I'm ready now!

Before Charles we always planned a 4 year age gap. When he arrived though, we changed our minds, well, my husband did...much to my surprise.
I was prescribed the mini pill although I never took it, my doctor said mentioned about breastfeeding being a form of contraception although I know some people have still fallen pregnant whilst breastfeeding (before their cycle returned)
We both [my husband not my doctor] decided that we would just risk it,
After 9 months my cycles returned so we knew we definitely COULD get pregnant now. And at this point decided that yes, we were trying for a baby. Although if it happened, it happened, if it didn't, it didn't. We weren't going to get ourselves worked up over it.

So on the 7th of November, after a day out at a zoo and feeling confused over whether or not my period was late we picked up a cheapy test from Morrisons. As soon as we got in I headed upstairs, pee'd on that stick and instantly 2 lines came up.
I ran downstairs to find Jonathan and Charles having a cuddle. I looked at Charles and said "you're going to be a big brother"  Of course at almost 17 months he didn't know what I was saying to him but I felt better that I had acknowledged that he was as much part of this big news as my husband.
My husband was so excited, as was I until I then burst into tears and a huge feeling of guilt hit me. I was still breastfeeding Charles at the time and didn't feel ready to stop, and I knew he wasn't ready either.
I felt like we were saying that he wasn't fulfilling enough etc etc.
At the same time the feelings of happiness were still around, but  couldn't shake these feelings of guilt.
Within no matter of time the pregnancy was affecting the breastfeeding experience. My nipples were so sore that it was almost like the first week of Charles' life when he suffered from tongue tie. I also knew that my body was not making enough milk.

In December I became really ill with flu, so bad that we sent Charles off for the day with my mum because I just didn't have the energy to entertain him, this is the first time we've ever done that in 18 months!
It was this weekend that he took his final feed from me. He stopped by himself.
I was so proud of him for deciding to stop and not making me wean him off as we had planned, as this would of broken my heart. But still at the same time I felt guilty that we were made to stop.
Now though, looking back, we were both ready for it and it was completely the right time. At just over 18 months I felt and still feel so proud to have been able to breastfeed him.

Over the next few weeks I still felt the feeling of guilt, I couldn't shake it off.  At the same time I was so excited and busying myself thinking of how I would cope being pregnant and entertaining a toddler, and then entertaining a newborn and toddler!
Parents were excited, it was different this time than with Charles as we both have strained relationships with our dads now sadly.

This time though I have the added bonus of two fantastic friends who weren't in my life when I was pregnant with Charles. The reaction I recieved from both of these more than made up for the slight lack of reaction/excitement missing from the dads. Don't get me wrong, they are excited.....apparently, but not around as much as they were previously.
Our 12 week scan came and went (at 13+6) but was amazing.
Although up until then I was convinced that we would see nothing, that there was no baby. 100% convinced.
But seeing this little person on the screen was such a relief!!
The due date was brought forward by a week which we were delighted about.I was already so bloated and hardly any of my clothes fit me!
Then came the 20 week scan...its a boy.

Getting to the nitty gritty of it all, and the bits I need to get off my chest. Is the feeling of guilt that has stayed with me through the majority of this. Charles has appeared to understand that there is a baby in my tummy. He knows what a baby is. He's made this obvious. And with it being a boy I know how lovely it will be that they can play together, and hopefully be best mates.

Not only have I had this feeling of guilt, but also felt so protective over the being inside of me. Although I have the two friends who constantly want to know how things are going, constantly remind me how excited they are etc, I feel as though family (other than my mum) aren't as excited before.
My husband hasn't wanted to feel the baby kick and move as much. With Charles we had "baby time" every Sunday and most nights where he would talk to the bump, read stories, play music, and this time that has been non-existant, despite my encouragement.
So I feel as though I'm the only one putting in the effort to make this child feel the love he needs.
Its exhausting me.

The lack of needing to buy things has also been hard. Its made me feel as though the baby has less importance, which is silly because its not about that at all. Its that we don't need as much!
Although now things have started moving and we now have a swing for him, breastfeeding pillow, clothes, a bouncer all bought for us from other people.

Then came our holiday last week, and since being back everything has clicked. Everything is ok. My feelings of guilt have all but disappeared. In the next month/just over a month I'll be properly preparing all his clothes, washing them and placing them into the brand new wooden drawers and wardrobes we'll have, ready for his arrival.
Just being away with Charles made me realise there was something missing. Not for us, not something he wasn't fulfilling, but something we weren't fulfilling for him. He needed a playmate. He needed a brother.
I watched him at the mini disco every night. He is such a kind, considerate and friendly little boy. Confident despite the fact he doesn't go to nursery and spend much time with other children.
He loves helping me in every way he can, so I just know he is going to be great when the new baby is here.

I'm not expecting it to be easy.
But now I know that it won't be as hard as I originally thought.
I have nothing to feel guilty about.
A huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders and I feel great.
Really great.
And really excited.
I'm ready!!

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Lanzarote: Part Three. The Photo Edition.


Lanzarote: Part Two....it gets better!

So we arrived at the hotel with a HUGE sigh and smile! The hotel we were pulling up at was one we drooled over as we dropped other holidaymakers off from the airport.
We were greeted by our Thomas Cook rep, Ellen, who was lovely, and taken to reception to check in. The receptionist was lovely and we were delighted when they as well offered us a proper cot...not a skanky old travel cot or a guest bed. We again asked if we could have a cot and see how we go by maybe change our minds to a guest bed, it was no trouble.
We were directed to our room on the 5th floor...via the lifts...yay!! As we walked through the hotel we were in love, ok reviews we read regarding stained carpets were right and it does make the hotel look a tiny bit dirty BUT its simply where guests have taken drinks to their room etc so not entirely the hotels fault, especially as they have a policy of not taking drinks to rooms. Either way, this didn't put us off at all.

We walked into the room and were straight away wowed by it! HUUUUGE!! We expected twin beds, instead we were greeted with a 7 foot bed! PLUS a guest bed already set up for Charles. We decided we would co sleep for the week as the bed was big enough for all of us to spread out...plus my ever expanding bump!
We looked out over the balcony and loved the view of the pool! We also had a view of some of the Lanzarote landscape, the sea and also the desalination plant which didn't bother us really!
I then turned round to view the bathroom and was excited like every girl would be to see that we had a walk in washroom/wardrobe which lead through to the bathroom. His and hers sinks, huge mirror, hairdryer, huge wardrobe with drawers. Yes I am easily pleased!
Bathroom was lovely too! Tiny bit dark and a lack of a fan but all ok!

We headed down for dinner eventually and loved the huge choice of food on offer. The restaurant was big so we were always able to find a table later on in the week too.
We headed off to bed after dinner as we all couldn't keep our eyes open much longer. After being in bed for 20 minutes there was a knock at the door and someone was trying to get in, we immediately panicked that we were given someone elses room and they had just arrived at the hotel from the airport and wanted to get in their room. Braless, with hair everywhere already and just a vest top on I went to the door, to be greeted by a cleaner and maintenance man who were delivering a cot! I tried to explain that we didn't need it now as he was in bed with us, 10 minutes later they left after finally understanding me...or just giving up because they couldn't understand me.

The rest of the week was lovely. We went swimming, not everyday as the pool was cold but we enjoyed it when we did go in. We bought Charles a swimming ring which was a Dinosaur, he decided it was a Rhino so we went with it, therefore the Swimming Pool was always known as "Rhino Bath".
We went to the Aquarium one day which was rubbish to be honest and took all of 20 minutes.
We went on an excursion to the Rancho Texas Park, which was basically a zoo with 2 tigers and 3 Pumas. We weren't overally impressed but it was a day out.
We hoped to go on a Submarine trip but were unable to due to Charles being under 2, apparently the breathing apparatus in the Submarine isn't good enough for a child under 2.
Everynight was based around Charles getting his time to go dancing. He was obsessed. It was lovely to see. He would wake up at 3am some mornings and say to me "dancing, dancing" and I'd have to try and shush him back to sleep. We are making him a CD of the songs he danced to.
Best bit about the holiday: FREE SLUSH PUPPIES AT THE POOL BAR!! Yay!!

Overall it was a lovely holiday. We would go again, although this time book a bit more in advance so we can plan our days a lot more.
Charles enjoyed his first time on a plane and is now obsessed with them!

Part three on its way soon......with photos!


Lanzarote.....Part One!!

I was quite surprised when a conversation starting with me asking my husband what he'd like to do for our wedding anniversary this year then resulted in us looking for [very] last minute holiday deals on the internet.
He'd mentioned before that he'd like to just book a holiday and go, but we decided that due to my pregnancy, and with a £700 bedroom furniture bill to pay, as well as a double pushchair to buy etc that it wasn't possible really and the idea left us.
Yet there we were, Tuesday morning, sat in the Thomas Cook office in town handing over our bank card and planning on heading off to Lanzarote at 7am on the Thursday! Not really a last minute bargain at £780 but still, the apartments sounded lovely.
We popped for a coffee and quickly planned what we needed to buy, headed off to buy the items and then went straight home to start packing. I'd sent a text to my best friend to cancel our meeting on Thursday, told her about the holiday and she, bored at work, Googled the apartments "wow, fab reviews. But make sure you get a safe, theres been break ins recently"
Straight away I felt a bit sick. Straight away my anxiety set in big time. Once home I searched reviews myself, a lot of mixed ones, some saying best holiday ever, some saying worst holiday ever. We decided to forget about it because our Thomson Cruise we went on three years ago had some bad reviews as does Center Parks, and we've always been happy with both!

So with two nights of horrid anxiety...from thinking the plane would crash to picturing us being involved in a machete attack (yes, my anxiety is that bad) we headed off at 12.30am Thursday morning towards Birmingham airport.
Charles didn't want to sleep in the car, he was too excited about seeing the "pranes". He probably dozed off for around an hour if not less and when he woke, again asked where the planes were.
Arriving at the airport in darkness was strange, check-in was relatively easy, although we now had an overexcited and overtired toddler who wanted to walk and run around everywhere...sadly neither of us had the patience to deal with it although I did try to distract him.

Onto the plane we were cramped and I worried about my feet and ankles swelling. Charles was still very excited and as we took off his head dropped and he was asleep. Lovely! We were shocked at how airlines have now changed, and whereas before, free headphones were on offer along with episodes of Mr Bean and Only Fools and Horses, we were now expected to pay £7.50 EACH to hire a Playstation 4 for the journey.
A friend of mine had offered us her Portable DVD player for the holiday but with the reviews of breakins I thought it best not to risk it so declined. Once Charles woke up though the one thing we needed was a DVD player and Postman Pat. We tried hard to keep him entertained. Played with his cars, coloured in pictures in his colouring book but nothing was keeping his attention for long enough.
A very kind family sat behind us tapped us on the shoulder and handed over their Portable dvd player and Peppa Pig dvds. Phew. For half an hour at least Charles was kept satisfied.
The flight did seem to go on forever, and we were delighted when we caught sight of Lanzarote during our descent.
Again getting through the airport was easy, our luggage was one of the first off which was fab so off we went to our hotel. Passing the other hotels we were anxious as to what our one would be like.
On arrival it looked ok, although we then realised we were on the second floor....with a pushchair, 2 big suitcases, one smaller suitcase, one pregnant lady with now VERY swollen feet and ankles, 2 bags of hand luggage....and NO LIFTS! My husband was a star and didn't complain about any of it.
We entered the room.......it smelt. Musty and a kind of sewage smell. The room needed slight updating, there was some paint peeling from the walls. The floors were tiled and there were 2 steps leading from the hallway to the lounge, which we weren't overally happy with re Charles. But we had no choice and it would just mean he needed extra supervision.
The sofa in the lounge was old, had stains on them and just looked dirty. the bath was dirty. And to top it off there was hair, everywhere. Head hair and......pubic hair. In every room.
Charles walked over to the cupboard, opened it and the door fell off, perfect!
After putting my feet up for 5 minutes I decided I wanted to just check out our beds. We had twin beds in a small room, which was fine, except we then had to somehow fit in a travel cot bed (wheneever they were going to deliver it!) or another guest bed...we wouldn't of had room to move.
Peeling back the top cover I thought I was going to be sick, how could this room get any worse, not only were the sheets dirty but there were hairs in the bed too.
We immediately went down to reception to complain, the man was very polite and said if we went for lunch they would clean the room and change the bedding.
Well, lunch was inedible. I already felt sick due to the state of the room and to find no food really that I wanted to eat, or that my husband or Charles wanted to eat, we didn't quite know what to do.
We headed back to the room which had been cleaned.....apparently. Same problems with hair and the bedding was just as bad. I went down to reception once more and was offered another room. "Check it out and if you want it you can have it" the man said. In the meantime the cleaner would once again, clean our room and change the bedding.
So we headed in, the smell was better but the other problems remained. And with this new room there was a cm gap in the window, which could easily have been broken into, so I felt even more unsafe here.

My husband immediately started to look at flights home, without my knowing, we were all tired, hungry, and hot. And just wanted to lay down somewhere comfortable and clean.
I looked at our paperwork sat on the side and saw a number for the Lanzarote Thomas Cook office. Grabbing his phone I called them. After explaining everything I asked if we could be moved hotels or if they could help us arrange flights home.
The lady was so helpful and said she would give me a call back as soon as she could, it was busy at the resort at the moment so accomodation was unlikely but she would see what our options were.
We headed into town, stopped off at an English pub so my husband could have a well deserved pint of cold beer. We spoke to some people there about the problems we were having, they were staying at the same place as us and were yet to check out their beddding (this is something I thought everyone did on arrival!)
We then decided to go and find some bottled water and sunglasses for me as I'd stupidly left mine in the car.
Sunglasses, armbands, summer hats for me and my husband and flip flops for my husband and grapes for Charles were bought and we just walked trying to find things to do so we didnt have to go back to the apartment. Then my husbands phone rang. "We've found you a room, you can go and see it before you give us an answer but you'll probably want to get a taxi. There will be additional payment as it is essentially an upgrade" We decided not to go by taxi to see it but to take them up on their offer of faxing info and photos to the hotel we were currently in.
Stopping off at the English Pub again we Googled the new hotel to check out reviews....again mixed reviews.
I didn't know what to do. My husband at this point was happy to buy bed sheets somewhere and cleaning products. But it wasn't good enough for me.

At 6 o clock Thomas Cook phoned again, giving us the extra price for the new hotel. 380 Euros. It was out of our budget. I asked if it was possible for them to look at a completely different resort then as we weren't too bothered if we were in Costa Teguise or Playa Blanca etc. She went to speak to her manager.
When she came back on the phone she offered us a much better price and we accepted. We had to head to the hotel in an hour once payment had been processed and forms had been completed. Within 30 minutes we'd had enough of this hell hotel, grabbed a taxi and off we went.........

 What happened next?....read part two
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