Category Archives: Relationship

Relationship stuff

Epilepsy update

Hello again.

It’s been a few months, hasn’t it?

Anyway, I’ve been updating some other blogs and having a break away from writing but now I think it’s time for a good old brain-fart.

L was diagnosed with epilepsy 2 years ago after a traumatic 40 minute tonic-clonic seizure. She did a three day stay on hospital where she had an EEG which (at that time) had indications consistent with Benign Rolandic Epilepsy in Childhood (BRE, BREC). She had an MRI just to make sure and when that came back all normal, her neurologist began a monitoring program.

The day before her next consultation, she had complex partial seizure. We did an ambulance journey and spent four hours waiting in A &E majors ( the bit where they have all the seriously ill patients which is pretty gruelling) to be told to go home and update her consultant the next day.

She was then put on six monthly monitoring where she would be discharged if she had nothing after a year.

Well, the first six months were fine, then she started school. We thought “magic hand” – she describes it as her hand moving on its own and says its tingly – was an aura, however when she started to get magic hand more than a couple of times a week, I began to wonder if this was far more significant.

I brought it up with her neuro at the last consultation and she said it is likely to be partial seizures, especially as its generally accompanied by a short period of confusion, clinginess, or feeling strange.

We are now into a new ball game with the epilepsy. No, it’s not severe, but if magic hand is seizure activity, she has had probably 20 seizures over the two year period and seems to have them in clusters when she’s tired. This could lead to the need for medication and that’s a pretty scary thing as it could potentially change her personality.

Anyway, as part of this new discovery, she has to have another EEG in the morning. The last one, though indicative, was inconclusive. So this time I’m hoping for some answers. It won’t change much, but it’ll better prepare us for the future.

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They fuck you up, your mum and dad

This first line in This Be The Verse, a famous poem by Philip Larkin.

An ex boyfriend of mine exposed me to this work after a discussion about having children. Those were the heady days when I didn’t have any intention of having children. They were the days when I thought I couldn’t have children and I’d accepted this as fact.

That wasn’t the case and now I have three. Three lovely horrors I get to fuck up in new and interesting ways. Three cute monsters who are already showing symptoms of my issues.

It’s terrifying.

I grew up thinking that it was my parents’ divorce which had made me the stupid, pathetic shell I was during my childhood. I was the kid always willing to lie down and play the victim. I was that snotty kid crying in the corner. That one they all hated. The easy target.

I’m bitter about the waste. I wasted what should have been the best years of my life by burdening myself with everything. I missed out on so much because I was sensitive and ashamed of myself.

I thought it was a combined effort, until I heard myself repeating things I’d heard growing up. Things that I realised had cut me. These words my mum spoke were dangerous knives, and I caught myself saying them to my daughter.

I don’t like people saying horrible things about Mum. She did the best she could for us. It was hard for her so when I think about the things that hurt me, I think about what I did to deserve them.

There are moments when I was horrible to everyone. Mum won’t let me forget them. The shame wants me to forget, but I can’t. It’s not her fault, though, it’s all mine.

Isn’t it?

And me saying those things to L?

That’s my fault too.

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.

Sharenting

This story begins a long time ago. Twenty years ago in fact.

When I was 12, I started secondary school, the schools in our area being the last to accept 11 year olds.

On the first day, we got to the school gates and I freaked out, refusing to get out of the car. I embarrassed my mother, lost the respect of my peers and gave myself a great opening scene for a NaNoWriMo novel.

I didn’t and still don’t know why I did this and the feeling I had back then follows me to this day. I have been known to drive for 6 hours, fail to find a parking space and just drive home.

In 1994 they didn’t diagnose social disorders or mental illness in kids (which again, made an excellent basis for a story.)

Anyway, my Mum would tell everyone she met the story about how I wouldn’t get out the car.

As if I wasn’t already ashamed enough.

To make it worse, my Aunt would chime in with the story of when I was 6 and clung to a lamppost outside the school because I didn’t want to go in after a Drs appointment.

Now, these stories were damaging to my self-confidence. Every time they were told, I felt that my family were trying to make me out to be the black sheep. The sympathy my mum elicited from them got her friends, people she could share with. The looks of abject disgust I got will stick with me.

Comments like “such a little bitch”, “you need to help your mum more” and “I’d have beat her from here until next Sunday.” accompanied the story right through my teenage years.

Then I had kids.

And found Twitter and blogging.

I finally understood why Mum felt the need to share this behaviour and why it got the responses it did.

Sharenting has been around for a long time, just the means have changed. These days, we can create a comedic post about our preschooler asking awkward questions and gain responses from sympathetic parents having had similar experiences. Back then, toddler tantrums were something which you pretended you didn’t see. After all, your kids were perfect angels.

Ok, so growing up it may have been damaging, but now I laugh about it. I talk about it freely.

And because of that incident, I expect these behaviours from my own kids and know from reading others’ experiences that it’s ok.

Through my intense frustration, I’ve found support and encouragement and even comedy in these moments which would otherwise be recounted with a snarl and horror.

Sharenting is important for the mental health of the parent, to empower them to talk about these experiences in an environment where they can express themselves without venom being spat directly at the child. If my mum had blogged about the car thing, I would have been embarrassed, hurt by some of the comments maybe, but I wouldn’t have had to see the disgusted looks, the horror that I behaved so terribly, the disappointment, as though I had shamed the entire family again. Perhaps my Mum would have got the support she needed as I grew up, becoming more and more damaged. She’d have had someone to talk to when she was feeling guilty because I was self-harming, taking meds and failing to thrive.

Perhaps it would have made us closer if I could read about her experience as an outsider, watching her child on self-destruct.

This is why I sharent – because we’re all just muddling through, doing what we can and, who knows, someone reading might just glean an ounce of hope from your post.

Parenting is bloody hard enough without isolating ourselves and feeling vilified for talking about our children.

Leave the baby alone

Ru and Oscar

Nom nom nom

And other choice phrases such as “No.” and “Get your foot off his head!” are just a few of the things that you, if you were my next door neighbour, would hear me say.

You might even go so far as to wonder whether it’s actually a recording which fires with alarming regularity. When you find out it isn’t a recording, you’ll wonder why the hell I DON’T record it because the kids might possibly take more (some as opposed to none) notice of a broken record.

Sometimes I wonder the same.

Oscar is so obsessed with his brother he is constantly touching and stroking him. This would be lovely if he didn’t also feel the need to occasionally try and remove Ru’s eyeballs.

Let’s add “Not in his eyes!” to the list.

Thing is, my kids are not very responsive. Rarely, I’ll get a sideways glance, sometimes even s dirty look.

Most of the time, I get ignored.:

Poke, Poke, Poke

“How many times do I have to tell you to leave the baby alone?”

Poke, poke

“Baby’s cryin'”

“He is now that you’ve put your fingers up his nose, yes.”

A come back

Aaand, we’re back!

“You’ve had yet another baby, haven’t you?”

Well, yes.

And I’m on maternity leave again.

But that’s not why I’m coming back. (It mostly is)

You see, even though I return as a mother of three, having survived a c-section and a rocky patch in our relationship, I still have things to rant about.

So, fuck yeah, I’m back.

Now I have three kids to talk about.

One is off to school soon (oh, thank goodness!), one starts preschool for one day a week after half term (again, thank goodness) and the third wakes me up with a shitty nappy at all hours of the night. Oh, and has given me a 10 inch scar across my pubic bone.

Thanks kiddo 😉

I’ve not got any less sweary.  I’m probably going to rant a bit.

I’ll try and keep to talking about my kids and things that affect their worlds rather than drifting off into my own confused little bubble of self-deprecation.

I WILL PIMP MY OTHER BLOG (Muddled Manuscript – go see it. I have lots of writing and “creative expression” [pretentious] stuff on it.)

Expect  –

Things.

The relationship

I know, it’s cliche.  Everyone and their sheep is going to be posting about love, relationships and all that romantic crap today but as it’s all happening now and misery loves company, I figure there is no better time.

Our relationship is not great.

Understatement.

I feel like we are two people just existing in the same house.

I actually like it that way.

I like the lack of anything physical. 

I like doing my own thing.

I like feeling independent.

It isn’t that I don’t care about him. That’s not the problem.

I believe the problem stems from spending so long trying to make babies that now I’m through with having kids sex seems pointless.  It has served its functional purpose and now can be ignored.

I have no idea how to change this perception.

To be honest, I don’t want to.

After birth

Yesterday I shared with you all (at last) Ls birth story.

I probably made it quite scary.

I’m sorry.  Bits of it were scary, but for the most part, even through the scary bits, it was the most awesome experience of my life up to that point.  It was so awesome that I was actually excited about doing it again when we were waiting for O to arrive. 

My births were amazing.

Anyway, that aside, I’ve been checking out Facebook again – getting ready to steal photos.  I know, in said I wouldn’t but you kind of need them to get the whole picture.  (Get it – picture? Haha.  Grimace.)

So…

L was born at quarter past midnight.  By the time they sewed me up, found a bed and got me there, it was five am.  My support team had to leave.

I had never changed a newborns bum before.

I had never dressed a newborn before.

Hell, I had never been admitted to hospital and had stitches before.

The next few days were horrific.  Absolutely terrible. 

I got told she’d would need feeding and changing at 6am.  So at 6am I rang the buzzer and a Dr came in.  She told me to ring again for a mw, which I did and she told me off.  Great start. 

Then the girl opposite appeared.  She turned out to be really great but I found it intimidating having a woman who gave birth, walked in (I could barely stand up!), changed her baby, fed her baby and fell asleep across the room.  The curtain was pulled round.

I didn’t sleep at all.  I couldn’t.  All I knew was that I was responsible for this tiny little thing and i had no fecking idea how to be resposibile for this tiny little thing.

I was hungry and exhausted and oh God she snuffled a lot in her sleep!  She also coughed up a lot of that horrible phlegmy stuff they get. 

I don’t know if I managed to feed her, but at 7am a nurse came in to do breakfast and found me curled up in the bed crying silently.  I couldn’t do it.  I could not do the mum thing.

They took L away into the office to give me some respite. 

Then I slept fitfully for an hour or so until they bought her back needing a feed.  I think it was then that the mw told me she was shakey and had low blood sugar.  She also had an abnormally large fontenelle and she couldntg out all of her tongue in he mouth.  They wanted to get her checked by the paediatrician in the Neo natal unit.  They also wanted to top here up with formula and keep an eye on her blood sugar.

I couldn’t remember when she needed her sugar checking so I kept ringing the bell every time I went to feed her.  Also, my backside was aching.  It was so painful I could hardly move.  I lost all the strength in my back.  God only knows his many mws I asked to look at it and then all told me it was normal. It wasn’t – I damaged my tail bone which has been giving me grief again recently.

I am digressing.

People.  Everywhere.  They cuddled her.  They held her.  The fussed her.  I was too busy feeling hurt and sorry for myself.  I didn’t want to cuddle her.  I was happy for them to do it.

My family went ahead with the house party and were cleaning and painting our new house while I laid up in a hospital bed.  I hated it.

L was moved to the office again overnight to give me a break.

Some pictures of us from the 30th of August:

image

image

She looks tiny.  She was tiny.