Tuesday, 4 December 2012

New home

We moved over here http://mydeafchef.wordpress.com/

Come say hi back.


Wednesday, 3 October 2012

William the Conqueror

We are three days into nursery and Will is LOVING it.

My emotions are ridiculous. Every day I have left him he has hugged me, waved goodbye and not seemed bothered at all by my departure. Which is what I would want, you would think. And it is. And I am happy. Except for this small (large) part of me that wants him to be sad to see me go, wants him to miss me as much as I miss him.

But I didn't have children to keep them at home with me forever. I didn't have children for them to miss me. I had children for them to go out and conquer the world, starting with conquering 3 mornings a week at a nursery close to home.

Friday, 28 September 2012

There is no such thing as too tired for ice cream

All grown up

My baby starts nursery on Monday.

I am sure I don't need to tell you how I am feeling about this. He is my baby. 

We have been leading up to this day for what feels like forever and I think I am as prepared as I can be. I am almost, almost, looking forward to it. I know that he will love it and I know that it will do him a world of good. And I know that I am in the minority of Mums having had him all to myself for a whole two and a half years so I should be grateful I didn't have to do this sooner.

The nursery is a 10 minute walk from the house. He's not even there every day, just three days a week. And even then it's only the mornings. Three mornings a week. And he's two and a half. He needs it. And I need it.


But he's my baby.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

The day he said no

My William amazes me on a daily basis. As you all know he has been in and out of doctors offices and hospitals since he was a few weeks old. He has been prodded and poked and pestered. And he has always complied. He sits on my knee peacefully. He raises his shirt before the doctor has got the stethoscope into their ears. He takes out his hearing aids as soon as he sees the otoscope. He turns his head once one ear is done. And remember the blood test? Oh my heart.

Each and every appointment we have, I come away feeling proud to have such a good, patient patient.

But today was different.

Today he didn't want the wires in his ears. Today he didn't want to play the game. He didn't want to sit on his own and he didn't want to sit on my knee. He didn't want to listen.

And he made this all very clear.

So today I left the hospital exhausted. More exhausted that normal but also much more proud than normal too. I didn't even know it was possible but it's true.

Good on him for saying no. I am so proud that on today, when he was more tired than usual and was fed up of being tested, he let us all know. It's such a draining process for all of us and each and every time I want to scream and shout "NO". I want to stamp my feet and cry and get up off the chair and leave. I don't because I am a grown up and normally his behaviour would make you think he is a grown up too.

But today he acted like a child.

And I love him all the more for it. 

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

18 again. Again.

Way back in January I guest posted on Chosen Chaos with a letter to my 18 year old self. Now Jamie has got together everyone that did the same in one awesome party. Click on the link to come and join in. Bring a bottle!

Before you go, have a read of what I would say to my 18 year old self and have a think what you would say to yours...


There are a few things that I would like you to fig­ure out sooner than you end up doing so lis­ten hard please.

No seri­ously, put the beer down, pay attention. Your body is amaz­ing. It is going to build actual peo­ple. Actual, liv­ing, think­ing, feel­ing, won­der­ful peo­ple. And then it is going to feed them so they grow big and strong and loved. AM-AZ-ING. Sure it doesn’t do the best job in the world, it misses some bits off but that makes those peo­ple more spe­cial, not you any less spe­cial, although it will take you a while to fig­ure that out too. My point is don’t give it such a hard time because it isn’t exactly how you would like it to be. Your thighs are not the size of a rhi­nos and the size of your boobs is not as impor­tant as you think right now. The fact that they can sus­tain life - that is what is impor­tant. In about 2 years time your obses­sion with your weight and diet­ing and try­ing to look like what really would only resem­ble a stick is going to come to a head. It’s going to be messy. There are going to be tears and drama and drugs and pro­fes­sion­als and rela­tion­ship break­downs that will never recover. Phys­i­cally you will get over it but emo­tion­ally not so much. So how about we just skip that bit and start appre­ci­at­ing your body now? Yeah? Cool, OK.

Men. They won’t make you feel bet­ter about your­self. Stop pick­ing ones you know you can’t have. I know that you think it is eas­ier to be in these casual, fleet­ing rela­tion­ships. But you are wrong friend, wrong. Have some respect for your­self please and move on when you realise they are no good, don’t try and change them or help them, or worse, per­suade them that they are inter­ested. They are not worth your time, energy and tears. One day, when you think you will be left on the shelf for­ever (ridicu­lous at 24!) you will meet some­one that won’t let you off with a casual rela­tion­ship. Some­one who stalks you until you agree to go on a date (sounds scarier than it is, there is this web­site called Face­book that has some­how made stalk­ing not only OK, but pretty stan­dard — weird I know, but what can I say, the world changes in the next 10 years). Someone that gen­uinely likes you for who you are. Some­one who can see all the things you can’t. Some­one whose favourite thing about you is how much you can make him laugh, not how skinny or suc­cess­ful or drunk you are. Some­one that will turn out to be your soul mate. Yes, yes, I know you don’t believe in all that ‘the one’ non­sense, I am still scep­ti­cal myself but hon­estly — you are won­der­ful together, I don’t see how any­one else could fit so per­fectly with you. So now you know he’s com­ing, just wait patiently right? Avoid all those other jok­ers and in turn avoid all that heartache.

So that’s what you do wrong but now we have sorted those let’s talk about what you did right.

Travel. Do it. Leave home, go to the other side of the world. Then go back and then go away again. The expe­ri­ences you will have won’t all be good but the lessons you learn will be and the friend­ships you make, even the ones that don’t last will stay with you for­ever. And it comes in handy when you meet that man we were talk­ing about — he’s not exactly a small town guy. Or a one town guy. You’ll see.

Go to school, to 6th form and to uni­ver­sity and get your­self an edu­ca­tion. The qual­i­fi­ca­tions them­selves will mean lit­tle in the end mainly because you make a ter­ri­ble choice of what to study for your degree but you know what? You get that 2:1 so it’s not all bad. And as you always said, it was too much to ask you to make that deci­sion at 18. The peo­ple you meet and the expe­ri­ences you have make it all worth­while. Friends for life every­one said before you went and they were right.

Love, laugh, drink and be merry. Cry, learn, grow. Be strong, be weak. Be a good friend. Be your­self. Don’t be ashamed or afraid.

So there you go. In the next 10 years you are going to expe­ri­ence highs higher than you ever knew pos­si­ble and lows like you would not believe but that’s adult­hood for you. You are going to learn some hard lessons so it would make life eas­ier if you just got those first two I men­tioned out the way. But remem­ber this — you are lucky. You are lucky to have a body that works and is healthy. You are lucky to be able to travel around half the world and see the things you get to see. You are lucky to have the oppor­tu­ni­ties you have had and will have. You are lucky to fall in love with some­one so amaz­ing and be able to have chil­dren. Some­times you lose sight of this, try not to.

One last thing — when you go out tonight, how about doing just the one shot of sam­bucca instead of 6? No? OK, well don’t say I didn’t warn you, tomor­row is going to hurt.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Birth Story

When I had Will, my first born, I went into hospital on a Friday night after having contractions since the Thursday morning. They were close together and I was struggling with the pain. I was only 2 centimetres dilated. I started off in the birth centre but was moved to the labour ward when his heart rate dropped. Over the following 24 hours his heart stopped three times. I had two epidurals, my waters were broken for me, I was continually monitored, put on a syntocin drip to speed things up and ended up having an episiotomy and he was dragged out of me using a ventouse. He was fine and I was fine but it was a traumatic start to parenting, not least for my partner, Shaun who had felt utterly helpless watching it all happen. So, when we fell pregnant again the birth was a huge mental barrier for both of us.
Harriet's birth, however, was a glorious experience for both of us. It could not have been more different to Will's and I am certain it is because we did a course in Hypnobirthing. Hynpobirthing meant that we worked as a couple throughout the pregnancy to connect with each other and the baby. We dealt with our anxieties about the birth and felt like a team going in to it. Contractions started at 5.30am on a Wednesday. I had had some contractions on the Monday that had disappeared after a few hours, was expecting the same to happen again and so sent Shaun off to work and went about our normal day. When Will went down for his midday nap I settled into bed to do the same. I listened to my hypnobirthing and managed to drift off. After 20 minutes my contractions woke me up and I knew if I couldn't sleep through them then things must be progressing. I called Shaun and told him not to rush home but not to be home late. We spent the afternoon at the Banc with some Mums who were due around the same time as me. Having Will to chase after was a welcome distraction! When we were putting Will to bed at around 7.30pm I was having to hold onto the new babies cot to steady myself through the contractions but was still managing the pain well. I cooked and ate a massive roast dinner and sat down to watch One Born Every Minute! I very soon realised that I couldn't concentrate on TV and went and ran a bath. In the bath I read my affirmations and tried to concentrate on the breathing techniques we had learnt. I was in the bath an hour or so and Shaun was keen for us to get to the hospital. I was coping well with the pain and was so desperate to avoid being told I was only a few centimetres dilated again, I wanted to stay at home. Shaun was reading the Hypnobirthing book and said that I would know when the time to go to hospital was. I scoffed at this because I had got it so wrong last time and didn't understand how I would know. Then something happened. All of a sudden I knew. I had to get out the bath and we had to get to the hospital. The breathing techniques and affirmations were no longer working. We called a friend to come and stay to watch Will and then called a taxi. The poor taxi driver. I had my head out the window like a puppy and was screaming profanities with every contraction. Between them I kept reminding myself to apologise to him but then another one would come and I would be off again. He wouldn't drive through the barrier at The Whittington and so I had to walk through the car park. It took me 4 contractions and then another 3 to get down to the birth centre. By chance the midwife on duty was the same one that had delivered Will. She rushed us into a room and said she needed to examine me before I could have any of the drugs I was begging her for. I had an overwhelming urge to hold onto Shaun's shoulders and sort of hang off him and as I did my waters broke. The midwife managed to get me onto the bed, examined me and said "Alison, you are fully dilated, all you need to do is push". They are the best words I have ever heard. I wanted her to say it over and over again! I had some gas and air to help with the contractions but it meant I no longer had the urge to push and so after a minute or two they took it off me. It took four pushes to get her head out and just one to get out her body. She was 10lbs and I gave birth with no drugs and no stitches. It was the most painful thing I have ever experienced but the most exhilarating and wonderful too. I have nothing but positive memories from it.