Friday, June 27, 2014

Glastonbury Live

Here I am, 32 weeks pregnant and watching Kaiser Chiefs play live at Glastonbury. 

It's mental.

(watching from the comfort of the sofa and without a queue for the loo is ideal).

Monday, June 23, 2014

Proud as punch

Hey Leo, you're about to pass the marker of 3 years and 3 months and I cannot believe all the truly beautiful things you can do.  You, little guy, are amazing and as parents we're as proud as punch.

In no particular order:-
  • Travel on a plane
  • Journey in a car for up to 8 hours without too much of an issue
  • Ride a train in style
  • Sit on the top deck and at the front of a double decker bus
  • Paddle a kayak around a friend's outdoor swimming pool
  • Travel on the foot board of the vespa
  • Smash plastic balls with your plastic golf club in quick succession
  • Dribble and kick a football
  • Bounce on a trampoline without a net with a wicked bounce
  • Will say, 'excuse me' (or on a bad day - move out of the way)
  • Bob about in a pool with your floaty jacket on
  • Ride your bike all on your own
  • Use your imagination with clarity and beauty
  • Climb the wall at the park with just those little moulded rocks to hold on to
  • Bat a ball
  • Laugh like a drain
  • Rocket down the scary tube slide (you refused to do this until a month ago)
  • Traverse the zig zag frame that's high off the ground at the park
  • Mimic riding a motorbike
  • Sleep through the night (apart from when you rise at 5am - that really doesn't count)
  • After finishing your meal you'll ask, 'please can I get down'
  • Scoot barefoot on your scooter with wild abandon
  • Are becoming a little more generous with sharing (upon reflection we're still working on this)
  • Can drink half a litre of banana milk in seconds flat
  • Identify all those wild animals that cruise the landscape of your home in Africa
  • Talk with your eyes

You still have a blonde streak, but hey, that's absolutely OK.  It means in our eyes you're not 100% bullet proof and that suits us just fine, because if you were you wouldn't need us and that is not up for question.  Ever.

We love you.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Letting it out

I guess the easiest explanation for the post below (11.6.14) is that life sometimes appears to be one big cluster fuck.  Being able to let it out through writing helps, it's like pulling the weeds from the flowers so that the picture becomes more attractive, or maybe just less grubby. 

More for my own mindset than anything else, I'll let the words roll;


When I had the cervical stitch in March there was one obvious blinding omission from theatre.  I didn't see a single female nurse or female clerk within the room and this issue has started to bother me fiercely.  I do not believe that any woman who is about to undergo surgery should have to do so without the presence of a professional woman in the room.  The male register who took me to theatre made me feel uncomfortable and more so when he loosened my gown and stuck the stickers to my upper chest to attach the monitors to.  When the anaesthetist struck a nerve in my lower back the same nurse asked me to rest my head against his chest and inhale deeply.  When he placed his hands on my shoulders that was when I started to cry. 

I have since been given the relevant hospital details of who to address the letter to.  It's a letter I should have written weeks ago.


A channel 4 documentary hosted by Amanda Holden (a British celebratory who has suffered a miscarriage and stillbirth) revealed NHS hospitals have burned '15,500 babies under 24wks old as clinical waste since 2012'.  I watched the episode from between my fingers and an article on the program can be found here Dispatches  Disturbingly one of the hospitals featured was Ipswich, the hospital where I gave birth to Ella and Leo and it's the hospital where I plan to have this pregnancy.  To quote; 'Ipswich Hospital Trust said it was concerned to discover that fetal remains from another hospital had been incinerated on its site. It said the facility is run on its behalf by a private contractor.  A spokeswoman said: “The Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust does not incinerate fetal remains.”

These details quietly haunt me.  The stronger part of my self wants to ask questions about babies stillborn or miscarried in 2008, but the fragile part wants nothing to do with the further heartache this could unearth and is the option I prefer.


My sister and I recently met up with our dad to ask him some questions that have been swirling around in our conversations since we were young, mainly, 'why did you leave us for another woman?'  We were 8 and 5 years old respectively when he walked out on us and our mother to move in with the woman he had been having an affair with and who he subsequently married.  Now that Abby and I have families of our own certain questions have been pressing on our subconscious, and after so long they have needed to be asked.  We love the man, but he can be a bugger.  As we spoke he sat with his hands in a prayer-like position, close to his mouth, tapping his index fingers together and in true form denied any wrong doing and didn't see there was anything to be sorry for.  As a father how can that be?  Without having to discuss it with a psychologist we pretty much know why...but we've hit a nerve and it's only a matter of time before we meet for round 2.

His hard attitude has always encouraged me to try to be a better person, and in recent years it's encouraged me to be a much greater parent.


Chris flew into the UK to see Leo and I on the 23rd May.  We had 2 weeks of good times planned but before the first week was up we discovered our lodge manager was leaving.  Imminently.  To put it simply he couldn't stand the heat and not just metaphorically.  His relationship had failed with his girlfriend (who had left the month before) and whilst we were in the process of interviewing for a replacement couple he spectacularly pulled the plug.  With this news Chris was on a plane back to Uganda within 24hrs.  At first I was OK with him having to rearrange his plans and then last week I was angry.  Angry at how we had been cheated by a couple who'd bent the rules of our business  and angry that Chris had to leave us, Leo especially, after just one short week because of their actions.  Fortunately with Chris's professionalism and the support of great friends and strong staff the wheels have remained firmly on and the lodge is excelling. 

We have a new couple (this time they're married and experienced) due to start next month.  The relief is like nectar.


I've hit week 30 of this pregnancy and what of our growing baby?  I had a 28 week consultation booked for the end of May which coincided magically with Chris's visit.  The sonographer still wasn't able to confirm if we are expecting a girl or a boy due to the upside down and legs together position our floating Buddha, but everything looked good.  Maybe a little too good - the measurements show a large head and a large stomach tipping up and over the curved line on the graph paper.  There are now regular ripples of movement beneath my taught skin and like an African mama the extra weight I'm carrying is starting to thrust my stomach forward and butt back.  My spine is feeling the strain, but it's part of a cherished territory so I'm thankful - even when all I want to do is to lie on a sofa, stretch out my enlarged limbs and have the cushions take the full force of my increasing orb. 

When I stop to reflect it's the simple fact Leo and I are not able to share this precious time with Chris that makes me sad.  But we do what we do right now because it's what we have to do, even though that equation doesn't make Chris's return for the 31st July come any faster.


And as for Leo - he's the brilliant dude who holds us all together on this journey.


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

It's like the World Cup in my head

There are those pregnant days when it's enough to be getting out of bed, arming a toddler with a mouthful of toast, grabbing a cup of tea and scooting to the park all before the rubbish trucks roar into town.  Usually I can do the above whilst balancing a bowl of fruit and cereal in one hand and checking emails with the other; alongside tidying the flat, penning 'jobs still to do' across sheets of paper, coupled with having the most mystifying conversations with a very funny 3 year old about poo, wee and tractors.

But just recently I've felt blindsided by what life still has shoved up her sleeve to throw at me, which means the normal stuff is often eclipsed by crappy stuff.  Do you have those days?  Days when you just want to slam a hand on the pause button, run your hands through your knotty hair and say, 'fuck it'.  Because no matter how hopeful I am on the end game, my pregnancy past still hovers along the pitch like a hungry dog when at the same time the present shoves stumbling blocks ahead of me like logs rolling off the back of a flat bed truck.

I ain't no Pele, but as we tiptoe into week 30 I'm trying not take my eye off the ball for a second.