Bananarama

Bananarama

Bananarama

Mum was 46 when she died. Death carries so much guilt, not for the departed naturally: they don’t give a monkies! But, for all us poor bastards left behind! Life is full of so many ‘Shoulda Woulda Couldas’ no matter what the circumstances were that took them away from you. When my best friend was taken, it was instant. Boom! She was gone. I felt guilty that I was not with her as she had asked me to be (except then I would not actually be writing this) and I feel guilty for that as well. Why was I not in the car? Why was I at home in bed? Although, actually I woke up at the exact time that she left and could not get back to sleep. I have always been a bit strange like that. I get it from my Granddad don’t forget. Anyway, I digress!

Yes! Mum was 46 and I was 16. The first thing I remember feeling guilty about, apart from the whole;New Shirt, Pat Butcher incident of course was the day that I was taking the entrance exam to get into secondary school. Mum and I used to  visit a particular pet place and garden centre in these years and I would look at the guniea pigs and she would look at the Dahlias, or some such boring stuff. We would often visit ‘floral related’ places just the two of us. I expect my brother was at home counting and cleaning his Smurf collection. (If you know him, you will know this is not me attempting to be funny). Anyway, I was really nervous about the exam and Mum had promised one of these outings on the way home: with cake and a toy from the gift shop, which was usually a collectable fluffy pencil. I was so excited that I thought about it all the way in the car to my exam. We chatted about what animals we might see today and what cakes would be available. So much so that I forgot all about my Exam and just listened to my Bananarama tape on the car stereo. Mum had removed The Manhatten Transfer just this once as a treat for me!

Bananarama

The obligatory 80’s Frog wellies there!

When we arrived at what would be my new school, I happened to see a girl that was in my current class and I was so relived to see a friendly face. My Mum and hers chatted and they offered me a lift home with them via their house for a milkshake. I felt so grown up coming home with a friend and looked to my Mum for approval. She simply looked back and rather than say, ‘Don’t forget we were going somewhere’, she just said, ‘If you are sure that’s what you want to do’. It was only in the car on the way home that I remembered our planned outing and my stomach dropped. I remember it like it was yesterday. I still can’t believe it went clean out of my mind and yet I think about it now and see it played out so vividly. That was one of those times I would go back to in my time machine (as soon as I finish those plans).

Now! I am no psychologist! Again, if you know me, you may chuckle at that but, now I am a grown Woman I think that is why I was so angry with my Mum for dying and leaving me. If I was angry with her it would be all her fault. It would only be me that people felt sorry for and there was no space for me to feel guilty. I could not possibly feel guilty then for being such an utter bitch! I am not saying this was a character trait. It was all about timing. I was a hormonal teenager and I could be such a cow bag in the last months of my Mum’s life. My parents embarrassed me and they were always unfair to me by not letting me do what I wanted and buy me fags and stuff…(sense the tone) So I would repay them by behaving like the utter toilet water secreted in Satan’s bum hole. At least, I think I was. I feel like I was. When I look back I think I was.

On car journeys I would plug myself into my cassette player and stare out the window. In actual fact I was imaging that I was actually in Bananarama and wearing black tight satin pants, leather bra and a big cross necklace. My performance was always second to none. It wasn’t actually me of course, it was the mythical me: I was 25 and I was gorgeous. Good thing about fantasy, it can take you where you want to go. The years previous had not always been that easy. My Mum didn’t just get Cancer one day and die the next. She fought for 8 years and we watched. The world I escaped to was uncomplicated and made me forget, it was fun and vivacious but, more importantly, absolutely no one was dying or losing their hair.

Bananarama

Mum and Dad (and Teddy)

When it spread to my Mum’s brain, she didn’t go ‘Doolally flip’ as you may expect. In a way, it would have been much easier if she had. She simply started losing the ability to do the most basic things: swallow, smile, talk and lastly of course, breath. She was still in there and that was the hardest part. I know she was there because she wanted an Etch a Sketch type thing to write messages on. Although, now I think to myself, how did she initially ask for the Etch a Sketch type thing because she couldn’t actually talk……Hmmm! But, I digress again!

Actually, I know that my Mum didn’t really think that I was a bitch. One of the last things she wrote was that she knew I would always be ok, that I would have a good life or do my best to make one. Maybe she knew I would always be strong and that I would have to be. I am only that way because of her. I have had and do have a good life. Life is precious and you must enjoy every last bit. I wish mine so far had been a little less painful and I wish that parts of me had not gone missing but, I will always try and show my Mum that she was right in what she said. That I will make it be alright.

Bananarama

Happy and a little bit weird!

 

I'd do anything

I’d do anything

I’d do anything

Well! I expect you are surprised to hear from me again! Trust me, if I could type one handed then I would have written hundreds of entries by now but, breast feeding somewhat limits your computer abilities. In the last six weeks, I don’t think I have eaten more than one meal with two hands; fine if it’s anything but peas. Peas are tricky. I think I still have one in my bra.

I'd do anything

She’s here! I am not in the pub yet!

I can almost hear you all groaning from behind your computer screens but, I can assure you now that, although I have now had my beautiful little girl Nancy, I will not be writing about her today. Or my perineum. You can jolly well wait for that! Although it is about Mums. My Mum actually.

It isn’t until you become a Mum that you realise what your own Mum went through. When I was 14 and an absolute bitch, My Mum would tell me all the time that when I had my own teenage girl, I would realise how horrible I could be. Now, I will have three! I understand now just how fantastic my Mum was, particularly as at this time she was having pretty horrific Chemotherapy. But, I will not be able to laugh with her about it or relive stories from when I was young and as I get older, I struggle to remember the things we did together. In truth, the main thing that I attribute to my Mum; is that she died. If that was the legacy I left for my three girls, I would be devastated. So, I am going to try my hardest to remember this as an adult, not with the brain of a 16 year old girl. That’s who I revert to when I think about my Mum as that is when she left us.

The majority of times that Mum and I talked the most were when we were in the car together. That sounds bonkers but, as my Mum and Dad were working in our café a lot, My Mum and I had time on our own when she ferried me around to various activities (as most Mums do ) I moan about it frequently!! Otherwise, we were all together as a family. Horse riding was on a Sunday morning and I always used to love it when she picked me up as we would visit a random garden centre or fruit picking farm before we went home. I didn’t really take to horse riding even though I did it for such a long time but, because of Mum’s background in the stables, I did it because I knew she wanted me to. But, I never loved it.This time in the car was when, as I mentioned before, that I can remember all the music Mum would play. When I have a bad day or need a pick up, these songs can take me back there. For example: Curiosity Killed The Cat – Down To Earth was a firm favourite and I have it on my special playlist. I felt safe at these times. This was when my childhood was as it should be. Before, it became about loss.

Our car had a certain smell; almost hot, whatever the weather. We had a dark Maroon Volvo and the seats were almost carpeted, as they so frequently were in the 80’s. My Dad never allowed us to have any other car because he always said that we would never be safer. That was true actually: Mum and I had a crash once on the way to school.Well, I say crash but, our car never actually moved from its stop position. Someone drove into us from behind and their car crumbled in half almost. We weren’t hurt and we didn’t need to be checked out but, I had the day off school anyway. I had toast and tea when I got home, in Mum’s beloved Willow pattern china and watched musicals all day. I collected them! Should have been on the stage really. If I hadn’t just become a ‘normal’ person.

I'd do anything.

My gorgeous girl is now the same age as I was when my Mum would take me Horse riding.

I was fascinated with my Mum’s life as a teenager. It always seemed so glamorous. Sneaking out of the house with my Godmother Ro to the latest party. Stories of her boyfriends and working as a waitress in a beautiful country pub. Of course, the side she never talked about when telling me these stories is that she never actually wanted to be in that house. She wanted to avoid a beating and not have to hide under her bed when her Father came home. This was her childhood but, she never told me stories about that: just of the fun she had. That was the type of person she was and that despite her childhood and the horrendous things she saw, she always remained loving, elegant, strong and fun.I knew from her stories that she was definitely a little wild and who would blame her.. Naturally, I did not follow in these footsteps as an adolescent.

She had a few notable boyfriends, always older than her, much older in fact but, who treated her like a Princess. Based on the father she had, this was unsurprising. Her relationships with men were always for replacement father figures who cared for her which, was really what she craved. Thankfully none of these relationships resulted in a broken jaw, only very beautiful jewellery. This was until she met my Dad: Tony. He was her savour. I know what that’s like!

I'd do anything

I try to teach my girls to enjoy every minute as a child and fill it with love.

The reason we were always milling around those garden centres and flower farms was because of my Mum’s passion for flowers. She loved them. Her interest didn’t really start until later life and after she was diagnosed as I guess she found it therapeutic. I say ‘later life’ but, she was three years younger than I am now when she was diagnosed. I never found these places boring, unlike my girls do now (until they realise that there may be cake involved) Instead, I loved listening to her talking about all the different flowers and what she was going to do with them. Always such beautiful colours and smells. Naturally, we would have cake too and I always ended up with something to bring home. A glittery butterfly or fury rabbit which were on a stick and ordinarily meant for a flower arrangements. The health and safety on buying a child one of those bad boys now would be unquestionable.

Mum ended up arranging flowers for our local church. There wasn’t the massive conglomerate of florists that there is now who simply arrange the flowers and deliver them ready. Mum would design them, buy them and trudge up to the church with her basket and her oasis and spend hours making the most beautiful accompaniments for a wedding or funeral. Most of these times she would take me with her and there was always some kind of adventure with it. Also, I would sit and watch and she would talk to me, sometimes about the flowers but, mostly about other things. The smell of oasis brings those times back to me. And that church, although, having both her funeral there and my Dad’s a few years later, the memories it held became slightly different for me. I still felt her there that day though. The day she wasn’t really there anymore.

I'd do anything

Rocking them socks..

Once, the vicar said I could take the tiny windy stairs to the steeple if I wanted and look out over the town. It was amazing. I wouldn’t do it now though! As a child you have no idea of your own mortality. As I grew up and more people left, I grew fearful of everything. Plus, I’m really claustrophobic so would probably poop myself! Ultimately, Mum would come up and find me so, she wasn’t fearful of that either. Thinking back, this was a gift of time together that most Mum’s don’t always get. For that I am grateful and when the memories of my Mum are taken over by simply remembering that she left me, I shall try and replace it with the times when she was there. When she was my beautiful, beautiful Mum.

I'd do anything.

Miss you Mum.

Dignity.....Gone!

Dignity…..Gone!

Dignity…..Gone!

Do you ever go for a late evening drive, just because you can and you think it will be a nice idea? Do you chat about your day with your partner and think about all the lovely things you can do on your weekend? Well! I hope you know how bloody lucky you are because I will never see an evening car ride in the same way again. Every single bump in the road and pot hole was jolting my nether regions into my thorax. Every time I would drive past the garden centre after that, I would remember that the last time I saw it flashing by, I felt as if someone was knitting with my uterus! Oh, and don’t forget you need to stop for petrol. ARE YOU BLOODY KIDDING ME! Do I want anything? Yes, I want you to go back in time when you believed you may be making a rush journey to a maternity unit and put some sodding petrol in!!! And breath…..I settled for a Snickers in case you were wondering.

Remember the gush I referred to previously? Well apparently I could not even do that properly and as it was only my hind waters that had dripped out and my labour didn’t seem to be moving all that fast, I would wait to be Induced as planned (behind the four other ladies that had got in before me). I will never forget their faces, it was like that scene in Friends; they wheeled me in, consultant came round and advised me it was a mistake I was here and as part of my waters had broken (24 hours earlier) it was probably not safe to wait. I felt their eyes bore into my very soul as I was wheeled out of that room past all four beds. At least, I would have done if I didn’t feel like the Titanic was making its final sail into port by way of my womb!

It is always comforting when the midwife who is about to break your waters with what looks like a crochet needle is blonde, about 23 and has a fresh application of lipstick. I felt like Bella Emberg in a Hollyoaks scene. At least, again I would have done if I wasn’t now sitting in a puddle of my own inner juices! In true reality, I could not give a monkies what I looked like; I was too scared to go to the toilet on my own and it was suggested that I should be sitting on some ginormous bouncy ball. Let me tell you, in this case, Weebles wobble and they also fall down! I was too scared to close the toilet door, too scared to sit on the toilet and just generally terrified. The pain was indescribable and to top it all off, I had really needed to go for a poo since watching Countdown earlier on.

Dignity.....Gone!

I also had not eaten for hours. Thank god I had that Snickers!!

Gas and Air! What a waste of time that was for me. I was adamant I did not want Pethadine because I was uncomfortable with feeling a bit ‘woo!’ I had not drunk for nine months and wanted to be eased into it slowly. At least I had my own room, my own midwife who incidentally was about 12 but, had no qualms in holding a kidney dish under me so that I could try and have that poo I wanted earlier (whilst standing up). Thankfully she had another kidney dish too as the culmination of that damned Snickers and Gas and Air had made me projectile vomit. So here was the 12 year old, juggling with the kidney dishes to assist me in eliminating my bodily waste and the fact I was so overdue and been in labour for so long meant I had a monitor attached to my pregnant belly and was totally restricted in how much I could move around.

4!! 4!! Can you bloody believe it! 48 hours of labour, One trickle of waters, One crappy tens machine which I may as well have just knocked myself out with, waters completely broken by Barbie with the crochet needle, Gas and Air and vomit and I had manage to dilate my cervix to 4 centimetres. And still no poo! I knew exactly what they were going to say and the only thing ringing in my head was the wise words of those ‘Induced’ Mums who were now laughing and waggling their baby established fingers at me. Well! I will do it! Should I have the Pethadine? What else was there? It was only a liquid drip, what possible effect could it have on……Sod this! I’m having the Epidural! The seven minute contraction due to over stimulation was the final straw.

I never made much noise. The 12 year old told me I was doing really well. Not like the woman that had been screaming for 5 hours in the next room but, I had to admit defeat and the moment I knew that epidural was on the way, my whole body breathed a sigh of relief. Again, until God saw fit to send me a 25 year old Anaesthetist named Tom who said I had nice legs. That was probably his Anaesthetist thing, ‘Make the vomit ridden, constipated, Bella Emberg wanabee feel better by commenting on her nice legs’. Worked though. I then forgot that no less than 5 people had examined me and turned me into a human puppet because here was Tom and his enormous needle!

The most difficult part of having a seven minute contraction, closely followed by another is that when someone (even Tom) tells you that it is imperative that you do not move, you want to punch them in the face. I managed to do it though and even though I had no idea what the result would be, all those ideas of the perfect birth and never needing an epidural simply ebbed away as I laid back in my bed in a ball of ecstatically calm relief once I felt that cold liquid drip in. I still knew I had legs, I just wasn’t sure where they were.

Dignity.....Gone!

How can you remember anything negative when you get to look at this every day.

It is hard to describe the feeling. You have absolutely no pain any more. It is gone just as quickly as it arrives but, when the midwife tells you that you need to push when you feel it tightening, you know when is the right time. By now, I am onto my second Midwife as the other has gone home and probably after about an additional four hours slightly more comfortable than before, my cervix has decided that it shall finally dilate. All I really want to do is go home and climb into my comfy bed and forget this ever happened. Well, to save you being really bored we shall merely jump on two more hours because that is pretty much how long I then pushed for to try and get her out. This was before yet another Gynaecologist came in for the puppet show and proclaimed that, this was not happening! I could have told him that. My daughter had succeeded where I couldn’t and had a poo. In her case, it was a sign that she was struggling too. No forceps, no ventouse, just sign this form in case you die and they wheel you down to theatre like the beginning scenes of casualty. As I lay flat, the only thing I could focus on was the line of lights on the ceiling; Lit up like Blackpool, only far less fun.

It was all very much a haze. My surgeon was actually talking about a dingy that he had just won on Ebay whilst he made the cut. However, I knew this to mean that actually, he had opened me up and found a huge tumour and there was absolutely no point in stitching me back up again. I did say that I was in a haze! They also don’t tell you that you will shake uncontrollably and although you feel no pain, the sensation is of tugging and pulling at your insides and that someone is doing the washing up in your intestines. They also should tell you not to keep focusing on the lights as the large stainless steel ones they use in theatres also act as a mirror and I would rather have been asked if I actually wanted to see my insides. This, coupled with the fact that this whole experience had been so utterly horrendous meant that it was possible for me to actually forget why I had arrived here in the first place. Therefore, when your baby comes out, you have absolutely no idea what this alien could possibly be. There was no instant cuddle and lovely warm feeling: she had to be taken away from me straight away to check that she wasn’t in danger. The fact that I was pushing for so long with her chin going in the opposite direction had no doubt made her a little crabby.

I do remember though that I was told they were going to put something in my bum so that I didn’t need to go to the toilet. Chance would be a fine thing!Fast forward two days later with a line of stitches and a back passage like the M1 on a bank holiday weekend and I don’t think I need to go any further with how that felt. Oh, and having a drain in for two days because the mammoth expulsion task had taken longer than expected, it is a wonder I ever had sex again, let alone that I am now awaiting the imminent birth of my third child. But, you want to know the truth? Yes, you don’t sleep and you feel like the world has turned inside out and upside down and Yes I could actually hardly move for weeks because of what happened but, if I had to put my hand on the Bible right now, I would do it all again in one heartbeat. The eight years I have had with that incredible little girl is enough to make me go through that every month if I had to: and sometimes parenthood feels like that anyway.

Just please do something for me if the opportunity arises? If a woman tells you that they had their baby via C-Section, get that little niggle in your brain that says, ‘Oh, she couldn’t be bothered to have a ‘natural’ birth. Took the easy option’ and proceed to beat it incredibly hard with a mallet.

Dignity.....Gone!

And pooof she was here…well almost!

Dignity

Dignity

Dignity

Lavender candles, lovely warm bubble bath and a magical feeling of love and new life. This is not what childbirth is like in any stretch of the imagination. Even those annoying cow bags that pop out a baby in one hour and slip into their size six jeans for the post birth journey home would agree! However, if you are having your first baby, the minute you discover that the miracle of life is forming in your uterus, you cannot help but think that for you, it will probably be just like this. Let’s face it; Technically you are the first person to ever go through it and God Damn you are going to have the easiest birth since Copulation began!

Luckily, and unsurprisingly for me, the tranquillity and beautiful magnitude of my first ever pregnancy lasted for a whopping two days. Two days because no sooner had  I discovered I was pregnant than I was spending my days crawling round on all fours and sitting on the toilet for forty five minutes at a time. Just a little ‘nodule’ on the Ovary apparently. If that was a little one, I would have had to bite down on a whiskey soaked rag in the weeks that followed to cope with any bigger. Bugger, it really hurt! Any woman that has suffered with something on her Ovary or generally in her womanly bits will know that really, you just feel like you constantly want a giant poo but, it has taken the wrong turn! Still, it was better than the alternative we faced, as for a few days the doctor had told us to expect the worst and that this pregnancy may well be ectopic. Thankfully it was not but, in true spirit of Gynaecology departments all over, unless you were dead, you could wait a few days to find out for sure. (Although, my Gynaecologist rocks!! and looks like Louis Spence 🙂 )

Dignity

I have used this picture before, but it is disgusting and I like it!

So, apart from the constant need for a poo, the daily navigation of a spiral staircase on all fours and the hourly requirement for grated cheese in a white roll, the rest of my pregnancy seemed to pootle along quite nicely. The determination of this as an in-utero pregnancy was discovered during an internal scan but, I feel the intricacies of this particular procedure may be too much for some. Ironically, they cover it in what looks like a giant condom first but, as I said…I must stop there!

The fun really began when it was realised that all those grated cheese rolls had ensured a very yummy environment for my daughter and she clearly did not want to budge from where she stayed. Even after two weeks, she was not in the mind set to make an appearance and all the things they tell you that will encourage labour are about as useful as the birth plan they tell you to write beforehand. What you should really write in your birth plan is: give birth. In whatever way works for you. Oh, and remember the time you said that whatever happened, there was no way you were having an Epidural….Ha Ha Ha…..that was a good one Monty Python!

If when overdue, you are fortunate enough to have a ‘Sweep’, you will have had a lovely little insight into what might be waiting round the corner for you. I have had five in total and its a wonder I don’t have lady bits that could safely house the car keys. To be fair, I have never actually tried! I have friends that are nervous to have a smear test. Us Mum’s will have a little giggle at that. Blimey! When you have had a child, you are pretty much willing to save time for future gynaecological appointments by going in your pants!!

 

Dignity

To look at her now you would think she never caused me any trouble at all.

So…What happened for me the first time round?

As I have mentioned, my daughter Lani was two weeks overdue. Technically she was two weeks and ‘God knows how long in labour’ overdue but, lets not get pedantic! I had three sweeps (which incidentally is not a type of spring clean) and was booked in for an induction on the 14th day. Almost every Mum that has been induced kindly informed me of exactly how much more painful my whole experience would be with induction, which was kind! However, if I knew then what I know now, I would have demanded that Epidural from the car on the way in…Best invention ever!!…After wine.

I honestly can’t remember where I was or what I was doing when the contractions started. I do however, remember that I was wearing an orange top! I thought, ‘Well, this isn’t bad. Give it an hour or so and I shall be pushing my lovely (and tiny of course) baby into the world’. Well, on the second night…yes night..of these pains, I was ready to reach in and pull it out myself. The pain starts off like the feel of a fart collecting in your bottom region. Except, it doesn’t escape giving you immediate relief, it goes upwards where it shouldn’t. It swirls around your back passage and creeps up towards your tummy like ‘The Scream’ and the skin on your abdomen has become so tight that it would make Joan Rivers jealous. Encompassed with all this is the feeling that you must dispose of every fluid remaining in your body and you have the urge that you never thought possible to wee, poo and vomit all at the same time. Oh, and all those baby magazines you bought which suggested you have the special raspberry flavoured lip balm for this joyous occasion can stuff that lip balm right in their print press!

It starts off as a little trickle at first. I was watching Vicar of Dibley, the Christmas episode where she has to have several Christmas lunches and stuff sprouts into her mouth. I was thinking that I had to do just the opposite of that and feeling like it too. I also remember being really grateful at this point that I had a leather sofa (and that I was wearing my ex husbands trousers) but, it is not till you stand up that you realise the full fun of the ‘Gush’ that you are about to incur and the way that it actually feels, just that little bit satisfying…..

To be continued…. (because I realise I have not even got to the hospital yet and the fun increases by ten fold then) Oh and obviously Joan Rivers was alive when I had my first baby. RIP Joan (I know she wouldn’t mind)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mo Problems

Mo Problems

Mo Problems

As time moves on, I remember my Mum less and less. I remember how she sounded when she talked, how her skin felt when she washed me in the bath and how it felt to hold her hand. I also remember how she smelt: Opium she used to wear, the perfume not the barbiturate!

If it was not so ruddy expensive, I would buy a bottle, just so I could sniff it if I felt sad or missed her more than normal that day. I would not wear it myself though. Personally, I think it smells like old lady knickers!! But, I mean that in the most respectful way.

I also remember how she used to stare at me in the car. It drove me insane! Invariably, my brother would sit in the front seat, which was great as he was an annoying little toad and it got him out the way, if just for an hour. Mum and I would sit in the back; my Sony Walkman constantly attached to my bonce, where I would stare out the window and dream that I was on stage performing or modelling in my spare time as Cindy Crawford’s understudy (no one ever said imagination was similar to real life!). I would look at Mum and there she would be, staring at me again! ‘Mum! For gods sake!’ She knew what I looked like. She had produced me from her Vagina. She would always just say, ‘I like looking at you’. It is only since I became a Mother myself that I could understand what she meant. I could study every inch of my girls faces, day in day out. I am hoping that in years to come they will laugh about me staring at them in the car, not reminiscing that they wish I was still around to stare at them, like I do now.

What I do not remember as much now is things that we used to do together. I can recollect a couple of instances that she picked me up from school, especially when she bought me a brooch shaped like a camel and I thought it was a piece of honeycomb! I remember that she used to put on a silly voice when she saw my headmaster and I used to tease her about it. He was always far too ‘tracksuity’ in my mind. No good ever came of a man always wearing a tracksuit. She definitely seemed to like him though!

Mo Problems

I love my girls faces. Even when they are full of stroppiness and bogies.

I struggle now to remember the Disney World trips. I remember going on Space Mountain with my Dad and accidentally catching a peek of ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ when I should have been asleep but, the rest is fading. It scares me that I may run out of things to tell my children about my Mum, about their Grandma. It scares me to think that by the time Rusty can understand, the stories will be even fewer. But, it has reminded me of one important thing: that we cannot spend our lives looking backwards and if we do, we will hinder the possible achievements we can conquer now.

Even after everything, I have always had this naïve sense that there will always be a miracle when you least expect it. God knows where I got this from! The very fact that I perceive it though and it is yet to happen, only cements my belief even more. I think things like all our money worries will be sorted somehow when we least expect it, that we wouldn’t have to struggle anymore and that maybe one day we will wake up and the Universe has decided that it is our time to be rewarded. It is daft I know but, if I lose this belief, I would worry even more. You never know what is around the corner I think, negative or positive. So for now I keep hoping and thinking that tomorrow may be the day.

We are wealthy in other ways though and I am never ungrateful for that. I am lucky enough to have someone that loves me, that does not make me feel like I am not good enough or want to change me and I feel the same way about him. I have two lovely girls and as much as I would like a holiday, to take them to Disney World ourselves or not worry about paying the next bill, those things are the things that are important really. It is just hard on a daily basis to remember that. More importantly though; we have our health. Although I now struggle to complete more than one physical task a day and if I could, would spend the majority of the day in the bath to ease my aching joints. I do currently have the boobs I always wanted though. 🙂 Ironic Shu as you brag about your boobs whilst talking about losing your Mum to Breast cancer.

I have also come to realise that I need to concentrate on my small family and stop spending time worrying about other factors. I had always hoped that the relationship with my parents family would improve but, really life has taken over and they are busy with their own immediate family also. I say parents family because they really stopped being my family from the point my parents left.We can never go back. I just know that if my Mum and Dad were still here, that would all be very different. They were a cement almost that kept everyone together. It is difficult for me because that aspect of family see me as a grown up but, when I think of them, I feel how I did when my Mum was still here: 16 and part of a large caring family. The spectrum for me now does not span so far and I would have loved that for my children but, it is not to be.

Mo Problems

Ahhh yes the 80’s frog willies (and my toad of a brother) Ha ha!!

So, I shall just carry on. Being happy with my life I have here, trying not to look back. I could look down but, I wouldn’t see very far at the moment! And I shall be grateful for what I have been given and remember every day just how precious it is. For those around me who are there for me and make me complete, mainly my Tristan, Thank you for helping me to remember that what life can take away from you, it also gives you back, usually when you least expect it.

Tony

Tony

Tony

I have never really had much problem with sleeping. I am one of those people that can awaken during a dream and pick up where I left off if I want to: depending on who is in it that is! This week though, I have suffered a little: probably because of Rusty deciding that he/she is not a child but actually a jumping bean! At one point, in Lidl, I thought that Rusty might even be coming early. Other supermarkets are available obviously.

One night this week when I was struggling to nod off, I began thinking about my Dad, as I normally do. I know I am 35 and I have my own family but I sometimes cry into my pillow and think that I really want my Dad! Not much shame in admitting that, I do. My Dad had the ability of making everything alright, as all Dad’s do of course but, it was almost like he could inhale your worries and bury them deep inside of him: like that massive bloke in The Green Mile (if you haven’t watched it, you should have). There are times when I need him to do that for me: not just because I want him to make me feel better but, because he gave my life light. It was only when the light went out that I realised I would have to live in darkness for a while.

Tony

My boyfriend sent me this once: if you had met him you would know what a grand gesture that is (he’ll moan at me for that)

I have thought to myself on many occasions: what is the point in being such a fantastic human being and then not having anything to show for it when you are no longer around. This is part of the reason that I started this blog and part of the reason that however small my effort, I will always do my best to ensure people know what happened to my Dad so they can make sure it does not happen to their loved ones. I wish I could go back. By that, I mean that if you have read my blog, you should be nagging your Dad to have his Prostate checked. It’s not just an ‘old man’s’ disease, just like Breast Cancer does not only afflict woman over 50. My Mum was younger than me when she first found a lump. Just because you don’t have any symptoms, does not mean diddly squat!! My Dad was born in 1945 and he died in 2005. He never went to the doctors for 25 years but, there was no prize in obtaining this milestone, in fact, it was the opposite. He most definitely got the wooden spoon.

I recently visited a local Prostate Cancer support group to talk about Travel Insurance for people with pre existing medical conditions (because that is what I do as a day job) and of course, my own experiences. My Dad would not have been the youngest one there, I would! I would have given anything to find a group that we could visit together and talk to. Although, it may not seem much, I felt like I really achieved something that day, like I did something about it, instead of just feeling sorry for myself and questioning why the Universe can be such a terrible bastard sometimes. And I know I am not the only one, there are people that have suffered much worse but grief is very inward and its hard to think of others. I do think of others now though: knowing my Dad made me a better person. I hoped that my Dad would have been proud of me too.

Cancer leaves a massive trail of destruction and not just to the one it affects. My Dad said to me once that he had the easy job because, I would be the one that was left behind to deal with it and he was right. My Mum never said a lot towards the end, she couldn’t talk and so had to use a magnetic sketch pad to tell us things. Hard to convey all your final wishes in a matter of sentences eh? So why do we not do it when we can.

Tony

My Daddy! Make sure you hang onto yours tight: with both hands.

I know that I am a bit bonkers and those who know me will know that my brain and mouth have no connecting off switch. But, whatever you think of my Blog, whatever you think of me, just remember that you have a chance to change things: before it’s too late! And so why wouldn’t you?

If you were me and I was you!

If you were me and I was you!

If you were me and I was you!

Happy Birthday! to my Mummy for yesterday. She would have been 68 (I think) That sounds terrible but in all honesty, My Mum has been dead for longer than I actually knew her. In that respect, do I think it is maudlin to mark those occasions like a Birthday for someone who has gone? Of course not! It is only maudlin if I spend the day feeling sorry for myself, which of course I didn’t as I do that daily anyway! Just joking!

I spoke to a Psychic once who told me that my Mum was upset that I never had photos of her around. Well, you can tell her that I am upset with her too…for dying! Of course, I always had to have the last word! Apparently she also wanted to have some reference to her in my girls names. That is how I knew that it was my Mum because she had an amazing sense of humour: Maureen Freda Joan…Mum really? Her Mum was called Joan and my other Nanny was called Phyllis Mildred: if that wouldn’t be the universe having a giggle, I don’t know what would be!

On the weekend, I am sure my other half would not mind me telling you, but we had an enormous row! Sometimes I think it is good to clear the air with these occurrences as we spend a lot of time together but, we don’t always talk (not about important things anyway) Human beings in their very nature always want something that they don’t have: I would like a house in Taormina (look it up) with a cable car, a lunch of  Buffalo Mozzarella every day and a Pinot Grigio tree but, that is not reality.

We live each day doing the same things, going to work, looking after the children and if you are anything like us, sitting on the sofa at night, eating chocolate and watching television. It is natural to think that life should be more interesting and when you are busy looking at Twitter and some 18 year old blonde with a wash board stomach is jumping off the Empire State Building in her bikini, why should you feel special that you are merely enjoying ‘Benefits Britain’ with a glass of Shiraz! Truth is though, what if you didn’t do that anymore? What if your life changed and it was all taken away? Then you would realise that you were happy and life was important to you. I am under no illusion that I may create the vaccine for Ebola or end world hunger, but that does not mean that my life has been wasted: nor that I should have done something else with it. Really and truly, if I did now jump off the Empire State Building in my bikini (although it would be more of a belly flop for me), I would really want to be sat at home with my boyfriend watching ‘Benefits Britain’. That is the irony! Why can’t we just realise that now before we have to lose something to make it important. This is what I tell my boyfriend when he is feeling rubbish about himself and that he has achieved nothing. We have all achieved something, whether we have been kind to someone when they needed it or told our child something that they will always remember and subsequently tell their children, we can’t see what we have or what we gave because we are too busy thinking that we should be something else.

In 1990, my Cousin Emily was 11. She was the daughter of my Mum’s brother Terry and she was my penpal. I used to love getting her letters and she was always particulary good at drawing mice. Her and I were exactly the same age and many said we looked the same too. I can still remember her vividly, she had a huge smile and she was so kind and caring. I am sure that she would have been a primary school teacher and probably sit on her sofa at night and eat chocolate but, she never got that far. One day she went to school and she simply never came back!

If you were me and I was you!

Left to right: Emily, her brother Simon and me.

I can remember those storms. I was at school and my classmates and I were watching the slates fly around outside. Clearly the buildings we were in were 2 million years old and so we were marched to our school hall, which I always thought was a bit mental as we then had to dodge said slates on the way there. Personally, if I had known I would have to sing Kum Ba Yah for three hours accompanied by Mr Pearson on his accordion, a light concussion may have been a relief!

I should not say that. For my special Emily simply sat at her desk and the roof fell on her. My Mum was really affected by her death. She never spoke to me about it, as I was 11 too but, I always knew. I wish I had spoken to her as maybe it would have helped her but, probably I was too busy wishing that Patrick Swayze would suddenly like goofy 11 year olds. My Mum would have traded her life for Emily’s, I know this to be true! In actually fact, she was not that long behind her but, my point is, when my Mum was dying, she did not spend her time thinking about what she wished she had done with her life or what she regretted but, merely how she had lived it and that she would now be leaving it behind. Don’t wait until it’s too late!

Oooops!

Oooops!

Oooops!

Yesterday, when I shared my post and rantings with you, my Boyfriend did not offer me his usual supportive opinion. Me, being a selfish hormonal cow bag that I currently admit to being did not take this as anything but him being a big old meanie (or perhaps he just really does loves Pavarotti) Actually, though, later on in the evening, he said that he felt I had…..well I am not going to repeat it but, really I should be washing out his bearded potty mouth!! I will tell his Mum anyway.

Naturally, this was never my intention. I would never hurt him intentionally or make him feel anything less than the crazily complicated, hairy whirlwind but, life inspiring wondrous being that he truly is. Even with his potty mouth! He is bloody hard work sometimes and he drives me insane but….. Hellooooooooo, have you met me? If I am very honest, I wanted him to just sit down and talk to me and make me feel better by buttering my ego. I never ever wanted to make him feel like he was not being there for me.In actual fact, this could not be further from the truth.He is the other part of me.

Oooops!

There is always a rainbow after rain.

I meant everything I said. It is not always easy to deal with the fact that someone you Love has had a past without you.I do sometimes feel like I am not good enough: that he may easily find someone new or someone far more interesting and better looking and with a far less wobbly bottom. This, however, is a combination of crazy raging hormones, an always high maintenance constitution and the fact that since he came into my life, he brought the light with him and I never want it to go away!

So, I am sorry for my irrational, annoying, high maintenance, stroppy and downright unreasonable behaviour but, I can never be anything else than this.I promise though, that forever and a day, I will spend the rest of my life making sure that he knows exactly why and that he has saved me.Don’t get me wrong, I am not going to change but, that is just me being realistic. However, I am the person there to cheer him and support him and tell him that I Love him every day and if I ever appear any different, I truly do not mean to and I am sorry.

 

Multicoloured

Multicoloured

Multicoloured

Pink or blue? This week we find out! Actually though, this one is Rainbow! A Rainbow baby is a baby that has followed a loss and my little Rusty really didn’t fancy hanging around in the ether for long before he was given to me.

We are not going to tell anyone what we are having, but I will find it incredibly hard. For purposes of clarity I always refer to Rusty as a boy and so will continue to do so: I would like a boy, purely because I don’t have one. Naturally, I just want everything to be OK and this is the first concern.As a mother you worry from the moment they start to grow but, I will not be disappointed with a girl. After all I know how to deal with girls: I am an old pro at it really (OK! maybe not so old….shhhhhhh!!) I just have a horrible horrible feeling that as both of my daughters were just so amazingly good (in hindsight), that this one will be a terror. Completely in a good way of course! When they are 17 and staying in bed all day, I am sure I could then look back and laugh. Whatever happens, I have been blessed with Rusty and he is my (I should really say our) Rainbow that’s for sure!

It happened when I was at work. If I am honest, I had a niggling feeling from the moment I woke up but, I tried to put it down to wind! Sorry that was bad taste! I started bleeding and I remember thinking, ‘Please just let it be a blip, they say it happens, I have read it in magazines’: but, really I knew that this was no blip. I left and I drove home, worrying because I had left work early.I tried to focus on what I would cook for tea and what the evenings viewings would entail.Anything other than focus on what I knew was really going on in my body. I didn’t make tea and I didn’t watch the television, I just went to bed. I did this to try and forget for a bit, not breathing too heavily so as to keep it all inside. Keep it safe. And I willed everything that was there to keep growing, to hang on like a limpit with rigamortis. But, of course it didn’t and by the next day, it was pretty much completely gone. My baby had gone almost as quickly as it came.

Multicoloured

I didn’t feel like a real person again until I was given Rusty.

It was a small comfort that I could indulge in one of my favourite hobbies again: Pinot Grigio! However, it was nice to go back to the gym and work off some frustrations and of course concentrate on my flabby bottom. Which, coincidentally is now flabbier that Pavarotti’s bicycle seat! There was however, one major hindrance concerning the gym and basically moving/walking/cuddling and this was that my boobs felt like they were in a juicer! Three weeks this continued to the point where I was genuinely worried. Given my Mum’s history and the fact that the surface area of my boobs was ordinarily so small that I barely knew they were there half the time anyway.

I have given my doctor some real ‘stick’ in the past but, to be fair! After the whole Molar Pregnancy debarcle, he deserved to be prodded with it, very hard and in his nether region. He was very kind to me now though and he humoured me as no doubt he remembered me as the nasty complainant who had wanted to poke a stick in his nethers.( He did not know this of course, mainly because I have just said it now) He is my hero now though. I weed in a pot and went on my way to indulge in my favourite hobby again I expect. Incidentally, straight after,we met my Boyfriends old friend (again, he’s not old) and wife for coffee on their way down to Cornwall.They told us of their unexpected pregnancy and how they were also given one that was slightly more challenging than their others. This is course does not still play on my mind…no no no!!

Multicoloured

I am pretty sure my brother was the troublesome baby and I was the good one!

I suppose he called me around three hours later. ‘We had discussed your fertility earlier following your miscarriage Shushanah’, ‘I don’t really think that is an issue any more’. Blimey! That was quick!! I have absolutely no comprehension how it did not even cross my mind that I may be pregnant. I had tried to stay away from the internet regarding pregnancy after miscarriage but, what I did read was all pretty woolly. This bit is scientific: I must have ovulated exactly 11 days after and Rusty was given to us pretty much on the next love in. I know exactly what day it was too! I know! I don’t get out much!

And so to the pressing question: how are the hormones? Well, they are still having a party like its 1999! I continue to try and explain to my beloved what it feels like to be pregnant.Mentally I mean, not physically. Obviously, I am over the moon and incredibly happy with our Rusty. I do not, like some, feel like I am carrying an alien and despite the wobbly bottom, love showing off a growing bump. I do however continue to be frustrated with the feeling of sheer irrationality and irritability and what’s even more frustrating is that I do not care when I act this way because it comes from so far within the depths that if it did not come out, I would surely spontaneously combust. I am sure that most of the time, my boyfriend would prefer this option greatly.

Like a lot of people, I moan on Facebook sometimes and it helps for a while but, really I want to have a regular rant to the person closest to me. His obvious avoidance of any such instances merely compounds the feeling and not only do I get in a teenage strop but, I also feel like he does not actually want to know and does not care. I understand though that I probably would not want to talk to me either. I have to though as am kind of attached! Being pregnant can make you feel vulnerable, like you want to be looked after and anything other than 100% attention 24 hours a day just feels like the total opposite. And so I remain, horrible, selfish, unreasonable and absolutely no fun to be around but, I am doing quite an important job at the moment and it is easy to forget that. I am still me and I still have a big heart, which I want to use to its full capacity on a daily basis. It is also easy to forget that I will do anything for those I love and give everything I have for them…right the way to the end of that rainbow. I just might kick a few leprechauns on the way…..

Reflection

Reflection

Reflection.

The only way I can describe it: imagine that you were stood in a beautiful field, lush and green and full of all the most beautiful flowers that you could ever picture. This would be (in theory) how I perceive my life as I live it day to day. I have two amazing children, a job that I have had for many years, enough decent people in my life, although few, that are worth hanging on to and a Man that I love with all my heart and thank my lucky stars for every day. Then, imagine that further beyond this field and all around is nothing but black and a never ending pit. However happy I continue to be, this will always be the same for me: nothing maudlin or self pitying, it is just a gap that a will never be able to alter.

The problem with hormones (and boy do I have a lot of them at the moment!), is that you realise that you are being totally irrational, yet every action that you take, you can’t control but, quite frankly, you don’t particularly care either. I want to feel wanted and I want to feel special and let’s face it, carrying a child is quite an important job and it can sometimes feel like you are the only one in the world doing it! Its lonely sometimes and I do not have the support network that I wish I did. I have said a thousand times, that I know when I am being particularly horrible but, I just cannot do anything to control it. Nor do I feel it is my fault and boy do I feel I have justification.

Social media causes a lot of issues for me in my current state. Do I want to be reminded of my Man’s exes or past dalliances, most of whom do not have a hair out of place and spend their time doing things which make them look amazing. Does it annoy me when they like every status he posts to a particular social media site apart from when it contains mention of me….ummmmm yes! For however much I try, I shall always be just a little bit normal and just that little bit not attractive enough (if that’s correct grammatical language). I am sure they are all very nice and I have no doubt that they would think that I was an utter cow. Which, at the moment, they would be correct. But, that is how I feel so I am saying it.

Mainly, I think, I just feel sad a lot of the time! I am not so much angry anymore but, think about what I am missing and how I wish things were different. But, they aren’t and no matter how hard I try, I will never be able to change that. But, I have a realisation with it and I accept it: it does not mean I have to like it though and it is because I feel so cheated that my life can sometimes get complicated. I just require extra work, extra love. Now! Any of you that have met my beautiful man will know that he is not the most tactile of human beings to say the least! I am almost positive that currently, living with me is no different to sharing a tent with Sadam Husain at a One Direction concert but, he knows me and I know him! There are occasions when his patience runs thin but, so does mine. He loves me in his own way and I am not expecting a dinner date on a hot air balloon any time soon but, I need a constant drip of love and reassurance: akin to a Tamagotchi I like to think! I will never change but, my capability of love and showing love is as deep as the hole I envisage around me everyday. This is because I have the gift of experience. We all know life is short but, we never embrace this every day. We just get caught up in living.

Reflection

Reflection. We all feel a little stuck sometimes.

I am lucky enough to have a very good doctor and of late, he has kept me in check. I have been having some problems with my blood pressure in this pregnancy and am having to rest a lot of the time. It is difficult to rest completely  with two children and I do feel this baby taking its toll on my body. After all, I am no ‘Spring Chicken’! (or at least this was suggested to me by a midwife I spoke to at the beginning of my pregnancy) She will go far!! As for avoiding stress: I get stressed if I can only find one of a pair of socks in my daily wash. Apart from recommending compression stockings (which has mortified me beyond belief: coupled with being fat, hormonal and moody, I am hardly feeling like Cindy Crawford as it is), he suggested that I may be suffering with some Depression myself.

Being an A Level Philosophy student, and having a little experience in dealing with Depression, I firmly believe that as I can comprehend that I am not in a Depression then this must surely mean that I don’t have it! I am just sad. I am also just a little more complicated than some. Oh, and my hormones are currently having a party that I did not really want to be invited to. Nor, does anyone that currently has the fortune, or mis, however you look at it, to come into contact with me. But, I continue to be grateful for my life and look forward to my rainbow baby. I wish my Mum and Dad were here to see all of my children and be proud of me. Probably not so much for my attitude today but, that I continue as best I can, without them and I only hope that I could do half as good a job as they did.

*I apologise to anyone that is a fan of One Direction or one of my other halves exes (or dalliances) It really is not personal (unless you are both and then I am afraid there is no hope for you)