I didn't want to write this as a "ways to cope" post, because what would annoy me the most during the darkest days was advice about what would make me feel better...but ultimately didn't help (yep, lemon tea and ginger biscuits can do one).
An IUGR pregnancy is not straight forward. It is not relaxed, or enjoyable. It is not one of the most special times of your life. Instead, it is filled with unanswered questions, stress and worry. It is fragile. It is complicated. This is what an IUGR pregnancy is really like.
Pregnancy is a great time for making healthier lifestyle changes, it's not just about giving up alcohol and soft cheeses but also about making positive lifestyle decisions that will benefit you and your baby.
My first ever panic attack was at the birth of my son and had never experienced this before in my life. I honestly felt that my wife who I love dearly and my unborn son were going to die. Even many years on I still feel the anxiety I suffered during the twenty two hours labour my wife experienced.
I started chatting to other mums about baby signing, it really appealed to me as I listened to stories of how they communicate with their babies/ toddlers. The idea of being able to understand (even on a very basic level) what my daughter needs/ wants excited me.
When you're told your child has a disability, no one comes to tell you about all the different therapies available and the different educational options - or to advise you which to pursue: it's up to you as a parent to find out.
I felt my daughter needed to be close to me while she slept. My gut was telling me that she did not yet feel secure enough to sleep alone. But what the hell did my gut know? My gut hasn't got childcare qualifications or written a book. It doesn't have 68 million followers on Twitter or any 'scientific research' to back it up.
I am here to say that ANY amount is ENOUGH and that is why I have started a campaign called #pledgeapenny4pnd which means that whatever you want to pledge, whatever the amount of pennies you are able to part with, that you are making a difference and that your pledge and the thought and generosity behind it are more than ENOUGH!
Childhood obesity is a problem we all know about but it's the size of the problem that we have yet to fully understand, and the magnitude of the danger it poses to our children and their long term health as adults.
They need well-meaning but absent relatives not to ply them with guilt-induced technology, and peers who don't have the latest gadgets to wave in their faces. Perhaps more controversially, or at least, realistically, parents need to be recompensed for the things that historically they have done for love.
Tash hit 10cm at about 10pm, it was time to push! I've seen a few films so had my supportive breathing noises and standard sentences at the ready, complete with sympathetic tones.
It's becoming an obsession, and frankly it's exhausting. On the up side, one press of a remote control buys several hours of low-level parenting: I Am Your Father, and I'm pissing off upstairs for a long bath while you watch this guff again.
I use the word 'protection' deliberately because in many ways the proliferation of images on the Internet is a form of abuse. An abuse of the individual's right to a private life, an abuse of the (rapidly disappearing) innocence of childhood, and in some cases actual literal abuse.
If I've learnt nothing else, it's that life whizzes by at a blink and you'll miss it rate. Never was there a more apt phrase for parenthood than 'the days are long, but the years are short'.
As the days rolled passed my due date, we remained content and grew very excited. My contractions (I called them 'surges' during pregnancy and then almost spat the word away after birth and latched back on to 'contractions' with a bit of disillusionment) came on strongly on Saturday afternoon.
My heart is forever broken and it is this pain and the missing that makes me determined to fight hard for the cure for Rett Syndrome. To fight on that no other parent has to feel my loss.
Whilst I don't feel it is something a woman should HAVE to tell everyone, I'm just saying perhaps the option of talking about it should be considered too. That if someone chooses not to talk about it, they say so in a firm but kind way.
We talked about a whole bunch of stuff. This opened up conversations that led to other conversations and I it helped me understand how young people use the internet and how they feel about it. It's easy to forget that today's teenagers have grown up in a digital environment - I didn't.