7 things I can’t believe my child said.

Violet is so polite, so well mannered (sometimes!) and god damn amazing but holy hell she has one hell of an attitude. She has very sarcastic parents so I think that sarcasm has also rubbed off on her. Here’s a few things she has said over the past few weeks which have made me laugh but also got me told off by Vi’s Nanny…

“oh shut up….and dance with me”
Yes this has come out of my four year old daughter’s mouth. I think it is her way of telling me to shut it politely as she knows I won’t tell her off because it is a song!

“is he your boyfriend?”
Ever want to be embarrassed out your mind at Sainsbury’s checkout – just take my daughter. The fifty something man didn’t know whether to laugh or what. I just smirked which, looking back, probably seemed even more weird.

“It’s Mr Peterson!”
Whilst watching Broadchurch (worst Mum ever for having it on whilst Vi was still up) Vi spotted her favourite Nativity 2 actor. She was asking where Mr Poppy was! Even Mr Poppy couldn’t make that programme a happy programme.

“You’ve ruined my chips. You’ve ruined everything”
She likes vinegar, she doesn’t like vinegar. Make up your mind child! And if chips are the biggest worry in her life I think you are doing alright Vi…

“Daddy isn’t coming to the wedding”
Awkward..

“I’m not listening to you anymore you’re boring me”
And me telling you five million times to put your god damn shoes on is not boring for me at all sweetheart.

“Holly is drunk”
I *promise* I don’t let my daughter watch Celebrity Juice…

OurSweetViolet xo

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Dear Bear and Beany

Because I met you.

If you have seen my Instagram you will know my favourite poem ever is ‘Welcome to Holland’ and I have always wanted to have a go at writing one about Violet..

Being pregnant was just amazing,
feeling you grow, kick and move was sublime.
Watching other mums have their babies
and their lives seemed so perfect all the time.

I was scared when you were on your way.
More so because it wasn’t how I planned
but I felt like I could conquer the world,
knowing soon I would be holding your hand.

You were perfect in every single way.
The happiness beamed over my face.
Finally meeting you properly
and holding you close in an embrace.

When they told me the news I broke down,
My whole world was shaken about.
Looking down at my little baby,
They must of got it wrong without a doubt.

Crying was all that I could do
and thinking this must be a curse.
This new little life we had created
was unwell, then I was thinking the worst.

Staring as you lay in your cot
As you lay so soundly one night
I apologised over and over
for it was my fault, and it just wasn’t right.

Your hand used to reach out to my chest
as you fed from me in the early morn.
And I know you could feel my heartbeat,
could you feel that it was torn?

You lay on that table so softly
and I didn’t want them to take you away.
He not only wheeled away my baby,
he had my whole world in theatre that day.

I wanted you back in my tummy
where we weren’t in this unfair world anymore.
I’d let you down completely
and for that I wont forgive myself, i’m sure.

I look at you now and i’m proud.
Proud of everything you’ve done in your years.
You’ve taught me to live life completely
and always overcome all your fears.

People say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
and now I completely understand it, I do.
Those were the scariest days of our lives
yet they were the best because I met you.

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When are you having another baby?

People ask me and Glenn quite often when or if we will have another child. I’m not telling any fibs when I say that the idea of a second child is wonderful. Being a family of four sounds so lovely. Having a little tot crawling around the house and having baby cuddles with.

However, I always wonder whether I could handle it. Not as in the sleepless nights, dirty nappies or the fact my boobs will triple in size and leak about a gallon of milk when someone pushes past me in a queue (even though that is a very valid point on its own!) Or the fact that you have to do about 10 ten washes a day, or the £700 nursery bills…going off track a bit here….But mentally, am I ready? Will I ever be ready? 

There are so many questions that I want answered first. Could what happened to Vi happen to the next child? What if it does? Do I have to have a c-section again? What if my epidural goes wrong again? How will I be able to cope with two children and be poorly myself? What if I get ill again? What if I don’t get better as quickly as I did last time?

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So a little message to Vi…

If you are ever reading this when you are older and you haven’t had a brother or sister, it isn’t because your Mum doesn’t want you to be big sister – it is because your Mum is so scared. Scared that something so small will break her heart again. Scared that something she loves so much will make her cry like she has never cried before. Scared of the future.

But Vi my little love, you may have broke my heart but you also mended it with extra strength super glue and made it stronger and better. You may of made me cry a river but you certainly have taught me to smile and laugh in a whole new way. And Vi you have made me see that the future isn’t anything to be scared of, it is something to be ready for. Not everyday is going to be a doddle but having the people you love around you sure makes you prepared for anything the future may have in store…

Love you with all my pieced-back-together heart.

Mum xx

Five things I wish I knew five years ago.

Five years ago this time of the year we got some very surprising news. A very surprising bun in the oven! Glenn and I hadn’t been together long so we were very shocked when we received the news.

A lot has happened since then, we have had our ups and downs, moved out and moved back in again and February this year he popped the question!

So we are busy planning our beautiful spring wedding for April 2017 – how stressful is wedding planning?! Scratch that, how stressful are ‘simple’ things like place cards?! The other day I had a full on break down and cry about invitations. What has my life become.

Anyway, looking towards the next chapter in our lives it made me think about the past five years and how we have come to this point so I thought about writing this post about five things I wish I knew five years ago..

1. That it’s OK to have mixed emotions when you have a baby – When I was pregnant, I thought life would be perfect. I thought I would bloom during pregnancy, sail through the birth and devote every second of the rest of my life to my darling daughter. I thought I would never be unhappy again, thought I would never cry, I used to look at other Mums and wonder why they ever looked down. They had the gift of a perfect baby, what was there to complain about. Turns out, a lot. There were times when Violet was little that I think I didn’t sleep for over 72 hours and most of those hours were also spent crying. How can something that brings you so much joy also make you so stressed and exhausted? I didn’t think I was experiencing it right. There must be something wrong with me. Why am I not enjoying every second? I used to be upset and felt like I needed time alone but then I used to cry because I had those thoughts. It was a vicious cycle. But turns out, a lot of Mums feel that way. And Dads! You are not alone, and the tiredness won’t last forever. Soon she will have lie ins!

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2. People aren’t trying to annoy you, they are just wanting to help you – I wish I accepted more help when Violet was little. I felt like I had to do it all by myself or I wasn’t being a good mum. I felt judged even though looking back, nobody cared! It was only me who was judging myself and no one else. Family would offer to have Violet for a few hours and I would say no, inside my head I would be screaming ‘YES PLEASE!’ but somehow the words just didn’t come out. Looking back that is probably when I started to get poorly. Not a lot of people know but I was quite poorly after having Violet but it didn’t really appear until 2013. It was just after I stopped breastfeeding and we’re not sure if it was the hormones or something but I really did hit rock bottom. I couldn’t keep it in anymore. It took months/years for me to get better and I still have bad days/weeks now but I know to cope with it now. I know the signs and so do my family and friends. I always ask for help now but maybe if I had asked for help back then I wouldn’t have got into such a bad place back then. I am not ashamed of suffering with mental health issues and I believe that it was life’s way of telling me that I needed to break down completely, to rebuild myself stronger for the future.

3. Your Mum is giving you advice because she loves you – When my Mum gives me advice about Violet, she drives me crazy! She says the most obvious things like ‘Is Violet wearing a coat today?’. It drives me crazy and it has turned into a little joke now but I know she means it. We might bicker all the time but I know she says those things out of love. I forget that not only does my Mum worry about me but worries about her granddaughter too! I can’t cope with just the one child, never mind if that child had a child..

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4. Date nights are allowed and are so important – Olivia, do not feel bad about going on a date night. Get your heels on and get out that door. It’s OK to not be ‘Mummy’ all the time, you are allowed to be girlfriend, friend, daughter and a twenty-something who is allowed to laugh and have fun!

5. Having a child really will change your life – When I fell pregnant, my Nan told me that my life will never be the same again. And of course, I didn’t believe her. I thought that she was crazy and that my life wouldn’t change at all. I thought that this baby would fit in around my life and I would still be able to do all the lovely things I always do. But I was so so so wrong. Every second of my life was different. Not only everything that happened to Violet and I in hospital which had a huge impact but also all the little things such as using baby wipes to clean my face rather than actual make up wipes, spending my money on swimming nappies rather than swimming costumes and watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse at 2am and not strolling out of nightclubs. It really has changed and sometimes I do reminisce on my previous shenanigans pre-baby but the thought soon goes when I find Violet crushing wax crayons on my new carpet!

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Even after all those things, I still wouldn’t change the past five years.  Of course I wish that Violet hadn’t become poorly, obviously, but she is an absolute sweetheart. So kind, thoughtful and she has such an infectious smile. Here’s to the next five years, no more surprises please!

OurSweetViolet xo

One Messy Mama
Hot Pink Wellingtons
Cuddle Fairy

I wanted to freeze the moment so morning didn’t arrive.

It was about a week before Christmas and I had gone out for a Christmas meal with the girls from my old work. It was so nice to be out but I felt slightly lost. I didn’t know what to do with myself.

I had a phone call from my Mum to say Violet was screaming and she wouldn’t take the milk that I had expressed for her. I could hear Vi crying in the background and packed up my things and went straight to my Mums. When I got there I could hear Violet from outside as it was a cry like no other. I tried to feed her but she didn’t seem to want it. I was trying to keep calm and thinking that it could be wind or colic.. I saw the look on my Mum’s face and knew she was worried. And when my Mum is worried then I know that I should be worried. We tried for a while to calm Violet down but nothing soothed her.

Every day we had been measuring Vi’s head circumference as if this was increasing then it could mean the hole they made in the third ventricle in her head may have closed up causing the pressure to build up again.

Alder Hey gave us the direct number to the ward when we left hospital in September so we thought it was best to call them and see what they say. The nurse told us pretty much straight away to come to Alder Hey A&E.

The fear crawled over me as it did those few months ago. I thought we were doing fine. Things were getting easier and better. Why is this happening?

We waiting in the emergency room where there were other children who were poorly. It was heart breaking. All the adults in this room were experiencing something similar to me. That feeling of helplessness and sadness. I remember looking round and just crying. All these tiny babies and children are poorly when their lives have only just begun.

A nurse tried to get a blood sample from Violet and it was absolutely awful. Now she was nearly four months old and she was interacting so much more. It was amazing when she was happy and giggling when were at home but now, I could see the sadness and pain in her eyes as the nurse tried to get the blood sample. My Mum had to hold Violet as it happened because I just did not feel strong enough. I felt like such a bad Mum. Violet was staring at me and I just remember trying to hold back the tears. All those feelings from four months ago hit me like a pile of bricks.

Shortly later they had put Mum and I in a side room with Violet whilst we waited for some results of the scan she had an hour before. Violet had really calmed down by now and she was fast asleep in my arms. Me and Mum started nattering and thought maybe we had jumped to conclusions and maybe Vi had just had nasty colic or something. We had a few laughs that I missed the Christmas party but I thought about going home and to my bed and I was so happy.

That image was quickly snatched away from me as the Doctor walked in. I could tell from the look on his face that it wasn’t good news. My Mum got up and sat by me. I just burst out into tears. I wanted to run out the room and not hear what he had to say. He told us that Violet’s surgery had failed and she needs to have surgery again immediately but she also has a water infection which is causing her pain when she wees. ‘Pain‘ was the worst word they used. My beautiful baby girl in pain and she couldn’t tell me. Was she wondering why I couldn’t stop the pain? Did she hate me? Why is this happening? Am I doing something wrong? Am I not a good mum? Is this the worlds way of telling me that I am just not made for this? I wanted answers but I just couldn’t get them. I drove myself crazy with these questions running round and round in my head.

It was really late and we were on the list for surgery the next day. Violet was lying in the hospital cot. I watched her chest go up and down as she slept. I listened to her beautiful breaths in and out. I remember leaning my head on the bars of the cot, tears running down my face just staring at her. So small and fragile. Her tiny hands clenching with the beeps of the monitors on the ward. She was sleeping so lovely that I couldn’t believe there was anything wrong. I wanted to freeze the moment so morning didn’t arrive and my heart couldn’t be broken again.

Our Sweet Violet xo

 

 

 

I wanted Violet back in my tummy.

Violet’s first ever trip in her car seat was in an ambulance on the way to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. I still wasn’t strong enough to walk or stand up for long periods of times so I was on the hospital bed in the back of the ambulance trying to still make sense of the last few hours.

We arrived at Alder Hey in the middle of the night. I was in a wheelchair being pushed down to the ward and my Mum was carrying Violet in the car seat. When I got the ward I could see other babies in cots and young children hooked up to monitors and the constant beeping of the medical equipment. That night was again such a blur, I hardly slept as I knew in just a matter of hours my baby would be going for surgery.

Violet has the most amazing neurosurgeon ever, Dr Mallucci. He is the most incredible man I have ever met. He told me that Violet would be going in for surgery shortly. I cried and cried. When the Doctor reads you out all the possible consequences of brain surgery and you have to sign to give your consent. I had only been a Mum for a few days. I didn’t know if I was doing the right thing. I was surrounded my family, friends, Doctors and Nurses and yet I felt so alone. I felt like no one understood. I was sad, upset, full of emotion and so angry. Angry at the world for what was happening.

There were times when I wanted to take Violet and run. Far, far away. I wanted Violet back in my tummy. Where I could look after her. No one could harm her in there. She was mine. But now, me, her Mum, the person in her life that is meant to fix everything, couldn’t. I couldn’t do anything. I felt hopeless and completely helpless. Her life, my whole world, was in someone else’s hands.

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Walking away from Violet in that Anaesthetic Room was, hands down, the hardest thing we have ever had to do in our lives. I would of gone through a million zillion bad epidurals if it meant my little baby could not be on that table. Our tiny baby being left with strangers who were going to operate on her. My Mum and Glenn were trying to be strong for me the past few days but at that point I could see they were broken, not only were they worried about Violet but also concerned about me too. Violet had only been in our lives a few days but we felt so lost without her there.

It was the longest 4 hours ever. I smiled fully for the times in days when I saw her gorgeous face back from theatre and strangely, her eyes were wide open. We had never seen them open properly before. (The pressure of the fluid on her brain was making her eyes look down). She was staring at me. Like properly looking at me. She fed so much and was staring at me as I breastfed. She looked absolutely beautiful. She had a bandage on her head where they had operated but they told me that with brain surgery she would be in no pain as she can’t feel it. Nothing would be sore and she wouldn’t be in pain whatsoever.

Oh she was stunning. I changed her bum. I took her out of her theatre gown and put her in a sleepsuit and she was perfect. In every sense of the word. The huge sense of relief that evening was nothing like ever before. My baby was OK. They had looked after her. How do you repay someone for saving your daughter’s life? How do you say thank you for mending your entire world?

There was obviously a long road ahead and Doctors did tell me that the surgery they did could fail, which it did after three months, but right then that night I felt happy. Happy and so thankful.

Violet is doing so well these days and I promise my next post will be a happy one and one that shows how brilliant she is doing now! She is seen in lots of clinics and by different Consultants but she takes it all in her stride. Violet is so strong and brave and she makes me so, so proud every single day. If she ever does read this, I love you Vi – so very very much.

OurSweetViolet x

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Violet opens her eyes!

Why me? Why Violet?

I was sitting up in the hospital bed for the first time in six days and holding Violet properly in my arms for the first time. I had not long come back from theatre after having my blood patch to create a ‘patch’ over the hole in my spine where the fluid was leaking from. It wasn’t a nice procedure at all as I was awake for the whole thing and watched as the Doctor took blood out of my arm and then went on to put the blood on my spine. I remember Take That were playing in the background and I tried to just think about Violet and how I would be able to change her bum in just a few short hours.

Mum and I were joking about how rough I looked and how massive my boobs were. Violet hadn’t really been feeding very much. We kept having to wake her to feed her which the nurse said was a bit unusual for a newborn.

(Just a few hours before this a nurse came in and was staring at Violet in the cot. She said that her head looked large and a bit swollen and that she was going to send her for an ultrasound. I didn’t think much of it as birth must be so traumatic for a baby anyway, I was more concerned that I couldn’t go with her. My Mum had to take her as I still wasn’t able to move).

It must of been pretty late when me and Mum were chatting and I was sitting up feeding Violet. A nurse came in to check on us and said I had such a glow about me. Then, that’s when it happened.

A lady came in wearing a suit. I remember briefly seeing her before when they took Vi for the ultrasound. She stood at the end of my bed and told me Violet had Hydrocephalus. She explained a bit what it was but it was all a blur. I can’t remember anything much about what she said only the key words about brain, operation, damage..all those scary terms that I just didn’t want to hear. The lady walked out.

I didn’t know it was possible to have that many tears inside me. My heart was truly broken. I felt it break. How can my perfect baby be poorly? She was so small and tiny. How can anything be wrong? I held her tighter and closed my eyes wishing that it wasn’t true and that this was all some huge mistake. I kept kissing her head and I saw my tears land on her baby grow. Not my baby, not my Violet. Why me? Why Violet? Why my baby? Why now? What have I done to deserve this? Have I been a bad person? Is this punishment for something? Then it quickly went to thoughts that I have caused this. Did I do something when pregnant? Did I eat the wrong things? Did I not eat enough of the right things? Did I stress too much? Did I not do enough exercise? This is my fault.

If I am completely honest, I think I still think those now. Not to that extent but the thought always linger in the back of my mind. No matter how many people tell me that it has nothing to do with what I did throughout my pregnancy, I won’t believe them. Even though the facts tell me it wasn’t my fault, deep deep down I think I will always believe that a part of it is. I don’t beat myself up about it, I don’t let it run my life but I wonder if one day those thoughts will go away and what it will feel like. Am I the only one who felt/feels like this? I hope that there will be a time when I can truly believe it wasn’t my fault.

I don’t think my emotions could handle the whole story in one post so will post about Violet’s surgery soon.

My heart and love goes out to any parent who has been through anything similar.

OurSweetViolet xo

Mad About Kids

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