To anyone who followed an earlier post about my postnatal dealings will know that to get the contraception of my choice I had to venture to a GUM clinic. Because apparently that’s a thing now, rather than in the confines of a GP office.
I’ve never felt so seedy in my life, surrounded by people all younger than me and much more…how shall I word this…rough around the edges. Much more exciting lives they lead I would imagine. And then there’s me, a 25 year old mother of two in my jeans and hoodie clutching a bottle of water for dear life looking about as Plain-Jane as you get.
It’s not an experience I want to repeat again in a hurry. There’s something about being weighed in a corridor (yes! A fucking corridor with people walking through, only to discover I currently weigh more than a baby Beluga Whale) and being then led to the toilets in the middle of the waiting room by a very loud nurse to be told to wee in a pot that just doesn’t scream “one of Hans finer moments”.
See the actual insertion of the implant wasn’t terribly horrific, a little painful but much less so than childbirth. It stings now the anaesthetic has worn off though.
The most horrific thing came after. I didn’t take a bag to my appointment, just my phone and the bottle of water. So imagine my absolute shame walking through the waiting room, up and out through the rest of the hospital and back to my car past dozens of people carrying my little “goody bag” that they send you away with tucked into my jacket in a half-arsed attempt to hide them like a 16 year old girl. As if that isn’t enough then the shame made me thirsty; so taking a quick swig of my water I drop the packet on the floor in the corridor at the feet of a small collective of pensioners walking the opposite way. Shit. Why does this always happen to me?
Up and out, back to my car, rush home and eat my feelings. Oh that’s how I weigh that much then…
Just after V the next day…
You made me, Spud. I am who I am because of you. You taught me the true meaning of unconditional love, you’re the absolute best and worst of me and I’m sorry I didn’t believe I was ready for you. You test me every single day in ways I never knew I could be tested, you have a big attitude in your tiny frame with so much spirit and one day I hope you use it to take over the world (and help Minnie Mouse defeat that spider king on Christmas night or whatever made up story you re-enact over and over next).
Raising you is an emotional rollercoaster I never want to get off; you have the ability to frustrate me to my limits and within an inch of wanting to walk away with your sass before reverting back to my adorable sweet girl who couldn’t tell me she loves me enough.
I’m terrified of your teenage years and what lies ahead, because I genuinely believe you are a psychopath. What kind of person doesn’t catch a yawn anyway? Weirdo.
Theodore. My Teddy. My boy. Your letter is shorter because, well, we’ve only just met. You’ve not done much yet.
But in your short life you’ve managed to flip my whole world all over again – before I had you I didn’t believe I could ever love anyone as much as I love your sister, my heart was full see. Then I locked eyes on you, somewhat in shock from your quick entrance and the rest just in pure disbelief you were here. And in that instant my heart doubled in size to accommodate you. In these 10 weeks you’ve reminded me the best and worst things about having a newborn, and you’ve been so amazing I’m actually considering a 3rd somewhere down the line. My heart breaks a little every time you reach a milestone because it means you’re growing, and this time around I know far too well how fast these days go by.
Looking back on my childhood the summer holidays were amazing. Ice creams, parks, beaches, annual Gullivers Kingdom trip…just fun everywhere. Even for the first part of my adult life they were still a lovely time of year – no traffic going to work, no traffic coming home and the weather was as nice as typical British summer gets.
Then I had kids.
I don't feel that way anymore. I fucking hate the summer holidays.
Everywhere I take Sophia I'm surrounded by something I don't think I could actually hate any more if I tried… other people's children (bar a few). And they're everywhere. The softplay I once used as a sanctuary now overgrown with children far too old to be there. Children who push my meek little toddler over or just completely overwhelm her.
Parks packed unless you go obscenely early.
The swimming baths even operating a second wristband strategy for the toddler pool – having to wait in the bigger, colder pool til someone leaves the splash pool is not easy with a little baby and a toddler itching for the slide.
I dare not even attempt a Pizza Hut buffet.
And it's for 6 whole weeks! So what do I even do for 6 weeks? We get cabin fever after staying home a few days let alone weeks. There's only so much playing in the garden and table arts and crafts in the world. Apparently it's bad form to just stick them in front of the tv all day too. So every day is "what the hell are we doing today?"
I'm out of ideas already, and without playgroup to tire her out she's sleeping less at night.
And I have to do this shit over and over again. Every. Single. Year. For another decade.
Send help. My eye bags are growing back.
That's the fateful question at today's 6-8 week checkup before Teddy had his jabs.
What am I doing for contraception? Well truthfully nothing, but that is because this is the appointment I was expected to wait until to get on something; so a bit of a backwards question from him really. Teddy has something called Laryngomalacia, a minor birth defect which essentially means he's got floppy vocal chords according to the doctor; and as much as I've noticed he's growing out of it already, it can have him making loud grunting noises for sometimes hours on end – which is offputting to say the least (when there's even time with 2 kids under 3).
But okay Mr Doctor I'll humour you and answer you properly. "I was hoping to speak to you about that today…I'd like the implant please."
You see contraception is a minefield, everything has side effects that affect everyone differently, no two forms are the same and yet they all have an equal end result. Breastfeeding limits what you can have even further and because I don't fancy taking that risk of using exclusive breastfeeding as a form of birth control I'm stuck between a final few to choose between.
So I settled on the implant. Safe while breastfeeding, don't have to remember to take anything and can just forget about it all for a few years. Possible weight gain but much less than if I got pregnant, that I am sure of.
So when you finally settle on something you hit even more hurdles when you discover the doctors doesn't even offer it as a service. "Our doctors don't do the implant here so you'll have to go to the family planning clinic at London Road Community Hospital." Okay I say and off I go, I get home later and *quick google*…I'm sorry what? You want me to go WHERE?! Thats the GUM clinic! Isn't the GUM clinic for folk waiting for their chlamydia tests? For folk who live a life far floozier than I do and I don't want to be seen there! Jazzy name you gave that place to fool me Mr Doctor.
So what do I want less, another baby or someone to think I'm smutty?
I think I'd prefer people to think I'm smutty. Off to the GUM clinic I go then…
Phrases I never thought I'd hear myself say before I became a parent:
- Please take the drill out your brothers ear. No you don't need to fix him
- STOP WEEING ON ME
- Did you just fart on my hand?
- Don't wipe poo down the tumble dryer (potty training is fun)
- Don't wipe poo down the doors (see above)
- Leave your bits alone
- What am I doing? I'm feeding baby milk. Yes from my booby. Yes you have fridge milk.
- Seriously – I've got no idea what you are saying to me
- Have you weeweed or poopied?
- NOOOO DON'T EAT YOUR POO!
- Don't strangle him
- Yes you came from my tummy but no you can't get back in
- Please stop biting your toenails
- If you keep sucking your thumb it will fall off
- Stop eating your crayons. I will not tell you again.
- Stop licking that.
- Spelling all the good stuff: "hey David do we have any C A K E" or "shall we take her to the P A R K tomorrow" are fine examples.
- Your shoes are on the wrong feet again
- Stop taking Moanas clothes off.
- Please don't wipe your bogies on me
- Can you stop rubbing your bum against everything you look like you've got worms
- Of course I want to play this same puzzle for the 146784th time today with you.
- No. No. No. NO!
- I'm going to count to three…. one, two, two-and-a-half, two-and-three-quarters, two-and-nine-tenths…OH JUST DO AS YOU ARE TOLD FOR GODS SAKE!
- *Specifically pre-weaning* – oooh you smell milky have you made me a poopy?
- *specifically post-weaning* – oh dear god what did I let you eat?!
- What do you say? P-P-P? Please. The word is please.
- Yes Teddy has one and no you won't be able to find yours… 😳
Sometimes you don't need to say anything. You just give them a stare so deep and make a face so hideous that it doesn't require words. Either that or you make the face because the words you want to use aren't appropriate to use on children.
It's not an attractive face. In fact the more ugly the more seriously you are taken.
If you can take anything from this…it's that parenting is fucking disgusting and that getting icky stuff on you is inevitable.