The Only One Who Sees Me

This heat with a 2.5 year old who’s very emotional and trying to establish (read: push) her boundaries has been so tough. I have been in tears, I have shouted and I have hated myself as a result. I never wanted to be that mum.

Not able to lift her and soothe her during a crying fit in our narrow hallway the other day, I shouted, turned away and cried so hard I couldn’t catch my breath.

Squidge’s tantrum stopped dead and she crept back in, frowning with concern before she came and placed her baby’s bottle in my mouth because she knows, when babies cry, they need milk. My beautiful girl dried my tears.

Yesterday, we were planning to travel across the neighbouring city on the bus to see a friend and her girls. So looking forward to it. A big ask, but it felt like it was doable with Squidge mobile and the walker. People would know I was disabled, no worries about putting the pram down.

Except, walking with Squidge sat on the walker, every journey is twice as long because the wheels get caught between paving slabs, because the anti-tilt means I have to turn the walker round to pull her safely up and down kerbs. For an aid that’s meant to help me, I have to pre-empt everything. It gets tiring.

I had to coax her off the walker onto the bus so I could lift it up. She went to find a seat but I took so long sorting out my ticket that she came running back, crying for me not to leave her. I had to promise to finish my purchase at the other end of the journey and went to park the walker in the space. A kind lady took Squidge into her lap as I struggled, because the bus had already moved away. I’d planned to sit on the walker facing Squidge but my balance on it was so precarious, the kind lady insisted I take a seat, holding out her hand to me.

“You shouldn’t have to struggle like that my love” called out another lady. “That’s what the disabled seats are for.”

She pointedly looked at a lady in said seats with a shopping trolley who muttered “If she wants it, she can have it.”

I didn’t say anything. After all, I didn’t know the lady’s circumstances but it was quite hurtful not to be addressed directly. It just makes me feel like people are too embarrassed to recognise me.

The second lady, having watched me struggle to sort my ticket, asked if I shouldn’t get a concessionary bus pass. I told her the truth: “I was allowed one in England but the rules in Wales say not because I can walk.”

“That’s disgraceful.”

The first lady chatted with Squidge and I all the way until her stop. I wish it could have carried on that way.

But to the busy city crowds, Squidge and I were instantly invisible. She wanted to walk with me after so long sitting on the bus so well. I walked her not 50 feet into the bakery to get a drink. People leant round me and the walker to grab things as I talked Squidge through the options in the fridges and when we were waiting for someone to step back and let us leave, at least half a dozen people walked through the door with no thought to the fact the walker or indeed, the toddler might need a bit of room to vacate.

“Oh for God’s sake!” I fumed quietly.

“No Mummy!” Squidge reproached sternly. “No say that!”

I smiled. “Sorry baby, you’re right.”

Then a group of schoolkids came racing across the pelican crossing that I was trying to judge as flat enough to roll Squidge across in the walker. They were coming right at us but I thought “They can see me, they won’t run at a walker.”

I was wrong. They swarmed me, Squidge and the walker and I felt myself tense in preparation for a fall. It didn’t come but my nerves were so on edge in these crowds with uneven pavements that I screamed angrily after them, with no effect obviously: “Yeah, don’t worry about me.”

We waited for the green man as the city crowds ignored his absence and ran across the road anyway. When it was time, we went across the road to the stopping point in the middle, except the walker hit the lip unable to push up. Crowds kept coming as I felt the walker tilt and began to panic. To stabilise, I knew I needed to turn it round to wheel Squidge up safely. I tried to do it as quickly as her safety would allow but the crowds just kept coming over the crossing. No-one cared to see us there struggling.

I finally managed it, my stress increasing when the same happened again. Why could no-one see me?I felt the walker lurch again and cried out in panic: “Oh God, are you OK baby?”

Finally, without a word, a man reached down and lifted the walker over for me onto solid ground.

“Thank you.” I said. “You’re the first person that’s bothered to see me here today.”

How could so many people be so wilfully ignorant to someone with a mobility aid, with a child struggling? I could never do it, even though I’d be little help. I’d have to try.

The simplest things were beginning to feel too hard and behind my sunglasses, I began to cry. The city was busy and loud so I didn’t bother trying to muffle the sound, half wishing someone might slow down and ask me if I was OK or needed help. Nobody around me did.

Instead, my beautiful girl said: “Don’t cry Mummy.” Oh, how I loved her then.

“I’m so sorry baby. I’m sorry it’s this hard.”

I tried to coax her onto the next bus to our friend’s.

“No” said Squidge.

I was stressed, so terrified she was about to throw herself down in the street for an emotional tantrum.

“Please darlin’.” I pleaded. “I can’t lift you with the walker.”

But she didn’t tantrum at all. “My no want to go on bus.” she said calmly.

What was the point trying to force her? It just doubled the journey and effort of trying to get her home safely when I’d be in pain from the effort. I think she knew that.

“I go home and see my daddy.”

“OK baby. Shall we go get an ice cream from Maccy’s first for Mummy’s superstar?”She walked all the way until she recognised the Golden Arches. I text Kev, telling him how defeated and tearful I was that I was so invisible here, that I was ashamed I had let my friend down.

(I shared the same sentiments when I apologised to my friend. She promptly told me I shouldn’t dare to feel ashamed for trying as hard as I had. I love her for that.)

I also told Kev that Squidge had been such a comfort, I would buy her another ice cream if she wanted. I took her into the disabled toilet to get changed.

Hot, beaten and emotional, when she sat up, I asked: “Can I have a hug?”

She gave me the sweetest tightest cuddle yet.

“I got you Mummy.”

I broke down crying in my toddler’s arms.

“I’m so glad you do, baby.”

She was only coaxed onto the bus home by promise of seeing her daddy again.

She was exhausted, meaning the decision not to carry on our journey across the city was the right one.So sweet right? Except I was full of dread. I couldn’t carry her from the bus and the walker. I’d fall. I needed her to walk off the bus. So I had to lift her into my lap and rock her awake, cradling her head against injury thanks to the erratic braking of the bus and throwing us forward.

And today, my shoulders and wrists hurt so much from the effort of having to lift the walker up over every uneven paving slab out there that Squidge even attempted to lift it for me.

I cannot describe how sad I am to live in a world where only my 2 year old daughter cares to notice how hard it is becoming for me to get through every day. It’s so bloody shameful.

But I could not be prouder of you baby girl. Thank you for seeing me when the world ignored me. I’m so glad to have you. I know now more than ever I couldn’t do it without you.

What CP is like for me

This is my contribution to a project of a new charity – Adult CP Hub.

Adult CP Hub

They are looking to bring awareness to how damn hard it is to age with this condition and I need to get behind it or I’m doing myself and my baby a disservice. I really look forward to seeing the finished film.

I wanted to share my video because it’s the easiest way to articulate some of the struggles I am having at the moment. This, right now, is me.

Please excuse my wonky eye… that would be my squint, I promise I am trying to look at the camera!

My Squidge, My Sunshine

So, it’s 7:38pm. Squidge took herself off to bed without a fight at 7:02pm. Winning. It’s midweek, so these are my 2 days at home with her and Kev’s working late both nights. Which means Mummy has to step up.

And honestly, Mummy’s not been doing so well recently. A very dark and heavy cloud has been taking me over. It’s so hard to explain anxiety, but it makes the smallest things the very worst things that could happen. It means you understand logic, but disregard it because the fear is all consuming.

I made the decision to take myself to the doctor and say that it was getting too much to have my head always full with worry. The doctor was very kind. She told me that I shouldn’t tear myself down because of the cerebral palsy and that, with or without it, all almost 2 year olds have the potential to be little psychopaths that put mummies on the edge. But she saw my anxiety (the anxiety that said I should just cancel the appointment because if Squidge wouldn’t put her shoes on, then I was going to be late, and what sort of mother is late? I know the answer is all of us, but I just couldn’t feel it at the time.) She is going to refer me to the Mental Health wellbeing team, which feels like a positive step. I hope I can learn to take care of me too. I don’t want to feel sad, or like my life is happening around me without me taking part.

Kev leaves late because he’s away late, and when we go to get Squidge from her cot and ask her if she would like a banana and yoghurt for breakfast she responds enthusiastically: “Ite! Ite!” Ice maybe? I ask her if she’ll sit on my lap to bum shuffle downstairs or if she’ll walk down on her own. Confidently, she says “Own” and counts to 10 flawlessly as she comes down. Yes, shameless mummy bragging, Kev couldn’t believe what he was hearing! When I put on nursery rhyme Youtube videos for her and listen to her sing along, I realise “Ite” “Ite” was in fact “I like to ite ite ite iples and baneyeneyes!” from Apples & Bananas. Quickly run upstairs and declare our child is a genius before returning to parenting for the day.

But, in the vein of taking care of myself, we’ve agreed that Squidge should join the local playgroup for a couple of hours on one of my days off, so that I get the chance to rest. (And, the way my back is feeling after today, get more regular massages?!) felt like such a failure when I talked it through with Kev, but he didn’t bat an eye, said it was a good idea. And I know it is. She’ll get to spend time with local kids as well as her day nursery. But my God, Mum Guilt really does seep into every pore.

I took her for the visit today. We were ridiculously early, so we say on the pavement outside, me in a dress that thanks to Storm Ali was allowing the whole damn town to see my underwear at the same time! It’s funny the things you learn not to care about. We played peekaboo and Squidge laughed her wonderful laugh. It’s addictive.

We went in and she was shy to begin with, knackering me out by wanting to be lifted and carried to be close to me (awww, but – my back!) But 10 minutes in, she was scoffing rice krispies from the sensory tray and trying on glasses in the play-pretend opticians, telling me that they go on your “iiiiiiii’s!” and that she looked like a “little baby duuuude!” (I take a lot of pleasure in teaching her daft phrases!)

I know she’s going to be fine.

We shared a shortbread from Greggs as a treat and I walked it off by going to collect my parcel from the post office. (Christmas shopping is nearly done people!)

Mum Guilt snuck into my ear again when I realised I hadn’t taken her to the playground like I promised. Made a mental note to take her after her nap to the one across the road. Make an appointment at the hairdressers for fringe trim (I will never ever ever touch Squidge’s hair myself… CP means shaky hands!) Make it late in the hope that the Little Miss will nap.

Take her home and she makes a happy mess of some chunky soup and after a onesie pitstop goes for her nap bang on schedule. Don’t know what this kid’s on, but it’s working. She’s been so good, lieing back across my lap to help me change her nappies, pushing her arms and legs skillfully into her clothes to help me dress her. She’s been playing peekaboo, singing out her nursery rhymes, offering me cuddles and kisses and lovingly calling: “Daddy, wherearrrooo?” before answering herself with “Daddy vork!” (See, genius!)

It’s tipping it down by the time she wakes up from her nap (still bang on time!) and she screams at me when I try and put the rain cover on, much like she did when I tried to put her shoes on. So there will be no trip to the park today. Mum guilt reminds me that the park is always first to go and I feel guilty about never doing anything with her. I have picked up a leaflet from the library though and she’ll soon be old enough for the next phase of classes, so I have some ideas.

She’s a drowned rat by the time I get her to the hairdressers in her socks and no raincover. I passed a lady on the street with a look in her eye that I was so ready for if she dared say anything. I never do say anything. I know I should, because no-one know your struggles unless you say. But she never said anything, thank goodness and Squidge was free to end up with a Mummy-esque sloping fringe because she kept batting the poor hairdresser away. Never mind, at least she can see again!

Curse myself when I realise I forgot to buy any veg and tell myself the corner shop will have it. What is it with corner shops having impossibly high steps and ridiculously heavy doors? I struggle on my own for a good 3 minutes before a lovely lady offers to hold the door. I do wonder about people sometimes, it’s not like no-one else could see me. It’s also a horribly inaccessible shop to boot, I’ll make sure I have my Iceland list next time, I’m normally so diligent about these things.

They have no veg that Squidge’ll eat. “Oh no…. what shall we eat?”

Quick as a flash (she must have seen them on the shelf somewhere!) “Beans!”

“Oh you clever girl, of course!”

She helps me make a cup of tea for us both (hers is of course, decaf!) while our dinner cooks and she dries off in her new onesie. It’s miles too big and she keeps asking me to roll it up love her, but she looks so cute!)

Now that Squidge can feed herself, mealtimes are enjoyable, because I can sit and eat with her and it’s a social occassion. She asks for “help” as soon as she needs it and always tells me when she’s getting up.

We play on the floor together. She’s upturned her alphabet bricks so we see what each of them is when we put them back in their tray. She’s so funny, not grasping that they’re all jumbled and she keeps telling me what the next letter should be. Clever girl.

We run her bath and she washes all the body parts she’s learnt from Head Shoulders Knees and Toes (and more besides) with her big sponge while we sing the Bath song (to the tune of Baby Shark, because what else is there for parents?)

I know Squidge is done when she decides to start putting the sponge and her ducks away and my God, on her tiptopes she can reach the shelf they belong on from the bath. She’s definitely going to be tall like her daddy.

We spend time saying “Bye-bye bubbles!” because it’s only proper and we put her nappy and onesie on to a Youtube video of lullabies in the clouds that she slept so soundly to as a newborn. Squidge is not the least bit impressed when I tell her this, and keeps shouting in the direction of the Google Home “OK Guggle!” because no doubt she wants to watch Baby Shark one more time to round it up to an even million for the day. But thankfully, we don’t have a Guggle Home so Mummy’s safe.

She climbs the stairs to bed without complaint and switches on her lullaby night light herself. She only cries (and what a cry!) when she realises Freddie Fox is not waiting for her in his rightful place in the cot. Freddie came in Squidge’s first ever parcel the week she was born from my best friend. I love that my best friend introduced Squidge her best friend. It’s quite beautiful.

I planned to fold mountains of washing before Kev gets home, but considering how low I’ve felt this week, really beginning to doubt myself in all areas of my life, I thought it really important to come say that

Today has been a good day.

Becoming herself

In case you haven’t guessed by now, I am completely in love with my little girl. She is so many things to me; so many things that every other parent in the world would insist their precious ones were to them. But, somehow, I truly believe that Squidge means more.

She doesn’t yet know that she is the reason I get out of bed. She is the reason 6am starts with a head over the cot shouting “Hiya! Hiya! HIYA!” down the corridor is fine; even when all you wanted was to have the first wee of the day in peace. I love the structure and reassurance she brings into my world with her very existence. I know who I am with Squidgelet, what’s expected of me and I take pride in doing it all well.

Seriously, all of it. Getting her a cup of milk. Making sure she gets her 5 a day. Making sure she goes outside and sees our little corner of the world to call home. Making sure she smiles every day.

Although these things may seem simple, sometimes, they might as well be the hardest tasks in the world. Keeping house and raising happy healthy babies are jobs so many of us undertake. I often wonder how anyone could do it alone. Kev comes from a single parent family. I know he sees his mum as a beacon of integrity and accomplishment. The lady did good.

And of course, I’m lucky enough to have Kev. I’m equally lucky to be a part time working mummy, so I’m the one that gets to have days at home with her. And sometimes, those days can be lonely, because it feels like all the responsibility is mine. But also, sometimes, I look at my baby and realise, with a mixture of absolute pride and complete nostalgia, that she is a baby no more. I’ve been saying this – and believing it too – since she was about 6 months old. But it is so very true now. My baby can do so many things now.

  • She climbs up and down the stairs herself – or she’ll copy me and shuffle down on her bum
  • She’ll sweep the floors with a brush
  • She’ll put every nappy in the bin
  • She’ll lift her arms to help me dress her
  • She’ll take my hand and take me to her cupboard full of snacks and toiletries – normally for a biscuit, but she’ll go and collect her toothbrush at bedtime
  • She’ll take the washing in and out of the machine on demand for me
  • She’ll grab the milk out the fridge, flick the kettle on and put the tea bag in the cup
  • She will unfold her nappy for me, lying back on the changing mat.

She is so helpful, so capable.

And I am loving it. Because being her caregiver is getting easier and so much more enjoyable. She’s so engaging, scrambling up my lap to eat her toast at teatime, or bringing me her shoes because she’s ready to go out.

I am so enjoying the days I get at home with her now, especially with the nice weather when we can just pootle into town or go to the swings.

Because of her, I have developed a concept that helps me recognise how well we’re doing together.

#mummywins

Mummy won last week when for the first time, I took her to GymTots by myself. Gymnastics softplay, and when she’s a bit older she’ll be able to actually start gymnastics class. I’m so excited for her to start trying different things and finding the things that make her busy and happy. At Gymtots, she tears around on all the mats and play equipment. When she was smaller, I was so scared I wouldn’t be able to keep her safe. But she loved it, climbing up the slide over and over. Then we went to the shops.

Today, we did the same and I even managed a proper conversation with another grown up. That’s a big deal for me, I get so shy and stressed out. So not only did I manage to get Squidge out on time to attend a class, I walked us there and managed to be sociable! Major wins for me.

Yesterday, it was raining, so we got on the bus and went to the supermarket. I always deliberate try and leave a couple of things we need from the shop so that I have to get her out. Poor love got rained on a bit and by the time we were done it was lunchtime. And truthfully, I was dreading waiting for the bus home with poor Squidge getting hungrier and hungrier and more irate. All we had yesterday was time. And so, I made the decision to buy us lunch in the café.

That’s the first time I’ve ever felt brave enough for us both to eat out. It was a different situation when all she needed was a cuddle and a bottle. She needs constant supervision with her food now and I get so swept up in running round after her needs, I often forget my own (plus side of that is I’m grabbing lots of fruit on the go and have lost a few pounds!)

But she was brilliant and it was such a lovely time to spend with my poor drenched girl. I am so grateful to have this time with her, because it is so awesome to spend time with this little person. That’s what it is. Not just caring for her. But sitting across the table from her, letting her steal bites of my lunch and asking if it tastes nice, hearing her go “Mmmmm!”

I am having so much fun being Squidge’s mum. And I feel so proud of myself each time we get out of the house. Between us, we’re gettig this. And that’s why #mummywins

Exactly as expected…

I saw the doctor for my 6 week postnatal check today. (Ha – Squidge is 12 weeks old today.)

As the title suggests, it went exactly as expected. There was nothing she knew of that could be of any help to me as a disabled mum. I hoped for it. But alas. Still feeling like the only disabled mum in the world.

I didn’t have to go through the rigmorale of taking Squidge with me in the pram thank God. Kev had the day off to take the car to the garage, so I didn’t need to steel myself to drop the damn frame on my head again.

Other mums had warned me that the postnatal check was just to inform me that I am fertile again and to protect against any more baby Squidgelets. Hormonal medications have always messed with me, so that pretty much only leaves condoms, which thankfully Kev is fine with. I always find the idea of discussing contraception odd though. I think it’s because it’s so easy to get a hold of. I genuinely don’t understand how anyone in the world doesn’t understand that being a fertile human, you have sex, you will get pregnant (and die – Mean Girls.)  I don’t understand how people rock up on Jeremy Kyle every morning utterly bewildered by these, the mot basic facts of life.

I had far more pressing things to discuss in my precious time in front of the doctor. Literally sat down and as soon as the words “postnatal check” were out of her mouth, I literally said: “We’ll be using condoms. Now please help me with the pain I’m in.”

Pain in itself is not a new thing for me. It’s existed within me at some level my whole life. In fact, it stopped being pain a long time ago, it’s just another feature of CP. But in the last few days, my right arm has been hurting, from my shoulder down to the bend in my elbow. I get frightened when things start to feel wrong in my stronger side. If my stronger side is buggered, then what exactly can I rely on?

I explained that I thought it was coming from the strain of only being able to lift Squidge’s weight with my right arm. I didn’t mention my stork lifting technique, although now I think about it I can’t think why, maybe I feared being told that was a stupid way to do things. But this doctor was kind and patient and sympathetic at least. These attributes helped me understand why she was running 25 minutes late – what doctor is afforded time for her patients these days?

She studied the range of movement in my shoulder and told me I have an inflammed rotator cuff and that taking pain killers as I am is probably the best course of action and that stronger treatments like steroid injections were not really options until way off in the future should I tear. I’m not entirely sure if that means I just have to carry on until I have done myself that level of damage. It worries me. I kept saying that Squidge couldn’t rightly stop growing or getting heavier or needing me to care for her and that I didn’t know what to do.

Her suggestions were logical but impractical – essentially get someone else to lift her when I feel I cannot. But when Kev works full time?

Neighbours? *shudder* How intrusive. Besides which, we’ve only recently had a rip-roaring alcoholic moved on from our street and I’m pretty sure our downstairs neighbour work full-time, as well as English being their second language. What do I do? Ring their doorbell, thrust Squidge at them pleadingy and just retreat upstairs?

She asked about the charities. I explained about there being no provision for adults, never mind parents and how alone this made me feel. I mentioned my health visitor’s work to involve social services and the doctor said she’d try and chivvy this along when I said how anxious I was about an unsupported and unlimited wait. 

Next she asked me about my mood. I felt my voice waiver, tears threaten and probably overstate my love for my little girl. “I love being a mum. I couldn’t be more in love with her… but I worry I can’t physically be enough for her. She will get bigger and stronger and I can’t match that. Nobody seems to know what to do for someone like me. I’m just not bad enough but that doesn’t mean I can do this. Nobody knows what help there is to ask for. I feel like the world is laughing at my choice.”

She put her hand comfortingly on my arm and said “You absolutely have the right to a child.’

Nice sentiment Doctor, but it doesn’t seem as though the world agrees with you.

“I just want to be able to take care of her. Feed her, hug her like she deserves…. she didn’t ask for me to be her mum.”

“Don’t say that. I’ll do what I can.”

Problem is, as kind as she was, that consultation ended with “If you don’t hear from me, assume I found nothing.”

Well quite. But why is it this way?    

Apparantly the pain in my shoulder could affect anyone, disability or none. Apparantly, my concerns about being good enough for my daughter are the concerns of every mother.

I can’t quite appreciate these sentiments either. Because not every mother faces the challenge of parenthood with the disadvantage of existing pain as I do, or not knowing how to adapt when new ones arise to compound a situation that is never going to change. Apparantly, I should find it physically easier when Squidge is more mobile because she won’t need lifting or carrying.

I smile. I agree.

But she’s wrong.

For when Squidge is mobile, I’ll likely not keep up, or I’ll trip over her, or she’ll pull me over when I’m trying to keep her safe at the roadside. And realistically, we’re a long way off my little girl understanding why her mummy is different. I hate that I have to make her not only understand this, but be accepting of all the limitation I will place on her life too as her caregiver.

Apparantly she will adapt to me. Maybe.

I shouldn’t be thinking so far ahead. But how am I supposed to cope, or know how if I do not pre-empt?

There’s no call coming from the nice doctor to make this easy on me. 

And even if Squidge’s coming independence was enough to do it, she’s 12 weeks old for god’s sake – what do I do for the year or more before she is there? No-one understands that day to day struggles are just that. Here all day, every day.

Sympathy only goes so far.

And honestly, I’m sick of so called professional telling me how it will be. Almost apologetic, it’s always able bodied people telling me how I will be affected. Really, what can they know?

“Next time, bring her in leggings! “

Squidge had her 8 week jabs yesterday. She’s 11 weeks old on Wednesday but that’s another story. I hate needles though I hope the number of needles that were necessary through pregnancy cured me somewhat. I didn’t want her picking up on my anxieties so I had a lot of questions. 

How many injections? 

5 and oral medicine.

Can I feed her to distract us both?

No. By the time you get her on the breast-

I’m not breastfeeding  (and lady, you shouldn’t assume)

Still no. Put the pram here and sit there.

I had to carry her across the room. When I do that, I need a second to safely plot my course around the room. I wasn’t even allowed that second. I tried to sit in the nearest chair – the nurse stepped into my path and pointed me to a seat further away by the window. 

I’m sure she was just being efficient. After all, there’s always lots of babies that need vaccinating but in not giving me time – time even to explain why I needed time! – I felt rushed and stressed. 

It didn’t get better. Squidge’s cry at the first jab was her first ever one of pain and broke my heart. The nurse simply spun her round to get to the other leg and then give the oral medicine. It all happened so fast that I didn’t have time to try and support her head to receive the latter, even though the nurse was asking me to hold Squidge’s head up for her. It made me feel useless.
I’d dressed Squidge in a zip up sleepsuit. They’re the easiest thing for my hands. I’d exposed her legs for the jabs as requested but the nurse couldn’t find one of the legs on the suit to dress her again.

“This is no good. Bring her in leggings next time!”

I felt angry. I wanted to be able to explain about my disability but the whole experience so far just told me she wasn’t going to afford me time!

I managed to splutter: “It’s all I can manage.”

But of course, it wasn’t my notes she was reading,  that meant nothing to her and I was herded out for the next baby.

As I walked home I realised that dressing Squidge in a two piece was no good either. My stork-parcel lifting technique only works with sleepsuits. So no, I won’t be bringing her in leggings next time. I’m her mother, you can support my damn needs and decisions. 

As it turned out, most of the mothers I know said they dressed their babies the same way as I did for their jabs. So I wasn’t in the wrong. 

But of course, there will not be time to say all this “next time”. It’d be much better to wear a sign. I’M DISABLED… PLEASE GIVE ME TIME TO CARE FOR MY BABY. The absurdity of that would make them pay attention wouldn’t it?

Not that anyone seems to care. Squidge is almost 11 weeks old and I still haven’t had my 6 week postnatal check. Apparently that only covers my contraception choices. But I desperately need to use it to get pain relief and maintenance remedies like acupuncture.

Managed to book it for next week.  Fully expecting the nice qualified doctor to stare at me blankly when I ask or try and make me make another appointment. I hope I don’t lose my temper because I know I’ll burst into tears and probably get told I’m depressed. 

But I’m not depressed. I love being Squidge’s mummy.

I ache all the time.

I just want someone to help me.

I was in a fair bit of pain when we got home. I put sleeping Squidge straight to bed to rest and went back downstairs to put the pram away.

My whole body protested at this. I got the frame wedged in front of the open door’s edge and couldn’t close it without taking the frame down from the wall again.

I dropped it on my head. It hurt. I felt helpless and sobbed to myself at the foot of the stairs.

I’m in too much pain to take Squidge to baby massage today. Prepaid so I’ve wasted nearly a tenner and feel like I’ve let her down.

I know she doesn’t care really. She just wants me to hold her and feed her and tell her she’s beautiful until she goes to sleep.  I love doing all of these things.

But she is going to need me every day. Of course there is no let up with children. But that means there’s no recovery time and pain will build on pain. How am I supposed to live like that?

And will anyone believe that my frustration and desperation isn’t because I’m struggling to be a mum? Will anyone help me or just write me off as a mental case that shouldn’t have had kids in the first place?

I just want someone to help me manage my pain. That’s all. Someone to understand and not rush me.

But until then, I still need to get through the day. To provide for my beautiful girl.

And it’s so damn hard.