Is anyone listening

Photo Credit @_beforeandagain

I’m not sure how to even begin using this Blog again. I’ve been on a bit of a journey with my writing in the past few years. I began writing on here in 2015, 5 days after we officially found out that Zachary was Autistic. I continued to write on here on a semi regular basis and after a year I decided to try my hand at having a ‘proper’ blog. I began paying for a site and I really enjoyed writing on it. Although I will admit, I got caught up in the numbers game. Which I wasn’t very good at.

It has been a year or so since I stopped writing on that blog as I couldn’t afford to keep it running. During that time a lot has happened and I honestly can say I didn’t have the time or motivation to write. Fast forward to today and I am ready to write again. I plan to go through and edit some of the older posts on here, but I will not be deleting any as I really enjoy looking back at the memories I managed to capture.

The main purpose of this blog is to get the thoughts out of my head and onto paper so to speak. I am planning to write about more than just parenting. I want to talk about Money, Consumerism, Racism and Mental Health amongst many other things. If my writing can help anyone feel less alone then that will be more than I could hope for. If any thing else comes from this then that is a bonus. I hope that you will follow along and join me as I begin to write again.

Cherie ❤️

Birth Announcement and Story 💕

[Today Ezra is 8 weeks old. I am honestly not sure where the time has gone, but I thought it was time I wrote up his birth story, I hope you enjoy…]

On Monday the 20th of June 2016 at 12:36pm a teeny little fellow weighing in at 7lb 11oz entered the world. He was already more loved than he knew and had bought more happiness and healing than he would have thought possible.

His name is.

Ezra Jay Fox Lewis-Quinn

He is this guy 💕

This is his Birth Story…

I had been having mild irregular contractions for a week, but Everytime they started to follow a pattern they would fizzle out. Sunday [19.06.2016] was Father’s Day. I said to Sean it would either be his last Father’s Day as a father of three or his first Father’s Day as a father of four.I woke up at 5am, with mild Braxton hicks and a dull period like ache.

It was starting in my back and wrapping round into my stomach. I took some Paracetomol and it continued. This made me very excited. I was having them between every 5-10 minutes.As the morning went on, they got further apart and by the afternoon had stopped completely. We went on to have a lovely Father’s day with Sean and my Father in law and we also got to say ‘Happy Birthday’ to Natalie.

When we got home I was absolutely shattered and jokingly said to my husband that I was far too tired to go into labour that night. Whilst putting my then youngest son Darwin (almost three year old) I said I was going to bed too. I took my raspberry leaf tea capsules and inserted my 3 evening primrose oil capsules as per my nightly routine.

For the past three nights I had been listening to a Hypnobirthing CD and reading positive birth affirmations both kindly sent to me by my best friend Rida, who had less than 2 weeks prior birthed her 2nd daughter. The previous three nights Darwin had also nursed himself to sleep, tonight he again asked for “Boo Boo” and I said “yes”.

[A selection of some of my favourite positive birth affirmations]

This time when he nursed something was different, whilst he was feeding I began to get quite moderately strong contractions, I started timing them, they were every two minutes and lasting 40 seconds. I started to get excited. However, I kept telling myself these weren’t ‘real’ contractions and were only caused by the nipple stimulation of Darwin nursing.

I felt something in my lower abdomen which felt like 3 popping bubbles. I wondered if maybe my waters had broken as I had heard people describe that feeling previously. nothing happened and so I thought I was wrong. When I stood up I felt a small trickle of warm liquid, but I thought maybe I was just peeing myself.

My Mum called me and I told her not to get too excited but I thought my waters were trying to break. I checked my pad and there was definitely liquid and it was a reddy brown colour. I told Sean I thought my waters were leaking and he and my Mum told me to go to hospital. I called the hospital to let them know what was happening and they advised I come in, but there was no need to rush.

Due to it being the evening, we decided I would get a taxi and Sean would stay with the children so he could do the school runs in the morning if I was still in labour. By the time my taxi arrived I was almost certain it was my waters leaking and I took a towel to sit on, just in case.

When I got to hospital after a little bit of a wait it was confirmed my waters had indeed broken. EEEEK. I was told due to my previous deliveries [two emergency c sections and one natural] and my poor health during the pregnancy, I had received 2 blood transfusions and two iron transfusions. I was going to stay in hospital even though I wasn’t dilated. At this point it was just after 11pm and this is where I start to lose track with timimgs.

My sister in law [Lauren] came to the hospital straight from work, I was starting to get contractions, they were around every 5-10 minutes and weren’t very strong. I was moved from the assessment room and into a delivery room. I was put on a monitor and as the contractions ramped up quite quickly and baby’s heartbeat kept dipping I was given fluid through an inter-venous drip. I ended up having 2.5 bags, I was quite dehydrated and each time they gave me fluids the baby’s heart rate settled.

By 2am in the morning the contractions had got closer together and were a lot stronger. The midwife suggested I get in the bath, it was beautiful. Lauren was timing my contractions through the door, going of my moaning, I thought this was very sweet of her. The contractions were now coming every two minutes, but the strange thing was I had an immense amount of pain in the bottom of my bump, but the top of my bump was not going hard at all. very strange.

the contractions continued and I asked if I could have some pain relief, I had already had paracetamol and wanted some pethedine as I wanted to try and sleep. I had been checked and was only 1cm. I couldn’t have the pethedine as the baby’s heartbeat was still dipping at this point. my contractions were at this point getting unbearable.

Lauren had arranged to go back to my house so she would be there to have the children should Sean need to leave at any point and my Mum was on here way. By this point I needed my Mum. Lauren waited for my Mum to arrive and then left. I cried when I saw my Mum. I couldn’t understand why I was in so much pain. I’d had three children previously, one with natural onset labour and natural contractions and two inductions with medically induced contractions.

[My Mum, my guardian angel]

I felt I knew what contractions felt like and was mentally prepared for the pain. However this was out of this world. We could see the contractions registering a lot higher on the monitor, but still the top of my bump wasn’t going hard. When the pain came all I could do was grab the bed rail and scream, I ended up crying and swearing and then apologising.

I was checked again and I was still only 1cm, the consultant gave me a sweep to try and help me along as my previous two c sections had been for failure to progress. They gave me the second bag of fluid and after a few hours of using the Gas and Air. I could not cope with the pain. I knew there was limited amount of time I had to get into labour [4cms+] before we would have to seriously thing about going to theatre.

The midwives were being brilliant, they knew I really wanted to try for a natural delivery and they tried to get me back into the water and we tried the portable monitoring machine. I had the machine on for around 10 minutes and the pain was so extreme it completely immobilised me. I was lifting my bump up and screaming and crying. I made the decision to have an epidural as I could not carry on like this.

My contractions were every 2-3 minutes and sky high on the monitor. I knew the epidural could slow it down and it did, but I was still having 3-4 contractions every 10 minutes and they were good long strong ones. I fell in and out of sleep. I was exhausted. I knew I still had a while to go but when they checked me at some point after 11am and I was still only 1cm. I knew we were heading to theatre.

[Exhausted and High on G+A]

I agreed, I didn’t and couldn’t go through hours and hours and hours more of this and probably still end up in theatre anyway. I was by this point getting very bad pain in my old c section scar[s]. The top of my stomach was still not going hard and even the midwives were a little baffled by this.

And so Sean was called and all the paperwork was completed for theatre. My Mum had to leave and now wouldn’t be able to see me till visiting hours at 3pm. She went back to my house and watched the boys with Lauren. I was worried Sean wouldn’t make it in time, but he got there a few minutes before I was wheeled down to theatre.

I was taken into theatre and as I had an epidural they attempted to top it up. However, after 15-20 minutes, they attempted to make the incision and I could feel it. the decision was made to put me to sleep. Sean had to leave and I remember being so upset and then they put the mask on and the next thing I remember is waking up in the recovery room.

Sean was there, and he had our baby, Our teeny tiny baby. He told me he was a boy. I was overcome with Love instantly. I knew all along he was a boy. He was completely naked, just as I wanted. We had some skin to skin and he had a small feed. We called him Ezra and I chose his middle names Jay [after his Nannies Janice, Julie and Jackie] and Fox…well just because.He was perfect.

[Our first photograph as a new little family]


[ Exhausted and Exhilarated]

I was a little disappointed that I never got my natural birth, but I later found out Ezra was back to back and he had not descended into my pelvis and he had instead been headbutting my pelvis. Which we believe explains the excruciating pain I had. He had a bruise on his head and eye from the force of it. I will never know if I had waited if I may have got the natural birth I wanted. I can however say, I am completely happy with my decision. I have no guilt. unlike previous times. I was in control, I was able to make the decision rather than having it made for me.

[Poor Ezra and his bruising]

I refuse to feel a failure because I am NOT  a failure…look at what [who] I made…


Thanks for reading

Cherrysnotmyname

Cherie

 

When things go wrong, but turn out right 

A few weeks ago I decided to try out a Channel Mum hack for making playdough. It showed the lovely Emily Norris making (non edible) playdough with just three ingredients.

• Cornflour

• Conditioner

• Food colouring

I took lots of photos to show the process and end result, so I could write a post about it.



BUT…. I just couldn’t get the consistency right. It was either too wet or too dry. I tried adding more conditioner, more cornflour. But it wasn’t meant to be. Every time I got what I thought was the right consistency it would start to crumble. It ended up more of a gloop, which my kids loved anyway. So no Mum points were lost. Phew!

A few days later I decided to try again with a recipe which was ultimately the same but substituted the cornflour for normal flour and it worked. Hurray! Me and my two middle boys had a great time making it, I didn’t take any photos this time whilst making it but, when it was finished and I realised how well it had worked I thought I would take some pics to share on Instagram and to say how easy it was to make… That’s when it all went wrong.

I popped upstairs to get my phone, leaving the boys playing with the playdough. I came down to this.

They had tipped a cup of cordial all over the table soaking the playdough. I’m not going to lie I was frustrated, why do they have to destroy everything?

* I know they weren’t destroying they were experimenting, but I’m tired and hormonal and yeah.

Anyway, we managed to sort the situation by adding more flour (after drying and cleaning the table). This is what we ended up with. Not too shabby and it’s the soft playdough EVER as verified by my eight year old who said it felt like “rainbows and dreams”.

Zachary got some great sensory feedback from it and was using his whole body to play with it, including his knees. We also got out the Easter biscuit cutters (that were never used at Easter) and the boys had loads of fun with these too.

But before we managed to sort the playdough and have all this fun. We had sprinkled the table wth flour to knead the wet playdough and the kids absolutely loved it.

Flour was everywhere including on our shoes. Zachary and Darwin helped to clear it up. They were drawing shapes and doing mark making, saying different letters and numbers. It ended up being lots of fun. I found a new activity for them to do and it’s super cheap too.

So things never worked out how I planned, but the boys learnt a few things about cleaning up, working together and got to work on some important skills which will help develop their literacy and numeracy. Most of all they fun.

That’s two happy little boys, albeit a bit floury.
Thanks for reading

Cherrysnotmyname 🍒

Cherie 💕

Going back to basics|Self Love and Self Care

Image sourced from Pintrest Http://pin.it/21yHChG

I am Thirty One years old.

Yet, often inside I still feel like the frightened, scared, bumbling teenager that I was a decade or so ago.

I have suffered with issues to do with my self esteem for many years. During my life I have dealt with these issues in different ways.

Alcohol. Sex. Drugs. Self Harm. 

Some people may be surprised to read this. The biggest way I have dealt with it is with a Mask. I have always tried to come across as happy and confident. Desperate to be liked. I think this desperation stems from the fact I have never really felt that I liked myself. How many of you can relate? How many of you truly like yourselves?


Image sourced from Pintrest Http://pin.it/hUhTwDg

I have been thinking lately that I don’t do the things I did when I was younger. No Drugs,Sex and Rock and Roll so to speak (I am making myself younger self seem much cooler/messed up than I actually was). My feelings about myself are less angsty than they were. 

I can confidently say I no longer hate myself. I think I am learning to like myself, but I am realising I want more. I deserve more. I want to LOVE myself. That my friends is a big ask and is very hard to say out loud. 

I was thinking about what stops me from loving me? I have come to the conclusion it is something so simple, something that many, many people do. 

I do not value myself. 

AND

I neglect myself.

It’s easy to do. Especially when you have children. Sometimes you almost feel like it is part of the package. You wear it like a badge of honour. “My children come first”, “I don’t have time for me” etc etc.

I have realised I neglect myself on a very basic level. Simple things like not brushing my teeth at night, not combing my hair for days on end, going days without a proper shower. These things all have impact on how I see and in turn value myself. 

Also I limit myself in silly ways. Telling myself silly little lies, these lies just limit me. Telling me I am not THAT kind of person. 

I am not the kind of person who wears perfume everyday. WHY NOT?

I am not the kind of person who is organised. WHY NOT?

I am not the kind of person who spends time on her appearance. WHY NOT?

WHY NOT?   WHY NOT?  WHY NOT?”

I feel like inside I am screaming this?

“WHY NOT ME?”

I am realising I am only going to be this young ONCE. I don’t want to be 40,50,60 and still dealing with these issues. Wishing I had done more. That I had been more.

Last night I sat and thought about the person I want to be. The person I can be and I made a list of very simple things that I want to do daily/weekly. These are things that you probably already do, but after years and years of self neglect I am ashamed to admit I do not…. Sorry did not! 

I am making a promise to myself, to do these things. To value myself and believe I deserve these things too. These are the very basic fundementals and I hope that they will impact on my life in significant ways.

[Daily]

• Brush teeth TWICE daily [Floss]

• Use a face wash

• Cleanse, tone and moisturise

• Grease hair and comb it

• Shower

• Drink at least TWO glasses of H20

• Wear make up/ Cream face

• Walk around the block

• Meditate for 10 minutes

• Wear perfume

[Weekly]

• Groom eyebrows

• Groom finger and toe nails

• Shave

• Wash hair

• 20 mintue yoga session

• Write in a journal

I am going to have a new baby in a few weeks (still haven’t got my head around this). I would like to be doing these things before, so they are habit and if I miss one or two things it’s easy to pick up again. 

I want to teach my boys to value themselves and I feel that valuing myself is a huge part of that. That will be another blog post, though. 


Image sourced from Pintrest

Http://pin.it/u5aGUfJ
Thank you for reading this post. It feels quite significant to post this. I would love to know about your journey of Self Love and Self Care. Are you just starting to learn its OK to value yourself? Have you been on this journey already? Do you have any tips to share? 

Thanks reading

Cherrysnotmyname 🍒

Cherie 💕

Happy (belated) St George’s day •What I love about being British•


I would love to say my 4 or even 8 year old drew this, but it was really my 31 year old self. Art isn’t on my list of ‘skills’.

Us British love to complain. Normally not to the person who has caused us grievance, but to everyone else. I know I have been guilty of doing this. We are also ruddy good at queuing, drinking tea and never being happy with the weather… Well at least these are some of the stereotypical examples of what us Brits are like. 

I never really think about what it means to be British. I’ve heard of people who have had to do the British citizenship tests and I am pretty sure if I was forced to take it I would fail. I don’t even know who St George was (don’t worry I’m going to Google it). 

However, when I start to think about things I know about  other parts of the world. I very quickly become very thankful for many things. Things that I (we) often take for granted. Here are but a few of them.

The NHS

I know the NHS isn’t ‘safe’ at the moment, and I know it’s not perfect. Overworked, underpaid staff, long waiting lists etc BUT I am still insanely thankful, that at ANYtime on ANYday I can see a medical professional. Doctors, Nurses, Consultants, Surgeons, Dentists and more can all be found and called upon in an emergency situation. 

Like I said the system isn’t perfect and the people who use it aren’t perfect, so it does get abused, which in turn means the system ‘fails’ more. But for all the short comings I am beyond greatful for the surgeons who performed my emergency c section which ensured mine and my sons safety. 

To the Consultants who are helping is deal with Darwins Bi-lateral glue ear.

 To the Health visitor who supported me both emotionally and with resources whilst going through Zachary’s Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosis 

and the Doctor and Pharmacist who have saw and treated my eldest for bacterial tonsillitis. 

Yes I know I have paid taxes and my husband pays taxes and eventually our children will pay taxes, but I am glad we don’t have to consider what our ‘insurance’ covers or get left with a huge bill everytime one of us gets ill or requires treatment. 

I know some people might disagree. These are just my thoughts, opinions and musings. 

The Welfare State

Again and imperfect system for an imperfect nation. Due to many circumstances the Welfare state for many has become a way of life, which in reality is very, very sad. However, that is a topic for a different blog post. 

I am greatful that if people find themselves in situations where they well and truly are down on their knees they can look for that lifeline, that bit of hope. 

I am greatful that the disabled, the very poor, the mentally ill, the addicts, the victims of abuse and domestic violence etc can get help, they can get support, they can access many different things, money, housing support, mental health teams, free school meals, hostels, refuges etc.

I am glad. I have experienced being a user of one or more of these services, at no fault of my own. I was the child that had free school meals. I no longer feel ashamed I feel greatful. 

Freedom (In Many Ways)

I am beyond greatful that I do not live in fear, fear for my life. Because of my Gender, Sexuality, Race or any other meaningless form of labelling used to segregate us. 

Yes, we still have issues with gender inequality, homophobic attacks, racial profiling etc. As a rule of thumb I think here in Britain we do not fear for our lives, although we may suffer discrimination, compared to other parts of the world, We have it pretty easy. I am not suggesting everything is A OKAY, we still need to fight against the injustice we see here in Britain, but I am greatful for the progress that has and is continuing to be made. 

The right to vote
This is something I am only really beginning to appreciate as an adult. Voting is complicated and I often feel like I’m missing a few puzzle pieces and can’t quite see the whole picture. However, I can not imagine living in a country where you have Zero say over who runs it, how they run it and what they do with the countries resources. 

The Education system

Again, much like the NHS and the Welfare state. The education system isn’t perfect, but it’s FREE! We have options, Pre school, Private schools, academies, home school, Montessori school, faith schools. Our children don’t have to walk miles and miles to get there. There are different types of schools and different ways to educate your children. The fact we all have access without question is actually pretty mind blowing. 

Diversity

I love that Britain is pretty diverse in many areas. You can meet people from so many different walks of life. People who have had different experiences, who choose to live there lives differently to you. 

I’ve had the chance to learn about different religions, cultures, Eat different foods, listen to other styles of music and experience difference cultures. I truly believe this enriches us as individuals and as a nation. 

So there you have it, a few things that make me happy to be British. I hope that everything that is wonderful about this nation continues and my children have the chance to grow up in a pretty safe and beautiful country.

I also love tea, fish and chips by the beach, a Sunday roast,BBQs and a Bank Holiday ☺️

What do you love about being British??? If you are my British what do you love about where you live?? 
Thanks for reading 

Cherrysnotmyname 🍒

Cherie 💕