Things She Says (Molly Edition)

Molly is sitting here playing a quiz game. She answers a question about musical songs...

Molly: I know this one!
Molly enters the letters for "I Dreamed A Dream"
Me (not remembering which musical it was from): What is that song from?
Molly uses the phonetic pronunciation for Les Misérables, effectively, Lez Miz-ra-balls.

Cue much mirth.

On Love

It's a funny thing, is love. It's a word people throw around all the time, and they attach it to so many different things. They love this band, or they love this food, or they love this place... And that's not even taking into account the people in their lives.

On top of that, there are the different kinds of love. You might love your doctor, or love your dog, or love thy neighbour. Then there are the familial kinds of love - you love your mum, or your sister, or your child, or your spouse... Not to mention, love can come from nothing - even hate - or it can wax and wane depending on how you treat someone, or how you are treated in return.

Love can grow from nothing. My own sister and my brother-in-law used to hate one another at school, yet now they are married with children. You can fall in love with someone you've never met.

Kellie and I dated many years ago, and that ended very abruptly. I never wanted to speak to her again. Teenage angst and all that. Then years later, we started talking again via Facebook. Then we started meeting for lunch, or hanging out at each others houses. Over time, what was originally teenage hurt and despair regrew into a friendship, which then became a close friendship, and eventually, we had feelings for one another... Which built into more and more until, seven years later, here we are with Poppy.

Which brings me to my actual, long-story-short (too late) point.

Poppy was handed to me when she was born. She was covered in sludge and gore. She was a horrible cover. She was hairy, and coated in vernix, and screaming and really not the most pretty thing in the world...

Yet in that second, I knew I would die for her, right there and then if I had to. Every single fibre of my being loved this tiny little life that was just minutes old. We had never met. I had only ever seen a representation of her image on an ultrasound. I had never heard her voice, never felt her directly touch me. And yet, something in my brain told me that she is the very embodiment of love.

I know I felt the exact same way with Jaysen, Bethany and Tamsyn when they were passed to me. These tiny little things that I helped create. And yet, when you sit quietly taking stock, cuddling a tiny bundle at 2am, your heart swells at the sound of their breath, the twitch of their mouth, the flexing of their tiny little hands reaching out at nothing. I suppose there is a scientific reasoning behind it, some evolutionary reason behind loving and nurturing your genetic line... But for once, I don't care. I don't care about the reasons, the why-fors, my brain isn't interested nor bothered that it doesn't know.

I just know that when I look at Poppy, everything feels right, and good, and pure and... I don't know. Words don't - words can't - describe nor explain it. The great poets and authors of history have tried many times (How do I love thee; let me count the ways...) and yet none have ever managed to pin it down. I even tried to find something earlier that explained how I felt looking at Poppy, but the closest I could come was the first part of Love's Language, by Ella Wheeler Wilcox:
How does Love speak?
In the faint flush upon the telltale cheek,
And in the pallor that succeeds it; by
The quivering lid of an averted eye--
The smile that proves the parent to a sigh
Thus doth Love speak.
And only with that paragraph, and this entire rambling post, have I managed to prove to myself, you can't word how it feels. It just is.


Poppy

So, today was the day... Actually, YESTERDAY was the day. It's all a bit of a blur, and I realise it's now half past midnight.

But I digress... I am so pleased, proud and happy to announce the arrival of our beautiful little girl, Poppy.



That is her within minutes of her being born. And wow... My first birth. My other three were all cesarean sections, so this was something altogether new and different.

We went into hospital at 9am, and were fully expecting things to be still ongoing at this time. Examination by ten, postrin gel by eleven. Examination at five. More gel. Examination at nine. Hormone drip. Tadpole to be born in the early hours. Long, boring, hard work.

It seems that fate decided to play another fastball with us. We got in at nine. Examination at ten... But no gel needed. Turns out the Braxton Hicks contractions Kellie has been having are ACTUAL contractions - and she was already three centimetres dilated, plus she was having fairly good - but not very strong - contractions already.

Woop!

So the plan became "break waters at eleven, see what happens by five and if needed, onto the drip"which would have to Tadpole coming out in the late evening.

Fine by us.

After the crotchet hook was used to rupture her membranes, it didn't take long for the contractions to get a bit more grown-up, and after a couple of hours, they were making her gasp and stop what she was doing to squeeze my hand.

By three this afternoon, she opted for the gas & air... In the past, it's made her feel sick, but she was limited to that, diamorphine (that'd be heroin then!), or an epidural. She was adamant, NO epidural, so tried using the gas.

It didn't help much, and it did make her feel sick. But she pushed through. Diamorphine crosses through the placenta and can make baby tired and woozy. She didn't want that. The pains built up and up, but she didn't shout, scream, swear, blame me for doing it, nothing... Just lots of gas, and breathing through the pain..

By four she was really suffering, and by half four decided to go for the diamorphine. At 4.50pm she was given it, and Anna, our midwife, had me getting Kellie to stay focused and do hula hoop movements - it kept Kellie from falling asleep, and kept Tadpole awake.

I chose this time to send a text update to a few people, and said it shouldn't be long, which in hospital talk is a few hours. I spoke to Dom, reassured him Kellie & Tadpole were fine... I put the phone down to him at 5.01pm, and as I did so, Kellie made a really strange noise...

She had started to grunt and push.

Midwife jumped, assistant came running, and it just so happened that this was IT.

By 5.11pm, Tadpole was born. No longer Tadpole, but a beautiful little girl, covered in white vernix, bellowing for all to hear. She went straight onto Kellie for skin to skin, we delayed the cord clamping, and there she lay, whinging and moaning with the occasional little tiny tear.

Once the cord was clipped, she was weighed, coming out at a beautiful 7lb 7oz. Tadpole became Poppy.

A few minutes later, the placenta arrived, but - my American friends from CHD lists will appreciate - we opted to not keep it for cooking up. Sorry and all ;-)

Kellie did an amazing job. She never complained, only really cried when (and I quote) "she's looking at me!" and did everything brilliantly. No tearing, no stitches. She didn't make a fuss, shout, swear, just got on with giving birth.

It's an amazing thing, to see a human being squeezed from inside another... Words can't do it justice, seeing this teeny tiny person slowly emerging.

Tadpole and Kellie will stay in hospital overnight... Due to Kellies diabetes, they want to make sure both her and Poppy have normal blood sugars. Here I lay without wife or baby, just for tonight. Tomorrow, the real fun will start.

A huge, huge, massive thank you to all of you - everyone that commented on the updates, pictures, announcement...Not to mention those of you that have kept me sane over the last nine months. It's been a long time in the making, but Poppy is beautiful and gorgeous - she even has a small birthmark on one shin. No doubt there will be plenty more postings to come, but thank you to everyone that has been there supporting, welcoming and congratulating us today. I will be printing out all the comments for the Baby Journal. Suffice to say, it's been an incredible day.

It's been IMMENSE.

Two Days Left...

So, unless you live under a rock (which would be a strange place to live) you will know that there is just two days to go until Kellie is induced, and Baby Tadpole becomes, well... Whoever s/he is going to blossom into.

And I am so completely and utterly done with the waiting. It has been a very very long nine months, and I just want to have my little sproglet in my arms. I know good things come to those who wait. I know a watched pot doesn't boil (which I have actually tested, is a blatant lie). Too many cooks, a bird in the hand, thirty days hath September... I've heard it all.

But I don't care.

And thinking about it, this birth has been completely different to all my others. Jaysen was 14 days late, then there was short notice on being induced, 30+ hours of labour, which ended in an emergency c-section just to get him out. Bethany was clearly a whole different kettle of fish, and she was a planned c-section with all her medical stuff to deal with too. Tamsyn was also a planned c-section, but with everything that had gone on in the two months before her being born, that was a whole different level of stuff going on.

With Tadpole, it should all be a normal, regular labour and birth. The only reason Kellie is being induced at 38 weeks is twofold: Firstly, with her being diabetic, they don't want baby to be the size of a small whale. Secondly, they're playing it safe with her cardiac goings-on. Usually when they induce, they do it on the antenatal ward, then when you start that proper labour-thing, they move you to the labour ward.

Not Kellie... They're putting her straight into Labour Ward, and inducing her there. Hourly blood-sugar tests. Constant checking. One-on-One nursing.

So that'll be fun.

Everything is pretty much ready and good to go too. Going to re-do her hospital bag later, double check it's all sorted and she has everything she needs. We grabbed a couple more bits today, but everything is as ready as it's going to be. Today we'll make sure everything is done, and then tomorrow, we can just take it easy and not worry about anything or having to run around for stuff.

I say "I'm not nervous" and I'm honestly not. I am not worried about holding babies, doing parent stuff. What I am nervous/worried about is the labour and birth. With the other three being born by section, I've never experienced a full-blown, fidgety, moving around, changing positions, squeezing a human out the hoo-haa thing. It's one of the reasons we've been watching One Born Every Minute on catchup. I'm not sure how I am going to react to Kellie being in pain, and I'm not sure how I am going to react to not having any level of control or power. All I can do is wait for nature (and labour-inducing medication) to do it's thing and go with it.

Anyways, with less than two days to go, I am really getting fed up with waiting, and so incredibly looking forward to my baby Tadpole being born. I can't wait to give him or her a big cuddle, to decide which name fits best, to dress him or her, see first feeds, and carry on with the milestones from there...

Watch this space for photos and ramblings :)

Damn Friends!

Today, I would like to say a very Happy Anniversary to two of our friends, Kelly & Kevin. I would like to say to them to have a great day, and here's to many more great days, months and years to come.

However. I will NOT be wishing or saying any of these things, because it is thanks to these two that I am in the current predicament in which I find myself.

You see, seven years ago, Kevin and Kelly got married. At this point, I didn't know who they were. I'd never met them, never heard of them, didn't know they existed. Kellie, however, did. She knew them, she was good friends with them, and she was at their wedding day.

I was not. I was not present. I was at home, alone, pondering my friend Kellie, a girl I hadn't seen since she broke my heart as a teenager, and had only recently started talking to once again earlier that year. The weekend before, I had stayed with my friend Mand, along with Jennifer, Becky and Lynzi. We had a boozy weekend of laughs, gaming, piss taking and after a few drinks, a slightly inebriated Moi told the four slightly inebriated girlies that I was pining for my friend Kellie.

"Text her how you feel" they said. "It'll be fun" they said. I played it cool. Well, drunk-cool. I told my friend Kellie that I missed her and that she should be up at Mands with me.

Cooooool ;)

But anyway. The weekend of the wedding.

Kellie is at the wedding. She's with Kerry (Kevin-the-grooms-sister) who is the equivalent of that little red fellow that sits on her shoulder telling you "What's the harm in just on more drink" in the same way that Kellie is the equivalent of that little red fellow on her shoulder...

We've kept in touch throughout the day. And as the evening wore on, Kellie got drunker and drunker. And she started being more and more open and honest in her texts.

It was about midnight that she admitted she too liked me in THAT way. Because of the wedding, however, she was staying at the hotel til Sunday, had to recover and get over the inevitable hangover... So we agreed to meet up Monday at the pub (?!) to have a talk.

Monday 9th June 2008, we agreed we should start dating, see what happens.

So thanks to Kevin and Kelly, with side-help from Mand, Jennifer, Lynzi and Becky, I find myself where I am today. Two days away from our "Together Eight Years" anniversary. A week away from our "Married Two Years" anniversary. Oh yeah, and there's the whole "Tadpole Will Pop Out This Week" thing too.

Damn people interfering with other peoples lives! Look what you did!!

Twelve Days..

Dear Baby Tadpole,

As I write this, it is half past two in the morning, my left hand is on mummy's tummy, and all I can feel is you; a foot or a knee or something pushing up, flexing and twisting. Further down, small little hands or fists pushing outwards.

And now, your arrival is officially classed as "imminent" by many people, but that is still a whole twelve days or more from now. The process might get started in twelve days, but how long it takes you to put in an appearance... Well, we shall wait and see.

Throughout Al of this, I've found two things fascinating me. One, how strong you are, especially now at 36 weeks. You push and kick and wiggle and even your hiccups cause everything to move noticeably. I'm sure mummy is not quite so enthralled with it as I am, but still, I love to feel you there, as though you're with me.

Second is how much I love you already. I've only ever seen a representation of you in sound waves on a screen. Whites, greys and blacks - bones, skin, organs, fluid in your bladder... I've seen inside your body and your head - but I've yet to see you personally... And yet, every push against me through the tummy makes my heart swell. I love you to pieces already, and yet, I have no idea if you're a boy or a girl, if you'll be good at science, enthralled with reading, a juggler, an accountant, a chef... Your whole lifetime is stretched out way into the future, yet you're still not present, not properly.

I just want to hold you. To have you squirming in my arms, to kiss you and protect you and to love you. All without seeing you.

Of course, I'm worried about me too. Will I be a good father. Will I be there no matter if you're angry at a friend, upset over a lover, or struggling with your work. Will I be able to be there for you, whenever you need me. Even the stupid things like, will I be able to keep up with you, to be able to roll around on the floor giggling, to be the monster that chases you up to bed... I just don't know. I do know, however, that no matter what, I will do my damnedest, my absolute hardest, to be there for you no matter the problem, no matter if you're in school or getting married. I will push myself as hard as I physically and mentally can.

You are so close to arriving, my sweet beautiful little Tadpole. Twelve days doesn't sound like a lot, but it feels like it's never going to get here. As though you're not going to be here any time soon. I have to be patient - you wouldn't believe it from how I'm talking, but I'm a very patient person - and being patient is all I can do. Plus, I'm so tired, the word "patient" doesn't make sense to me any more - I'm not even sure I'm using the right spelling... Ho hum.

Anyway... Not long now, Tadpole. I'm sure you're going to be spoiled and doted on, constantly. I'm sure you're going to keep me on my toes and cursing my insomnia. I'm sure you'll wake up to find me just watching you sleep, and you'll wonder what the heck I doing. I'm sure I will be highly unimpressed with that first nappy, but I am fully aware every cuddle will make up for it, every look into your eyes, every time you smile or giggle... How I'm going to be able to say NO to you, I don't know...

See you "soon" Tadpole... Love you lots.

Dear Baby...

You've not met me yet. I'm the one that keeps rubbing mummy's tummy, pushing you when you push out, talking to you, and the one that makes mummy squish you when I tickle her and make her contort around.

But we will met really soon. Well, people keep telling me it's "soon" but it feels like I've been waiting to meet you for the longest time. I've watched you growing from, well, when you were just a little ball of stuff up to the actual baby that you are now. But I've not seen you properly, not yet.

And I just want to give you a cuddle.

Of course, day one is the easy part for me. It's once you're home that the real work starts - but then, that's when the real fun and games start too. I can't wait to see your eyes focusing on mine, to see you smile, hear you giggle and chuckle... All the milestones are spread out ahead of us, and while they seem so so far away now, no doubt it won't be long that I'm sitting here telling the world about you being a grown up.

As with any new daddy, I am sure the worries and nerves I am feeling are all normal. Will I do everything right, will I be a good daddy, will I always be able to do things with you and for you. I want everything to be just right, perfect, and for you to be a happy little thing. And I hope I don't mess it up. I hope me being, well, me, doesn't make you decide that I'm not that great.

I know I am going to love you completely and utterly. When mummy is asleep and you're having a wiggle, I feel like that's just you and me, and I can't put into words how that makes me feel. That touch - even through skin - makes me want to burst with excitement and happiness.

Maybe that's why it's taking so long. I want you to be here NOW. I'm normally quite a patient person, but this is making me the very opposite of that.

So my little Tadpole, I am still here, waiting for you impatiently, feeling you getting bigger and bigger (and stronger and stronger if mummy's internal bits are any indication!) and counting down the days until you get to be cuddled and loved properly.

See you soon my gorgeous baby.

Lots of love,

Daddy
x

All Things Baby

Yes, I know, 0ddness has been very quiet (still) for a considerable time (still) and I'm a bad blogger (still). No excuses, no reasons for it, just... Quiet.

I have noticed a trend on Facebook when ever I've made a comment about Kellie being due in X-many weeks... People pop up and say pretty much the same thing: Ooh hasn't it gone quick!

And to these people, I have this to say: NO. No it has not.

You see, despite announcing to the world we're having a baby when Kellie was twelve weeks or so, we found waaay before then. Like, three, maybe four weeks. On top of that, we've been attending some sort of clinic or appointment on an almost weekly basis since then. Extra appointments due to Kellie having all her random medical shenanigans. Extra appointments here and there and all over the place. Scans and midwives and consultants and specialists...

It feels like we've hardly had a chance to enjoy just "being pregnant" and now we're approaching her due date (24th June) she is big enough to be uncomfortable all the time, and not sleeping, and having a head in the bladder, or a foot in the spleen, or random baby part jammed into random Kellie part.

We are going to mention early induction at the next meeting with her consultant, so hopefully can get the wee Tadpole born a bit earlier. Even a week or two.. Even though she'll be 34 weeks on Tuesday, it still feels like there is an eternity till D-Day.

So no, it is NOT going quickly at all. It's taking forever and ever.

Kellie is, in the common vernacular, a bloated beach-ball at this point. She's got the waddle down pat. She does the strange contortion of bending to pick stuff up with her legs apart, bending in various places. She's sharing her bed not with me, but with a seven foot long body pillow... No strange desires for food I'm sad to report, I WAS hoping for at least one tale of cat meat, pickle and banana sandwich to revile you with, but no. "Food" maybe, but not specific cravings.

Not having found out the sex of Tadpole seems to be throwing people into a dazed confusion too... Buying stuff has been interesting, but manageable - we've gotten various clothes and sleepy suits and what not sorted in "neutral" colours, plus we've started getting some of the necessities put away for when s/he puts in an appearance; nappies and wipes mainly.

I just want baby to arrive soon. It has gone on for far too long now, and people keep saying it's gone quick, and not long now and all sorts, but I am past impatient now. It really does feel like it's gone on forever.

Just Me..

I imagine the few of you that still read my blog are the ones that haven't clicked "block" or "hide" or "mute" or whatever else on my social media profiles of late. And believe me, I know exactly how I sound a lot of the time... When it's not random stuff, it's me, moaning and fed up about, well, me.

And this post is not much different.

Once again, I'm struggling to sleep very much. And this is with medication to help me sleep. I've been put back onto Amytriptyline which I hate, as past experience has proven it makes me exhausted and spacey. Well, not this time. I took a tablet at 10pm,and another at half past midnight. It's now a quarter to two in the morning and I'm still awake.

This time I suspect it's due to a hardcore 24-hour migraine that hit me Monday lunch time. I flaked on the sofa, thinking a nap would make it bugger off, but no... At half five that evening I went to bed, and woke up again at 3am. Then 10am. Then midday. And 2pm...

I got out of bed at seven this evening, had something to eat, and went back to bed at ten. I feel shit even now... Still have a headache, and now I feel bunged up...

On top of this (seriously, I know...) I've got a bloody tooth ache. Thanks to a dentist visit which was filled with needles and drilling to prepare a tooth for a crown, as the filling in it was too big apparently... My tooth wasn't hurting BEFORE, but it is now.

I'm so sick of this. All this. Me feeling crap all the time and not sleeping. Me feeling crap physically and mentally. My body hurting or being exhausted, my brain being filled with crap and worries...

I ended up being discharged from care under the Pain Management Service, thanks to my piece of shit brain. I had an appointment, which I remembered wrong, checked the appointment letter which I read wrong, and ended up going to the wrong place at the wrong time on the wrong day. So as I classed as a "No show" they discharged me. Back to square one, waiting for a re-referral. My brain sucks, I hate that it is so unreliable.

I CAN count on it to be paranoid. To over-think everything. To imagine the worst in every situation. To wind me up, stress me out and drag me down. I wish I had a period of quiet time, to chill out, recharge, run at my own pace and do my own thing. Every day just seems to be filled with STUFF and I struggle to keep up with it, so the next day has more STUFF, so I struggle more...

And on and on and over and over.

I'm tired, I don't feel well, and generally am sick of feeling and even looking the way I do. I'm sick of people telling me that "positive thinking" will cure me. I'm sick of people asking how am I as a way for them to tell me what's wrong with them without even acknowledging my reply. I usually just say "I'm OK" now, as people don't want to hear me detailing how my body feels trampled. I'm fed up being the one that has to message first to start a conversation, let alone writing long messages to people that only get an "ok" reply three hours later, or even better, no reply at all.

I probably sound like a whiny, moping brat to some of you, and that's fine... This being my blog and all. I just wish people understood how I feel 95% of the time. You don't even have to care that I feel like crap - just understand that I do.

I'm sure I could go on and on, but I won't. I'm just fed up of trying to make people get that I feel like complete crap most of the time. If you still don't get it or care, then I'm pretty sure you never will. And that's fine too - just don't roll your eyes and sigh when I moan about it here or anywhere else.

A Letter

Dear Baby,

You don't know me. Not to see, anyway. You've definitely heard me, and I am one of the fools that puts my hand over you while your mummy sleeps at night, but you've not seen me. Not yet.

I've seen you, though. I saw you before you were really anything, and I've seen you when you were ever so tiny. And just a few times, I have felt you nudge against my hand while you wiggle around inside mummy.

And tomorrow, I will see you again. But this time, I am going to be very nervous. Tomorrow, we are going to see a special doctor. Part of my brain - the logical part - keeps telling me that there is no real reason to see this special doctor. That I am just worrying over nothing. That it's going to be a waste of time. But the other part of my brain - the bigger, over-powering, illogical part that makes all my decisions and sets out my thoughts...

That's the part that's winning.

You see, ten years ago, your big sister Bethany left. You will hear all about her as you grow, I promise. But because of what was wrong with her, the illogical part of my brain is now screaming and kicking and banging against its bars. And tomorrow, we are going into London for the special doctor to make sure your heart and tummy is OK.

And that, my beautiful little Tadpole, is why I will be a nervous wreck for the next 24 hours. I've never touched you, you've never seen me, and I've never heard you make a sound, but I am filled with so much love and worry for you, I am close to bursting. And that we are going to see a Fetal Cardiologist is killing me on the inside, because I am so scared of the What If that my brain is doing. It doesn't mean I will love you any less, it just means I will have to be bigger and braver than ever, and hold your hand, and your mummys hand, and know that with these special doctors, you will be in the best possible care ever.

That doesn't mean I won't be worried. Or scared. Or angry. But I will be there for you every single step of the way. And I will love you as much as it is possible to love someone, if not more.

Logically, I know that you are going to be fine. Logically, I know that the doctor will check you from head to toe tomorrow - and aside from being able to see your beautiful face on the screen, I know tomorrow will tell us nothing more than you are growing into a big strong little person.

But for the next 24 hours, please excuse your daddy, and his crazy, strange, neurotic behaviour. I might sit holding you more than normal, or drifting off to places in my head. But logically, I know that this time tomorrow, I will be laughing at how silly I am, and how I got so worked up over nothing.

Night night baby, with love,

Daddy
x

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