Sometimes there isn’t a parenting solution and that’s ok.

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From looking at the photo you might think ‘ahh what a loving big sister.’ Well, the reality is very different and I spend most of my days guarding this sweet baby from her very jealous big sister.

We’ve had biting (where she drew blood!) kicking, hitting, eye poking and various other physical expressions of anger from my lovely 3 year old. More recently it’s been verbal assertions: ‘I hate Hope,’ ‘I want you to throw Hope in the bin Mummy.’   It’s constant, it’s stressful. I am on high alert ALL the time and the saddest thing is its taking away some of the joy of Hope’s baby days.  At the same time I look around on facebook and see lots of loving sibling photos with captions like: ‘she loves her baby brother so much,’ she’s such a lovely big sister,’ He adores his baby brother. ‘

I think to myself what have I done wrong here? Well the answer is nothing. My 3 year old is just coming to term’s with her ‘baby of the family’ position which has been usurped by a tinier version called Hope. She’s struggling. I know that. I understand it is very hard especially when you have all the threenager influx of hormones which happens at this age. The thing is that understanding doesn’t make it easier at the moment. I have tried everything, every parenting solution you can imagine.

A few things I have done:

  • One on one time without the baby (lots and lots of it)
  • lots of cuddles, reassurance, speaking her love language: words of affirmation.
  • Time outs
  • Time ins
  • Empathising with her and putting words to her feelings that she can’t verbalise yet because she’s only 3.
  • Setting boundaries around any contact with Hope
  • Getting her involved in looking after Hope so that she doesn’t feel left out.
  • Putting her in extra preschool sessions to limit her interaction with her.
  • Lots of love and acceptance,
  • Did I say time outs (lots of them) and more, than my sleep deprived brain will recall right now.

Yesterday I cried after a very difficult day. I thought maybe things were getting ever so slightly better but when putting Abigail to bed she said ‘ I want Hope to die mummy.’  What do you say to that? I didn’t know what to say so I just said ‘thats not very nice Abigail,’ which was weak I know, but, i’m being worn down by it all.

However, I am reminded of a time when my oldest (now 6 and a half)  was very jealous of his baby sister who was only 17 months younger at the time. He was similar and we pulled our hair out for….. ..about 1 and a half years!!!!…..eek!  And then; overnight, he just STOPPED! We had also tried the above list with him too and more. It was what first prompted me to read all the parenting books and frantic googling at 1am. NOTHING I did changed anything and NONE of the tactics worked.

He. Just. Stopped.

This too shall pass.

So i’ve come to the conclusion that sometimes there isn’t a solution to the problem/issue you are facing with your child, you’ve just got to roll with it and maybe you’ll wake up one morning and it will be ok. And then you’ll have to deal with the next phase your child goes into which may be a delightful one or maybe it will be harder. Who knows.

Sometimes we need to just chuck out the parenting books and admit defeat from these tiny humans we’re raising. We haven’t got it all together and neither do they.

One month five day thoughts 

It’s been 1 month 5 days since I delivered my little Jessie. Time is flying by and I have had a spectrum of emotions. Everyday is different and I never know how I will feel. One thing that has changed in the last few days is coming to terms with the realisation that Jessie is irreplaceable. I know that sounds like common sense but the minute we found out Jessie had passed I wanted another baby like now! I didn’t want to replace her but it was my way of dealing with the shock and pain that I was feeling. I thought if I could get pregnant immediately then I could forget and somehow the excruciating agony would lessen. I have thought that ever since, however just these last few days I have suddenly realised that even if I have another 10 children that they could never replace her, thy could never be like her. That thought has kind of plunged me a new level of sadness. We definitely will try to have another baby…… or two lol but maybe we will wait a few months??? Who knows? All I know is that God is very faithful. He is closer than I think I’ve ever felt him and it’s incrediable. He comforts those who mourn and he is comforting me right now. He collects my tears in his bottle, he must have several bottles or one very large bottle as there have been a lot of tears. Not an hour goes by when I don’t think of her. There’s not an hour that goes by when I’m not thought of by God. Xx

Beautiful Jessie Faith has gone to be with Jesus 

It’s been two weeks since we found out that Jessie Faith passed away, although she may have died a few days before that, we will never know. 

After we returned from Israel I decided I couldn’t wait for the next scan which was two weeks away so I booked a private scan to see if there was any changes, especially to the fluid levels.  I had had a lot of prayers in Israel and really felt full of faith for her healing. So I went to the scan on my own….. as I was driving to the scan I felt God say ‘there will be angels in the room with you Cara,’ I immediately brushed that away not understanding. 

the lady looked for all of 20 seconds and then put her hand on my arm and said ‘I’m very sorry there’s no heartbeat’………………………………

How could this be?????I immediately fell into floods of tears, well screams actually. Everything went dark. 

Paul heard the news by phone and I managed to text my mum in Israel to fly over to look after the children so I could go and deliver my baby, my precious, planned (the only one) and longed for Jessie. 

They were lovely at the hospital, very kind and gentle where they scanned me again, this time for about 5 minutes: double and probably triple checking there was no heartbeat. Again the words ‘I’m very sorry’….

 she was definitely gone. 

We decided to postpone induction as it was G’s 5th birthday two days later. I took the first set of tablets on Thursday 25th May which doesn’t start labour but just tells the body there is no pregnancy anymore. It lowers the progesterone. The sad thing is they said my body wouldn’t register that she had died for possibly another month or more. It’s amazing how our bodies are designed to protect that little life at all costs. They said I would risk infection if I went past 5 weeks. 

48 hours later we came back to the hospital on Saturday morning to start induction drugs. I think I’ve never been more scared to do anything in my whole life! I was petrified, not just of the labour but about seeing her, having no clue to what she would be like or what condition she would be in. 

It was a long 8 hour labour with very strong induction drugs they kept pumping into me every 3 hours. I kept refusing pain relief wanting to wait until the pain was very bad as I didn’t want to prolong anything. I did think I would have an epidural but eventually in the last hour got morphine which didn’t do anything for the pain but just made me really sick even with anti sickness injections. Jessie Faith was born silent at around 9pm that night without any pushing. Weighing 12 ounces. The silence was deafening, having been through this three times before that first scream is what you long to hear. We knew we wouldn’t but the crushing silence was only a few seconds before me and Paul both cried the most painful cry of our lives. I don’t think I will ever cry like that again. We held each other. Paul looked at her but I couldn’t at that point, I needed time. 

I felt so sick from the morphine all I could do was to fall asleep. Paul went home to relive my parents and I slept the night with Jessie in a cot beside me. 

I woke up the next morning to look at her and immediately cried and cried and cried and cried. I think I spent the whole day in tears. She was so tiny, perfect little hands and feet. The midwives took prints of her her hands and casts of her feet, they dressed her and I took many photos. We spent most of the day with her but then it was time to say goodbye and that was the hardest of all. Walking the long corridor out of the labour ward, floods of tears again with doctors and midwives all saying ‘I’m so sorry’. 

We left without her.  She spent 5 months inside me. 5 wonderful months with the gentlest most peaceful spirit I have ever been in contact with. I will never forget you my precious Jessie Faith. 

21 weeks 5 days and second scan update 

We are here, in Israel. We made the journey with 3 little ones relatively unscathed although I thought the 5 hour flight would last for eternity! 

I had the scan  with the fetal specialist  on Monday and although I went in very postive expecting everything to be ok it wasn’t. The scan lasted nearly an hour and even then there was 6 parts of her anatomy they didn’t get to see. The consultant’s summation was that there is a chromosomal or genetic abnormality that is causing the problems. The bright spots on her bowel is called echogenic bowel and it has been labelled as severe and not as a result of swallowing blood which it can sometimes mean. The problem kidney he said is not functioning at all apparently and is now 8mm in diameter (below 4mm is nornal)  He says that’s not a problem as she can have surgery when she is born or people can function on one healthy kidney. She is incrediably small for dates (under the third centile) and I have had fairly big babies at 8.8 oz, for G and 7.14oz for both A and H so this isn’t normal for me. The fluid is still the same, dangerously low and her long bones are measuring small. Basically she has many Down syndrome markers so they want to do a cvs procedure where they put a needle in and withdraw some of the placenta for testing. I have said that I don’t want to risk it so have declined this. I did have another blood test to look for any possible infection and cystic fibrosis and Paul will need to have the same blood test to see if he is a carrier for cystic fybrosis as well. 
All of this put together does not give a very positive picture and they said that she may not grow anymore and not make it. What horrific news! …..and I was on my own as well. I rang Paul afterwards to tell him and he didn’t take it very well at all. I didn’t have too much time to dwell on it as I had to pack for Israel, there was lots to do. 

The way I am coping is by praying and asking others to pray. I am still believing in faith that Jessie Faith will be healed and healthy and whole and if not then she will still be loved and cared for. Ironically as I said in a post before this pregnancy has been amazing compared to the others and still continues to be very symptom free. I have been racking my head to see if there was something I have done to cause this, there is a sense of guilt that I am trying to overcome as it’s not anybodies fault. 

My next scan is in June but the consultant was so negative about the outcome that he intimated I might not even get that far. His words were ‘I’m not expecting a miracle.’ 

I say no, I am expecting a miracle and my God is completely able to do it. This was a picture of the first scan last Friday, as you can see there is little fluid (  it should be dark around the baby where the fluid would be) 

20 weeks 6 days 

I had my anomaly scan yesterday and it was a bit of a shock. After having 3 previous anomaly scans with my others which were completely normal and fine I was told there were 3 issues which meant that I have been referred to another hospital which specialises in fetel medicine. That appointment is on Monday, a day before our holiday, (the first in 5 years!) basically the most worrying problem is the fact that the ultrasound showed virtually no fluid around baby, about 2.5 at the deepest pool.  The second issue was there were bright spots in the bowel which could indicate a blockage or something else???? The last issue was the right kidney was enlarged at 7.3 mm. 

I knew there was something wrong as the appointment started off by the sonographer  talking me through everything ‘ there’s the heart, there’s the head’ etc etc and then silence for ages………… then she said I’m going to refer to you. 

I then met with the midwife who explained things to me further. I started to cry. Then I rang Paul. 

I’ve spent the last day googling everything which the midwife told me not to. I’ve been trying to drink as much water as I can (which I read can help build up my amniotic fluid) and just waiting for Monday.

 I’ve felt awful today and was not very nice to the children 😦 my pulse has been racing and I feel shaky and feverish. I will update after my appointment. Praying that everything is going to be ok. Praying for a miracle. 

19 weeks! 

Oh dear, I’ve been TERRIBLE! I’ve missed 7 weeks of posting, I’m very sorry about that. here is a picture from my 12 week scan which put me a couple of days ahead to a due date of 17th September. I will have my next scan in two weeks when I will be 21 weeks (just before). I was very nervous just before the scan that everything would be ok but when she said here is the heartbeat breathed a big sigh of relief. However, now I’m getting nervous again for the anomaly scan. One reason is that i haven’t been feeling hardly any movements which is strange as I felt movements very early before except with G ( my first)???? What’s going on? I have felt what I thought was a little flutter movement a couple of times but each time I wasn’t sure if that was my tummy or an air bubble. Anyway trying to relax as much as possible and not stress out. 

I have to say generally so far this has been the best pregnancy out of the four. Yeah! Amazing! I was expecting the hardest pregnancy as I hardly have any time to rest or sleep, always on the go but it’s been the least sickness the least tiredness and the least hormonal. Maybe it’s because the previous three were all very difficult especially With H (my second) which was HORRENDOUS. I was so sick and for the first five months only slept a maximum of two hours a night,  was exhausted all the time and very, very moody, hormonal and wanted to kill people. So I am an exhausted a lot of the time and achey and a bit blah but it’s a lot milder and since the 12week mark I haven’t had nausea and my hormones have settled; much to my husband’s relief 🙂 

11 weeks 6 days pregnant. 

It’s a girl! I found out that you could get a gender DNA blood test so in my impatience I sent away for the kit and did it. I had to prick the end of my finger and drop some (10 drops) blood onto a card. Sounds easy but it took a good 20 minutes  and two fingers to get enough out. After that it got sent to a lab in America and then I got the results a few days ago. 

I’m over the moon. I absolutely love my girls and having 3 in a row is a miracle 🙂 wow, so blessed. I always wanted a sister and now H and A will have 2. Paul is happy, he said he knew it was a girl and ‘girls are lovely’ a quote. Rewind 3 years ago when we had H (our first girl) and I kept moaning at him to hold her. He didn’t know what to do with a girl he said and they didn’t properly bond until she was about 6 months old. Now both H and A adore him. It was easier when A was born, they bonded immediately (he was used to the whole girl world) He’s the best Daddy in the whole world. 

Of course we will have to double check it at the 20 week scan (we can get our money back if they’re wrong) but that’s a long way off. I’ve already indulged in a jojomamanbebe (love it so much I could buy the whole shop, but very expensive without the sale) newborn baby grow but apart from that we’ve got everything and more for a girl. 

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