You are my sunshine …

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Fun at the Fair 28.05.2016

I’m fast learning that parenting is a huge balancing act of protection and independence. Today in our beloved park the fair opened. We’d watched it set up the past few days, and I’d decided the rides were far too big for my nearly 15 month old. We  hadn’t planned to go to the park today, but found ourselves footloose and fancy free this afternoon. I spotted this lime green VW bug on one of the smaller rides, with fixed doors … Freddie was pointing and smiling, so I decided we’d give it a try – terrified he would climb out whilst it was moving or cry and be traumatised for years. I made the operator assure me she could stop it if he was about to fall off. Paranoid? Geez, I was a nervous wreck as the button was pressed and the speed picked up. As you can see, I needn’t have worried … and my heart melted a little as Fred’s chubby face beamed from behind the steering wheel. It sounds silly, but I’ll never ever forget seeing him so happy, so well after the past week … and looking so grown up and proud in his new England kit. Suddenly there is a little boy, sitting on a roundabout, in a little car, on his own. Another milestone of sorts, and one I had to briefly Blog about before falling head first into the pillow beside him and catching up on some much needed Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz …

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His face says it all!



Desperately at Midnight [computer says no]


Freddie giving a hospital teddy the nebuliser mask!

It has been one of those exhausting weeks when my poor Fred has been struck down yet again by the nasty wheezy bronchiolitis bugs. This must be his seventh or eighth bout in a year, so I’m getting quite good at recognising the warning signs. Thankfully he seems on the mend, after two GP appointments, a middle of the night trip to the hospital for a nebuliser, steroids, antibiotics, inhaler and lots of Momma cuddles. I think we averaged about 4 hours sleep in 3 days. Poor bugger. Poor Momma. In fact, Momma is sitting in bed at 19.08 on a Wednesday, with a glass of wine.

Anyhow, what I really wanted to blog about was 111, and the complexities of answering their questions at silly o clock when worried. I think the general filtering idea of 111 is a good one for the NHS, but I can understand how people end up with an ambulance for indigestion. Everything is subjective; one persons 1 on the pain scale will be anothers 10. Having got through the routine reassurances that we hadn’t been on holiday to an Ebola or Malaria infected area in the past week, I explained that we’d been to the GP earlier in the day and Fred’s wheezing had got worse despite the inhaler and he was drawing his tummy in as he breathed. The operator put me through to a nurse, who wanted to know if he was as bad as he was in November when he was admitted to hospital. November seems a long time ago … I couldn’t really compare, but he was bad enough for me to phone. Was he struggling desperately for each breath? Desperately is open to interpretation; he wasn’t comfortable, but I thought desperately was too strong a description. Was I analysing too much at midnight? Now, I live 5minutes away from our local “hospital” or treatment centre as it’s now called. They have an MIU and Out of Hours GP service. Our nearest A&E is half an our away in the car. Having listened to my responses the operator, or rather the computer, advised I take Fred to A&E. I questioned this, as an appointment at Out of Hours would be nearer, therefore quicker … and a whole lot easier than driving a poorly baby on my own for half an hour in the middle of the night. “I don’t want to put your child at risk” said the rather sour woman on the other end of the phone … “Neither do I, so hurry up and make me an appointment” I retorted, now rather cross at her tone … it turns out, computer said no because I’d said he had worsened in the past hour. If I said he’d stayed the same, I could have an Out of Hours appointment. He’d stayed the same. Duh. Duh.

We went to Out of Hours and were seen within 10minutes; Fred was assessed, given a nebuliser, which really improved his airways – [before we’d have even arrived in Worcester] – and we were monitored for a couple of hours before we could go home to bed, and see our GP in the morning.

I am a huge supporter of the NHS, we are so lucky, and I will never complain about the service we have … but surely some common sense and logic could come into the 111 computer checklist? It really did seem a case of “computer says no” …

Beautiful Exhaustion

13241195_1925811830978579_1826961719327206205_nIt has been a glorious weekend … a sunny, party-filled weekend with lots of cake and ice cream, bouncy castles, messy play, pass the parcel [Freddie won it for the first time!] and a happy smiling little boy who looks so grown up with his new haircut. As I sit here, 19.11 on a Sunday … I am thoroughly exhausted, yet completely content. Yes, I’m worrying that my thighs are getting too wobbly [no correlation to the party food, surely?!], and making mental notes of the nearest Slimming World group; I’m pondering what meals to plan this week, and what to wear for work tomorrow … but I’m so bloody happy with my little corner of the world. This little boy continues to bring me so much joy … and not a day goes by without realising just how lucky I am to be his Mummy.

On Thursday when I dropped Fred at the childminders, he took TWO STEPS unaided; and Momma saw it before she went to work! He’s still not very steady on his feet, but we are close to a bipedal Fred! Another milestone … how much they learn in 14months … and how precious it all is …

And I think it’s about time I planned a Freddie tattoo … seeing as I have random philosophers tattoooed on my body, one day the boy will ask where he is! Any excuse to feel that wonderful tattoo-buzz!!




Call the Midwife

This morning I awoke to a smiling Freddie planting a sloppy kiss on my nose. After he threw his toast around the kitchen whilst I made lunches and a [decaf] coffee, we snuggled on the sofa in our PJs for half an hour of  CBeebies before it was time to get dressed and begin the day. Sometimes that half an hour is a manic one of Fred bashing mega blocks against the coffee table in time to RaRa the Noisy Lion. This morning he cuddled into me, and once again I was overcome by the tsunami of love which renders everything else unimportant … which is mesmerised by the life I created, the speed at which he is growing and developing, and in awe at the amount of love my heart contains for him. I still have to pinch myself and probably always will … [note to self: must not become embarrassing mum]

10427675_1725501787676252_6630502015762500153_nToday Freddie is 14 months old .. and it’s also International Day of the Midwife. I doubt there has been a day these past 14 months when I haven’t remembered Freddie’s birth and the people involved in it. If you’re a die hard blog reader, you’ll know that I had a natural water birth, exactly as I’d wanted, not even a whiff of gas and air, and even a second degree tear was perfectly stitchable. It goes without saying that it was the best day of my life, but that doesn’t quite do it justice; it was empowering, it was the birth not only of my son, but of Verity the mother … the Verity who left behind her hedonism and impulsiveness … and became entirely focussed on the little boy who shot from her vagina into the birthing pool at 4.39am on 5th March 2015. It was so affirming, so powerful … and so overwhelming. My body actually knew what to do; and I could still tell you every detail – from the tuna sandwich I was eating on the antenatal ward, to the shade of my nail varnish, and the “Hits of the 90s” CD we found in the birthing room which we listened to for a while [although we turned it off before things got properly heated, as I didn’t want Fredders born to East 17] … It was beautiful; there was laughter amidst the agony, and I will always be so grateful to those who were around the birthing pool offering support and companionship on the journey to becoming a mother …

I’ve recently begun volunteering as a breastfeeding friend on the postnatal ward at the hospital where Fred was born. Being back there reminds me of that first night, exhausted, hot, yet wide awake, looking with wonder into the crib beside me. Even the fear I was bleeding to death didn’t take away from the complete euphoria. I remember saying to him “we’re going to have so many adventures, you and I” … and here we are, 14 months on, chalking them up.

Every single day I’m grateful I decided to go it alone. Motherhood is exhausting, challenging, frustrating and messy … but I wouldn’t swap it for the world. I still hanker to relive it all …. to go back to the birthing pool and see that wrinkly little wailing face one more time. Beside me is a sleeping Elmo-pyjama-wearing Fred, hot and bothered, snoring, teething … 14 months in the world …