When you have a child and all of their peers start to speak and yours doesn’t, you brush it off at first.  You tell yourself that they all progress at different rates and maybe next month they’ll just turn to you and words will come out like a faucet being turned on.  Only next month turns into the month after that and then maybe two after that, and then okay maybe another 2 or 3.

On the inside you are panicking because “why isn’t my child speaking?” and “oh crap, did we miss something somewhere that was telling us there is something wrong?”.  Then you start hitting Google and you hit the “oh shit!  I think he has ADD or ADHD or definitely on the Autistic Spectrum.  Actually, it’s totally dyspraxia.  Or worse… “.

And it is hard because even if it is the one area where they are behind, it is an obvious one.  You can’t really hide that your child isn’t speaking.  Especially when they start getting frustrated and you start getting frustrated and you start losing the ability to communicate in the way you’ve developed together because you’re just too damn frustrated with the other to bother.

As hard as it is on us as parents, we can only imagine it is 100x times harder on our child because they can’t fully get across their needs, their wants or what hurts.

We have lived through this with Noah and the road has been very bumpy and at times it felt like there was no light at the end of the tunnel.   On the 31st of August last year, he pointed out a plane to me.  He did it by saying “dane!”.  No grunt, no point and wait for you to notice, no pulling my hand and making me point at what he wanted.  He opened his mouth and said it.  It was an amazing moment and I couldn’t hid my happiness.  At 2.5 years, he finally decided he was ready to try this talking lark.

So we prepared ourselves for the flood gates to open, and then fell asleep not long after realising that he was totally following the Slow and Steady plan he’d been on all along.  But it was alright, because we were happy to take progress no matter how little.

Over the past couple of weeks his speech has started to really take off.  He WANTS to tell us everything.  He TRIES to tell us everything.  Because so much of my family, or all even,  is not here to witness this amazing change in person, I thought I’d get a little video of him saying things.

It was in this video that we discovered that there actually had been a reason he didn’t want to speak before.  There was a secret he was harboring.

He is … Damien.

12.2.11: Speak of the Devil from Kirsty B on Vimeo.

Today is my Kadie’s birthday (at least this was started on her birthday, who knowswhen my Mommy will get it out there for everyone to see though!) and my little sister and I were sad that we could not be with her, so we thought of ways to let her know that we were thinking of her and that we love her very much.

I told Amy that we should go on an airplane to visit her, but she raised a good point when she mentioned that she is still waiting for her passport and can’t go far without it. So we got to thinking again. My Mommy made a card with a bunch of different photos of us, but we wanted to do something else. Realising that we were short on ideas and time, I brought out Old Faithful…. my bath letters!!!

Amy decided to try and help me and threw up some letters on the wall, but then demanded that my Daddy take her out of the bath and put on her pyjamas, leaving me alone with my Mommy to pose next to our message.

Happy Slapper

Can you believe it?! She looks all cute and innocent and flashes her Grand Canyon of a dimple to distract you from the deviousness, but look out!!!

After blowing off some steam by getting my Mommy to hand me every shower gel, shampoo and conditioner bottle on the window sill and then having her put them back while I stuck my head under the water to try and drink the bath, I decided to sort things out and really wish Kadie a happy birthday.

Kadie's Day

Sorry for Amy’s “joke”, Kadie. She think she’s as funny as my Mommy thinks she is. My Daddy and I are learning to live with two of these crazy ladies.

We hope your birthday is/was wonderful and although we didn’t get to see you who hope to see you soon for some belated birthday hugs and slobbers (Amy is not so good at the kiss giving). We love you! Yes, even naughty Amy.

The delay in getting this out may lead people to think that month two was as rough as month one. They’d mostly be wrong. I mean, it was rough. I’m still recovering from it, but to be fair, I spent a lot of it recovering from month one.

moses basket

But this month you started to smile. Often. Between the lengthy bouts of grizzling, crying and screaming, you spend a lot of the time smiling at me. You smile way more than your brother did which is wonderful, because you are unhappier a lot more often than he was too. On thing you do that he never seemed to do, is look at me when you wake up and give a little smile that grows into a medium sized smile and then takes over your entire face and your eyes crinkle and your mouth swallows half of your face and every single morning I just want to pick you up and squeeze you so tight until you can hear my heart screaming how much I love you.

And then, I close my eyes tightly and hope that we can make it through the day as friends.

smiles

It would be a lot easier to deal with your grump if you were an only child, but you aren’t. It is a constant struggle to try and give you both so much of myself and my love and attention in order to make sure that neither of you feel the other one gets more. Right now you need me a lot more than Noah does, but that doesn’t lessen the fact that he still needs me a lot. This leads me to hope one moment that you two will alternate nap times so that I can be with one of you whilst the other sleeps, but that leaves me so exhausted that I then hope that the next round of naps happens at the same time so I can breathe.

Sly smiles

The trouble is, no matter when you nap, you appear to want me within 3mm of you. And that is the days that you decide to nap. For some reason I thought I remembered that Noah started to sleep better after his 8 week injections. You, you barely slept at all that day, even with a dose of Calpol … which you hate.

That’s right, we let some lady stick two needles into you this month. You were not happy. But you were amazing when it happened. You cried.. briefly. It was over so quickly. Or so you led us to believe. Wow did you find your lungs later. Especially as we took you to get weighed after and apparently making you get naked and putting you in a plastic tray to see how much weight you have gained is not your idea of a good time and you let us know.

daddy's girl

You also had two 6 week checks this month. First the Health Visitors weighed you and measured your head and told me that they thought I was feeling too sad and should come and talk to people there to cheer me up. That gave me a giggle, so it worked I guess! You passed with flying colours although your head is bigger than your brother’s was at that age, so let us hope it slows down.

We went to the GP to have the second check later in the week and she reconfirmed that you were healthy and strong and gave us a useless cream for your skin.

Ooh, your skin. The baby acne cleared and appears to have left behind eczema. This has led me to cry a lot because I can see when it is bothering you and your tight balled up fists rub rub rub your face in an attempt to relieve yourself of the annoying itch. Luckily Kadie came through and sent you something from Canada which has helped SO much and has led to a whole lot less scratching and face rubbing. We’ll keep an eye on that and I will try whatever it takes to make you feel more comfortable, because you are about to experience a lot of frustrations.

Bath Time

The drool of teething has started and you are constantly trying to get your fist in your mouth. I’m not actually sure if that is a teething sign in your case as I swear that you are trying to suck your thumb. I’ve tried to give you a soother but you are not the biggest fan. You go days without ever touching one. I’m not complaining because it means not having to break you of the habit, but I am not sure I can wrestle your thumb away from you if you choose that route because you are so strong – physically and willed.

You are also starting to try and properly roll and not just do the flukey rolls you’ve been doing since birth. We watch as you try and swing your hips and legs to move your body from being on your back to your front. You can get on your side pretty easily, but the full back to front happens less often. Once you get the hang of it, if you are like your brother, you are going to do it in bed and annoy yourself when you end up in a position that you didn’t start out in.

cheeky lady

But, we have to focus on each day as it comes and not worry about tomorrow or next week because with you, each day is so different from the last. Except when you’re in the bath. That is the only place where we know what we are going to get… contentedness. Whether you are in the bath or in the shower, you love the water all over your body. You don’t even mind when the water runs down your face. It is silly, but you being such a water baby makes me happier than you could ever know.

So you see, this month has not been easy, but it is getting better slowly but surely. Whether that is true or I’ve just convinced myself of it matters not, because I just know that I am starting to enjoy you more that I did last month and I swear that when I tell you that I love you, you know what I am saying because you smile at me… or sometimes you say something back.

And I hope that you really do know what I am saying or at least you can feel that I’m saying mean that although I may struggle sometimes, that those words are letting you know that I will do whatever I can to keep you happy, healthy, safe and wrapped in love.

sleeping beauty

We might make it through this newborn thing after all!

Happy Two Months, Squawkers!
Mommy Loves You!

I swear I only gave birth to you 17 months ago, but in this past month it would appear that you turned two. Or at least took on all of the required traits for a toddler going through the Terrible Twos.

tongue out

Other mothers say that their 17/18 month olds are acting the same way, so at least I can breathe easy for now, knowing that I am not raising a complete CrAzY. Trust me, if it weren’t for the reassurance, I would be seeking out special padding for all of the walls in the house. A padded floor might be nice too. Though that would be for me since I seem to forever be tripping over your cars, buses, trains and all other wheeled toys that you never tire of playing with.

trains planes and ...

There is nothing so cute as seeing you get right down on the floor with your head on your arm as you “mmmmm” “brrr” as you roll your vehicles back and forth. There is also nothing quite so un-cute as you getting frustrated that the magnets on various magnetic vehicles are pushing apart rather than pulling together. I try and tell you to turn it around, but you’d rather deliver a sweeping blow to the toys. I totally understand that they are getting on your last nerve, but if you just listen, you will learn how to fix it and it won’t annoy you again.

That being said, you are my child, so I can’t really fault you for your short temper. I can however let you know that we don’t do things like that in this house. Just like we don’t willfully empty the basket of remotes behind the sofa, pour water in your electronic toys, put pillows on top of your baby sister, push all of the buttons on the washing machine, pull whatever is in your reach off of the kitchen counter, or dump your raisins all over the floor.

PAT A CAKE!!!

We do however enjoy your random outbursts of dancing, the endless hugs you want to give Amy and the kisses and cuddles you have for us.

Month 17 was also the month that you decided to show us that you had grown the perfect amount to open the front door and walk out. That’s right. We returned from a trip out and I had to pee very badly, so after I had you and your sister in from the car, I told you that I was just running up to the bathroom, only to get back downstairs and hear your familiar “uhh? uhh??” in the distance. Where on earth was that coming from? And then I saw the light in the front hall that was like a beacon screaming to me “you are the Worst Mother Ever! Your toddler escaped all because you just HAD to pee!”. I moved as fast as my fat and frightened legs would take me and found you standing on the driveway with your arms up in the air “uhhing” as you looked around wondering where I was.

cute flute

Month 17 was the month you nearly killed me. Now my heart skips a beat when you slip out of view and I have to keep the front door locked even when I’m sitting in the room next door.

Other than highlighting that I cannot imagine what my life would be like without you in it.. even for half a minute, your escape highlighted that you are growing up so quickly. You are trying to walk up the stairs and not crawl, you can open and close doors, you come to get me when you think Amy needs me, you try and pick her up to give her a hug, you ask to brush your teeth at least 3 times a day – though not with words. And although you can “moo” and say only a couple of words here and there, that is totally fine by me, because I need something to remind me that you’re still just a little dude. Not even a year and a half old.

17 months

What I wouldn’t give to keep you this age forever, but I know I need to let you grow and explore and go through the phases drive me up the wall, and cherish the stages where you ooze cuteness. Even though there seem to be more of the crazy stages, I am so proud of you.

Don’t ever stop being you.

cool dude

Happy Seventeen Months, GrumpyPumps!!
Mommy Loves You!!

While I’ve been quiet (at least online, because I certainly haven’t been quiet in the flesh!) I’ve been busy getting teeth. Lots of teeth! Way more teeth than I knew I’d ever get and man they are painful. Oh, and my Mommy expects me to bite things with my teeth on the side now instead of just using the front ones. She might want to eat like a weirdo, but I’ll stick with the only way I know how .. at least for now. If I can eat tortilla chips with my tiny front teeth, I don’t even need the ones that are coming in now.

BUT.. but the ones I am getting are not so teeny tiny. This means that my Mommy wants me to open my mouth more often so she can see them, but at least she stops jabbering about how small my teeth are. The front may be like mini chiclets but the molars are like the normal sized ones!! So far the only real use I’ve found is for holding rocks in my mouth. Not a pastime that my Parents encourage, but they’re so old and now down with the cools things that near 17 month olds do!

Holy Molar!

Most of you know by now that the reason for my silence is that Cheese has arrived. Though, we don’t call her Cheese anymore. Even after her umbilical cord ponged of Stinking Bishop for a couple of days there.

Before we get into the details, I will explain how this all happened. Not the getting pregnant bit, but the becoming unpregnant bit.

We last left off with us reaching June and celebrating with a delightful membrane sweep. Although it kicked something into action, Cheese wasn’t quite ready to make an appearance. So as scheduled, we all packed into the car on Wednesday the 3rd and went to Banbury for my midwife appointment at the hospital. I explained that I’d had the sweep done and that I’d been extra crampy and felt that things had started a bit and she decided to take a look. Or feel rather, but investigate nonetheless.

She said that I was now at least 2cm dilated and the cervix was all ready. While she was at “the business end” she decided to give me another sweep. She explained that they were no good unless they brought tears to your eyes and when she was done she took off her gloves, apologised but stated that you had to be cruel to be kind and whispered that she was quietly confident that I’d have a baby in the next 24 hours. This was around 2pm on 3rd June.

From there, we went to Bicester Village. I’d been crampy all day and the sweep did indeed stir things up almost immediately and we decided it was best to eat early just in case. On the way I felt things were getting more intense and while we ate I made a whole lot of unflattering faces as my body did things that left me feeling very uncomfortable .. unless I could be sat on a toilet. For some reason that was the only place I could relax.. even if I wasn’t doing anything whilst I was there. Having not experienced proper labour with Noah, I was convinced that we were in the early stages.

We walked around and then went home to get some sleep and just as I was about to fall asleep, things seem to have stopped. Or perhaps it was just that I fell asleep. But I woke up around 12.45am and started making trips to the bathroom. I didn’t feel “right”, but there were no obvious Your Water Just Broke signs that I had with Noah. Just a really uncomfy stomacheache that faded in and out and in and out. At around 3am I decided that I needed to have a bath to see if the warmth would take away the pains. When I got in, I immediately felt better …..

… and then they came.

Lee started to time, and what I had guessed were 30 second contractions were already a minute long and only 5 minutes apart. We kept timing just in case, but they seemed to get a bit longer each time and stayed at most 5 minutes apart. By the time we showered (Noah and I) and got in the car, they were 4 minutes apart. It was quite an uncomfortable journey and poor Noah who was torn from his sleep never even came close to going back to slumberland with his mother mumbling and moaning in the front seat.

We arrived at the hospital at 4.50am and instead of being taken in to the room where they check that you’re actually in labour, I was taken straight into a delivery room. I hopped up on the bed, the midwife did an exam and said that I was 3cm dilated. WHAT? All of that pain and normal contractions for THAT? Sure it took me about 12 hours to get that far with Noah, but still. I sensed another long day.. of pain and sleeplessness ahead and buckled. I asked for the epidural. I begged really.

While I had to wait for the butcher anaesthetist the midwife hooked me up with the gas and air. I was so excited to try it. I was so mistaken to be so excited. I felt drunk. I felt like my head was filled with 1000 helium balloons, but I could feel the contractions just as much, if not even more so than before. It was almost like the rest of my body was drunk, but the Contraction Zone intensified. Not cool at all. So I ditched it and went without anything until the epidural.

The first attempt by the midwife to insert the cannula/iv into my wrist was not successful, so we waited some more for the anaesthetist who “is a professional at this”. Tell that to the massive hole that was left in my hand…

After the cannula/IV was inserted, she got to work on getting the epidural going. With Noah the whole process took no longer than 2 minutes. If it was even that long. A quick “you’ll feel a pinch. now a sting.. maybe a shock/shooting pain.. you’re done”. This time I was complaining that it hurt and then she’d ask “hurt or pressure”. At first I answered pressure, then it graduted to pressure with some pain.. and then to full blown IT HURTS. She tried again and after numbing the area, I could feel her shoving the tube in my back and wondered to myself if I’d be walking or rolling out of the hospital when I went home.

We waited for it to kick in and although some of the edge was taken off, I could feel everything. I kept saying that it didn’t work, but no one believed me. They kept telling me to hit my Top Up button, not realising that topping up nothing with nothing meant I was getting nothing.

Then, I started to feel it. The “excuse me, but I think I need a poo” feeling. I never had it with Noah (seeing as I had a proper full blown epidural that numbed me from my waist to my toes) and was getting a little nervous that we were going to have some Push Push Poo in my future. The midwife I had, then changed shifts and handed my care over to Jo. Jo said she would examine me at 9 something, even though it was just about to turn 8am. I didn’t understand the reason for waiting, but what did I know?

Then she started looking at Cheese’s heartbeat getting lower and lower and hearing my explain where I was feeling things, decided to check me out then instead. AHA … 7cm. She was not expecting it, my Mom was not expecting to hear it, and Lee and I definitely weren’t. She guessed that the baby would be there by noon. Woo hoo 4 more hours.

This meant I didn’t need a full on catheter, though I did have to have internal monitoring to ensure they had a trace of the baby’s heart. After complaining some more about feeling it all and not liking it and wanting to have a poo, she decided to check again. At 9 something, I was 10cm!! I had made it all on my own without the drip helping me. We let the contractions do their thing for a little bit but I told her the pressure was not nice and she let me start to push at 9.50am. 10 minutes and 5 pushes later …..

Amy ________ ____________ Brotherston slid into the world at 10.00am exactly, looking JUST like her older brother had 15 months and one week before. Yes, even the same grey skin tone. This led to the double blank middle name as it was impossible to choose a girl name when all I could see was Noah.

So the story of Cheese has come to an end and the story of Amy has just begun…

To follow Amy through her life as the baby sister of the family, she can be found here: Box of Squawks!

And now for the last round of photos:

3rd June – In early labour on a balance beam at Bicester Village – 39+6
39+9

4th June – Holding my Due Date Baby Girl: Amy Sophia Elise
Me and Amy

4th June – Noah’s first cuddles with his little sister
Big Brother Cuddles

4th June – The first official family photo
Family Photo

We made it!! After all of the niggles and the medical professionals predicting that we would not still be “with Cheese” when the month of June rolled around, we are still standing. On swollen feet, but standing all the same.

The month of May is safe now from any extra family members and Cheese shall be the Face of June. At least until someone else decides to hop on the June Bus. Oh and of course all of the fathers get to share the month too.

Now we just wait and see which day Cheese will arrive on. Will we get our 3-6-09 baby? Will Cheese arrive on his or her due date of the 4th? Will Cheese wake us up in the middle of the night tonight to let us know that s/he is here??

Only time will tell now.

I had a membrane sweep done today and the midwife said that I was very favourable and that she had no problems. In fact I was already 1-2cm dilated … which is where I was when I showed up at the hospital with water broken and contractions with Noah. So even without her assistance, it looks like Cheese was going to be more timely than his or her older brother anyway.

If a sweep is effective, there should be action within the next 48 hours. So this page will either be updated very soon … or if Thursday arrives with no 40 week update, it is because I’m hiding under my bed avoiding the sausage hotpot that they will no doubt be serving for lunch at the hospital.

It is all getting very very real now.

And yet, we still have no names set in stone. Oops.

I have been pregnant for 562 days of the past 731.  Five Hundred and Sixty-Two days of being inhabited by a foreign body, literally, and having all of my energy drained along with a large portion of the nutrients I have worked hard to keep up.  My hips are not happy and it takes me nearly an entire minute to roll over, never mind the old man walk I have to adopt when I actually manage to get out of the bed.  I’m actually surprised … no.. make that impressed with myself for not having wet myself on the way .. yet.

But not all has been bad.  And when I’m bent over the shopping cart as I push Noah around and wonder why this baby always acts like s/he wants to escape in a grocery store, even those moments don’t make me wish the end of this pregnancy away.

There is this online group of mothers due in June like me, and most of them are anxious to be done with it all.  I thought having a 15 month old with amazing amounts of energy would have me feeling the same way by now.  In fact, I expected to feel ready to be done with this all a couple of weeks ago.  But I’m still here.  Still cursing my bladder for waking me up before the alarm is set to go off (Lee’s alarm and the Noah alarm) and still struggling to stay awake for more than 4 hours at a time.  But I’m in no rush.  Perhaps next week will be different.  If I hit the 40 week mark I may start hoping for a swift eviction process.  I’m not rushing the next week though.  More willing this baby to stay in until at least tomorrow night.

Although my mind is okay with staying pregnant a bit longer, it would appear that my appearance is begging for change.  The photos for this week are not pretty.  They are full of bedhead and ill fitting pyjamas and pale skin and tired eyes.  They are a true reflection of how I am feeling physically and perhaps the physical manifestation of my mental state.

Okay, scratch the “how I feel physically”.  Noah just fell getting out of bed and Lee asked me to come with him.  From some unknown reserve I jumped off of the sofa and was up those stairs without missing a beat.  And the force that I used to attempt to turn the light on sent the light switch cover flying off of the wall onto my foot.  Right now, Noah is trying to get back to sleep with Lee in there as a security blanket/teddy bear and I’m nursing a sore foot.

And it just makes me think… there are hundreds of thousands of decisions we make as parents that either leave our child protected of vulnerable to hurt.  Some children are over protected and many are under protected, but the majority of us are doing what we can to strike the balance and it is not easy.  Every child is different. The more they grow, the more you learn about them and the way you protect them changes.  Not every decision is going to be right and the wrong ones will seem worse to the parents than to any outsiders.  And it may be a little late to be asking myself this, but am I really ready to have to make these choices for two innocent beings who know no better than what we teach them?

Truthfully, no.   Then again, I’m not sure I ever would be.  So while I am becoming the master of making parenting mistakes, I may as well be doing it for two and not raising one to think that I loved the other more because I took better care of him or her.

I think I need some more ice cream.

Photos at 38w 6d.  Don’t say that I didn’t warn you.

Bump from the Front

Bump from the Front

Left Bump

Left Bump

Right Bump

Right Bump

Once again Cheese is photographing a lot higher than s/he actually is.  Though to be honest, it is a lot more flattering than the actual position of the bump!

When I was pregnant with Noah, I read that 5 year olds predicted the gender of a baby correctly, more often than any other age.

Today, Noah and I went into his room so that we could get him dressed to go to the store and instead of coming over to me to put his shirt on, he climbed into his bed, put his head on the pillow and went to sleep.

Do 15 months old inherently know when babies are coming and when to get some sleep? Should I be having a nap or making sure that I’ve packed everything finally? Or should I enjoy a few moments of peace?

Hrm…

It looks like Cheese is going to stick around to mature a little longer.  Most women would be upset with this news as it would appear that they get tired of being pregnant around this time, or a couple of weeks earlier.   I think that these women do not have a near 15 month old and are most likely not half as scatterbrained or disorganised as I am.

Plus, for the 12th time, I need my momma here with me!

People are starting to call the date and so far they’ve been calling the day before she arrives and the day she arrives.  I don’t like these dates.  The day after is okay, but any time from the 1st of June onward is preferable.

I’m really not enjoying the not knowing bit of this.  Not the not knowing if Cheese is going to come into the world and have a multitude of options for a name or whether Cheese will have a penis and remain nameless, but the not knowing when.  Surprises are only good when they come in little blue boxes.. or when there is no risk of an even bigger surprise en route to the hospital.  If we were going around the corner, I wouldn’t be so worried.  But we’ve got a 45 minute drive in absolutely no traffic and we’re not as swift as we were pre-Noah.

But, I need to focus on getting things in order so that I am semi-prepared for the actual Womb Eviction Day.  To assist with that, I’m going to have yet another nap.