Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Surprise! We’re Having our Rainbow Baby!

Pregnancy Announcement Top of the Rock New York

We have been keeping a little secret for the last 15 weeks, we will be welcoming our second baby into the world in August!

I am due around my birthday which is just completely lovely, I turn 31 on August 8th and baby is due the following day on August 9th.

It’s not been the easiest 15 weeks, we had some health concerns for the baby that means following a 10 week scan we were referred to Birmingham Fetal Medicine for additional scans and tests. I won’t go into that on this post, but I have of course been blogging behind the scenes so I can share our story with you now, following this happy post, a post I have been waiting to share when I know everything is ok.

Thankfully we have been given the green light and everything is looking good with our little rainbow, which is the best outcome I didn’t dare dream 5 weeks ago. 

We are currently in New York City, and we decided it would be here that we announce the impending arrival of our second, and much wanted baby.

Nugget is arriving August 2020 and we are so excited, and it’s so nice to see Leo so happy about being a big brother. 


Tuesday, 11 February 2020

The Due Date After a Miscarriage

Due Date After a Miscarriage

The 11th February 2020 was my estimated due date for the baby I lost back in July. 

Today is the 11th February 2020.

Today we should have either already be holding our baby in our arms, having our baby or getting very close to meeting the latet addition of our family.

I wondered how I would feel on this day, when it all happened I thought that today would be awful and incredibly sad. Weirdly it seems that time is a healer. I think I have cried all my tears and accepted that for some reason unknown to me, this was not our time.

Instead of nursing our baby or labouring, I have been in work. I have dropped Leo off at school and then picked him up again. In the grand scheme of things it was just like any other ordinary day, no stand out moments or signs. 

Just an ordinary Tuesday in February. 

A day that I should have been counting down for, a day that should have been filled with love and joy.

I have thought about the miscarriage every day since it happened, I have wondered who that little person would grow up to be, all the while knowing that I will never really have the answers. One thing is for sure though, the time really has flown by.

It is weird to think that the pregnancy would have come to term now, that we would be coming out of the other side. After we lost our baby I had to quickly delete all of my pregnancy apps and I couldn't bring myself to log back into the Babycantre forum that I had been frequenting, but this week I felt ready to pop back in and see what had been going on.

Ladies I had spoken to were all having or had already had their little February babies. My journey had come to an end, but for them the real journey was just begining. 

I still haven't found the tree to bury our baby in, but I do feel ready now. Perhaps today should have been the day to mark our due date, a way to solidify that they existed if only for a blink of an eye. 

I guess now I am released from the counting, from the waiting. Pondering how many weeks I would be now, wondering what might have been. It feels like the time has completed and although it sadly does not mark the start of a new life, it marks the end of a period of time.

I wonder if I will feel more emotional on July 30th, when 12 months since the miscarriage knocks at the door. 

Happy would have been due date little one.

Monday, 10 February 2020

Tourettes, Tics & The Complex Vocal Tic

Tourettes, Tics & The Complex Vocal Tic

This weekend I think I have felt the most parent guilt I have felt in my 8 years of being a Mum. 

I realise that I have a very uniqie parenting scenatio when it comes to Leo, his Tourettes and the tics that come out to play with increased anxiety. I never know when we are going to get an influx of the dreaded vocal tics, sometimes I can pre-empt them with the end of the school holidays, which 9 times out of 10 the root cause.

Then there are instances like this week, when it happens and I don't really know why. 

I noticed at the start of last week that the high pitch sqeal was more prominent. Each day after school it would increase in intensity. Then by Friday we faced a full on tic explosion, on the scale we faced when Leo returned to school after the summer holiday's last year...

From the moment Leo got in the car at 3:15 we had high pitch vocal squeals. The kind of shrill squeal that hits the ear drum and makes it shake. The kind that should not be mixed when you are driving a car. 

These tics repeated every 10-15 seconds, how do I know that? I know because I heard each and every single one, and I timed them. 

This happened all night Friday, all day Saturday (expect for the trip into town), all Sunday and still going strong Monday night. 

Friday night was by far the hardest night. 

The constant tics hurt my ears and my head, and there was no where to go to hide from it. Leo was in his room, but this is where my intense parenting guilt comes into play. I didn't want him to feel like he HAD to be in his room, but at the same time I was finding it hard to sit next to him because each squeal was going right through me.

It's almost like a smoke detector that beeps and beeps, before you have to change the batteries. Only we can't stop this. 

There was really nothing I could do for the best. We couldn't just cuddle up and watch a film, I couldn't read him a story. I was at a complete loss of what to do. Instead I let everything get to me and ended up in tears because I had no where to hide, no idea what to do for the best.

It's a catch 22 situation, I couldn't and can't do right for doing wrong. I don't want Leo to think that he couldn't or shouldn't tic in his home, in his safe place, but at the same time I just needed the noise to go quiet and to have a little bit of space, time without my ears feeling like they were going to split in two. 

Then I think about how he must feel, his throat must be feeling so sore, but he just gets on with it. Not once does he complain. I remind myself that we go through these phases, and yes they are hard but we always weather them. 

Eventually the squeal tic goes back into hibernation for a while.

Im frustrated that I can't do more for Leo, I have put in in front of CAMHS (Children & Adolescent Mental Health Services) in the hope that I can obtain CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) for Leo, but they declined on the basis that Leo's mental health wasn't 'in need' enough. It is like banging your head against a brick wall over and over again until it bleeds. Every avenue I look down and explore for Leo often results in a door banging shut in my face.

I would hate for Leo's mental health to deteriate to the point where CAMHS might think 'ok we will see him now'. I had been pre-warned that unless your bleeding, they will quite simply not see you. I am sad to report that this is exactly what I have come to find.

We are coming to the end of term, and I can't put my finger on exactly what has caused this particular flare up. I have spoken to him and asked how he is feeling, but all I can get is that he is worried about his school work, Math's in particular. Having spoken to his teacher though, he's his usual self within school, Leo supresses tics throughout the day so no one ever hears them there, but when he comes home, I get the full on storm of them.

As I write this the tics continue...

We fly to New York on Sunday, which is an 8 hour flight in close proximity with lots of other people. The thought of this right now makes me feel very anxious. So much so that I have actually been in touch with Virgin Atlantic who were really lovely. They have told me not to worry about it and advised that they can board us first or last depending on what will suit Leo better, and even asked if there is anythig else they can do. 
The only thing I can think of is providing all of the other passengers with ear plugs!

I am hoping that come Thursday when Leo finishes for half term, the tics may relent their hold on him. That we may be able to enjoy our holiday without Leo being held hostage by his tics.

This won't be the last time we go through this, and god knows it's not the first. It's the first time it's made me cry though, I just wish I could make it all better for him, to take them away.

We have been out shopping before now and the tics have happened in public, and we do get some looks. Mainly the kind that look to me to stop my child making such a noise, which of course I can't and won't try. When I ignore the tic (I never draw attention to them or mark them), the look changes to one that second guesses me and my parenting. 

They aren't to know, but I always wonder what I might say to someone who takes the judgement a little further than staring, and actually dares critisice.

I don't think I would be able to hold back...

Monday, 3 February 2020

A Little Life Update

Proposal Evesham Bell Tower

It's been all systems go behind the scenes over here at Life Unexpected, so here is a little life update to keep everything ticking along nicely!

In early December Luke and I set the date for our wedding! I was meant to do a whole post about how we got engaged a year ago on Christmas Eve, but unfortunately it is 13 months later and I never actually did *slaps hand* - I will get there!

Propsoal Box

We knew the exact venue that we wanted almost straight after we got engaged, in fact it was the only place we actually went to look around. We just knew it was where we wanted to have the day straight away. It's local to where we live which is perfect for friends and family within the local area, but it's also just far enough away to really make use of the beautiful rolling hillside of Bredon.

Bredon Hill is one of our favourite family walks, one we have walked many many times, and the venue of Deer Park Hall falls just below the hills peak in beautiful rolling hillside with a park full of deer!

Newly Engaged

We have a lot to sort out this year what with Luke's flat and the whole issue with the lease... We currently have 2 solicitors on the go trying to help us work this worm hole. One of the solicitors is pursuing a potential negligence claim with the solicitors Luke used to purchase the flat back in 2016. They never once advised against the lease or advised that the ground rent was onerous (which they would have been aware of and should have advised on!).

The second solicitor specialises in leases and lease extensions, and is helping us pursue an extension to reduce the ground rent to a peppercorn rent (as you can see it's been all systems go around here.... And this really is just the tip of the ice berg!).

We should have an update on the whole sorry scenario by the end of this month and know how to progress. 

Breakfast with Father Christmas

Christmas has been and gone, and although it feels like a lifetime ago we all had a really lovely time. On the run up to the big day we spent lots of time together as a family and had a trip to the pantomime over at Malvern Theatre to watch Aladdin.

We popped over to Webbs of Wychbold for a spot of ice skating and even caught a showing of the Muppets Christmas Carol at our local cinema.

Unfortunately Luke had to work this year, but Father Christmas delivered in time for Leo to open his gifts while Luke was still at home.

We spent the day at my parents eating far too much food and playing with all of the wonderful new additions that had appeared under the Christmas Tree.

Malvern Theatres Aladding Pantomime

New Year was a quiet affair and was quite simply one for the 3 of us, we saw the New Year in together and then made our merry way to bed.

Right now we are in the final stages of planning a rather epic family trip for the February half term, on the 16th all 3 of us are flying out to New York for 3 days. We will be staying near Central Park at The Wellington Hotel, and we are all very excited for some amazing adventures.

We figured after all of the disappointment last year, what with the not buying a house thing, the miscarriage and just trying to keep looking on the bright side, we all deserved something to look forward to.

As it happens this trip actually ties together beautifully, we should have been having a baby this month, but instead we are going to head state side and make some amazing family memories and remember the little life that we never got to meet.

Missed Miscarriage

We have purchased the New York City Pass so that we can fill our boots with all of the attractions on offer, so everything that I couldn't do last time will be seen and experienced this time with both of my boys!

If that wasn't enough... When we get back from New York we will be staying a few days in London where we will be showing Leo everything that he has not yet experienced in our wonderful Capital City.

That isn't the end of our family trip though... For one final shabang we are jetting back off again, but this time to Venice! None of us have ever been to Venice or even Italy for that matter, so we are really excited to see what it is like.

Lux will be heading off to the kennels for 11 days, we have our ESTA's in place, up to date passports and all we need to do now is sort our insurance!

Aside from all of the travelling, I have just this past week had Leo's draft EHCP through. I have gone over the plan with Leo's school's SEN and together we have made some slight changes before we accept the plan.


It's simply a case of waiting now to see what comes back and hopefully just accepting the EHCP plan so that it is ready to go.

So for now we are just looking ahead and putting one foot in front of the other. There is light at the end of the tunnel and this trip and the wedding planning are going to keep that smile firmly on our faces.