Sunday, 18 March 2012

Happy Fackin Mother's Day

Hello and good afternoon on Mother's Day 2012. I'll launch straight in - there is a lot to get through. I awoke at 5am to G who, for the second day in a row, believed it to be morning. K has a very bad back so every time he moved he made a sound like someone with a very low pain threshold having their first bikini wax. I quickly deduced I was on parental duty. G was sent back to bed but by 6am all children were awake. By 7.40am they could wait no longer and 'mother's day' began. I put in my contact lenses and sat up in bed in great anticipation. Bea retrieved the 'stash' from K's wardrobe and approximately 30 seconds later 'mother's day' had ended. Both children had dutifully produced personalised cards from school and Bea had even hand crafted a small pot in the after school art club I had paid for her to attend. Both cards were effusive in their love for me and were suitably touching but obviously 'standard' issue. Then I was forced from my bed for a 'show' downstairs which consisted of G behind the arm of the sofa holding aloft various stuffed toys who spoke and could never find the other toy which was just behind them. Bea joined in and then Ted began to fight for his chance to be involved. It quickly became less than enjoyable. Mercifully it was a far shorter show than usual and we were able to go for breakfast as soon as it had ended. Cue more fighting, Ted demanding sweets for breakfast and having a small break down at me saying no and Bea deciding that she had lost all interest in the cake she asked me to bake the day before but couldn't be bothered to ice in the cold light of mother's day. Mercifully G is always up for icing cake so we did have a nice ten minutes sharing our love of cake and him 'accidentally' getting a lot of icing on his fingers which then 'had' to be licked clean. As this was going on, Ted was busily emptying the bin in the living room of K's beer cans (I have shown K MANY, MANY times where the recycling bins are but to no avail) and then emptied all the dregs of the beer still left in the cans on to the long suffering carpet. By the time K hobbled downstairs it has to be said that my empathy for his condition was at below zero. Luckily, I knew he was taking the whole lot of them away from me so I did not push him over and jump on the part of his back most afflicted.

So, they have been forcibly removed from me and I am now 'resting' on the sofa and trying to get over the fact that for the first time in 8 years (I even got one when pregnant with Bea) K couldn't squeeze five minutes in to his busy, busy life as Head of the Free World to buy me a sodding card which might in some way mark and celebrate my slavish devotion to motherhood. If it wasn't for me getting my lazy arse out of bed and taking them to school every day I would have awoken to nothing but a half arsed animal show and a hastily coloured in certificate from Lindt Chocolate that Bea happened to pick up last week in Sainsbury's, along with her free chocolate. There wasn't even an hysterical spelling mistake in her card (which actually she had tried to give to me on Friday afternoon at pick up because 'it will be too difficult to hide it from you so can you just take it now?'). Last year, for those of you who haven't spent the valuable hours reading from the very beginning, Bea gave me a card which said 'Fack you for loveing me' inside. It has, and always will be, my favourite card ever.  So, although this year has given me no lie in or breakfast in bed or humorous fuck you card or anything similar, I have at least clung on to the tradition of having the afternoon to myself. Glee is on the TV and I am here with you. Things are definitely on the up. I even have the cake that G and I iced to devour.

This weekend could really do with a high point. Friday night was a total bum. Friday afternoon was my usual excitement of Cava and cake for a birthday lunch with the other yummy mummies from school. (Is it wrong to look forward to the days when we can enjoy those lunches without irritating children running around?) Then after the usual drama of pick up and forcing Bea to keep her sodding card secret from me, we returned home to perform an exceptionally quick turn around to get out for the first of two school discos. I was quickly in charge of three Batmans (batmen?) and one Princess. (The theme was superheroes and fairytales but you may have already got that far). Then I realised I was bleeding which is definitely not great. I rang the midwife who told me to get checked out at the sodding hospital. Cue rearranging all my very intricate and careful plans regarding pick up and drop offs for all the children and K having to get home to help. He did, G was picked up from his hour of partying and Bea and the extra child were dropped at school for their turn on the dance floor. I then set off on my merry way with a book, a magazine, a can of Vimto and 40% of battery left on my phone. ERROR. As you know my hatred for hospitals in all but life and death situations, is great. Kings is big and there are not a lot of people around to help at 6pm and everything seemed closed. After forty minutes of toing and froing I found my way in to the formerly locked maternal assessment unit which was entirely empty of any other patients and for an hour or two I spent a rather pleasurable hour or so enjoying sitting down with my magazine, book and can of pop while helpful and cheery women took my blood pressure, listened to the heartbeat of the newbie and generally had a bit of a rest whilst I happily thought of K at home dealing with bath and bed. I even spilt my pop on the carpet and found it all very amusing. THEN I was moved as the MAU closed due to staff shortage and I was taken to the labour ward and left in a small triage room for another hour or so whilst I waited for a doctor to discharge me. Miserably I saw no 'action' as I had hoped - there was a lot of talk of a woman having triplets but I saw nothing. No fun. Anyway, by 9.30pm my battery was down to 3% and the Doctor had finally appeared, examined me and concluded that there was enough reason to keep me in for monitoring overnight with a scan the next day. To get a very long story short, turns out I couldn't be scanned until Monday (which I said I couldn't make due to wibblies) and thus began my constant threat to self discharge as the whole debacle seemed rather pointless - I was able to 'monitor' the situation myself in the comfort of my own home. However, I went with the flow thanks to their persuasive arguments to the contrary and by 10.15pm I was settled on to the ward awaiting the morning and a chance to be reunited with my phone charger. Before the phone had completely died, I had managed to send a text to K to tell him I was staying in overnight, that Bea needed to be at her dance exam the following morning at 9.45am and I couldn't quite remember where the specific black leotard for 'modern' was hiding. I ended with the words 'Good luck'.

And so my night in hell began. It is honestly how I imagine prison to be. I was confined to my curtained room/cell with a small reprieve every now and again to visit the loo next door which I always imagine to be festering with germs from all the unsavoury people who must have used it before me. I had no phone, it was dark and I realised two pages in that the book I had brought with me had been read before, by me. There was also an awful lot of heavy breathing by other women who were sharing the ward with me. Nevertheless I decided to make the best of things and settled down in full clothing, with make up on and contact lenses in on to the plastic bed and cotton wool pillow to make the most of my night away from the children. One of the trainee nurses who greeted me upon arrival had kindly given me a tuna sandwich, cup of tea and a slice of processed cake to eat so I was in a fairly positive frame of mind, trying to liken the experience as being the closest I would get to a night in a hotel for quite a while. However, fairly soon after I closed my eyes and started to stress about a. the car - did I lock it? Was is parked in a place that was ok until the morning? Did I lock it? Was there anything in sight that might be appealing to thieves? Did I lock it? and b. Bea - will she hate me for not being at her first dance exam? Will K remember to do her hair? Where oh where oh where did I put the sodding leotard? WHITE SOCKS. Then just as I started to believe that K would be able to cope and I should relax and the car would probably be ok even if I hadn't locked it, our room became the recipient of another bleeder. Her, her partner and the nurse were merrily using their 'day' voices at gone 11 at night and even put their light on which, although personal to your own bed, really does shine through the blue curtains that separates us from one another. Still, that all died down, the partner left, she turned the light off and I managed to drift in to a semi-sleep. Until, one of the heavy breathers was sick. Her breathing was becoming ridiculously annoying but then to hear her hurl and the splattering afterwards was just TOO MUCH. I was, afterall trying to enjoy my night away from all of that. After she had apologised to the nurse and it had all been cleared up, she returned to moving around a lot and breathing increasingly heavily and frequently. As I suspected, she was in the beginning stages of labour. She started on the gas and air (at this point I was mentally willing the midwife to send her off to the ward specifically designed for noisy labouring people  - the helpfully entitled LABOUR WARD)  but no one was in the mood to do anything quickly so she stayed opposite me, breathing incessantly and loudly on the sodding gas and air. After what seemed like an absolute age the midwife finally deemed her to be in established labour (3 to 4 cms) and the wheels were set for her to bugger off.  I am normally very kind regarding various people's pain thresholds, however, at gone midnight in a full ward to make that much fuss over contractions at 3 to 4 cms I was mentally hurling a shed load of abuse at the poor girl. I had to physically put my hand over my mouth to stop myself hissing 'shhhhhhh' at her every few minutes. For me to have gas and air I must be in the final stages of cervix dilation - 7 to 8 at the very least. Even with Bea who was back to back. I was walking around at 3 to 4 cms for God's sake. What a loser she was. I HATED HER. And then her sodding lame arse partner arrived (I hate to use the term husband as you never know these days) and he started giving her his lame arse 'rush to hospital' story in his very loud DAY VOICE. She kept apologising for being light headed and told him she had been sick. For God's sake they were pathetic. They both agreed she would need an epidural very soon. Pah - I rejoiced heartily when they finally wheeled her heavily breathing namby pamby baby arse out of there so I could get back to sleep. For a few hours until 6.30am when the ward starts up again. Oh yes, by ten to 7 it was as if night had never been - lights were on, strange shouty people were coming in to announce that breakfast would be served on a trolley in the corridor and if we wanted anything we would have to get up and get it ourselves. BPs and fetal heart rates were taken for each and every one of us and the other heavy breather started moving around and therefore breathing heavily and crying out in pain every now and then. (You must understand that ordinarily I hold the deepest of sympathy for pregnant women in pain/labour but deprive me of my sleep and annoy me and I feel nothing but contempt for your noisy and inconsiderate suffering.)

By 8am I convinced the unhelpfuls on the desk to allow me to ring home (they made it clear it was for emergencies only - luckily Bea's dance exam was terribly emergent) and I spoke to K who sounded very sleepy and hadn't started looking for the missing black leotard yet. He sounded annoyed that I sounded annoyed that he hadn't started looking. But, I got to tell him about the white socks, we discussed her hair and he said he could 'handle' the leotard situation. I felt relieved and sat on my bed to continue reading the shit book I had already read and to wait for the doctor to come and finally set me free from the hell hole. I read an awful lot of the shit book as he didn't turn up until 11.15am where he spent under a minute with me before he said, 'let's get you out of here' (all bleeding had ceased and the baby was absolutely fine). I was very close to kissing him. He went away, came back, we discussed what I should/shouldn't do - that there was no need for a scan as I was booked in for one in ten days time anyway and that the midwife would be in shortly with my notes so that I could leave. She was, I ran away and made it home before Bea was back from her second dance lesson of the day - Ballet this time. (I had locked the car and it was indeed, fine). The elation at being home and reunited with my children and my phone charger lasted for over an hour before the tiredness set in, they became annoying and K's back issues meant that the 'feet up' afternoon I had planned wasn't quite going to work out that way. Luckily Ted was tired enough for a sleep and the big two were tired enough to watch a film so I did get a kip on the sofa and obviously this afternoon my feet are only touching the floor to take me to the kitchen for another slice of cake.

So, there you have it. Another year, another Mother's Day. Another weekend I didn't expect on Friday afternoon. Still, I am here with you now and there is cake on a plate so I mustn't grumble.  My mother received a card from me which she opened yesterday because she doesn't care about protocol and K has taken his mum out with the children to a Harvester, so I feel mothers day has been done all round. I will of course, hold on to the pain of K not getting me a mother's day card forevermore and bring it up in every argument hence forth (and the lack of chocolates - this year I would merrily have scoffed a whole box today but oh no - the one time I am NOT adhering to the WW plan he doesn't get me so much as a pack of three ferrero roche from the local newsagent whilst he's picking up his sodding fags) but all in all I am lucky - I could still be on that ward with the heavy breather or something could have been terribly wrong with the baby so luckily, my time 'inside' has given me enough perspective to cope with the lack of card, chocolates, gift, breakfast in bed etc and just be grateful for my working iphone, lack of children for the day and my own comfy bed and tracksuit bottoms. A night away has given me the gift of perspective. And I am grateful for it.

So, Happy Fackin Mother's Day all round. Here's to the healing powers of cake and perspective and to another successful year at the helm. I say successful in that I have managed to keep them alive, fed and watered etc not that I believe myself to be phenomenally successful as a mother - I would put my success level at an average level with flashes of brilliance here and there - unless K is describing me - preferably in card form - when I should then, rather obviously, be descrived as phenomenally successful. I shall have to wait for another year to receive such affirmation. Next year better be worth the wait. Or his back will be the least of his problems.

Cheerio and ta ta for now xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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