The Imp and I went to Sweden at the start of November and stayed until December 1st, so we’re only just back in the UK, really. While in Sweden I attended my grandma’s funeral, which was incredibly sad, yet a beautiful service. I’m glad that I could get there and pay my respects, even when living in another country. There’s always a fear of missing out on important events when living far away.
During the rest of the visit, we saw family, visiting my dad for a weekend and one of my sisters for another weekend. There was snow for a few days, but a good couple of weeks were just gray and dreary with rain every day. Those days were absolutely miserable.
I’m frustrated by myself and my lack of writing – both on the blog and otherwise. I was never a very prolific blogger, but since the Imp it’s been pretty dismal. In my last post I mentioned having written a chapter for a novella, that’s about as far as I got since after that the Imp decided that sleep was not something that she needed. Suddenly her already rubbish evenings turned into a flurry of “no I will not sleep until 11 pm at the earliest”, and I would most commonly fall asleep with her or shortly after. Even the odd evening when she did fall asleep I got nothing done because I was either exhausted or expecting her to wake up any moment (which she often did).
Four (and two more nearly through) teeth later, and it looks like there might finally be some light at the end of the tunnel. She’s actually been asleep by 9 pm a couple of evenings now. I won’t hold my breath, but if I can at least get a couple of hours to myself in the evenings again, maybe I can get some writing in. Wish me luck!
Our one week in Spain turned out really nice. There was quite a bit of running after the Imp as there was an open pool in the garden, but between three adults it worked out well. We took it easy most of the time, lounging at the house and in the pool, with only trips to the grocery store and twice to the beach. I think everyone just wanted a break, and it was lovely. The Imp, unfortunately, decided during the holiday that she hated the car seat, the highchair, and the buggy – so we had quite a few battles whenever we needed to go anywhere!
I’ve already booked my next holiday, which will be a trip back home to Sweden in November. Sadly it’s due to wanting to attend the funeral for my grandmother who passed away a couple of weeks ago. She ended up in the hospital while we were in Spain, but seemed to be doing better as we came back. I was on standby to book a ticket to come home sooner if needed. Then suddenly she took a turn for the worse, and then she was gone. It’s all very sad, but I’m glad that at least I can make it for the funeral. It’s instances like these that bring it home that I’m far away from my family, and it makes me miss them even more.
In completely unrelated news, I’m trying my hand at writing fiction again. It’s been absolutely forever, other than some fan fiction a few years ago, and currently, it feels about as easy as squeezing water from a rock to get the words to flow – but I am persisting. Hopefully, the writer’s block will subside if I can keep at it. I just need the Imp to sleep a bit better, so that I have more time to actually write. To sort of get myself back into it, I’m not jumping right back to my old Regency series, instead trying to write a little novella with a Christmas theme (still Regency romance). I’m considering publishing a chapter every week or so on Wattpad and/or blog as I finish them. Then for Christmas 2020, I’ll have it revised and properly edited, and maybe release it as an e-book.
We shall have to see how it goes. I only started yesterday so I only have one chapter so far. Wish me luck!
I’d like to write more often, but as the Imp apparently detests sleep I get very little time to do… well, anything. She seems to sleep in 45-minute intervals most of the time. The day time naps often end up being only that, but sometimes I can get her back down for an additional 30-45 minutes. It’s hard to get into the swing of anything though when you’re constantly interrupted.
At night time it varies. Right now she’s teething, so she’s been going to bed between 10-11 at night, then waking constantly all the way until morning. I’m very much hoping that these teeth will come through soon because I’m exhausted (and I suspect that she is too, not that she’d ever admit it).
So, what’s been going on over here since eh… May? Oops!
Well, we went to Sweden to visit my family for a few weeks, which was lovely. We had some really good weather and had time to meet most of the family. Then my mum and aunt came back with us so I wouldn’t have to fly alone with the tiny terror. They spent a few days here in England before flying back, and I was happy to get to show off some good British weather for once! (Last time they were here was when the Imp was newly hatched, and the weather was dreadful.)
At the end of July, we attended the wedding of some friends of ours, and the Imp was actually amazing and sat through the whole ceremony without trying to escape (her usual move when we’re still for too long).
August seems to have passed by without much notice. I had a birthday but didn’t really celebrate other than the boyfriend taking me out to dinner (which was nice). Now in September, we’re planning a trip to Spain, which will be the first time the Imp will travel somewhere that’s not just hanging out with my family, so we will see how that works out! Sadly the boyfriend couldn’t get time off work, so he has to stay home, but we’ll be meeting my step-mum and little brother (soon 10 years old) there. And we won’t have to fly alone, when we realised the boyfriend couldn’t get time off, we roped his mum into coming along for an extra set of hands for the tiny terror.
Now I shall stop boring you because I doubt anyone really wants to know what’s been going on. It’s really more for my own records, and abysmal records they will be! But it’s better than nothing. I think?
I’ve suffered from chronic fatigue (CFS) for a long time now, and I have periods when I’m definitely doing better – and others where I’m definitely doing worse. Same with my fibromyalgia. However, I always feel like I can cope better with the pain than I can with the tiredness and exhaustion. I realise that this makes me lucky in some ways, the fibro isn’t nearly as bad as it could be, and for that I am grateful. The exhaustion can be debilitating though. And somehow I decided that I would add a baby into the mix. (Well, technically a toddler by now.)
I will never regret having the Imp, I love her above all – but there are days when I feel like the worst mother because I simply don’t have the energy to do everything that everyone else does. There are days when we just hang out at home because I can’t contemplate leaving the house, I’m just too fatigued. Fortunately, the little Imp seems quite happy to potter around at home, wreaking havoc the way I imagine a small hurricane would.
For the last few years, I’ve managed my fatigue somewhat. I’ve been able to work full time, which has been a definite win, even if it’s been at the cost of some other things having to go. During the years I’ve noticed that I can’t have it all, I have to choose where to expend my limited energy. I can either do my hobbies, keep a clean, tidy home or work. The last couple of years I worked, and my hobbies suffered. (As for cleaning, I was somewhere in between. I managed to sort of keep on top of it, even if not perfect.)
Pregnancy was okay. I was exhausted, but I think even women with no previous health problems are exhausted during pregnancy. Especially if they, like me, work waking night shifts.
Then enter the Imp. I’ll be honest, the first few months after she came along I was doing great. Exhausted? Yes. But I don’t think any more than any other new mum (or so I like to think). My pain was nearly entirely gone. It was amazing. Maybe six months down the line the pain started creeping back though, and both it and the exhaustion has been getting progressively worse.
The Imp is 14 months old today, and yesterday I was so tired I just wanted to sit down and cry. I struggle with feeling inferior to other mums, who manage to care for their child, going out and doing things every day and keep a neat, tidy home. At the moment I can’t do either. I feel like I’m stuck, trapped in this body and mind that are sluggish and fatigued – all while the house crumbles around me.
There are so many things I want to do. I feel like I need to do. But I can’t bring myself to do them. I’m just so tired. All I want to do is sleep, it’s what I would have done in the past, but with a little one running around that luxury is beyond me.
For months the exhaustion has been getting worse and worse, the lack of sleep definitely not helping. The Imp isn’t a great sleeper, still waking up several times at night, and she won’t let anyone else settle her. Only I can get her back to sleep (I am also the only one that can get her to sleep when first going to bed in the evening). I’m not sure how to fix it. At this point, all I can think is that I need to rest. But there is no rest to be had.
Ps. I’m sorry about the rambling nature of this post. I don’t know if it’s making any sense, and I’m quite honestly too tried to make it make sense.
I’m not entirely sure how it happened, but suddenly the Imp turned a year old on Saturday. How has it been a year already? It’s been a wonderful year, with little sleep, but a lot of love.
The Imp was born at 37+1 after an induction, following doctor’s recommendations due to growth restriction. She just wasn’t growing as she was meant to, and after a few weeks of regular check-ups (towards the end I was going every other day to check her heartbeat/that she wasn’t in distress), it was simply time to get her out. I went in on Thursday around noon for an induction, and the Imp was born on the Friday at 22.57.
I remember going into labour with practically no sleep due to the contractions starting Thursday evening, but managed a little nap in my room in the labour ward after being given my first bout of painkillers. Which was lovely. Less lovely when it wore off. I tried gas and air, some people swear by it – but I’ll be honest, it did nothing for me. I could as well have been breathing in regular air for all it did.
Having a low pain threshold and just not being a brave person (I’ve always feared the idea of giving birth, for as long as I can remember), and the fact that induction contractions are really bloody painful – I ended up having an epidural. Say what you want, but I don’t think I’d have managed without it. The drip to induce labour was bringing the contractions on quite strongly. There was quite a bit of fiddling up and down with it as well, because baby would become distressed if they put it too high, and if they lowered it nothing happened.
Eventually they seemed to find the magic formula though, and I was allowed to start pushing. It took awhile, and towards the end it seemed that she got stuck, and I just couldn’t quite get that last stretch over the finish line. I ended up with an episiotomy, and out she came! She was a tiny little thing at 44 cm and 2060 grams (just below 4 lbs 8 oz). We stayed in the hospital for a week since she was too little to breastfeed properly, so she had to be tube fed. We kept practicing though, and we finally cracked the code, and she became quite adept at it!
I look back on that first week now a year later, and I’m so glad it’s behind me. I hated being in the hospital. After about three days I was starting to go stir crazy. It felt like the whole day was a never ending circle of expressing, sterilising, and feeding. I’m so glad that the breastfeeding eventually worked.
Now, as a one year old the Imp is still relatively small. She’s wearing 4-6 months clothing (but I have high hopes that she’s about to grow into the 6-9 months clothing soon), but other than being small seems to hit most goals. We’re not quite there yet, but she’s started walking a few steps. At most she’s walked a few metres across a room, which is quite well done after all. She has four teeth, with another four on the way (at the same time!). Her talking is possibly a little bit behind, but I’m told it’s quite normal for bi-lingual children, so I won’t worry about that (yet).
A little while ago I started a separate Instagram for the Imp called Grumpy Baby. It was just for fun, because she has resting grumpy face, and sometimes her grumpy photos just give me a chuckle. It has all of like 8 followers or something, nearly all family members. So imagine my surprise when suddenly I got an e-mail from Instagram telling me that the e-mail associated with the account had been changed. Followed by another e-mail saying that the username had been changed.
It gave me an option to click a link to revert the e-mail change, which I did as soon as I received it. However, and I can only assume it’s because of the user name change, the reversion didn’t work. I got about halfway through only to be told the account didn’t exist. Hopefully the half-done reversal blocked the hacker too though, because in the 24 hours it took me to retrieve the account, nothing was posted on it.
In the end, I did get the account back – but it did require a bit of work. Especially since one of the things they want is a photo of you holding a hand-written sign with your username, and the person in the photo should be on the account. Since the account only has photos of the Imp, I had to take a photo of her with a sign. And yes, I did it while she was sleeping, because otherwise said sign would have been eaten and/or crumpled by grubby little hands.
While all this was going on, I discovered that someone must have the password for my @spellbound.nu e-mail, because I was getting lots of spam of undelivered messages. So someone was using my e-mail address to spam people. Great. I’ve since changed the password, and I haven’t received any “undelivered” messages since, so hopefully that’s stopped it.
Not a very interesting blog post this, I suppose – but I hope it may serve as a reminder to change your passwords now and then. I have had the bad habit of using the same password in more than one place. In large part because I have a terrible memory, but I will just have to do a password retrieve every time if I have to – because this was a really frustrating experience.
Oh, and if anyone wants to see the occasional photo of resting grumpy face, her Instagram account is grumpybaby.02.
The boyfriend and I made an agreement years ago that we would spend every other Christmas and New Year’s with my family in Sweden, since it’s only fair.
2018 was the Imp’s first Christmas, and a Sweden year, so on 21 December we dragged our asses to the airport and flew to Sweden. The Imp handled the flight brilliantly, much better than during the summer! She only complained a bit when her ears were undoubtedly hurting during the descent.
We’ve been staying with my brother in his house, but celebrated Christmas at my mom’s flat with a mountain of gifts, great food and company.
A few days later we traveled the three hours to my dad’s where we celebrated New Year’s. We had a great time!
We’re now back at my brother’s until we go back to England on the 21st. On Thursday the Imp’s grandma will arrive from the UK and spend a few days before travelling back with us.
Where does the time go? Suddenly it’s 2019, wasn’t it January 2018 just a couple of months ago?
2018 was the year I became a mom, and very little blogging was done. I’m hoping that I will do a bit better this year, but then I think I say that every year, so we’ll see.
I think one of my problems with the blog is how much (or little) I want to share about the Imp. It’s a difficult one for me. Also life in general, it’s probably boring for everyone else, but nice for me to be able to go back and see what I’ve been doing.
Will have to think on this and make a decision.
So, 2018… I had more visits from family than any other year. I suspect due to a certain little imp being born.
I connected with a couple of friends who already had young children on a new level, and we now get together with the little ones nearly every week, which is lovely.
In the summer, the Imp and I spent 4 weeks in Sweden with my family, which was great.
Christmas and New Years was also spent in Sweden, and we’re currently here until 21 January.
I’m currently in semi-panic mode about everything I need to get done in, well, by tomorrow night – because on Friday morning we’re all traveling to Sweden to celebrate Christmas with my family. As much as I’m looking forward to the Imp’s first Christmas, and seeing my family – there’s a lot to be done!
I have to pack everyone’s suitcases, and hope against hope that I can fit all of the Christmas gifts! Then I need to tidy up the flat and prepare it for the people who will be staying to take care of the pets. It may not sound like a lot, but it all takes time – especially with a little Imp that crawls around my legs and tries to get into everything. Today I wrapped the last gifts, and probably spent as much time wrapping as I did removing sticky little hands from the paper, tags and anything else in reach.
So, so, so looking forward to going home for the holidays though! I love Christmas! My sister will be traveling up as well, so there will be quite a few of us on Christmas. The Imp will spend Christmas with three out of four cousins.
New Year’s we’ll spend at my dad’s, and then the boyfriend travels back to England on January 5th, while the Imp and I stay until the 21st. So plenty of time to see the whole family.