A heavy mommy heart

Last week Cameron started playgroup three mornings a week. We’d arranged it months ago, but the timing worked out incredibly well with my first premature labour scare. I was really comfortable with our decision as Cam has been getting bored at home and he seemed ready for it. This was confirmed when he absolutely loved his first three days, waiting at the door with his bag in the mornings and not wanting to leave when Col went to fetch him. In fact, Colin and I struggled far more than Cam! It was the first time we’ve had to let go a bit, leaving him with someone who isn’t family or a close friend. It was Cam’s first ‘grown-up’ step and I’d be lying if I didn’t confess to getting a little choked up.

Since I was discharged after my first hospital stint Cam has been really sensitive about being left with his grandparents, something which usually doesn’t bother him in the slightest. I can understand this as he’s spent the last two weeks been passed around between my parents and Col’s mom. He loves them all dearly but I think the magnitude of change has caught up with him. So on Sunday, when we all went to Col’s mom for lunch, we reassured him that mommy and daddy weren’t leaving him this time. And then while he was having his nap, I went into labour again and what did we have to do? Leave him! I struggled with this more than anything.

Fortunately the doctor only kept me for two nights during this last hospital visit, but both Col and I have noticed an increase in Cam’s mommy-radar since Sunday. He wants to know where I am all the time and gets upset if he can’t stay with me. Yesterday, when Colin dropped him off at playgroup he was a bit niggly so this morning we decided it might help if I went with for the drop off. Huge, giant, colossal mistake. My poor little boy utterly lost it. He struggled desperately in his teacher’s arms, crying for all he was worth, screaming for his mommy and daddy, while Col and I got out of there as quickly as we could. I managed to hold myself together just long enough to close the car door before I collapsed into tears too. I cried all the way home and my poor husband had to console me as best he could before rushing off to work (as if he doesn’t have enough to deal with right now).

Cam’s teacher has let me know that he calmed down quickly, and the truth is, we really need him to be in playgroup at the moment. I can’t look after him by myself right now so having these three mornings makes a massive difference in the complicated logistics of our family life. But this morning’s drama has brought all my concerns for Cam to the surface and my mommy-heart is aching. With the best intentions, a lot of people have told me not to worry about Cameron right now and to just focus taking it easy for the sake of the new baby. But telling me not to worry about my child is like telling me not to breathe, especially when I can see he’s struggling with the situation we are all dealing with. His whole world until two weeks ago was being at home with me, with weekly visits to his grandparents and Nans. Now his mommy keeps disappearing unexpectedly, he’s never alone with me when I am around and he is spending more time away from home than at home. It is a massive upset in life as he knows it and it’s totally understandable that the poor kid is reeling.

We’ll all get through these next few weeks, and hopefully with some extra love and reassurance Cameron will settle down again soon. He understands a lot more than we realise so my strategy at the moment is to talk to him about what’s happening, focus on him whenever I can and shower him with cuddles. (There are also a lot more ice-creams and treats being consumed in our house right now, but honestly I think I need them just as much as Cam!) This inexplicable objection my body has to the third trimester of pregnancy is making life incredibly complicated right now and I am just praying that it’s not going to negatively affect Cameron’s reaction to having a little brother. At the same time I am praying that the little brother remains in the womb for at least another month. Needless to say, it’s a rough period for our family, but we will just continue to take it one day at a time. We’re grateful for the huge support system we have, and are finding little things to celebrate. Like summer, ice-cream and three-for-two specials on tissues!

Prison Break, Season 2

Right. So we’ve had a crazy week and a half. On Wednesday 3 September, after spending a crafty day making blinds for the lounge, I started feeling that nasty back pain I had when I went into preterm labour with Cameron at 32 weeks. I phoned the doctor who sent me a script for pain killers and told me to take a warm bath. But an hour later I could still feel my uterus hardening so I packed a bag and Col took me off to hospital. I was admitted and spent three nights there in what felt like the worst sort of déjà-vu.

Colin and I were completely blindsided by this turn of events and spent the first 24 hours is a state of total shock. We just couldn’t believe it was happening again. The doctor hadn’t been able to tell us why I went into preterm labour with Cameron, and at our scan on Thursday afternoon he couldn’t give us a reason once again as the baby was absolutely fine from what he could see. But on the Friday morning, blood tests showed that my white blood cell count was high, meaning that I had some sort of infection. I was put on two antibiotics, and felt somewhat relieved that there was at least a reason for this repeat performance.

I was discharged on Saturday as my white blood cell count was dropping and clearly the antibiotics were doing the trick. The doctor told me to take it very easy for the first week and I’ve spent the last eight days either lying in bed reading or in my hammock contemplating life. It’s been quite peaceful really, especially since Thursday when I finished my medication and slowly started to feel like I had a functioning brain again!

And then in a nasty plot twist, yesterday afternoon I went into labour again. It escalated much more quickly this time and by the time we arrived at the hospital I was in substantial pain and could feel the individual contractions (previously it’s just been a constant sort of pain). So here I lie once again, hooked up to the fetal monitor and looping out on meds.

Whether it’s the medication, the shock or a defense mechanism, I’m feeling rather numb at this point. But when I do try to analyze my emotions I find anger, frustration and fear all bubbling around. I feel let down by my body which seems to have some sort of objection to being in the third trimester of pregnancy, and an utterly fruitless anger at the situation in general. I’m frustrated by the lack of understanding about why this is happening. And I’m scared – about this baby being born prematurely, about the possibility of spending the next seven weeks in and out of hospital, and about how all of this is affecting Cameron who we’d just managed to settle after my first hospital stint.

The fighter in me is still hoping to carry this baby to term and to even, God-willing, have a natural delivery. I’m quite aware that this sounds utterly ludicrous and unfeasible at this point, but that hope feels like a lifeline right now so I’m holding onto it. Aside from that, all I can do now is wait.

Cameron turns two

On August 26th, we celebrated Cameron’s second birthday. It was far more exciting this year, what with blowing out candles (and relighting them so he could do it again), and the mind-blowing excitement of opening presents. (I think the act of opening was more fun than the actual gift. Cam kept saying ‘Next’ without actually taking an interest in what was inside!)

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We started off the day with tea, muffins and presents in bed. Cam and I spent the morning at home, and had visits from my parents (Pops and GG), and Colin’s sister. Colin managed to take the afternoon off, so we went for ice-cream and waffles and visited the bird sanctuary (always fun for Cam).

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Last year we had huge party at the Botanical Gardens, but this year, for a number of reasons, we decided to just have a family tea. That did mean 27 adults though – Cameron’s 20-day old cousin Caleb was the only other little person there, and he didn’t take too much of an interest in proceedings! All these big people totally overwhelmed Cam, and he spent most of the afternoon clinging to Colin or I for safety, warming up towards the end to open presents or run around outside, far away from the crowds. He didn’t even want to blow out his candles, a skill we’d been practising all week!

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Cam’s first love is any kind of construction vehicle so I made a cake with a bulldozer, cement mixer, crane, digger and dump truck on. It was a huge success, and the toys are the still the first thing he asks for each morning!

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