Have you ever had one of those moments where you feel like you’re having an outer body experience watching a situation unfold and then you realise that it’s real and it’s totally happening to you?
That’s what it felt like when we went along all cheery and excited to see another picture of our little baby a few days before Christmas expecting it all to be routine, straight in and out, we weren’t prepared for there to be complications.
We were expecting a simple date for the diary for the planned section and off we hop home to pick up the girls but unfortunately it wasn’t the case. First we were told that the baby’s growth had dropped off the chart. So it had fallen below the 10th centile and it would need to be reviewed in 2 weeks. We were told that if there was still low growth then we would be having the baby almost immediately which would mean about 34 weeks old. Crikey. My head was buzzing about what this would mean for them and how they would be but we were reassured that they would be fine at that term and given all of the information about what they would do etc.
Next bomb to land on us was that my placenta was still low (placenta praevia) I know this means risk of blood loss at anytime but then they said there was a chance it could be placenta acreeta. Never heard of that and didn’t realise acreeta was one word until I googled it. Thought they were say “a critter” whatever on earth that was. Anyway supposedly that’s when the placenta has embedded onto the previous c section scar. This would cause problems with the incision to deliver the baby, high chance of major haemorrhage and then afterwards as the placenta can’t be removed without the risk of major haemorrhage likely to be a hysterectomy. Wow! All that information all given at once. I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes but somehow trying to think logically and ask the necessary questions plus I knew that L would be almost hyperventilating hearing all of this so I had to try and be the calm one taking the information in. We decided we didn’t want anymore children when we went through this IVF but being faced with someone telling you that you can’t is a different feeling altogether.
We left the hospital with our heads spinning and in silence as I didn’t know what to say and L wouldn’t want to talk about it as she would be freaking out. Obviously the next 24-48 hours we started to understand it all, sought advice from those in the know for some much needed reassurance and also scared ourselves stupid thanks to the power of Google. I was weepy at times convinced things were going to be really bad. That our baby would be really early and need special care and that I was going to have a massive bleed and either be seriously ill or not make it at all. Christmas was a very quiet time. The girls enjoyed every minute of it with pantomimes, parties and presents from Santa. They even got to eat sweets a lot! But L and I were different. We just had to look at each other to know what we were thinking and there was a feeling of worry and sadness. I was teary a lot especially during the lovely moments as I was terrified what the next few weeks had in store. It felt like the longest two weeks ever.
Then in one short scan appointment with a foetal medicine specialist our whole world was turned back upright the way it should be. It’s very unlikely I have “a critter” they won’t know for certain until they open me up but the consultant has been round the block a bit so knows her stuff- phew! And even better little pea head has grown more than a pound in the last two weeks. L has paid special attention to fattening us both up over Christmas and it’s worked out. They are now more than 5lbs in weight which is a lot more than they anticipated and doing really well.
So now here I am with a date set for the delivery of the 3rd Robson-Malone child in less than 3 weeks and all I want to do is to enjoy some time with my wonderful family before the chaos begins.
We just need some low key time soaking each other up. The house is finished, the nursery is ready, both G and chaotic are sleeping through in their super bunks just G’s birthday party to go then time to meet our little baby.
Thankfully, from some sort of Christmas Miracle and lots and lots of praying, the only thing we really need to be thinking about is a name for the new arrival.
We had our first nativity last week. L was like “one of those parents”. You know the ones you eye roll at and think get a grip it’s only a 3 year olds nativity. She was almost nudging people out of the way to get the best spot at the front so she could capture the slightest movement or even blink of G in action! This is so not her.
I on the other hand was an emotional wreck. I had free flowing tears which I couldn’t hide and saw the whole show through a wet blur of happy emotions and deep pride in my first born baby. Thankfully I had the chaotic one to cuddle into and try and disguise my hormonal mess. Totally playing it cool NOT!
G was so confident and stood so tall in her Angel Gabriel costume. This was enough to shock us since she hates dressing up at home and never likes to be up on stage or anything like that. It’s a testament to her nursery and the time the staff have invested in her to help her grow, especially with her speech development. She was joining into songs with words I didn’t even know she knew. It’s was beautiful! Then there was the chaotic one who decided to join in when it was over running up and down the pews. Luckily she was the cutest shepherd I’d ever seen which is how she gets away with pretty much everything.
All in all its been a humbling week reminding me of the things we need to be thankful for. I know how easy it is to get caught up in silly little day to day niggles which in the grand scheme of things don’t really mean anything but that’s life. This week I had that reminder that life is fragile and in a second it can literally change good or bad. I found a lump on my boob a couple of weeks ago and although expected it to be nothing I was pretty taken aback when I was referred for a scan by the GP. The “what ifs” started going round in my head, thankfully the two kids and our hectic life kept them at bay most of the time but there was still the odd few moments where you do wonder what could happen. Anyway I was lucky enough to be told I just have a lumpy bumpy breast by the consultant which was great news still I knew that in those few minutes in that room it could’ve changed everything. I’m so relieved but it’s a good wake up call to have as so many people are not as lucky and you never think it will happen to you but it can so please please please check your boobs!! And if you’re unsure go get it checked out it will only make you feel better and put your mind at rest.
Following that I’ve definitely had more than a fair share of my time with the NHS this week. I clearly had a fever as I wore pyjamas and Ls polar bear onesie in our house where the kids are running round in just their pants because it’s so tropical with L still insisting 26 degrees is the optimum temperature. Next day within 30 minutes I had seen my midwife, checked on the baby who was absolutely fine just taking all the good stuff from me and leaving me to feel like utter crap, then saw a GP who confirmed I had tonsillitis and sent me off with a cocktail of paracetamol and penicillin. Rockstar life me. So the last few days have been a blur of me trying to sleep as much as possible, our amazing nursery sorting out all of the childcare, including transport in the mushroom car as the kids call it, and being tucked up in bed by 7pm each night. Although L did stay up until about 8pm one night after watching a train show with Judy Walters! Geepers we are so dull. I was invited to a party this week which we were considering going to but then I realised it started at 930! I mean for a second I thought they meant 930am and thought yeah that could work but 930 pm. That’s almost the middle of the night!
This week we also moved the girls into the same room as we’ve got them these super cool bunk beds with stairs and we are conscious we still need a spare room for one of us to catch up on sleep when we have the newborn non-sleeper. Gulp! Chaotic has just started sleeping through thanks to the healing hands of the magic chiropractor so we were a little anxious to say the least. One week in and they are both sleeping really well and thankfully it doesn’t seem like this is the worse thing we have ever done. They’ve even stopped by and given the baby a check up with their medical kit. Too cute. It’s just nobody needs a non sleeping 2 year old in their lives.
The countdown has really begun now, and not just for christmas, it’s less than 10 weeks to go until we meet our little baby.
My head is telling me to enjoy these last week’s as much as possible and soak it up but my body is saying it’s hard, I’m tired, I’m fat and I can’t wait for the time to pass. Hate wishing my life away though.
I’ve never had any problems in any of my pregnancies so it gave us both a real scare when I had a bleed last week. Everything with the baby and I are absolutely fine now but it was a real wake up call that I need to slow things down and realise I’m now in the 8th month of pregnancy as if this giant Christmas pudding sized bump wasn’t enough of a reminder. Slowing down and taking things easy are not really sentences that I use in my hectic life where everything tends to be full speed ahead. How can it be any other way with two active little ones and working!! I even felt bad for L this week as I haven’t managed the housework! Not that she cares it’s just me being an idiot. If somebody has the magic answers to balance it all please send them my way.
Meanwhile we are fully immersed in festive events with the girls who are super excited for christmas. This is the first year when they have shown any interest in this season and it makes it so magical. We’ve been doing something Christmassy every weekend I think that’s probably why the time is going so fast. Isn’t it great using the elf and Santa as an extra bribing tool. We got G to eat shepherds pie the other night playing on the fear that Jupiter the elf would tell Santa if she didn’t. Who knows what we will do in January.
Last weekend the girls had festive face paints, a trip to see Santa and then put the Christmas trees up. Obviously we’ve designated a kid tree and a good tree (for in the good room) so that we don’t get antsy about how it’s decorated. We also made Christmas cards with their hand and footprints to give out to family and my work as I was hosting an afternoon tea for the elderly this week and I wanted it to have a really personal touch. The girls loved doing them and I think I handled the mess of the paint all over our lovely kitchen quite well. Not neurotic at all. Little chaotic one was so cute trying to clean G’s foot. It was a real warming memory swiftly followed by a bold reminder never to leave them unattended with some bright green paint on our new wooden floor. Not even for 30 seconds.
The afternoon tea at work was really wonderful and one of the reasons I love my job so much. We had 30 elderly folk over at the station for a ridiculous amount of cake and tea followed by a Carol service. They all seemed to enjoy themselves and it felt so good to give something back to the community especially at this time of year when some people feel very lonely and isolated. Although I totally overdid it and I’m feeling it today, I’m still beaming from them telling me I only looked 25 and was too young to have 3 children. Might need to recommend they get their eyes tested.
I was actually 35 last week. 35! I don’t know where time is going. I hope I make it to 99 like one of the men I met at the tea party. L really struggled with my birthday as she felt really limited on what we could do. It was the weekend I had been in hospital so since I was meant to be resting she cancelled the sky diving and cocktails! I think she was more disappointed about it than me as I really enjoyed the day beginning with the girls opening my presents then a special meal out just the two of us. Supposedly she has BIG plans for next year when she is excited that she “will have her Katy back”. What she is referring to is me being pregnant at my 31st and 32nd birthday, breastfeeding on my 33rd and pregnant again on my 35th. It’s been a few years dedicated to child rearing but it has absolutely flown by. Excited to see what she has planned but got a pretty busy year before now and then!!!
That was one of two options we’ve just been given from our fertility clinic. Either that or pay to continue with sperm storage. There could be more pleasant topics of conversation, since we are both sperm dodgers, but we had to consider our options.
In all honesty I would’ve preferred not to have to even think about this right now and wait until our baby is here (or a few weeks after that as postnatally I’m a hormonal disaster from cheerful, grateful new mum who is coping well to uncontrollable ugly crying, snot faced mess who can’t remember my name or if I’ve changed my underwear) and discuss it rationally and logically and then pass on our decision, but the timing is based on when we originally put that sperm in our online shopping basket and every year we have to decide if we want to pay to keep it frozen or not.
On the positive, discussing it did make us realise that we were both thinking the same thing and we both agree with our decision. L has been avoiding the subject for months as she wants to get rid of it and she was worried I’d feel otherwise. She even suggested selling it at a car boot sale as long as we don’t keep it. I don’t blame her I mean it’s premium sperm – look at the beautiful babies it creates!!! Obviously I’ll take a bit of credit for that too.
It opens up discussions no-one would want to have right now. I’m almost into the 8th month of pregnancy and our baby isn’t here yet. The awful thoughts of what if something went wrong now would we want to try again? Would we ever feel like it was the right thing to do? It doesn’t bear thinking about. IVF was so much hard work so I definitely wouldn’t be up for that again, plus if something bad happened with this pregnancy neither of us would fair very well. We both would like to have 3 children and that’s what we have right now. This little baby inside of me says hello every single day reminding me they are there when I’m too preoccupied with work or hectic times with our family, so to me they are here. I know them a little already and I’m sure it’s a girl. We’ve even started referring to the bump as a she and have only managed to agree on a girls name which is another thing we need to discuss. So we do have the 3 children we wanted. Decision made.
One thing we are certain of is we definitely don’t want 4 tiny humans. L would not entertain that idea. I would be divorced before I knew it and I’m feeling so worn out that it’s simply not an option. In a way it’s good for me to get that clear in my head now as after the birth each time I’ve felt an overwhelming need to have another baby. It’s like mother nature going crazy on me and that my duty as a women is to simply create these tiny blond-haired, blue-eyed babies. I put it down to the hormones as even now life is getting easier with the girls (well apart from chaotic not sleeping and hitting terrible two’s with a giant thud) but they are getting older, and understand more, so even this baby will be a shock to the system for us both. Admittedly, in the back of my mind, I do wonder if I’ll feel differently once the little one has arrived but I need to remind myself that there is more to me than just being a baby allotment and a mum. Which is easier said than done as for the last 5 years I’ve been pregnant or breastfeeding parts of each year so it’s become my norm and my comfort zone. L wants me back to being Katy and not just a mum and so do I. So I’ve just got to work out how to be both.
So that’s it. The confirmation has been sent and we’ve agreed to let the sperm perish. So, thank you donor sperm you’ve been amazing and helped us create some beautiful tiny humans but your job here is done. No more Robson-Malone babies after this one. I’m not sure the world could cope with another one of these characters. And my uterus is definitely closed for business from 2018.
What a start to the day as I was woken abruptly by the chaotic one. She’s the only person I know who is ready to start the day as soon as her eyes open. She certainly does not get that from me. L asked if she’d had a can of coke in her cot this morning as she was bouncing round the room like Tigger. Frog in a blender – bit like my dancing when I’ve had too many Apple sours. I could only open one eye at that point. It was all too much for 530am. TGI Friday.
Today’s the day I get to book both of the kids into nursery to get the house jobs done and steal a few minutes to myself to blog and eat cake. Sssh don’t tell L! Sometimes I feel guilty for booking extra sessions for the girls especially when I have friends who don’t even take the nursery up on the free hours when their child is 3 and they don’t work and here’s me working and then also booking them in on my days off. Trust me though I’m much better for it later when I’ve got the jobs done and I can concentrate on the girls and relax about the house. I guess it’s about getting that balance.
So to make the most of the 3 hours (technically 2hrs 30 mins once I’ve dropped them there and got back and then returned for them) I decided we had enough time to go and do the grocery shop before the drop off. I promised I would cook for L tomorrow night as I haven’t done anything special for a while so I needed ingredients plus have you been to the supermarket on a Saturday? Geepers it’s hideous.
So I bundled the kids in the car and sped my way round to the shops. G was loving my singing but I’m not entirely sure “Staceys Mom” is the most appropriate tune to be belting out for their tiny ears. Sorry but not sorry!
It was like supermarket sweep racing round the shop skidding round the corners. I especially loved how Vodka was second on the list before the essentials like bread and milk. L is knocking up some winter speciality with werthers originals for a girlie get together. I wasn’t 100% sure what size bottle of vodka I should be buying at 850am so I went for the biggest that way if anybody thought it inappropriate with the two kids in tow and me being pregnant they’d think I was really bad and not just a little bit wreckless.
I gave the Xmas pudding aisle a dirty look as I passed it after consuming a whole one last week. All 1372 calories of it. I felt ill. I am still annoyed at L as she didn’t even try and stop me but she said I was enjoying myself so that’s all that matters. Poor baby will have been high as a kite on sugar and rum!
So after the nursery drop and unpacking the shopping I now have about 90 minutes to do the cleaning, change the beds and get at it with Henry on the carpet and make the place look beautiful for the weekend. Following that, lunch with a friend then G’s first swimming lesson going solo where I’m expecting tears and tantrums and that’s just me never mind the 2 year old I will have with me who will be wholly unreasonable when I try and explain she’s not swimming today and her lesson was Wednesday. I plan to pack all of our swimming attire just in case a) chaotic decides to jump in in protest b) it’s my only negotiating strategy when it all goes belly up.
And if I survive until 7pm without consuming my whole body weight in cake then pudding club will commence which I am the honorary member (or only member) but it’s what gets me through the day.
So we are back from our quick week in Spain and now I need a holiday to get over the holiday. The girls had a ball but what was I thinking when I packed a book to read when I got some chill time???
The small chaotic one decided she didn’t much like sleep on foreign soil so the first 3 nights at least became musical beds with at worst 8 wake ups before morning. So that meant we would need to take shifts sleeping when we were both exhausted anyway. The sleep battles began and the tetchy little arguments about who has had the most sleep and who is the most tired were frequent. Sleep top trumps we call it.
I used to think it was cute hearing “my mummy” from the little one until it echoed round the fully tiled spanish holiday home in the wee hours. Now I dislike it a lot. It sends shivers through my body.
Thankfully the week was just about being together, getting some sunshine and no real plans and this we did have. That’s normally boring for me as I like to have places to go and see and activities to keep me occupied but I think we were both so burnt out we didn’t care much for anything.
We were almost burnt in other ways when unexpectedly the gas bbq set on fire. Normally that would be no big deal to me when I turn up with a few colleagues, wearing fire gear and with a truck full of water but when you’re 5 and a half months pregnant in your swim suit, without a hose, it’s a whole different matter. Even tried calling the bomberos for assistance but they put me on hold for 3 minutes while they found an English speaking call handler. Unbelievable. Finally managed to put it out but still had the faulty cylinder to deal with which was still leaking and needless to say our steak was well done. As I shrugged it off as just another day at the office L was quite shocked by it all. The girls were just laughing not realising the seriousness of it but it frightened L so we are definitely not getting a gas bbq next year. Wouldn’t be a holiday for us if there wasn’t some sort of drama!!
Highlight of the week had to be high fiving each other when we made it through 3 whole courses at a lovely restaurant with the kids. That’s an epic achievement for us. Thank goodness for fully charged ipads and attentive waiting staff. Plus the food was amazing as an added bonus.
The girls were awesome on their flights to and from Spain but we had an epic journey back as we were on L’s staff travel and all of the Spanish routes were busy. We had a 5 hour drive to Madrid then a few hours messing about at the airport before we finally boarded our plane. By that point toddler pants had had enough and lay screaming on the floor of the plane refusing to move. We were past caring by this point as the passengers and staff looked on probably wishing we would disappear with our unruly child or at least control her. So although staff travel has many perks, which I am so grateful for, 13 hours for what would normally be a 2 hour flight was hard work.
We need to learn that we shouldn’t go on holiday and that perhaps staycation is the future. If it wasn’t for needing that little dose of winter sunshine I think we would be convinced but by the looks of L’s tan I think there will be more foreign adventures to come. Next one will be with a 4 year old, 2 year old and a 3 month old. Yikes.
That’s it I’ve now passed the halfway point of pregnancy!! Wahoo! It’s only 18 weeks to go until we meet baby no. 3 and find out if they are as a chaotic as no. 2 and if it’s a boy or girl. G has taken quite a protective role over my bump as the chaotic one tries to sit on it!
Early pregnancy seemed to go on forever since I’d started my treatment back in March and then there was the horrific ‘I’m so sick of myself’ sickness which lasted until about 12 weeks. Since then time has been flying over. Definitely the quickest pregnancy EVER. Mainly because I keep forgetting I’m pregnant and when people ask how far along I am I have to give a pretty vague reply of “5 months I think”. Then later I check the calendar just to be sure.
I’ll never forget when pregnant with my first and going to see the doctor for a check up I was asked how far along I was. I sat there all prompt with my notes in a little plastic folder “33 weeks, 2 days” without any hesitation. The doctor said “you’ll have to double check by the time you get to your second” and I looked at her weirdly thinking oh my goodness how on earth can you possibly not know how far along you are. What an arse I was! I now can smell a first child pregnant person from a mile off from their cute little plastic wallets with their notes in and their smiley well rested faces while I turn up late for my appointments, sometimes with both kids in tow, scrambling around in my bag for the notes that I’m sure I had in there whilst praying I’ve packed a stash of those sugary biscuits I would never feed my child to keep them quiet in the waiting room. I’ve gone from pregnancy super geek goody two shoes to barely getting through the day mum of three in less than 4 years and the bags under my eyes prove it. I’m literally just winging it so it’s damn good job I have a wonderful support network around me to help with the fallout as there has been plenty.
I’m not sure if it’s the pregnancy hormones or the tiredness or a combo of both but I waited over an hour for my consultants appointment yesterday and my patience level was probably on par with L. The receptionist had already got an eye roll from me as I arrived in a rush busting for a wee. I legged it to the bathroom then came back and checked in for the appointment and she said leave your urine sample over there. I explained I’d actually just emptied my bladder and she waved her hand furiously at the sign which clearly states that you have to do that which I clearly missed as I was dragging the 2 year old to the nearest toilet hoping I didn’t cough or sneeze and let my bladder explode down my legs. My response was “that’s not really helping me now”. Okay okay so obviously she was just doing her job but come on woman you could’ve just said it’ll be forever for your appointment so just go get yourself a couple of glasses of water and leave a sample before you go. Nothing winds up a person more than being kept waiting more than an hour for an appointment when you have your 2 year old in tow and you’ve ran out of biscuits and there’s no signal for you tube. That’s how to really push my buttons. Secretly I was just annoyed with myself as I should really know the crack by now 3 kids in.
At the scan everything was smashing with the baby. We got a really clear picture which the girls were very excited about when we showed them. The sonographer found my placenta to be low but they’ll just recheck it nearer the time so nothing to worry about. We were divided on finding out what we we were having. L wanted to as she is rubbish with waiting for surprises and patience is not her strong point but me, I didn’t want to find out. Admittedly, I had a bit of a wobble in there that day but now I’m glad we didn’t find out. We can now keep annoying ourselves with the “do you think it’s a boy/girl?” questions. Although that does mean we need two names and we don’t have one yet! It’s hard trying to pick a name. I’m adamant it’s a girl. I’ve got a gut feeling and i’d be very surprised if it was a boy. So i’m researching more girls names than boys. Finding something that goes with our girls names and doesn’t annoy you or sound like some chavvy kid, is proving quite difficult. We also have to consider how it sounds with both a southern and northern twang as that can make something go from sounding quite classy to a fish wife down the quay and we don’t need that!
This week we are being booted out of our house while the floor is laid so it was timed perfectly as we have a week in Spain at our friends villa. We need this holiday so much, especially L. She’s been so busy with work working all hours we’ve hardly spent anytime together as a family and the times we are together we are so busy completing some crazy task related to the house project. It’ll be great to get away from it all where we can do nothing but relax and spend some quality time together. The girls are so excited to get on a plane and have their own swimming pool. I was slightly embarrassed (secretly proud of what L provides for us) that our 3 year old said “mummy sleep in the bed on the plane?” Assuming that everytime we travel now we get on beds on the plane. She’s 3 years old and she’s already accustomed to travelling in style all thanks to L. Let’s hope she’s not disapponted with a regular upright seat. What a diva! Wonder who she gets that from?!
It’s only this week where I have actually felt pregnant as well. That feeling when you sit down and your belly pushes up to your massive boobs and you’re just all a bit uncomfortable. Plus regular clothes aren’t fitting but still the maternity clothes are too big. Today I’m dressed in my dungarees and I can’t decide if I look like a total lesbian, a pregnant woman or an extra life-size minion. L thinks I look like I’m a painter and decorator about to quote for a job and just need a pencil behind my ear. I’m not overly concerned as it has expandable buttons so I can eat more cake. Everybody needs these in their lives.