I don’t want to jinx things but…

…..today is the first day that I woke up and I could actually breathe and my back didn’t ache immediately upon waking! Despite the fact I am exhausted, having spent 2 hours up in the night with The Wife, who was pacing around the living room in extreme pain again.

My phone vibrated and woke me up around 2am, she was calling me from downstairs and I knew she wasn’t right. She was talking in that kind of breathy way you do when you are in pain. When I went down she told me she had been in the kitchen putting in one of those buckwheat things into the microwave, when she said everything closed in around her, her ear started buzzing and she wasn’t sure if she was having a heart attack, or dying.

That’s probably one of the most terrifying things you can hear from your wife, nearly exactly 12 years to the day that her dad died of heart problems.

We called 111, and spoke with a nurse there, then an on-call doctor, who thinks that despite having taking Tramadol with no side effects before and recently, that she had suffered a side effect to the one last night. I am hoping that is all it was.

She and I got very little sleep last night – her with pain, me with worry.

Thankfully we were meeting with her rheumatologist today and when she woke up from dozing in the chair in the living room, she appeared to be in less pain – which was incredible.

And so, it was kind of a blessing really that she had a big flare up last night, so the rheumatologist could see just how much pain and swelling there was, and gave her a shot of Prednisone. So, we are hugely hugely hopeful that she wont be in as much/any pain. We still don’t have a diagnosis because all the bloods are not back, but her x-rays have come back clear, which is a big relief! She has had a mystery horrendous cough for as long as the pain in her joints has been happening, and we were both worried it was something much more sinister.

So big love, thoughts and prayers are still very much needed. I’ll be getting an update on Nana Joan shortly, but in short she is back in her own home, but still very breathless and struggling with energy. I have been frightened to write the blog update, just in case I jinx things terribly.

In other new, just before the afternoon school run I had some free time, so I managed to pick up some toys in the Sainsbury’s toy sale for Christmas today for the kids, and my Christmas wrapping organiser arrived, which made me stupidly happy!

Bug checks out the Christmas wrapping organiser

Bug checks out the Christmas wrapping organiser

When the going gets tough.

Most of this year has been a struggle. When people ask me about it and joke that we are due a lottery win, I say that I can’t wait to get to 2015, as if that is somehow magically going to be better. I don’t know that it is, but I am hopeful, really really hopeful – because this has been ridiculously shit and without hope, well we have nothing.

The last few weeks, have honestly been some of the most difficult, and a true struggle. Dealing with the health worries of the woman I love, the woman I married, who I want to spend the rest of my life with and the woman who is my safe place, my constant, my Nana has taken its toll on me. But I’ve tried to plaster a smile on through much of it, whilst simultaneously trying to not worry, share the health burden for the two other women in my life, and look after the kids and run our every day lives – whilst struggling on with my own bad back.

And only two day ago, I’m pretty sure I just literally broke. I am absolutely terrified that I am going to lose both these women. And now just typing that has made me cry again.

I’m always surprised during difficult times, who tends to come to you rescue. Who becomes your support when your support is sick? This time its been people I’ve not expected. The people who I thought we could rely on – are nowhere to be seen. And yet, during this ridiculously upsetting period of my life, one ‘friend’ saw fit to delete me from Facebook, without even knowing truly what was going on. That on top of everything else, was one of the most hurtful things that someone could have done. To save others from hurting me, I have saved them the bother.

Anyway, I’ve not posted MUCH on here about the health stuff, because this blog was about baby stuff, right?

But right now my mind has only one thing and one thing on it and that is recovery. We should be finding out the results from my Wifes x-rays and various tests on Wednesday, so I am asking for if you can spare them good/vibes and or prayers, please.

<3

Photoshoot

Bug did a photoshoot with our favourite photographer Sara-Jane of Shutterbaby yesterday, which was lots of fun!

It was actually Sara-Jane who took the first professional picture of Bug, at a cafe in East Dulwich – where she was hosting a session. A friend had told me what an amazing photographer she was, I had seen the proof and I loved the idea of booking a 15 minute session and turning up to a cafe with my newborn to hopefully get a good picture.

I’ll admit, I was worried a bit about the timing, trying not to have a cranky baby and of course, Bug didn’t perform as I expected or the day to get a beautiful picture, or so I thought- when Sara Jane messaged me with it, I was BLOWN AWAY! And, this was it:

ATBS - BUg 1st photo

 

Beautiful, right? I am convinced that it was this picture that landed Bug the contract with her agency.

And 18 months later, Sara-Jane’s pictures are still wowing me, here are some of my favourites from yesterday:

Hope you enjoyed! :) x

My personal Wave of Light

At 7pm throughout the world today (and across various timezones), people were lighting candles in remembrance of babies lost, for today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

And today, I lit my Yankee Candles as I usually do each night, but sat and spent some time thinking about the twins that I very sadly lost in 1997.

I knew I was pregnant, it/they were wanted….I just didn’t know it was twins until it was too late.

I am a firm believer in things happening for a reason, even shitty things maybe sometimes (although we are 17 years later, so I do recognise its easier for me to say that now), life would be very very different for me with a pair of teenagers right now.

Would I have perhaps tried to ignore my own sexuality and stay in a straight relationship and been ultimately quite unhappy living a lie (even though he was a wonderful man). Who knows how life would have turned out?

From the moment we talked about having children, to the devastating moment I found out that there were no heartbeats, I had already managed to plan an entire life for myself, for us with that baby.

I had lived and breathed it. Every waking moment spent thinking about this baby inside of me, and although there was only a small bump, that did not mirror the amount of love I felt.

I remember vividly the moment of being told that there were no heartbeats. A conflicting mixture of shock at the news of twins, tinged with the achiest kind heartbreak.

I asked, no I begged for a second opinion, I couldn’t believe them, I wouldn’t. I wonder how many women do that? The hospital were good enough to transfer me to another hospital for a second opinion and the entire journey in that ambulance I sent praying they were wrong. Proper praying. The kind where your knuckles hurt form pushing your hand together so hard, and your teeth hurt from gritting them. I remember promising to do good things in between sobbing in return for the babies having strong beating hearts.

But they were right.

I cried myself to sleep in my hospital room that night. Spent on a ward with other women, still pregnant but with prominent bumps no doubt desperate for sleep themselves, and I will never forget the nurse coming in in the night to shhh me with what I hoped would be comforting words, but what she actually said stung even more – talk of ‘Its gods way, you’re too young, just a child, it’s probably meant to be’. It offered none of the comfort a 17 year old miscarrying wanted to hear.

Nothing at that time was meant to be. I was meant to be pregnant. I was meant to be thinking about buying things, decorating, living my dream.

The next day my D&C was scheduled. It was Valentines day and honestly, it has never ever been the same since, because to me that is the day I lost my babies. That’s the day my future seemed bleaker and darker for a while. Most Valentines day there have been tears shed at some point.

The Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Movement began in the United States on October 25, 1988, when then-American President Ronald Reagan designated the month of October 1988 as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.

The October 15th Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day (PAILRD) Campaign began in 2002 as an American movement started by Robyn Bear, Lisa Brown, and Tammy Novak. Together, they petitioned the federal government, as well as the governors of each of the 50 states – and across the world people join together on social media to share their grief and thoughts of their own and others losses.

I’ve never talked publicly about my loss, because it was always very private and of course there is a bigger explanation than just ‘I was pregnant’, you tend to find people want to know more about my ‘straight days’, but I wanted to recognise my twins, they are a really important part of my life, of my history.

I am not looking for sympathy, I am writing it down because it is a difficult and painful subject and I find it therapeutic in some ways write about difficult and painful things and hope that it will indeed help someone else open up and talk about their loss and help somehow with their grief.

So, here is my virtual candle for my babies, RIP – February 14 1997.Lost so long ago, but never ever forgotten.

And for all the other SkyBabies and their parents too – you have ALL been in my thoughts.

candle

 

 

 

 

Hats, Face Painting, Soft Play … Oh my!

I’ve had a lovely, fun filled day with the kids today!

This morning, Bug and I went to our new favourite soft play/cafe; Kidplay Cafe. Bug got to hang out with her friends, twins Eoin and Harper, and Charlie. I got to hang out with their Mummies and drink squash (as I’m caffeine/aspartame free as of a few days ago, mostly in support of my wife, really -and because, well it’s better for me!)

bug_kidplay

 

It’s an amazing cafe for those with little ones, I highly recommend a visit if you are local. There’s parking on the local streets for free if you are lucky, or 2 hours at the co-op opposite. It was recommended to me by a friend, and I *wish* I had discovered it earlier! I imagine I would have spent most of the early days there with The Now Toddler!

A play fee of £3.95 entitles you to two hours of fun in the small soft play area. It’s small enough that little ones don’t get bored, and big enough that you can see their every move. There are two sections of soft play, I way say one is more for under 2’s and the other looks like 3-4 years, but is height based.

They don’t appear to be very strict in enforcing the 2 hour limit, BUT I haven’t been there when it is packed. I believe their capacity is 25 children, so they could potentially ask people to leave if it got to close to those numbers, but hasn’t happened to me… yet!

Their food has to be THE most reasonably priced food in all of London. £1.50 for a hot sausage roll, with carrots and cucumbers is PERFET for The Toddler, and £2.90 for ham and cheese toastie. My jug of squash was £1.50.  The reasonable prices are what keep me going back, to be honest.

Children under 1 are £1.95 for play entry, and under 6 months are free. Siblings are charged at £1.95. They have a birthday party package for up to 25 children (10 catered for), for £165 which again seems very reasonable based on my experience of London’s prices.

The lady who owns it is incredibly friendly and welcoming, JUST as you would hope and expect her to be. I found a couple of the staff just pleasant enough (i.e could have been friendlier and a bit more welcoming), but apparently you can’t have everything!

Do make a trip to visit them and tell them we sent you :)

After this I made a special trip to pick up a box of something that I can’t yet talk about – but am VERY excited about. Watch this space!

Thankfully Bug slept in the car at this point for about an hour as she had kinda missed her nap. The we went to pick up Lukey from school.  Since she has become so competent on her feet, we park at the bottom of the road from her school and walk up! They have some wooden play equipment in his playground that she likes to play on while we wait.

Check out my sparkly shoooooes!

Check out my sparkly shoooooes!

 

Playing waiting for Luke

Playing waiting for Luke

After that it was our usual routine, straight home for snacks. I was delighted to find a hat I had ordered from the supremely talented Pippa of Handcrafted by Pippa had arrived on the doorstep. Pippa is an East Dulwich Mum who knits and crochets the most incredible creations! I’ve had some hats, newborn vests and cardigans from her and I will say hand on heart you will NOT be disappointed with the quality – it’s what keeps me going back.. and has led me to order an adult sized hat to match ‘The Toddlers’ – ha! Yes, I’ve become THAT person. How beautifully does it go with her vintage style Sue Hill coat – aka ‘The most beautiful coat in the whole entire world’?

Bug_hat

 

And then Mummy was VERY excited to break out her new Snazaroo Face Painting kit (bought in preparation for Halloween), and I had a practice on a willing subject, he looks thrilled (hehehe!):

Luke face paint

He was actually a lot happier than he looks, he loved it and didn’t want to wash it off, I just like this picture because the combination of grumpy lion face makes me laugh! :D

And this is how the Toddler face paint went. Yep, totally not recommended on toddler who refuses to sit still! haha!

bug_facepaint

Until next time!x

 

 

The life of a Toddler

Hellooooooo!

If you follow me on Instagram you’ll have seen that ‘The Toddler’ is just SO busy these days! Busy, busy, busy – she has found a new use for the Fisher Price Ballapalooza and has been swinging from the bar where the big inflatable ball usually is, that was pulled off by an overly enthusiastic 7 year old! That’s some strength for a 19 month old! It was the last thing she did last night before going to bed and the first thing she did this morning after waking up!

swingingbug

We’re still fighting pain and colds and general lethargy here, but soldering on!  Nana Joan is out of hospital and staying with my Aunt for a couple of days while she gets used to her new medication. It was confirmed that she had fluid on her lungs and a heart condition that meant she would almost certainly have a stroke, so she is now on warfarin to help with that.

We are hopeful the medicine kicks in and she is back to her old energy levels. She has always been so strong and mobile for a 90 year old and loved her independence, so it would be really, really hard to see her as a frail 90 year old now – and such a sudden change would be so hard for her to mentally come to terms with I think.

Back at ours, we’ve also been conducting squirrel watch here with The Toddler. We’ve always had plenty of them in the garden (the most ever, was 7 at one time!) and for some reason she just developed this fascination with them and runs to the window yellow ‘Baaabbaaa BABBAAAA’ to call them! Thank goodness for double glazing, they don’t seem to scarper!

squirrelwatch

 

Today, whilst cleaning the kitchen, with The Toddler ‘helping’ for a bit, I suddenly realised that sitting on the floor she had been very (worringly!) quiet. Every parent knows a quiet child means trouble! I wasn’t wrong, she was emptying the dog biscuits from the dogs food plate one-by-one into their water bowl! Look at that cheeky grin! *pinches cheeks*

bugdogfood

This video, of The Toddler at a gym birthday party (awesome idea, btw!) last weekend is my favourite video EVER, if you fancy a grin – definitely give it a watch! She gets her moves from her Mom ;-)

I am ridiculously happy that I have the opportunity to be a stay at home Mom, and watch our beautiful kids grow, and flourish in front of my eyes. I get to see all kinds of cool stuff that they do each day and the new things they are interested in. I want you to know I never ever take that for granted – I am thankful every single day.

I’m off to order some bits, I fancy having a go at making hair bows – I go through so many with The Toddler, I may as well make my own!

E x

And, so the cave…

Not so much of a cave, but more of an order from the wife, to ‘Get my butt back on Facebook’.

I’d tell her to bugger off, like I have done over the last few days, BUT I had some pictures of Bug from a ToysRus Shoot she did a couple of months ago, and naturally I wanted to share them with the rest of our family/world, being the proud Mama I am.

SO it was that, combined with the fact I cannot run my LGBT Parenting group Facebook page and the fact I can’t access some websites (NOTE: DONT LINK YOUR FACEBOOK ACCOUNT TO WEBPAGES, OR YOU WILL BE STUCK LIKE ME!), that made me cave.

So here is our gorgeous girl for ToysRus:

Toysrus shoot 2toysrus shoot 3

So I’m back, but already it’s sucking up too much of my life. I don’t seem to be able to moderate my use of Facebook. Any tips? I am thinking of removing it from my phone so I can only use it on my laptop at night? I really enjoyed being so much more productive with it gone!

Today, I went to see Nana Joan at hospital. She actually looked quite well/better, I thought. I spoke with the nurse and was told she was going to have an ‘Echo’ done and that she could come home after and Nana, My mum and I agreed she would come to stay with us again. Plans were made and I left to do the school run.

Only, my Mum then got word that Nana now has to see the Cardiologist, so had to stay in another night. I’m hoping it’s because they want to explain something to her maybe after the Echo, and not because there’s more worry. I am sad she didn’t get to come home with me today as I know she hates being in Hospital.

The ward she was on was full of older people and had such an air of sadness about it. There was a lady in the bed next to her, who looked practically skeletal. She was hooked up to an oxygen tank and she didn’t move the entire time I was in there and was apparently nil by mouth. Nana said she hadn’t moved since she had been in – makes me so, so sad.

On that note, good thoughts or prayers please for Nana Joan and all the people in hospital now who are ill or recovering that need them.

E x

 

 

A long old slog

Everything – and I mean everything feels really bloody difficult at the moment.

Even a simple shopping trip with Bug, who I am just going to refer to as ‘The Toddler’, resulted in a near breakdown. I’ve set myself  mini challenge of shopping at Lidl for a bit, instead of our normal supermarket, to see if we can save some money. They REALLY STUPIDLY do not have seatbelts in their child seats, so ‘The Toddler’, rarely stays in, she climbs out at every single opportunity. I try to bribe her with warm croissants, my keys, toys, drinks – but it works for all of about 3 seconds until she wants out. SO she runs around in the store, literally trying climb the bleach, opening the top of milk cartons, trying to put thing in other peoples trollies, and picking up all the baskets by one till and stacking them by another.  I was pouring with sweat and a little stressed by the time I had loaded all my items onto the checkout belt, whilst trying to keep an eye on her, thrown everything into the trolley at the other end and then repack it. Sooooo – I think i’ll be going back to my usual online shopping until ‘The Toddler’ is 38!

It was such a crazy week last week, I can’t remember if I posted anything but my Wife who had been experiencing a sudden onset of joint paint in various joints all over her body, had a blood test at the Dr’s and had a positive marker for Rheumatoid Arthritis.  So that was a bit of a shock, fast forward a couple of days, she developed the most excruciating paint in her should and arm. So bad that I had to take her her to A&E one night. The doctor prescribed her some Tramadol, but it didn’t even touch the pain. My poor wife walked around our living room in circles that night unable to sleep and in pain. We got an emergency appointment at the doctors the following morning, where he prescribed some new anti-inflammatories and she seemed that day to get a bit better (ie. not be in excruciating pain), until that night – and all of a sudden the pain kicked in. She walked the living room again that night in circles. It was heartbreaking to see her in so much pain. Combined with a teething toddler, its been a whole lot of NOT fun. Thankfully the past few nights for The Wife haven’t been quite as bad, she is still in quite a considerable amount of pain and has not been able to work, but we are hanging out waiting for hr appointment with a specialist on Wednesday and hopeful we can find out what is going on and that it can be managed in some way IF it is a permanent thing.

Its surprising how quickly things can go from being so great, to SO shitty. And that life feels very much like a display of baked beans on supermarket sweep. One thing has caused so many others to topple.

I am trying to stay strong, but I haven’t been 100% since January, I cannot shake a headcold I’ve had, I am just SO exhausted. All of this, topple with the Wife and Nana stuff, just feels very overwhelming at the moment. I feel broken.

Just a little update on Nana Joan, I put some incorrect information in my last post, she hasn’t be diagnosed with Arrhythmia, she has been diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation. The latest update from this morning is that she is at A&E and they think she has fluid on her lungs. I’m waiting for an update from my Aunt as to whether I need to go over/what’s happening.

Please please send good thoughts and/or prayers if you can.

My Nana Joan

Anybody that really and truly knows me will know how much I absolutely adore my Nana Joan.

She is my safe and happy place. She is comfort and home to me outside of a fairly turbulent childhood. She is one of only a few people I feel I can truly trust, one of only a few I truly admire and one of the first people I came out to.

I am happy to sit in a companionable silence with or watch Dad’s Army (which by the way I bloody hate) and come away and still feel like I have recharged my soul, like being around her somehow makes ME good.

She is STILL the person I want to grow up and become.

Up until last week she was  doing AMAZINGLY for nearly 91 years old. Up until last week she was pushing Bug around on her car in the living room, or playing ping pong with Luke in the living room- which of course he would always win, because her eyesight isn’t all that great. But that was really all that was troubling her, her eyesight was getting worse, but she was still living on her own in her own Apartment, getting the bloody bus into the local town and doing her shopping. Everybody used to comment on not only how young she looks, but how well she was doing and how we ALL wanted to be like her when we were her age.

And then suddenly she started to feel “not right”. We had a diagnosis fairly quickly of Arrhythmia and there was talk suddenly of pacemakers.

The medication she started last Friday have made her vomit bile and she couldn’t catch a breath, or exert herself in any way. This literally happened within a space of just a couple of days.

We realised quite quickly that she couldn’t be on her own and so she came to stay here.

I watched her and became frightened about her struggling catch her breath at night – there’s nothing worse than feeing ill and being on your own, right? I noticed that she too was getting frightened about it. She couldn’t catch her breath even sitting down on the sofa doing nothing and was continually cold and tired. She’s got not appetite and just wants to sleep. She even talked about worrying this was her time to go.

There’s no purpose for this post, really. Other than to put down my feelings about this situation. I am tired, I am stressed, I am beyond sad. But I am nothing without my Nana Joan – she HAS to get better. Nothing matters right now, outside of getting Nana Joan better.

Ive never even contemplated life without Nana Joan, because she has always seemed so strong so resilient – and yet here I am no facing the thought of life without her, watching her as she becomes more and more fragile and HOPING AND PRAYING that they/the meds/whatever helps her and help her soon. We will have more of an update from the doctor later on today, so please anybody reading this – thoughts/good vibes or prayers please send them our way. I/We love her SO much.

 

 

The curse of social media

So, an interesting thing happened to me last week – Facebook decided to put me on a temporary 30 day ban!

I was there (on Facebook), minding my own business, posting my own ramblings as per usual, when it kept asking me to fill in a Captcha.  I thought it was a bit odd, but thought perhaps it was a security error and something to do with the browser that I was using (Safari), which I don’t usually use. Chrome was acting up on my Macbook at this time.

Anyway, this captcha thing kept popping up every now and again, so I kept filling it in. At one point it asked me to prove I was who I said I was by showing me pictures of some of my Facebook friends and asking me to verify who they were. Which again, I did! Then once again, it asked me to fill in a Captcha, which was my fatal mistake – I then mistyped it (by accident, of course).

Before I knew it a pop up told me I had been placed on a temporary ban. No further information, THAT WAS IT.

It turns out the type of ban I am on means I can 1. log on, 2. view my newsfeed 3. post a status update, including a picture and 4. send messages to people on my friends list, but that is absolutely it.

I cannot post anywhere else, I cannot like groups, or comments, or even properly admin the groups that I am admin for. I can literally just sit there and stare at the world around me without being allowed to comment. It has turned me into THE most selfish social media user ever, and it is completely and utterly frustrating.

So many of my friends said ‘It’s outrageous, why don’t you just speak to Facebook?”  Have you any idea how hard it is to get in touch with anybody there. No, I didn’t either! There is no phone number or email. There’s a button that you can click if you have bug issues, which I filled in (twice!) only to never hear back. It’s like being trapped in an empty room with no key/ and no way out – but knowing there ARE people on the other side who can help you who are choosing not to listen.

I also tried to download a copy of my data, nervous now that Facebook can and will sweep the social media rug from under my feet and I will lose everything, but that hasn’t downloaded as usual (I expect it is because of this ban).

What it has taught me though is how fragile the cyber world is, and especially when something is free – to absolutely not take it for granted. They owe you nothing. It has also taught my that when your chips are down and life is a bit difficult (which it is right now) that a lot of my friend/support network are on social media, without it it has been very hard. I am not naturally one to reach out/ask for help.

If I wasn’t so bloody cross about it, it would be a valuable lesson, I’m sure. Once Facebook has been re-instated full for my, my plan of attack it so:

1.Download my FB data bi-weekly.
2. Un-link my Facebook account with all the external website I had linked it to.
3. Try to spend more time maintaining friendships away from Facebook.

In the meantime, I have taken the decision to temporarily deactivated my account.

I am going to grab this challenge of ‘no Facebook for a 3 weeks’ (I need a catchier challenge name), as MY personal challenge to enjoy the extra time with my children, clear the house of some clutter and get us better organised.

So do check back, to see whether I am surviving! ;-)