We have spent a lot of time today reading through a couple of diaries I started before Emily was born.The diaries were written to Emily,I started when I was 6 months pregnant.Emily found them on the bookshelf this morning and wanted to read them again.We have read through them before as they have always been around and she knew from very early on that Mummy had written to her while she was in my tummy:-)Today for some reason they brought back so many memories and emotions.
The first months of my pregnancy were very difficult.I knew something had changed within weeks of conceiving.I had had ME for 7 years and had been improving,I was taking steps to get back into work,retraining on computers with a local scheme.I was very in tune with my body,so noticed the subtle changes.Then I became unable to do the things I had been doing and was completely exhausted all the time again.After a couple of weeks I realised I had missed a period and took a sample in to the surgery.
We had been married 18 years and had decided we would not have children.Alan was in the Royal Navy when we met and spent months away from home,this suited us.I really like my own company and although I missed him incredibly, I liked the time on my own to do as I pleased.We had a great time when he was home and it worked well.We discussed having a family and Alan felt that it was up to me to make the final decision as I would be the one left on my own for months at a time.We decided that for us it didn't feel right to bring up a child without Alan being a big part of it's life.In time Alan was invalided out of the Navy after a bad accident resulting in him having to have a spinal fusion operation.I became the main breadwinner and took promotion at work while Alan went to college to retrain in office work.My career took off and the subject of children didn't really come up again we just got on with our life.
I remember waiting for the results with very mixed emotions.The responsibility of raising a child terrified me.On the afternoon I was to ring back for the results I had been lying on the settee and Alan was at work.I made the call and when the result was given to me I think I went into shock! I waited until Alan came home from work to tell him.So many things swirled up,I was in poor health,Alan's back problems mean that he lives with constant pain,we were in a delicate state financially with only Alan earning,I was 39 and the chance of complications happening was higher,I was terrified of having the baby but I was equally terrified that Alan would think that it would be an option to abort the baby.He would be the one that would be holding down a full time job,doing all the household jobs and caring for me as well as a baby!
Although I was scared about the coming months/years, this little being inside me already had my heart.
I told Alan when he got home and for a time it seemed as if the rest of the world ceased to exist.We had a meal and I remember laying on the settee while he ironed,we talked and the decision to keep the baby was an easy one.I remember a feeling of peace and contentment,despite all the complications, this felt right.
From the get go things were tough,alongside complete exhaustion I had hyperemesis and was so incredibly sick (literally) and was hospitalised for dehydration.It was not the pregnancy I would have wanted to experience! I was sad and depressed, spending every moment in bed and not able to keep even water down.As I began to improve around the 6th month I wanted to do something positive and felt a need to write to the baby.
I had a lovely notebook I had bought at my sisters shop and began to "talk" to my baby.As I am using this blog as a record of our journey I thought I would include a few entries as a record of our time before home ed:-)
I did ask Emily if she minded me sharing here and she said no problem , it's not my diary :-)
It is a wet and windy afternoon,six and a half months into our time together.You are kicking and moving around as I write this.I want to spend some time each day to record this special time and to tell you what it means to both of us to have you joining us.In years to come you will be able to read this and experience what our first months together have been like.I don't know when to give you this book.I have a feeling it will just always be around you until you can read and understand it.The most important thing for you to know is how much we both love you and how much we are looking forward to becoming a family.You came into our lives at the right time and we are going to do our best to give you a good life and help you become all you can be."
There was more on that first entry but I will move on to a few others that I enjoyed reading today.
My plan to write a little each day didn't work out.I have had a slight infection that has meant resting a lot.Glad to say things are much better now.It is a nice afternoon, there is a watery sunshine and the rain has now cleared.I am sat at the kitchen table,the living room is being decorated and should be finished by next Wednesday.So the saga of the flooding from the water tank will soon be over with things back to normal before you come into the world.
Your Auntie Paula has been taking me to the Dr's over the last couple of days and I have spent some time over at their house.Alexander was told about the baby "inside Auntie lynn's belly" for the first time yesterday. It was lovely to see his reaction.He looked up my Shirt and I showed him my belly and he rubbed it and lay his head on it.So that was your first meeting.My hope for the future is that you become firm friends and support each other.
I said last time that I would tell you a little about your Dad and I.
Well I will start with your Dad shall I?
He's coming up to 40 so he has certainly seen a lot of life to be able to share his experiences with you.
He was born in ******** in quite a deprived area and didn't have a very happy childhood.Despite a poor beginning in life he grabbed an opportunity to join the Navy with both hands and set off for a life on the high seas,which turned out to be the best thing he could have done.
What is your Dad like as person?
He is quite a shy man who feels things very deeply but doesn't always show his feelings.As the years have gone by we have both learnt that the most important thing in a good relationship is communication so we have got better at that .We hope that as a family we will be able to talk freely about things.
He is a proud man, a loyal man who always tries to keep to his word.He is a strong man who treats me well.He has good moral values.He has a good sense of humour, but sometimes tends to be a bit serious.He loves sports.He is adaptable and I am sure that you will both find some common ground and interests to share.
Your Dad is quite laid back and doesn't get too worried about many things.He accepts a challenge and finds a way to solve any problem. No job is too large for him to tackle even though sometimes he should perhaps accept help.He rarely gives up on something he has started.He will be a good role model for you and I am sure you will learn a lot from him.Just as I am sure he will learn a lot from you!
Your dad will love you more than you will ever know,so always bear that in mind.
Next time I will give you the low down on Mum !!"
Never got round to that though! the next entry was on the 23.02.99 ,warning, long entry of her birth story,either grab a cuppa or skip it:-) I wrote it sitting next to Emily in her incubator in the special care unit.
My Darling Emily,
yes,what a difference in 23 days!!You are here with us and what a story to tell..
A week ago tonight on 16.02.99 a Tuesday at 10.25 you were born by cesarean section in an emergency operation.I had preeclampsia,a serious condition that endangered both our lives.A special scan called a Doppler scan found that you were experiencing trauma, so it was decided to get you out as soon as possible.
Daddy had just left the hospital at 7.30 and I had to phone him at 8,30 to tell him the news.He rushed back,not having any time for tea.The preparations for the cesarean were well under way.I have to say I was in shock when I was told you were to be delivered so soon.I was worried for you and I just felt so unprepared to have you .Another worry was how ugly a scar from surgery would be. A lovely midwife called Julie talked with me and realised I was getting myself worked up.She set my mind at rest by pulling the curtains around me and showed me her scar!! It was just the perfect thing for her to have done,we laughed and my mood changed from fear to a sense of excitement and anticipation.
I went into theatre with your Dad holding my hand and we were able to laugh and joke with the doctors and midwives.
It is a very strange experience, I felt no pain at all when they gave me various injections even though I am a notorious coward.Then the big one into my spine!
Could I be brave?
I sat on the table with my spine bent, leaning over towards your Dad who was rubbing my hands and talking calmly to me
I never felt a thing,just a slight pressure.
Then I was put onto the table til my legs went numb and the operation began.
They had squirted ice cold liquid down the length of my body to ensure I couldn't feel anything but I had to work really hard not to panic as I tried to imagine when the first cut was made,just waiting in case I felt pain.
Of course I didn't.
I was talking to the anesthetist about the fact that we had no names picked out and he was telling me how he and his wife had their son and picked Seth as his name even though they had never contemplated it before they saw his face.
Daddy held my hand and watched everything.He told me when you were coming out,all I could feel was a rummaging feeling and a slight sucking sensation.I will never forget the look on Daddy's face as he saw you and we were told you were a girl.I felt that I had just given him the best gift ever.
I couldn't see you straight away,they had explained the procedure was to get you out and on to special care as soon as possible and we obviously knew that was a priority.After a while they brought you over to me,you were wrapped in a blanket crying lustily and I joined in!!
I have been known to have a good cry before,but that was the most emotional experience of my life!!
Daddy went along to special care to see you settled in.He was like the cat that got the cream.When we were taken back to my room we had a little time on our own before we heard from the nurses that Uncle Tony and Auntie Elaine were coming over.
Daddy went out to see you twice whilst I got my breath back.The nurse brought me two pictures of you and later I was wheeled down in the bed to see you.
When Auntie Elaine and Uncle Tony arrived I was so happy to see that Auntie Paula also came with them and brought a card from Uncle Charles who had to stay home and look after Alex.
I want to hold on to the memories of that night,the strange calm feeling even through all that was going on.The relief that you were crying.The feelings of love I had for you and your Dad.The laughter and joking in the theatre.The prospect of a new life with you.The sight of your Dad ,so cock a hoop and happier than I had ever seen him.Auntie Elaine barging slightly tipsy through the door into special care even though she wasn't allowed!The unexpected sight of auntie Paula and the joy that she had also been able to come.
I don't remember saying goodbye to your Dad.I don't remember going to sleep.I can remember worrying Daddy hadn't had tea and that he didn't want any food at the hospital.I can't remember any pain that night.I remember experiencing an emotional special life changing night and I hope I can always remember that feeling.
Talk to you again soon my darling.
I love you Emily xx
I have so many more entries and may share some more if your interested:-))
I didn't manage to write in them every day and sometimes months went by without an entry.Post natal depression and worsening ME symptoms meant it was difficult to write and it just tapered off.The last entry was on the 02.05.02.
Milly has decided to write in them now and started her first entry by introducing herself.I can think of nothing better than her continuing her story............