Posts tagged babies one year apart
Theobug at 1

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My goodness.  It breaks my heart in ways I didn't know were possible when I think about the fact that Theo turns one today.  The immensity of the last year and the suddeness of his arrival in our lives.  I can not believe I cried so much over such a joyous boy. 

But there you go, whether I want it to hapen or not, he is 1. Fun and funny.  Full of bounce and energy.  His greatest loves are food and his family. I look at him some days and I feel like I don't know him at all and other times, it seems like he was always here, practicing his love of throwing, kissing and climbing for as long as I have been a mama. 

 

 

Ebb and Flow

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I am not quite sure when or where I lost it, but it appears (at least temporarily) that my creative energy is on a low. These ups and downs are normal and, when I look back over the last year, I am surprised it didn't happen sooner. In fact, I am surprised I am still standing after it all.  

Truth be told, I am finding everything difficult at the minute.  When I was pregnant with Theo, I couldn't imagine harder work than a newborn and a 1 year old (plus a 4 year old). I can confirm that a busy (almost) 1 year old and a crazy (almost) 2 year old combined with a very spirited (almost) 5 year old is much much harder.  I calculated the other day I was being yelled at for 23 hours of the day.  TWENTY THREE HOURS. Yes, it was a bad day, but not that far off of normal.  I spend most days counting down the moments until Kevin walks in the door. 2 hours is a long time...8 is longer.  

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I love my children desperately.  They are hands down the best thing in my life. However, the truth is that I can't help but at times resent them. They (rightly) ask so very much of me that I end up giving far beyond my capacity to do so.  Many days, it leaves me so utterly drained that I can barely speak--instead my words come out in sharp snarls and shouts. Empty and grumpy, I drop into my bed for a few hours sleep before the endless cycle of waking begins.

There are days that I have to fight every urge in my body not to pack a bag and walk away.  Get on a plane. Go somewhere where the sun shines.  But of course I stay. Sometimes its because I love them and I know I would be lost without them, sometimes its because I am too tired to walk to the train station.

It is against this tide that creativity must flow and it is hard.  If I can't even hold a conversation, algebra for sizing or energy for making isn't there either. Work splutters along and the seasonal slow down in orders comes both as a welcome relief and a worry. There was a time that I would have worried more.  That I would have thought that this was it...my life, my creativity was just this.  Experience tells me otherwise. In a few weeks, this will be a memory and I will be back on the high.

 

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But for now, I will be grateful for it being Friday:  A day with an empty house and a date with a ball of yarn and a crochet hook (plus all of the cheesy movies I can handle on Netflix). 

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- card by Katie Daisy

 

Bringing the Crazy
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Aren't these sweet? I am not really into the whole Cath Kidston floral and polka dots thing, but I saw these in a charity shop and had to have them.  They sung to me and at £4, unmissable. 

They were supposed to be £4.50, but I had all 3 children with me, creating havoc with the shop and as I was paying. Georgia was trying to climb into a tub of scarves, Ellis was playing swords next to the ceramic egg cups and Theo was screaming.  When I couldn't easily find the extra 50p, the shop attendant waved her hand to say forget it.

That happens to us a lot.

I have never been organised. I am great at other things, totally crap at organisation.  I always thought/hoped that motherhood would bring out a ruthless efficiency hidden somewhere within me.  Uh, er, nope.  Not a sausage.

In fact, the level of crazy we bring with us as a family of five is starting to become awe-inspiring.  In the last week, I have forgotten nappies 3 times when we've gone out for a few hours.  How many children do I have? 3. How many are in nappies? 2. How long have I had at least one child in nappies? Almost 5.

My friends are very tolerant.  They sigh and hand over their spare wipes/nappies/drinks/snacks/change, knowing that I am good on my debts...or we just confound them with our craziness and dazzle them with our smiles.

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A couple of catchy- up type things:

- I have released the North Sea Herringbone Hat pattern for free.  It is here.  My 3rd pattern for knitting! Woo-hoo!

- I am in the process of a big bloggy overhaul.  Liz from Violet Posy is sorting out some layout issues and I am going back through and recategorising my old blog posts and creating sections for patterns, etc.  Please bear with me. There are likely to be new logos and a new banner as well.

- I have set the date for my first crochet workshop on the 25th of Feb called Crochet and Cupcakes.  Places are booking up quickly, so if you are interested I urge you to book soon.  I will be running more workshops, both beginners courses and on specialist days on hat design, flowers and cabled crochet, so watch out for those.

Unfailingly Positive

 

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When I tell you, or you guess, that baby number 3 is on the way, you will not hear me say, "We're going to have our hands full."

When you realise that the babies will be one year apart, my lips will not utter "I'm not sure how we will cope."

When I indicate you we are not moving from our small 2 bedroom house, I will not show you that I am not sure where we will put them all.

When you ask "how are you coping?", you will only hear me say, "Fine.  Tired but fine"

You see, I know how people look for the chinks in the armour.  Stories are better when they are dramatic, when there is a damsel in distress.  I ain't no damsel and I am certainly not in distress.  I know, because I remember the gasps when telling and retelling similar tales of oh-so-closely spaced children.

And so, you will find me being positive.  Unfailingly so. 

 

A Tale of Two Babies

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Baby A was born at 35 weeks gestation, without the ability to coordinate sucking.  The first few weeks of his life were spent with his mother in tears attempting to breastfeed on a rigid 3 hourly schedule of try to breastfeed, top baby up with a cup of breastmilk or formula and then pump milk for 30minutes, all to begin again 3 hours later.

Baby B was born at full term, breastfed beautifully within an hour of being born, and other than being quite a sicky baby, never an issue with breastfeeding.

Which baby was being formula fed at 6 months and which one breastfed until over the age of 2?

Its a bit of a trick question, isn't it? All evidence points to baby A, Ellis, but of course the answer is B, Georgia.

As my pregnancy progresses, my milk supply is dropping, no matter what I do. Normal rules of breastfeeding fall in the face of the hormones that govern a pregnant body.  I was told this was a liklihood.  While many women who are pregnant with older babies and toddlers are able to breastfeed successfully whilst pregnant, most experts in the area warned that such a young baby is still 100% dependent on my milk for nutrition and a drop in supply would have to be compensated with formula.

I had hoped I would be lucky, that my supply would be ok.  Weeks of Georgia wanting to feed every 45 minutes then sobbing at the breast plus a steep drop in weight centiles that coincided with my pregnancy told me the truth.  She needs formula supplementation.  

And so, special formula was organised and she's taken to it fine.  I, on the other hand, am not so fine--but I will be.  Mixed feeding is working for now and the future is looked at purely on a day by day basis.  A couple of bottles a day satisfy her hunger and she is back to her lovely, happy self.  The formula stinks to high heaven, but it is what she needs.

I get it now--the guilt women feel when they want to breastfeed, but can't.  Innocent comments from friends send hot pokers of embarrassment and sadness through me.  I am afraid to give Georgia a bottle in front of one lovely friend who has previously described formula as poison. The health visitor's remarks about Georgia's weight gain and obviously needing the formula made me feel I was somehow hurting her by breastfeeding in the first place. Logically, I know none of this is true and that we are in a completely unique situation. However, when I put my brain aside and feel the issue with my heart, it hurts.  More than anything, I hope that I've never made anyone else feel this way.

Change is scary and hard, and as with this entire journey, it is full of ups and downs and heartache.  But we will be fine...in fact, we are mostly there already.

I Think You Should Probably Sit Down...

Eight weeks ago, Kevin and I were walking with the kids through the park.  As we walked under the big tree at the far end, our conversation turned to what we would do next with our lives.

"I can feel that there is a big change coming, something huge" I replied.

That night, I stepped out of bed and landed on a foot that didn't hurt* and I knew instantly what that change would be. I walked into the bathroom and dug to the bottom of the drawers and found what would confirm the thing I already knew.

Two lines told me in one second that...

...exclusive breastfeeding every two hours day and night...

...having extremely limited "couple time"...

...having had to give up breast feeding and trying for a year and a half for baby Georgia...

...co-sleeping...

...were not contraception enough.

A new little life will be joining us in early April 2011. For anyone counting, I am due just days after Georgia's first and Ellis' fourth birthday. 

I can not tell you the news was met with open arms.  There have been a lot of tears, a lot of heart ache, a lot of guilt. We had to begin telling people almost instantly.  I needed to see about special formula for Georgia, in case my supply dropped.  We needed more help than just having two children normally neccessitates.  I needed people to talk to as my focus careened to a new world view, to being a mother of three.

The responses we received have been mixed, to say the least.  Congratulations are weighed equally against the "I didn't know that was possible" and "How are you going to cope?".

We have heard a lot about our "bad luck". 

At first, I believed that it was bad luck.  I focussed on it. No, I obsessed about it. I cried over it. I yelled it as I slammed the door.

One night, I realised I was wrong.  My pregnancy isn't bad luck at all--it is a miracle.  Against all of the odds and precedent, this little life was formed.  As a friend wrote "This is a little soul who obviously wants very much to be part of your family."  Yes indeed.  And who am I to do anything but welcome him/her with open arms? 

Slowly hope has built, along with the nausea and exhaustion.  Its not something we were expecting, in fact the odds were essentially against us. But its here, this new life, ripping our plans to shreds and turning our world upside down.

We needed some time to get used to the topsy turviness. Now, upside down turns out to be OK.  It has forced us to ask ourselves lots of questions and to look hard at where we are and what we are doing.

As I write this, we don't have the answers.  I don't know when or if we will, but the fear that came with the realisation has faded. We are stepping forward into a new world as a family of five. And its a good world...and scary and full and overwhelming and exciting and exhausting and good.

Plus, I've never met a baby I didn't fall hopelessly in love with, so we'll be just fine. 

* I suffer from plantar faciitis in my left foot.  The only time it doesn't hurt is when my body is flooded with the pregnancy hormone relaxin.