Settling In

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

This is my first week at home with my little ladybug. Scarlett is one week old today. Man, time flies.
And I haven’t found a minute to write yet. But I can see where I will just as soon as I get used to my new ‘schedule’. So far, Scarlett is a really good baby. She sleeps exceptionally well, which is making my life a little easier.  I just need to get used to managing my time a little better. So far today, I’ve only had time to put away loads of groceries, have a really short nap, and cook dinner between feeds and diapers and play.
I am now three and a half chapters behind on my WIP and have an essay due tomorrow that I haven’t even finished the notes for. Yep. I really have to work on my time management. But then, that has always been my problem, hasn’t it.
The WIP is aimed at Harlequin American Romance and there’s been word that they will be having a pitch contest sometime this summer. They never say exactly when, but I’m praying for August to give me as much time as possible to work on it. They’ve announced a medical fast track and even listed the dates in June it will be held. God, I wish they’d do that for HAR. At least then I’d have an actual deadline, instead of just a vague idea of ‘sometime this summer’.
Either way, I really need to get to work. I just wish I wasn’t trying to write this essay and prepare for the EMA (big, end of course essay, worth a big chunk of the grade). It’s still early days with Scarlett, too. I may find that she hasn’t come close to settling in to a rhythm yet. This week,  I’m going to concentrate on finishing that essay (probably not on time, but I can get an extension and finish up by the weekend) and getting to know my little ladybug’s schedule as it stands now. It isn’t rigid, but she does seem to follow something of a pattern.
Next week, I am going to sit down and work out a schedule for myself. I need to take into account Scarlett, school, and household duties in addition to writing, but I’m sure I can come up with some sort of arrangement which will allow me writing time. I’ll let you know how I get on.


Monday, 23 April 2012

I laughed out loud (seriously) when I receive the letter from my work detailing my maternity leave. All because it said that my ‘expected date of confinement’ was April 26th. Not my expected due date, my expected date of confinement. I started to wonder if I would be locked away for a bit, given weekend passes. I don’t remember being confined with my son, of course it was four years ago, so things may have changed.
So yeah. Confinement. Turns out to be pretty much right.
I won’t bore any of you with my birth story in detail, I’ll just give you the synopsis version. I was admitted to hospital in the afternoon on Tuesday, April 18th for a routine, planned induction. If you’ve read any of my previous posts on this, you will know that they planned to take her early, so no drama there. They examined me, found her to be head down (not engaged, but I was assured that wouldn’t be a problem), and they proceeded to start my labour with the pessary.
Six hours later, and well into contractions, they told me I’d be moved to the delivery suite to break my waters right after one last examination. Now you all know me. I never do anything by halves, so it goes to figure my offspring wouldn’t either. And sure enough, after a midwife feeling around and a registrar with an ultrasound machine it was confirmed—Scarlett had moved. She was now lying transverse. Change of plans.
I was given a shot to stop the contractions and we planned a nice, stress-free c-section for the morning. Of course, now that my body was contracting, it had other plans. The contractions came harder and faster until the registrar decided it was too risky to wait any longer. I was told I would be having an emergency c-section and it was less than thirty minutes before I was on the table. They really did move fast!
At 0144 on Wednesday, April 18, 2012, Scarlett Rayne Mitchinson was born.

God, she is so beautiful. I mean, really, if I am going to be ‘confined’ I couldn’t think of a better cell mate. And it seems it really is a confinement after all.
Anyone who knows me knows that I suffer from ADHD and find it impossible to sit still for long. I came off of the pain meds less than 36 hours later. And by the way, I had nothing before the spinal even with those nasty contractions! I am so amazed! Really, I am a wuss when it comes to pain. Anyway,I was up walking around early Thursday morning and sleeping in my own bed Thursday night. Now, I am smart enough not to over-do it, but since I’ve been home I have cleaned the kitchen a time or two and done a couple of loads of laundry. I feel fine—great even.
The midwife does not agree. That is to say neither of the two that have visited so far have believed me when I say I am fine. The midwife that was here Friday was appalled that I came home in less than two full days when hospital protocol says c-sections should stay three days. The registrar who discharged me was thrilled that I felt up to going early, though, and I so wanted to be in my own environment. I still think the protocols are more ‘guidelines’ and should be dealt with case by case, but that’s a story for another time.
Today’s midwife visit was even more depressing. I am looking great wound-wise and all. Scarlett is perfect, but then, we knew that didn’t we. =-) But you should’ve seen the midwife’s face when I said I was going to walk Scarlett to school to pickup Hunter. Anyone would’ve thought I’d told her I was running a marathon this afternoon! She was really not happy for me to do that—not for another 7-10 days. She claims I shouldn’t lift the car seat or push the pram that far. I didn’t tell her about my plans to do laundry all day. God forbid!
Now I agree to some extent. It isn’t that I don’t feel up to it, I just have no desire to walk it period. I didn’t even enjoy the walk before, when I was only barely pregnant! It is a bit of a trek. I assure you, I am not doing it just for the hell of it. I’m not supposed to drive—maybe for as long as six weeks (pray that they clear me sooner). My husband is back at work and won’t be home until after 1800 (school pickup is at 1515). I have no family or close friends (or at least friends who aren’t also at work) here to help out. And I have to go get my son.
So, now I’m trying to figure out what to do. I feel up to it, I really do. The plan was to leave here really early, like at 1400 (which is about fifteen minutes from now) so I had time to make it a leisurely walk. And call a taxi for the ride home if I felt I needed to (which according to the midwife still won’t work because I have to lift the car seat to put it on the pram). That was all before the midwife went and scared me to bits. Oh well, I either need to book a taxi or get the little ladybug bundled and ready to go, so I guess I should wrap this up. I’ll let you know later what I decided to do and how it went. I’ll try to get back to my regular posting. Should have more time now. Seeing as how I’m in confinement.

Nesting my...

Monday, 16 April 2012

Why is it that the threat of not being able to get things done all of a sudden makes you feel the need to do EVERYTHING? Seriously, stuff that has needed doing for months (probably years) is all of a sudden on my radar and must be done—it’s a matter of life and death! For example, over the weekend before last I moved the treadmill to vacuum under it because there was dry cat food under it. I’m nine months pregnant. It was not one of my best ideas. But I just had to do it.
My best friend tells me it’s definitely a pregnancy thing. I remember nesting with Hunter. I felt the need to clean and do laundry. I actually enjoyed doing all of it. I’m not really enjoying the chores I’ve been taking on this time, I just feel like they have to be done.
I’m writing this post now (really early for me) because I still have to do laundry (Yep, the 23 loads I did over Easter weren’t enough. We just keep making more.) and clean the downstairs bathroom. My mother-in-law is coming in tonight to stay with the monster while my hubby and I are in hospital awaiting the second, and final, monster. This means the house has to be presentable. I’d say spotless, but honestly at this point I’m beyond caring about spotless, I’m just going to wipe it all down.
For some reason, I want to get as much university work done as possible in the next 24 hours. Where was this motivation two days ago?  I have spent the last two weeks catching up on stupid stuff which wasn’t even relevant (and certainly wasn’t on my to-do list) and my necessary tasks have suffered greatly. I have seven overdue tasks—seven! Three of those, I’m ashamed to say, are writing related.
So today, with what little quiet time I have left (have to pick the monster up from school in an hour and a half) I’m going to try to plough through some of those overdue tasks. At the very least, the university work. And the laundry. And the bathroom.  Oh, and I am going to try to relax a little since I’m going in to be induced tomorrow.
That’s right. The next time I post I will be the mother of two. I think it’s fair to say I will not be posting on Wednesday, since I’ll most likely still be in the hospital. I may not make it Friday either, but I’m sure you understand. But I’ll be back. As soon as I can. Until then, have a great week!
Now, I need to get to work…

Almost time...

Friday, 13 April 2012

I actually forgot to post on Wednesday. I'm sorry. This week has been an exhausting one and I'm barely holding it together right now. Wednesday night I stayed up as late as I could working on the assignment that was due on Thursday night. I managed to finish it up on Thursday before lunch and got it out. Thank God. Now I can move to the next one. After all, it is due only nine days after I am being induced, so I better get as much done as possible now.

I'm being induced in four days.

I'm not going to lie and say that I am not scared. I am. I'm scared of the induction, the pain, the wait... Most of all, I'm scared of bringing that little girl home. It has been so long since I've done diapers and night feeds. But, I guess I'll just have to get over that. There's no turning back now. My husband, who was unusually charming tonight told me it was my fault we had kids because i was 'so damn irresistable'. Yeah. I have no idea where that came from. He also made steaks and baked potatoes and broccoli with homemade cheese sauce while I put my feet up. It is possible he has started drinking at work. 

Lately I have been reading a lot of advice on blogging and it has occurred to me that I'm doing this all wrong. I should be writing for an audience. Right now, I guess I'm writing more for myself. Someday, I'd like to look back at all of these entries and see just what I went through-- the good and the bad-- along the road to publication. I do realise, though, that not all of you want to read my moaning about my unruly four year old and the quickly approaching birth of the next little monster.

I promise to make more of an effort to make this more 'blogish' and less 'Dear Diary'... after the baby is born. Thankfully, the Easter holidays are over and the monster goes back to school on Monday. I'd love to have the week to myself to lounge and write, but all I get is Monday and then it's time for labour pains (bring on the epidural!).

Anyway, I'm going to curl up in bed and possibly read some for my next assignment. Or sleep, who knows. I'll be back on Monday. Night all.

'Holiday Weekend'

Monday, 9 April 2012

Happy Easter! (What? You know I’m always late with everything.)
It’s after 10pm on Easter Monday and I can’t even begin to tell you how glad I am that ‘holiday weekend’ is over. Of course, I use the term ‘holiday weekend’ loosely since it has been anything but a holiday for me.
This weekend I have done 23 loads of laundry. This includes things like car seat covers and new baby clothes—I swear I have done laundry recently, but only school uniforms and work clothes. I have vacuumed the whole house and cleaned out my study (There is a desk in there. Who knew?). I’ve cleaned the kitchen, living room, bedrooms, dining room...
And, no, I am not nesting. I keep telling everyone nesting is when you get the urge and WANT to clean. The only urge I have is to sleep. I just have no choice but get the work done.
All that work might not have been so bad if I hadn’t totally overdone it on Friday. I did the majority of the cleaning on Friday after dropping the hubby off for his best friend’s stag do in Budapest thinking I’d have the weekend to relax, but no way. Fate, that evil bitch, was having none of that. When I finally decided to call it quits from exhaustion, the monster came crying to me with a 102.2F fever. And started vomiting shortly after.
That is the last time I kill myself thinking I’ll be able to lounge later.
I can’t wait until my dear hubby comes home to help parent. According to a text, he is currently hailing a taxi to bring him home from the airport and I’m afraid it will be all I can do to let him in and crawl back in bed. My eyes are threatening to close all the while I type this. It may not matter. According to his texts over the weekend, he should be just as shattered as I am. I admit, I’m a bit jealous. He had fun getting that way. I did not.
Somehow, though, I survived the weekend. Of course, the monster and I spent a great deal of it screaming at each other. I truly believe my previously precious four year old has recently been possessed by some hellacious demon intent on making my life 1000 times harder.
And just think… I get to spend the whole week home with him. Damn Easter half term.
On the whole though, I guess it could be worse. The groom and best man aren’t coming home from Budapest just yet. They are sitting in a jail cell waiting to be tried for larceny. For stealing a giant chocolate rabbit and egg from the hotel lobby. Yeah. I have a feeling their ‘holiday weekend’ might just top mine. I don’t even have a clue what a Budapest jail is like, but I can’t imagine it will be much fun.
Who thinks I should buy the happy couple a giant chocolate rabbit as a wedding present?


Friday, 6 April 2012

This morning, the monster and I dropped DH off at the train station. He had a plane to catch. He’s spending the weekend in Budapest on a stag do. The monster cried for Daddy all the way home.
Clue number one.
Once we got home, I spent hours cleaning my study. (As usual, I overdid it. I can’t seem to make myself understand that I am 37+ weeks pregnant.) The entire time, the monster laid on the couch quietly watching TV.
Clue number 2.
When I realized it was way too quiet downstairs I came down to find the monster sound asleep on the couch. I tried to wake him with promises of a sweetie, but no luck.
Clue number 3.
When the time came to eat his favorite dinner—pizza—the monster refused. In fact, he refused to eat anything (toast, pasta, chicken nuggets…).
Clue number 4.

I decided to check his temperature after he started complaining of a headache and a tummy ache. Sure enough, 102.2 F. And next came the vomiting.
Right now, I'm snuggled up beside him, watching Scooby Doo, praying I don’t get whatever he’s got. Forgive me for making this a short post. It looks as though there will be no fun this Friday. Not for me at least.
So far, he’s doing better. The fever is coming down and he hasn’t been sick in over an hour. I managed to get some toast into him. I wonder if it’ll hold out so I can get some writing done. Can’t hurt to try.
Happy Good Friday, everyone!

Wednesday Writing: Finally Finding Time

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Monday was a hard day. Both as a working mom and as a soon-to-be stay-at-home mom. I spent the day juggling laundry (about 4,000 loads to get ready for Scarlett’s arrival), entertaining the recently-turned-more-monstrous-than-usual four-year-old (damn, I hate school holidays), and discussing breast cancer and the appropriate way to cut tumour samples (it was my day off, but my colleague stopped by).
Oh and aching. I was seriously aching. On Sunday, DH and I spent 6 ½ hours cleaning out the garage and finding all of the baby stuff we saved from Hunter. My back was so sore I strategically placed chairs throughout the house so I would have places to sit and work (fold clothes, even load the dryer) and to take mini-breaks throughout the day.
So, I skipped Monday’s post. Of course, after seriously overdoing it I was up sick until about 4am, so I probably could’ve written it then. I just couldn’t be sure anything I wrote would’ve made sense. It was more likely it would’ve been a 600 word long whine.
But I’m back tonight. Sort of. I mean, I’m tired. Beat actually. My last day of work was the longest I’ve had in ages and then I took a tired, sobbing, child to ASDA for an hour to try to stock up for the weekend. Not my best idea, but at least it’s done.
This weekend, DH is going to Budapest for a stag do (I swear, the man leads a charmed life). He leaves Friday afternoon and comes back sometime Monday, which means I’ll be single parenting again this weekend. And days away from giving birth. I took the easy (read ‘bad’) mommy route and bought loads of frozen (pizzas, chicken nuggets, etc.), but I also got some good stuff—we eat an awful lot of fruit in our house. I’m hoping these quickie meals will give me more time to write.
I am behind on the WIP (again) but not by much. I only need to write two more scenes to get caught up. It shouldn’t be too hard, even though I have loads of university work to catch up on, too. The way I figure it, after next week, the monster will be back in school and I’ll be home alone all day with Scarlett. I’m certain I can find time in my days to write AND study.
Up until now, working meant my only time to write or study came after I got Hunter to bed and then I was usually dead. Now, I’m not delusional, I know I’m about to embark on sleepless nights and fuzzy days, but still, I am sure I’ll find a little clear-headed time.
My goal is still to have this HAR WIP ready in case they do go through with the rumored pitch contest. It won’t be easy, but I owe it to myself to give it a shot. When I look back at the two years I spent at home with Hunter—two years in which I wrote absolutely nothing—I see the opportunity I missed. I only get six months at home with Scarlett and I am determined to turn out at least one, if not two, manuscripts in that time.
Oh hell, I just realized it’s after midnight. So it’s Thursday. I’m late again.

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