At my most beautiful [?]

Well, I bet you’re thinking that is the most egotistical title for a first ‘personal’ entry.
And on the surface I suppose it is…. however I’m a believer that nothing is ever as it seems on the surface! (As you’ll probably read in the future as my blogging confidence raises!!)

So, why that title?
In part it’s because I’m not feeling so great mentally which means my iPod is in and I’m blocking the world out, and in my search for songs that I actually *want* to listen to REM’s ‘At my most beautiful’ came on.
The other part is because this is going to be an entry about me. And it’s about looks so it works! (well I think so, you’ll see!!)

I’m not entirely sure where I want to start with this entry, so I’m going to start typing and hope that it comes out in coherent sentences (as a bare minimum, I’d hate for my GCSE English teacher to stumble across this and think “How the hell did she pass English!?!” naturally I won’t be telling you guys when I’ve Googled for grammar help!!) ;)

A while ago I read *this* which had been shared by someone on my Facebook news feed. Up until I read that (and the captions on the pictures, which are probably what made more of an impact) I had thought that selfies were for young girls, and the ones you usually see are the pretty girls. Afterall they’re the ones everyone wants to see right?
No one wants to see your grey hair and wrinkles do they?

So I decided to switch my perception on selfies a smidge. And started taking one when I felt good. Or maybe even to pick me up and make me smile and put my happy face on even though I wasn’t leaving the house.
The other side to my getting in front of the camera instead of being mummy and taking lots of pictures of everyone else, was I read *this* (which again was seen thanks to the medium of Facebook!) and it struck a chord.
I didn’t do it on purpose, but after Little H was born I took a *lot* of pictures but it was very rarely that I was in photos. (Although ‘The Godfather’ is our family photographer, and if he has been around then he always manages to get a pretty shot of me, I think he makes sure that he does!!)

I didn’t see my weight going up, but after 8 miscarriages and lots of emotional ups and downs it wasn’t something I really thought about. To be honest, until the day that I decided I needed to join Weight Watchers I don’t think I was conscious of my weight at all (although being a new mum I don’t think I’d have noticed if I’d grown another head, could’ve done with an arm though!!) so maybe my weight isn’t where to start with this.
It’s about my appearance though. Shoulders upwards. Just the bit I can see in the mirror. (There is only ONE mirror in this house, and it’s on the medicine cabinet in the bathroom so I can only [just] see my face!)

In the pictures in the days following Little H’s birth my skin flared up, which after general anaesthetic and all those pregnancy hormones was normal.

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It’s only looking at that today I’m a bit shocked. Because that look never really went away.
Fast forward 3 years and I went to the GP about something insignificant and I was lucky enough to have the resident GP who had seen me since we brought our house in 2006. And after I’d finished talking about what I wanted to see her for she mentioned my skin, and asked a few questions. And then said “I think you have something called Rosacea”  and she prescribed me a cream to try.
My skin is already so much better than it was this time last year, and that has helped my confidence a bit. (Weight loss factors in that, but I’m avoiding talking about weight at the moment!)

So that leads to me starting to take selfies… Although at first they weren’t “true” selfies as they were the boys and I! (Because who wants to see just my mush on its own?! I’m getting there!!)

I’ll spam you with a few, just so you can think that I all of a sudden turned into a right poser! (I’m sure my Facebook friends think I’ve gone mad!!)

1. My slightly drunk “I’m going to bed, but first… let me take a selfie!” after a night watching Ep 1. Of Season 4 of Game of Thrones, and then playing the Game of Thrones board game with friends (And Jägermeister!)

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2.Who in their right minds can resist an Instagram selfie when you get a game on launch day?!! (don’t shoot me, I couldn’t resist, even in the mirror of the camera it says TIT!!)

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3. This was truly an “I feel pretty” moment. And I think the FB caption on it was “Queen eyes in preparation for Game of Thrones Geek Night!” (And was a prequel to the drunkern Jägermeister induced selfie that was #1!)

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4. This one probably is one of the first selfies I took that was actually just me, and my phone trying to get a pretty angle. It was around the end of January (2014) my pre christmas pink hairdye had faded and I’d gotten some new mascara (Miss Manga, I love it!!) So I was showing off my lashes and I quite liked how the light caught my hair…

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Had enough of my face yet? :P

That brings me to today.
Today I did a selfie, with a caption that was also a public admission.
Kind of like therapy.
The caption said “How to rock the “I’m going bald and trying to be ok with it” look..
It’s missing something though!!” (FYI : It’s lipstick I’m missing, turns out, I don’t own any!!)

The picture was flattering, of course it’s going to be flattering. But I didn’t do it for sympathy, or hugs.
I did it because I needed to just say it. Let the people who get to see into my life, get the honour of seeing pictures of my children, (and other randomness!) get to see my ups and downs, know that there is something going on in my life right now. And I’m trying to be okay with it.

Now, before I start talking about how it’s affecting me, I want to say that I know that there are way worse things happening to people than what I’m going through. I’m lucky enough to have friends who have put my hair loss into perspective, and I am thankful that I am the kind of person that can take away with me the bits of advice they have given me and the things to make me smile. So please don’t think I haven’t realised that I am lucky that it is just hair loss for no other reason than genetics. I am, just I think I need to talk about it.
The reason I want to do it so publicly is because if just one person who is going through the same thing reads this and knows that she isn’t alone it has served its purpose. So bear with!!

If I’m honest looking back my hair started thinning around the time I turned 16, but it coincided with GCSE’s, and a bit of a trauma in my life, which was then followed by me rebelling against everyone even more than I had been doing in the previous years and I had my hair permed (it was the 90′s!!) and then a few months later I bleached it! (which I did more to stop my mum from going nuts over the fact that I got my eyebrow pierced…. YES MUM I REGRET THE STUPID PIERCING!!)

Over the years everything has been blamed for my hair starting to thin, my mum and nanna will swear blind that it’s all that dyeing it, I was convinced that it was sun damage and even managed to get a referral to a dermatologist who said that it looks genetic. However knowing how carelessly I have been in the sun (and growing up in equatorial countries) I was (am) paranoid that it is sun damage.
The people who are in my life are all very gentle about how it looks, and on facebook I avoid posting the pictures that show how bad it is.
Last year mum took the boys and I out to John Lewis in Cheadle (you can watch the planes landing from the cafe!) and on the way in we stopped to watch a Jumbo landing and mum snapped this picture….

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I was shocked! (excuse the bewbs, they go everywhere I do!) It was the first time I really saw how bad it was!
In December 2013 I woke up one day and decided that was it, I was chopping it off. Give it a chance to grow, see if it is just because I permanently tie my hair up (another mum reason!)

I saw the Dermatologist in January and told about how tender my scalp is (I struggle wearing hats because my scalp is so sensitive, and when I tried a wig on I only had it on a couple of minutes and I was in pain!) and he didn’t know what that was about, but he couldn’t see any sun damage. The letter that followed the appointment said that he thought that the hair loss is genetic (as there is a history of hair loss in the family, but it’s all men!) I’ve played with my hair a lot over those last couple of months, I’ve enjoyed having it. Started blow drying it and using hairspray (I’m not a make up and quaffed kind of girl!) Changed colours regularly (although in part that’s from every colour fading to orange because I bleached it to go pink!) and taken lots of pictures of me with natural hair.

I go back to me knowing I’m lucky. I’m lucky I’m not losing my hair as a side effect of chemo. I’m lucky to not have had cancer.
It doesn’t stop me struggling with this.
When I leave the house I try and forget about this shiny spot that is now a permanent feature on the back of my head.
I try and pretend that I haven’t spent hours Googling about hair loss remedies (and have tried most of them now)
I try to not cry when I wash my hair and leave a fine layer of hair at the bottom of the bath/sink/shower.

I dry my hair. Use far too much hairspray to try and make it look not too bad. Put some mascara on. And game face goes on.

I try and pretend I don’t hear that group of young people with life sussed out sniggering to each other because they can see it.
And I’m thankful that since I’ve lost weight that it isn’t my weight that they’re laughing about.
I close my eyes when the hairdresser shows me the back of my hair. Not because I don’t want to see, but because if my eyes are open, the tears will fall. Game face cannot be lost in public!!
I take the compliments that friends give me when I’m having a good hair day and smile.

I keep going.
And I take selfies.

I leave out this bit.

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Today was a good hair day. Lots of hairspray and concentration when blow drying it means that today it doesn’t look too shiney and baldy. Most days it does not look even close to this!

I will continue to photograph myself, not for me. I have never been a person who has thought I’m pretty. I’m just me, when I was younger I tried to be more. But I’m in my 30′s now, I know that I am an individual, just like everybody else!
I take my pictures for my boys. On so many levels.
They will never see me as “pretty or ugly” I’m just their mama. I want them to see that no matter how I looked I could still smile (or do silly faces) and share them with people because I was happy.
I want them to know that beauty isn’t skin deep, and that it isn’t just something that ugly people say to make themselves feel better.
The world that we are in now everyone has an opinion and [some] feel like it is their right to force that opinion out there. No matter how much it hurts the other person (or how uneducated their opinion is etc) I want them to know that actions have consequences (I HATED that saying growing up!!)

There are so many things I want them to learn from me, but the influence of the world seems like a scary thing for me to take on as one person. So I’m going to be over here, taking selfies and teaching my boys it’s ok to “Just Be” whatever that turns out to be!

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(This was todays selfie!)
xx

Withdrawals! !

I’m itching to do a proper blog update, but I need to do some preparation and planning, and a smidge of forewarning! (The latter is for you all if anyone sees me in their feeds!!)

My poor blog is so hugely neglected.  That doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking about it though.

I’ve surmised that the reason I haven’t interacted with it recently is that I have used it as a crochet blog, and although I did my “I didn’t know what prematurity was” entry and it was the first time I actually talked about something that wasn’t crochet on any level.
It was me, raw and passionate and heartfelt.

I am passionate about my crochet, but in the same way I am passionate about my god(s) and my political opinions. They’re mine and I am passionate about them, but in my own way. And because they are so personal to me (totally in a gollum my precious way) I struggle (don’t like to?) talk about them, or share them.

If you’re a liker of my facebook (there should be a fb like box on my blog somewhere) or instagram (@ trulyajadeddiamond) you already know that even using my crappy phone camera skills that I can take some amazing (if I do say so myself) pictures of my crochet, yes they may only look amazing to a fellow crocheter or someone who truly appreciates handmade stuff. (Like the person who commented on a picture where I’d only managed 15 stitches that day with “but 15 beautiful stitches” (sic))
I struggle to do a blog post about it. I’ve always said that I’d rather be crocheting than writing about it and I think that stands true.

Then I see my blog name. CrazyCrochetMama.
I chose that (after at least 15 minutes of trying to think wth to call my blog!!) because I am a mama, who has mental health ‘things’ *and* I crochet.

So why have I been pigeon holing myself?

Which leads me to this entry.

This is my prologue (intermission statement?) to a more ‘me’ blog.

There are things I’ve wanted to blog about for quite a long time. Things that I have actually taken pictures of to blog about, things that matter to me and have emotions and feelings.
The internet is a scary place, things get screenshotted and meme’d and that is what has scared me. I do struggle mentally, and I am still unsure whether my self esteem can take the hits I am potentially going to open myself up for.

However, I think that emotionally I need to have a corner of the internet that is my own. A place where I can talk about things that are in my life, things that may just make one other person feel like they’re not alone in how they feel about something.

(Waffle alert)At the end of last year my Weight Watchers leader did sparkle awards and we all nominated people in the month before, and on the night our meeting is held and the awards were going to be given out I made sure I had batteries in my proper camera because I wanted to get a picture of everyone with their awards! (I nominated lots of people and I hoped they all got one!)
Michelle finished giving out the certificates (& read out some lovely reasons why people had been nominated)
Then she said “now the next award is going to be a special award….” I’m an emotional person (& one of those weird people who can feel a mood of a room) so I always get wet eyes when people get awards and stuff never mind special awards!
She went on to describe this person who I wished was in my life, friendly,  smiling, always willing to go the extra mile, supportive. And in one of the reasons for someone nominating this person it said “she says what we’re thinking but are too scared to say, and tells her bad experiences as if she’s just letting us know we’re not alone” (not a direct quote more of a summary!)
(Everyone needs someone like that in their lives right?!)
She then picked up a box and said “I wasn’t going to do this, but she had that many nominations,  and not just from our meeting, but across all my meetings, people she’s never met, because of the support she offers on facebook… I’m not only giving her a sparkle award, I’m naming her my member of the year”

And she said my name and handed me the box.
Inside was a plate with my name on it and member of the year 2013 (made by one of michelles members I’ll do a link later my phone is being lame!)

That’s when tears started falling, and everyone was looking at me! I can’t remember what I said (fuzzywuzzywasawoman?!)
Afterwards people told me that I inspired them to walk a bit taller, to keep going. And thanked me for not being ashamed of telling my experiences of how I’ve been treated as an overweight person.
It made me feel good.

Now I’m not saying this blog will be about my diet journey, or that it won’t.
I’m going to write as and when the mood takes me, and about what I need to write about that day.

When I was younger my mum (and childrens mental health) encouraged me to write, as a way of channelling my emotions and feelings.  And as a way of analysing how I was feeling. So I think that is kind of what I am going to do here.

Have my blog about all aspects of me, because when I write about what matters to me I feel better afterwards. And I’m going to hope that if I ever get meme’d (in a mean way) that I just never see it!!

So watch out for more eloquent ramblings from me in the future!
××

2013 in review

I promise I’ll be picking up my blog mpre in 2014. Last year was a bit hectic!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,300 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

For the love of post!!

Oh how I love it when the postman brings me crochet related goodies! Yesterday’s post was extra special and definitely worth doing a blog entry for!!

The other day I remembered that I had some PayPal funds and with my newfound love of Tulip Etimo Rose hooks I decided to order myself the 2 sizes I use the most. 5mm & 5.5mm.
I did spend a moment on the PurpleLinda website trying to talk myself out of the rose hooks and just get the normal tulip etimo hooks but the rose ones are just so pretty! (Even down to the box they come in!)

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I think having two boys (+ husband) really changed my view on pink, I used to own nothing pink (apart from when younger I had pink shoes for nights out) and was very into football and hockey (street or ice) but now if something is for me I *have* to have pink. It does help identify mama’s things though, Little H is learning that pink = mama’s.  My pink Kindle Paperwhite cover is my favourite,  possibly because if it’s in my hands it means I’m having quiet time in imagination world!

The other item that arrived yesterday I still can’t believe is mine. To most people it’s just a crochet hook case, but to the babywearing eye it’s a crochet hook case made out of Didymos Geckos wrap scraps.

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It’s the wrap I’m totally in love with but missed out on when I was searching for a wrap to have converted into a toddler mei tai (by Monkey Mei Tai) and I got a Natibaby Gears which I also love but if anyone asks me my favourite colour it is always turquoise and has been for as long as I can remember!

So the other day when Tawak posted a picture of some wrap scraps she had I was straight in there asking if the geckos was big enough to do a little crochet hook case. Isn’t it beautiful?! If you’re a babywearer make sure to like her page she makes bags and headbands from wrap scraps too!

A quick update on my pink cotton blanket, I’m now on round 3 of the border,  the next round will be the shells! I do love making little blankets, they help lift my crojo!

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And I will leave you with some Robbie Williams lyrics that I wrote out to send to a friend because they make me smile!

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♡ Mrs. B x

Omgosh so hot!!

I know I can’t be the only crocheter/knitter struggling with the sudden influx of summer weather and wanting nothing more to sit in the garden with a cold drink and crochet in the sun?

If anyone’s like me I need the extra serotonin and for the first time since we went on holiday 2 years ago I have a tan and I didn’t realise how much having a bit of colour made me feel a bit better about myself! To the ‘extreme’ of I brought myself a new mascara yesterday, the last time I brought myself a new mascara was definitely before little h was a dot! (So at least 2009!)

However I’m really struggling to actually sit with yarn and hook, especially as my request list is mostly blankets at the moment with a couple of amigarumi.
Even my beloved knit pro symfonie hooks I just can’t use right now, and acrylic yarn or well almost any yarn I just can’t use!

So I’ve gone on a cotton frenzy! Only 2 of my blanket requests are cotton so they’ve been getting lots of attention. The first is my Attic24 granny stripe which you’ve seen before but I love it. That sirdar snuggly baby cotton dk is a dream to work with. It will be perfect for its new home in dubai!

To look at it doesn’t look like it’s grown much but it’s actually quite wide so it takes me longer to get back and forth so the half an hour I might get with it in the garden randomly doesn’t really make a huge impact but when I take a picture and its been awhile since I did I can see that it definitely is growing…

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I was asked to make it single bed size so the little lady it is for can keep it forever, however I always do my foundation chain with a couple of extra inches so that it is big enough that when you lay it on a bed it drapes down the side. The blanket is now probably coming up to the halfway mark. So the excitement if it being nearly finished will kick in soon!! :D

The other cotton blanket is for one of my friends whose brother is having a baby so he thought of me as a way to get a special present. It’s a smaller blanket more cot size so it’s worked up really quickly, and because it doesn’t have colour changes like the granny stripe it is my “quick I’ve got 5 minutes to sit in the garden whilst the boys are playing” blanket so it has had a lot of those random moments over the last week, to the point of I’m on the first round of the border now.

It’s made with Rico fashion iro (from the wool loft) in the lobster colour (I amy have just made up that it’s called lobster but you’ll see why I think that’s what it’s called) and it’s in my baby blue blanket pattern.

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^in the sunshine.

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^laid out for a progress picture

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^border time!!!

It’s such a simple little pattern to whip up and people on the facebook page have complimented it a lot!

Oh, before I forget I wanted to show you what my best friend (& soul mate) got me for my birthday…

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It’s absolutely beautiful and the little charm on it reads sisterhood but I can’t get a pretty picture of it so I decided to get a picture of the swan sparkling in the sunshine. I love it so much!

Right I best go and do mama/housewife things whilst little h is at nursery and mj naps!

♡ Mrs. B x

Mrs B’s ‘baby blue’ blanket pattern

So a few people have asked where I got the pattern from for the baby blue blanket,  as you know I made it up after the lady had sent me a picture of a blanket she’d found on google images, but the picture wasn’t a close up so I had to improvise.

I haven’t managed to write up the full pattern and do pictures yet for it, but a cpuple of people kindly offered to test a little chart I drew up and they were in agreement that it was readable, so for those of you who can read charts here it is….

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Multiples of 6+2 with whatever yarn and hook size you fancy!
How I get my blanket size is lay a tape measure over my lap and count 6 chain stitches at a time until I get to the desired width, and then add the 2 extra chains.
That way if it’s not quite wide enough or too wide I know to unpick 6 or just start counting again from 1 instead of loosing my count on a 240 chain. (Hope that makes sense!)

Those of you who can’t read charts and would like a proper tutorial (which will hopefully include the border I did too) bookmark this post and if I’ve still not done it leave me a comment to remind me as I do tend to forget that I’m meant to remember to do something!

I’m not sure if there is a pattern out there like this (as it is just an arrangement of treble crochets really!), there probably is if you look but this is just going to be how I made the baby blue blanket by winging it. :)

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An ode to Black Sheep Wools

I’m not sure many people will get this. But there’s a song that I *love* by Robbie Williams and everytime I listen to it I have my yarn shop version that I came up with about a year ago, I can’t actually sing the proper lyrics anymore.

I told my yarn shop version to Gruncle Chris and he said it was pretty good. So I’ve decided to share it with you.

The song that it ‘goes’ to is Good Doctor but I will warn you it’s Nsfw and has swearing in so not infront of the kids!!

My version goes…

I went to the yarn shop to get a good fix in,
I told them little fact, and lots of fiction,
About a project that I ain’t got,
Tried to sell me a cross stitch kit, I think not!
I want Rowan, Sublime, Rico Cotton.
Funky ring them up, so I can knot them.
I’ve got all these wips and I can’t stop em,
To tell you the truth shop, I might have a problem!!

That’s it.
Doesn’t look as impressive as it sounds in my head, but I want to thank The Black Sheep Craft Barn in Culcheth for being the place where I started singing this to myself.
Now whenever the song plays on my ipod it makes me want to crochet!

I didn’t know what prematurity was.

And strictly speaking I still don’t. Not properly anyway.
For this post I need to give you a bit of back story.

Little H is our miracle baby. Or our rainbow baby if you prefer that term.
(A rainbow baby is the term used for a baby born after a loss. The term comes from the way a beautiful rainbow appears after a storm and although we had to brave the storm first the rainbow appearing lifts our hearts again)
Mr B and I went through a rather large storm. Which was so very hard. 8 miscarriages in total. And a lot of heartache. We were lucky in the sense that they were all early miscarriages, the first 7 were all before 7 weeks, and with my 8th we got to 13 weeks before it was discovered that I’d had another missed miscarriage.

And as hard as it all was whilst all the sadness was going on there were tests being done and for our 8th pregnancy I was taking baby asprin (75mg. Although I feel I should say only try this with the support of your doctor) and it was the furthest we’d gotten. So the doctors tested my clotting agents whilst I still had pregnancy hormone in my system, and then again 3 months later to see if there was a difference. There was! At a review appointment with the obstetric consultant we decided that the next time I got pregnant I would do blood thinning injections (clexane) at a low dose (30mg) alongside the baby asprin and that I could also have some progesterone pessaries for the whole of the first trimester to see if that helped.

I got my BFP (big fat positive) for Little H on the 1st October (officially,  although I’d had a faint positive the night before, and I was charting my basal body temperature and my chart was looking good) and I rang my consultants secretary, who knew me pretty well by that point… I was shaking as I was telling her! She couldn’t get me an appointment to see Mr. G for a couple of weeks if I remember rightly but she managed to get him to do my clexane prescription, along with the progesterone and an appointment was booked for the next day at the antenatal day unit for me to be shown how to do my injections!

I was petrified of needles at that point. Having a tattoo I could do no problem, having blood tests or injections required a lot of focus on a lightswitch or a spot on the wall. So when I got there and the midwife (who was lovely!) got me to do the injection myself with a lot of encouragement to “get it in there” but I did it! The next day at home on my own having to do it reduced me to a mess of tears! Luckily at that time Mr. B did field work so he came home for lunch and managed to calm me down enough that I did it. I still remember being so terrified but so angry at myself because I knew that if I couldn’t do it I might loose this baby too.

They got easier after that, a lot easier. And aside from the huge bruises the jabs left I saw a lot more positive outcomes from them as we had scans at around 6, 8, 10 & 12 weeks. I cried with happiness at every scan. And the ladies at the early pregnancy unit looked after me so well (as you can imagine in the years before they’d only ever given me sad news)

To me we had a really smooth pregnancy, I had an appointment with Mr. G the consultant at 16 weeks when he advised me I could stop the progesterone completely (I’d been weaning myself off of them as I was scared) and I asked him about birthing options. I’d wanted a water birth. It was then he told me we were aiming for 36 weeks, and that they’d need to keep a very close eye on me when labouring so no water birth. I remember feeling sad at that, but Mr. G had my complete confidence, and at the end of every appointment he said we’re having a baby this time. And patted my shoulder in an I’ve got your back kind of way.

Time started passing quickly, I wouldn’t let anyone buy any baby stuff until I passed 26 weeks. It was going to be 20 weeks but I kept pushing it back! So around 30 weeks one of my mums friends came and painted the walls of the spare room white and Mr. B put the cot up. I’d finished making “flo” a crocheted blanket which was pink purple and green (a large granny square!) Because we didn’t know if flo was a girl or boy (the name flo came from finding nemo because my mantra before we got pregnant was just keep swimming but I wasn’t allowed to use Dory so Mr. B picked flo!)

At 32 weeks I had a growth scan. I’d had a couple in the weeks before, but that day I felt different. I packed my hospital bag that morning in a panic. As I was laid on the bed whilst the sonographer did the scan and as she started I said “out of interest what happens if you spot something not quite right?” And she said if they see something that’s not quite right they’d just semd me to the antenatal clinic to see a consultant.
She kept listening to the blood flow down the umbilical cord, even to me it sounded different than it had in the weeks before. And she asked me to wait outside for a moment as she would be sending me to the antenatal clinic.

From this point out I realised I didn’t actually have a clue what would happen. In my black and white mind you either had a healthy baby that went home with you, or you didn’t. 

I felt sick to my stomach. The sonographer explained that Flo’s growth had slowed almost to a stop in the last 2 weeks. And now there was an ‘absent diastolic flow’ through the cord (which Mr. G explained that the blood wasn’t flowing quite right so flo wasn’t getting enough of what was needed) when I got to the antenatal clinic the head midwife was there and told me I would be being admitted and she took me straight in to see Mr. G who explained what was happening and that I wouldn’t be going home until baby was born. Which in my head they were still aiming for 36 weeks so 4 weeks in hospital!

The next day Mr. G came to see me and the midwife who was looking after me. I think it was around this time I realised it was the same lovely midwife (lets call her Lou) who’d taught me how to do my injections! He told me that they’d be keeping a very close eye on me and that the mw would be updating him regularly. I asked if I could have a tour of the neonatal unit as I’d been reading up on the bliss website and had gathered from the midwives that the unit had a space on standby for me so I wanted to be prepared mentally.

At that point I think my black and white thinking had started to realise that it wasn’t as I thought it was. My due date buddy from the pregnancy forum who was having twins had a week earlier had them (31 weeks) and she was putting pictures and updates on how they were doing. And when she heard that I’d been admitted was great support by text.

I think it was friday morning that Mr. G came to see me and they talked to me about a fine line between it being better for baby to stay in utero and being better for baby to be delivered and monitored more closely. By this point I’d read a lot of information and asked the midwives lots of questions so when they mentioned induction I declined. I couldn’t force my body (& flo’s) through labour especially as the blood flow to flo was already iffy. So they booked a c-section for the 4th May. (It was the 23rd April and I was 32+6)

That weekend Mr. G wasn’t on duty and he was having a mini break away somewhere,  but he left Lou the midwife his personal mobile number just in case.
What I didn’t know at the time was that I was in the early stages of pre eclampsia and obstetric cholestasis. Saturday evening I heard a hushed call that Lou the midwife made, which was followed by a call to Mr. G.
I thought nothing of it and carried on crocheting the blanket I was making for a craft swap on the forum!

Monday morning Mr. G was by my bedside before they’d even brought breakfast out. That was when I knew I was in trouble.
He explained that they were now totally on that fine line and that my liver was starting to attack itself and they were worried if they left me much longer I would get very poorly. So a c section was booked for the next morning. The 27th April 2010.

I don’t really remember much about that monday morning. I remember lou the midwife telling me that she was so proud that I’d stayed so calm throughout and that she’d expected me to have baby over the weekend (she’d literally been on pins keeping an eye on me, but it seemed that my calmness helped!)
I do remember ringing Mr. B desperate to know where he was (visiting started at 9 and he casually strolled in at 10.30 unaware of Mr. G booking me in!) and realising that I had no music for in theatre, so mum brought me in Bowie’s Hunky Dory album. And that night I sat in bed doing my eyebrows and it was the Madonna episode of Glee.

The 27th April 2010, there wasn’t a plane in the sky because of the ash cloud. They did my pre op stuff pretty early. Lou the midwife was off that day (but had been so excited doing babys tag things the day before!) We walked to the theatre at 9am. And the consultant anaesthetist tried for an hour to do a spinal block but she just couldn’t get where she needed to be. Thanks to Bowie and hypnobirthing I managed to stay calm and just didn’t think about what they were doing back there!
After an hour I was reaching the end of my calmness, I just sat there for a moment thinking they were the last wriggles and kicks I would feel. In my memory those last couple of minutes lasted a long time. Beyond that everything was unknown, that realisation made it hard to stay calm and focussed. (I stand by that the hypnobirthing books and cds helped me for that week in hospital and the hour in theatre)

I took a deep breath and said “I’m sorry I can’t take anymore can we do a general anesthetic” the consultant anaesthetist apologised that she hadn’t been able to get into my spine, she’d really thought she’d be able to. And they ushered Mr. B out of theatre and then it all went very all hands on deck. I tried to block out all of the medical stuff and focussed on Bowie. As they put me under “quicksand” was playing and the anaesthetist said “when you wake up you’ll be a mummy!”

Tears started to flow. But the anesthetic started to work so it put a halt to that feeling like my heart was about to burst.

I came round in the recovery room, freezing cold and scared. Mr. B was there waiting for me, and a midwife who when I was a bit more with it told me we’d had a little boy, he was 4lb 1oz and had wee’d all over the travel incubator! When I had warmed up and was ok to move they wheeled me over to the neonatal unit.

Nothing prepares you for how you’ll feel when you’ve just become a mummy but your baby is in a little incubator. The CPAP machine was helping him breathe because he was getting tired doing it by himself. A stranger has to tell you “here is your baby” and although you are so proud that they are here and ‘ok’ all you can actually say is “I’m so sorry”
That feeling of my heart being about to burst was all of a sudden back. I managed to take some pictures of him, but I was laid on the hospital bed and I felt like I couldn’t move without feeling pain. But that pain in my heart hurt more and I just couldn’t stop crying.
One of the neonatal staff said “I think mum has had enough” and I was taken back down to the maternity ward. Luckily I was in a side room because I couldn’t deal with seeing other people’s babies. I think I cried and slept most of that first day away.
I still cry at the knowledge that I can’t remember that first day. And I hate that I couldn’t carry him closer to term!
My mum was in my room as soon as visiting hours began, I really didn’t want to see anyone I wanted so much to be left alone to feel sorry for myself. But she was there, armed with bags full of blue clothes that she’d ran out and brought as soon as she got the phone call from Mr. B. It made me smile.
They went up to the neonatal unit to see an un named baby B. (It was in the aftermath of swine flu so they’d only just started letting grandparents back into the neonatal unit)

They came back beaming at how cute he was and how strong he looked. I think I just cried. I didn’t see him again that day. I knew the maternity unit was already stretched without needing 2 people to push my bed back up to the unit. So I slept a lot. Someone came to do a bed bath that evening which pushed me to tears again. I really did just want to be left alone, no one to touch me or be in my space, the night midwife was quite pushy in offering it and made me listen to why they were so insistent. I had to tell her I knew why they offered but in the morning I’d have a shower. I really just wanted to be left alone.

The next morning I asked someone to show me how to get out of bed so I could shower. Mr. B came and stood in the bathroom with me because I was scared I might pass out. I managed to look at my stitches in the mirror too!

Then Mr. B pushed me up to the neonatal unit in a wheelchair. I saw my boy again. This time the CPAP machine was off so he just looked like a tiny baby. We got to hold him but only for a short while. All I did was cry and apologise to him! We asked how long they thought before he’d be home, and were advised to aim for his due date (12th June)

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My litt man ♡
I think he was about a week old in that picture and at his lowest weight of 3lb 5oz. He was only just starting to be fed my expressed milk because he’d had an infection in his tummy that they’d treated first so he’d been IV fluids only. I did as much skin to skin time as they’d let me but he’d search for milk and it was so hard to not feed him.
At just over 2 weeks old he was moved from the NICU room where there was lots of machines and stuff into the nursery and into a cot as opposed to the incubator.

I remember buzzing at the door to the neonatal unit and peeping through the window and seeing his incubator empty and immediately feeling sick… where had they taken him, was he ok?! When the nurse answered the door they broke the amazing news that he’d moved into the nursery and into a cot!!! So proud of him!!

He spent just under 2 weeks in the nursery just sleeping feeding and growing. We established breastfeeding and near the end I ‘roomed in’ at the hospital for 2 nights and got Little H all to myself for the night times. It was hard trying to feed in an unfamiliar bed with the sensor mat beeping whilst he slept. But I loved it.

At 3 weeks 6 days old Little H came home. He was still diddy but was just above his birth weight and gaining weight ok.

Here’s how diddy he was in his moses basket…

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We still had a bit of a journey to go ahead of us but gradually he’s grown into a little man. And I totally get the lyrics to athlete’s ‘wires’ the whole song makes me cry but the end “looking at you now, you would never know” makes my heart do that thing of bursting pride!

We were very lucky.  I made it to over 33 weeks so he didn’t really need much help. I think he had 24 hours of CPAP and then just a couple of days of free flow oxygen into his incubator. If his tummy hadn’t had that infection our journey through neonatal would have been classed as easy.
Through the neonatal unit we’ve met parents who had 24 week babies and their journeys are a true roller coaster. They’re the stories that humble and amaze you. So many amazing children and parents, and they then went on to support me mentally through MJs pregnancy as they all wanted me to get to term and not need neonatal! (Which we managed!)

Neonatal babies truly are amazing. And not all babies who need the help of the teams at neonatal units are premature babies but thanks to modern medicine we know so much more and so many parents will be eternally grateful to the teams who helped them out.

Sorry it’s so long, but once I started writing it felt good to sit and write about it all.

A massive thanks to Mr. G and “Lou” the midwife. Also to all of the staff at Warrington Neonatal Unit. Words really aren’t enough.

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Looking at you now, you would never know ♡

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Edited to add : there’s a wonderful facebook page called birth without fear they also have a blog
There are also wonderful internet forums out there full of people who will help and advise if you’re expecting, or they’ll listen if you just wanted somewhere to talk about your birth story.
Natural Mamas is full of people who can advise on hypnobirthing and baby wearing and cloth nappies (and just general pregnancy stuff)

Pregnancy Forum is a more generalised parenting forum and it’s where my internet “home” was through my stormy times.

My babies are growing up!

I know I still haven’t done the post I promised about Little H. So here it is in some form. (Not exactly how I planned it!)

Yesterday I asked Mr. B to take the sides off of MJ’s cotbed and turn it into a toddler bed. Naturally that meant that last night’s bedtime felt epically long… I let Mr. B sit in with them for 40 minutes and then I took over so he could go for his run.
Mj was loving his new found freedom in the bedroom (that didn’t come at the cost of him climbing out of his cot, which luckily he only did twice, in one night and then learnt his lesson!) I had to remind myself that it was the same when Little H had his turned into a bed too. Except then we had the benefit of MJ was still little and in our room so if he did wake up he soon got bored and took all of his toys back to bed with him. Whereas MJ gets bored and then remembers that Henry is right there! Although it is cute hearing him say big brother wake up!

Last night as I sat next to him rubbing his tummy and watched him fall asleep it felt like my heart was melting.  And I look over at little H already asleep (snoring away) and I melt some more.  These quiet moments are the ones I want to remember as opposed to the constant bickering that they seem to be doing quite a bit at the moment.  So I tiptoe out and stop and look at them both and have to hold back a sob. Even though little H has not long turned 3, and MJ is only 1 and a half they seem so grown up all of a sudden.
Little H really looks like a little boy, and considering this time last year he only said maybe 5 words all of a sudden has a vast vocabulary and manages to use words in context. (The other night he said mummy very pretty like princess. I didn’t even know he knew the word princess!!)
MJ is starting to loose his baby chunkyness and is trying to repeat words when you say them and is a lot more steady on his feet now, and is into everything!

Their room now looks like a little boys room, Mr. B took down their animal pictures and put up their names from MrsJosieK and both cots are now beds, and Mr. B is already talking about when we get them bunk beds!

These aren’t great pictures because I’ve avoided their names on the wall but it really isn’t a babies room anymore!

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Little H’s end of the room (you can kind of see the blue behind the wardrobe) now that I have a sewing machine I’m hoping to make some blackout curtains for in there, make it a bit darker in there for summertime! (That picture was taken around 7pm right before bedtime so it stays quite light!)

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Mjs end is the one that makes me feel sad. He’s my baby and he’s gone into a bed!!! (Oh and we’re loving our MagicBumpers which I ordered in preperation for MJ going into a bed but I got a pack of 4 so that I could get rid of the lindam bed guard that little H had which got in the way of storytime. Now they both have the bumpers and they’re brilliant!

….

I’ve totally lost my train of thought!
I want to talk about how my babies are growing up and how sad that makes me feel and why I’m the mama that I am, but that is a whole new story so for tonight I’ll leave it at that, but my “I didn’t know what prematurity was” post will be soon I’ve already got the pictures ready to go :)

♡ Mrs. B x

No crochet!!

Hi!!
So it’s been a hectic week in the crazycrochetmama household and I haven’t managed any crochet at all!

On Tuesday we went to see the amazing Robbie Williams at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester. It was myself, my friend Sam (or Spamantha!) My mum, and her friend Helen. They dropped us off at the stadium at about 2.30pm and they went to check in at the hotel. Sam and I were going to go for a wander and see if we could find asda which was meant to be nearby,  but after walking for a bit we realised that the ques were getting bigger the further around we got and had spotted an entrance that absolutely no one had qued for. So being cheeky enough to ask we found a member of staff and checked if we could que there, and were told that we could!!! Front of the que! Thinking that lots of other people would follow us… only 2 people did!! We got chatting and decided between the 4 of us we should stick together to try and get a good spot.
We were then told about “the golden circle” which was the first 4000 people in got into the bit by the stage!!
The doors opened at 5pm and all of the stewards were shouting at everyone not to run, but it was Robbie!! So we ran the full length of the pitch and only had about 3 people infront of us. I can’t believe the luck, it was meant to be!!!
I didn’t take many pictures because I was so busy singing and dancing, but here are a couple (apologies for watermarking them as I normally only do it to crafty things but I love my pictures!!)

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Spam & I tried so many times to get a shot of Robbie behind us but this is the best one even though Robbie looks like a ghost!! (I’m on the right!)

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This is my absolute favourite picture from the night. Both Robbie Williams and Olly Murs were amazing. I’ve always been a massive Robbie fan, I missed the Take That days because we lived in Malaysia at the time, we moved back to the UK in 1994 and I prefered East17′s music but when Robbie released Freedom I was hooked! Olly I liked on the x factor but hadn’t really followed his stuff but when he came on stage he was awesome!
I still can’t believe we were that close! Mum and Hel didn’t get there before the doors opened as they couldn’t resist the lure of Manchester city centre so they weren’t as close.

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My “you were here” picture!

When I saw Robbie in 2003 in Melbourne I was close but not this close! Oh and he sang Me & My Monkey!! ♡♡ and lots of my other favourites (monsoon, come undone, not like the others, she’s the one, sexed up) and for the first time ever Angels made me cry. I thought of my Nanna B who passed away when little H was only a few days old and the tears just came. I still can’t listen to Nan’s song.
He’s still an okey dokey stokey blokey and I’ll love his music forever! (Even rudebox!!!)

Oh, I almost forgot, we saw spencer the bear!! And whilst everyone else was dancing to Olly Murs, Sam managed to get a picture which I tweeted to him and got a mention!

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Mum met Spencer the bear whilst queuing for rhianna last week and I was ordered to follow him on twitter, and the morning of Robbie Spencer tweeted that he was already in the queue so we kept an eye out! His twitter is @spencerthebear

Then Friday night Spam and I took part in the St. Roccos starlight walk. Which I really thought I would do the 2 laps (13 miles) but it started to rain 10 minutes before we started and being the genius that I am I was only in a t-shirt with a vest top underneath and I don’t even own a waterproof coat! Doh!
Halfway round the first lap we were at the back (although we were in the last group to start so had no where to go but backwards!) and the route went near to Spams house so she ran and got me a dry top and lent me a coat of hers to try and warm me up. So I classily stripped off on Manchester Road and somehow squeezed into Sams coat (with help from a marshal to do the zip!) And we kept going. After sams 3rd loo stop we were well and truly at the back and it was still raining so we were drenched. One of the medics that was riding the route on a motorbike advised that we only did one lap because we were so cold. So as gutted that we were we decided to cross the line smiling and do the 2nd lap next week.
My feet were so wet they were wrinkly as if I’d been in the bath so long!

Anyway I won’t put a picture of us in all our pink stuff (there is one on my facebook page if you want a nosey!) But I will show you the sashes I made out of ribbon we got from our local market, and yarn (naturally what else would I use?!) And I got to play with my sewing machine that I brought off of Scavenger Annie as she was selling an old one and I’ve been after one! (& she’s local to me)
I used backstitch to form the letters and did it all freehand so they’re not quite even but I loved them (I made 2)

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Nutty Tarts was our team name as there was Spam & I and two other ladies from our weight watchers group. They completed both laps and I’m so proud of them!!

Right that’s enough rambling from me! As always feel free to pin anything you see to Pinterest :)
♡ Mrs. B x

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