other people have used before me, so I now can't use them because I'd be fuming if they did that to me.... This is called...... Sod's Law!!

So we have had to start from scratch with this one as Hoff had no names picked pre pregnancy either... he's such a bloke!.... And where did we start... THE INTERNET!........ 'Oh Dear Oh Dear Oh Dear' is all I can say to this. What a world of random names, random concepts and random, well, everything. I became very picky with the names I liked and disliked and I began to make a rod for my own back.

Something I learnt from searching online though...... I HATE THE MOST POPULAR NAMES LISTS!
What I don't want out of a name for my baby.... is one that everybody has!!... who picks a name from the top of that list?? Why would you want your child to have the same name as 60% of the population born the year before yours?... School would then be full of kids with the same name as yours and they'd be known as 'such and such D' or 'such and such E' and this is just annoying, you might as well add the first initial of your last name to their actual name on their birth certificate now... stupid really! I mean in our generation who doesn't know someone called Dave or Dan??... lazy name picking back then I tell you!! what it is just yet!

OHHHHH one other thing that annoys me, who on earth picks the name AARON whilst using the 'Name Book' concept of picking a name??? (It's not the name I'm offended by don't worry it's the way they find it) How bloody lazy can you get?? You didn't even read the whole of the first page you opened the book and picked the first name on the first page... that is just laziness!

So this Rod I had for my back was getting bigger.... I had decided not only did I want to avoid any name on the 'Most Popular' name lists from the past 10 years but I was opposed to naming a child any name which I knew someone of the same name... or that had kids of that name.... Or any name I had heard parents shouting at their kids in the playground. Now we were stuck. Weeks and months of stress came from this. We would randomly be out somewhere and we would just shout a name at each other resulting in some very strange looks lol. EVERY NAME seemed to be taken by that bloody list or our friends, who all seem to be having babies, who had already stolen them for their new babies and like I said we couldn't name them the same name as this is wrong.... This was killing us.

We decided we wanted a name that meant something and that we wanted one that had meaning to our relationship... One day we were drifting off to sleep and I had a weird dreamy thought of a name.... one that had meaning behind it and yet wasn't on the Most Popular list AND to top it off we didn't know any adults or children with that name!! I said it out loud.... woke Hoff up in the process and he said I LOVE IT... and there we have it.... we have picked a name and we are bloody sticking to it.... But we aren't going to tell you what it is just yet!!! Just in case someone due before me steals it... bloody naming politics!

After this particular name was picked a few scary things happened about the person we had named him after, the babies due date and the way it had all come about.... But that's a different story... one you'll have to wait until he's here for. (I know some of you know already but others don't so don't spoil it!)

To Be Continued...

Monday, 18 June 2012

Pregnancy Diary: 18/06/12 - 34wk Preterm Labour Scare!

So since Thursday (14/06) I have had THE worst Braxton Hicks and they've been more and more regular as the time has gone on but not necessarily in a pattern as such. I have been putting on a brave face as they didn't hurt too much just uncomfortable and I knew they were just fake contractions and there wasn't really much I could do about it. I'm not going to lie, deep down I was slightly worried about it but there was absolutely no way I was going into that hospital again until I was in actual labour! I've had enough of the place! So I waited... and waited... and it didn't really change. Hoff was quite insistent that I should go and get checked out but I just held off and tried to put it off with every excuse in the book. There is absolutely nothing they could've told me that I didn't already know and absolutely nothing they could've done about it that I couldn't do at home.... I looked up 'PreTerm Labour' on all the parenting websites there were and they all said 'drink 3 glasses of water, as Braxton Hicks could be made worse by dehydration' they all said to lay on my left side for over an hour too and if it was 'False Labour' then it would ease off.... it did ease it... but not for long!

This morning the back pain started and the period like cramps made each one of the Braxton Hicks feel like I was being stabbed in the stomach. I woke up at 5am uncomfy and in pain and I began to panic slightly. I pottered around the house trying not to wake anyone and took a few paracetamol to ease it. I drank another few glasses of water and went back to bed to lay on my left side for an hour.... it seem to ease it the day before so I thought it was worth a try. It didn't really make much difference but it was good to lay down. When the boys woke I started recording my Braxton Hicks/Contractions on the pregnancy iPad app we'd downloaded..... They were every 6 minutes... and very strong.... I found myself thinking 'hmmmm could this be more than just fake contractions? Maybe I should go in and get checked out now' In a way I still thought I was fine and that I was being one of those irritating over reacting women and they were just your average Braxton Hicks.

I rung the Triage number though on Hoff's say so and spoke to a midwife who said I should come in asap to be monitored. So I told Hoff that he had to take me in...... he looked relieved. We shoved the maternity bags, birthing ball and all that jazz in the car just in case and made our way over to the hospital.

I was put on a monitor which had my contractions and the babies heartbeat on it... I was right they were every 6 minutes and they were pretty strong. It was weird seeing the evidence on the graph as I had actually started doubting myself lol. The doctors and midwives looked a little concerned at the fact they seemed to be getting worse. They decided to do an internal to check if I was going into Early Labour or not. It seemed to be that I wasn't but they decided to keep me in to monitor me just in case that changed.... I BLOODY KNEW IT!! I knew they'd keep me in!! I was not impressed and I know they were there to help and were worried but I was not happy about it. The good thing is that I wasn't in labour.... but why was I contracting??

Another doctor came in. I'd seen him previously on the other ward and he said 'I don't think we should keep you in I think that's just mean!' hahaha I like him he's straight forward. He said he had to do an internal scan to see where the babies haed was to the uterus wall (I think) the bigger the gap the longer away labour was and if it was a certain length then it was all good and it'd mean labour wasn't anywhere near... He added that if it was a certain length and I gave birth in the next 24hrs he'd eat his gloves... I wasn't sure about that I think it's bcause he had no hat! lol..... Luckily I was just about on that line so NO LABOUR! Which meant NO STAYING IN!! I even got to see my baby on a normal scan for the first time since 18wks and he measured perfectly to his age, if not a little bit bigger, which was nice to know.

I was so relieved not only did I not have to stay in but I was not in PreTerm labour. Even though at 34+3 baby would survive quite nicely I am not ready to have such a tiny baby to look after... another few weeks cooking would be great thanks baby!!

I am still in pain, I'm still contracting and I am still bloody uncomfortable but unless I get much worse, my waters break, I have a show or bleed.... I am good to stay at home and I basically just have to MAN UP for a bit!!

So fingers crossed hey, No more scares please body I'm bored of them now and these contractions better die down soon or I will be crying more than the baby when he arrives!

Whatever happens I'll keep you posted!

Pregnancy Diary: 18/06/12 - An Alternative Guide to using the Brthing Ball.... Pre Labour!

So we bought a birthing ball a while ago ready for the big day! I got it, I blew it up and I stared at it completely bewildered as to why or how this huge ball would help...

So I googled it.... it was very helpful actually. They said that during labour it can aid certain positions that would help baby come out easier when in the pushing stage. It also told me it could help with pelvic floor exercises and ease the pain of labour....

My only issue is how on earth am I meant to remember how to use it and what positions I need to get in for birth? I know, I know that is what a printer is for but we have no ink and I know what I'm like I will forget it or discover that this doesn't even work, so I decided that I really should practice using it.

I tried all sorts of things and positions and in all honesty I just looked completely stupid doing them, much to the amusement of Kyd and the Hoff. I know that it will all be different on the day because I'll be in pain and need it BUT what do I do with it until then?...

WELL..... here is my ALTERNATIVE GUIDE to making the most of having a Birthing Ball.... Pre Labour.... as modelled by Kyd....


I have to admit this has what it has mostly been used for since we got it. Kyd loves it, Hoff loves it.... even I love it, it is so good for stress relieving and bloody good fun!!..... The cats however DO NOT love it! They hate it! Which of course amuses Kyd the most.


I have been placing it behind me whilst sat on the floor to stretch my back out when I'm struggling. I have rib issues (teitze syndrome) this seems to help spread the ribs and reduce the pressure on them. It also helps the relief of general back ache and heavy bump syndrome I've found. It is comfy, however I suggest sitting on a pillow as your bum goes numb after a while otherwise.


I keep getting told to raise my feet above my heart to reduce swelling in my ankles... has anybody ever tried to do this? it's hard work! You are not supposed to lay down flat on your back for too long either so lifting your feet above heart level is hard to do unless in very awkward positions... but I've come up with one a little less awkward...

Prop yourself up with pillows behind you etc on the sofa so you're almost in the sitting position and sit with your feet up on the rest of the sofa.... under your feet, place the birthing ball (easier to get your partner or older child to help with this).... roll it backwards until it is under your calves, touching the back of your thighs, so it gives your knees support and most importantly it is comfy for you. Your feet are up and above your heart, you're on the sofa so you have a comfy bum AND you can watch the tele and you are now protected from fat ankles.... hurrah.... it's remarkably comfy too.... but you do have to claim all of the sofa and tell others to sit elsewhere whilst you do it.... if they love you they'll not be bothered by this... if they are bothered..... play the pregnancy card!


When people are round I often find we run out of seats... this gives a super modern and comfy alternative to sitting on the floor... and it's fun to watch people rolling off it!.... (although watch who sits on it some balls only take certain weights... just a thought)


Kyd has taken to a new form of acrobatics using the ball... he sits, rolls, kneels, (tries to) stand and mostly.... jumps on it! It can get very entertaining. We have a pretty spacious living room with no dangerous corners to fall on so he is in no danger... you assess this for yourself before allowing any acrobatics to be preformed by child or adult (hoff has tried it too)... but you know best!


This is too obvious of course he is going to use it as a football!!! No breakages as of yet but I'm expecting one any day now!

As you can see this has been well used and will no doubt be well used after the big event.... I may wash it down before we reuse it though, god knows what state it will be in.... ewwwwwwww

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Pregnancy Diary: 17/06/12 - The Nursery is now DONE!!

What once was the bright pink carpeted, blank wallled play room is now a lovely striped Blue, White and Red nursery...  note it's not Red, White and Blue as there is more Blue than Red and it's more football related that way. Kyd has helped us the whole way from painting the room to picking the wallpaper and he is very proud of himself.

So how did we pick what nursery items and designs we wanted/needed and why.... because lets face it it's a hard decision!!!

Well I'm Picky....... I'm not  happy with paying someone to do what I could do myself...... So I designed my own Nursery range lol..... well sort of.

I wanted stripes on two walls, Blue and White ones maybe with a bit of grey, red or green... preferably red... After looking everywhere for ages, going back and forth between all these different websites and shops and driving Hoff mad, the brilliant John Lewis had some of the exact wallpaper which I had envisioned and was PERFECT!! I have no idea why I didn't just look there first! Silly girl!! We painted the other walls before putting up the wallpaper... in which we put up horizontally... which was hard work!

We changed the lovely (ghastly) pink carpet for a dusky blue... and about time too! Poor Kyd had to deal with that carpet since we moved in... not that he was bothered. Added some lovely Red black out curtains and bought some cheap plain white and beech furniture. I added a little bit of the wallpaper to Kyd's old Toy Box that he didn't want any more, glossed it and made it look pretty and everything was tying in together nicely.

So with lots of different blues and reds the theme for the rest of the nursery was easy to match up.... colour wise anyway. I am hard work and everything we found in different shops were teddy bears, Bunnies, Jungle and Truck themes etc etc I didn't like any of them and they looked funny against the stripes.... I had a paddy!

....So I just made up my own. Meet my lovely little Robins...

So simple that they can be drawn, sewn and stuck on to anything like so....

This was much cheaper too. Buy plain dyed things, blank canvas' etc and add your own bits to it!! They wanted £25 for a canvas and the one I did cost me £4... no brainer really. I used left over wallpaper to do the picture frame, a few cheap squares of felt to do the hanging birds and some plain old cheap framed canvas from a shop in town and some paint I had left over to do the art work. It worked really well and there is absolutely no reason why you can't do this too... even if you aren't arty the simpler the design the easier for you. Stripes, Squares, Circles... whatever you can draw... use things to draw around if necessary. It can be done!

The one thing I know now is that my baby has a very unique room nobody else has it.... this satisfies me! I'm funny about these things! It's been personalised for him alone by me and, unless one of you goes out and literally gets everything I have just said and does everything I've done down to a tee, which would be a little weird, he will be the only one to ever have it.... I think that makes it more special for him.... and a little more special for me.... lets face it he won't notice for a good few years yet!! lol

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Pregnancy Diary: 16/06/12 - How to Prepare for the Announcement on the day the Alice way...

I have a huge family and lot's of close friends and the fear of getting the news to them all at once, so nobody is deemed the favourite because they found out first, is hard work!! Hoff's family are slightly less Brady Bunch like and there are a lot less of them but he too has a lot of friends and would like to tell everyone all at once so not to have to pick who to ring first....

Now if you are like me all of those silly amounts of friends and family you have are scattered around the country and the world of Facebook and Twitter are a huge part of your communication at times of joy and times of sorrow... you'll just say 'put a pic on facebook and twitter and leave people to find out in their own time'... although I will no doubt do that... I want the main people to be told first so this will have to wait while we trench through our phones texting and ringing everyone...... so it'll be AGES before people find out and who do you text first? (other than grandparents and aunts and uncles)


I decided the other day, whilst conjuring up a list of names to phone for my maternity bag, that if I group my phone contacts up on my phone into Family, Extended Family & Friends, I only have to send the one message to each group and it goes to them all at once... no order necessary... HURRRRAHHHHH!!..... I'm so clever!!!!

To top that, I came up with an ingenious plan to pre write a template announcement message to save time whilst saving time....

'HE'S HERE!!! (name) - Born: (date and time) Weight: (?)lbs (?)ozs. Both Mummy and Baby are doing well, photo's will be on facebook soon. Alice, Hoff & Rhys xx'

So we just have to fill in the blanks, add a group to send it to and then hit... SEND and off it goes to everybody all at once....

Then after that we can put a picture of our little bundle of joy up on facebook and Twitter via the iPad and then everybody else will know the news and see his face!!

Simple really but I feel like a genius... if not overly organised!!

What do you think? Lazy or Clever?

I think Clever! Bring on the actual day!!

Friday, 15 June 2012

Pregnancy Diary: 15/06/12 - The Plan for Kyd on the Big Day and packing HIS Maternity Bag

Everyone knows you need to pack a maternity bag and be ready by a certain time in your pregnancy. I think you need it by the time you're 36 weeks... I've had it packed for ages and I'm not even 34 weeks yet.... But then again I'm overly organised.

So you need a Maternity bag packed full of essentials for you and the baby and Dad needs one too because he will be by your side through the whole thing so he needs entertaining and his own essentials....

But what if you have other children?? You need a plan for where your babies are going whilst you are bringing their new little bundle of sibling into the world.... Not once, in all the websites I've read about maternity bags, have I read anything about anybody else but Mum, Dad and Baby... some didn't even mention Dad...... what about everyone else???

Plans for Kyd whilst I'm in labour vary, he will go to a friends or family members depending on the day and time that I go into labour.... people have work and school etc so it really does depend on the day and time as to who has him, as I am not expecting anybody to take time off in my honour... I'm not that important lol.

So as he is going to someone else's house surely he needs an over night bag too!.... Surely this is the case with many families?? So why don't these sites suggest getting an over night bag ready for the kids too. Hmmmm well I am now suggesting it here, so there we go, pay attention Pregnancy sites this might be a new angle for you to take!

  • 1x Pants
  • 1x Socks
  • 2x Nappies (if necessary a fully packed nappy bag)
  • 1x PJ's
  • 1x Wash Bag (Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Flannel etc)
  • 1x T-shirt
  • 1x Jumper
  • 1x Trousers and/or Shorts
  • 1x Pair of Shoes
  • 1x Teddy
  • Any favourite toys
  • (For Kyd's specific needs 2x Bottle of Meds with instructions)

Basically pack whatever they will need for a comfy night away from home... put it with your maternity bag and keep it packed and ready. When the time comes all you or anyone else that picks him up needs to do is pick it up and off they go without you panicking that you've forgotten something for them leaving you free to concentrate on giving birth!.... simple really!

So there we go, sorted, I know I'm overly organised but it does make sense to have literally everything and everyone covered for the big event!

Good Luck

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Pregnancy Diary: 14/06/12 - Packing Daddy Hoff's Maternity Bag

I've packed my bag and so I told the Hoff he had to pack his too... I do believe it's sensible for him to have one with him, as that way he doesn't have to leave me to pop home and miss all the action! I let him pack his own bag but I gave him a list to follow... lol

Hoff's List - 
  • Lucazade
  • Snacks
  • Water Spray (to cool me down)
  • Book
  • iPad (which is in my bag now! hahaha)
  • Make sure iPad has link to ALL football channels just in case Euro's are still on!
  • Chewing Gum
  • Change for the car park and vending machine
  • Change of clothes & comfy shoes
  • Toiletries (toothbrush, deodorant etc)
  • Blanket
  • Gloves (hahaha I told him he needed these for when I squeeze his hands as I may scratch)
  • Earplugs (He thinks I'll be screaming at him!.... he's right!!)
  • Camera & charger (I don't want him to miss any moments after the birth)
  • List of names to ring!
That's about it for his bag to be honest... I have the rest in mine! I think he'll probably add a few extras before the day... it's just nice to see it doesn't say 'cigar & beer'... I was expecting that.

What else does he need? please make suggestions if he's missed anything...

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Pregnancy Diary: 13/06/12 - Packing My Maternity Bag

Getting round to packing my maternity bag freaked me out.... It meant that the day was looming and this was all real. I started packing it very early though as I had been in and out of hospital and I was beginning to panic that he might make an early appearance but this week I finally finished packing it and completed my list of what I had to include! Many pregnancy websites have lists of what you need to pack but I think bar a few extras I've included, I've just taken note of a few things from each list and added them together to make my own. So here is what is in my bag...

  • Summer dressing gown (a light one as it gets so hot in that hospital)
  • Slippers (I stole some complimentary ones from a posh hotel I stayed in a few months ago)
  • Socks (no matter what temperature the ward, your feet get cold during labour.)
  • Something baggy to wear during labour (I've packed a nighty)
  • Swim wear (in case the birthing pool is available)
  • Massage Oils (I have just packed the baby oil multi tasking)
  • Lip Balm (sounds odd but an essential as you get very chapped lips in labour for some reason)
  • Snacks & Drinks (I've packed Dr Pepper, Lucazade Tablets & Crisps... Hoff can get the rest)
  • iPad & Charger (I've insisted on the iPad being mine for the day... I deserve it I think!)
  • Hair Bobbles and Brush (for obvious reasons)
  • Dry Shampoo (as my hair may be slightly sweaty after birth... I've got to look good for the photos)
  • iPod & Headphones (to distract myself and to block out Hoff and his panicking lol)
  • Going Home Clothes (a simple maxi dress is comfy and easy to wear and put on)
  • Breast Feeding Bras (obvious reasons)
  • Breast Pads (for all those leaky moments)
  • Maternity Pads (for all those leaky moments from the other end...)
  • Nighty (choose one that will be easy to breastfeed in though as baby will be demanding food)
  • Old Knickers & Disposable Pants (because you will leak after even with pads)
  • Ear Plugs (hospitals can be bloody noisy!)
  • Phone Charger
Toiletries -
  • Towels
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Razor
  • Flannel
  • Shower Gel
  • Face/Make Up Wipes
  • Make Up.... All of it!!
  • Moisturiser
  • Mirror
  • Car Seat
  • Going Home Outfit
  • Baby Blanket
  • Nappies
  • Nappy Cream
  • Cotton Wool
  • Baby wash
  • Booties/Socks
  • Scratch Mitts
  • Hat
  • Baby Grows
  • Baby Vests
  • Muslins
  • Teddy
TO BE PACKED ON THE DAY - (note on the top of the bag to remind me)
  • Maternity Notes (put in a folder and placed with my bag ready to take with me but easy to access for the Midwife appts)
  • Maternity Pillow (it has been heaven the whole way through this pregnancy... I need it!)
  • TENS Machine (borrowed from a friend)
  • Laptop, Dongle and Charger (on standby just in case of a longer stay than one night!)

Have I missed  anything?? Please tell me if you think I have!!!

Eeeek this is all very real now!

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Pregnancy Diary: 12/06/12 - Pregnancy Wobble... Coping With Body Dysmorphia and the Changes to Your Body.

I had a bit of a break down recently. Tears, Tantrums, Hiding under the pillow, Thumping the bed... the whole shabang!

'Hormones!!' I hear you say? 'You never know what they will make you feel next. She must have been panicking about being a new mum again, or how she will cope...'


I looked in the mirror and I didn't like what I saw so I cried...... like a baby!

I have looked in the mirror everyday and have seen my ever growing bump and I like my bump it's not only happily round and now an obvious baby bump, it's quite small for 33wks so I've been quite lucky. BUT... My eyes have concentrated on my bump for ages now and I don't think I have even looked anywhere else for a good long while... SO when I glanced down below my lovely solid bump, I panicked... I actually heaved... I couldn't even look at it. It has been steadily growing and I had been completely unaware as to how bad it had actually gotten... I just couldn't look at it, my worst fear...

FAT!!!.....WOBBLE.... PODGE.... FLAB... The dreaded FATTY FATTY BUM BUM... My most hated chum....

Body Confidence is a big thing in today's world, if you are confident in yourself you can do ANYTHING! Without it, many struggle to even get out of bed.... this includes me. Many say to me 'but you are always so happy and confident and bubbly...' this is called A FRONT! This is how many men and women get through everyday life! This is how I have got through the last 10 years. This is how I covered up depression for so long... This is also how I got away with having an eating disorder for so long without it being noticed.

Body Dysmorphia is horrible, it can cause many problems, it can also be a killer. The smallest of comments from a passer by or a joke from a close friend at the wrong time, can cause the most horrendous consequences. Understanding Body Dysmorphia isn't easy. Many seem to have the perfect body to the naked eye... to their eyes however all they see are problems and issues that they need to solve. This causes a severe reaction and in most cases can lead to taking extreme measures to solve them.

I don't know how to explain BDD but here is an example....

I don't do Photo's that often. I hate them. During my biggest and longest battle with my body I really was struggling to understand my body as a whole. I was desperate to sort it out but needed an aim so after I had a course of Hypnotherapy with Jim at Tranzzzzformations and a few Vodkas, I talked myself into doing a photoshoot for The Hoff's birthday present with a friend (the lovely Adam) who was a photographer ( I was so proud of myself for doing it... but after time I tried not to look at them as I struggled to see the good points again. I still love a few of them and I try to look at them and remind myself that that is actually me... this was one of the photos he took...

This is what I saw before I got help and then again after when it came back to haunt me...
don't laugh my editing skills are minimal lol
In my head the last photo was me!! Where in real life the first one was.... I even struggled to look at the first photo whilst putting it up on here just now you know. I don't look like that now and it wasn't that long ago... And I'm scared I never will again! Which is what is killing me *holds back tears*.

Many celebs, men and women, suffer from body dysmorphia and we are always reading about how they take certain things to the extreme... plastic surgery, tanning, make up, exercise... but usually without the mention of the words Body Dysmorphia. We look, We laugh, We read into how and what they are doing to themselves but we rarely read WHY...

The causes of Body Dysmorphic Disorder are different for each person, usually a combination of biological, psychological, and environmental factors. Furthermore, mental and physical abuse, and emotional neglect, are life-experiences that can contribute to a person developing BDD. The onset of the symptoms of a mentally unhealthy preoccupation with body image occurs either in adolescence or in early adulthood, whence begins self-criticism of the personal appearance, from which develop atypical aesthetic-standards derived from the internal perceptual discrepancy between the person's ‘actual self’ and the ‘ideal self’.

The symptoms of body dysmorphia include psychological depression, social phobia, and obsessive compulsive disorder. The affected individual may become hostile towards family members for no reason.

Although originally a mental-illness diagnosis usually applied to women, Body Dysmorphic Disorder occurs equally among men and women, and occasionally in children and older adults. About 76% of parents think their child is either over conceited or simply lying about their condition. Approximately one to two percent (1–2%) of the world's population meets the diagnostic criteria for Body Dysmorphic Disorder.

Scary isn't it really, how something many shrug off as being vain, can effect so many silently beneath the surface.

Body Dysmorphia during Pregnancy is something people often over look. Many women get told to 'stop being stupid you are growing an extra person in there' or 'you are allowed to gain weight, you are eating for two'. This doesn't help someone with BDD they may say 'yeah I know, I am just being silly' but really deep down the process of weight gain and the over whelming body changes etc can cause all sorts of stress and panic, which can cause even more problems if they haven't got the means to control their behaviour. It's really hard to explain to people how difficult it is to fully see the me that others see, I only see what my head wants me to see and we all struggle with that in small doses but for some of us, we struggle to even see the smallest percentage of what that is... we always see more bad than good.

I know this obviously because I myself struggle quite badly and have been hiding it since day one of this pregnancy, because I've been trying so hard to ignore all successfully the symptoms and have so far been able to ignore it all and not react because I learnt how to control my reactions to the symptoms with help over the years... But I'm having a wobble, I know not to react to my feelings but it's how to control that whilst feeling like I've lost control....... let's face it, this is all about control and whilst pregnant only Mother Nature is in control!...... It's hard work!!.... she's such a cow sometimes!!!

So why am I having a wobble? 

I am in a very 'man' orientated world, I like football, watch football a lot, love the local pub and many, if not most, of my friends are male and we like to have what's called 'banter'. I can deal with banter, I can deal with jokes, I can deal with listening to their ideas of ideal women and looking at page 3 and pointing out why I think that particular woman is 'hot or not'... I love this world, I love my friends, it is and they are, very me... but I do often take things to heart deep down, I think everybody does in some ways. The way the mind works is amazing, one day I can laugh it off and bounce back a comment or two of my own but on other days I find myself thinking 'If they've picked up on that enough to make a joke... it must be a problem'

Whilst pregnant your hormones are stupidly over active EVERYONE knows this. Even the most laid back women take what usually goes over their heads to heart. I thought I was dealing with this really well until recently, every 'fat ass' joke, every 'oi fatty' chant just made me smile as I had longed for this baby so much and it was such a miracle I was even pregnant, I was loving it... I can't deal with it any more though! It's not their fault they are dealing with me like they would every other day in my life but I now know my mirror is not lying to me, it's not really my BDD coming out to play, I really am getting FAT!... which is understandable I am pregnant! BUT in turn has provoked a reaction enough to bring back my BDD to it's full form (not that it ever really left).

I am writing this post because the more I say it out loud, without saying to people face to face and crying like a girl, the more I understand it and the more I take in the changes I am facing and do something about it before it takes over my life again. I can cry as much as I like, I still have to deal with this for another 6-7 weeks and there after until I'm back to what I see as normal... but I'm not sure I understand what I actually see as normal as it seems to change from day to day.

What I do know is that I will need help after I give birth to do the weight loss properly.... and I am completely up for the challenge without taking matters to the extreme. This makes me proud as I have taken this as a huge step for me, before I'd have just stopped eating, made myself sick, taken some sort of pills... etc etc... all of which would never work!

I don't expect people to stop taking the mickey because I'm not stupid and they aren't meaning to be horrible. I don't even expect anybody to fully understand what BDD is and in fact fully expect this to, in true male banter fashion, provoke more jokes and jibes, but I do think that being sensitive about this subject is something most of them know I struggle with because they've been around me during my worst times, so I am pretty sure even if they don't read this they'll deep down know that the dirty look on my face and the tear in my eye whilst they make a comment, is well and truly venomous!... I'll get my own back eventually... and I'll do it In style!!

If you can relate to anything I have said in this little ramble of a post and are too struggling with Pregnancy and BDD or just BDD itself there are ways of getting help. I find myself reading the help and advice on the MIND website quite often as it reassures me about certain things I am doing. MIND are a fantastic charity who help with all sorts of mental health issues and they are here to help you. I know it is difficult to admit that this is a problem sometimes and the words 'Mental Health' sound so extreme but believe me you are not alone and even if you only slightly think you may have an issue...... there is no harm in looking is there??