Monday 17 January 2011

I'm back...

...although probably not for long. I've neglected both my blogs for a while and am acutely aware that when I started the other one (at that I said I wouldn't be one of those people who starts their blog full of ideas and enthusiasm only to see it fall into disrepair once the initial inspiration ebbs away.

After all, I was a seasoned blogger with over two years of content under my belt and felt that I could make such a statement with a hand on heart commitment. That was before a fairly drawn out process which firstly involved selling a business and secondly involved finding a new job and ultimately involved doing a new job. Turns out working for other people means you can't spend an hour or two creating literary genius as and when you feel like it. Who knew?

Anyway, with my feet, albethey freelance, now firmly under the desk, I'm happy to pick up where I left off. So where was that then...? Oh yes, Clare's up the duff.

So we've had the 20 week scan and this time there doesn't appear to be anything remotely clefty. Of course you never know about the palate until baby is born but the lip is definitely all there. We've had a 3D scan (on the free) as all the new equipment at Royal Surrey includes this mode as standard now...we got much clearer pictures this time too than when we visited the kind man with the bow tie down in Kent.

The scan itself was a nerve racking experience though. Again we had a foreign lady look after us and Clare's initial question of 'was everything o.k with my blood' got the following response:

'I'll talk about that at the end.'

I'd like to think that this lady knew about the level of anxiety we suffered last time and that it was just her foreignness that made her put her response that way. What she meant was that she couldn't give us all the information until the measurements taken during the scan had all been recorded and then, in conjunction with the other info, she could give us the prognosis. As it was, I was sat there, with hidden, crossed fingers thinking every conceivable bad thought possible. Clare had AIDS, the baby would be born a hippo, that kind of thing.

Anyway, all was o.k and the relief was palpable. I think Clare was more relaxed than me but we were both so, so relieved that it was a continued case of 'so far, so good'. It's weird but I found myself thinking that if I could bargain at this stage and take a cleft now rather than risk anything else which might go wrong, I would. That's something that the majority of parents who've sailed through a regular pregnancy will never understand. I don't mean to be flippant; of course all expectant parents go through the wringer and have a lot of concerns and worries, but until you've been through it knowing that something won't be quite right, you'll never know what the second time round feels like. In the back of my mind, I'm resigned to the fact that something still could go wrong and I'm o.k with that. Alright, perhaps not o.k with it, but I'm prepared for it and it doesn't completely freak me out. If something happens, it happens and we'll deal with it, whatever 'it' may be.

So all being well, come April-ish, Jake will have a sibling and the family will be even more complete. I'm dreading the sleep thing again but am also really excited. I'm looking forward to a different feeling on that first night. I remember bringing Jake home like it was yesterday. He and I slept in the living room while Clare caught up on some well deserved sleep upstairs. I had no idea what I was doing but the pair of got through the night o.k and the rest is history. A lot has happened since and the next installment in our story is due this year.

Can't wait!

Monday 8 November 2010

Here we go again!

It's funny how life just rolls along. When you're younger you don't really consider it, stuff just happens and you move subconsciously from one stage of your life to the next. As you grow up, get married, hock yourself up in a mortgage and then have children, you start to notice the patterns that emerge. I think it's the rounds of babies your friends have which causes this reflection. Most circles of friends will have at least a couple of concurrent pregnancies and in our case (even aside of having joined NCT), it was much more. So then those babies are born and within 18 months or so you start getting those round robin emails and Facebook status updates that announce round 2. Indeed two of our NCT friends have just had their second baby and our great friends, Sarah and Hamish have just given Sadie a little baby brother in Finlay.

So it seems only fair to get involved and I'm delighted to say that, after a couple of unsuccessful attempts, in the very words of Margaret Thatcher, 'we are pregnant'!

We're obviously thrilled but utterly paranoid, not just because of the adventures which lead to this blog's inception but also that Clare has had a couple of miscarriages. The early signs are positive and we've been through a 7 and 12 week scan. So it's a case of so far, so good although I know won't be able to enjoy the pregnancy anything like as much as I would have had Jake's journey to planet earth been more run of the mill.

However, all being well, next April, our son will have a baby brother or sister and we can't wait to put in the last piece of the Fernie family jigsaw.

Have yourselves a lovely Monday and enjoy the rain!

Wednesday 29 September 2010

Piet Haers sign off, speech and what's next

I can't believe where the last year went. It only seems like yesterday I was writing here that Prof Haers had given the cleft palate repair the O.K and told us not to come back for a year. Since then, we've had just one trip back to the hospital for the initial speech assessment six months ago.

Clare took Jake to see Piet Haers last week for the yearly check up and then afterwards back to the speech team to see what progress has been made in the intervening six months.

Piet is pleased with how things have gone. It seems ages ago that I wrote about the 18 month period between the cleft lip repair operation and when the scar has finished settling. Anyway this is now the end of the 18 month period and to be honest I'd completely forgotten about it. So, basically his lip is now in the shape it'll always be, it'll just get bigger as the rest of him does. To my surprise Piet said that Jake will need another operation. Well he didn't say need, he said that Jake would probably want to have had another operation if he didn't. I'm fine about where his lip's ended up, but there is something Elvis-like about it. Not completely perfect but it's him now, his little thing. However it's one thing for me to think it's cute and quite another from Jake's point of view when he goes to school. There's the bigger picture to consider here, like the one where other kids will pick on even the slightest difference to gain playground kudos. Whether it's glasses, a big nose, a birthmark, having two dads etc, they'll use it to their advantage. So I guess a quick revision will be worth it. I'm also quite pleased that the main man thinks he can improve it. The day after his first operation, stitches aside, the lip was perfect. Over the last year and half the scar has retracted a bit, hence the slight curl. Obviously another trip to St. Thomas' doesn't fill us with excitement but it ought to be an in and out job, coming home the same day. Besides, he won't have it until he's four so it's all healed in time for his first day at school.

Over the last 6 months, we've obviously heard a marked improvement in Jake's speech and he has understanding of hundreds of words and will attempt to say them all too. Naturally some words come far more easily than others but I'm not sure how much of that is to do with the cleft and how much is to do with his only being 24 months old.

Either way, as predicted, he said virtually nothing at the speech session. He did make enough noise however for the therapist to seem pleased. The noises she could detect were being made with the front of the mouth and this is a good sign. 'P's, 'B's, and 'T's are the ones which cleft palate affected kids can struggle with so to hear they're pleased with how he's doing on those is great news.

After a long 7 month wait, our house renovations are almost complete. I obviously bored you with stories of the kitchen but have kept my silence as regards the rest since I swapped the mundane stuff over to the other James Fernie blog. Anyway the loft ought to be ready for habitation in another two weeks. I've said that exact line probably four times over the last two months but these things always take longer than anticipated. We were going to use the new room as our bedroom but really it's not big enough to accommodate our massive bed. It's a shame as we've suffered all the disruption, dust and endless streams of tradesman in the house for most of the year. So we've decided that it will firstly be the spare room; perfect for guests as our spare bed (currently in Jake's room) is a more modest 4 foot 6 and there's the new bathroom up there as well for their privacy. When in the future, hopefully, a little brother or sister arrives for Jake, we'll move him up there (again perfect for him to have his own bathroom) and stick the baby and spare bed back in what is currently Jake's bedroom.

There, I bet you're glad that's sorted!

Till next time....

Tuesday 31 August 2010

Blog Award. I got one!!

I just got awarded this. My natural cynicism made me think it was just a link-building bit of spam but it looks real enough. Anyway, it's my first award so whatever it is, I'm keeping it!

Medical Billing
Medical Billing

Tuesday 17 August 2010

Jake at 2

Well, not quite but in a couple of weeks or so Jake will celebrate his second anniversary of life. Of course, he's been a part of lives for even longer, since January 2008 in fact. Truly I can't really remember the time before Clare was pregnant or since Jake's been here. Obviously I remember stuff we did and places we went, but not on a day to day level. So much changes with your daily routine, but because it happens automatically, over time you just accept it. Friends without kids, still say 'come over one night next week' with no thought of what that entails. Firstly, it's impossible without a baby sitter and with a week's notice, that's always going to be tricky. Alternatively then, taking child to them involves a travel cot, getting there early enough to settle and in all probability involves child not actually going to bed due to excitement and unfamiliar surroundings and ultimately leads to stressful evening.

I've said before that I prefer my life now. Sure, there's much less (if any) drop-of-the-hat action, but there's also less boredom. Before you could decide what to do on a whim, but if that whim never came, when then? Often, nothing. Hence boredom. Now it's all (to an extent) planned. Clare seldom has a non-work day without anything planned for Jake. And similarly at the weekend, there will always be something in the diary. It's still nice to do nothing, but that nothing is planned and therefore welcomed.

Since I switched blogs, this one has been somewhat neglected. Jake's development settled more and there was less to report on a weekly basis, however the last couple of months have seen big changes in him. It's less obvious when you see it everyday - another good reason for keeping this going - but he's turning, week by week, into less of a toddler and more of a little boy. For the first time, I'm not hoping he'll get a bit older. Since he was born I looked forward to the next stage. When he could roll over, then sit up, then climb onto the sofa, then feed himself, then walk, then talk etc. Right now though, I think he's at a stage which has the perfect blend of cuteness and cognisance. So he can't form complete sentences but he and we know what he's saying and at the same time still has some babyish features. I'm still really looking forward to a proper conversation and all the football games I'll watch him play but for now, this is the perfect age and one I'd like to crystalise.

I cannot believe he's almost 2!