Easter Fun at Hever Castle

With the weather being good today I decided to dig out the Hever Castle vouchers I had ordered with my Tesco clubcard points. The boys were really excited as I told them there was going to be some Easter activities. We parked up the car and I handed my Tesco vouchers to the friendly member of staff who gave the boys an Easter trail map each. The boys wanted to get started straight away. There were six questions to answer with six numbered signs to look out for around the gardens. The boys got really involved especially running around the mazes and the amazing park they have there to find the clues. DS2 was in his element excitedly shouting ‘we’re on an adventure’ as we ventured off the path way through muddy puddles and up stairs to reach the beautiful walks and water fountains. There was lots to do and see in between each clue so the chocolate bunny reward was just a bonus for them. Before we left we stopped by the water fountain which was the boys favourite thing to do. The aim of the water fountain, I am sure, is to walk across avoiding the water that sprays up at you on certain parts but of course the boys found out it was much more fun to purposefully get soaked from head to toe, thank goodness I packed a change of clothes for them. There were also other activities on offer for a small charge such as Easter bonnet decorating, face painting and archery but we were saving pennies today.

We all had a lovely day out and as it didn’t cost me anything in money today it was a  fantastic ‘free’ day out.

Three C-Sections, Why I Feel I Missed Out

20160729_232927I would just like to start by saying that this is my own personal experience with my own personal opinions and feelings. I appreciate that not everybody who has birthed the same way that I did will have had the same experience or that they would feel the same way I do about it.

I would be interested to learn what other peoples feelings are about this subject I don’t think I have spoken to anyone who has had a similar experience about their feelings on this.

I have three beautiful, happy, healthy boys. More than I ever could have dreamed and something that, at one point, I didn’t think was ever going to happen for me.

When I really think about it I am so in awe of my own body, that I carried and grew a child three times. I am so grateful for them but I can not shake the feeling that having three C-sections  I missed out on the ‘natural’ birth I always wanted.

Am I selfish for thinking this? I mean three children is more than some people could ever dream of and I’m here with a feeling that I missed out on something when I have three children how can I have missed out on anything worth worrying about?.

I was 19 when I was pregnant with DS1. I had a very straight forward pregnancy and I was so excited to become a mother for the first time. It was 3am when my waters broke and I was 38 weeks pregnant. I was advised to go straight to hospital but as I hadn’t had any contractions yet I didn’t see the need to rush. By 8am I had only had about half an hour worth of contractions but wow they were painful! I didn’t seam to have a break in between the pains so hubby rushed us there thinking things were moving quickly. Once we were settled in on the delivery ward, bump all strapped up to the monitor, my contractions were very sporadic. I would have extremely painful long lasting contractions in a cluster and then I could have nothing for up to an hour. Baby’s heart rate had dipped a couple of times nothing serious but I had to stay strapped to the monitor and stuck on the bed. All the while I wasn’t progressing past 3cm. After 24 hours the midwifes were keen for me to go for a C-section. I was too exhausted and frustrated to want to keep going so once the forms were all signed I was taken down to theatre.

It all happened so quickly I went from being in a dark quiet room with a midwife popping in every so often to laying down looking up at a dozen people in surgical masks prodding me and asking if I could feel whatever it was they were doing to my legs. I quickly went form exhausted to absolutely terrified. I couldn’t tell if I was shaking with fear or if it was the drugs but I couldn’t stop. It only felt like a couple of minutes before I heard my baby cry. The beautiful sound that grabbed my heart, threw it up into my throat and flooded my eyes with tears of joy. I just wanted to hold him. It felt like forever. My husband caught a glimpse while he was being dressed by the midwifes before they passed him to my husband to hold. I could just see his beautiful scrunched up face beneath his hat and blanket and he was held closer to me while I was waiting for the surgeons to finish but I was desperate to hold him. When I was wheeled through to recovery I was finally able to hold him and the tears came flooding back. My husband was allowed to stay for ten minutes in recovery with me then he had to leave until I was put on a ward.

Of course at that point I didn’t have a minute inbetween the fear, euphoria and exhaustion of becoming a mother for the first time to reflect on how I felt about the birth.

When, two years later, I was pregnant with DS2 I was certain I was going to have a VBAC. I was so sure I would get my ‘dream birth’ which to me was of course a painful but a relaxed, as natural as possible, unclinical as possible positive birthing experience.

My confidence in this plan was shattered after meeting with my consultant late into my pregnancy. He told me that he personally would advise against a VBAC listing the many reasons he thought this wasn’t a sensible idea, including that they predicted this baby was going to be large, but that of course it was completely my choice.

I left feeling completely deflated I had been so eager and excited for my ideal birth and my usual midwife was also very positive about it. Everything he said was ringing in my ears. He was of course giving me his honest professional opinion and there was nothing he said that was wrong but it shattered my excitement. After a lot of thought I decided to take the professional advice and opt for a planned c-section.

I wasn’t any less terrified the second time and I thought I was going to black out. We’d waited 7 hours(!) Past our planned time for the c-section and I was already exhausted before my body couldn’t stop itself shaking like a leaf again.

DS2 was a healthy 8lb6 and was so calm from the minute he was born. Even his cries were quiet and calm and I felt on cloud 9 with my two boys.

It took me longer to recover from the second c-section and I was frustrated with having to stay still when there was so much to do and DS1 needed attention to. I ended up over doing it and had an infection that made the recovery even longer. The feeling that I had missed out on the ‘natural’ birth I wanted wouldn’t shake.

At 25 I was enjoying being a mother to my two boys. Hubby and I decided we would love to add another little person to our family. I was more determined than ever that this time I would get my ideal birth no matter what anyone told me I was going to do it.

Again my midwife was cautious about it all but supportive. But as before late into my pregnancy my consultant was a different story. It was a different doctor and he was so against me trying for a VBAC after two c-sections that be told me he wouldn’t be comfortable having me under his care if I went ahead. He told me how it just wasn’t worth the risk and he had had a bad experience with a patient in the same position in the past.

Again I was completely deflated. I was given an ultimatum. Go against the doctors very strong advice for a chance for my ideal birth or take the safer option and give up all I’d hoped for birth wise.

I sat in the hospital car park in tears I rang my husband and told him everything. He was always supportive but told me that if the doctor was so adamant I should take his advice.

We were at a different hospital for DS3’S birth than the older two boys. On the day of the c-section we waited for our turn with two other mums to be and were told we would either be 1st, 2nd or 3rd. I was 2nd.

A lady surgeon who was a lot younger than I’d expected, probably around my age, called us in to speak to us like she had the lady who was 1st on the list. She was very friendly and introduced herself. After going through what I should expect she asked me if there was anything I wanted to request to make the experience more personal. I was a bit taken aback by this. I hadn’t been asked this before.

“Can I see the baby straight away?”

“Of course” she said

I didn’t see the other boys until they were dressed and it felt like forever.

“would Dad like to cut the cord as well?”

Me and hubby looked at each other like, what? You can do that? Hubby was really excited about this.

The birth with DS3 was a much more positive experience. I was shown my baby straight away (until he peed allllllllll over me while they held him up, I’m not even kidding), hubby cut the cord and I was able to have some skin to skin time it was amazing.

While the doctors were finishing up and I was still lying there waiting to be wheeled to recovery the surgeon came over to speak to us. Everything went well she said but I do have to tell you that we did notice your womb was so weak from the previous sections that it had already begun to rupture and if you were to have any further pregnancies it could be very dangerous and unlikely you could carry the baby full term with out a rupture.

So that was that. A definite end to my birthing experience.

Although I do feel I missed out on the birth I so desperately wanted I had the ideal c-section in the end and it felt so personal and of course my boys are my reason for being no matter how they got here.

One Hour To Myself

One hour to myself

Hubby has popped out for an hour. The children are all in bed at a decent time for the first time this Easter holiday and I have one whole hour to myself. I could be cleaning the bathroom. I probably should be doing the workout DVD I bought just after Christmas. Instead I have decided I am going to enjoy this hour by not doing a lot. I am currently finishing the hot chocolate I started to drink in the bath. The bath where no child or man just ‘had’ to pop in for a tissue…. or worse. I have buried myself in the cover and I’m looking at the two cars that my youngest child kindly told me I could play with and left them on my bedroom floor, you know the kind of cars, the metal race cars that are helpfully designed with pointy bits at the top. They shall stay there. I have the remote control to myself and I can watch my trashy T.V with out it being drowned out by ‘does this finish soon’.

I love my husband and children dearly but being able to indulge in doing sweet naff all for one whole hour all by myself is a rare occurrence so the bathroom can stay un-scrubbed for one whole hour, this is my hour.

A Poem to Describe Easter In Our House

Easter eggs

It was Easter morning and two parents lay asleep in their bed,

Dreaming of lay ins and no toys where they tread,

When three boys each with a mischievous smile on their face,

Tip toe down the stairs at a careful steady pace,

Chocolate eggs already open from yesterday’s hunt,

Sit upon the shelf with a bunny at the front,

The tallest boy pushes the bunny aside,

He picks up the chocolate that was trying to hide,

And triumphantly hands it to the younger two boys,

Who grab gratefully and go to sit down next to their toys,

But the noise of their parents awake through the ceiling,

The children soon get that panicking feeling,

Both parties know that now is a race,

There is a winner, mum sees him with a chocolaty face.

 

Sun, Glorious Sun

Haysden

A bank holiday weekend and the first day of the school holidays both notorious for wind and rain. Today however was glorious and when I woke up to the sun fighting its way through the gap in the curtains I jumped out of bed with a spring in my step. Without fail the sun instantly lifts my mood I become excited like a child. With it being the day before hubby’s payday today’s day out had to be a cost free one. The boys were keen to have a picnic today so I saw it as another opportunity to get in some running time. We agreed that DS1 and DS2 could take their scooters to ride and DS3 could take his balance ‘motorbike’. I wasn’t worried that the boys weren’t able to complete the 1.5 mile walk/scoot to get there as it is a sunny day favourite of ours and we have done it many times before. DS3 had great fun speeding through the woods and I must have said the word sorry at least twenty times as people jumped out of his way to avoid crushed toes. All three boys found every surviving muddy puddle to skid through so when we reached the country park the boys were squelching mud with every step to reach the picnic bench. While we were eating lunch children were walking past with a map and an Easter treat and the boys quickly realised we had just missed an Easter egg hunt. I was so relieved I had, in my good mood this morning, already bought along a chocolate bunny each as a surprise and, so they didn’t feel they had missed out, we found a quiet spot and I hid the bunnies. I put them in obvious places for the boys to find quickly to avoid the uncomfortable upset that would be caused if another child came along and found the treat first. DS2 and DS3 found them almost instantly and tore off the foil. DS1 made me smile, with no prompting from me he pretended he couldn’t find them straight away so he could give his brothers a chance to find them before he did. We stopped off on the way back at the big park and the boys spent a further hour playing together calmly and happily, not unheard of but not very common for more than a ten minute period.

It was a great start to the Easter holidays and all three boys are thoroughly exhausted which I plan to take full advantage of with an early bedtime. With the Easter holidays being two weeks long I need to get thinking of some more good cost free days out.

Running therapy

I have been feeling extremely unfit lately and I have noticed a slight dip in my mood. This morning with the sun popping out and the harsh chill in the air not so harsh I decided to do something about it. After DS3 and I had finished the school run we went home, packed a lunch and loaded the running buggy into the car. I used to enjoy running and kept it up as a regular exercise but after I had a knee injury I just didn’t get back into it. Today helped me to rediscover my love for it. I was really nervous when we first got to the country park. I strapped DS3 into the buggy, loaded up the drinks and lunch and started walking along the path. I was sure everyone was going to be looking at me red in the face, sweating and all wobbly bits wobbling like a jelly but I held onto the buggy and away we went. It was actually really quiet and the people we past were mostly runners or cyclists too busy focusing on their own red faces to pay attention to mine so I soon felt more relaxed. DS3 was having great fun bumping about in the buggy and it soon felt like I had my own little personal trainer with him shouting things like, ‘faster mummy’ and, ‘don’t stop go, go, go’. We got to the other side of the country park a lot quicker than I had expected and as promised to DS3 we had our packed lunch and fed the ducks. We were eating lunch when a little girl and her parents walked past. DS3, being his confident out going self, waved and shouted ‘hi’ to the little girl. She was really sweet and chatted to DS3 for a while (mostly them saying ‘hi’ to each other repeatedly) and when we had finished lunch and got to the park they had fun playing and finding sticks together until it was time to go.

I think DS3 needed the change of scenery as much as I did and it has given me the lift I needed. I also feel so much more energised and not so guilty about the four biscuits I had after lunch.

Pinkie Promise

pinkie

This is a pinkie promise. In this house everybody knows you can not break a pinkie promise. DS2 asked me if he can use half of the living room for ‘the biggest train track ever’ and the other half for a den. He has pinkie promised that he will clear everything up when he is finished. We are heading out for some fresh air soon so I’m not expecting to hear ‘I’m bored’ later as there will be a lot of clearing up for him to do when we get back.