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Archive for the ‘family and relationships’ Category

I don’t understand why women who have a miscarriage are not given the proper emotional as well as physical care after. Losing a baby is traumatic. Why the medical profession refer to the baby as tissue to be disposed of is shocking. You ask any woman who has had a scan confirming a pregnancy whether she identifies with it as a baby or viable tissue, evenat 4 weeks…the medical profession need to be more compassionate and change their language. Whether a 4 weeks or 4 months or term, a loss is still a loss and needs to be treated as such. Far too many people take the stance of ‘of well, it happened to us too and we weren’t affected, or we turned out okay, or we managed ok’ – perhaps not. Trauma has a way of presenting itself in many guises and if you had to dig a bit deeper, you’d likely find that there was an effect, one way or another.

https://www.bbc.com/news/health-51093999

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Had a wonderful day in Canterbury today with the boo πŸ’™πŸ‘ΆπŸ»πŸ₯° travelled to Canterbury by train with Mummy who had a dentist appointment.

Granny and Jamie's adventures

Mummy and Jamie reading the newspaper

Then Jamie and I set off on an adventure… first walking through the ancient Pilgrim’s West Gate,

Granny and Jamie's adventures

Jamie at the West Gate, Canterbury

stopped for a quick hello to Geoffrey Chaucer,

Granny and Jamie's adventures

Geoffrey Chaucer

then to the cathedral to see the Christmas tree and nativity scene.

Granny and Jamie's adventures

The Nativity scene at Canterbury Cathedral

Granny and Jamie's adventures

Jamie loved the Christmas tree

We stopped to say hello to the horse on the way out.

Granny and Jamie's adventures

The wooden horse

And then we strolled along the Roman city walls

Granny and Jamie's adventures

The Roman City Walls

before joining Mummy for tea and pancakes. Afterwards we walked back to the cathedral gate for a quick photo

Granny and Jamie's adventures

Canterbury Cathedral

then onto the train and home.

Granny and Jamie's adventures

On the train

Granny and Jamie's adventures

Fast asleep

I got in a good 5kms walking today…added to my 1000 miles target for 2020.

We left Mummy in Canterbury coz I gifted her 3 days while I babysit Jamie, and treated her to a 2 night stay at The Falstaff Hotel so she can have a rest, unwind and do some business planning for 2020. Looking forward to seeing @lemonfeatherphotography and @businessstoriesphotography go from strength to strength this year.

Once we got home, I had a cup of tea, Jamie had a snooze

Granny and Jamie's adventures

Asleep in his cot

and then we played all afternoon till Daddy got home.

Granny and Jamie's adventures

Its so much fun unpacking the socks

Then it was bathtime

Granny and Jamie's adventures

Bathtime

and after a lot of milk, Jamie finally settled for the night.

In all a wonderful day. Rerun tomorrow without the trip to Canterbury. He really is the best company. We had so much fun. I got down on the floor with him to play and he got so excited he bit my eye πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ€ͺπŸ€ͺ crazy kid.

Its really wonderful to see him looking so well again and especially as he seems to be back to full strength with his feeding…hoorah.

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I got some fantastic gifts from my daughter this Christmas (I always get fantastic gifts….she’s a star gifter) and this was one of them…..a little diary for mine and Jamie’s adventures.

Granny and Jamie's adventure diary

Granny and Jamie’s adventure diary

The first adventure to go into the book will be our trip to London to see the Snowman sculptures. I love this idea, and the only thing I have to figure out, is what format to follow.

Jamie and the Snowman

Jamie and The Snowman

I may just have to wing it and see how it progresses. It was such a wonderful day, albeit short and he was poorly, but he was so well behaved and so sweet. I wish it wasn’t so cold that day, I would have loved to take him out the pram and show him the sculptures properly. But I was concerned about taking him out the warm and into cold every 5 minutes.

Jamie and Granny

Jamie and Granny on the train

Jamie looking adorable

Jamie looking adorable

Besides him being poorly, it would have been tiring for him….but as he gets older, it’ll get easier. Next week we’re going to Canterbury πŸ˜ŠπŸ‘ΆπŸ»πŸ₯°πŸ’™

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At 00:1038 on Saturday 19th January I uploaded an instagram post “HOORAH!!! πŸ‘ πŸ‘ πŸ‘ Finally I can say #Peanutisonthewayβ£οΈΒ πŸ‘ΆπŸ»πŸ’™ We’ve just arrived at the hospital. My daughter has been having on-off contractions throughout the day and night before, but now they’re coming full on. Hold thumbs all goes well πŸ˜ŠπŸ˜ŠπŸ’•”

Peanut is on the way

And so it came to pass, right on schedule at exactly 40 weeks from conception, in the wee hours on the morning of the 19th January 2019, prospective parents and ready packed suitcase in the car, we set off on what we hoped would be the real deal….the arrival of baby Jamie. We checked in at the QEQM and straight to the labour ward. All week we had been focusing on room 8 since that was the room with the birthing pool as well as which it was large enough to accommodate the 3 of us as well as my daughter’s Doula and the midwives.

lucky number 8

lucky number 8

On the way we contacted her Doula, Maisie, who lives in Deal and she arrived not long after we did.

After a quick check of all mother’s vitals, baby’s vitals and some monitoring they decided, after about 40 minutes that she wasn’t yet far enough along to stay in and suggested we go home, that she have a nice warm bath and come back later. Besides which the cramps/pains had subsided by then.

00:38 on the 19th – Maisie (Doula), Mummy and Daddy waiting for Peanut

Home we went….at about 4am 19th January. We prayed all the way that Room 8 would still be available when we returned. Fortunately home was then only a 10 minute drive away.

Less than 2 hours later I phoned the labour ward once again and advised them – I didn’t ask if it was ok this time…I TOLD them – we are on our way back!! When we arrived, they confirmed that yes, she was now in full-on labour, 5cms dilated with what we had correctly classified as proper contractions, coming thick and fast and PAINFUL!! Taking her breath away. How my heart ached for her.

Thankfully Room 8 was still available and we settled in for the long haul….this was it and finally I could say…..

PEANUT IS ON THE WAY hoorahhh!!!

We set up the room as best we could with the candles and lights she wanted….but frankly she was already so well advanced that she was only aware of it all in the periphery of her mind…..her Mama instincts were in full flow and she could only focus on one thing….breathing through the contractions. As she has said herself, if we had stayed in the first time around earlier that morning, she would probably have enjoyed setting up the room, getting into the pool earlier and just relaxing in that environment. But as it turned out, by the time all that happened, she was too far along to really enjoy it all.

In due course we asked if they would fill the birthing pool, since she was keen to have, if not an actual water birth, then at least her labour in the pool. As baby was breech, it wasn’t really conducive to or safe for a water birth. It was hard going by now as she was having very strong contractions and in a lot of pain. But with careful guidance and assistance from us all, we got her safely settled into the warm water. Her husband stripped down to his swim trunks and settled in beside her to offer support. Maisie and I hovered around and provided support between vitals being checked and by now, gas provided by the midwives….who I might add were amazing.

in the birthing pool

19/01/19 – 08:22 in the birthing pool – beautiful beyond compare

At some point the Consultant that had upset them both so much a week before by insisting that because baby was breech that she HAD to have a c-section, brought in the ‘big boss’; the head Consultant – despite their constant protests and saying that they wanted a natural birth as far as was possible, he insisted that it was God’s will.Β  How I restrained myself from slapping him for making such a stupid comment is beyond me. Seriously??? An induced c-section is NOT safer than a natural birth and mothers have delivered breech babies for centuries…my daughter was herself a breech baby (albeit eventually a c-section due to sudden complications). As far as the pregnant parents were concerned, they were in the right place if there was an absolute necessity to deliver by c-section.

By now my daughter was in a tremendous amount of pain and focusing only on the contractions and the imminent birth. This woman, who shall remain nameless, marched in like some Nazi surgeon and despite the position my daughter was in, bent down at the side of the pool and insisted that she, my daughter, tell her all the dangers of proceeding with a breech birth. Wtaf???? At which point my son-in-law absolutely lost it…..he rose up out the water like some sort of underwater god, water streaming off his body, and with his hand pointing in her direction, told her to “fuck off out of here right now”. LOL If you knew my son-in-law you’d know that that was so totally out of character as to be like chalk and cheese. He doesn’t ever swear. Long story short…..the two consultants left pretty pronto.

Meanwhile the contractions were now becoming so powerful and so painful that my daughter could no longer keep herself upright and we were becoming fearful she may slip under the water. She struggled to stand and was so weak that she could barely lift her head never mind stand up to get out the pool. So, as she recalls, I put on my Mother voice and with all the Mama power I could muster, I spoke right into her ear and pretty much commanded her to “get up and get out the pool”. Which gave her the strength to actually get up.

From there on things got hazy and crazy with the pain escalating and the midwives in and out. Trying all sorts of different positions that were really not at all ideal, they eventually brought her a birthing stool and finally she was in a comfortable enough position to give birth. It didn’t take long before we saw baby’s wee bottom appear and as he slowly made his was into the world we all did our best to comfort and ease Mummy’s pain. We took turns to hold her hand, mop her brow with a cold cloth, rub her back and shoulders while the midwives provided the gas and medical advice. So far, so good.

Suddenly his legs popped out and then his wee body and arms and shoulders…..very nearly there.Β  A breech birth is really difficult to witness and frankly I was terrified…..but I kept my wits about me and kept taking photos and videos so they could have a record of the birth. They had the absolute best midwife in attendance that you could ever wish for in this world. Although this was her first breech delivery, she was calm and collected and reassuring, offering guidance and a commentary of where he was and how he was progressing. Suddenly and apparently not ideally, his body went white as he prematurely drew breath…but his head was not yet born and now she had seconds to get him out. With the Granny on the sidelines shouting “don’t pull him” she gently slipped her fingers into the birth canal hooked her fingertips above his cheek bones and with a deft sideways twist she slipped his head out. 12:45 on the 19th January 2019 our beloved baby boy was born.

But, now he wasn’t breathing, so she rubbed him down vigorously and gave him a solid thumping. My heart stopped LOL I’d never seen a baby being thumped like that…and you know how fragile we ‘think’ they are. She quickly passed baby over to the midwife on standby who rushed out the room to put him on a ventilator, and returned less than a minute later with baby Jamie lustily yelling… “Hello world, I’m born!!”. Hurrah, he had breathed on his own. What a CHAMPION!!!

Mummy, Jamie and Daddy

19.01.19 at 12:46 Mummy, Jamie and Daddy

It was crazy after that. We were all crying, the midwives were checking vitals, my daughter went into meltdown, and Daddy was sobbing. She simply couldn’t handle all the emotion and was still struggling to deliver the afterbirth and just couldn’t hold the baby, so instead I gave baby Jamie, all 7 lbs of gorgeous newborn to Daddy for some precious skin to skin. To our amusement and Daddy’s intense embarrassment, baby immediately tried to latch onto his nipple hahaha

skin to skin with daddy

19.01.19 13:02 precious skin to skin time with Daddy

We attended to Mummy and got her settled, wrapped up in a towel and then she was able to hold her precious son. It was such an amazing experience and I am so joyful and grateful that I was there to support them, provide reassurance, my boobs to rest on (for Mummy’s head during contractions), and witness the final stages of Jamie’s incredible journey into this world.

Mummy, Daddy, Granny and Jamie

19.01.19 Mummy, Daddy, Granny and Jamie

My precious daughter is now mother to a beautiful precious little boy….and I am finally a Granny πŸ™‚

 

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Gosh, how time does fly. It’s been 4.5 months since I last wrote a blog (about toilet paper?? LOL) and so much has happened in the interim I hardly know where to start.

Blogging is one of those things that I need my computer for, and since said computer is, in today’s world, classified as ancient, it takes ages to boot up and by then I’ve lost time & interest. But I recently, with the help of my sister in Cape Town via whatsapp, had an online session and we managed to clear some space which has made it marginally quicker, and so I thought it’s about time I got back to blogging.

I’ve also in the interim logged out of both twitter and facebook….I’m so sick of the rubbish on twitter (I miss the days when you could have a decent ongoing conversation with someone without the bots interfering and sticking their noses in with their vile rhetoric). I logged off facebook recently after a very emotional situation because I needed to separate myself from the emotion and facebook is a thorn in my side anyway (for various reasons). I do miss comment/chatting to my friends though – do we ever talk in real life anymore?

So since I was off both twitter and facebook, both of which voraciously consume your time, I started reading through and clearing out my email inboxes, both of which had in excess of 3,000 unread and unfiled emails. It took a good few hours I can tell you, over a period of about a week, but oh the satisfaction once it was done. It’s amazing how we can even accumulate clutter online. While doing that I also unsubscribed from hundreds of charity emails, petitioning emails and sales advertising emails and now my inboxes are more manageable. I also file the emails I need to keep into their relevant folders immediately after reading them. Now I have about 10 emails pending attention and few starred emails that I need to keep open for various reasons.

So instead of wasting time scrolling through twitter and facebook, I started reading wordpress blogs again, followed a few bloggers whose posts I enjoyed and started proper reading again….and talking of reading, I’ve also started reading books again…..marvellous. The latest book I borrowed from the B&B hostess where I recently stayed… The Secret Dossier of a Knight Templar of the Sangreal. I’ve been interested in the history of the Knights Templar for ages and the book is absolutely fascinating; I’m learning so much.Β  There are quite a few famous places linked to the Knights Templar along the French Camino Route through northern Spain and I hope to visit those when I do the walk. I’ve been lucky enough to visit a few places in the UK with links to the knights…..so interesting.

Of course the main event of the year, and the reason for my tardiness and lack of blogging, was the birth, in January, of my first grandchild One year ago; best news ever, a much desired and much wanted, precious little boy. Life as they say, changed forever. I read a blog today by debs-world that really struck a chord, and on that note I decided to get back to writing so that I can share more about this special little boy and his development. I have dozens of drafts written, but with one thing and another, I never got to actually post them ….. and he is a week away from 10 months old!! The absolute joy of my life. I never knew you could love another human so much.

Besides that I am once again homeless and that has been the cause of so much trauma I cannot tell you. Much as it was heart-rending to leave what has been my home since June this year and for a few years prior to that (just different houses in different towns), it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do and although it nearly broke me in two, it was an absolute necessity for my own sanity.Β  But it’s tough not having a home. I’ve had to once again put all my belongings into storage and that in itself brings a multitude of complications. Every time I want to file documents or get a change of clothes or access my toiletries or whatever it might be that I need or don’t want to carry around, I have to traipse to the storage unit and keep their opening hours in mind. No easy access. It all requires careful planning….and frankly it’s just fucking boring. CΓ©st la vie. However, you can really appreciate the difficulties that people who end up on the streets have. I’m still one of the lucky ones…I have a job (that provides me with a home for two weeks at a stretch) and can pay for storage and a B&B when needed inbetween jobs.

I haven’t done any walking this year either which has added 6 kgs to my weight (gahhhh). Unfortunately my love of food has not abated LOL. And anyway I opted to spend time with the bub rather than go walking. an easy choice really.

I wrote a blog a few months back about the X52 pledge I made and I’m pleased to say that I have stuck to it. Of course I have needed to buy new underwear and socks (I wear through mine a fast pace) and desperately needed a new pair of trainers, which are my daily wear anyway, but fortunately those items are considered necessities and not a luxury.

Besides travelling to various parts of the country for work, I haven’t done much travelling this year either. I was reluctant to stray too far from my delicious grandson, opting instead to spend as much time as possible with him. Sadly now that I no longer live with them, my time with him is going to be cut down to a visit maybe twice a month. It bloody sucks and I miss him so much it hurts. But there it is. I rail against this situation to no avail…..hopefully in time I will get my emotions under control and not feel like I want to scream and jump into the abyss. I am after all just his Granny and not his mother and he does have other grandparents. It is lovely though when I do visit…he gets so excited to see me and giggles uncontrollably. I fear that our bond will eventually wear thin though since he won’t see much of me …and yes I am feeling bereft and very very sad. It’s hard not to when I’ve been such an integral part of his life from before he was born. Having gone right through my daughter’s pregnancy and labour, witnessing him take his first breaths, and then being very closely tied in with his subsequent daily care, looking after him most nights for the first 6 months, leaving was such a wrench…..I confess I am still reeling from the loss. It’s been a horrible 12 days just thinking about it. Still I’m grateful that he’s not in another country and I will get to see him at least twice a month. And I have our Christmas Butlins break to look forward to when I’ll be spending 4 whole days with him….shared with the paternal grandparents of course.

I’m still very active on instagram and love looking through the many wonderful images that get shared, saving links to places I still want to visit and walks I want to do. Gosh there are so many I’ve lost count. Instagram has to be the best travel brochure ever. I’m saving up to buy a campervan so that when my gorgeous grandson is older, I can take him on a multitude of adventures. I hope to eventually buy a motor-home so that I have a permanent residence.

So that’s just a quick catch up and summary of the last few months….I shall now start finalising and posting the articles about the wonderful life of Jamie, my divine grandson…..

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On the 12 May 2018 at approx 2.30pm, I received what can only be the best news any mother of a grown up daughter could hope for!! I was to become a Granny πŸ™‚ To say that I went ballistic would be a complete understatement…I did the whole Greek Mama shrieky thing LOL

Getting the news πŸ™‚

I was quite simply over the moon. This was not something I was expecting (sorry for the pun), and had made my peace with the idea that I may not ever have grandchildren. I guess I should have known better! The planets had aligned; my daughter was in a really good place in her life, she had met a wonderful man, they were engaged to be married, she was settled in her home, her business was doing well and life was good. The universe knew that the time was right.

becoming a granny, first time parents, first pregnancy

I’m going to be a Granny πŸ™‚

The months both dragged and flew by with visits to a clinic for an ultrasound that showed the wee bub sitting comfortably in the position he was to pretty much maintain for the full 40 weeks right up until he was born.

first baby, second trimester, ultrasound, listening to babys heartbeat, granny in waiting, first grandchild, ovia app, knitting for babies

isn’t that just extraordinary….so tiny and yet so very real

first baby, second trimester, ultrasound, listening to babys heartbeat, granny in waiting, first grandchild, ovia app, knitting for babies

Ultrasound ❀

Each week was marked with images of his progress off the ovia app,

ovia app baby progress

one the day I received the news, this is the size of the bub; a poppy seed

photographs of Mummy’s slowly expanding belly,

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Lots of clothes shopping (we ended up with wayyy too much), various excursions as nursery equipment was collated and frequent trips for treats LOL I’m surprised he doesn’t look like a treat…oh Wait!! He does!!

After a relatively problem-free pregnancy, he didn’t after all make it easy for Mama and stuck to his guns, resulting in a breech birth.

Finally the big day arrived and exactly 40 weeks to the day (according to their calculations, not the NHS’s) without any further ado, my tiny, beautiful, cute, gorgeous, exceptionally intelligent (of course), delightful little grandson arrived. Albeit very traumatic for Mummy, his birth went fairly smoothly and I had the privilege of being able to support her right through from beginning to end. We, Simon (her husband), Maisie (her Doula), myself and of course the beautiful Mama, were all in shell-shock and I’m still bemused by the fact that I actually managed to get through her labour without going to pieces.

Jamie, just 10 minutes old cuddled on Mummy’s chest, Maisie, me and Daddy

In fact she had, a few weeks before, asked me to knit her a birthing blanket. The idea was for me to knit this blanket whilst she was in labour, to focus my mind and keep me calm and occupied….it didn’t quite work out that way, and 4 months later the blanket is still under construction. Mostly because I’m forever holding the baby or taking photos of him rather than knitting….oh and working. I have 2 other cardigans 95% completed that I have never yet found the time to complete.

So Jamie, my precious little boy, here you are….just hours old

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and now you’re fast-growing, gorgeous, funny almost 4 month old with a mega-watt smile that lights up the room and my heart.

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I loved the idea of being a Granny, but I love actually being a Granny even more that I ever thought possible.

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He’s now 16 weeks old and I can hardly believe that the weeks have flown by so quickly.

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What a charming little boy he is, and we are so blessed to have him in our lives.

 

 

 

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I haven’t updated my bio on my various social media sites for a few months/years so this morning while drinking my tea I thought I’d give it a go.

Of course we are limited in the number of characters we can use, but in summary, on instagram, this is what I wrote.

‘Granny to Jamie 19.01 πŸ’•πŸ’™ Firewalker. Long-distance walker. Amateur photographer. Pro-remain. Anti-plastic Activist. Litter Picker. Vegetarian/Vegan’

In my head I can picture myself from those words, although it’s only a small synopsis of who I am and what my interests are/things I’ve done. I wonder what conclusions a stranger would make of the description?

I was saying to my (wonderful) daughter just a few days ago, whilst going out of my mind with boredom at work, that I need to sit down and draw up a new list of the things I’ve done and my achievements in life, as a reminder that I’ve had a rich, varied and full life (especially the last 18 years) for those days when I feel trapped by my need to earn money to pay the bills.

There’s this personal development mantra that gets bandied about the Internet that comes to mind…. “If you love what you do, you’ll never have to work a day in your life” – at first glance it seems quite benign and holds out hope, but what does it actually mean? I mostly love my job, on the whole I get enormous satisfaction from it, but hey ho….I ‘work’ every day I’m in each assignment. Does that mean I don’t ‘love’ the job enough. I also don’t earn very much which requires me to work more to pay the bills to have a marginally decent living standard….not extravagant by any means and I do without a lot in order to get by.

So, who am I? Do I love my job?

I know what I’d love to be doing (see, there’s that word again). Perhaps I should change it to ‘what I would prefer to be doing….

Spending more time with my grandson πŸ€— πŸ‘ΆπŸ» ❣️ πŸ‘΅πŸ»

grandchildren, being a granny

my wonderful, heavenly, delightful, precious little grandson.

Travelling πŸšΆπŸ—ΊοΈβ³

porto to santiago, padron to santiago, osprey tempest 40 mystic magenta, walking the camino, nordic walking poles.

my trusty companions; Pepe (backpack) and Gemini (Nordic walking poles) – 10.166 km to Santiago

Taking photos

photography, mobile phone photography, travel

I’m absolutely loving my walks for the #walk1000miles 2017 challenge. It certainly gets me out of bed and out the house, making sure I don’t lag behind. I love walking anyway so it’s no hardship, and what fun it is to see different scenes while I’m out. It also gives me the opportunity to get fit for my Camino. The #mapmywalk app is perfect for my needs.#walking #walkbritain #exploreengland #englishcoast #VikingBay #StoneBay #Kingsgate #isleofthanet #traveldiaries #Camino2017 #cindystravels #viewsofengland

and campaigning against plastic, especially single use plastic.img_20190505_200251163268184.jpg

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