Facing My Fears


Tomorrow Nookie and I will be undertaking something of an adventure. We’re driving down to Surrey (a three and a half hour drive – the longest I’ve ever driven by far and the furthest Nookie has ever travelled by far), and camping for three nights (another first for Nookie and for me with a child), so we can visit the theme park Chessington World of Adventure. To say I’m nervous would be understating the situation immensely. I am TERRIFIED!

It all started about four months ago when Nookie repeatedly saw ads for the theme park on TV and begged me to go. She was so excited by the look of the place that I agreed I would look into taking us. I checked it out and the park looks amazing… a huge theme park, zoo and sea-life centre all in one spot. And it’s surprisingly cheap for a theme park… half the price of Alton Towers, which is fairly close to us. The journey time phased me but I thought it was doable now she travels so much better than she used to. And I have a new tent and air-bed that my mum kindly bought me for Christmas, so I could go more places and camp, just begging to be used. There’s a camp-site really close by. And I was having one of those periods where I was feeling a little adventurous and like I should face some of my fears (I have periods like that). So I booked it for June. Of course, a month later I discovered I was pregnant. Not fancying a three day camping trip and two days in a theme park when I was six months pregnant, I changed the date to April… tomorrow. It seemed like such a good idea when it was months away… now I’m really scared.

How will I cope driving such a long way? The longest drive I’ve ever done in one period so far is just short of two hours, and that was only because I was stuck in traffic for a considerable period of that time. How will Nookie cope so long in a car? What will camping, while pregnant, with a three-year-old be like? How will I entertain Nookie in the tent? What if I get tired in the theme park when there’s no one to help me? What if it pours it down for three days? What if, what if, what if. I keep giving myself a little “I can do this” pep-talk, but it’s only half-working. It’s scary being alone with a young child so far from home. Exciting, but scary.

So… wish me luck? I’m sure we’ll have a great time, and a memorable adventure. I want to be that sort of mum… who isn’t scared of anything and will go places and do new, exciting things. Sounds nice in theory. In practice… not so much. But we’ll see. I’ll let you know how it goes…

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Breastfeeding Through Aversion


Nursing aversion is not something I’ve really tackled up until now. Though at times breastfeeding Nookie has been intense and her demands have pushed me right to the edge of tolerance, I’ve never really felt a physical aversion to it. But from being about three weeks pregnant I started to feel a very strange and distressing aversion indeed, and I’m still battling on through it.

At first I thought it was just the sore nipples. My nipples were really sore for the first eight weeks of pregnancy. Breastfeeding was very painful and I was loathe to do it. I had to keep telling Nookie no, no matter how much she asked. I would feed her in the morning, at night, and very occasionally through the day if she had hurt herself or really wanted to. And I would grit my teeth and breathe through the pain, knowing this would pass soon and when it did I would be glad I had soldiered through. But as the pain started to subside (and it’s now gone completely), it became less about pain and more about really not wanting to. I found the sensation absolutely repulsive. Nookie would nurse and I would sit there curling my toes up with my whole body itching to get her off me! It’s not like anything I’ve ever experienced before, and it was really quite distressing. I’ve breastfed for three and a half years now and I’ve never felt anything like it. Poor Nookie would plead with me to nurse, and I would, but after seconds I’d have to drag her off because I just couldn’t stand it! The sadness in her face broke my heart.

We went on like this until last week… Nookie seemed less interested in nursing, and I think it’s because of how obviously I was hating it. Sometimes she would ask and I’d manage to nurse for a few minutes before I’d have to stop her. We were down to three or four times a day. It was really getting me down. The sadness in her face was breaking my heart. I really tried to give her what she wanted, but my body was beyond agitated at the sensation. Now I know what all those women who have spoken about nursing aversion mean…

Now things are slightly easier. As I move into the second trimester the aversion seems to have reduced a little. I’m still getting it, and I’m still reluctant to breastfeed, but I’m now not so agitated when I do it. I can tolerate a little longer before I have to stop her. Gradually it’s getting easier. In the morning and at night I can feed her for a good ten minutes before I’ve had enough, and through the day I’m managing three or four times of a few minutes. I’m soldiering on through the aversion… Nookie still obviously needs this and I’m doing all I can to meet her needs.

Have you ever experienced a breastfeeding aversion? How did you cope, or was it the end of your breastfeeding relationship?

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Filed under Breastfeeding, Pregnancy

Exciting News (And Yes, It Is What You Think)


I’m very excited to finally be able to declare: we’re having another baby. Here is Nookie showing off my first scan picture, taken today:

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It’s been a challenging few weeks. I never have a particularly tough time in pregnancy (one of my close friends is currently pregnant and has had Hyperemesis gravidarum for eight months… nothing can compare to what she’s been through!), but this time has definitely been harder than my early pregnancy with Nookie. I’ve been very tired, to the point where sometimes I’m so weak I just can’t get up. My blood pressure has been so low I’ve come close to fainting a few times. Nausea has been bad… I’ve been sick a few times. And overall it’s been a roller-coaster of exhaustion, nausea and anxiety. The fear of miscarriage has been hanging over me like a dark shadow… in fact it’s only today I’ve finally fully accepted I’m actually pregnant. Up until now I’ve half-thought I imagined the whole thing, and haven’t wanted to get my hopes up.

But now I’m here. I’ve reached the imaginary finish-line… the magic twelve weeks. I finally feel like I can take a breath and enjoy being pregnant. It is, after all, the last time I’m going to go through this process.

As for Nookie, she’s very excited. Ever since I told her, quite a while ago, she has wanted to know how big the baby is now, when we will know if it’s a boy or a girl (she wants a sister!), etc. I’m hoping that by involving her in all the stages of the pregnancy it’ll reduce the jealously she’ll inevitably feel at having her exclusive time with mummy taken over by a usurper. That’s the hope anyway.

And the plan is for a home birth. I’m adamant. My doctors are already getting nervous about the idea, due to my previous heart problems. And it turns out I have a heart murmur (again), so I’m gonna have to go and have a barrel-load of tests yet again, just like last time, plus getting the baby’s heart checked too, as Nookie’s was when I was carrying her. But provided everything is fine, as it was with my last pregnancy, I should be “allowed” the home birth I so desperately want. I’m so excited. :)

But for now I’m not wishing the time away. Nookie, Hedgehog and I have the summer together before we’ll be joined by our new family member. And I guess it’s normal that a part of me doesn’t want our exclusive time together to end. I love her so very much, and I don’t want her to have to share us. In a way I can’t imagine having to put someone else ahead of her. But I know once the baby is here everything will fall into place, and I’ll love him/her just as much as I love Nookie. Still, it’ll no longer be the three of us. Our four years (by then) of being a family of three will come to an end. The end of an era…

But yay. I’m pregnant! It’s taken a while, but we’ve finally done it. Woohoo! :)

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Filed under Pregnancy

Belly Cake

I just thought I would share the belly cake I recently made for my friend’s Blessing-way. I honestly think it’s the best cake I’ve ever done, which isn’t bad to say it started off life as a two-tier cake that I accidentally over-filled the cake tins to, creating some mega-domes. I couldn’t waste such a happy accident and took the opportunity to make the belly cake I had originally wanted to make but couldn’t afford to buy the spherical tins for. :)

So yeh, if you want to make a belly cake, but don’t want to specifically buy spherical tins, you don’t necessarily have to. Just take ordinary tins and fill them with far too much mix and cook them slowly so they rise really high. Ha ha.

Here’s the cake anyway. I’m especially proud of the rose I created on the first attempt. I’ve been practising roses with my daughter’s play-dough for months, and figured I’d give it a shot. Turns out the secret is not to over-think it and just get on with making it. :)

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Filed under Baking

Catch Up


Yeh I haven’t really blogged for ages. I know, I know. Life has been happening. I just haven’t found the time. There are so many other things to do. Ha ha. Life is pretty good, and we’ve been living it with little time to sit down and process it all.

Friends. We have so many friends now! Our days are mostly filled with trips out, meet-ups, home-ed groups, dance classes, lunch meets. Nookie is blossoming into such a little social butterfly and has really come out of her shell with all these adults, toddlers and older children in her life. She’s such a little chatter-box and always has something to say to anyone who will listen. Quite an achievement for the shy baby and toddler who would cry if anyone so much as looked at her. I guess it goes to show that children will grow in confidence in their own time, if you give them a stable base to work from. :)

So yeh, we’ve been busy busy busy. It’s wonderful. The down-side is that finances are getting tighter and tighter and all the money I’m spending driving about and taking Nookie places is not helping! We’re really starting to struggle with our bills. The food budget has been drastically reduced (again!). Hedgehog has stopped drinking alcohol. But there are only so many places you can cut from, and only so much money in the pot. I’m going to have to start making more sensible choices with the money I spend on Nookie. But it’s difficult… taking kids places inevitably costs money! There’s no way around it. And as she gets older, things get more expensive… but anyway. Enough negativity. Here are some snaps of our recent adventures…

Ice-skating for the first time

Ice-skating for the first time

Mud-covered fun on a random hot day

Mud-covered fun on a random hot day

First ever dance class. She LOVES it!

First ever dance class. She LOVES it!

Ice-cream sundaes. Yum!

Ice-cream sundaes. Yum!

Riding the poor dog

Riding the poor dog

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Filed under Play, Unschooling