The Frustration of NGT Feeding 

Well… We’ve officially been confined to the far left cubicle for over a week now and my youngest has finally achieved his original goal of consuming 50% of his bottle, which was the condition in order for  him to go home, even with an NG tube. Unfortunately, this very morning the consultant has since decided otherwise because they believe I won’t cope with the tube…I’ve been coping with the tube for the last week. I’m devastated, I’m upset I’ve been misjudged and can’t be trusted with my own son’s health and I’m distraught that I clearly have at least another week here, whilst our family remains ripped apart. 

My eldest came for a visit today and I had to carry him into a taxi, whilst he cried he wanted to stay with us. It’s heartbreaking how much this is affecting our family. Granted things could be so much worse, but here we are, all separated, my eldest with his dad, my partner at home and my youngest and myself in hospital, whilst I am constantly told by health professional after health professional “he’ll take off in the next couple of days”,  I fucking hate that sentence. 

I am frustrated, I am angry and I am missing home and everyone who comes with it. I’m annoyed how this hospital destroys every bit of hope and optimism I have and replaces it with despair.

 I feel like a failure as a mother, that obviously there must be something I’m doing wrong and I resent how my body decided to reject my son before he was even ready for life outside. 

Yes, there are people worse of, but it just doesn’t make me feel any better. I know I should be grateful nothing worse happened and I am, I honestly am, but how can I not feel negatively when I am forced to watch family after family take home their newborns on a daily basis? It crushes me. 

I isolate myself, because frankly I don’t want to associate with them, other mothers with healthier children just using this place as a pit stop, I resent them, I’m jealous and frankly I don’t want to wave them off wishing them the best of fucking luck. I’m literally the only person here who has stayed here for the entire week so far and the amount of mothers I have seen come and go each day does make me feel more and more bitter, when yet another family is happily discharged.

Unfortunately I have nothing positive to end this on, but it’s an experience I am sharing, I am sharing my frustration with any mother who has ever been through this, because frankly you’re the only ones who could ever understand. 

I am also exceptionally bored as well as overwhelmed, just another perk of hospital confinement.

Live from Maternity 

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I am currently sat here, in the “transitional care” ward of my local field hospital, today I should only be officially 9 months into my pregnancy, with only a 4 week wait until labour day, instead I am sat on a hospital bed, boobs frankly aching from filling up with milk, next to my youngest son.

He was born 2 days ago, in a rather traumatic and unexpected way, after I spent an evening destined for takeaway pizza and uncomfortable pregnancy sex with my partner, laid up in stirrups instead, heavily bleeding with very painful and possibly very forgotten contractions, worrying whether or not I would go into “true labour”. My placenta frankly failed me in bringing my son to term.

Thankfully I was able to give birth naturally and have myself physically recovered. My son also came out healthily, despite a tiny 5.5 weight and an inability to latch on to either breast or bottle, so he’s currently tube feeding to maintain his energy for his attempts at bottle feeding and in order to at least maintain, if not increase his weight.

I don’t really know what insight this experience is giving me right now, other than “I really should have taken it easy”,  but I’m bored, my son is asleep, I feel deserted by life and my loved ones, apart from my incredible partner appearing in the early evenings with food and clothing.

I’m due for a longer stay than ever expected or wanted, we’ve both ran out of clean clothes, I have nothing vaguely suitable to wear just to make it to the canteen, so I’ve been living off the Subways my partner has been bringing me and spending the majority of the day trying to sleep off my starvation.

I’m miserable. I have never desired a suitable bathroom lock, a WARM bath, an afternoon in my own home environment and a washing machine, as much as I do now. I just want a decent bath, clean clothes and a meal, I really cannot express this enough.

So now I wait, I wait for my partner’s planned “earlier” return, in hope I can temporarily escape this sterile prison, gather myself clothes and bathe in the warmest of baths, undisturbed, before feeding myself up, in preparation for another night on the maternity ward. Thank goodness for the hope of small mercies.

Embracing Separation Anxiety

I feel guilty as I write this, but I have found that as my pregnancy progresses, the anxiety driven pressure, I put on my son to conform and become “more independent” has increased. It’s wrong, it’s wrong that I’m pressuring my son to be someone he’s not right now, because I want less stress on myself as a parent.

I am terrified of having two children I am responsible for, I’m not excited, I’m not rubbing my stomach in pure bliss whilst reading pregnancy magazines, instead I am complaining, deleting every pregnancy update email, avoiding my reflection in shop windows (a new one for me) and frankly “bricking it” in-regards to the near future.

I have moved my son into a new home (his third home at the moment), I have limited his use of the pushchair (only re-introducing it recently), I have potty trained him (number ones only), and I have phased out the high-chair, all within the last couple of months in “preparation” for son number 2.

My son has naturally found it hard to adjust and tantrums are now a regular occurrence again. He refuses to walk, insists on being picked up constantly and attaches himself to items with no sentimental value.  As for myself, my irritability is as telling in my tone of voice, as it is with my writing. I am tired, I am stressed and I am anxious.

I’m making my son unhappy and I am neglecting his need to feel close to me right now, right now when he needs to know, regardless to a new home, a new sibling and a very anxious stressed-out mummy, he’s still loved by me and nothing and no one will ever change that.

All the change in his life has been through my choices and the least I should do is provide him with his own choices (obviously within reason). If my son wants to be picked up, I will pick him up, in exchange for five minutes of walking, if he wants another story, I will give him another story and if he doesn’t want me to leave at bedtime, I will visit regularly and reassure him with the monitor.

I’m even back to feeding my three-year old son his food, excluding my partner of eighteen months, from our “mummy trips” to the park and coffee house and involving my son more in my own activities.

I am letting my son make his own choices and letting him know he is loved and important to me in the process. Regardless to what the future holds, whatever I practise now I will continue, until my son chooses otherwise.

At the end of the day, this whole pregnancy is a journey, full of change, which we’re both embarking on together. I need my son, for love, emotional security and non-judgement, just as much as he needs me also. I only hope this experience will make our bond stronger and bring us closer together, as mother and son.

Being the “hidden homeless”

One of my biggest fears, since my teens, has been homelessness, yet its only been in the last couple of weeks that I’ve been confronted with the fact, that one of my biggest fears has already come true.

I don’t live on the streets, I don’t sleep on a friend’s sofa and I don’t live in a hostel, I am undoubtedly much luckier than most who come under the title of homeless.

I live with family, right now I write this from my childhood bedroom, a small box-room I now share with my three year old son. Things are naturally cramped and life is stressful as a result, but luckily once the sun rises again, I can shut the door and participate in family life, as normal downstairs.

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There is a culture I’ve witnessed previously, as a working-class schoolgirl, that if you have a baby you will ALWAYS have a home and you will always have financial security, it’s “benefits culture” and I was brought up with these beliefs. It’s not “right”, it’s not feminist, but it’s the attitude I was exposed to and therefore adopted.

The harsh reality I am experiencing now, as I await the birth of my second child, is that you won’t automatically be given a home because you have a child, you will be given a roof over your head, as would any other vulnerable member of society, but you will not be given a home to raise your family in.

There are entire families forced to raise their children in hostels, to the detriment of their children’s development and emotional security. Regardless to what the culture may have been when I was growing up, I don’t believe I’m wrong in saying that families living in hostels is definitely not right.

This time, I have narrowly escaped raising my children in a hostel, I have not however escaped homelessness and having to live in-between two houses (my partner’s rented room in shared accommodation and my current home), due to the lack of room available, for another child, at my family home.

I feel angry and I feel as if I failed as a mother by not being able to provide my children with the most basic requirement, a home. At the very least, parents and children need a home to thrive in and although I just about manage now, I fear the coming months. I fear shipping my toddler and newborn from house to house on a daily basis, I fear the effect of this lifestyle on my children, but mostly, I fear my own mental ability “to cope”.

Until I have saved up enough funds for rented accommodation and therefore a temporary family home at least, all I can do is console myself, that things could be worse and that in all of its negativity, homelessness is still a life experience, which I can only hope to grow wiser and stronger from.

 

 

What toddler constipation has taught me

I can honestly say that I never really knew what constipation was, until my three year old son spent roughly six months, soiling himself continually.

I became envious of the parents of children, who could produce only one solid bowel movement a day, why should they only get to deal with the “usual” toddler stuff, whilst my son had a considerable amount of time off nursery, to spend the majority of his day on the changing mat instead?

I had to wait until bedtime for my spare time and for my son to be staying with his father, when I needed something as essential as food.

I became obsessed with creating treatment plans, using pediatric plans I found on parenting forums. No medical professional would help and explain how to use his medication, in a way that didn’t cause him to be hurried out of every place we went, within five minutes, due to soiling or the ear piercing screams which sometimes accompanied it.

I’m ashamed to say I felt embarrassed, even a bit resentful, as well as more alone and isolated than ever. There was no escaping the constant wiping, crying and applications of nappy rash cream. I was exhausted and focused what little energy I had left on researching childhood constipation, hopeful of a miracle cure, I found it… glycerin suppositories.

The first few times, the glycerin suppositories worked so brilliantly and in such a timely manner, that I cannot describe their effectiveness any less than absolutely perfect. Unfortunately, my son no longer happily allowed them to be given and as such I was unable to give them, without having to act and feel like a complete monster; the suppositories were disposed of.

I felt like a failure of a mother, I was failing my son, I had to fix it, I had to make him better.

At the moment, I feel like a good mother, at the moment his constipation is still present but in a good place. What we are currently doing is working; a large amount of my confidence, as a mother, is dependent on its continued success.

He’s very nearly potty trained now, something which I can honestly say without experimenting with my own treatment plans, as well as using suppositories in the first place, would have still been nothing but a far-fetched dream.

I’m proud of him and I am grateful that he is a healthy child, because now that dark period is hopefully over; my preoccupation not quite so much over my son’s bowel habits, I can finally recognise just how lucky we are.

My son, my shield

I’ve come to realise lately how dependent I’ve become on my son, it’s unhealthy admittedly, especially as I appear to fall apart without him, unfortunately it is far too easy to use a young child, to shield you from what should be your life.

As a young woman, socially I’m expected to have the beginnings of a career, an income that I’ve earned, a group of friends, a rich social life and a date planned for next week, however I am a young woman with social anxiety, so instead of admitting to everyone that I’m missing out on what should be my life, due to my anxiety, I can use the “I have a child to look after, so I don’t get the chance/have the time” excuse, whilst making myself look like a model, self-sacrificing parent in the process. To me, this is a win-win situation.

I don’t have half of those things because I didn’t actually finish school, due to my anxiety. I was unable to persevere with adult learning, beyond the most basic of qualifications, due to my anxiety after being placed in larger classes (I have never admitted my social anxiety to any learning provider, in fear of being treated differently and singled out). The only friends I have ever had were during school, no school – no friends, as for dates, I did actually achieve that after my split from my child’s father, but only through the medium of a dating app.

On a day-to-day basis, I dislike leaving the house alone, mainly because I have a knack at attracting the negativity of other women in or around my age group, it would be nice to use the “they’re jealous” card, but personally I think they just pick up on my own low self-esteem. Whilst I have my son with me however, nothing, not so much as a look and as a result I feel confident, I feel confident that I have a place in the world and I can just blend into a swam of pushchairs. Then again, perhaps I’m just distracted and not so in-tune with my surroundings to notice.

When I’m not typically using my son as a shield against my social anxiety and low self-esteem, I’m even using him as a shield against my mother’s cat, who I’ve recently developed a phobia of during my pregnancy. My son, the cushion and the vacuum cleaner are the only three things which will ever get my mum’s cat to move away from a doorway, without attacking you. Why he’s never touched my son and fears him, I’ll never know, but I assume it’s because he’s the only fearless person who’s in this house, either way I get to travel from room to room freely, when I take my son along.

When I’m depressed, knowing I have to look after my son is the only thing to even get me out of bed and that’s probably the saddest one yet. I don’t want to burden my son, smother him or obligate him into being my carer, it’s a selfish path I’m on and I need to break these unhealthy, self-defeating habits now. I will not allow myself to inflict my social anxiety on to my son and ruin his life too.

 

 

To all those who “hate” pregnant women

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I hope my picture offends you.

Ever since my pregnancy started to show, I have been subjected to whispers and smirks, aggressive stares, and an unprovoked umbrella attack (seriously), as well as being physically pushed and shoved aside like an inconvenient piece of shit.

Who are the main perpetrators? Women. Mainly women in their teens and women in their twilight years.

What is your problem!?

Pregnancy is my choice, my body is my own to do with as I wish, as is my life. I cannot hide how “disgusting” my body is and why should I?  Tell me exactly why I should, to please you, to please a female misogynist bitch, who believes I should hate myself for having sex and creating a child as a result?

How can you possibly loathe a physical representation of motherhood? Your mother was pregnant, your grandmother was pregnant, we all result from a pregnant woman.

You hate me because I’m “smug”, I am far from smug. I hate being pregnant, I hate the demands it has on my body, and how between morning sickness, weight gain and stretched ligaments, I have been forced to give up every interest which gave me a sense of self-worth. 

I “treat” myself to a burger and I suffer from indigestion and constipation, I can’t even attempt to treat myself to new clothes, unless it’s in a uniform mum style, with a suffocating stretchy waistband or an itchy runched seam.

I have lost my body, my interests, my enthusiasm for life and my already low self-esteem is getting picked away at further, by bitchy people like yourselves. Give me a fucking break!

Just leave me alone and let me live MY life, like you still get to live yours.

 

Intro…

I have created this blog for three reasons, firstly I am insanely bored, secondly I need a “me thing” and lastly (although not in importance) I am in the process of creating a children’s book and need to promote myself, yep I am indeed a user of other people’s time.

What do I have to offer? An insight into the life of a twenty-four year old mother of one, soon to be two boys, under the age of four.

I just became overcome with dread as I wrote that.

What makes my blog at least somewhat unique? I suffer from social anxiety disorder and have the poor social skills which naturally match, which has resulted in a long-term battle with depression, no mummy play-dates, a blank C.V and a “full-time mum” title, as well as my latest phase of inspiring writer.

My previous phases:

  • Floral arranging
  • Card making
  • Sketching
  • Graphic novel design
  • Photography
  • Body piercing
  • Aromatheraphy
  • Fashion Design

Plus many more…

As can be seen, I am definitely to be taken seriously.

Enjoy.