Archive for January, 2009


I’m having a break for the next few days so there will be a grumble and grouch free time. Good news for all!

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Hot off the press, Amy has chicken pox. Essentially this is good news, until I think more upon it. Amy cannot go to nursery, her Mummy cannot go to work; it is virtually guaranteed that the boys will catch it from their sister, but not necessarily at the same time since the incubation period is anything from 11 – 20 days, the average being 14,  so the having unwell kiddies around could go on for a long, long time!

Tomorrow is Izzy’s 2nd birthday party, Izzy and Jack haven’t had varicella so tomorrow is now a ‘Chicken Pox Party’. Unfortunately Evie’s Mummy doesn’t know if she has had this childhood illness so they will not be attending the party as it wouldn’t be good news for DIL to develop CP whilst trying to care for a little baby and, if she hasn’t had the pox, Evie will not be receiving a passive immunity via breastfeeding, so she could develop it as well.

Back to little Izzy’s birthday. I had a text from her Mummy last night “This time last celebrity big brother I was pushing a little Izzy out! Ah, that makes me feel extremely emotional! x”. Reading the text bought back the memories of her homebirth and how perfect, and quick, it was. The other day I was chatting to Jack about when his sister was born and he remembers when he woke up in the morning and went into his Mummy and Daddy’s bedroom and found a ‘tiny’ Izzy snuggled in their bed, it is obviously a happy memory for him. He has never really displayed any jealousy or resentment toward his sister, she’s just his little sister. A couple of weeks ago I asked Amy’s Mummy if Amy had ever questioned why there is only one of her but two of the boys, I wondered if she might feel ‘lonely’. Her Mum reported that Amy had never shown any appreciation of the boys being twins, or expressed any feeling of being deprived by not having a sibling of her own age. This week though she said to her Mummy that she wished she was like all her friends and only had one baby brother, so she obviously recognises that her brothers are unusual. Things should get easier for her though as they become less demanding.

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Black cloud evening

Thursday evenings are always a low time for me, my energy levels are at rock bottom having had the boys for 2 days. Tonight has been more down than usual, the boys have been great today, energetic but happy whereas yesterday Jamie was the most wingey toddler imaginable and I find that really, really tiring. The boys tussled constantly, Jamie wanted everything that Louis was playing with and when he couldn’t have it he would cry,  hit his brother and then start attention seeking by playing with the dishwasher controls or banging drawers. I’m not looking forward to work tomorrow, clinic in the morning and I’m being shadowed by a new midwife who is orientating to the community.  I also have an extremely difficult woman on my caseload at the moment who is, by her behaviour, causing me major headaches and generating huge amounts of paperwork, numerous phone calls and time consuming meetings trying to liaise with all the different agencies involved.

I’m sitting here writing this experiencing a succession of tropical moments and sweating like the proverbial pig, I’m not sure if this is a cause or effect of my low mood but it sure ain’t helping me to generate a positive one. Of course the constant torrent of reporting about the recession isn’t exactly a mood enhancer, I worry about our future but I worry even more about what the next couple of years, or more, will hold for our children. The weather is depressing, my engine management light is glowing away again, I’ve got an ingrowing toenail and I’m feeling really, really sorry for myself!

I shall add that to the ever growing list of manifestations of the menopause, self-pity.

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Brave New World?


I’ve been exploring. I have lots of trouble manoeuvring, I’m constantly bumping into objects, flying over the sea is a bit of a worry and I’ve found a couple of places where there are some very strange activities but it’s keeping me amused. Where have I been? Second Life.

A midwife educator in New Zealand, Sarah Stewart, has been talking about Midwives and Second Life for some time now but her latest entry had me intrigued enough to join second life and find out about the midwifery simulations and learning opportunities. So far I have found the postpartum haemorrhage scenario, unfortunately it was locked, but I shall try and find out how to access it and also see what else is on offer.

A fun part of my new place is creating my Avatar. Being an honest sort I have tried to be truthful about my appearance, as a result I am the only ‘resident’ who is dumpy, has no clothes sense and is constantly having a bad hair day but at least I am unique! You can alter your appearance but I have found that to change from a skirt to trousers you have to take your clothes off.  The first time I did this I just abandoned the skirt, under a bridge, about 15 minutes later it was recovered by some kind character and put somewhere safe, I have yet to find it again. As I am extremely modest about public appearances wearing anything less than 2 layers of clothing I have to find somewhere secluded to disrobe, a lift at the university made a good transformation hiding place yesterday, I do have to say that I was somewhat concerned that someone would ‘fly’, or teleport in, but no one interrupted my modifications.

Teleporting off now. If I do find any interesting places I shall update.

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Little charmer

Shhh, I have two little people asleep upstairs, Jack and Amy are having a ‘sleep-over’. There is no reason for this, Amy asked if she could stay and so I just asked Jack if he wanted to stay as well. It’s lovely seeing them together as they are so close, really more like brother and sister than cousins. When they stay they usually sleep in the ‘babies’ room where there is a single bed and a spare mattress but at the moment I have put the boys cot in there, so it is rather cramped, so they are sleeping in a different room which has a double bed.

They both went to bed without any problem but a while later I thought I heard someone calling me so I went in to them. They were both still awake but told me that they were fine, except they didn’t like the noise of the wind. I snuggled into the bed with them and told them how much I liked lying in bed and listening to the wind blowing. I then confided that I also like imagining that I am lying on a beach and can hear the waves breaking on the sand. Jack nodded and said ‘ You could be the lifeguard’. Stroking his head I responded that I didn’t think that I could ‘as the lifeguards are slim and beautiful. Nanny is not slim, or beautiful, she is Nanny’. Jack responded very seriously,’ Yes, you are Nanny, but you are beautiful’. This, of course, elicited much kissing and cuddling from Nanny (always a sucker for a compliment).

A while ago I peeped in to check on them, the bed looked empty. On closer inspection there were two little mounds, halfway down the bed and entirely under the duvet, the giveaway was the stereo snoring!

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The Curious Incident

I’ve been fighting my own little battle with Norton 2009 for a few days now and I have learned a valuable lesson, do not custom uninstall, just really go for it and wipe every last, teeny, tiny little shred of any previous installation before loading the latest copy. First time round I went for the ‘easy’ option and so have spent the last 3 days urging my computer to load anything, anything at all in less than 15 minutes. This evening I gave up defragmenting, running live-update and waiting for the Symantec tech support page to respond, I scrubbed 2009 from my computer and then re-loaded it and, how curious, it now runs perfectly and lives up to its boast of protecting my computer ‘without slowing you down’.

Having time on my hands has meant that I have been devouring books that have been patiently waiting for me, one of them being ‘The Curious Incident of the dog in the night-time’ by Mark Haddon. What can I say that hasn’t already been said? I was hooked by page 2, my brain was buzzing by page 14 and I decided that Mark Haddon was a genius by page 127. How did he write it? It may be a novel, but the central character is so well constructed that he lives, and I began to see the world through his eyes and I really wanted to meet him. What’s so different about that, after all that’s what an author should accomplish, create a believable cast. Well, the central character in this book has Asperger’s Syndrome and Mark Haddon has written this book as if it is narrated by a teenager with this disorder, and has made you believe in him. Absolutely excellent.

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“Hi just found your blog on google as I am doing a research project on free birthing and if the NHS should offer help to these people to make it safer, (paedeatric first aid and signs of when its going wrong etc). I was wondering if you knew what the NHS’ stance on this practice is (do they offer any help? etc), as I am finding it dificult to find information on this subject in England, it all seems to be Laura Shanley in America.
I am doing an access course and have aplied to uni’s, so will hopefully start my training as a midwife this sept. yay! Thank you Emily”

I received this e-mail today and I really am not sure of the answer. I have replied to Emily, pointing out that if people wish to be instructed on resuscitation then local Red Cross associations run courses for the public. I notice that Emily has focused on ‘paedeatric‘ [sic] first aid, I should have pointed out that adult first aid should definitely not be ignored (I have assumed that Emily means resuscitation when she says first aid). What I should have said was ‘ Would offering help, in the form of instruction, really make freebirthing/unassisted childbirth safer? I would imagine that any woman seriously considering freebirthing would have read and watched everything possible about labour and birth, what can go wrong, and especially what to do if things do go wrong.’

Emily asks what the NHS’ stance is on unassisted birth? Not too easy to answer that one,  the NMC have issued a guidance for midwives in which we are told we ‘should support the woman and her family’! RCOG are equally non-specific in their 1st statement  saying that they ‘are aware of it………obstetricians and midwives are concerned with the safety of both patients, mother and child…….little research exists regarding its safety and success’ but then are perhaps coming off the fence more in their 2nd statement by saying they ‘are concerned about the practice.’ With regard to the NHS, well neither NHS Choices or Direct give any web space to freebirthing that I could find. Logically though why would the NHS expend any energy on the subject?  Those who wish to freebirth want to avoid any input from those employed by the NHS, so surely they would not desire any ‘medicalised’ input?

I am torn as to whether the NHS should give advice to those intending to freebirth. It would perhaps make people more aware of when, and how to summon help but it may also encourage people to go ahead with it and, if they do go ahead, and something does go wrong, it may be me who has to respond to their summons. So…….no, I don’t think that the NHS should publish a manual. 

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