Four kids, and a fuckload of coffee

Luck of the Dragon?

As many of you already know it’s Chinese New Year on the 23rd January 2012, Year of the Dragon…

Well, as Beau is Vietnamese we celebrate Chinese New Year, we make egg rolls, fresh and the fried variety, plenty of rice on the table, often pork as Beau loves a bit of pork, noodles and so on, it really is a feast. A glorious feast.

  Now, it sounds wonderful, it tastes divine too, but the prep required doesn’t just extend to the table…

  No it started a few days ago, I’m cleaning away all the bad luck of the last year – Vigorously. The last year for us held no bad luck, it was lovely, new baby, new school for eldest and many other changes. Lovely. But we can always try and improve right?

In a broad sense of the word the Year of the Dragon signifies Luck. I’m sure we could all do with a little extra, unless that is, you believe we make our own Luck – in which case, this will hold no water with you.

So house is scrubbed, hoovered, dusted, bleached, food is all bought, ready to be prepared and cooked ( Beau’s parents taught him, and he is teaching me ). The best thing about the celebration is the 13-15 days of no ‘sweeping’ that follows… Or I may sweep our good Luck away!!

Well, that an we are attending the Chinese New Year celebrations in Birmingham the coming weekend. All in all, its about Love, enjoying amazing food, wishing each other and your families a year better than the last, and basking in some culture. Somethings we can never be short of.

Ten Things I Wished I’d knew About Birth… Before, Giving Birth.


1.       Organs– The extra organ you’ve grown (not the baby) will also be coming out. It isn’t pretty. Now you know deep down this has to happen but, when you have just pushed out your baby, if it is a vaginal birth, you’re just about to get ready to bask in the glory of your miracle and out flops the placenta, like an unwelcome house guest, or in some cases you need to give it an extra push, as if you haven’t done enough already. Luckily it is swiftly taken away to who knows where, and frankly who cares?
2.       Nothing can hurt more than what I’ve just done…. ARGH! Baby is out, placenta is out, and nothing in the world can hurt more than that!  ‘Take a puff on the gas and air’ said my lovely amazing midwife… ‘I think I’ll be fine’… She pours the cold water over my post war vagina, and I couldn’t help but yell ‘Oh myyyyyyyyyy god’… I hadn’t expected that…really I thought it would be soothing. I am a fucking idiot. It hurt.
3.       Swollen Vagina – Yeah, you expect a bit of a swelling after pushing a tiny baby HIPPO out of your lady parts, but just how much I was under prepared for.  After getting cleaned-up, and wheeled to the ward, I got out of the wheel chair, and felt like I had the world sitting between my legs. It was interesting.
4.       It burns! It stings! Make it Stop! – Urination, now for some unknown reason I thought this would be a normal process: Sit, pee, wipe, flush.  I was wrong, it was more like: Shuffle to toilet, hover over the basin, wincing, trying not to make the pathetic mousey squeaks so I didn’t wake up my new born, stopping the pee flow every few seconds to try and regain some sense of composure, and in the end lightly splashing post war vaginal with water. The whole ordeal took about 20 minutes, but the end of which I had exhausted myself and cried with humility of the situation. First baby, alone on the ward with newborn and no idea – Eye opening!
5.       Wibble Wobble Jelly in my Belly?! – The baby, the waters, the placenta is all out! But you have the mound of wobbly flesh, with slivers of stretch marks and the look of a deflated bouncy castle. It stays for a little while and isn’t pretty. Call it baby weight, baby belly, baby pooch – call it what you like, you aren’t pregnant anymore, and you now have the body of a used teabag. Good Luck with that.
6.       The utter relief…  Once the contractions are at an end, the head is out (ring of fire is an understatement)… the shoulders slip out more easily…WHATHEHELLISTHIS? Relief, utter unbridled relief and elation, so strong than in fact you wouldn’t notice 7000 people clapping for you… until point 2. Happens then is sore again for a minute or so… then back to elation..weeeeeeeeeee  (best legal high ever)
7.       Ring of Fire… Is no longer just a Johnny cash song, it is a real thing. And let me tell you something, listening? IT HURTS, thankfully it is a fairly short sharp ouchy and done… Second time round? I felt the ball of fire from higher up in the birth canal than the first time… Second time I almost wish I had opted for more drugs… almost.
8.       It really can be different every time! I kid you not ladies and gentleman, my eldest allowed me to have a joyous amazing pregnancy, a lovely 3 hour birth (minor tears) and generally just lovely and painful… Mojo rocks up, back-to-back, all day sickness, over 24 hours of labour… I AM A FOOL! A FOOL I TELL THEE!! Next time? I won’t be so cocky.
9.       The experience isn’t just yours alone…  I stayed at home for my second birth, and while there I realised everyone in the room was invested in it, no matter how bad I was feeling there was more than one person to pick me up and dust me off. That amazing miracle of life you are about to perform and are in the middle of, will affect everyone in the room. Midwives do it every day, and they do it for a reason.
10.   Things can go wrong.  I don’t like to be the bearer of bad news but it can go wrong, sometimes minor sometimes major, I don’t find it healthy to read 100 horror stories about birth, cord accidents and such… But I wish I had been a bit more reasonable about this, Mojo lost heartbeat and was born out of fluorescent yellow waters. Both not great, both we got through.  Just remember, keep a cool head and be prepared – that’s all you can do.