Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Soaking it all up

As usual the weeks since my last post have been rich and full.

Starting with the making of a difficult decision to stop breastfeeding, made all the more harder
knowing that this time that's it forever. Never again will I feel that sense
of achievement knowing that this child is thriving on sustenance provided solely
by me. I debated for about a fortnight before finally taking the plunge. Simon
had expressed concern at how tired I had been and that maybe I needed to
concentrate on what was best for me for once but I couldn't help but feel guilt
for even considering the change. It took a chance meeting in tesco with a friend
and her comment "well if you are thinking and debating about it so much, then
maybe it's not working for you anymore and it's time to stop!" made absolute
sense and that evening Mia had her first bottle of formulae and neither of us
have looked back.
With my new found freedom of formulae feeds and the ownership of my body 
transferred back to me, breasts n all. The freedom to enjoy what I wanted to eat
 and yes even drink the inevitable happened.  

The babies all tucked up in bed Nanny ensconced on the sofa ready with cuddles 
and bottles where required Simon and I escaped for a couple of hours and were a 
couple again. 
I wore perfume!! Enjoyed adult company. Didn't have to think about everything I 
was saying in relation to strategies, development etc.  It took a while to lose 
the talking and signing, but it felt so good to just look like Vicki, not Molly 
Max or Mia's mum ! 
Dancing like a fool laughing like a friend.x xx   

Soaking this all up like a tonic. 

Then back to being mum again and Spaceships made of cardboard xx to flights to the 
moon ;-) 

Learning to tell max off a little for poor Molly's sake if no other reason . 
Being the oldest and "knowing better" is tough bless her and sometimes he is 
just plain annoying stubborn unwilling to share and follows her about like a 
shadow wanting what ever it is she's touching! Who can blame her for finding 
it hard sometimes x 

Loving Mia soooo much And feeling guilty that I take advantage of how good she 
is. My time devoted to her seems to be only functional, she's clean, fed, happy 
to coo and entertain herself and have the the occasional cuddly snooze, the fact 
max is so vocal and boisterous in his demands on my time and attention and Molly's 
timetable so regimented 8:45 school, 3:30 collect 4:30 swimming on a Tuesday 
5:30 drama on a Monday makes me feel like it leaves little time and energy for just 
Fun time with Mia!  Worrying (un necessarily) about when and what mile stones she 
is meeting and again feeling guilty that so much of my energy and focus is on 
Molly and her spelling / times table etc as it is all targeted and strategies to 
help promote max and his development that my confidence that she will get there 
any way means she doesn't get the same focus and pushing on to the next thing 
like sitting / rolling / walking etc that the other two had! I just have to remind 
myself that there is only my best and they all get that!

Realising we have hit the terrible twos and occasionally there are weaker moments when
 the realisation that this phase may last a while longer! The challenging behaviour 
may last for always and that just makes me tired! Not un happy no way less in love or 
determined just ... Tired ....

So not liking that feeling deciding it's time to call in Nanny to help me create some 
time to myself even if it is just a couple of hours to have my hair done!  Strange though 
that when i do escape it either takes a while to regain my adult vocabulary, or 
my mouth turns into a sewer and all the suppressed bad language just falls out!lol ! 

Then there was message to offer help with the little things from un unexpected source 
! Even if I never take them up on the offer, just the genuine reach of a hand meant so
much more then they will probably ever realise !  

Then there is the steady and the constant ! The friend you don't need to ask for 
help from because she is already there telling you what she is going to do with 
out you ever needing to feel beholden!  Xxxxxx

There were a few emotional challenges too, I had to wait for Max to go to sleep so 
I could cry after the torture of his annual blood test!

Choosing his glasses, poor little man has a little face with no bridge to his nose 
and a huuuuge wide head so getting the right fit hasn't been easy and I don't 
think we're there yet but to quote a bumcow doesn't he look Scrummy?   

Physically stopping myself from turning round in a shop and confronting a woman .  
  I was pushing the buggy at a brisk pace with Mia sleeping tucked up underneath 
her brother riding high, feeling buoyant from a productive trip to the city 
centre when i passed a group of people with varying physical and other special 
needs and they're carers clearly also enjoying a day of shopping on an organised 
outing. Max the charmer and social little boy that he is not unusually grabbed 
the attention of one of the ladies there in a caring role as our paths crossed, 
I saw the flash of comprehension in her eyes as she thought she recognised Maxs 
syndrome and smiled at him 'knowingly' ! I carried on walking and was utterly 
astounded at what I heard next coming from behind me. she must of turned to to 
her colleague who was pushing a lady in a wheelchair and then i heard her say
"ahhh I love to see 'them' at that age cause I think to myself in 20 years or so 
'they'll be with us"!!!!!!!

Did she think that I was going to bring Max up and love and nurture him as a 
child then when he is an adult give up and institutionalise him???? NEVER!!! 

I understand that as an adult it would be selfish of me and irresponsible to 
make him solely dependant on me alone. I'm sure he will go to clubs, work and 
have a social life beyond me and his family and  he may well need some extra 
support to achieve that. Who knows he probably won't want to live in my home 
forever but wish to spread his wings and branch out alone or with friends maybe 
even a girlfriend and I will support him in living his life as fulfilling and  
independently as it is safe for him to do so! 

Having said that he has a proud mum and dad, two sisters who I am certain will 
want to be a big part of his life, Nan's who adore him an Uncle and Aunt who are 
devoted not to mention cousins and friends coming out of his ear holes, needless 
to say he won't be short of people who love him to go on a shopping trip 

Her assumption irritated and offended me It took every ounce of tolerance in me 
not to turn back and correct her! I knew she meant no harm and I did not know 
the circumstances of the adults she was with and would not have wanted to upset 
or offend them in any way by suggesting there was anything wrong in their 
situation and this is what ultimately stopped me from confronting her !!  That 
and the fact her comment clearly wasn't meant for me to hear.   

It's played on my mind since, so far we have had no real negativity shown 
towards our beautiful boy, he's still so young and very cute and as such any 
differences or difficulties  haven't been as obvious to draw that kind of 
ignorance. This event has acutely reminded me and made me more aware that as he 
gets older the world may start to find it harder to see past stereotypes and 
ignorance and we have to make sure Max and his sisters all never doubt how to be 
unique is to be beautiful and remind them of  the Dr who first spoke to us about 
Max's condition and what he said  about prejudice coming from ignorance,  and to 
feel sorry for those that are ignorant not anger or be upset by their prejudice. 

Remind them that there are no limitations to what any of them can achieve and 
'to shoot for the moon, because even if you miss you'll be amongst the stars' 

All three of them already are my stars brightening my life with their light 
So to that end I took the plunge and knowing that my family is complete I together 
with fabulously talented artist designed and he then created a tattoo which represents
 my family and my perspective beautifully.

And now December is upon us with all the joviality fun / stress and love that it 

Simon's birthday already suitably celebrated with a night of over indulgence of 
friends and alcohol! 
A night filled with funny faces 
 Dancing and laughter 

DMC's ;-) 
Ahead we have school discos and productions, tree decorating and birthdays not 
to mention the big day its self when our home will be filled with family and I 
can't wait to soak it all up xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Living vs Coping

It has been a rich summer for me, filled with picnics on the few sunny days where big girls get to master their bike riding skills and little boys enjoy some freedom from the buggy,

 while baby girls get that all important sleep time in the shade.
Birthdays where again we are surrounded by friends all putting themselves out to celebrate another year of a special little boys achievements and more importantly eat cake.
 Rainy holidays, where Mia Rose is introduced to more of the family and smothered in love,
 Molly gets to bond some more with cousins over a DS game or two
 and Max can show off his hiding skills. 
Milestones met again and again, preparing Molly for that big step up to junior school! she is growing up so fast is scares me!

 Mia, smiling, rolling, bouncing and just turning into a little person already too soon no longer a tiny baby. 
 The big one is that Max is increasingly mobile and on his feet,  he began taking steps around his birthday but for a few weeks was still opting to drop to his rear and shuffle (at speed I grant you) however in the last few weeks he is choosing to walk, even attempting to run as his first method of getting about and when he stumbles not reverting to his old half crawl half bottom hop but getting back up and continuing on his way with shouts of excitement.  This picture is of him hot footing it off with his little sisters hat which he took a fancy to.

The pride I feel at all these achievements is un-imaginable.

So when I am asked 'how are you coping?' or someone states 'you've got your hands full I don't know how you cope,' I try not to be irritated by it as I know it is only people caring and comes most of the time from genuine interest and concern.  I however answer.  I don't cope I Live!!

Life is full of challenges for us all, a juggling act where there are at different times different shapes weights and numbers of things that we have to keep in the air.  Occasionally a ball or two is dropped, an appointment missed or a birthday forgotten maybe even the time to have a shower impossible to find! But those are the times that we have to take a deep breath pause for a rest and then pick it all up again.  Maybe recognise the need to pass one or two of the smaller things off to another to throw for a while so we can concentrate on not dropping the big things like making sure the children are safe clean and fed!

I am living not coping,  living life the best way I know how, by loving, laughing, crying, learning and all the other stuff.

Supporting a family I adore by just being there as they say goodbye to parts of their hearts as they buried their Mum and remembering and being grateful for the impact she has had on my own life.

Attending a course to help Max get better at communicating by getting better myself.  Preparing him and probably more to the point myself for preschool next term.  Growing as a parent with Molly as her needs change with the experience of her new school. Desperately trying to cling on to the now, refusing to move on to the next stage with Mia as she is showing all the signs of being ready for solids but just wanting to keep her as she is for as long as possible.

Taking the plunge and booking a holiday in the sun for the five of us for next year recognising that all that juggling might need some solar charging ;-)

Inviting the family to our home to share Mia's first Christmas (my first as host) looking forward to lots of laughter food and merriment.

Learning that advice is just that advice! Whether it comes from a professional or not it is just some one else's opinion and it is there to be followed if I so choose to, remembering to have a little faith in my own judgement.
Asking and accepting help where I can.  Learning that to say 'I need' is not saying 'I can't manage' just that it stretches me that little less if you help.

To say coping is to imply 'putting up with' and that is certainly not what I am doing with my life and family. xxxxx

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

And Mia makes five!

This last pregnancy seemed to last forever,  I now understood what friends had meant when they said their second and subsequent pregnancies were less enjoyable, more of a chore, a means to an end.
In truth it was probably my healthiest and least complicated of pregnancies, once over the initial twelve weeks un-certainty that automatically go along with a history of miscarriage like mine.  I was sick and tired enough to be reassured that I was actually pregnant but not un manageably so, I didn't suffer with SPD as badly as I had previously (although I have to allow a little credit for that to our lovely new mattress and the fact I wasn't stuck behind a desk three days a week) and I didn't get any more then the usual coughs and colds.  It was however hard work!  Keeping up with family life, keeping the house as dog hair and gerbil dropping free as possible. Molly's social and school bits and all Max's appointments not to mention running around after, bending and lifting a solid little eighteen month plus old and daily dog walks.  All pretty full on with out the growing bump which despite however many people telling me on a daily basis how tiny I was.  It was still there and concealing an average size baby and very much physically a hindrance.

Your first pregnancy you almost enjoy all the discomfort, it's all new and wondrous a novelty almost, you are able to give yourself so much more focus and time to try and make things easier.  I think due to the time and heart ache in between my first and second it allowed me to feel all that again second time round.  This last however as I said felt more like a means to an ends and with absolutely no opportunity to slow down or concentrate on just being pregnant.

Please don't misunderstand, every time I felt the movement however uncomfortable I still felt the magic.  Having lost so many in the past I still felt that relief and wonder when my belly did it's alien impersonation.  My favourite time was the evening when the kids were safely tucked up in bed their daily needs having been met, all the dinner clear up and preparation for the next day all done and I could sit or lay and take time to just be pregnant ! 

Towards the end of my pregnancy the usual excitement and eagerness to meet our baby set in, along with a longing to physically be my self again, at the same time there was a tinge of sadness as I was acutely aware that this was probably the last time I would be pregnant and experiencing the magic of growing a new life and I felt guilt at wishing that special time away.

Time ticked on and much to my surprise having been early with both my previous labours I found my self thirty nine plus weeks pregnant ( the most pregnant I had ever been) and booked for an induction on the following Monday.  We decided that weekend much to some of our families concern rather than sit at home waiting and whittling to travel to a family wedding instead, I had a dress and had been looking forward to wearing it and seeing family members
not to mention supporting the bride and groom as they promised to love each other forever.
We took all the necessary, car seat, hospital bag, pregnancy notes etc, just in case!  It was a lovely day, Molly and Max loved seeing all their cousins and the bride looked stunning, it was an invaluable distraction.

Monday came and Simon and I headed off to the hospital leaving my babies with their nanny at home to wait to become a big brother and big sister again. 

I had heard so many horror stories of inductions, the waiting the boredom followed by stronger pains etc that I was more nervous then I remember being either time before.  I was however pleasantly surprised that within ten hours I was in established labour with just the first stage of induction,  managing with out any drugs, certain that at the next examination they would be able to break my waters and as happened twice previously it would all be over soon after.  (having laboured for a day Molly came with in 20 mins of my waters going and Max came 4 hours after my waters went with no previous labour pains)  However every heavily pregnant woman in the local area decided to have their babies there and then and the labour ward decided that they were too busy to promote my labour to progress any quicker so would not be breaking my waters ready or not!!!  I was furious as this meant that I would be in pain for longer which meant I would be more tired when it came down to actually giving birth and then more exhausted to go home to three children!!! 

Was it any wonder that inductions led to more need for drugs / intervention / surgery etc  They start women on a path and then try and tweak the circumstances to suite them!  They also sent Simon away home! So I was left contracting every few minutes on my own convinced that if my waters were to go of their own accord that there would not be time for Simon to get back to me and he would miss the birth! ( I remember threatening the midwife on the ward at this point that if that did happen I would take her name and give it to the baby so when they were old enough she could explain to them why their daddy was there for their brother and sisters birth and not theirs!)
I took the decision at this point to have some pain relief,  I am sure I would not have needed it had they broken my waters as planned but I was acutely aware that I had already been awake since five in the morning and that I could be there a while yet and needed to rest if I was to have any hope of having the strength to give birth naturally.

Luckily enough my waters did not break on their own but my labour progressed quite quickly the pethidine I had didn't touch the pain (although I did feel less aggrieved after having it lol) I tried the usual tricks of birthing balls, baths etc but I was quite quickly begging the midwife for more help, at this stage they did decide to move me to labour ward and I was allowed to call Simon back to me,  While I waited for both Simon and to be moved another lady on the ward who was there for problems in her pregnancy came and sat with me and saw me through a very lonely scary half hour,  I didn't get her name but I will never forget her kindness and will always be grateful for her company in that time.  I did see her the next day when fetching my dinner on the ward and was able to thank her I am pleased to say.

Anyway time blurs here but Simon arrived and I was moved to the room where I was to have my baby,  there was gas and air hooray and although again it didn't take any pain away it did help me cope with it and relax a little!  The midwife looking after me then broke my waters and bang at 4:25am 31st May 2011 Mia Rose Elliment was here ( I was right about how quickly after waters) !!!!!!
A head full of dark hair just like her sister when she was born but that was all that was similar, she had a completely different look about her then the other two, So tiny, so perfect and I felt so complete.  That rush of love and protectiveness is almost addictive.  She came straight up onto my chest and I just adored her, I let the midwives get on with whatever they needed to and just gazed and wrapped my baby up in my love.  In those moments I was acutely aware of how lucky I am, how much I loved not only my baby in my arms but my two babies at home, and Simon, Simon who has given me everything I've ever wanted it's like I've loved him a truck load more with every birth.
After a while and as I came down from that initial rush I did have a moment of guilt and shed a tear or two as I started to examine her, Simon said it was only natural and that I shouldn't feel badly but I think I always will I cried as I checked the palms of her hands, the space between her toes, her eyes, the size of her ears!  I was looking for features of Down's Syndrome not because it would have mattered  if they were there but because I needed to know to deal with it as soon as possible if necessary.
There were none, she is not like her big brother in that way. Just as perfect as him and their older sister.  Her challenges are going to come from some other direction. :-).

We woke Molly with an early morning phone call to tell her she was a big sister again.  Her sleepy excitement was infectious.  Both Nanny's and Uncle Paul were woken too but I don't think any of them minded :-)

We couldn't get over how different to the other two she looked, this had taken us both by surprise, Simon said to me "she looks like someone but I can't put a finger on who"  .
We had some time to ourselves while waiting to be taken up to the ward and I had a shower as I was doing that I think Simon was spending some time staring in awe at his newest daughter, taking pictures.
He then came to me in the en-suite eyes swollen with tears holding his phone.  At first I panicked but he quickly said "my brother's nailed it". when I asked what he really broke down as he read his brothers message, a response to a picture Simon had sent.  " she looks like Dad first thing in the morning before he put his glasses on" That's who she had reminded Simon with out him realising and as with the births of all his Grandchildren there was a moment of sadness that he never got to see them and that neither of his Grandsons or Grandaughters will ever know their Grandad Pete.

There was a day or so in hospital for some precautionary monitoring due to blood types (all is well) So Molly and Max first met their Sister on the ward later that day.
My heart grew again having all three of my children together.  That feeling of completeness hasn't left me yet.  It was only beaten the next night when I was in my own home Molly and Max asleep in their beds and Mia beside me in her moses basket. 

Two weeks on and we're all settling in to being a family of five,  Mia has slotted in perfectly it's as if she has always been here.  Max is adorable with her although you never know when that gentle stroke is going to turn into a heavier pat or a grab to squeeeeeeeze and love ha ha.  Molly is smitten with her little sister, cooing and ahhhing over every little movement and outfit.  The two of them seem closer too, as they are both in the same position now with some one else stealing a bit of Mummy's attention.

Simon has been wonderful, recognising my needs for things to be organised and done a certain way and just being the most generous supportive I've ever known him.  I am so lucky to have some one who is just bottom line my other half, we are a team and at the moment I don't think there is a championship we wouldn't win.xxxxxxxxxxx

I am the luckiest Mummy in the world but yes I am done NO I do not think an even number is necerssary lol xx

Mia completes my perfect little family in a way I only dreamed.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Life is good so why stress?

I am getting a little cross with myself because the fact that stress is currently limited in my life is worrying me!  Life is good,  kids are thriving, pregnancy is going well, financial pressures aren't as heavy, yet I am waking in the night wondering when things are going to change.

Even though Molly has just been confirmed a place at our chosen middle school instead of taking a deep breath and being pleased worrying about the next milestone secondary school!  Contemplating all things from catchment areas for good schools (us living in prime catchment of what I consider the complete opposite of a good school) to the issue of her social development and what if we can't get her into the secondary schools we want and she ends up having to o local and start again socially all because of the decisions we made when she was four to send her out of catchment.

Being entirely at ease with Max and every thing about him all the things that are the same for him as well as the differences, loving him so completely with such pride and fierce protectiveness and utter acceptance of his condition and all that it brings with it.  Instead of enjoying that, having moments of complete panic and fear that I never want to feel differently.  At the moment he is a child, utterly adorable and so full of character that even his tantrums make people (including me) say ahhhhh I fear of ever wishing he was different, of not feeling the utter peace and acceptance that I do now when maybe he is a not so cute a teenager or adult throwing a similar tantrum.  I doubt that day will ever come but it still terrifies me.  He deserves that fierceness and unconditional love I feel today forever with out faltering and with out condition or if onlys.

Not to mention the fears of my impending labour and the birth of our newest baby, can I possibly be lucky enough to have an third uncomplicated delievery and healthy newborn?

These are only brief moments and I feel it prudent to point out that hormones may very well be a factor in their depth.

I counter these with spring afternoon walks to the park with Molly and a friend after school.  Where we enjoy breezy sunshine and little girls show of their new found confidence in their climbing abilities.

Little boys scream and giggle with delight on the swings. To death defying heights too quick for the camera.

Loving the dog having been scrubbed and primed and preened now roaming the house like a fluffy walking air freshener.
Still enjoying regular weekends with Daddy at home if only to have a Sunday late morning snooze.

Being spoilt for Mothers day with love and sentiment, my new bracelet adorned with a charm from each of the pieces of my heart.  A fourth picked ready and waiting the safe arrival of the next bundle.

Looking forward and beginning to prepare in earnest for the arrival of the third and probably final addition to our family.  Starting to get excited about the tiniest baby grows again and reminiscing when the other two could ever have been that small. Making 'to do' and 'to get' lists.
Like I say we all have ups and downs, ebbs and flows in life and I am learning to flow and enjoy the ups because undoubtedly the ebb and downs will come again but then I will have the memory and thought of these times as well as the love of my beautiful family to see me through those tougher days and out and up again!

So for now I feel no shame fear or guilt from shouting from the rooftops.


Thursday, 3 February 2011

The Pregnancy Closet

There was that moment again, that instant where most people feel excitement and joy and I just felt, scared, nervous.  The only difference this time when I wee'd on that stick was the added shock that it had happened so quickly.  We had agreed to set limits this time, boundaries so it didn't become too central a purpose in our lives for too long.  It was decided that if we weren't successfully pregnant by the end of 2011, my thirty second birthday then we would draw a line under the story and move on with our family as it is.  Which by the way we were and are both more then satisfied with.  This time limit was set for a number of reasons.  Part of which was that having enjoyed a larger age gap between our first two children and all the benefits the five and a half years bought we both  liked the idea of a closer age difference between Max and a younger sibling and not wanting the gap between Molly and her youngest brother or sister to be too great, also my age although I know I am by no means old many of my friends having not started having their children until my age or even older and there are many benefits to being an older parent I just felt having started my family in my early twenties why put my ageing body through it much later. Lastly and probably the most significantly not wanting to go through the years and loss' we did waiting for Max.  If I'm honest I expected maybe one or two loss' and maybe to take a while to fall which I accepted as what must be and why we started trying so early however within two weeks of taking the leap there I was in a friends new kitchen staring blankly at those windows on the test and those two little lines!

The Doctor I saw was very supportive and did not question my request to be referred to the Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit (EPAU) for early scans she set it up straight away for me.  The midwife even called me the afternoon I'd been to see the Doctor to set up an appointment and support even though the pregnancy was so new.  Gratitude at the support overcoming the sneaky suspicion that their going beyond was not only as a result of my miscarriage history but of the circumstances of Max's birth too.

We managed to put it from our minds, not think about it for most of the two weeks we had to wait for my first appointment with the EPAU.  The fact we had chosen not to tell any but my closest friend  and her husband ( who also happens to be Simon's close friend) helped as it wasn't a topic for conversation in front of others or more importantly Molly.  I was quite pleased with how relaxed I was managing to stay. Until the Sunday morning before my scan, after enjoying a mooch round the local bootsale with the aforementioned friends  we were queueing for a hotdog or bacon stick when I felt my heart sink.  I had felt myself begin to bleed,  I then had to whilst trying not to let Molly know or to seem alarmist communicate to Simon what was going on and make my way to the disgusting plastic sheds they pass off as public toilets to sort my self out and assess the severity of the bleed.  Knowing there was nothing I could do that would change what was happening and although aware that it was not enough of a loss for it to be over holding little hope of any other outcome.

We spent the next three days in a state of anxious waiting.  All the the time expecting the bleeding to progress, worsen, a pain to start, new to this scenario as almost all my previous loss had resulted in surgical removal (ERPC) Torn between the urge to curl up in a ball in bed and wait for the scan on the Wednesday which would undoubtedly confirm my fears, (obviously not a viable option with energetic seven year old with a busy social life and a demanding one year old to attend to) and the instinct to distract myself with shopping and friends and well life.  As is my usual I chose the latter and as the days passed the bleeding slowed to nothing and a glimmer of hope returned with a very positive result on another pregnancy test I couldn't help but take, the right hormones were still present.

Finally the day arrived after a disturbed nights sleep.  Molly was collected by a friend ready to be deposited at school.  Max coming along for the ride, although my only confidant so tuned into my needs and without being asked had arranged care of her own children so as she could meet me there and look after Max for me allowing me to focus on what was going on with out worrying about Max and of course so I was not alone if what I truly expected was to be the truth.  Simon and I had already discussed and decided that as this was the path we had chosen and his boss was not aware yet he would stay at work until a real need arised ie, more surgery etc.
Then....... I could not believe it........ there it was, a little tiny bean with that unmistakable blink blink blink of a beating heart!

So there I was, so far so good, all was well and we were at the start of another two week waiting game for another scan, I was wiped out, sick, stressed but hopeful.

Big questions had been raised however by the wonderful midwives on the EPAU, decisions had to now be made.  To Screen or not to screen?????
It would never be a question of anything more then knowledge for us as a family to take that wonder away, my fear that as we no longer can live in the "it'll never happen to us mentality" that the pregnancy and birth might be tainted by a constant worry of what might be. Meeting both my babies was so magical, precious moments and that last thing I want is to miss that with this child as I'd instinctively be looking for ' features' the bonding moments of that first cuddle ruined by guilt.

What ever the result of any tests there would be no further choice we would make. Given a diagnosis of Down's or anything else for that matter of course we would continue with the pregnancy to not would be like us choosing between Molly and Max and saying that she is more important or valued then he which is in no way the truth.  Both my babies add equal value and purpose to my life I could never choose between them.  I have to emphasise that I in no way judge anyone else facing this choice, it must be a gut wrenching decision no one would take lightly and will always be with them.  Statistics do disturb me of positive D/S diagnosis there is a 95% termination rate.  I truly believe that that if people were more aware of the joys and triumphs and achievements as well as the undeniable challenges this statistic would be lower.  I do still believe in choice and repeat I do not judge nor envy anyone who makes that choice informed.  We find ourselves blessed to have the most 'informed' of choices No choice.

So our dilemma, to go through the risk of miscarriage and the stress of testing just to know for knowings sake? An attempt to preserve a moment of meeting untainted by the question?  I don't think so.  We toyed with the idea of not finding out the sex, introducing a bigger question for the moment of birth?  Then we realised it didn't really matter we will fall in love and adore and feel the magic of meeting our child whatever they bring with them and knowing that has helped me to know that I all being well will enjoy this pregnancy with out fear (other then that of any expectant mum) and look forward to the excitement and pride that comes along with the discomfort of late pregnancy.  NO SCREENING xxxxxxxx

That decision being made the weeks between the first and second scan didn't drag too much.  I couldn't help but be fearful, painfully aware as I lay on the couch of every twitch on the sonographers expression, sure I saw a grimace but then she turned the screen and there was the little bean with the flashing blink blink blink of a heart beat again. So far so good now to wait another two weeks.

Ten hours later however and I was spotting again. Could I not even have a couple of days to be excited with no worry?

The following weeks were filled with terror again as I became so ill with a bug which hit us all in the family over a 4 day period. On top of more spotting and horrible morning sickness.  At the next scan however all was perfectly well with the little wriggling bean and I dared to look forward to two weeks on and finally sharing our exciting news with our friends and family and most importantly Molly moo.

I think I have caught up with myself now and have already posted on the experience of our twelve week scan.  Molly was thrilled to find out she was going to be a big sister twice over and we have been showered with love support and excitement from all angles of our family and friends.

I have to add that we were not strong and at twenty weeks we found out which flavour baby we are expecting....... I won't post it publicly here incase there is anyone reading who would like a surprise in June but if you know me personally and would like to hear pink or blue then message me and I'll be happy to share, if you don't have any other means to contact me then comment on this post and we'll find a way to communicate xx

baby number three at 20 weeks :-)