Big day today, Andrew was a trooper.

The Speech therapist has put an initial diagnosis at the moment is a phonological delay, that is he has developed speech sounds at the same time as other children, but is going at a much slower rate than expected.

Andrew is doing something called ‘cluster reduction’ still, that is spoon becomes poon.  He is also doing ‘fronting’ where he replaces sounds made at the front of the mouth for those placed at the back, d becomes g and t becomes k, to name just 2.

She also noticed him speaking in whispers to me at times and commented this was due to his fear of getting it wrong…him thinking that if he speaks quieter he is less likely to get it wrong [heartbreaking].

She also witnessed him making up his own sign language….he was playing with a squeaky ball, that squeaked when you squeezed it,  he threw it and it went behind a filling cabinet, he could not get it, I asked him what he was looking for, and rather than saying ‘ball’, he simply made the same movement he had been doing with his hand to make the ball squeak….opening and closing his hand.

More assessments follow, including a visit from the occupational therapist for his eating issues. I have today noticed for the first time that when eating Andrew does not actually chew as we do, it’s not something I have been looking for before, but he is actually just crunching food in an up and down motion rather than a chewing action…..maybe the food and speech issues are linked?

The next step is a series of assessments of Andrew at playgroup or at home if they are not ‘working’ at playgroup, as he does not talk much there.

I have been told it maybe that the “delay”, becomes a “disorder”, and the speech therapist is keeping in the back of her mind “Dyspraxia”

I have searched the web and have found sites to say that both Dyspraxia and Apraxia[what I thought Andrew had] are the same, and others that say they are not.  I am a little lost here.

Hopefully it will remain just a delay, and the therapy when it happens will do wonders, I have to admit though I am concerned and a bit overwhelmed.


March 2nd 2010

So long since I’ve updated this blog, my time has just been enveloped by the family.

A quick update…Poppy is now 6 months and is just the most content baby, a lovely little girl.  She has just learnt to roll over, which delighted the other kids, they acted as though she’d won the Olympics, they were over the moon, and it great to see this side of them. 

Poppy after she rolled

  Poppy is teething, we can see 2 front teeth just under the gum line, bottom row, so this has made her a little unsettled. 

The other children are all doing well. Eldest has taken up boxing, this along with his keen interest in mountain bike racing regularly has me worried.  Yes, you can’t wrap them up in cotton wool, and I would not want too, but a more sedate hobby would be great.  Hes 14, and to be truthful I am happy for him, there are 1001 horrible things he could be into. 

Second eldest now has bearded dragons as pets, these have recently laid 12 eggs, we have lost one…it went mouldy[yuk] apparently this means it was infertile. The other 11 are doing well, and should hatch later this month/early next. 

Our other daughter is doing well, shes soon to take part in a public speaking competition against other school children from the region. 

Our 5 year old who started school in August is just thriving, he loves it and is a proper little school boy wandering around with his hands in his pockets. 

Our just 3 year old is making his first steps towards more independence and has started playgroup, this has only been a partial success as he still wants me to stay with him.  The first day he went in fine and waved me goodbye, however later in the morning I got a call saying they could not calm him down…the sort of tummy churning calls you hate, as I could hear him hysterical in the background.  The staff had no idea what had set him off, and were sorry they could not calm him down. 

Basically I’ve asked for a speech therapy referral for him, his speech is very unclear, he can understand everything you say, but his pronunciation and stringing words together is very ropy, and this I believe is behind the upset at playgroup.  So for the moment I stay with him, and so does Poppy.  This is ok, and he has made progress, but at times I do find it frustrating that it seems to have really knocked his confidence and has just made his difficult command of language standout. 

However, on a positive he is not clinging onto my leg anymore. 

One of my other children had glue-ear, and had speech issues, however, Andrew is not speaking in the same way as he did, and I am 99% sure he is understanding everything you say.  I don’t really know which way we are heading, I have done my best to search online, and have found something called verbal Apraxia, and Andrew does have similarities to this, but I am no expert. 

A few things tie in with this also in that children who have this can be very sensitive to food tastes and textures…Andrew is, he’s a strange eater…yes he loves cakes and we make a joke of it, and he loves fruit, but come to eating a normal meal, he just does not, he has never finished a full plate of food.  I do not make a fuss or any exceptions for him, I just do not have the time, if he does not eat whats in front of him, he waits until morning.  He will eat pizza, but only the crust, not the actual pizza.  He will sometimes eat carrots, not peas, nothing at all like roasts, sandwiches, mashed potatoes, baked beans, casseroles, occasionally part of a fish finger or a chicken dipper.  However last week he did quite well with some fettuccine.  At playgroup today he spread some butter on a cracker and ate it..so again a huge move for him. 

I suppose I am also concerned as when he was born…emergency c.section, he was 2 weeks early and only 5lb 40z.  I had been monitored for 2 weeks prior to his birth as the midwives were concerned about the lack of movement from him, and in a scan it was shown that the placenta was not functioning as weel as it should.  So he was born so tiny and with a short cord wrapped tightly around his neck…this fact is always at the back of my mind. 

He’s my little puzzler, hoping to get some answers at least on Monday when we see the speech therapist. 

He does not like his haircut either, tonight I had to trim it as the fringe and other bits were too long…you would have thought I had murdered him, what a fight.  now I feel rubbish, hes resembling a child from the ’70’s with a basin[ish] haircut.    

Everything has been going well, but at the moment I am really feeling the strain of 6 kids and keeping the house and everything going. 

Tomorrow is another day though, and the rascals will make me smile and no doubt Andrew will bring me a pretend bouquet of flowers, something he’s started doing lately.

Catch up

Not managed to keep up to date here for a while..so a quick catch up.

I went into hospital on the 17th August for pre-op checks and stayed in the night ready for the next day.

Those involved in the operation the next day all came to see me, and were great, put my mind at ease [a bit].  I would have the operation, but would be solo, iemy husband would be looking after the other kids at home, and while this was the most practical arrangement for us, it did make me slightly apprehensive that my husband would not be by my side.  The doctors/nurses/surgeon all joked that they would take very good care of me and we would have plenty to keep us busy.

I did not sleep very well that evening, a mixture of nerves/fear and the babies forceful kicks, the latter made me thankful that the baby would finally be out the next day and I would be free of all these uncomfortable movements.

I woke the next day around 6, looked at the little baby cot next to the bed, it had no blankets on, and I still felt remote, not quite believing still that in a few hours I would have a baby in my arms.

My husband phoned and wished me well, and then the nurse came in.

She went over the procedure, and then I had to shower with a special shower gel so I was pristine for the surgeon [lol].  I was then ‘clipped’ in the general area of the section, a bit surrealagain as we were just chatting about mundane things while this was being done.

I was to have the op about 9am, but it was delayed slightly as an emergency section was rushed in.

Later I was told it was time to go…my [community] midwife had told me to take my toiletrybag withme and hide my mobile phone in it, so I could call my hubby while I was in recovery…she said she would turn a blind eye.

I put on the gown, but as it just fastened with ties at the back, I was showing my bot to all the world, they told me to pop on a dressing gown…I did not have one, so they gave me another gown to put on backwards to cover my modesty.

We walked round to the operating room, and I could hear the nerves in my own voice as I chatted to the midwife.  We walked into a room next to the theatre, here I met all those who were to be involved in the op, all in their operating clothes, we then all, apart from the surgeon went through to the theatre.  Right in the middle was the operating table and next to it we loads of tool/equipment and liquids, in the corner I could see the baby area.

I had to sit on the bed and started to shiver, it was cold compared to the ward, and I was only wearing the gown.  I had the spinal administered and was helped to lay down.  I then started to shake…spinals always do that to me, but I was cold too.  They kept checking bp etc to make sure I was ok with all these shakes going on and asked me how I was feeling, my teeth chattering with my answer I replied ‘cold’!  They put over me what resembled a huge sheet of those little plastic bubbles that you can squeeze and they pop, the sort that are used to pad out parcels, they then flicked a switch and it heated up the sheet.  The feeling straight away was fantastic, so warm, like being cuddled and comforted, this alone with me being tired due to lack of sleep and the spinal, I can say in all honesty I could have dosed off on the table.

They checked I was properly numb and the op began, I did not want to know when they actually started as I was scared I would feel the knife, the assistant who was at my shoulders told me…’right, they have already started’   relief again.

Within 7 minutes I was being asked if I wanted the screen lowered so I could watch baby being born, I could not think straight, and did not want to see too much, so declined.  They asked if I knew what I was having and I said the scan had shown a girl, and I hoped it still was as I had bought pink.  Lots of jokes then went round the room, and then they said, ‘right, baby is about to be born’……

Next thing I heard was loads of LOUD screaming as baby was born, I nearly cried, the relief was overwhelming, it had been a long and hard pregnancy, and the relief that the baby was here at last was immense.

They brought baby round…she had not been washed or anything and said ‘right, well you best check that you have got your girl!’ and baby was laid next to me, so I could check….everyone confirmed yes she was a girl lol.

They asked if we had a name and I said ‘Poppy’  So Poppy was taken and checked and then when everyone was happy the next part of the op began…I was being sterilised, Poppy had been a huge surprise for us, and with [now] 6 children we did not wish for any more.

While this part was happening, the still screamingPoppy was brought and laid next to me….being held on the table by the assistant, and I was told to talk to Poppy, with everyone there, this did feel a bit embarrassing, if thats the right word, however as soon as I began to talk, she fell silent and stayed that way…..amazing!

I had asked for dissoluble stitches this time, but after the surgeon had begun these, he peered over the top of the screen and said they were not holding the wound closed so he would need to use staples……..who was I to argue, this was not an issue anymore, I was just so glad baby was safe.

After the op, I had to be transferred to a bed for recovery…now of course I was paralysed, so the theatre staff grouped round to transfer me from the table to the bed, then realised they would need help..this was hilarious as they went to find extra people.  They need so many to make the move easy, and so there is no chance of them dropping you because you are like a dead weight.

In recovery the midwife got me settles and quickly got my phone, Poppy had not been weighed yet, but she wanted me to phone my husband to let him know all was well…as I did the surgeon walked in, so it was a quick call and that was all I was allowed. 

The surgeon mentioned during the op he had ‘caught’ my bladder, and I would need to keep the catheter in for 48 hours as there was blood in my urine now…apparently its a common issue when a particular piece of equipment is used.

All went well in recovery, I was constantly checked, and so was Poppy, I got to feed her, then we were transferred to my room.

I had Poppy at an NHS hospital, but we are so lucky as its mainly single en suite rooms, they are fantastic.

All was going well, apart from immense pain I had had with the catheter, and in the end I was close to begging them to remove it, luckily, the blood in the urine had cleared so I got it removed earlier then thought.  Now there was some relief at having it removed, but not as much as I had thought, I wondered if the extra pain I was feeling this time was due to the sterilisation ?

On day 3 I questioned my midwife as I had lost no blood, with this news she was alarmed, and questioned if I’d had any at all, to which I replied no, she said she would need to go and speak to someone.

Again she came and checked that she had heard me correctly when I had said no blood at all…this now got me worried, and I knew they would need to ‘check me’,  just was terrified it would mean doing ‘something’  below my waist.

The midwife returned again and said a registrar needed to examine me…before she had even finished the sentence I found myself blurting out ‘HOW?’  My worse fears were confirmed they would need to do an internal, I just cried.  I hated them anyway, but still sore from the section and sterilisation and with staples  too it was just a terrifying thought.  The midwife calmed me down, gave me a hug, and said they needed to find out what was going on.  I went for a shower.

When I came out of the shower, my room had been turned into a mini theatre, there were extra portable lights, ‘tools’ gels the list went on.  They were just waiting for one extra thing to be brought from the theatre, so I sat perched on the end of a chair, lower half wrapped in just a towel, looking at the bed, all the equipment laid out and beautiful Poppy fast asleep….I could have cried, I felt so alone, I knew something needed to be done, but was so scared.

The registrar came in, again questioned if I’d had any blood loss, ‘no’ was my reply.  So she began, even before much had been done I was crying, so she stopped.  My midwife came in, got me to breathe effectively on the gas and air, while she held it, and talked to me.  This was a huge comfort, I could still feel pain, but nowhere near as much.

After I was told not to move at all, as the bed was covered in blood, and they needed to get help, so I lay there. 

Help came and I was helped off the bed and held while I stood up as I felt dizzy, my midwife told me to look at the bed, and explained everything that I was looking at on the bed was the reason why they could not have waited much longer and needed to to the procedure.  The bed was covered in blood, not just normal soaked blood, but puddles of it.

I did not know what to make of it all to be honest, but was so relieved it was done.  I apologised for crying and being a wimp, and was told I was exactlythe opposite, as they did not think I would have been able to go through with the procedure, and actually had theatre on standby and a G.A would have been used, but they wanted it sorted fast.  I was helped and stepped very gingerly into the shower.

Apparently the ‘plug’ that keeps baby safe had not come away, its very rare for this to happen and none of the midwives I spoke to then or have spoken to since had witnessed/heard of it.  They are using it as a learning ‘tool’.  Apparently that is also why the cathater hurt me so much as the blood was backing up behind it.

I was told if it had been left much longer I would have been intense pain, and the whole situation would have become incredibly serious.  I asked for no more information at that point.

Anyway, we came home earlier than I had planned as I was emotionally shattered, and just wanted to be home with everyone again.

Poppy is a fantastic baby, she was 6lbs 15oz when born, and yesterday (2 weeks old) was weighed at 7lb 6oz, so shes doing fantastic.  We have had one really late night with her where all she did was feed, but has now settled down again.

Poppy has been, right from the time I first saw her, a much more delicate child than the others, she has lovely long fingers and just looks dainty.  We will have to see if that is what her character will be like, or if the influences of the other rascals will have an effect.  Dainty, is just the perfect word to describe her.

The other children love her, especially her big sister…a friend in amongst all the boys.

My recovery is going well, much better than I could have ever hoped for, I just have one staple wound that is weeping a bit, fingers crossed that will ‘nit’ together soon.

I am overjoyed with Poppy, how the others have loved her from the start, how they came bounding into the hospital room and the smiles just beamed from their faces.

We are managing well, getting to school on time, all the normal things.  I should mention, the week Poppy was born our 4 year old started school for the first time and our 11 year old started high school too.  Huge steps.

First time Rosie met her little sister Poppy, just a few hours old.

First time Rosie met her little sister Poppy, just a few hours old.

Cal meeting Poppy for the first time

Cal meeting Poppy for the first time

Poppy 1 day old

Poppy 1 day old

Saturday 15th August

I woke up today feeling really well, tired, but well…great feeling for a change.  Our 2 year old was knocking at our bedroom door, which basically means its time to get up.  I did manage to delay him for around 30mins by telling him to go and play in his room with all the toys.

Whilst the youngest 2 were having breakfast I tried to sneak away for a quick shower, however Andrew [the 2 year old] followed.  Whilst I was showering he kept telling me I looked like ‘big mamma’,[ from the film], hopefully it was just because I was in the shower, not due to a size comparison with the actress.

The midwife has been round, and I told her I was feeling really well, she checked my bp and it has really fallen with the tablets, so thats a huge relief and explains why I’m feeling so much better, the baby is also not squirming quite so much, so fingers crossed its locked into a position it can’t wriggle out of and make me sore.  Babies heartrate was perfect on the doppler.

I’ve made homemade burgers for tea, and hubby has taken the kids for their haircuts, he’s now gone shoe shopping with our teenager and the other older kids, little 2 are napping.

I have already been questioned by my husband as to how long I am going to be in hospital for, and we are one day 1 of his time off for the baby.  I have today, and we are only in the afternoon, done 2 loads of washing, made the burgers and emptied and filled the dishwasher twice.  Cleaned the woodburning stove and lit it as it was a little cold here, and put clothes away in drawers.

I intend to stay in hospital and have a nice break for as long as I can, just to have a bit of breathing space and recover well.  The rooms are mostly ensuite single bedrooms, so its a huge luxury for me, just to have food cooked and brought to me, without the need to clean up afterwards. In reality, as the section is on tuesday, I would think I would be home at the weekend or Friday, if we can manage, as all the kids apart from Andrew will be at school, so the logistics will be easier….maybe surprise the kids too if they are thinking I’d be home on saturday.  We’ll see how the section, recovery and baby are, but I intend to rest!

Still apprehensive about the actual section, however this past week has really lowered my fear of it. 

Looking forward to getting that part over with and cuddling our little lady now.

Wonder what she looks like, and still can’t believe its happening.

mobile cot

P104051738 plus 1 day

P104051838 plus 1 day

P1040519outfit all ready for our return home.

Friday 14th August

So long since I have wrote anything, things have been a bit up and down really.

We had a lovely visit from my husbands parents, sister and her husband and their little boy, it was lovely and refreshing, but also tired me a bit.

We have had another trip to a&e, with what turned out to be an eye infection, so he was given antibiotics.

All has been going well with the pregnancy, until last Sunday.  I have been having really strong braxton hicks for a while now, but apart from that all has been well.  Last Sunday however I got the worse backache I have ever had, my husband was away competing on his mountain bike and I had the 5 children.  I was not really sure what was happening, except that I was close to tears with the pain, when my husband called up the kids were in the room, and I did not say anything to him or them, otherwise everyone would just have become so stressed.

However when he walked in the back door I was so relieved, I could not finish putting the kids to bed, so let him do that and I went and stood in the shower for an age with the hot water spraying hard on my lower back.

I tried to join the older ones to watch a bit of t.v, but could not manage it and went to bed.  While in bed contractions started, but as I had had braxtion hicks for a while I did not think they were any different.  I prayed my hubby would come and see me as I needed a hot water bottle for the pain….hubby did come, but so did our eldest, he gave me a nice hug, and which point I was silently sobbing and could not speak…they were not aware of this, and so I got no hot water bottle either.

An hour later I could take no more and as my hubby came to bed I was pacing around, he took one look at me and turned as white as a sheet, I explained what had been going on and that I needed him to time the tightenings.  So in his typical style he got the digital watch and pen and paper ready.  We sat there in bed me with my eyes closed and letting him know when I felt a tightening….him then asking if they were slight, medium or hard tightenings….now this I could cope with for a time, then snapped and said

‘for godsake just write the bloody time down’

He said he was not happy with how I was looking and wanted me to phone the hospital.  I did not want to call for fear of looking an idiot and scared of what they may say.  Anyway I did call, shaking at the same time as I was speaking to them, and was advised to go in.  So off we went.

At the hospital I was hooked up to a monitor, this measured the tightenings and babies heart rate, I was also hooked up to a bp machine and had one of those finger clips put on to measure my pulse.  This all freaked me out a bit as it was all a bit ‘real’

The midwife was concerned as my bp was sky high, and my pulse was racing fast, so she called for the registrar.  He arrived, asked what had happened, and said he would like to do an internal.  Now this is the stage at which I lost it, as with our 4th child I had had 2 very rough and rushed internals which caused me to pass out in pain, the memories of these came flooding back and I wept.

I think the registrar did not know how to react poor chap, and very matter of fact went on to explain that with 6th babies, labour does not follow any set pattern, and ‘thing’ can be happening without you being really aware of it.  The only part of this I can identify with is that for weeks I have been so bloody uncomfortable, much more so  than with any of the other kids.  He also reminded me that the reason I had to have the 3rd section was the danger of rupture[kick a lady whilst shes down why don’t ya].  I relented as along as I could puff on gas and air.

The internal was done, and everything was still closed, I have since learnt that that evening I was recorded as having proper strong contractions, but they were not ‘doing’ anything as such…if my cervix had started to open, they would have done the section that evening.

I was given bp tablets and had blood taken, then when my bp was recorded as lower an hour later, I was admitted to the ward.

I got out the next day, with the instructions that a midwife would visit every other day.

I had a checkup  scheduled the next day anyway, and actually felt well, so was looking forward to a quick appointment.

This was not to be as the midwife took my bp and then just stared at me, you just get such a sinking feeling at times like that.  She said it was high, and I simply said I was calm and relaxed.  A phonecall by her to the hospital followed.  She spoke to the registrar as it happened, the same one who had examined me, and who remembered me [ummm]

I was prescribed bp tablets and told to take one immediately, and that from now on my midwife would visit everyday.

Its now a few days later, and after having headaches with starting the tablets, these have now gone and I think I’m ok.  Daily bp checks have been going well, but I am snappy and a bit tearful, also still in pain when the baby moves in certain ways, I’ve been told that baby is likely back to back…which explains a lot.  Yesterday after the midwife checked the urine sample she asked me if Id had a ‘show’, which I said no to, however after she left I am not sure if I had had or if it was simply the lubricant that the registrar had used to examine me….apparently ‘shows’ don’t always have to be tinged with blood.

So today, I’m waiting for my checkup, see what that brings, however I’m hoping everyday now they will find something that will mean I will have the section sooner, just because I am achey, sore, tired, uncomfortable and ratty……..need I say more, bet the kids will be happy to be back at school next week.

I’ve got 99% of their school things ready, just haircuts and one pair of shoes to get, but my husband can organise that, I really don’t feel happy going far now.

Today I have fought with the bouncy chair…that is fought to build it, but its done now, a nice blue one that was on sale, and have the moses basket organised, along with a stock pile of nappies and wipes. I made some bedding for the baby, some brushed cotton sheets and some lovely fleecy ones, and have put the mobile on the cot.

We just need the occupant now!

Wondering what she will look like, how big she will be, if she will have much hair, and if she is still a she actually, or if the scanner lady got it wrong.


Most of all I am looking forward to getting the section done with, and although I will be uncomfortable afterwards, it will be nothing compared to how uncomfy I am now.

Will try and add some pics of babies things.

July 25th

Went to a magicians party with 3 of the kids…sheer torture and it lasted 2 hours.  Amongst the ‘tricks’ the guy did was to pretend to kill a stuffed animal??????

Have managed to get 4 chairs for our relations visiting tomorrow, also cleaned cooker, made new curtains for the living room, put most of the clothes away, and cleaned the 2 bathrooms, even bought some plants and potted them in new pots.

Should add this is not just for the relations, but so I know the house has had a good sort out, and I can relax in the next few weeks.  It feels fantastic to have a more ordered house.

Tonight the inside of the fridges and the dreaded microwave interior is on the agenda.  Also need to put out toys which can be played with and will keep little children happy, but will not the deathtraps if left on the floor.