Thursday, 6 March 2014

18 years ago today (actually yesterday as I ran out of time to post!)

18 years ago yesterday I became a Mum, we became parents for the first time. We'd left it a little later than most although it felt the right time for us (if we'd known then that 3 of the little critters would come along we would have maybe started earlier).
I was 30 and the builder was 35, we'd been married around 5 years but had lived together for nearer 13, we never rush anything as you can tell from our house renovations, 22 years and counting! Up until then I hadn't been sure about having children at all but we decided to try just one small one. We were very well prepared, the nursery was beautifully decorated in Laura Ashley lemon & clown border (placed just at that easy-to-rip-off height), I'd shopped for both maternity clothes and baby clothes, I'd read all the books & bought all manner of accessories
 (most of which were no help whatsoever!) - so not really prepared in any useful way!

My pregnancy had been text book, I'd glowed, had gorgeous wavy, glossy hair although at the end I positively bloomed - tipping the scales at just over 13 stone when I'd started at 9 stone!
I'd filled the freezer with food (which we later realised when we needed to live on it was all cake, I'd been thinking about entertaining guests!), I'd touched up the decorating and had cleaned & hoovered the house to within an inch of it's life.
The baby was due on February 29th, it was a leap year, but by March 2nd I was a bit fed up, I like things on time and organised (well I did then)
I had chronic back pain and was unable to sleep in the last couple of days,
the text book pregnancy was distinctly pear shaped from here on in,
as was I (maybe apple shaped, with legs?!)
 On around the 2nd, or maybe the 3rd I felt my waters had started to leak so went into hospital, only to be told my waters were intact and maybe I had a weak bladder - I was mortified!
Two more days of pain in hospital where The Builder kept me company most days with his packed lunch, I tried many pain killers and the Tens machine but nothing helped much and still no baby. I said hello and goodbye to many new mums in the next door bed during that time.
Eventually on March 5th they realised that my waters were leaking quite a lot and my bladder was perfectly fine (THANK YOU!) so they decided to try to progress my labour, the pain got worse but nothing else happened. At this point I asked for an epidural, I'm not very brave!
By afternoon the doctor visited, sat on the edge of the bed and gently said "we need to look at alternative ways to deliver this baby" - in my drugged and exhausted state I was completely confused - how many ways are there to deliver a baby??  Anyway he had to explain that the only other way was by c-section - thank goodness for that I was a little concerned
where this baby was going to come out of. It was in fact an emergency as the baby was in distress but I wasn't told any of this until I was expecting Number 2.
Our baby boy arrived at 5.30pm, in our usual unemotional selves (or was it exhaustion) the Builder  and I looked at each other and said "at least he's not too ugly" There were raised eyebrows from midwives I remember!
just call me Deidre Barlow!

He was a very healthy 9lb 4oz and he screamed, and screamed -
he carried on screaming for 9 weeks and I remember every second of it!
My maternal instincts took quite a few weeks to kick in, I don't think I was depressed just completely shell shocked. I struggled with everything from feeding (breast and bottle) to sleep and all routines in general. He was very stroppy and it only started to come together when he went into a big cot, in his own room, with the door shut and started on "illegal" solids at just 9 weeks (didn't dare tell the health visitor!) At that point he seemed to give a sigh of relief, smile and look like he'd been trying to tell us what he wanted for weeks!
Since then we've never looked back really, he was a stroppy toddler and I did introduce him to the toddler group with the words " This is Number 1, he may bite you"

Butter wouldn't melt....
 He is very insular and self contained, but quietly determined and confident. He likes his own company and loves a good book, I know he'll love to write in the future too (when he's feeling less lazy) - he is so like me it's annoying!
He's sporty and capable something which is generally assumed he inherits from his Dad's side, however there are a substantial amount of sports achievements on my side of the family too, just none from me.
He is thoughtful and kind, for Christmas he bought me three cd's of bands and singers he thought I'd like having heard them at Reading festival,
 he often recommends books to me which he thinks I'll enjoy.
We are so very proud of him.

as his birthday dawned we were unsure what gift to buy, ideally I wanted to get him -
driving lessons
a car
a laptop
a holiday
the world on a stick
some sugar bonbons

however we have a limited budget and got him a watch! We also made him a family collage of photos to take to Uni with him, so he doesn't forget us!

He has had a trip to New York and a custom made cricket bat in the weeks between Christmas and now and the bank account is empty. He was happy with all he got though, he's nearly always happy.

The coming year will be a whole new start for him as he goes to University in October and lives away from home for the first time - apart from his "lads holiday" in June - God help us!
Having his ..ahem...first beer!
He really is a super son!


  1. Jay, I reckon I'd love you if I met you. I just know!

    p.s. love that the proud Dad is appropriately dressed in the Deidre Barlow photo (who IS Deidre Barlow?)

    1. Ahh thank you Kylie! Deidre Barlow is a character in our long running UK soap, Coronation Street, known for her glasses which in the 70's were huge! I used to wear contact lenses but have since had my eyes lasered, I hated wearing glasses! This should be a link to Deidre


    2. Oh I don't think the link works, sorry you'll have to Google her!

  2. Oh this is just lovely, and so many similarities with us.
    My son, our first and only, was born when I was 31. He was due mid-February but in the end needed to be induced (he's been lazy ever since). They wanted to induce me on Feb 29 but then thought best not on a leap year so he was born March 1st instead.
    My boy didn't want much for his 18th either. He got a new laptop. Will we both be crying when they go off to Uni in October?
    A big happy birthday to your boy xx

    1. Thank you Trish, and yes I think a few tears will be shed don't you?

  3. I am in with Kylie above!
    Our first one was born when I was 30, a perfect age in my view. I can't remember our first words when we saw him but the consultant who delivered him by C-sections said: "oooooh I haven't seen this for a long time" which made me worry that maybe he was an alien (my son, not the consultant). Congratulations to all of you! Your glasses are a hoot! And the builders jumper is quite amazing, too.
    Enjoying my visit here as usual. Cx

    1. Oh my goodness what hadn't the consultant seen in a long time? I'm intrigued!
      Do you know I hadn't even noticed he was wearing a cricket jumper!

    2. It was the abnormal constellation of the blood vessels in the umbilical cord. Nothing more exiting I am afraid :)

  4. I was a young mom, 21 when I had our one and only child. Back then they wouldn't let us gain weight while pregnant so I only gained 9 pounds, she only weighed 5 lbs.
    I cried when she went off to college, we were living in Turkey and she had to return to the States on her own to attend school.
    Your son sounds great! Congratulations to you and him.

    1. Oh college in another country, that would be so hard!

  5. Thanks for such a delightful post on your handsome son, That picture of the two of you holding him is beyond sweet!
    I got two snippets of advice from a woman I had just met and never saw again that helped with my first. (Her husband and mine were at a conference together and we had both tagged along.) Every time you breastfeed, you have saved yourself the trouble of preparing a bottle and heating it to the perfect temperature - especially nice in the middle of the night. And don't expect anything from your newborn for 6 weeks. At 6 weeks he'll start to smile, and that's the beginning of the fun. That second one my sisters should have told me.

    1. I would have really appreciated that advice all those years ago Beryl , we were clueless!

  6. Hope you had a wonderful time celebrating this is a lovely post and pictures to celebrate his 18th. I'm surprised that the experience of your labour didn't put you off having any more! Was your husband off to play cricket?
    Sarah x

    1. I hadn't noticed the cricket jumper Sarah, although he doesn't have many other clothes!

  7. Yep, I think we'd get on in real life too...

    Really... a cricket sweater ??? ...ha ha, my husband was wearing his sailing shirts !!!
    Someone once said I looked like Pat Phoenix... I don't know as never seen Corrie !

    Enjoy the celebrations xx

  8. Happy birthday to your biggest boy. He was a good size wasn't he, no wonder he didn't fly out on his own. He looks like such a happy smiley little chap. Wishing him much joy for the next part of the adventure.

    1. Thank you! He was a big ' un although not the biggest of the 3!

  9. Oh Jay....hilarious! Deidre Barlow! Hahaha!
    Happy Birthday to your handsome oldest will be 40 in April....YIKES!
    Enjoy your weekend....
    Linda :o)

  10. HI! Happy Birthday to your boy! well I know what you mean, we have been in our house 20 yrs and still have no flooring in the bathroom.....! and in answer, I will see about putting some of the band s music on the blog :) x

  11. Happy birthday to your son! Love his sweet face--and already becoming a man. You have every right to feel nostalgic and proud!

  12. Congratulations on this milestone, and happy birthday to your son! I hope all goes well with the transition to university.

  13. Lovely post - really enjoyed reading it. Bet those 18 years have gone by in a flash - it certainly feels as though the 14 years since my son was born have done!

  14. Happy belated birthday to your son. Daniel had a watch for his 18th too, as did I and as did his dad. Isn't it the done thing to have a watch on your 18th? How's the university hunt going? Has he had all his replies yet? Daniel's having a great time at uni, it's a fabulous experience for them.

    1. Hi Jo, yes he has 4 offers and the so he now has to decide on a favourite, probably Sheffield or Loughborough - I'm sure he'll have the time of his life! Glad to hear Daniel is having a great time.

  15. Sheffield was one of the five which Daniel applied to. My friend's son goes there and is really enjoying it.

  16. Gosh. Great post mum. He's lucky to have you and you him.... x

  17. Aw bless - made me feel emotional for my first born - now 21 years ago! Has he seen this? I wonder if he's embarrassed? I put a load of baby photos and first day at school photos on Facebook when my son turned 21 - he was unimpressed but his friends thought it was hysterical! Happy birthday to your boy x

    1. No he hasn't seen this, the blog is still a bit under their radar. I did put baby photos on Facebook too, there's a super one where he is holding a cabbage patch doll and they look identical! Another post maybe....?

  18. What a great post and a lovely tribute to your son! Happy Birthday ...

    My first was text book too ... then he decided to be 3 ... yes THREE ... weeks late ...

    Love Claire xxx

  19. Love everything about this post! "Our baby boy arrived at 5.30pm, in our usual unemotional selves (or was it exhaustion) the Builder and I looked at each other and said "at least he's not too ugly" T guys crack me up, your husband in his cricket whites and you look so fresh. I forgot to pack a nice t-shirt to take snaps in so I had an ugly black ACDC shirt and I looked hideous. Isn't it amazing how all your plans just fall away when it comes tot the actual birth. Harley was three weeks late too so had to be induced and pain! all the candles and whale music was chucked out the window. It took so long that at one stage kevin was eating a burger and fries behind me and reading and i was so angry he did that.

  20. What a lovely post! I am reminded a of the first 3 months with my eldest, who screamed constantly and didn't settle until we moved her from moses basket to cot, and started the solids nice and early. It sounds like you are so proud of him though. x

  21. Blogs are such blissfully warm time capsules, don't you think? They let you know where you were at one point in time, and see it wasn't all that bad. They let you see what made it all worth it. Hope the chronic back pain is now history as well, and you now know how to deal with it should it come back to haunt the family.

    Chiropractic Memphis

  22. Oh this is lovely - I got a bit teary reading it actually......

    Happy 18th to your boy! You've done an awesome job. And oh my gosh - that cricket jumper is hilarious!!!

    Mel xxx