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Discussion Starter #41
Wee man T is 3 years and 3 days old

Quick note of this morning's conversation....

"Is that her baby?", he said pointing at something on the TV.  "I'm a horror baby" he added.

Certainly at times, I thought  ;D but wondered where on earth he heard such a phrase.  He named his best friend at nursery.

"Are you sure he said horror baby?" I asked.  He laughed and said "No, horrid"

Even worse, I thought.  Why would his friend say that.  I asked if they were still friends but was told 'yes'. 

"Why would he call you horrid, it means that something isn't nice and a friend wouldn't say that".

"Because I was the helicopter".

The penny dropped, "Aahhh, you mean Harold the helicopter".

"Yes mummy, silly mummy" as he laughed at my stupidity  ;D ;D ;D

 

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Discussion Starter #42
Each year I'm meant to write in your paper diary - a record of our year together that you can look back on. I'm a bit late this year as work, looking after you and home leave no time for anything but sleep ;D but finally here is this year's entry:

So you are now three! As you so often ask "How did that happen?"

I can't believe you are not a baby anymore, it seems like only yesterday. Now you are growing so fast, everything is changing….your move to a cot bed, using a quilt and pillow instead of sleeping bag, moving to the Big Room at nursery, a new car seat and of course giving up your dummies. Just need to master this potty training now!

Whilst being on the receiving end of your super hero/villain attacks may leave me bruised, I love the fun, the games and adventures that we have. I didn't know that dinosaur hunting could be so much fun! I love your imagination, your love of hats, of songs and dancing although not so keen on your fascination with all things naughty. I love our chats and conversations, sometimes serious, sometimes daft and sometimes in language that only we understand. I love your sense of wonder as we teach you about the world, and I love that you have taught me to indulge in that sense of being silly as who cares what everyone thinks - as long as my boy and I are having fun!

But I'm so scared of not being there for you as you grow up. One of the down sides of being an older mum, I guess. I just want to hold you, kiss you and watch you as you come into your own. You are already your own little person and I want to see what you will be as you become an adult. I don't want you to go through any pain, I want to hold you in my arms, wipe away any tears and keep you safe at all times. You are a very part of my being.

Love Mummy x
 

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Discussion Starter #43
Oh Diary, I'm so sorry for the lack of updates.  Simply put, this year has been hell on the work front. 

I need to be wary of what I say as it is not my news to share, but I have been covering for both my managers all year so capacity is down and the pressure up, I've had to make several redundancies and there have been several personal tragedies among the staff team.  One of which has been devastating to all, the news that no parent should have to face.

And now that news has come to pass - my friend and colleague has lost his 11-year old son.  Seven months ago, he was a football daft boy and now....

It is beyond heart-breaking, beyond comprehension.  I remember the boy being born, he was a rainbow baby and much, much loved. 

There are no words, only tears...

There will be extra hugs and kisses for my own miracle tonight  ^hugme^

Turia x
 

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Discussion Starter #44
I discovered this morning that yesterday - 24th July - was International IVF Day and today Louise Brown, the first IVF baby turns 41.

I would have been 11 when she was born but I remember the news well.  Little did I know that I would end up doing IVF myself.  Since then over 8 million babies have been born worldwide, 8 million miracles and I am forever grateful for my own miracle boy.

He is everything to me.

X
 

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Discussion Starter #45
I am writing your birthday letter very late this year - it's Christmas Eve! We were all full of coughs and colds after your birthday and then it's been Christmas Holiday and the run up to Christmas since.

This has been a tough year and I am reminded constantly of the fragility of life. So it is important that you know that life is not just about birthday presents, Christmas presents or the almost weekly request for a toy or comic. Life is about love and about family. You are a very lucky boy, you are loved by so many and your family will always be there for you. My heart melts each day when you tell me that you love me, or that you love cuddles with me - I hope that this continues. But know how much you are truly loved, I struggle to even find the words to express our deep, deep bond.

But life is also about wonder, discovery and magic. I love helping you learn and explore and I love when your eyes open wide as you discover something new. Hold onto that sense of wonder, hold onto that magic, always believe in Santa Claus. There is so much wrong in the world, so much injustice and sadness but there is also so much joy, laughter - even if through tears - so much good and kindness with people just helping each other out. I hope that you are always part of that world, the world of compassion, the world of kind-heartedness….a world where magic still happens.

Love
Mummy x

(Copied from my writings in "Our Story", the annual diary that I will keep for Baby T until he is 18)
 

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Discussion Starter #46
I’m so fed up with the pain.

It’s another sleepless night.  The pain has been there since the wee man was born but every now and then it goes through a bad patch.  I’ve been in this bad patch since Hogmanay.  I can just about cope during the day but lying down is so bad, I dread going to bed and am so jealous of tv characters that just jump into bed and pull the covers up, night night.

I try to keep going and not let it interfere with being a mummy, but every day is a struggle. Chronic pain, a full time job, house and 4 year old is a lot to manage especially when tiredness becomes a factor too.

I’m also in a catch 22.  Pain limits activity so exercise is down and weight is up causing even more pain.  It’s a cycle I can’t seem to break out of.

I’m sorry for the pity fest but it wears me down sometimes...

Turia x
 

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Discussion Starter #47
Thank you to my European donor.

Thank you to my European doctor and medical team.

Thank you for my European miracle.

This is so sad.  :'(
 

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Discussion Starter #48
Things I put up with as a mum - Part 1 (this could be the start of a long list)

  • Always being late when I used to be always early or timed to perfection
  • Never ironing my clothes before work - now if the marks are not too obvious it is good to go
  • Having 10 minutes for make up and dressing before going out the door
  • Being blamed for keeping everyone waiting when it was me that had to get everyone and everything ready

There seems to be a underlying theme here already...

And the ultimate from the weekend?

The wee guy got to use a sharp knife yesterday to chop all the courgettes, peppers and mushrooms for a big batch of vegetable lasagne. I took the knife off him as I turned away to rinse the mushrooms, then suddenly realised he was very quiet. Turned round to find....

He was licking all the bits of peppers before putting them back in the dish :eek:

At least his hands were clean ;D

(And I had to just go ahead and use the peppers ::))
 

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Discussion Starter #49
Day 1 of social isolation
Wee man is 9 days short of 4 and a half.

My OH has been home working since Tuesday, I’ve been in full crisis response mode for over a week (I manage a charity), but now I will be doing it all from home.  And of course the nurseries are now closed.

This morning as we cuddled the wee guy announced that we were lucky to have a garden and live next to a wood as trees don’t get Coronavirus.  He is no longer my innocent baby  :'( :'( :'(

But by 4pm....he announces “I’m only good for nursery teachers” as we wonder if it is too early to open the wine 🍷.  Then he suggested, “maybe Santa could send back his elf, he kept me good”.

So we wrote a letter to Santa and fingers crossed that elf on the shelf reappears overnight  ;D ;D ;D
 

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Discussion Starter #50
Wee man is 4 years, 7 months and a week old.

For all those 4 years, 7 months and extra week, there has been a wall sticker of a large tree in the wee guys’ bedroom.  Actually even longer as I remember sitting in the chair, cradling bump whilst Grandad put up the stickers.

The scene did change.  Over a year ago, the tree lost its’s baby deer, squirrel, bear, hedgehog and bunny rabbit.  Instead dinosaurs took their place at the bottom of the tree.

But now all innocence has gone.  Woodland animals and dinosaurs have been replaced by Lego Ninjago.  Now Lord Garmaddon and brandished sword stare over at me.

Tomorrow the woodland theme curtains come down to be replaced by fairly neutral stars 🌟

My baby is growing up so fast.

Turia x
 

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Discussion Starter #51
T is 5 years, 4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days old

I am so sorry dear diary - you must have felt abandoned!

I'm exhausted.

I remember outlining to staff our plans for the pandemic on Wed 11th March. By then there were only just over 10 positive cases in Scotland. By the Friday 13th we were cancelling activities, by the 17th staff were being sent home to work. By the time lockdown began on Tuesday 24th March, all staff were already at home and having our first meetings by zoom.

I manage a charity, our client group has been hit very hard - through loss of statutory supports, through shielding isolation and worry, through need of shopping, and food, and through so many sad, sad bereavements.

Keeping the organisation going and keeping staff going whilst working at home without childcare was exhausting. I would be up at 6, at my desk by 7 working until the sleepyhead awoke after 9. Then my day was mostly him, just dipping in and out of urgent stuff until my OH finished work about 3.30. He would then play and feed whilst I worked until between 8-9. Then it would be bedtime for the wee guy and then repeat……

I never had time to be bored. I never had time to learn a language, play an instrument or read a book… I never had time for you dear diary, I never had time for me.

But we were lucky - to be home, to be together, to have jobs, to have a garden and the woods. We have had so much time with our son, his father would leave for work at 7am and return after 6pm - now he gets to walk him to school every day. And every day I count all these blessings and know how lucky we were through all of this.

And every day I hated what this pandemic was doing to my child.

He was ripped apart from his many close friends, from his grandparents. His tears and outbursts were frequent. He developed a temper that we never experienced through all those toddler tantrums. His toileting regressed so frequent accidents. He spoke of hating himself. Then after a couple of months of lockdown, he gave into ennui, a deep listlessness that only games on an old iPad would break. It would take all our effort to get him out of these moods.

The despair it would make me feel. He was such a lucky boy compared to so many children in the world that suffer, but no child should experience this. Luckily he started primary school mid-August and things have greatly improved.

I'm not dear diary going to chronical all these months but I am going to record some of the key memories - good and sad and all at random as they come to mind….
 

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Discussion Starter #52
Random lockdown memories

The time you have had with your daddy. Our morning routine used to be your dad waking you up and bringing you downstairs about 5 to 7 in the morning. He would then put on his coat and give you a kiss goodbye as you sat on my knee drinking your milk, and then leave for work. He would get back home between 6-6.30 depending on traffic. Time only for dinner and a bit of chat or play before you would go off to bed. He was very much a weekend Dad.

But now he is here all day, every day. During the first Lockdown, he would finish work between 3-4, and would spend the afternoon playing with you in the garden or going a walk - letting me get back to work to make up my hours. He makes your tea nearly every night (as I still work) but best of all, he gets to walk you to school every morning. Something he secretly takes great delight in being able to do.

**********

Our morning cuddles. From that first Saturday (21st March) until you started school in August, nearly every morning would see us having a cuddle whilst sitting on the big recliner chair in your room. I would wrap a blanket around us and we would have a chat about life, universe and everything. Sometimes funny chats, sometimes sad as you remembered how much you missed your friends and family. Sometimes we would look out the window at the clouds and guess shapes as they passed by, others we would make plans for the future. Having that 20-30 minutes of unrushed cuddles in the morning was one of the best bits of having to stay at home.

**********

Teaching you how to play marbles on the fake grass strips that we bought to make our muddy garden useable during those sunny early months of Lockdown. You were fascinated to know that even Grandad knew how to play this game and would have played it as a boy.

**********

Building our own Jedi School in the back garden one day. Our very own obstacle course that allowed you to train to be a Jedi. We also bought Star Wars number and alphabet books to try and keep some learning going so that you would be ready for school.

Having our own disco's in the back garden - we brought your Spiderman CD player outside and put on the soundtrack to Trolls World Tour (or Rock versus Disco as we called it) and we would dance. We also played a lot of AC/DC. Come our winter Lockdown, we had Rock PE in the lounge - from my point of view you can get 2500 steps in with just 4 AC/DC hits ;D ;D ;D

**********

The shouting and tantrums when you refused to go to the toilet, even though it was obvious you were desperate! We tried everything including a lot of Lego as a reward on your Star Chart but to no avail. It stopped when you started school but resumed with the winter Lockdown. Hopefully now you are back at school things will improve again.

**********

Our walks on the nearby golf course, whether with splashing in puddles or learning the delight of rolling down a wee hill. Or just sitting on the grass in a sunny spot as you enjoyed some Chocolate Buttons or rocked out to music played on my phone. In this winter Lockdown you went there with daddy, sledging on the slopes (Sledging Hill being too steep and too busy with people). Of course, there was rarely a walk without you being 'caught short' for a number 1 or 2! Luckily there are plenty of trees and wooded areas at this golf course ;D ;D ;D

More memories later!
 

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Discussion Starter #53
More random memories

The worst walk ever…

We had only just started venturing through the woods up to the golf course and of course got caught short when a number 2 was needed. Queue some stress from me and distress of child, you were only 4 then but old enough to know that this wasn't the right way to do things. Readers can use their imagination!

We headed home, but saw people coming up the path. It must have been May, when fears were still at their height, when you would hold your child close, step away from the path and let people pass at a safe distance. But of course T was having none of that and kept running away. I couldn't understand why his running away was accompanied by melt downs, it was only when I eventually got him that I discovered he was scared of the long grass as that was where Tics lived (his Daddy had got one just the week before). I'm getting hot and flustered, my back getting sore. All more stress for me, distress for him.

And then came the conversation... "How did your mummy die?" he asked out the blue. "She was very ill" I replied. "Where did she die?" was next, "In a hospital", I answered. He was shocked "but hospitals are supposed to make you better". It's stress and distress time again. I'm being really careful how I answer, he only knows "the virus" makes you very ill, not that thousands and thousands of people are dying. The news is never on during the day as we don't want him seeing anything. I'm also trying to manage my emotions; it dredges up sad memories of my mum. It taps into my deep rooted fears of my passing and leaving him.

He's distressed, he thinks I might die.

We are nearly home and he runs ahead and his Daddy lets him in the house. My boy promptly shuts the door on me and refuses for ages to let me in. Deep sigh….

**********

Worst bedtime ever…

I think he is almost finally asleep. It's super late - 10.30 or so. During Lockdown 1 he stayed up late as he slept in the next morning. It suited as it meant I got 2-3 hours work in before he woke. But I digress…

All of a sudden his voice pops up "Did I know your mummy?" he asks. "No", I say sadly. "She went to the stars many years before you were born. She would have been so proud of you though. She would have loved you very much".

He asks then about my OH's mum: "Did I know her?" "Yes" I reply. "She knew you for a few months and loved you very much". I add that he is lucky that he has a third Granny (my Dad's second wife), most people don't. It comforts him for a moment.

But only a moment...he starts to cry. "I can't remember your mummy". "But you never knew her". He is sobbing now. "I can't remember her"... "I miss her". I'm totally confused, getting slightly upset myself - all I can do is try and comfort him. "Are my friends still there?". He hasn't seen another child for 2-3 months at that point. "Of course, they are", "I miss them too". Then came the heartbreak, :'( :'( :'(

Between the sobs I start to unpick his thinking. He knew my mum was a big part of my life, and then she was gone and I missed her. His friends were a big part of his life, and then they too were gone and he missed them dreadfully. To him, lockdown absence over all those months was the same as death….

My heart still breaks remembering this… :'( :'( :'(

**********

It wasn't of course all tears...

T's favourite bit of last summer?

He says his bouncy castle! It was a quick purchase off Amazon in the first couple of weeks of Lockdown. We quickly realised that this was the long haul and was trying to think of outdoor garden stuff that would let him work off some energy. We knew of too many kids with trampoline injuries so didn't want that option. The bouncy castle with slide into a paddling pool popped up. It was a whopping £450 - something we would never normally consider but it was the amount of money we had just saved in nursery fees over the 2 weeks. His face lit up at the idea, deal was done.

So glad we made the purchase early. At one point you would have had to pay over £1500 to get the same thing off Amazon although once supplies came in, it came back down in price. But just so glad to have got it - endless hours of fun and laughter. Worth every penny…

**********

I've written before about the significance of Glen Campbell's Wichita Lineman (page 3 of this diary, entry 22). It was always our go-to song for bedtimes however during Lockdown it took on greater meaning, becoming known as a "Hug from Grandad". He misses his grandparents dreadfully ^Heart^

**********

And on that note, we cannot forget the weekly headache of zoom calls with his grandparents, my sister and his cousin. A three-way stream of noise and chaos and we try and get a 4-year old to engage. Lots of quizzes. "Ask me another" he would endlessly cry or "I've got a question for you, Granny" not realising that he and I are the only ones to have watched Lego Star Wars and Lego Ninjago…every episode…countless times ;D ;D ;D

**********
 

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Discussion Starter #54
More random memories to come but first a belated Mother's Day note....

Note 1
At school they made a wee book called 'My Mum'. First page was drawing of me wearing a black top and ds wrote "My mum gives good cuddles".❤ thought me.

Second page he wrote "My mum is a good cook" with a picture of different mum (with a tail) putting a carrot apparently in the oven. Strange I thought but then he explained that he drew a carrot when he meant to draw a croissant - warmed croissant filled with nutella obviously being the peak of my culinary skills...

Last page, "My mum loves horses". Now really weird, I mean I would never harm one, and I do love all animals but still?????

Turns out, he and his friend copied each other. The other boy copied ds's first page and ds copied about his friend's mum being a good cook and loving horses (they live on a farm). Have had a laugh with the mum about it since but never told that it was my ds that thought up the cuddles page ❤❤❤

Note 2
DS wanted to make a list of all the reasons why he loved me ❤

He liked cuddles with me ^hugme^
I play with him
I go exploring with him
We eat dinners together
I go to beaches with him (obviously pre lockdown memories)
I help him
He has fun with me
I'm the cleverest mummy

Aw shucks ^Heart^
 
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