Thursday, 22 June 2017

The One With The Nuclear Fallout (39 months + 11 days)

It is Thursday.

Yesterday, I sobbed, I screamed, I spent £60 on a yellow jacket that I have coveted for several weeks, booked a 10k in Durham for next month, Piglet got a new Paw Patrol toy, bag and hat (this is what happens when I get a credit card increase and "bad" news on the same day), and we went to bed at 7pm. 

And when I woke up, it was 1:30am. And it was Thursday. 

We're giving potty training another whirl at the moment. On Tuesday, I promised Piglet that she could have anything she wanted if she did all her wee wees on the toilet and she asked for a pink bike. Since then, she has only had two accidents at nursery, so it seems to be working. Because she is fine. 

She saw me crying after the hospital yesterday, wiped away my tears, gave me a cuddle and asked if I was OK. Because she is fine.

She gave me a big kiss and a hug when I picked her up last night and told me she loved me. Because she is fine. 

She jumped in bed next to me and insisted that she was squeezed as tight as possible (this is the only way she will fall asleep) and....that can be autistic. But you know what? That's fine. 

Piglet isn't autistic. Piglet is Piglet. Piglet may end up being on the autistic spectrum but it will just be part of who she is. And after the stories I have read this morning, that's fine. It is fine. Autism isn't understood by society. I don't fully understand autism. But you know what? I'm probably on the spectrum. You're probably on the spectrum. We're all on the bloody spectrum. And....it's not Piglet's problem. Nothing has changed, or will change for her. It is just being made apparent to me. So I need to get over myself. 

Nursery said Piglet was off yesterday afternoon; that she was in a really odd mood. And honestly? I'm not surprised. Imagine sitting in a room for an hour with two people talking about you in front of your face- how would you feel? She's sharp as a whistle when it comes to understanding what you're saying, and that can be easy to forget. 

The health visitor isn't trying to set me up, She's trying to help. The pediatrician isn't telling me there's something wrong, she's telling me that there's something different. 

For anyone else in this situation- don't just read literature. Because it uses language like "disorder" and "delay" and other negative words that... aren't necessarily true. Read people's stories. Read their experiences. And you'll have a totally different perspective on the situation. 

I've been fighting any and all medical diagnoses around Piglet. I'm silly, really. I think in my mind, by resisting everything, I was fighting for her; I was defending her corner. And I thought that by going down this path, it would mean her life would be more difficult. But...it doesn't change anything. It's just a word.

The real fight is against what most people believe autism is. Myself included.

So. It's Thursday. What should we all do today? We should buy beautiful yellow jackets. Because life is short. We should educate ourselves. Because ignorance is dangerous. I myself am going to start looking at the best methods for teaching children on the autistic spectrum. I'm also going to be serving pints with a smile to alcoholics at 11am. The most important thing we should do today though? We should hug our babies as tight as we can. Our happy, funny, loving, unique babies. Mine's perfect, and I'm sure yours is too.

p.s. Baby cat fell out of the bathroom window whilst we were at hospital yesterday so I returned home to a very soggy wet cat stood by the back door feeling sorry for himself. This was the highlight of Woeful Wednesday, and has more than made up for the fact that he continually poos on the floor and gave Adelaide a hysterical pregnancy.  


  

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

The One With The A-Bomb (39 months + 10 days)

Today is Wednesday. Many Wednesdays have happened since I last wrote anything. Many, many, many Wednesdays. If I'm being honest, whilst Prozac helped my mood (or at least I thought it did) it definitely stifled my creativity.

In all those Wednesdays that have passed, we've had exams (good), birthday parties (also good), army applications (disappointing), new medical diagnoses (not so good) and trips to A and E (terrifying). I am no longer on Prozac since I needed a medication review before the doctor would prescribe anymore and I ran out in the interim period. Hence, I decided there was no point coming off them to go back on them again. My head feels clearer. I feel. Isn't that funny? I wouldn't have said that Prozac had numbed my emotions at all but retrospectively, I can tell you that it did. Sure, I can feel sad now; but I can also feel happy. And excited. And anxious. And determined. And frustrated. And elated. And irritated. And motivated. And you know what? I prefer it this way. Life is all about feeling. Why the fuck would you want to be numb all the time?

I've also been diagnosed with anaemia and a severe vitamin D deficiency which is why I felt like sleeping for 20000 hours per day, so I now have to take approximately 613 pills per day. Piglet knows about these pills- "Mummy's medicine". Piglet has been told not take these pills. Piglet ignored this instruction and took two of my iron tablets. Which resulted in a speedy trip to A + E (prior to this, my parent's dog had also tried to eat my iron tablets- honestly, they taste disgusting, I have no idea why everyone is so keen to ingest them). Thankfully, both Piglet, and the dog are absolutely fine. 

Scratch that last sentence. 

Piglet had her pediatrician appointment today. The one that the Health Visitor had referred her for because she thought she was autistic. Honestly went into that meeting expecting the Pediatrician to say that Health Visitor was a crazy bitch and Piglet is fine. And...that's not what happened. 

Went through everything, she watched Piglet play; I even lied on some of the questions. Not intentionally. But I lied. She asked if Piglet liked to collect things. And I said no. But she does. She collects all her dummies. She likes to have as many dummies as possible at all times. I'm not talking a spare or two, I mean seven, eight, nine dummies. That is an autistic trait.

The fact that her left foot points inwards when she walks. That is an autistic trait. 

The pediatrician said that she doesn't have enough to make a diagnosis but she can't discharge her because she can't say she's "fine". Can't say she "OK". Can't say she's "normal". She's going to send a specialist into nursery to watch her play and then we will review everything. If the specialist has enough evidence at that point she will be given a formal diagnosis of autism. If not, a second specialist will view her, and assess her for autism. At no point was their any mention of her being classed as "normal" by any of these people. From the conversation that ensued it seemed to be a case of the "professionals" have decided that she is autistic and now they are simply gathering the evidence to support their case. 

I've avoided reading anything on autism prior to this point. Which is weird, because usually I like to know everything about something if I am to encounter it. And I think the reason I've been avoiding it is because I've been petrified that I will be reading about Piglet. I've been scared that every single sentence that I see will be her. 

Her speech is definitely behind. I am not arguing that point anymore at all. It's just that I don't realise it until I see her with other three year olds. She will speak in sentences but half the time I have no idea what she is trying to say. It doesn't help the situation that whenever we go to hospital she refuses to talk point blank. 

So. Piglet is autistic. Not formally. Not yet. But whether I believe it, and whether she actually is no longer matters it seems. They've decided that she fits the criteria. And she probably does, and I'm just going to have to come to terms with that. 

1% of people in the UK are diagnosed as autistic. In 2014, there were 695,233 live births in Britain; roughly 6,952 children born that year will therefore go on to receive an autism diagnosis. Why does my Piglet have to be one of them? It's not fair. It's not fucking fair.

I keep thinking it's my fault. Maybe it's because of the glass that fell on her head when she was really young; maybe it's because of when she fell off the bed; maybe it's because I was at work all the fucking time forever for that year of hell. Maybe I'm just a really, really shit mum. 

I'll never be able to think how she thinks. I'll never see the world how she does. And it's so, so, so, SO shit. And unfair. 

But. There will be many more Wednesdays after this one. And since this diagnosis now seems inevitable, I think it may be time to read. My baby is going to be autistic. And I want to know exactly what that means for her. 

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

The One With Lessons For Piglet No. 348 (37 months + 1 day)

Piglet,

Further to my 4am ramblings, here are some 3am ones. These are some pearls of wisdom that those close to me have chose to impart at various points in my life; they are wise, wise people..

From your Great Gran:

Never close any doors- always leave all options open. 


From your Mimsy:

Always have self-respect. Know your worth.


From your Gramps:

(This was something that I imagine was a throw-away comment but had a profound effect on me when it was said)

If you don't like something, change it. 


Do I have any other things I want to say?

Surround yourself with people who want you to succeed. Dream big- SO BIG. Always be positive (prozac helps). Remember that brunch is the best meal ever. Feelings are important. Always make sure your voice is heard; your opinion counts. Appreciate the art of the afternoon tea. Don't get clingy cats that wake you up at 1:30am by purring in your face. No matter what you do, I've probably done worse. You're amazing; never let anybody make you think otherwise. 

Hopefully this will be the last of philosophical mummy for a while...  None of these life lessons really have any bearing as to what is currently going on in life (apart from the one re: cats). It's 11 days until London marathon so maybe I'm just paranoid I'm going to die during it hence the onslaught of random crap I want to pass on to you. 

(I'm not going to die- I am an excellent average runner. Maybe I'm just surprised I've made it to 27?)

Lots of love,

3am Philosophical mummy 

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Tuesday, 11 April 2017

The One With Lessons For Piglet No. 347: Be Selfish (37 months)

Dear Piglet,

There will be many moments in your life when will you wonder if you made the right decision. Mummy can say this; Mummy is the love child of gin and regret and therefore spends 87% of her life wondering if she made the right decision. The short answer to your contemplation? You won't. The likelihood is that with every single choice you make you will never know if it was the right one. However, whenever you doubt yourself, I want you to ask the following three questions:

1) Am I happy content?

One of the most important things I was taught, Piglet, came from my therapist: never aim for happiness, as it is a transient phase. The very nature of life is that it has peaks and troughs; nobody can be at the top of the game constantly. Instead, aim to be content. It is a far safer and more reasonable expectation. Are you content? If the answer is yes, then the likelihood is, you chose "correctly". If the answer is no then:

2) Did it make sense?

You are three currently. At the moment your decision making is generally based on, "What do I want right now at this moment in time...? PAW PATROL PAW PATROL PAW PATROL CHOCOLATE" However (I hope) there will come a point where your ability to make choices becomes slightly more complex. Some people have gut instincts. Some people "follow their heart". Me? I'm a logic person. I don't follow my heart, I follow my head. I believe in lists of pros and cons; I believe in taking emotion out of the situation. Is my way of decision making correct? Who knows. It could be considered cold. It could be considered detached. However... that's me. Your own style of selection will be moulded by life, Piglet. For mummy therefore, the answer to this question will always be "yes". Not all decisions I have made have been "right", but all have definitely to some extent made sense to me (apart from when under the influence of tequila but we don't mention these ok?) Of course if your own answer to this question is no, then the final self-analysis I would like you to perform is this one:

3) Is my memory accurate?

No. It's not. Not unless you're looking at things immediately after the fact. As a general rule we romanticise things Piglet. The longer it is since an event, the more we will view it in a favourable light. We only remember the good things- and for good reason; imagine how rubbish you would feel if you held on to all the negative things from the past?! 

I would like for you to be many things, Piglet, and I hope I can help instill them in you. I want you to be kind. I want you to be compassionate. I want you to be inquisitive. I want you to be content. But most of all-especially when it comes to decision-making- I want you to be selfish. You do you. Because life can be a bit shitty at times, and you need to make sure you have your own back. 

Lots of love,

From a 4am Philosophical Mummy (who is always right)

xxxxx

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

The One With The Three Little Pigs (36 months + 10 days)

This is the tale of The Three Little Pigs.

Once upon a time there was a mother pig who had three little pigs (she was stressed off her tits). The three little pigs ate ALL her food, and kept the heating on all the time, and grew so big that the mother pig told them it was time for them to go and build their own homes to live in.

"Little pigs! When I was your age, I was married with three baby pigs of my own, and all you seem to do is lie in your dressing gowns all day demanding cups of tea! I can't take this any longer- I am trying to hold down three jobs just to afford the heating bill on this sty. It is time for you to go and build your own homes; but beware of the Big Bad Wolf!"

The three little pigs set off (Mother pig put her slippers on and poured herself a large glass of wine): "The Big Bad Wolf will NEVER catch us",

Soon, they met a man who was nothing but bones. "Please will you teach me your ways?" said the first little pig, "I want to build my home out of self-inflicted starvation, and an unattainable body image".

"Of course", said the skeletal figure, and he taught the little pig all the benefits of eating disorders and how his home was going to be the most perfect home in all the world. The little pig was very pleased with his home; his home showed the world how strong and in control he was; nothing would ever overwhelm him, especially not some silly wolf.

The second and third little pigs disagreed with his method; they continued their journey onward, leaving the first little pig in his home of bones. A short while into their excursion, they met another man who had a head the size of Jupiter. "WOW!" said the second little pig, "please help me! I want my home to be full of brains as big as yours! With all the knowledge in the world, there is NO WAY a Big Bad Wolf would be able to come after me!"

The second pig built his home of brains. He was very impressed with himself; "This is the best home there ever was", he told the third little pig, "there is no way you could have a better home than this one". The third little pig wasn't so sure- "I think I'm going to carry on. I've got a feeling that there's a stronger material just a little bit further on"- and he continued on his path.

The next day, the Big Bad Wolf was walking along the road, when he arrived at the home made of bones. The first little pig saw him coming and ran inside, locking the door behind him.

The wolf knocked on the door and said, "Little pig, little pig, let me come in"
"No, no, no", said the first little pig, "not by the hair of my chinny chin chin".
"Then I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house in", said the wolf.

Unsurprisingly, bones are not the best material to build your home out of. Mental illness fuelled by self-loathing does not a strong foundation make. The first pigs house fell down and he suffered a horrible death at the hands of the Big Bad Wolf.

The Big Bad Wolf walked further along the road, until he arrived at the home made of brains. The second little pig saw him coming and ran inside, locking the door behind him.

The wolf knocked on the door and said, "Little pig, little pig, let me come in"
"No, no, no", said the first little pig, "not by the hair of my chinny chin chin".
"Then I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house in", said the wolf.

Now, you may think that brains would be a MUCH wiser choice to build your home out of. And in some respects you would be right; they're certainly a substantial improvement on bones at any rate. However, brains have one weakness: failure. And so, at the first sign of failure, the home of brains fell to the floor, and this time the second little pig was eaten by the Big Bad Wolf.

Whilst his siblings were suffering unspeakable suffering and anguish at the hands of the Big Bad Wolf, the third little pig was busy building his home. The third little pig had thought long and hard about the strongest thing in the world that he could use, and came to the conclusion that he wanted his home to be made of love.

The wolf reached the home made of love and, in the same manner as the first two little pigs, the third little pig ran inside, locking the door behind him.

The wolf knocked on the door and said, "Little pig, little pig, let me come in"
"No, no, no", said the first little pig, "not by the hair of my chinny chin chin".
"Then I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house in", said the wolf.

The Big Bad Wolf huffed, and puffed but no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't blow down the house of love. He tried numerous tricks to attempt to get the third little pig to come out, but- in summary- they all failed and the scenario culminated with the Big Bad Wolf falling down the chimney and being boiled alive (children's stories are far too gruesome man. What even is this?)

Three years and ten days ago I met my own little piglet and we started laying the foundations for our home built out of love. We've just put the roof on it. I'm sure there will be extensions to add and adjustments to be made, but irregardless of that, at the moment, I'm pretty sure that we can deal with any Big Bad Wolf that tries to knock on our door.

Happy Birthday Piglet x


Thursday, 2 March 2017

The One With World Book Day (35 months + 14 days)

LOOK AT ALL THIS BLOGGING! SO MANY POSTS IN SO LITTLE TIME!

I am going to revisit some of last posts themes later on (mainly regarding me getting my shit together and no longer behaving in a headless chicken-type manner) but first, I need to address the most important issue of the day:

It is World Book Day today, I remember as a child, I used to love World Book Day. You used to be able to get a book for a £1, didn't you? Or was it for free with a voucher? Do they still do this? World Book Day was AWESOME. As a mother? Bloody hell, World Book Day, you cause me far too much stress. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO FIND AN ORIGINAL COSTUME FOR MY CHILD THAT IS ACTUALLY A BOOK CHARACTER? (Do not get me started on costumes that are not book characters- it is World BOOK Day people, BOOK!!!!!!)

Piglet's first World Book Day, I was amazing. I am being modest here. Piglet was Peter rabbit:


See those ears? I made those ears. I was freakin' amazing World Book Day Number 1. 

World Book Day Number 2, Piglet was Winnie the Pooh (shoutout to NNB in the background here):



Less amazing- I have not constructed any of this costume myself- but still acceptable, I would consider this an adequate amount of effort for World Book Day (also 600000 hour working week = 0 crochet time).

This year, up until 2pm yesterday, I had two ideas for Piglet's World Book Day outfit:

1) She can wear normal clothes and go as the Thought Police from 1984

2) I can dye her hair orange, paint cheekbones on her face and send her in with a calpol syringe and she is Mark Renton from Trainspotting.

Somehow I didn't think either would really be appropriate. Anyway, last minute shopping ensued, aaaaaaand: we have Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf (gold is red ok?)


It took me an hour is convince her to wear her cape. She also let the rabbit out of the cage in this time, so I spent half my morning chasing a rabbit back into aforementioned cape, and chasing toddler into aforementioned cage. Or vice versa. Toddlers don't live in cages and rabbits don't wear capes.

And now, I am going to rewind, and revisit. I had mentioned (screamed) about Piglet being referred to a pediatrician by the Health Visitor and about that stupid questionnaire that we had to fill in that was clearly looking at autism. You may have been able to tell from my slightly agitated tone (slightly....hahahahahahah) that I was marginally (totally) freaked.

NNB took Piglet to nursery the following morning, and nursery enquired how health visitor appointment had gone. NNB told them it was "very positive and everything was fine".

EXCUSE ME NNB WERE WE AT THE SAME MEETING?!

When I picked her up that night I spoke to nursery about it all to see what the hell was going on. Nursery have said that Piglet shows a lot of autistic traits. Copying is an autistic trait. I didn't know this. Speech issues are an autistic trait. This one I did know. Problems with sleep are often exhibited in children with autism. However, they also said that there are a lot of symptoms of autism that she doesn't show, which I would very strongly agree with. She is social, she is affectionate, she reacts to others when they are upset. They said if she was autistic, it would be incredibly mild. And-after a lot of pushing, if I'm being honest- they said that they wouldn't be concerned; that it is probably just to rule it out.

So I am more chill. If Health Visitor thinks she is autistic, that is a lot less stressful that if nursery think she is autistic. Nursery see her 50 hours a week; Health Visitor sees her once every 6 months/year. (NNB says I am like a child telling on nursery to health visitor and then telling on health visitor to nursery and I told him to shut up because I am allowed to stress about my child and he is a poo for being so chill about the whole matter. Even though it is better that he is chill because if he wasn't chill then I would be even worse than I already am).

We had the dentist earlier this week, which Piglet was really good for. I was not. I hate the dentist. I have a new lady dentist who clearly doesn't have any children and I hate her already and I think she hates me too so.... I need three fillings. And to brush Piglet's teeth. Apparently her brushing them herself does not constitute teeth brushing... Why do I not know this... So now we play the game of Mummy brushes Piglet's teeth and Piglet brushes Mummy's teeth. Dentist shouted at me because Piglet still has a dummy when she goes to sleep. I swore about dentist under my breath. Dentist then told me about needing three fillings. I swore some more about evil sadistic bitch dentist under my breath.

Hate dentist.

In other news, Piglet and I are potentially having a new roommate come to live with us. In the Summer. My sister (Auntie M) is starting college, and would like a fresh start. I haven't spoken to her yet as to whether or not she is comfortable about me discussing the reasons for this, so I can't elaborate any more about circumstances as of yet. So, this means that in spite of me being so "rah rah rah I will never more I am not a gypsy I will have ROOTS", I might be looking at moving. Since we only have two bedrooms. Which may be a struggle with three of us. NNB has suggested something which is an interesting idea, although I'm not sure if it's going to come to fruition or not. NNB is looking at buying a house. Some of the properties he has looked at consist of a two bed and a three bed flat. I told NNB that this was a stupid idea as he could not be my landlord. NNB said he was not suggesting this, he is suggesting I live in 3 bed flat rent-free.

I think NNB is smoking crack. Or he just really likes me. Or more likely he really likes Piglet.

Oh, I've also got a potential PhD offer lined up for after I finish masters. One of my lecturers emailed me and we're going to discuss options next week. VERY EXCITED.

So basically... HERE IS MY POSITIVE POST THAT I PROMISED. Slightly late, but still here! (Pls judge me when I am happy and nice not when I am crazy and stressed- I am a good person, promise)

BIG LOVE and shiny happy vibes

Bones + Piglet

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Thursday, 23 February 2017

The One That I Promised Would Be Positive (35 months + 12 days)

I promised you a positive post. Here goes:

I got 94% and 99% in my Semester 1 exams.

And thus concludes the positive post, because guess what? IT'S ALL DOWNHILL AND DEPRESSING FROM HERE! (Seriously, stop reading unless you want to be a soggy weeping mess like me- to anyone who just saw a sobbing girl running at 93mph in puregym- hi! That's me! I'm here! 

Yesterday Piglet had her eye appointment. Which was fine, and I could discuss in detail but I don't want to because the only thing that I've come away from that with is the information that she has a "pale optic nerve". Now. Apparently this could be totally fine. It could just be a paler shade within the normal spectrum. Alternatively it could mean her optic nerve is dying and she's going blind. Either way, they're just going to review it in six months because HEY HO THAT'S WHAT EVERYONE SAYS TO US. IT'S NOT LIKE I'M GOING TO BE STRESSING ABOUT IT OR ANYTHING RIGHT? BECAUSE THAT'S DEFINITELY SOMETHING THAT CAN JUST BE TREATED LIKE A RASH ISN'T IT?

The health visitor came round today because nursery had called her about Piglet's speech. She said we could either go to a speech therapist or we could get her referred to a pediatrician just to "rule anything out" because she has got "quite a few things going on and they could be connected". I said sure, yeah we can do that- not really getting it at first to be honest. It was only halfway through the 19 page question form that I realised what was being hinted at:

Does she have a lot of repetitive behaviours?

Does she react to you when you're upset?

Does she get extremely upset if her routine is disrupted?

They think she's autistic. Nursery think my baby is autistic. But she can't be autistic, right? She has friends. She interacts with them. She interacts with me!

The health visitor kept saying things that I imagine were supposed to be positive but instead just sounded patronising and limiting: "if there is something wrong, the pediatrician can put things in place to help her reach her full potential"; "she's made really good progress since I was last here"; "she's managing to cope very well".

What the fuck man.

I just can't right now. I don't even know what it would mean if she was autistic. Will she be ok? Will she be able to live a normal life? Will she be able to tell me she loves me? Will she ever talk properly? 

Again, the appointment with the pediatrician can take up to six months to come through.

Six. Fucking. Months. 

Fuck this shit man.This isn't right.