Monday, 11 April 2011

Monday 11.4.11

Today I'm supposed to be starting a new job, looking after online marketing and ecommerce conversion at Gift Library. It's kind of a dream job for me....pretty much completely on brief in terms of what I said I wanted to do when we sold the old agency. After a lifetime of sucking up to clients who were often wrong but paid the bills, it's time to go and be the client, and work on something to build some sort of legacy.

Anyway, it all happened rather fast. One interview just over a week ago, a week's notice given on my freelance contract from Stream 20 and today's the day I start. Well, not quite.

Because Clare's waters broke last night.

I believe the expression is 'OMFG'!!!!!!!!!!!

Those of you who've read this since the beginning or at least around the time Jake was born, will remember that he was two weeks early. Labour setting in after a family meal on a Sunday. Well, different family (celebrating Clare's dad's 70th) and contractions haven't started but last night around 11pm we were in bed and she gave me the news. So, just like last time, we were on the road at midnight on a Sunday - I think I wrote at the time, how weird it was to be driving at that time of day and week, and that I'd likely never do it again! Anyway, unlike last time, Clare wasn't ready. They hooked her up to the monitor and an hour later we were on our way back home. I had said that I really didn't want to come home but I was so tired I was quite pleased. Also, the initial shock and panic is now replaced with a sort of blokish attitude that we shall now simply go back to hospital and push out a baby!

We're so lucky as Clare's mum drove round to stay and look after Jake and will pick him up from nursery later and keep hold of him until our baby arrives. Because the waters have broken, they will induce Clare tomorrow morning at 8am and although we'd love for it to come today to share granddad's birthday (not to mention how cool 11.4.11 looks,esp as it matches Jake's 8.9.8), we're definitely going to have a new baby tomorrow. Which is utterly crazy. But we're ready and can't wait.

Bring it on!

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Sorry been busy again!

Sorry all, it's been a while since my last confession entry...still got the whole job thing going on. A real pain working for someone else but it puts food on the table.

Clare is due in 23 days time. When you say it like that it really hits home...just after Jake has finally, at long, glorious last, settled for once and for all into the sleep pattern we've been praying for, another one is going to come along and turn things upside down again. I'm not complaining though. Much.

It's going to be wonderful and I really can't wait. I said on this blog waaaaay back in 2008, that getting married validates your relationship but having a child is what makes you a family. I know that sounds utterly obvious but you could be a family with say, a cat or whatever but maybe it's more that it rubber stamps your relationship and adds another dimension. Well, having the second I guess completes the set. Gets you to the point where if you didn't have any more kids or pets you wouldn't feel or look to the outside world at all incomplete.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to that.

Also, had a lovely message from someone of Facebook who said this blog helped her when she discovered her boy would be born with a cleft lip and palate. For what must be the hundredth time I've written this, I genuinely had no idea that people would read this and although it says in the title that it's for others, I didn't expect anyone to bother coming along to it, let alone have it help someone or give them comfort. That it did is awesome and I'm really glad it's still going, albeit sporadically.

Incidentally, the other blog at James Fernie is down for some reason, must be my sh!tty ISP - yes, the one I used to run...see what happens when the boss leaves town!

So long peeps.

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....