Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Match made in Heaven?

Today, I bring exciting news, well potentially exciting news, or news that has the potential to be exciting...bear with me, what I'm trying to say is this..

Soon, Ruby-dog, our adorable German Shepherd Dog may very well become a temporary Mummy to a litter of tiny adorable pup's, because I have made the important decision to breed her for the first EVER time.

Yes it's true, for too long now I have frowned upon the heavily pregnant woman, I have wallowed in self pity at the footage on one born every minute and now, finally, Ruby-dog has agreed to come on board with me and help me overcome my jealousy of all things birth related - Thanks Ruby-Dog!

Now being a complete newby to this game, I'm planning to blog about this on a regular basis (Hopefully, with more success than with the planned entry's regarding diet and chocolate consumption)

In any event, the first thing I need to do is to find Ruby a most suitable Partner and as she is an exceptionally beautiful girl, from the finest of pedigree lines, I will accept nothing less than the very, very best.

Fortunatly, I seem to have stumbled across a rather Handsome stud dog quite literally a stones throw from where I live, he has an excellent hip-score, but will it be a match made in Heaven or just a match made in Devon?

 Zumander Bacchus      Ruby- Dog

I know what you're thinking, You're thinking Zumander would  look a great deal better if he lost the weird tongue stains..right? But hey ;-) that's what photoshop is for and there's nothing to suggest Ruby-Dog's off spring would be affected by this unfortunate characteristic.

We have already decided that in the event of a litter, we would not be keeping any of the pups..
This is because two German Shepherds would most likely:

-Malt every where
-Bark too much
-Be really annoying

Shallow as it sounds, the main motivation for having a litter of Pup's is Money. As a stay at home Mum, I have been thinking of ways to top up the family income, and now I have the time available, I thought why not let's try it out. I love my GSD, she is loyal, protective, scarily telepathic, good with children and very affectionate. When bred well and put with the right owners, German Shepherds are indeed an excellent breed.

We paid a a lot of money for Ruby-Dog, back in the day when we had the means, and we've given her a good life and good care, so surely Ruby-dog wouldn't mind helping us out with the old cash flow just this once would she?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Nice And Pink

Lately I've been thinking a great deal about some of the issues that have prompted me to place a big fat question mark over my Mental Health and I ask myself.. am I well recovered?  And how well did I  'cope' back then?

It's mid afternoon in the intensive care unit but to me it could be any time of day. See I can't turn my attention to the day time skies because I'm busy you see, being a Mum.

Only I'm not having a cuddle or changing a nappy because that would be too dangerous. No I'm watching my baby through a clear plastic box, I'm watching her chest rise and fall.

If I avert my gaze ever so slightly I can see her numbers. But I mustn't be seen. Looking at numbers, it's not 'My Job' I should “look at the baby.”

The numbers sway this way, they sway that way,

they go down,down, down and up, up, up.

Wait, she seems still, is she moving? The numbers plummet and the alarms sound.

Come quick someone!





'You might want to wait outside a minute'

Outside in the corridor I stand alone staring blankly at the reception desk. A lady picks up the telephone 'Good morning, NICU can I help?'

Doctors stride confidently down the corridors with clip boards and focused looks.

I peek through the tiny square window back into intensive care nursery, but my glance is met by the tall white screens that surround Smidge's incubator.

Beyond those screens the doctors are working on my Smidge and it's taking time. A long time...

What if...............??

I see a familiar face coming towards me from another direction. I try to catch her attention. I am unbelievably scared and frightened.

'What's wrong? She says. What is it?'

'I don't know, It's my baby... they have screens up, they sent me out, I don't know what's happening..'

'Just wait here a minute'

The fear -struck panic has overcome me, I feel as though I've just come off a fair ground ride, the world has slowed down and I feel sick, very, very sick.

But all around me the world carries on, utterly oblivious to my queezy turmoil. A receptionist strolls down the corridor and places a box of biscuits down on the reception desk and the staff gather as they contemplate the offerings of a family choice biscuit selection box..

I am aware that mentally there's only two ways I can go at this point in time, Biscuits and telephone calls or Baby resuscitation and the telephone and biscuits route seems to be winning...

Fleetingly I wonder, should I call One-day Hubby?

'What's the point?' I tell myself, 'What's the point of inflicting this on him at this moment in time?'

The Doctor reappears in the corridor.

'It's Okay' She tells me. 'She's pink now'

I take a a moment to process the words before looking up tentatively and asking 'Are you sure?'

'Yes she's stable and nice and pink now'

Tears form under my eye lids but I can't quite allow myself to feel relief. I scramble around in my brain to find the words that will express the gratitude, confusion and fear that I feel but once again they escape me, Embarrassingly I ramble 'Are you really, really sure?'

'Look at me' comes a kind but authoritative voice. 'I am a consultant, and I am telling you that she is Alright, Okay?'

'Okay, I'm sorry, I just...I..'

'It's fine,.... and look!...... You can go in and see her now'

Go in and see her... Yes, go in and see her now, of course.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Nature Verses Nurture - The Great Preemie Challenge.

Lately I've been getting more and more curious  about Preemie brain development and precisely what happens when the premature baby favours a transparent plastic box over good old fashioned womb time.

My inquisitive mind was sent in to over drive when I stumbled across this research paper which highlighted the effects of premature birth on brain development. Oh google...sometimes you really are my worst enemy.

The paper points towards the fact that along side providing good quality care, NICU nurses have an important role in  talking to parents about the potential effects of premature birth including  the increased risks of disorders such as ADHD and Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

Although inevitably there are neurological differences between babies born at term and premature babies, I was glad to see the paper made allowances for social factors, after all, many researchers will argue that there is nothing more pliable than the human brain, So I think when considering the nature verses nurture argument, it's important to get some context.

Me and One -Day Hubby 

The paper constructively suggests, that instead of banging on about how duff the preemie brain is, it might be better to talk about what can be done to maximise it's potential which I would agree to be a sensible way forward.

So all of this week and last week I've been focusing on the concept of self regulation and programming Smidge to be super smart and Clever.

Unlike Mr G, who would amuse himself for hours as a baby, whilst I tidied and cleaned around him, Smidge benefits from high level of input, whilst the house remains a complete tip.

Unlike Mr G who got a story when he whined for it. Smidge benefits from having book after book during optimal learning times throughout the day..

And unlike Mr. G who thought his middle name was 'five more minutes' Smidge thinks hers is 'Clever girl' or 'I'll be right with you'

So is this because Smidge is  favourite? no. Am I just an older, better Mother?  no.

I just read the wrong research paper.

And now..  frankly I'm  terrified that if Idon't become the nations best story- reading, turn- taking, context -creating, group- going super Mum,then one day, I might just end up with an oversized pre-schooler that I really can't cope with.

Well fellow Premmy Mum's, now my misery is your misery too... But I'm not all mean, because at least I gave  you the self regulation link so that you too can join in on the optimising fun!

See you at the library then...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Valentines Post - For my Mr. Right

Well it's not like me to get sentimental, at least I don't think it is, but this year I'm going to make an exception, because lets face it, it's been a pretty exceptional year and one-day Hubby Stephen deserves some recognition for the kind support he's shown me in the face of Emotional chaos.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting his sensitive side is something of a rarity because nothing could be further from the truth. One day Hubby is consistent in his gentlemanly manner, always caring and always kind.

Unlike so many despicable members of the Male species, One-day Hubby is always there for me and very rarely lets me down.

See before One- day hubby, what I noticed in my dealings with members of the opposite sex was this; What would start out to be utterly fantastic, would slowly digress in to something extremely disappointing, eventually leading to differences in opinion, feelings of anger and really embarrassing behaviour states of complete limbo.

But with One-day hubby, no such deterioration occurred.

Communication was smooth and flowing, promoting a calm and tranquil atmosphere in which our love would blossom. There were feelings of joy and happiness and a warmth and openness that stole my heart and made me feel ever so, ever so safe and secure.

So what happened? Did I grow up?

Don't be ridiculous.

This was not my doing. This was the doing of a Man so kind and patient he could withstand the mother of all challenges – A relationship with yours truly.

With his non-judgemental out look and perceptively intelligent ways, this here Premmy Mum had no words that could rubbish his wisdom and no case could be bought against this one- off fine specimen of a male.

With pre- marital Bliss going along so swimmingly, a cruel twist of fate was inevitably on the cards and on our sixth year of courtship a baby Smidge was to be born in minuscule proportion.

But One day Hubby remained unshaken as he sat at her cot side day in day out.

To him she was sweet, beautiful and perfect.

I stood beside him, fretting and frantic, ready to take down the medics with my anxious and fear filled words.

But he stood beside me tall and proud and told me I was strong and clear and sane sounding..

And as I slowly retrieved parts of the plot bit by bit by bit, He praised my maternal efforts saying they were nothing less than the best of the best of the best.

And this falling- to -pieces failure of a Mother sat up night after night expressing milk for the tiny premature infant, longing for the day I could hold her close, longing for the day she would go 'wifi.'
But I did not sit alone and cry, for beside me was One-day Hubby, twenty four hours a day.

My struggle was his struggle.

My hands plunged in to cold sterile water at three in the morning were his hands plunged in to cold sterile water at three in the morning.

My tears were his tears,

My problems, his problems.

My Child, his Child.

My Love, his Love.