Monday, 26 July 2010

Sunday, 30 May 2010

New challenges ahead

Been a bit under the weather last couple of weeks and find myself in bed today and y'day after having struggled through things for a while. Anyway, is nothing major but just makes the practicalities of family life more difficult.

Amelie is coming on a treat, clapping, shouting, eating lots, playing and learning every day. It is both a joy and a privilege to watch. She's refusing to crawl but is starting to stand hence the beginning of new, more independent horizons. I am waiting for it but don't think I can fully prepare myself until we're in the thick of it. Obviously there are things to do in preparation, like the safety at home stuff but managing it myself on a physical level and feeling capable in my management once she's properly on the move are things I'm hoping I will master,probably
proceeding a greater period of trial and error than most!

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Overcoming obstacles

I have decided I need to start taking playing with Amelie a bit more seriously. When I say seriously, I don't mean strict ahendas and lesson plans are to be implemented but more that physical play between a mother and child becomes a little less conventional when one of you can't get down on the floor. We have put a booster seat on a chair by the dining room table so today for the first time, I used that with her so we could play together just us two. It worked well apart from she's at the learning-about-gravity stage, hence everything she touches falls on the floor where I can't go which means I have to involve a 3rd party for retrieval. Am aware that some days this will infuriate me greatly but it is already teaching me that the best way to the journey towards achieving what you want out of life is to keep calm. Surely this can only be a good thing?

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Bit more progress

I do like it when people make progress. It uplifts the spirit somewhat. As per last posting, I am trying to manage my reluctancy to look awkward when doing things with my child in public, so I can actively participate in all areas of her life. This includes feeding solids from a wheelchair to any highchair the respective visited venue deems fit for service. I fed her her dinner in a restaurant for the first time, swallowed my self awareness and got on with the feeding, only to find that we both really seemed to enjoy it and much fun was had by all involved. I've always had instances of feeling awkward since I became disabled, getting out of a car, having to have my food cut up in restaurants etc increase self awareness in a negative manner. I am now learning from my child that if I want to be hands on with her, I have to swallow my pride and dignity and just get on with it and be as hands on as possible as actually it's the best way forward for all concerned!

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Out and about

Being out and about with Amelie is 2 things: 1. Hard work 2. A lot of fun
The getting out of the house routine seems, in general, to be easier, as we've got more organised, more adeft at coping with everything and we are doing it all the time. It took quite a lot of time to get there, but I feel mainly this part of things is sorted and it's less stressful, so that's great. The bit I feel we have to concentrate on now is me being confident with her when we are out and me finding ways to manage her better so I don't feel that I'm relinquishing some of my responsibility, allowing respective able bod to play a bigger part than I'd like as it's easier. It's much more difficult when we're out and about as equipment such as highchairs etc make it difficult to get a chair round because they are too low or too bulky or whatever, when we are invited to peoples houses, she gets put on the floor where I can't go etc. I feel that this in turn makes me look like I'm not actively participating in my daughter's development and like I'm not really all that bothered and am not in control. I am very aware that people might think that but more importantly that Amelie might start thinking that Mummy is more interested in having a nice time when she's out and that someone else can look after her needs. I guess I just need to be more patient with myself and persevere more even if I am very aware of how awkward it all looks to other people. I just have to get over that and know what is most important as we develop and grow together as a family.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Weekend away

We've been away in Somerset since Friday night. So far, so good. Have done the rounds and seen friends and family and it's been really nice. I just wish I had more energy so I could get up at 8, push myself around all day, look after my baby, travel to and from people for social stuff, hold it all together and still be able to spend more time with my husband instead of having to go to bed and straight to sleep because I'm knackered. Mostly I find it easier being at home with
Amelie at the moment than travelling away with her for a few days or more. I hope
I won't feel like this once we've had a bit more practice. The thing is, at home, i'm the boss. I know what needs doing and when. Granted, I have help
but ultimately, as 2 women, one of whom works for the other, things get done the way I need them and we both know it works well. When I'm away, I'm with my husband who I dearly love and respect but he has a different way of doing things and even after my days of list writing and organising pre trip, once we've been away 1 night things have been moved and I can't just tell him that I need X which is in the corner of such and
such a bag. That stresses me out as I really think it's easier
even for most able bods to know where stuff is so they don't waste time and get stressed looking for stuff, never mind when you throw a spinal injury and a 10 month old baby into the equation! More practice definitely needed, just hope that myself and AMP (Alpha Male Parent) can work this out. And no, that doesn't just equate to him saying 'yes dear'!

Saturday, 17 April 2010


Is hard going at the moment. We're both really tired and I feel like my tiredness is just going to go from bad to worse. We don't even seem able to manage to plan a night out, let alone sort out the 2 week holiday we were meant to be sorting out for end of June. We have also discovered that Amelie has a temper and is starting with proper tantrums already hence spending some of last night reading up on various behavioural strategies. Sometimes, like currently, I wonder whether I'm going to be any good at this or whether sheer exhaustion and frustration is going to get the better of me and I'll end up in floods of tears on Supernanny with a screaming, uncontrollable toddler. MY screaming uncontrollable toddler. Then I'll just want to shoot myself. Need to find more energy from somewhere. Quick.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Writer's block

Was doing so well with blog then seem to have developed writers block hence current lack of postings. Am hoping inspiration will soon return, once again enabling me to report back in such a witty manner!

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Life with baby

Husband and I constantly fighting, intimacy is a dark and distant memory. Both exhausted in different ways. Am super stunning at min with huge great cold sore and massive spot under nose. Joy. 9pm is late to bed for me at min. What kind of a life is that??

Saturday, 20 March 2010


Amelie and I are poorly
sick. Bloody awful tummy bug, sickness and diarrhoea. Not nice. She was sick all day y'day and today. Think she's on the up. I haven't been sick but horrible tummy.

We've done really well, it's the first time we've had to take her to see a doc. Not bad for 9 months. Is horrible watching your little honey be so sick and miserable when all you can do is watch, comfort them and follow doctors advice. Is all part and parcel of life tho.

Thursday, 18 March 2010


Just needed to post that I passed out a couple of nights ago and am completely and utterly exhausted. Feels like I really have nothing to give at the moment yet I must still give to my husband, daughter, parents, friends. I hope it will stop soon. It just hit me like a bullet from nowhere. I have to have bloods done by my GP. I hope it's nothing bad. I don't have the energy to worry right now. Please God, let me get better soon so I can function again, as a wife and a mother.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Impatience and solutions

Ok, remap look very cool and will hopefully bear some fruit but yesterday I was having a look at the Disabled Parents Network equipment list and ended up finding something called a comfort carrier which is basically a papousse for babies from 3 months up to 2 years. Check it out here The nearest stockist to us is JoJoMamanBebe in Hale who have ordered one in for me which should be in at the end of next week. I had to pay for it upfront and at £130 it's not cheap but I explained my situation and they said I could try it and if it's not right they'll refund me straight away. Let's just hope Amelie's not sick in it when we try it out! Maybe I should create a new career in reviewing disability aimed independence products with a heavy slant on parenting and cooking aids.

I know as Amelie gets bigger she'll be moving around more and more and probably want to be strapped in less and less but I figure we can use it as an alternative to a pushchair when we need it. Trial and error is an expensive business, especially as a disabled person buying products to help increase independence but I figure as long as it's not extortionate it's worth buying in the vein hope that it really will help in just the way I need. Am hoping my optimism will pay off in spades :-)

Friday, 12 March 2010

Friday feeling

Looking forward to the end of the day so we can spend some time with Scruff. Been a successful week but will be nice to have him home for a couple of days. Drive still being done, nice workers have said they can make me a makeshift ramp if needs be. We can just about manage to get in and out without it for the weekend.

Mother's day on Sunday. Is a very special first for me. Becoming a mother makes you realise that it is important for a lot of people that these things don't just go by unnoticed, even if Scruff does think such events were invented by Hallmark to boost sales between two more significant dates in the calendar, such as Valentine's day and Easter.

Have also written to a charity called Remap who are a bunch of very clever engineers who design one off equipment for disabled people, the type of stuff not to be found on the market. I've put in a request for them to make me something that fits to my chair that I can use to take Amelie out in and that is more comfortable than a sling. Let's see if they get back to me. Fingers crossed.

Thursday, 11 March 2010


Ok, bit stumped now. The sling worked really well with the electric chair but am not needing to use it so much anymore as I can now drive from my manual chair etc. So for the most part I am much preferring using my manual chair. But, as in everything in life, it has it's downsides. The sling catches on the wheels and because I'm not just pushing a little joystick to zoom around the place and am actually physically exerting myself, Amelie feels heavier in the sling hence it becoming an unsustainable option for more than a couple of hours at a time. So, back to the non pushable pushchair it is for us. Am trying to think of more satisfactory options for the future as I would prefer to have her with me when we're out and about, naturally, as her mother.

Other current focus is our drive is being resurfaced. Normally that wouldn't cause all that much disruption but they have had to take my ramp away until Sunday which allows me access from the house to the outside world to let the concrete set. Joy. Never a dull moment when living with paralysis.

Monday, 8 March 2010


Went out to see a friend today with my gorgeous girlie on my own for the very first time. Driving to go and meet her with amelie in the van made me smile and grin lots. Was the bestest feeling ever. Know I won't be able to do it all the time but as much as we can would be totally fab. Thankyou so much hugsband for playing such a pinnacle role in all this. Love you heaps and heaps.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Big news today....actually got in van and drove with Amelie in van, just me and her, for the very first time ever. I was far more nervous on the run up to the whole thing than when I actually did it, but then one almost always has more time to think on the lead up to important events than during the event itself. Did feel very freeing though and is definitely a great confidence builder, the hardest thing was just having the balls to do it in the first place. Now all I need to do is just keep calm and hold it together.

Saturday, 6 March 2010


At the moment I need all the sleep I can get. Being a mother is strange at times. You spend a lot of time in the very early days wishing your child would have proper periods of sleep lasting 4-5 hours at night and more. We don't have a clock in our bedroom so when I wake up in the middle of the night, I never know what time it is. Last night I woke up and couldn't go back to sleep for ages because amelie was so quiet and I got really
anxious and worried as I couldn't hear her. I had to wake
Scruff up because I was so worried but he just went straight back to sleep (I can't blame him, it's not like he hasn't waited long enough for her to start sleeping better!) It's the little things like that that remind me what a pain it is being paralyzed. Most mums would just be able to get out of bed and peek round the door, consider their neurosis and then just come back to bed and drift off. Must remind husband to bring baby monitor up tonight so I can see her on camera if I need to be reassured.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Quite a busy day today, well, last couple of days actually. Getting things sorted in the independence department. Fingers crossed, I will be totally fine to drive my van from my manual chair as from tomorrow which is great as I won't need anyone to help me transfer into my electric chair when I go out. Does mean am going to have to be more organised and take a spare battery with me when I go out as although my chair is manual, it uses assistive technology which helps me push. Must get out and about pushing all over the place to get my stamina up and try to stay ahead of Madam once she starts walking. Scary biscuits. So van main thing on agenda this week. Next week work should hopefully start on our drive so they can redo it and flatten it so I'll be able to get onto my tailift and into my van without any help. So by end of month, if all goes according to plan, I should be able to use the same chair all the time, let myself in and out of the house, get into my van and go out totally unaided, just like most 35 year olds do most days without thinking. Question is, whatever next...........?

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Great inventions

Used the sling today properly out and about with Little Miss for the first time and it worked a treat. Went to quiet park to try it out as didn't want people staring but now have my confidence with it and am raring to go! Maybe I can start concentrating on being a better wife now for a bit! Wifedom and motherhood are both relatively new and demanding roles for me and I recognise the opportunity for growth and improvement in both areas.

Was s beautiful day today and I enjoyed breathing in some good, fresh air with my little girl. Let's hope there are many more good, sunny days to come. Roll on summer!

Sunday, 28 February 2010

Park life

Pushed Amelie today on her very first swing! Proud
moment for me seeing her enjoy
it and being able to push her!
Just a shame we can't be put for long as it's so bloody freezing! Me thinks the term should actually be global
colding. Any thoughts?

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Getting sorted

Good things about front door has now been sorted out so it opens automatically. Hurrah. First time in years I can get in and out my front door totally independently and I can let visitors in and out. Also good is that we have discovered that although not absolutely brilliantly, I can actually use the sling with Amelie so she can sit almost on my knee and I can cart her about like that so she can be with me instead of having someone else push a pushchair with my baby in it that I can't use. Also the engineers phoned about my van to tell us they can build me a clamping system next week which means as soon as they've done it, I can use my manual chair to drive from and my electric chair will be no longer vital to my life. Another thing is that the playpen I'd ordered from e-bay came today and although not brilliantly assembled yet, she seems really happy to be in it and it will work well with height and playing/interaction. So we are really getting there with independence/freedom aspect. Fab. So then at a time when independence is being achieved in leaps and bounds, do I have to feel bored?

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

HOW much stuff?

Today was the first day I went out driving in the van, baby in tow, with no papousse but a baby seat, a pushchair, a person to help us plus myself in an electric chair. In order to turn even thinking about leaving the house into a relatively calm and stress free exercise, I had to try and come up with a way of getting in and out as efficiently as possible. seat first goes in van, gets strapped in etc, then pushchair gets taken out of cupboard and assembled but out of way of my access to front door so as I can go and open up van when everyone is finally ready to leave house, then I go to loo, then remind person helping to go to loo, then when all shoes etc on, check changing bag is firmly on back of chair and my handbag is stapped across my front with bottle, milk powder container, bib, baby wipes and purse so that any rummaging for bottles etc in changing bag strapped to the back of my chair is kept to a minimum if baby starts to get distressed and needs bottle quickly, then ask person helping to put baby's coat on, then check baby wearing dummy holder with dummy attached so she can't lose it and people have to start rummaging around on the floor to look for it, then pick up disabled badges on way out and check that person locking up has house keys. Then go out and open van and get into vehicle before shouting to person in house that tailift now ready to transport baby in pushchair and person with pushchair up into van, after you've reminded them to lock your front door and before taking baby out of pushchair and putting into car seat and then reminding person helping to put break on pushchair so it doesn't run into the back of me in the event of an accident, then close up tailift and take off bag strapped across me so I can get to steering wheel. Phew. Am exhausted already. Hopefully will all become second nature very soon.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Learning from others

Was talking to my friend on skype the other day. She's German and has been following my blog. We were talking about playing and the fact that I've been using the sofa so I can play with Amelie where I can reach her as I can't get down to her level on the floor. She told me they have these things in Germany called a Laufstall and that they are really common. Basically it's just a raised playpen that sits quite high off the floor so babies are safe and can play in it but still feel a big part of what's going on around them as they're at the right height to join in with their surrounding activity. I found one on eBay and bought it. Things like this can unfortunately sometimes result in a somewhat unsuccessful and expensive experiment but the thing is, you don't know till you try. So we'll see.

Still waiting on more progress with the sling, am really hoping I can use it. Is always good to know things are possible if you're prepared to hunt things down.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

First highchair

Gosh, my little girl now has her own highchair and she's been sitting there this evening waving from it!

Was worried it wouldn't be right height for me or the tray at the front for her food etc would get in the way of me feeding her but it's fine. I kind of just have to sit at the side of her and reach over and feed her that way but it works fine.

Also, another interesting piece, a friend of mine told me today that in Germany they have these playpens that are raised up high so the child can play whilst being at an adult's seated height. How cool is that? Would be fab for us. Must look into availability here.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Slings and things

Fished out the aforementioned sling today. Seem to have mislaid instructions though so yet to see if it's.a hit or not.

Also discovered today that with.a few engineered adjustments, I will be able to drive my van from my electric chair hence completely revolutionising my whole life. Am awaiting next step with baited breath. Things seem to be coming together so well at the moment. Not sure whether to be sceptical or to just lap it up.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Coming through!

Life has been quite productive the last few days. Just when I felt things were coming to a bit of a grinding halt, they seem to have turned around and in the last few days we have taken the plunge to get an automatic front door opener so I can get in and out the house without anyone having to open and shut the door for me, some work done on the drive, a new kitchen counter put up in our kitchen, my hair cut short and discovered new playgroups locally. Hurrah!

On the down side, I'm already getting fed up of the pushchair and being such a wide load everywhere we go makes me think we should always be accompanied by a police escort. I prefer to use the manual chair as I feel like I'm cheating really if I just whizz off in my electric. Maybe I should just stop giving myself such a hard time. Ian reminded me I bought a sling way back that I thought would be useful once she gets too big for the papousse. Am meant to be able to use it until she's 18 months. Hmmm. Am sceptical but will give it a go. Promise to report back one way or the other.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

New adventures

Went to a new rhythm time class today. Well, when I say new, I mean new to us. It was good. I sound impressed, I know, but I thought it was going to be a bit rubbish as when we turned up there was only a handful of people there but very soon after that it was jam packed. Best things about it were Amelie loved it, there were loads of little ones there and the people in general just seemed really nice, plus, big bonus, it's only about 20 minutes push away. I also found out there's another playgroup there I didn't know about so things going on in the area. Maybe it's the start of some new doors opening I didn't know about and I really think now Amelie is at the age where the more stuff we take her to, the more she'll benefit so bring it on!

Monday, 15 February 2010

Haven't written mainly as baby currently insomniac hence my severe lack of ability to string a coherent sentence together. I'm suffering and I'm not the one getting up to her in the night. I joke and tell people that I may as well milk the advantages of being paralyzed as not getting up in the night and pretty excellent free parking is as good as it gets but sometimes when i look at my husband's presently wisened face, I wonder whether it wouldn't just be easier to share duties.

Due to their lack of oral communication, sometimes it's pretty near impossible to work out what's wrong with the devils-babies not husbands, although...... Of course, the omnipresent list of baby issues immediately springs to mind in troubled times but even then after the process of elimination has proven unsuccessful and you have tried everything in the book and then some, you have to remind yourself that you're not a bad parent and that parents the world over encounter very similar problems and emotions all the time.

Let's hope tonight is less disturbed. Am hoping that the fact she seems to have eaten so well today will contribute to a good night's sleep for all. Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010


Sometimes overcoming problems in life is just about thinking outside the box. We all know this, yet sometimes we still fail to employ this manner of thinking when faced with a problem we have a mental block about.

Today I found a way to play properly with my little girl for the first time. Just me and her. It was soooo special and I think we both felt really happy. She was all smiles and laughter and really didn't need her dummy at all. And all I did was plonk her on the sofa on top of a cushion and I sat infront of her to one side and that was enough to be able to interact and play with her properly. For ages now when I saw her playing on the floor I'd just busy myself with other stuff and come and see her periodically as it was the only way I felt i could have some input yet still keep sane about feeling inadequate about another area of my baby'sife where I couldn't really meet her needs independent of the help of others. So what if her playing position is somewhat unconventional, it's much more important that we learn how to have as much fun as possible together as mummy and baby!

Monday, 8 February 2010


Mum went to Hong Kong today to see my sister who's working over there as a teacher. This meant Ian had to take her to the airport as we live close by and Amelie and I stayed at home on our own together for the first time and guess what....nothing went wrong...hurrah! One giant leap for mummy and baby! Can't wait to do it again just a question of confidence and is lovely to have her all to myself for a bit!

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Splish splosh

Getting a bit more to grips with the bathing thing now. Is good product but sides are higher than ideal so sitting in my chair bathing her on dining room table means I can't see to the bottom of the bath. But then I suppose it wasn't designed with tetraplegic motherhood in mind, surprise surprise! Maybe I should scout for wheelie friendly mummy stuff or perhaps get involved with designing products and bringing them to life. Although sadly I think demand may be rather too minimal. Or maybe a mouse click would be just the thing to surprise me into realising that there IS actually a much greater demand for all this stuff than I had pessimistically imagined. Hmmm. Food for thought.

The playing thing is hard work for me to get involved with too. I feel more like an onlooker than a participant. She's sitting up now and really starting to explore her environment which is fab but she plays mostly on the floor as it's the safest place. I get down there once in a blue moon when Scruff can lift me but I hate to ask because I HATE asking and I think it's really hard work for him. Sometimes we put her on a table but I get worried she'll fall and it means someone has to hold her just in case so it's not really the same. Will continue to rack brains in an endeavour to come up with some genius plan..........

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Out and about

Was sooo nice to get out in fresh air today. Dunham Massey was packed full of people with black labs and kids on scooters.

Opted for pram today instead of papousse. The latter getting a bit uncomfortable as she becomes increasingly more lardy. Bless. She currently has the legs of a mini sumo wrestler. Lets hope she grows out of them.

Am going to do some research into prams you can attach to the front of a wheelchair. That way I can push her round too. Really depends on amount required to be invested etc and if they've managed to come up with anything better than those supermarket trolley attachment things that the whole of the able bodied world think are such a brilliant creation until you try to turn a corner, wheelchair behind trolley thing and instead of turning inconspicuously down into the cheese section, you end up crashing headlong into the fish counter.

Will report back if anything worth writing up on.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Sore throat. Dry one this time. Think I've got what Ian's been ill with all week. Joy. Amelie ok, bit winey but then she has blocked up nose and is teething. She doesn't make much fuss of it though and is pretty agreeable regardless so I count my lucky stars for her seemingly good temperament. Long may it continue. Bit of a slow news day today so will close. Hopefully bit more to report tomorrow.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Yet another grey, miserable winter's day. Yuk. I really do struggle to find real incentive to leave the house when it looks so bleak and uninviting ouside. Especially when getting out the door with a baby, a PA, me, a wheelchair, a pushchair or papousse, a changing bag, a baby car seat and all the other necessary paraphanalia is what I have to contend with each time I leave the house. Yet upon my return home, I almost always feel it's been worth the mission it involves. At least then I've got Amelie out, had a push about, we've all had some fresh air and a change of scene and I just feel much more positive and like the whole thing isn't some insurmountable feit.

I bought a new bath for Amelie the other week. I bought an inflatable bath before she was born as I knew I wouldn't be able to bath her in our bath as I wouldn't be able to reach down that far. In the end we didn't use it much as she just used to sit on my knee with me in my shower chair and I'd shower her like that. She loved it and so did I but she just got too big and too wriggly and I was scared she'd fall. So I had to think of another plan, had a good scout around online and came up with this baby bath that is meant for travelling with and can be flattened down after use so also no space is wasted. Hurrah. Good product all round. Means I can bath her by putting the bath on our dining room table so I can reach and still get that closeness. She seemed to like it too. So far, so good.....................

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Yet more snow

Went to Stapeley water gardens today. Was spur of moment decision and good job as was snowing on approach and we wouldn't have gone had we still been at home. Mostly is inside anyway so was ok and Amelie got to see her first ever parrots, tortoises, reptiles and piraƱa in the tropical house which was fun although generally I think the lights were still more interesting than anything else.

Is always nice to get out and about with her. People always notice her and stop to say hello, for 2 reasons I think: 1. She smiles at almost everyone she meets and 2. She's normally strapped to the front of her wheelie Mummy in a papousse. I have to keep reminding myself that although we are used to
it, not everybody has seen it before!

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Personal Assistant not in today, she's come down with the germs which have inevitably been passed on to her by me, ian and Amelie but is a bit difficult to avoid such close contact in a job like hers. Scruff is thankfully between contracts at the moment so is here to help but he is also snotty and full of germs so we are not really much better off. Is also quite an in-your-face type reminder that I still need to sort out a cover person, like now.

Amelie also has bugs but seems to be holding up well and is mainly smiley still which is always a good sign. Am only taking her to 1 baby class/group a week at the minute as the place we used to go to for 'rhyme and sign' has been temporarily closed due to building work and so am looking for another free and interesting class which isn't in a rough and ready area but this, it seems, is a lot to ask.

Going out later to see a friend of mine and her little boy who is 5 months older than Amelie, hence 13 months to be precise. Be a chance for them to do that whole babies getting together sweet thing that they do aswell as just a chance to get out of the house and into another person's 4 walls for a change.

Nothing much more exciting to report, just a normal, run of the mill Tuesday really.

Monday, 1 February 2010

My heart was jumping for joy this afternoon as I was chopping mushrooms for a risotto for tomorrow lunch as I awaited the return of my little girl. I had such a lovely time just hanging out with my gorgeous husband but was itching to see Amelie by lunch time today. As I watched my parents car pull up infront of our house, all I wanted to do was run outside, take her out of her car seat, fling her up in the air and give her the hugest, bestest hug, the kind that only a Mum can give to her child. Scruff thinks I need to learn patience yet unfortunately my spontaneity is somewhat crushed as a result of my injury and things have to be done in a much more methodical and slow manner than I would intrinsically like. Sometimes I don't think he realises how much of the art of patience I have had to master just so as not to have driven myself completely insane by now.

Anyway, she is back home and I think I love her more now than when she went away.

Sunday, 31 January 2010

Having Amelieless weekend. 2nd since she was born. Is lovely but I miss her lots and is sooooo quiet without her. Keep
wanting to phone Mum & Dad but am disciplining myself.

Federer wins against Murray at the Aussie Open. Quelle surprise. We are doomed never to win against the Big Boys yet we watch forever in anticipation.

More snow here today but we are determined to go out and enjoy being temporarily child free to the fullest. Thanks Mum & Dad. Love you!

Friday, 29 January 2010

Been really tired today. Up all day for the first time in a week dealing with a demanding baby girl. She's very spirited but some days you just don't feel like you've got enough energy to feel like crap AND deal with a baby. Even when they are your own.

Anyway, I can't believe she's nearly 8 months old. The time is going so fast. Sometimes I feel guilty because I think about my future and my need to work and get out there for my sake yet I know each time I dwell on that, I miss a little bit of the first year of her life. I read somewhere that it is now strongly advised that new mothers really ought to dedicate spending the first year of life with their baby as it significantly
strengthens bonding. I do recognise that sentiment and think I will regret it if I don't. However I also feel like I have never felt so grounded and contented with my personal life that I can finally afford to lend my working life some genuine attention and energy, something I have been desperate but never really in a position to do since I was injured in 1998. We will see what life unveils. The most important thing is that i am the best mother I can be. How I go about achieving that yet remains
to be seen.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Ian has interview for new contract tomorrow, fingers crossed. He's still working 1 day a week for MAC but 1 day a week doesn't pay the mortgage, even at contractor rates. Anyway, simultaneously I have just discovered that my PA/Amelie's physical help has 4 weeks holiday outstanding which need to be taken by end of March and I currently have no cover back up plan. I am putting this down to a few things: 1. Constantly being waylaid by a 7 month old baby; 2. Trying to avoid going through the whole rigmaroll of employing someone new to help as a cover person and trying to convey the ins and outs of spinal injury, disabled parenting without them thinking I'm some freak on wheels and them realising that, actually, is not as way out as people may perceive; 3. Actually not wanting to go through the whole palava only to finally establish that I really don't like them and they are a freak (just without the wheels!) 4. Not wanting to open my family up to vulnerability, knowing it takes a while to get to know someone and that the majority of references don't mean much when you are letting them in to your home, your marriage, your personal and your brand new gorgeous baby girl's life.

I just have to get on and sort it out though and ignore all those significant feelings of uncertainty. Never mind building bloody robots to help people do things, why don't these clever people just try cutting out the middle man/robot and concentrate on helping the people THEMSELVES? Amazing what's staring you in the face when you just take a step back and have a look.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

There's a case going on at the moment in the States where a tetraplegic mother is splitting up with her partner and he is filing for custody of their kids because he is claiming she is an unfit mother due to her disability. I told my Mum about the case and her response was 'you're ok, you're married'. Thanks. Not I believe you ARE fit to be a mother. Anyway, is sensitive issue. Channel 5 asked me to appear in their newsclip, showing disabled mothers can be just as good as any other mother but I only got asked on Friday and they filmed Mon. Good job I backed out anyway as I have a stinking, horrible cough and cold.

I do have mixed emotions about being a disabled Mum. I am sooooo happy to be Amelie's Mum. She is soooo sweet and funny and beautiful and I am so proud of her and I love her with all my heart. But I have to hire people to help me with the physical things because I can't put her down or change her nappy or change her position when I'm holding her and she's squirming. Do these things make me an unfit mother?

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Hurrah.......out the house twice in one weekend and don't just mean poking head out into back garden or going round block but proper fully fledged out and about ness. Hope tis the end of the snow. Took our daughter to her 1st art exhibition......we listened hard when they said 'start 'em young'. Turns out she was more interested in the lights than the paintings but hey ho, was therapeutic recapturing some of our former, childless activity.

Had another argument with Scruff about my thoughts on his Alpha parental role and the fact that I sometimes feel like he goes about things as if he were a single parent although he pointed out that I spend more time with her; feed her more often than not; choose what she wears; help her bath; carry her round in papousse when we're out and about. He, on the other hand, decides how many layers she has on when she goes out; to wash her dummy and then give the same one back to her after she's dropped it on the floor; he changes her nappy; he gets her dressed at the weekend. I know I really need to stop and concentrate on the things I can and do do for her and be grateful I have such a loving and understanding partner but that's really tough sometimes especially when I've got all the new motherly instincts/hormonal imbalances still to deal with. He doesn't really get that though, he's a man. A lovely one at that but something deep inside me nags away constantly saying all that, that's your job, you know that, why aren't you fighting harder?

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Seems Amelie has enough balance now that she can sit on my knee and I can hold her with one arm and push my chair with the other. Just practising really. Is nice to have that closeness and feel a bit more secure and confident that she has enough stability not to go flying straight off. Sometimes I get a bit envious when I see other people pick her up and kind of get all comfy with her like they've been there from day 1. After all, what mother wants to have her daughter passed to her because she can't pick her up herself? Anyway. Enough of that. Still haven't been out :-( Our road still slushy/icy and not good.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Been snowing more this morning. Bit dandruff like though so hopefully no threat of sticking. Good to know am not alone in being stuck in. Heard on radio that 800 schools in Wales have been closed again and a friend who lives locally and has 2 young children told me this morning that she went to all the effort of bundling her 2 up all warm just so she could go out, only to discover that 5 minutes after leaving the house her 2 year old was in floods of tears because he was freezing. Bless. Really hope we can get out by the weekend. At least we don't live in Haiti, hundreds of people have been killed there in the last 24 hours because of a massive earthquake. Extreme weather around the world!

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Knackered at minute. Partly boredom of being snowed in with 7 month old teething baby also in throes of separation anxiety. Would take her out but snow and wheels not good combination, just keep spinning. Snow plus wheels=no go, snow + wheels+ baby=definite no go. So stuck in it is then. At least am up and about now, not like during pregnancy. She is lovely, but being able to go out with her presents a whole range of choices that just aren't there when faced with this kind of weather. Maybe they should start making snow chains for wheelchair tyres more available in this country??