Tagged: WeaponX Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Monkey 12:55 pm on March 23, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , flat, house, housing, WeaponX   

    Middle-class problems 

    The trouble with having a baby is that your mid-term plans and thought processes for the day are shot to pieces.

    I might be in the middle of doing something while @HyperHam actually looks after the baby … then suddenly a minor emergency happens and it requires both our attentions. And then when I finally get back to doing what I was doing before, I’m totally lost. So our thoughts are totally dis-jointed – and the lack of sleep and general energy don’t help either.

    Comparatively, we’ve got a good kid. He’s at least sleeping through the night (well, 10pm to 6am) after we started a bedtime routine of bed, burps, bath, bedtime story and bed. (There’s also changing of the nappy in the mix but I can’t think of a way of describing that that begins with a ‘b’)

    So while @HyperHam has the minor task of mostly looking after the baby every single daytime hour of every single weekday, I’ve got the much more onerous task of thinking endlessly about the future, my brain revolving around the following questions:

    Living space

    At the moment, we’re all squeezed into a 48m2 one-bed flat. When Alex starts to crawl, we can ditch a big coffee table and give him some crawl/play space … but how long can three people live in a one-bed flat?

    Bearing in mind how slow the housing chain works, even when we decide to move, it’ll take a minimum of three months to sort out selling our flat and finding somewhere else … so when should we move?

    I’d say let’s move now while house prices are relatively cheap – but I am aware that for some reason, I’ve been very keen to change everything in my life in the last year or so, and@HyperHam is far more concerned with day-to-day matters, and more upheavel in our lives is the last thing she wants.

    So how long can three people live in a one-bed flat?

  • HyperHam 6:12 pm on March 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: internet, WeaponX   

    The Electrification of the Family, or Why the Internet is not your Therapist 

    It’s fair to say I live on the Internet.  My husband Monkey and our child are a direct result of that life.  I do my finances, sell items, shop, all online.  In the personal world, it is my lifeline back home.  I live 5 hours ahead of most of my friends and family, so phone calls are awkward to say the least – email, facebook, twitter all work far better.  My parents won’t get to hold their first grandson for a few more months, so videos and photos keep them in the loop.  And of course, I have both this site as well as my personal journal to comment, complain, and communicate my life.  It is a remarkable tool, giving me incredible power to show myself.  But, as Peter Parker learned, with great power comes great responsibility. 

    There is a website called babble.com, basically a mommy led blog catalogue, and on it is a woman named Katie.  Katie has two kids, with a third on the way.  Katie tends to favor her son more than her daughter.  A lot.  In fact,

    There are moments – in my least sane and darkest thoughts – when I think it wouldn’t be so bad if I lost my daughter, as long as I never had to lose my son (assuming crazy, dire, insane circumstances that would never actually occur in real life).  I know that sounds completely awful and truly crazy.

    Wow.  A startling confession.  But I hear you say, HyperHam, a mommy blogger with a penchant for dark thoughts isn’t newsworthy, and you are right.  What makes it SWEETGOOGLYMOOGLY in my eyes is she writes under her full name, includes her child’s full name, and slaps on a photo of the kid for extra points. 

    Internet 101 folks:  The Internet is not a therapist.  You can tell your deepest, darkest secrets to a therapist and they will try their hardest to keep them quiet; the Internet will try it’s hardest to disseminate said secrets to the widest possible audience. 

    In about 10 years, her kid is going to Google herself, and find that article.  She is going to read, in glorious detail, how her mum never really connected with her, and saw her as a lost cause at the age of three.  I hope Katie is making some cash from blogging for Babble, because her kid is going to need some serious therapy of her own when she reads how she is tedious, and defiant, and how her mummy is harder on her than her brother.  She is going to lose her shit when she gets to the whole ‘if I lost my daughter I would be okay as long as my son was safe’.  That’s going to kill her. 

    I started blogging about 11 years ago, on nimh.net.  After a few years, I switched to LJ, where I blogged under the same name till I was in my 2nd trimester with Weapon.  One weekend, I backed up the blog to a seperate location, and nuked it.  7 years of writing, purged.  While you can still find traces of my first blog through the Wayback Machine, I made damn sure you can’t find the LJ stuff without some serious skills.  I did this not because I want to forget my past, but because one day Weapon is going to hop on Google version 7890757, and I want him to not look at my life, my mistakes, foibles, pain, and ickiness, through a screen.  I want to share with him my world and past at an age appropriate pace.  I take great pains with this blog to not include for the our real names for the same reason – my writing doesn’t just affect me or my husband any more, it affects our innocent son.  Katie would do well to remember this. 

    We are the first generation to truly raise a household in the virtual world.  We can IM our kids when dinner is ready, post their recitals on YouTube, even tweet their report cards.  And while I rave about my kid online, or post vids of him cooing on our baby group through facebook, I don’t ever forget that one day he is going to see all of this, and should therefore should act accordingly.

    For what it’s worth, I hope Katie works it out, and talks to a therapist so the disparity between her daughter and son does not become exponential.  And I hope for everyone’s sake she kills the post so her daughter never has to read about her mother’s thoughts till Katie is ready to share that part of herself with her, and till her daughter is mature enough to process that kind of information.

  • HyperHam 11:21 am on February 3, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , WeaponX   

    One Foot and Fight Club 

    One Foot Moment Tuesday – went to the Mall in the stroller (yes, we managed to get it to work), I was in serious pain (stupid episiotomy and forgetting to take pain meds), but we got on the bus, off the bus, on the bus, and off the bus with little to no worry.  Yay!  Wed’s moment – we got the manual for the stroller in the mail from the buddy we bought it from, woot!

    Weapon has become my Fight Club.  When I first got here (almost 1 year ago in about a week or so), I was struggling to find my way.  I left a steady job and a Master’s program.  I was thousands of miles and 5 time zones away from everything I knew.  I was no longer a tourist – I lived here.  But, I didn’t belong.  Oh, Monkey did a fantastic job trying to acclimate me, but I had to get over the hump.  Didn’t help that within 2 months, I was pregnant, and the great vomiting/hormones/yuckiness took over.  Days blended into one another – wake up, vomit, sleep, vomit, eat 2 bites of food, fight down the urge to vomit….you see where I am going with this.  I didn’t have any plans, didn’t need them really.  Couldn’t work until we got married and applied for 2 year visa, which wasn’t granted till September, by which time I was proper big (and still vomiting), and doubted anyone would hire me.  After September life became a mash of doctor appts (for bipolar and preggersness), which leads us into the here and now.

    Now, it’s all different.  Weapon is my reason to get up (every hour, on the hour).    He is the reason to make sure I put decent food in my tummy, to take my meds (again, a big FU to the episiotomy), to try and pick up the place when I can (mostly just the calvacade of cords in the living room – surprise, surprise, multiple computers and phones and such all have leads), even to make sure my phone is plugged in and charged (nightlight and constant baby timer).  He is my reason to be a follow up on emails that need following, and going through paperwork, and such.  He is my reason to be a better person.  He makes me want to take real pride in myself (although to look at me right now, with 4 lb bags under my eyes, my hair in every direction, and essentially a long skirt pulled up to over my boobies like a weird monochromatic mumu, you might think otherwise).  He is my reason for being, right now.

    Weapon has been up from 4 am to 10.30, inconsolable for most of the night.  Awful awful gas, blew out one diaper, and went through another 5 or so.  Major tooting and spitting up, followed by OMG I AM RAVENOUS FEED ME hunger, which we all knew was going to lead to more spitting up from all the gas.  He is just waking up, hungry as hell.  Time to fight.  🙂

    • Mags 3:09 pm on February 3, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Has the midwife/HV* suggested anything for the gas yet? We used Infacol from around 4 weeks until 5 months, as we’d get epic colicky sessions every afternoon.

      *Hopefully you’ve been signed off the midwife and are with a HV by now.

      • HyperHam 7:35 pm on February 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        We are trying Infacol as well as getting Dr Brown’s bottles, apparently they are like liquid gold or something for gassy babies. Just got signed off today from midwife, yayayayay!

  • HyperHam 4:17 pm on January 31, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , WeaponX   

    One Foot Moments 

    This has been an…unusual week.  Weapon has spent more time of his life in the hospital than out of it, with his addition of a new fun game on Saturday night that I like to call ‘You Can’t Wake Me’.  Basically, nothing we did would rouse him from the deepest sleep.  Sometimes he would grasp our hands, sometimes his arms would flop at his sides.  Sometimes he would stir, sometimes he would not – all while refusing to open his eyes.  Wouldn’t wake up for Mummy and Daddy, wouldn’t wake up for the nice ambulance people, and only woke up in the children’s ER ward at Chelsea and Westminster really when they did another heel prick test for jaundice.  Luckily his levels were below having to do light therapy, but they did keep him overnight for observation.  So, yeah.  Fun game. 

    Every single day we face a new challenge, but every single day we have a triumph in our life.  For instance:

    Day 1:  Had kid.

    Day 2:  Got through first full night in post-natal ward without Monkey. 

    Day 3:  Got through second night, and started ‘topping up’ with formula. (I don’t want to do formula, but my milk hadn’t/hasn’t properly come in yet, due to among other things the traumatic birth and subsequent sleep deprivation).

    Day 4:  We get to go home!

    Day 5:  We have our first night at home as a family.  We make it!

    Day 6:  I get to talk to my friend Kristi in the States about the issues I am having (freak outs about Weapon, etc), and I feel so much better.

    Day 7:  Weapon decides to play the new game ‘You Can’t Wake Me’, and we don’t lose our heads entirely, we do the right thing and take him to A&E.

    Day 8:  Weapon is home, and while we have a VERY long night, we get through it.

    Day 9:  Midwife arrives, weighs Weapon, he is gaining weight nicely, and she says his latch and my bf posture looks great! 

    In the darkest hours, I try to remember that we are taking baby steps, and putting one foot in front of the other is the only way for us to learn.  I will (time and energy permitting) try to put up a ‘One Foot Moment’ every day, to remind myself that while it’s hard, there are moments of pure victory every day – you just have to look for them super hard some times.  😉

    • Kristi 3:07 am on February 1, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Girl. You know you are a great mom. Remember when you had to learn that pb&j's are cut a certain way? You triumphed and didn't break a sweat. You will perservere, you will triumph. And the day he says: "I love you, mommy" will forever remain in infamy. Those days get you through. The days they will only be calmed by you, regardless of how tired you are and sleep deprived and however much you want them to go to their dad – just long enough to get a shower. You will fall asleep on the couch with him, and snuggle, and remember, that you are mommy, and only you matter. And you will be sad the day he only wants dad. 😉 More victories than fails/ falls. I promise.

  • HyperHam 10:47 pm on January 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , WeaponX   

    Our Birth Story 

    This is the story of the birth of our first child, WeaponX.  It is not a pretty story. I’m crying as I type it, because… well, many reasons.  The intensity of what we went through was overwhelming, and I don’t think either of us have had the time to really process it all.  I’m crying because I feel a lot of guilt over what I feel were mistakes on my part during the birth which led to so many issues.  I’m crying because I’m a new mum, and while you can plan for so many things during pregnancy, you can’t plan for how you feel once that amazing new life form is placed in your arms. 

    On Friday Jan 14th, my due date, I went in for another check up, where I was told I was 75% effaced, and 2 cm dilated or so.  I also had blood tests done for Obstetric Choleostasis, as my whole body was massively itching.

    On Tuesday 18th, the test results came back abnormal – not deadly high, but high enough that they wanted me to come in for another test.  We went in on Wed for the blood and to listen to Weapon for a bit.  On Thursday 20th, the doc called.  The test results were a bit higher (46, the top level should only be 40).  Between being almost a week overdue and in torture from this pregnancy (I was still vomiting once a week, the heartburn meant I was drinking Gaviscon like water, etc), and obsessing over every internet factoid I could find about OC (the levels could jump at any minute, you could lose your baby within moments, etc), when the doc offered induction, I grabbed it with both hands.  We went into the hospital at 1.30 pm, on Thursday the 20th. 

    They induced me at 3.30pm using a pessary, and hooked me up to a bunch of monitors and such.  By the late evening, there was no change, so Monkey was kicked out till the next morning.  We thought for sure Weapon would have started to be born by then.  We were idiots. 

    After 24 hours, (Friday the 21st), the pessary was taken out and I was continually monitored to see if I could ‘kick start’ my own labor.  I was examined, and found the pessary actually caused my cervix to *harden* and begin to close!  I was also told Weapon may have flipped, and that I could leave the hospital, and they would monitor me via blood levels.  I was terrified of leaving, convinced my child would die if I didn’t stay hooked up to the monitors, etc.  I stayed another lonely night in the antenatal ward, waiting for a spare slot in the birthing suite upstairs.

    Saturday the 22nd, at 12.30 pm, they decided to go with breaking the waters artifically/Syntocin drip method.  After a DROWNING (poor midwife looked like she had taken a swim!) from the waters, the Syntocin drip was placed in and we waited. The machines continually monitored my heartbeat, blood pressure and plenty of other things that’d occasionally go ping.

    At 6pm, they placed an epidural in my spine – because of a prior back injury, they had to place the epidural three times. There’s nothing as much fun as hearing a bunch of doctors say “Ok, you’re just going to feel a bee sting in your back”, talk behind you and then say “Ok, one more bee sting” – over and over again. The spinal block was finally adminstered, and we settled in for a long night.

    The spinal block worked a charm – I felt nothing. However, the epidural that they used to top it up didn’t work – the spaces between my veterbrae were too compressed and the medicine couldn’t reach my nerves and do whatever the hell it was supposed to be. That, paired with a posterior baby, me being strapped to my back in a bed and the syntocin drip equalled for very very painful contractions.

    We laboured throughout the night – I’ll admit at this point I started losing any sembalance of time and space. The contractions got so hard that by 5am (Sunday 23 January) I was screaming every minute or so, and I’d only get 30 seconds of respite between each contraction. The epidural had stopped working, so they gave me gas and air but it lost all effectiveness by 6am, but it didn’t stop me chugging it for all that it was worth, and resisting any attempt to have it taken away from me!

    At 5.30am, I was still snarky enough to shout to a random hospital orderly: “I’ll give you £10 to cut this baby out of me!”, but shortly after that, I became a gas’n’air chugging fiend….

    Monkey is now going to take over writing this, as I have no clue what happened at this point.

    Monkey:   The doctors had wanted to examine her innards for sometime, but she was resisting all attempts to be examined – who wants more pain when you’ve already got plenty of pain? However, by 7.45am she’d been given doses of an extra anaesthetic (PHC-A or something) and at 8.30am, she was examined by the doctor.

    Who suddenly commanded her to PUSH, P-U-S-H and P–U–SSS—-HHHH. I tell you, when you’ve been watching your poor wife struggle for at least 14 long hours and you had already begged for a C-section, it was like being led out of the light. Someone hit some kind of emergency button, and suddenly six women came in, all exhorting her to push in a variety of phrases. 

    HyperHam  says: “it wasn’t so much the pushing that was excruciating … but it felt like my insides were being torn out and there was nothing I could do about it. Between each contraction, I remember them putting things in me – I had no idea what they were doing but I knew I was so far beyond the pain I couldn’t express myself beyond gutteral screams”. But oddly, these screams were nowhere near as bad as before.

    Monkey: They ended up doing a second-degree episitomomy and used forceps before the baby finally emerged at 9.22am – with a cord around his neck.

    HyperHam : “That’s when I realised what they were doing – they were reaching inside of me to try and un-hook the cord), which was cut immediately and the baby plopped onto my stomach. I don’t remember that actually happening – I remember putting my hand up for something on my chest, and my hand being covered in blood. I asked what had happened, and they said I had a baby. I was so far gone, I didn’t recognise the child on my chest. I thought when I passed the placenta, THAT was the baby. He was “pale, flat and floppy” according to the birth notes, so upon exiting he was taken to the crash cart to be resucitated, and he started to perk up fairly quickly.”

    Monkey : “Once she had realised that the baby was out, she told me to cut the cord (as our birth plan had laughingly suggested). Unfortunately, of course, the cord had already been cut. She then told me to follow the baby, exhorting me to make sure I had protective gloves on – which seems ironic given the blood bath around me – and that the baby was at the time surrounded by 5 suitably dressed medical personnel (including one bloke!) I wasn’t going to touch the baby just yet. At one point, someone congratulated HyperHam  and told her there was no more pushing, and she didn’t respond because she was OUT for the count. Of course, I looked behind me at her and erm… I had wanted to document EVERYTHING but some things are best left not photographed.”

    Monkey : “The baby was eventually handed over to me, looking a tad confused, still and being very quiet, but very much alive. Of course, I showed him to her, and that was that really. We coo’ed, we aww”d, then the new midwife (the shifts had changed) came in and went ‘WHAT ON EARTH HAPPENED?'” Then we looked around and found blood EVERYWHERE. At chest height on the curtains covering the door, in pools underneath the bed, all over the crash cart trolleys and all over every single person in the room.”

    “The midwife came and weighed him, swaddled him, and she got to hold him for the first time to her breast before he was put him back under the warming grill and fell DEAD asleep for a couple of hours. In that time, somehow we managed to update Facebook in our sleep with the first picture.”

    “Four hours later, after a suitably long nap, she tried to get up to get a shower – a process that involved unhooking her from all the various machines – but she felt very dizzy in the bathroom, and had to be supported and then carried back into the bed. ”

    HyperHam : “Alexander (the baby) and I spent the night in the “High Dependency” unit, where I had a blood transfusion of three pints and IV shunts placed in both arms and my foot for additional fluids. I was also monitored for a tachy heartrate.

    By 6am the next morning, I was moved to the traditional post-natal unit where I stayed for the next two nights recuperating, and where Alexander was monitored for jaundice. despite all attempts by staff to make my stay as easy as possible, the NHS doesn’t allow partners to stay overnight. So the first night in the post-natal ward was one of the worst nights of my life – and needless to say, much-needed sleep didn’t really happen, what with being in constant pain and confusion and the realisation that you suddenly have this new lifeform and no NCT or pre-natal class, or book, can prepare you for that night of loneliness.

    We were finally sent home six days after walking in, with a new beautiful baby boy, a mountain of medications and a regimen of hemo-dialysis injections that Monkey has to give me every morning.

    • Charlie 1:03 am on February 3, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Hard to know what to say as the account is very moving and real. I just hope you're not beating yourself up about the fact that the birth wasn't the wished for birth and are able to hold on to the fact you survived what sound like quite a traumatic and also life giving experience so there's the sadness as well as the joy. Labour is one of those life events where we're often faced with the fact we can't control things, least of all when we most want to and I know for myself that can be quite difficult.

      I hope you're being looked after and looking after yourself and if there's anything you need then let me know-we're close by and happy to pop in with bits and bobs-Otis and I walk up gold hawk road mon and wednesday to and from his nursery anyway. Otherwise look forward to seeing you at next get together.

      Take care x Charlie & Jonny

    • suburp 12:14 am on February 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      oh man.. there is A LOT of resemblance to my own birth story.. I mean Nemo’s aka Tornado (on suburp).
      geez.. you poor people.. and i remember vaguely promising you a smooth birth since your pregnancy already seemed kind of yucky.. damn. i might write mine down at some point, really some ressemblance there.. bless you guys, well done xoxo

  • HyperHam 9:37 am on January 20, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , WeaponX   

    Week late. Blood tests due in today to see if liver enzymes are screwed up. I fear this baby will never come.

  • HyperHam 3:55 am on January 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: history, , WeaponX   

    My vagina is a transformer – and other thoughts at 3am 

    In about 6 hours I have a midwife appointment, where they will hopefully do a cervical sweep which will hopefully start the process of hopefully having this kid.  Normally you don’t induce – even in a ‘natural’, non chemical fashion - for another week or so, but I am soooooo big and soooooo uncomfortable that I’ll try anything at this point.  I’m fighting a cold, and haven’t been sleeping the last…oh, 6 months or so, which makes me slightly loopier than normal, and that says something.

    WeaponX was a surprise, to be sure.  The day we registered our marriage intent with the local ‘city hall’ here, I was in awful pain, and we called the doc’s office for a check up the next morning.  That night we called NHS Direct, where I described my issues and the very sweet Scottish nurse said, ‘Ye wouldn’t be pregnant than, would ye?’.  Uh, no.  No I would not.  It was only the next morning when the doc absentmindedly mentioned that pregnancy has some of the same issues I was describing that I got a wee bit nervous, and stopped off at the pharmacy on the way home.  Pack of two generic tests, no worries.

    Oh crap. 

    You know how it tells you to pee on the stick, and then wait like 2 minutes?  Yeah, I didn’t even have time to put the stick down on the tub before two bright pink lines showed up. 

    I emailed Monkey.  This is the entirety of the email: 

    “Can you pick me up a pregnancy test? They usually come in packs of 2, that would be a good one. 
    And a big mac.”

    His response, in entirety:


    Must preserve this email for all posterity 😉

    What are the chances of that being the case, out of interest?”

    My reply?

    “Go to the pharmacy.  Like, NOW.”


    So, 4 pee sticky tests and 1 digital blue test later (because Monkey wouldn’t believe the analog test kits), we sat in stunned silence eating McDonald’s. 


    I’m not going to say it’s been easy.  It hasn’t.  I’m bipolar, and dealing with hormones plus losing my meds has been rough.  Morning sickness is a lie – it was all day vomiting that lasted till the 22nd week, and I still vomit once a week or two now (and I’m at my due date!).  We had to plan and execute 2 weddings before I was 12 weeks along, and that was a major stress on both of us.  And of course, I had just moved to this continent a few months prior – the usual support was gone, I just had Monkey.  Luckily for me, Monkey was a rock, and held my hair with every vomit session, rubbed my back when I sobbed through the pain and hormones and chemical imbalances and such, brought me doughnuts and Filet o Fish sammiches when I was dying for them, did it all. 

    So here we are.  It’s not the perfect first year we would have planned together, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  And within 2 weeks, there will be a new addition.  We have no idea what we’re having – hence us naming the fetus WeaponX.  For those that don’t get the reference, Logan/Wolverine from the X-Men was known as WeaponX when he was at the super secret military facility.  This is how I visually explained it to Monkey (not work safe language):  Shall I call you Logan, WeaponX?  And if that doesn’t explain why we are called a ‘geek family’, I don’t know what will.  🙂

    It’s quarter to 5 now.  The heartburn is killing me, and I know I will be tired the rest of the day.  My tummy keeps tightening up (Braxton Hicks contractions), and my skin itches.  That’s okay though.  It’s all worth it in the end.  We’re a team.  We can do it.

Compose new post
Next post/Next comment
Previous post/Previous comment
Show/Hide comments
Go to top
Go to login
Show/Hide help
shift + esc