When I found out we were expecting again I was over the moon. Not just because we had wanted a second baby, but because I was ACTUALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO BEING PREGNANT. Writing those words now makes me sound, at best, completely deluded.
Because this is the thing.
Being pregnant with Penny was possibly the happiest, healthiest, loving-the-world-est I have ever felt. Crazy, right? I guess it must have been the hormones, or the fact she was so very wanted and waited for, or just feeling like I was somehow connected to a timeless human experience. Or something.
There has been a lot of crying in our home lately. The overwhelming majority of it coming from Penny of course – we’ve noticed she’s having a crying phase; cries if she wants water, cries if we need to change her nappy, cries because she doesn’t want a bath, cries when we tell her she needs to come out the bath, cries for another book before bed, and so on almost endlessly. Some of it is full-on crying, some of it is just whimpering really, but it’s all part of the same, irritating, mind-numbing thing right?
I signed up to write the Britmums carnival almost a year ago, and I can barely believe it’s here already! Had some brilliant entries, so here goes…
First of all, one of my all-time favourite topics: Parenting. So much out there on this, and so little time to read it all! Is how I generally feel. For example, I had no idea that such a thing as Precious First Born Syndrome existed, did you? Well, let Two Boys One Mum illuminate you on this one. I’m sure lots of you can relate, and I’m looking forward to experiencing ‘Neglected Second Born’ syndrome once baby number 2 arrives in April.. speaking of which, in a heart-warming (and very reassuring!) post Californian Mum in London shares the wonders of having two. Looking forward to this!
“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom.” — Victor Frankl
I found this great quote on a parenting website, I forget which now. I think about that space a lot now. Not only because it helps me parent Penny, but also because it helps in life in general, and because it is exactly what my yoga practice has been about (well, part of it).
Also what I have come to realise is that your first birth matters so much!! I had no idea about VBAC when I had my Em-C with Penny, no idea that the way this first birth went would influence all of my subsequent births… not that I plan to have many ‘subsequent’ births, but I will have at least one more seeing as I’m 23 weeks pregnant!
We cooked an amazing Thanksgiving feast last Saturday, and had my sister and her boyfriend, and my brother over.
At one point during dinner my sister turns to me and says, ‘It gets easier, right?’ Referring in to parenting/bringing up children in general, and to Penny specifically. ‘I mean, when they’re babies it’s really hard but now it’s easier isn’t it?’.
Penny is 2, and so far she’s my only child. So I can’t really say I have a lot of parenting experience. But as far as saying that it gets easier, no, it really doesn’t. And I don’t suppose it will get easier until they are adults, and maybe not even then!
So I am booked in for a VBAC at Chelsea and Westminster hospital (for the moment, at least). I haven’t really decided exactly what kind of birth I’ll attempt this time round. Penny was an emergency C-section for slow progress (which, in hindsight, is SUCH a bullshit reason). But anyway, it happened and I’ve let it go. She is healthy and I’m pregnant again, so life is good.
I went to the VBAC workshop at the hospital last week. It was interesting and I was half-pleasantly surprised, and half-disappointed. Let me explain.
Penny turned two in September and that means I have been looking after her virtually full-time for two, long years. This has given me plenty of time to figure out what sort of parent I’d like to be. You’d think. In fact, only recently have I ‘figured’ some of it out – not to say I have it all worked out, but let’s just say that I feel I have found a groove, a general way of parenting, a philosophy that keeps me going through the really tough times. And I think you need this, especially if you decide to spend A LOT of time with your child.
We had a fantastic day out today. I ran the BUPA 10k in aid of Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital. Some of you may know that Penny was born with a VSD – a hole in the heart – and around about this time last year, at 8 months of age, had open heart surgery at Great Ormond Street Hospital. It was a difficult time – we thought she was responding to medications and might have been able to put off surgery, but in a scan we found out the VSD was actually causing other problems in the heart, and so her cardiologist decided surgery was the only way.