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Gracie’s arrival into the big wide world!

Posted by shinymac on May 28, 2009

Gracie’s Birth Story – Thursday 21.05.2009 – 07:20am – 7lbs 5oz

The first sign of anything happening was on Monday 18th May, when I woke up to feel a gush of fluid, and realised my waters had broken.
The whole day was spent waiting for the contractions to come, and seeking out every little niggly pain and ache, all amounting to nothing. I went to pick my children up from school, and the water kept coming and coming – the walking was changing the baby’s position and forcing it out!
I decided I shouldn’t really wait around for the contractions, I needed to be checked by the hospital. I called them, and they said they wanted me in to be monitored, and to check for infection etc. So Alex came home from work, and in we went.
He took the children off to get some tea, while they monitored me, and after several hours, everything seemed to be fine, so they let me go home, but with instructions to return the following day and have more monitoring of the baby’s heartbeat, and temperature checks etc.

The following day, was even worse. I was there for 6 hours, mostly just waiting around, as they seemed to be so short staffed, and as nothing had happened since the waters going (apart from more and more waters coming and coming non-stop), I was getting really upset and frustrated.
They finally let me go at around 8pm, and I cried to the midwife when she said I’d need to be back the following day again. She took me to the desk and found the registrar, and she asked him the following “Please can you consider this poor poor lady for acceleration of labour tomorrow?” He confirmed he was happy to consider me for this, but it would all depend on their workload the following day, and who was in charge as well.
It made me more positive about going back the next day, and I felt a bit better.

During that night, I started waking up around every half an hour with tightenings which turned into pains, and as I got to Wednesday morning, they were coming around every 25-20 minutes and getting slightly worse, although still bearable.
I sent Alex to work, took the kids to school, told him I’d let him know when I needed him, and decided to ride it out as much as I could.
I went to the hospital on the bus, and tried to cover up my wincing when each wave of pain came! Once there the contractions were showing up on the monitor, but were not very strong just yet. They decided to send me home as the Labour Ward was very busy, and they said to come back tomorrow. I had a feeling I’d be back before then.

I went home, again! The pains increased and when they were coming every 12 minutes or so, I rang my friend, Louisa, (what an absolute star she was too!) to come round, as she was going to babysit for us when it all kicked off. She came, and helped me time my pains on the computer as I bounced on my ball.
They went from 12 minutes apart down to 3-4 minutes apart within about 2 hours, so I knew things were heading in the right direction.
I rang the hospital when they got more frequent and when they were starting to become unbearable, and they said to come in.

In we went at around 10pm and were put into a room, where I was examined. After ALL that, I was only a paltry 2cms dilated! I could’ve cried. The midwife said that there was no point in me going home, as things could go quickly due to my waters already going, and they had to induce me the following day as it would’ve been 72 hours since my waters went.

So I got comfy, although not for long. Within a couple more hours, the pains were intensifying. I had some co-codomol, and tried a bath, and had to have some anti-biotic drip put in due to the waters already being broken.
Suddenly, at about 3am, I was in the bathroom doing the toilet, and couldn’t get off it, I was squealing with the pain, and Alex rushed in and called the midwife. She examined me again, put me on the monitors and said it was time to go to the Labour Ward so I could have some gas and air.

Goodness me, that stuff helped, but it made me feel like I had a man’s voice, and made me talk some rubbish too!!! Apparently at one point I was talking about some man who dances with fairies in the park. And I also just blurted out “Well that’s no good is it? He’s in Afghanistan!” I had no idea who I was talking about at that point, until Alex asked if I meant my brother, and I realised I did, although he wasn’t in Afghanistan! It was sending me potty!
Things seemed to progress quickly once I was in the birth room, and I kept trying all kinds of different positions to get comfy, but I was so restricted, as they had to keep me on the monitors. I was standing up, on all fours, laid down, and just struggling to get comfy.

As it got to the pushing stage, the midwife was telling me to hold a deep breath in, use the gas and hold it all down to push, and I kept screaming that I couldn’t do it! I kept saying “I’m SOOO tired! I can’t even open my eyes, let alone push! DRINK! GET ME A DRINK!” Poor Alex kept having to feed me water.

It felt like forever, but I actually managed to push my little girl into the world in just a 20 minute pushing stage after pretty much 3 days of slowwww labour! The feeling of utter relief when you feel her flop out of you is amazing, and impossible to describe, but as soon as she was placed onto me, and let out a cry, my heart was filled with love and devotion to her. Alex had announced the sex to me, and that was a special moment that I will cherish forever.

I tore quite badly, so had to have stitches, but the worst part of that is the first time you go to the toilet as you hesitate and hold it in so much, once you’ve done it once, it’s fine

Gracie is a little angel already, and I am completely besotted with her.
At first I said “NO MORE EVER”. I’ve since changed my mind, if we had a larger house or money for a larger house, I’d keep going and going. The pain is just a small section of the whole experience, and is so totally worth every bit.


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Posted by shinymac on November 22, 2008

Woah! Where have the 2 months gone?
Hmm…… what have I been up to for the last 2 months…… hmmm…. let me think….

WELL! I’ve spent much of it with my head over the toilet bowl, retching. I’ve gone off tomatoey foods, I have been more tired than I’ve ever been in my entire life, and yes, I’ve been growing a baby in my tummy.

This is why I haven’t been around, coupled with starting work full time for the council, which has been far better than I could ever have imagined it would be.

I will update you all properly when I get a chance, but the X Factor has just come on, and I cannot live without my weekly fix of guilty pleasure trashy tv (weekly has actually turned into nightly with I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here coming on lately, so weekly is a bit of a lie really!).

See you soon x

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Marley and Evie start school

Posted by shinymac on September 6, 2008

This has been a very emotional week. On Wednesday of this week, Evie and Marley started their journey and started school for the very first time.
I expected tears, I expected clinging, I expected wails. However I got nothing I expected! I got smiles, excitement, happiness and not a single ounce of nervousness or trepidation about what lay ahead for either of them!

It was hard to leave them in the classroom, but I tore myself away and marched home to sit alone for a while as they got to know their new teacher and their new classmates.

It got to Friday, and the reality sunk in. They were really at school! They weren’t my babies anymore! The day had come and they had gone to school as I sat in the house feeling all miserable!
I sat and cried for an hour straight, and even now my emotions keep peeking out at me and saying “Hi there! Fancy a few more tears? Go on…… you know you want to!”

And to top it all off, the rain is simply making it all worse, and everytime I see the rain pouring down and trying to taunt me, I just feel slumped!
Next week will obviously be easier. And the week after that, and the week after that. I just hope the rain stops to help me out a little!

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Posted by shinymac on August 1, 2008

Being totally honest, I really have had the absolute week from Hell!
Work is being a complete bitch, and so are some of the workers in it, and I just can’t wait to leave.

Since I started this blog, I have often mentioned tales of getting to work and back at night, being a woman on my own, how threatened I have felt, how much I hate being carted about the store, and generally moaning about having to carry out this job.

Well, finally, finally, finally, there is a HUGE beam of light at the end of the tunnel, beckoning me forward to make steps back out into the daylight of the big wide world.

I HAVE JUST 3 WEEKS LEFT! 3 beautiful, glorious, smug weeks, which would obviously be even more beautiful and glorious if I didn’t have to work them.

And at the end of these 3 beautiful, glorious, smug weeks, a beautiful, glorious holiday for 1 week in the Venetian Riviera! And boy can I not wait!

I have also found the answer to my Mary Poppins issues. Well, at least I think I have. No, I haven’t found Mary Poppins herself, well not yet anyway, but I have found a brilliant before and after school and holiday club, which is literally around the corner held in a church hall.

So I rang them the other day and asked if I could pop in with the kids for a visit. They were out though – at Maize Maze, and I could hear all the kids squealing with joy and excitement on the bouncy castle in the background! Fantastic! The very nice lady said that when it’s nice, they just whisk them all out for the day. I want to be a kid again! I want to be whisked out for the day!
She said to just pop in anytime they’re there and she’ll provide me with all the forms and information I need. The fact that she was so accommodating and not bothered about making an official visit appointment really made me happy. So, hopefully, Alphabets will have two new little ones come September! Although how we’re going to pay for it that month (my first payday from my new job isn’t until 10th October – eeek!), is beyond me as we will have no wages in September from my side of things.

On Monday I have another interview, and I’m completely terrified for it. It’s for the NHS, and I know they’re pretty good with working parents, but my new employers have also been nothing but brilliant in terms of trying to find shifts that suit me, so I’m not even sure if I should stray from my 18th Floor job. We’ll have to see.

Meanwhile, Alex is still desperately seeking new employment, and I am just hoping that something turns up for him soon that he’s happy with.

It’s all change again, but it’s all change for the good.

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A spoonful of shift work does not help any medicine go down!

Posted by shinymac on July 29, 2008

I just have time to write quickly before I go and prepare myself for the usual trip to the Trafford Centre for work. Only now, it’s becoming easier, because I really do know there isn’t long left, and before long I’ll be sat up on my 18th floor office, overlooking the world, well Manchester anyway.

I am starting to worry slightly, and becoming obsessed with keeping my options open, and the reason? Well, it’s because the new job is shift work. Not drastic, no over nights or anything, but earliest start would be 8am, latest finish 8pm. Not bad. Not bad at all. IF YOU ARE CHILDLESS!

It’s causing me all kinds of stress and worry. Alex gets home for about 5.45 pm each night, the after school club ends at 5.45 each night, except a Friday when it ends at 5.30. I have precisely a 15 minute childcare problem! Furthermore, Alex is seeking a new job, one where he won’t know what hours he’ll be working, and I am about to embark on my new venture, also not knowing (yet) when I’ll be finishing at what times.

It’s all just too much!


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You say that now…..

Posted by shinymac on June 20, 2008

(Another school post – sorry, it’s an important issue at the moment!)

The other night we were invited to a parents evening at the kids new school. An evening to meet the teachers, sample a Mrs Burns’ flapjack and some fizzy peach water, have a look around the classroom, and sit down (assembly style, except on chairs like proper grown ups!) to listen to a talk from some teachers and staff.

We broke the rules before we’d even got there! We had to invite the kids, as we don’t have anyone who can just pop by and watch them for an hour, so along with us they came.

They were quite excited, and when they met their teacher, they were quite excited too, as she’s young, quite pretty and very very nice, which is exactly how I think they imagined her to be.

We sat down at the end of a row of chairs, and the teachers and staff all sat at the front of the stage, in a line facing us.

They were introduced by the deputy head, and they all, in turn stood up and said a few words.
The kids tried so hard to behave themselves, but half an hour in, and they were fidgeting, asking for drinks in a substantially loud whisper, and nosying at everyone around them.

Even Alex was becoming exasperated, and he kept looking at me with that glazed bored look of a 12 year old rebellious schoolboy. I was the only one left who was paying attention – it was like I was back at school all over again. Back to being a swot! And I loved it!

In the classroom, Marley and Evie were running from area to area, bursting with excitement, and so desperate to get stuck into the craft corner and make something! Tears almost sprung out when we told them it was time to go home, and we were one of the last few to leave, as it was almost impossible to prise them away!

Once we got home, the tears that almost materialised earlier in the evening soon arrived. Marley has now decided that she wants to live at her new school. That’s right, she wants to leave home already.

Evie is upset that she’ll be there everyday, because in her words she wants a cuddle with mummy all day.

However, they were suitably impressed with what’s to come. I just wish I’d taped them saying they loved school, because I may need evidence of that when they’re 14 years old and desperately trying not to go.


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Growing up

Posted by shinymac on June 16, 2008

A lot of my posts tend to mention how the children are on the cusp of starting school, and how this is affecting me me me me me. Well today, I thought it was time for a change, and time for me to mention a little about them and how they are doing.

On Tuesday last week, they came home from nursery, armed with a red folder each, which they held under an arm, trying to appear all grown up and scholarly. They presented us curious parents with these folders, not knowing how they would make me cry with pure pride.

The folders were like a review of their progress whilst they have been at the nursery, outlining their strengths, their weaknesses, their behaviour, their development, well basically, they are like giant school reports, cram-packed full with stuff on them.

Here are some excerpts;

“This is what I like doing best: Drawing and painting”
“These are things that worry me: Monsters and lions” Awww
“I still need help to do these things: Nothing” That’s my girl!
“Evie is a charming little girl with a great personality. It has been lovely watching her confidence grow, I thought she would be shy forever! I can see a happy little girl with good confidence now. Evie will love school. Good luck, you will be missed.”

“This is what I like doing best: Playing with the Lego”
“These are things that worry me: Monsters”
“I still need help to do these things: Nothing” Yay!
“Marley is a lovely little girl whose character is shining through every day. Her creative side shines through in all her activities. She will settle into school really well. You will be missed Marley.”

I just have to say how very proud I am of them, and I just hope that the way they have behaved throughout their time at nursery (which has been impeccably by the way), continues throughout their school years. (I also wish it would carry through at home, I am sick of splitting up fights between the pair of them!)

I had to add my comments (I wrote an ESSAY on each! Ha!) and tomorrow they hand it back in.
Their first step into the world of school is just about to be taken.

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The Cure

Posted by shinymac on June 1, 2008

My mother came to stay for a couple of days last week, something which, beforehand, I was slightly concerned about. Thinking back to when I actually lived under her roof, under her rules, and within her sight and control, it concerned me that this short visit would bring it all back and regress me back to childhood. I needn’t have worried.

To be honest, her stay was filled with laughter, with fun, with comfort and with mother/daughter bonding. Something which, in a way, I thought I had lost with her. It was something which I thought had been severed, but it was only snipped slightly and the threads have now been wound back together again and are stronger than they were before.

Due to having such a nice time in her company whilst she was here, the children and I were devastated when the time came for her to board her train and head home. We saw her to the train doors, and as she hugged us all, nothing could stop the flow of hot tears as she boarded, from all 4 of us.

I had to prize the kids away before the train set off, standing there was just punishing ourselves more, and so we trudged down the platform, found a free bench, and sat and had a group hug and a group cry, with me trying desperately to compose myself for the sake of my children.

Finally, we managed to get it together, and we headed down to get the tram home. We got off at our stop, and started to head up the stairs, our heads drooping and our shoulders shrugging, heading home to an empty house. As we mounted the stairs, a man started heading down towards us, he appeared to be some kind of junkie (sometimes, you can tell, especially here where I live), and as he saw us heading up, he started huffing and puffing, shaking his head and muttering about us being in his way. He then jumped over the barrier to the other side of the steps, and headed down them, moaning and whinging.

Well, I couldn’t help myself. I had to say something, and it just blurted out. The emotions of the day made me stupidly brave, and I said: “We would’ve moved you know! You only had to say “excuse me”, and we would’ve moved over to let you down”.

As he reached the bottom of the stairs to the platform he said “Whatever, get a life!”
To which I replied with a very loud “HAHAHA, coming from you?!”
To which he retorted with a “Yeah, get rid of your kids and get a life!”

Well, as you can imagine, my blood started to boil, and I had to grip hard to the hands of my innocent, beautiful, sensitive little girls to prevent me from hot-footing it down to the platform and kicking him off it. I was so angry! How dare he tell me to “get rid of my kids!” Why? Why would I want to do that? They enrich my life, and my life would be meaningless without them in it! Not that kids bring meaning to everyone’s lives, or enrich everyone’s, each case has it’s own story, but they do mine! It’s not like I’m a young 13 year old who has ruined her life by having children, and even then, some 13 year olds improve their lives by having children anyway. Basically, he just had no idea what he was on about, and the sooner I got away from him and his ignorant, ridiculous remarks, the better.

So, we went and bought chocolate. Because chocolate solves all.

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Me and M&E

Posted by shinymac on March 30, 2008

I love receiving emails. I love the feeling when I open my mailbox and see Inbox(25). It creates the most exciting feelings of anticipation within me, yet I don’t really know why, especially considering that most of the time my emails are junk. “You have received a new Super Wall post from [insert name here of prolific Super Wall posters]”, or “Check your credit rating for free online now!”, or even “Viagra for free”. Hmm, I might have a think about the viagra, well if it’s free…….

Anyway, last night I arrived home to Inbox(2), which wasn’t that exciting, but when I clicked onto the Inbox and discovered that I had two emails from the same sender, I almost cried, and not because I was disappointed.

These emails were from the local council. To be precise; the school admissions section of the local council. Lo and behold, they were confirmation emails that my little girls had officially grown up, or rather, that my little girls had officially been accepted to start at the school we had chosen for them for September.

Yes, I was indeed happy at the time. So happy in fact, that I woke Alex up to share the good news. I was relieved that they had been accepted into our (and their) first choice, and that it was all sorted out, apart from the uniform side of things.

However, in the cold light of day (and believe me, it has been freezing today with wind and heavy rains), I could cry.
It’s like I’ve been whacked in the head with a big huge hammer, and suddenly it’s dawned on me. They’re growing up! They’re getting big! They are not babies anymore! They are about to embark on one of the biggest, most influential and determining adventures of their little lives, and I for one am absolutely terrified!

I mentioned to Alex earlier that I am totally dreading their first day of school. He said; “why? Because they will cry? I bet they will cry their eyes out!” And there’s no doubt about it, they will do. But that wasn’t why I was dreading it. I replied with; “no! I will!”

I realised that I won’t have them with me all day, every day anymore. My journey to work will be done alone, without the little games we play (we look out for people who have bright hair, walk funny, and we spot the same people who were on the bus the day before), and without someone to talk to, or someone sat on my knee.

It has all hit me today, that I am going to miss my little friends, my best little friends. So from now until September, I am going to make the most of every single day we have together, and cherish every little moment, no matter how insignificant it may seem at the time, because come September, it will be so fondly remembered.

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