Quick Fire Catch Up and Birth Story

It’s taken a while, but here it is. A play by play of the last year. In bullet form because a full year is a lot and nobody has time for that.

• July ’20: Bloomed a garden. The veg patch was amazing. I didn’t see any tomatoes because my small girl ate them straight off the plant. We also got a new kitchen!!

• August ’20: positive pregnancy test, small girl turned 3, the blooming veg garden made my morning sickness peak. Oh the vom inducing kale nightmares I had then.

•September ’20: First scan and baby announcement. My 32nd Birthday. Working on flexi furlough. Morning sickness was real, it certainly wasn’t just mornings. Little Miss started nursery.

•October ’20: Halloween hosted as a mini treasure hunt in the house for little miss because of covid. Another Lockdown announcement. Our 1st wedding anniversary, we managed to stay at our fave hotel for the night.

•November ’20: nothing particularly notable. Still sick, preparing for a lockdown Xmas.

•December ’20: Found out our bump was a little boy, Delilah thought it was the end of the world because she wanted a sister. Santa visited and we got to spend Xmas with my ma and step pa.

•January ’21: soaked in all the mama of one moments and pulled little miss out of nursery. On government guidelines, from 28 weeks pregnant we were supposed to shield so she stayed home with me and we barely saw a soul.

• February ’21:  we saw snow, and a 7 month (still sick) pregnant mama hauled delilah about in a sledge. We also baked alot this month.

•March ’21: my little brother hit 30, there seemed to be tulips in every vase I owned and I’d finally started buying baby stuff and packed the baby’s hospital bag.

•April ’21: the strangest weather month. One day delilah was in a swimming costume, the next a warm coat. Baby arrived exactly 1 day before his due date. Life as a family of 4 began. Found out about delilah’s school.

•May ’21: the month that seems to have just disappeared. Between getting established with breastfeeding and baby bonding the month just vanished.

•June ’21: we celebrated hub’s birthday, had a holiday.

•July ’21: celebrated my dad’s birthday. Visited delilah’s school and here we are.

So there it is in bullets. Big year right?! And all through a pandemic.

So, let’s talk pregnancy and birth.

My second pregnancy was clinically speaking straight forward. My experience on the other hand was borderline painful. Sickness started immediately. It was the first thing that made me suspect I was pregnant. I must have only been about 3/4 weeks, and the sight of the kale I had grown made me actually sick. Hence the demise of my veggie garden last year as well as my blogging. It also lasted till about 30ish weeks.

This pregnancy was lonely too. Pregnancy through a pandemic was dark some days, but I’ve far too much to say on that subject; I’ll save it for another post.

Baby made me craved kebabs which I’d never dream of eating before. Like the really unhealthy takeaway versions, with hot sauce despite having the worst heartburn for the entire pregnancy. Veggies made me heave, not ideal especially when you invite over family for a Sunday roast and end up gipping at the sight and not eating it. Energy levels were so low, turns out I was anemic. Weeks of iron supplements my energy returned thank goodness.

The little bugger then decided to lay on my sciatic nerve. This left my hips, lower back and butt in agony on waking. There was literally no way of being comfortable throughout, especially for the later end when he positioned his but and legs right up in my ribs. This made it hard to breath when walking anywhere.

I can not tell you how much I wanted him to arrive. I walked, I bounced on the ball, I drank all the raspberry leaf tea, ate the hot curry in hope to help bring on labour. But let’s face it, these babies arrive when they feel like it.

Finally my waters broke on the 13th of April at 5.10am with super mild contractions. Just one day before my due date. Went into the birth unit, checked over and sent us home to progress naturally. A film, coffee and cinnamon bun later the contractions were stronger and a ton closer together. I pre called the unit to let them know we were on the way. I followed the instructions, but as you will find out there wasn’t much point in the end.

On arrival the parking attendant watched me get out the car as hubs reversed parked it, then told us we couldn’t park there – then despite being mid contraction asked me if I was there for a covid jab. And in all honesty I couldn’t help but laugh in his face mid contraction as I told him “my son is about to pop out”. Needless to say he didn’t really know what to say to that. Got in the hospital and despite calling prior to going, we ended up in maternity assessment unit because I totally needed to be told I was having contractions and progressing towards active labour.

Prodded and poked (joy) and finally get the all clear to move to the birth centre after being told I was only 3cm (which I swear was such a wrong diagnosis). When they said I could move I swear I heard a chorus of angels, after being verbal that I wasn’t about to give birth to my son in a curtained cubicle with an audience. We grabbed our stuff and walked through the cafe. I had nothing but a bed sheet wrapped round my none existing waist, no pants on cos I lost a ton of my waters in the assessment unit and I was still contacting like you wouldn’t believe. There was no way I was going to put pants on at that point. There was no way I could.

Finally in the birth unit room, I had a contraction as soon as I got in there. Midwife wanted to examine me again; my little one is thinking ‘sod that, I’m coming out’ and boy, did he gave me all those feels too “nope he’s coming now”. Student Midwife delivered him (supervised). 2 contractions and he was in the world.

Practically perfect. Although how he got away without any complications because of the true knot in his cord is beyond anyone! Even surprising a midwife or 3.

No water birth as I had in my head, but got away with only gas and air and a slight graze (no need for stitches – whoo). Discharged within 4 hours because I was damn sure I wasn’t staying in. So we all trekked home and got settled into life as a family of four.

Euan Peter Douglas has arrived and is now currently 13 weeks old as of today.

So yeah, thats how that part of my year has gone. How did you get on? What’s new? I’ve very much missed writing, so here’s to getting back into a weekly post again.

Sending so much love and chaos,
L, xox

Family Sunday: Burnsal

Sunday’s are for lazy mornings in bed, playing peek-a-boo and planning an afternoon out. It’s for cats and babies to become friends.

Bacon butties and a coffee later we were packed up ready to trip out to our favourite spot in the Dales. It was where my Grandma grew up and I spent many childhood afternoons walking by the river Wharfe, as well as swimming in the deeper parts of the water. Burnsal has my heart and I really can’t wait for warmer weather for more visits. I even like the drive to and from. The scenery is so beautiful, I have convinced myself that when I’ve made my millions I’ll be living there. And that’s not an ‘if’ it’s a certain when.

Delilah in her sling, demon dog on his lead and we set out for our picnic by the river. It wasn’t as warm as the weather forecast had promised, but we’d packed a flask of coffee to keep us warm. Delilah threw bread on the floor while we had a sandwich and Aro whined longingly to be let off the lead to do what he does best.

Demon dog got his way. He took large stretched out leaps around the field and just like his name sake flew very quickly dead set in his chosen direction. He’s pretty good off the lead and generally comes back when called. He also stays close by and follows when you walk. So despite his nickname he’s really a gem when we’re out and about. I love to watch him stride on a good run. He’s got sighthound in him making him pretty fast. Although I once let him play with a whippet who ran circles round him, poor boy had never been out run before. He’s a good old mix of greyhound, whippet and collie and he’s at his happiest running about like the mad thing he is.

Man skimmed stones on the river. Delilah and I wobbled about on the stoney river bank; dreaming of sunnier days to come as the impending rain clouds got closer to our haven. Man took some pictures for memories, they didn’t turn out that badly. Actually love Delilah’s face in both pictures of her.

I love Sundays like today. They’re good for the soul. We’ve decided to make a list of places relatively close by to visit for the rest of the year. We figured a little adventure every other weekend would be a great escape from the mundane sometimes.

Happy Sunday lovers.

Xoxo, L

Pen Pals

Once long long a go, I had a pen pal. I’m not sure what made me think of my pen pal this afternoon, but I’ve found myself replaying old memories and she popped up.

Her name was Rachel and she lived in Cornwall. Her grandparents rented their beautiful house out ever year for the holiday season and that’s how we met.

The house was a three bedroom detached with a pool, an edible garden and orchard. I’m pretty sure we spent 4 or 5 summers at this beautiful house. The lady (Jean) and her husband (Ray) were always so welcoming. They looked after us, even though that wasn’t part of the holiday rental agreement. They were the kindest couple. Fun loving and gentle, they helped to fill our home from home with sunshine.

I met Rachel and her brother Mark one day while we were swimming in the pool. Rachel and I were a similar age and her brother Mark was a similar age to my brother. We had a love of nail polish in common and that’s all it took for an eight year-old me to develop a new friendship. We spent 2 weeks of the holidays together for a few years before we decide to write each other. We wrote before becoming too busy for one another. The time between letters got longer and eventually we just stopped writing.

The first ever letter I got from my pen pal was written in different coloured ink. It must have taken an age to write, and I was envious of how her writing looked so perfect to me. My handwriting changed all the time, as a child this was slightly annoying. Even now it’s never the same and it depends on my mood as to how it looks. I attribute this to my mental issues, but I like this. I don’t like to always be the same after all.

I miss writing letters. Taking pride and time in cursive script and double checking all my spellings. I must have wrote and re-wrote my letters a dozen times before I finally sealed an envelope and stuck on a stamp. I miss pretty stationery. I miss the pure art of letter writing and what technology doesn’t give us.

I’m open to a pen pal. It would be great to have a go. Read without judgement and write just the same. There is something so personal about a hand written letter. Raw and beautiful. Fancy having a go? Get to my contact page and email me; we could switch addresses and start putting that cursive to good use.

Xoxo, L.

Why I Handle Things The Way I Do.

There’s certain things in our life that mould us. Situations that make us react in certain ways and influences everything that happens in our lives. This can be good, bad or indifferent.

I remember in the first year of sixth form I was taking psychology as one of my classes. It was an outside tutor that appeared once weekly to talk about his self and every achievement he had ever accomplished. Class A bell-end. A conceited, haughty, selfimportant twit decided it was his job to preach his life freaking story once a week to a bunch of teens who wanted a psychology A-level.

Despite the douche-bag’s demeanour, psychology was an interesting subject and one that has kept my interest for all these years. I’d complete the reading and homework each week. I’d enjoy the classes; well the content at least, but never the teacher. He wasn’t relaxed enough to have a good report with any of his students and I’m pretty damn sure the rest of my class felt the same way.

We were almost a full year into the course and exam preparation had started. I remember the classroom. We sat in a room in the sixth form building. It was a class of about 15ish students. There was a whiteboard with a projector pointing at it where we would see the pompous bastard’s weekly slides. We’d answer questions in class while discussing the topic of the week. One word answers required or at least simple arguments for or against what ever a study had shown. Each of us took notes, but the class discussions were mainly opinion based.

One particular week the class had been set the task to complete a practice test paper. The test paper was comprised of essay style questions. Long answers. Write in paragraphs, opinions backed up with studies. We had never, in class prepared for this, or been told about it. Each of us tried the best we could and handed it in the following week.

The week after hand in, I wasn’t in class. In was away, at home sick. After he had marked the classes first attempt at the practice papers, there was a mass failing in the air. Every single member of the class did crap. I’m talking no one got higher than a D. Now, as I’ve already mentioned I was away from that class. This, unfortunately for the toolbox teach, was the week he decided to make an example of my work.

He slated my paper for a full 30 mins of a 45 min class. He trash talked me in front of my peers. In front of friends. In front of everyone else who had done equally as badly as I had.

BIG MISTAKE CHUFFER!

If there was one thing I loved about sixth form, it was the solidarity between students. Despite the clique you belonged to, your social background, whether you got on in high school or hated each other; sixth form happened and against the teachers, the students stood united – no matter what. They told me everything that verbally vomiting, micro organism had said about me and my paper.

I’ve always been good with words on paper (apparently not so much in a psychology practise paper – lol). So naturally I put pen to paper. I wrote a letter and addressed it not only to him but to our head of year. This caused some chaos. He probably regretted using me as a target for the class. Using my work as his shooting range in his highly unapologetical rant at how shit the class he had taught was.

A few point I stated in my letter:

1. Is it fair to make someone who isn’t in the room a victim of your slating in front of their peers?

2. Is it fair to say that speaking about your own life, and how amazing you were to over come the obstacles you have faced has mainly nothing to do with Freud, other psychologists or theories they have presented?

3. If the entire class failed miserably on a practice paper, isn’t this a reflection on the teacher rather than the class?

We were pulled into a meeting to discuss and I let him have it, both bullets in front of the head of sixth form. He apologised (but not publicly) for humiliating me in front on my peers. He offered to re-teach the last year to me in a one-on-one situation to which I replied “I wouldn’t waste my time”. His egotistical nature had him deluded him into thinking he could teach in the first place. I wasn’t going to fall for that one.

I gave my official notice and never attended his class again. At the end of that same term, he was moved on. Now I’m not saying that was my doing. I’m only saying I hope I had a little helping hand in having them realise the man was full of BS.

This incident still holds some resonance with me. I’m still that sassy girl. Quiet, understated and when cornered – a full on queen bitch. And yes, I am proud of that. Sometimes arrogance needs a mirror holding up to its ugly face…. sometimes you have to smash the mirror over that ugly face.

Till this day, I will take so much agro from someone before reacting. I’m okay with that. It builds up, and builds up until I flip the switch and make sure the agro stops. I might be wrong in how I deal with certain situations but it’s the only way I know how.

How would you deal with this situation? What do you do when you’ve had enough of the BS?

(Some of the sixth form girls, I’m in the red, looking giggly as we had just photo bombed this pic. Each beautiful woman in this picture will always be welcome with me)

Xoxo, L.

Relationship Goals

We see pictures on insta, in mags and on the box of sweet ass, well manicured couples. We hashtag #relationshipgoals when we see something cute a bloke has done for a woman. We idolize couples because they seem so perfect in the spotlight.

Well here’s the thing; we’re all picture perfect for insta, we’re (mostly)all behaved in public and in front of our peers. Not one of us has an insta-perfect relationship behind closed doors. We have perfect moments and the rest we are cobbling together, stumbling through our lives with each other and laughing (for the most part) as we go.

Sometimes we anoy each other. Sometimes we support each other. Sometimes we get along. We leave clothes on the floor, toilet paper middles on the side of the bath and not in the bin. Sometimes we leave an empty boxes in the kitchen draw because we can be too lazy to put it in the recycling.

Regardless of all this and any which way, we still love each other. Now that’s #relationshipgoals!

Stop letting social media and media in general dictate your happy relationship. Every couple is different, and what works for me and mine might not work for you. Give yourself a chance to know what you want rather than what society deems ‘normal’.

Happy relationship-ing

L, xox