Happy Halloween!


Here I am, ready to make amends for the lack of content, and I’ve armed myself with pictures of the Sandman and a brain not too sluggish to that end! I want to discuss my decision to hire an independent midwife, and my plans for the birth of baby number two.

If you read Sandy’s birth story then you will be familiar with what went down first time round. For those who haven’t read it, it can be surmised as follows: long, back to back labour which was okay until the hospital forced a whole load of unwelcome interventions upon me resulting in one good thing (safe and, ultimately natural, birth of Sandy) and many bad things (epidurals, a lack of control, panic, institutionalisation and PTSD). This is the point where I should say, ‘but I’ve moved on from that, and all is rosy now’ but really I haven’t. Honestly, how can you move past it when it’s all still such a mystery. I don’t know that things like this ever leave you.

Regardless, I have to some extent made my peace with what happened. For a long time I thought I didn’t have any birth trauma to speak of, I clung to the idea that he came out naturally and used this as a shield to bat off any unwanted thoughts. In the end I realised that, actually, Stuart was right, it was pretty god awful, and my coming through in the end didn’t right all of the wrongs.

So fast forward to me sitting, eight weeks pregnant, in my bed, in a sea of morning sickness, feeling so lost and so alone and so scared that I picked up the phone and called the midwives. I didn’t want to, but I knew I should at least try. So I did, and I was told basically to woman up and deal with it. Deal with the fact I couldn’t get out of bed. Deal with the continual sea sickness that was making me lose the will to live. Deal with the fact that my son – who hitherto I had spent nearly every day with – was being shipped off to anyone who would take him (thank you, I mean that) and I was left, bereft of his funny little presence, alone. As I hung up the phone I burst into angry tears and took the ready, steady, baby book they gave me (which had their number on it) and started ripping it into shreds in a fit of rage. I threw bits of it across the room and I screamed as I did it and suddenly I realised just why I was so angry, because it was the same uncaring, unwilling, and ultimately negligent attitude which haunted me post-natally with Sandy. So I sorted myself out and piled the carcass of the NHS literature together and flipped open my iPad and searched Independent Midwives.

This is how I found Allison. Allison is my midwife for this baby. She comes to my house at a time to suit me, working around Sandy’s naps, and we chat. She will be undertaking all of my antenatal and postnatal care. She is the same person I will see throughout this whole experience. And when it is time for my baby to come she will come to my own, safe house, where I will be able to relax and go with labour in the way I was made to, knowing that she understands what I want and what I need. And when I’m in my most vulnerable state ever, it shall be someone I know and trust who is there with me, not some randomer who I will have never met before, and who won’t know what it is that I want. And I won’t have to worry about explaining anything, or feeling pressured, or not being understood.

So that’s the plan. To have this baby at home, and keep it at home, and never let it see the inside of a hospital. Of course, this is all dependent on things progressing favourably, and worst case scenarios not happening. If anything bad does go down though, the hospital is only a few miles down the road and Allison will be there, not as a midwife per se (insurance related) but as an advocate and adviser.

Anyway, I’ll keep you up to date on the plans and preps as they happen, including the important issue of readying a house to birth a baby in. But it’s still many months away, so there’s much time.

Recently I’ve been reclaiming some energy. I bought a car (finally, hooray!) his name is Dash and he has been just what Sandy and I have needed to get about. It’s hard to get buses and trains with a toddler in tow when you feel like you’ve been run over. I couldn’t trust myself to not run out of energy and get stranded. So we found a car I could afford (just) and it’s really nice to have a lot of freedom.

Meanwhile, at home…





We’ve been hastily preparing for Halloween.


I expected this to be messy and a hassle but it wasn’t. Sandy was happy with the spoon and the seeds while I carved the pumpkin.





All it took was one change of clothes and…


The mess was gone.


Hello Mr Penguin! (A quick pre-halloween dress up session)

Look at him holding his car, he always likes to have a car to take around.



Another lovely Sandy Selfie.


And some fun. With me incredibly happy to be back in the deep end with this boy, and managing to keep my head above water. Just.






Hello baby!


So this scan was taken at 11 weeks old, contrary to what it says (midwives don’t believe pregnant women, lesson 1). It’s our baby! The scan helped me feel more attached to this little one, as weeks of illness caused by a pregnancy don’t really foster a lot of care and love, sad to say. But we are getting there, and somehow having this little picture makes us feel more as though this tiny person is becoming part of the family.

Note the nub. There is this nub theory about sexing a baby from the 12 week scan. I’ll let you read up on it and have a little ogle yourself but there is a definite leaning from this shot.

So October, you’ve come, you’ve all but gone, and I’ve done… well, very little. I am happy to say I had a week of feeling better enough to go out (which explains our trip to the museum below) and, despite a slight derailing after that – being thrown back into the mists of morning sickness – I have been feeling okay for a few days now. Please let it last. I beg.


So we hit up the National Museum in Edinburgh a week or two back to see some friends and had a quick swing by the Covenanter exhibit so Mummy could tell Sandy that this is what she has devoted four years or her life to. It also gave me a chance to reflect on just exactly WHY I had chosen to devote so long to something I am, truthfully, not all that interested in. I’ve got perspective, and I’m sure it will help in the long run. But for now, the game is short, one year to bag the PhD and see where we go from here. Two babies, one PhD, and who knows what comes after the equals sign.


We also saw one of Jackie Stewart’s F1 cars.


We met up with our friends in the kids sensory type learning room which was lit in crazy colours so I apologise for the jaundiced look we may all have in these pictures!


Drumming up a storm


As mentioned previously, the Sandman learned to walk a month or so back. Granny took him for his first shoes (well, his first real walking shoes) from Clarks and they came back with these beauties. Since then he has learned to run pretty much and enjoyed galavanting around the room trying to escape into the big hallway outside where he wasn’t fenced in.





The man still adores mirrors.


What a pretty little girl! (Yes, I am a bad mother, but I couldn’t resist.)





Aforementioned bid for freedom.




It seems mad that I can watch both my boys walking along together.


Or running!



And now that he is walking we can finally wear our matching elephant jumpers and “hold trunks”. Ahhh!

So this post is now doubling up to include Stuart and my Dad’s birthday bash. I wasn’t feeling too hot that day sadly, but what was new.


It’s funny how he can go from a big old grump at home to full of fun and happiness at his Granny’s house just like that.




Look at that hairdo! Heehee!


Anything with buttons becomes a phone and he uses his phone voice, wandering around muttering questions in what sounds like Mandarin.


In this one he is saying “GRUMPA!”, upon realising his best buddy has arrived.


So happy to see Grumpa.


Just gnawing on a pretzel as the cake comes.


And watching these crazies blowing the cake for some bizarre reason.

Well, that’s as much as I have time for. It’s 6:40am, I’ve been up for almost two hours now (another of the joys of pregnancy) and Sandy is cooing and making raspberries over the monitor as I type. I had planned for a more chatty post but just now time is short and pictures are backlogged. Suffice to say I will have more to say soon. Today my independent midwife is coming to book me in (exciting) and I have another dating scan this afternoon which I plan on sneaking the Sandman into, so he can meet baba. What with this, and seminars and the awful drought of work on the PhD of late, this feeling not bad better last.


Sometimes I think life has it in for you. I just wrote the post. I COPIED IT. I pressed preview and the page crashed. No worries, man. It’s cool. I COPIED IT.

Turns out when I pressed Ctrl+C it did F all. Thanks, netbook, really helpful.

So a rant about technology isn’t exactly what I wanted to post here but I’ve lost the will to live. All I wanted to do was a post about how things have been tough, that I’m hanging on and getting there, and that I’m planning on a home birth with an independent midwife for my care. But I think the world still has it out for me.

I was up at four this morning, having a panic attack and arguing with my husband. My eyes hurt.

We have a scan later today, I think I will postpone what I will now have to retype for next time, when I will have a little scan picture to show (all being well).

Things have been tough and I feel bad that this blog has suffered. I’m really bad at pregnancy is all.

Chin up, as everyone keeps saying to me. I can’t really do that, but I can post some pictures of the person who keeps me going. I love him and I love him and I love him.





Helping me eat an ice lolly to stave off the worst waves of nausea.


Wrecking… ukuleles.
Eating cake on Daddy’s birthday.

Nothing like a morning sick infested party to remind you it’s just a number. Poor Stuart.


Been watching the rest of my family work on my garden, helplessly from the bedroom. I’m not a watcher, I’m a doer. But Alas.

Finally doing something myself. Anti-sickness meds that work a bit.

Missing autumn as it flies by.

Spending my time with this view.

I’d like to say that’s behind me now. Please. I’ll do anything.