Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I miss this blog

I know, I know, I said I wouldn't be posting here any more, but do you know what? I miss this blog. Over a couple of years I felt like I built up a small readership and an smaller group of commenters. Hey, you could even call them friends.

My new blog is, by comparison, a lonely place.

I've noticed from the tracker on this site that I still get a few visitors here, although I hardly ever update it so I don't know what you're looking for. Something like this, perhaps.

Well, you wait in vain I'm afraid. There will be no more posts here. None. No more. Really. This is the end.

You are, of course, welcome over at my new home, but as I've said previously I can't publish the address on here. If you think you might want to keep up with our developments (five and a half months old now!) then drop me an email at treggles[at]hotmail[dot]co[dot]uk and I'll send you the details.

So long, and thanks for reading. If anyone is.

Sunday, July 08, 2007


Need I say more?

Friday, June 22, 2007

Two years ago.

According to the kitchen calendar, today is the "longest day". Two years ago exactly it certainly was the longest day for me.

What a lot has happened since then.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Hello! Flicker here! Just wanted to remind you that Mum and Dad (and me!) have started a new blog. You can read all about how I'm already sleeping nine hours some nights, and see lots and lots of photos (they do like to point that camera at me!). If you fancy a look, Daddy says you need to ask for the address. I'd love to tell you more, but for some reason I'm not allowed. Rules, rules, rules... is that what life's all about?
Flicker xx

Saturday, May 26, 2007

More good news in Blogland

Another new arrival! Do pop in and send your best wishes to another blogging guy, who writes under the name of A Dad Someday. I guess he'll have to change his name now!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Birth story: Mrs T's version

Anyone who likes birth stories will be interested to know that Mrs T has just posted her version of events on our new family blog. It's written a darn site better than my sprawling effort.

If you've not asked me for the address yet see my previous post for details.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The story continues... elsewhere

One of my few remaining readers (well, I haven't exactly made this scintillating reading lately) has asked how Flicker is getting on now that he's over two months old. Well, I could answer that. I could say how amazingly wonderful he is. I could tell you all that he is the best baby there has ever been. I could talk about how proud I am to be seen out with him, and how I love it when strangers gather around to coo. I could mention that a couple of nights ago he slept from 9:30 until 5:00 - which certainly counts as "through the night" in my book. I could also mention the difficult things, like how he hates his car seat and any long journey is now really hard work as he'll start to object after as little as 15 or 20 minutes and will not calm down until we've stopped and got him out for a cuddle.

I could say those things.

But you'll remember that some time ago I announced that once Flicker was here, then this blog would come to its end. And Flicker is here. So I won't say any of those things here, because this is not the place for them.


Mrs T and I have started a public blog together. Real names, photos, everything. There's not much on it yet (well, we have been rather busy) but as well as recording what Flicker's up to we're hoping to record our thoughts, feelings, and emotions as we learn to be a family. If you've been a regular reader/commenter here, I may be able to invite you to my new blogger home. There will be some ground rules (mainly: no referencing back to anything you've read here!) but if you'd like to come along, email me on treggles[at]hotmail[dot]co[dot]uk (or there's a link on my profile) and I'll let you know.

(Note: Mrs T doesn't know I've said this here yet. She may veto the idea and then you'll just have to find me for yourself.)

Monday, April 30, 2007

No drugs; no stitches.

Right, let's face it, I'm never going to find the time to update this from home, so I've logged on at work. Ah, stuff 'em. (Don't fret - it is lunchtime.)

So - back in the birthing pool...

Mrs T was relaxed. Very relaxed. Eventually, we decided perhaps a little too relaxed, as her contractions had started to slow down and become less severe. And so, several hours after entering the pool at 5cm dilated, they had another probe - and see was only 7cm. The midwives (for our independent midwife friend V had now arrived) were clearly disappointed, and we all agreed that it would be better for Mrs T to get back onto dry land.

They suggested that she could carry on for another couple of hours to see what happened, but that they'd then want to put her on the drip to speed things up a bit. We quickly decided "why wait the two hours?", and agreed that they should put her on the drip. Can't remember what the stuff is in the drip, but it's the same stuff they use to induce. (Mrs T's labour isn't on record as having been induced, merely "augmented" - which sounds like a musical term to me.)

Very quickly the contractions changed. She was kneeling on the bed leaning forward against the raised bedhead and has since described the difference: it wasn't that they were harder or more severe - just that they came without any warning. Gas and Air, previously rejected as doing nothing, became Mrs T's friend. Contractions came thick and fast, and Mrs T became increasingly desperate for the whole thing to be over. Our friend V was, as we'd expected, absolutely brilliant. She was working with the midwife, but kept getting up tot the head end and looking Mrs T straight in the eye, explaining what was happening and how well she was doing. She'll probably never read this, but we've been very sure to tell her just how much she did for us that day.

Mrs T needed to be on even firmer ground, so we got her of the bed and onto all fours on the ground. I sat on a chair at her head, and she leaned - very heavily - on my lap. When contractions came, she pulled on my shirt with all her might, bit my belt hard (thankfully my belt), and went through the whole denial thing. She really didn't think she had the strength to go on any longer, and had started to cry "I don't want this baby". By this stage - when we weren't even sure if it was still Sunday, the Midwives were getting excited, and encouraging Mrs T to keep at it. "the doctors will be wanting to get involved and we don't want that, do we", they were saying. And, although Mrs T had suggested cutting it out of her, sucking it out, pulling it out, whatever, she remarkable found the determination to finish what she'd started.

And finally, at 11:12 pm, Flicker made his entrance.

We’d asked for skin-to-skin contact as soon as possible after the birth. Mrs T was exhausted and needed to get back onto the bed and recover a bit from the shock of it all, so they wrapped Flicker and gave him to me initially. What an amazing feeling. A baby in my hands only minutes old. My Baby. Our baby. As soon as she was ready, we unwrapped him and laid him on Mrs T’s chest, where he stayed while she birthed the placenta and they checked her out. She’d torn a tiny amount, but only internally and no stitches were needed.

Although it seemed to us to have gone on all day and been bloody hard work, it was officially a normal, average labour. But even so, she did it without any pain relief aside from the pool and gas and air.

Mrs T. What an amazing woman.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Now, where was I?

Oh, yes: back at the hospital...

We knew we'd gone in too soon, really, but Mrs T was struggling to cope with the contractions and couldn't bear the thought of having them in the car once they'd got any more severe so we'd made our way. Needless to say, once we'd got checked in (we'd phoned and checked that one of the delivery rooms with a birthing pool was available) the contractions calmed down somewhat, but once we were there we knew we were in for the duration. In fact, they'd calmed so much that the midwives decided against an internal examination yet. And so we were left to cope, and they popped in and checked on us every now and then. I tried to keep note of the times, and contractions were eventually coming about every seven minutes, but only occasionally lasting a minute. After what seemed like an age, they agreed to do an examination, only to find that Mrs T was dilated only about three centimetres. (Excuse me if I'm a bit vague on the timings, but some of it was quite a blur.)

As they don't let you into the pool until you're four centimetres, Mrs T was left with no pain relief at this stage. Gas and air was available, and she tried it once or twice but didn't feel it made any difference, and she was feeling pretty nauseous anyway and didn't want to make it worse, so she just gritted her teeth and got on with it. Sitting on a birthing ball leaning over the end of the bed was one of many positions she tried, and the one which seemed most effective, so there we stayed until (I think) early afternoon when they examined her again to find five centimetres. Yay! There followed some debate whether we'd be allowed to use the pool, as the ward was very busy and by using the pool Mrs T would be monopolising one of the midwives, as they're not allowed to leave her in it without one. Thankfully we were given clearance, the pool was quickly filled and prepared, and with much relief she climbed in. And "relief" is exactly the right word: Mrs T felt so much more comfortable in the water - she was amazed and how much better it was, and how much more bearable the contractions became.

And there she stayed for several hours...

And now it's time I was in bed, so the next - and hopefully last - installment will have to follow later.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The story will continue

Sorry for the delay - I can't believe it's been over two weeks since I started telling Flicker's birth story. Every day I think "I'll post the rest of it soon", but still I've not found the time.

Soon, I promise!

"I do hereby promise to make my daddy finish the story very soon."

Monday, March 26, 2007

The story - part one

Started composing this post about a week ago and still haven't got it finished, so thought I'd publish this as "the story so far"...

Three (nearly four now!) weeks ago...

Mrs T's Mum was here for the weekend, helping us with the big spring clean in preparation for Flicker's "forthcoming" arrival. She arrived on the Thursday, and we spent all day Friday and Saturday sorting and tidying, scrubbing and polishing. Mrs T's brother was also here, working on some of his songs (and getting out of his flat while his girlfriend entertained some of her friends). Mrs T went to bed at about ten, tired and getting ready for one more day's solid cleaning on the Sunday. Her Mum was tucked up in the guest room, her brother in the sitting room. I was still up, wasting time as always on the internet. About midnight I heard Mrs T get up and go to the loo; fairly routine stuff in late pregnancy. Then, twenty minutes later, she called through. "T! T! Come here".

She was seated on the bed, looking a little bemused. And very calm, it must be said. "I think somethings happened." And sure enough, she was sitting in a puddle; her waters had well and truly broken. (Thank goodness we'd already put a waterproof mattress protector on!) That was the first we knew something was going on. She'd felt no contractions, no other signs that labour was imminent. We decided to call V, our independent midwife friend. She suggested we phone the hospital, and thought the hospital would ask us to pop down in the morning to be checked out. The hospital said we might as well come in straight away...

We were expecting to come straight back home, but packed our bits into the car just in case, and had to let Mrs T's Mum and brother know we were off so they didn't wake to find us missing.

At the hospital they checked Mrs T's blood pressure, urine, and fluid, with no sign of any infection, and Flicker's heartbeat, which was steady at 150. Sure enough they sent us home as expected, but the policy is that once your waters have broken they'll induce labour after 72 hours if things haven't started by themselves. We now knew were were having this baby this week. In the car on the way home, Mrs T began to feel something. They'd started.

We got home (to find Mrs T's mum and brother had been up doing the dishes!) and went back to bed. V had said that if possible we should try to get some sleep "between contractions". Yeah, right. Not a chance. She couldn't stay laying done, let alone asleep. Up onto all fours every ten or fifteen minutes or so. I started timing them, making notes - getting excited. By half past five we couldn't hang on any longer, and phoned V again. (She's a very good friend!) Contractions were 45-50 seconds long, about seven minutes apart - if I recall correctly. She said we should get back down to the hospital, and warned me that she might not make it in time to help Mrs T deliver as she was teaching all day.

Back to the hospital...

(To be continued...)

Monday, March 19, 2007

Update coming soon...

Sorry folks, I've been planning a post with Flicker's birth story and all the loveliness that's happened since, and still haven't managed to get round to it. Priorities, you see: they change somewhat.

So here's another picture to keep you interested.

Flicker learning to hold his daddy's hand

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Hello world

Still not time for the full story, but here's a quick picture to whet your appetites...

Flicker at about two hours old

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Coming early! *Now updated!!*

Waters have broken twenty minutes past midnight. Just back from hospital (2:45am!) - everything's as it should be. If no more signs of labour (or any concerns) they'll induce Wednesday morning. We're hoping Flicker will be with us before then...

I'll update as and when I can.


Just home from hospital again at 2:26am on Monday. The short version: after coming home as mentioned above, we were back in hospital by 6:30am and baby Treggles was born naturally at 11:12pm - a 6lb 13oz boy. The long version will follow when I've had some sleep. (And when I have some time!)

Saturday, March 03, 2007


I did some counting. Twenty-two.

That's how many muslin squares have appeared in the house. Twenty-two.

Remind me: how many babies are we expecting?

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

"Full term..."

Having known all along that 40 weeks was when Flicker was "due", I now discover that Mrs T is considered "full term" at 37 weeks. That means Flicker could now, in theory, appear any day. Now, what was I saying about being ready?

We have done some more about getting ourselves educated. Our friend in London who's an independent midwife runs a range of classes, and last weekend we attended her "preparation for birth" sessions. Brilliant. She really knows her stuff. In one morning I felt we learned more than we had in three weeks with the NHS, and we had the whole weekend to learn more. I'm so glad she's agreed to be with us for the birth if at all possible. It's a real privilege as we couldn't afford to hire her professionally.

And now we're just back from three days away at a very fancy country house hotel with its own spa were we'd booked in for our last break as "just the two of us". (I gather such a holiday is becoming known as a "babymoon". Never heard the word myself.) It was a lovely relaxing break - which was the whole point - and we had plenty of time to discuss a few things we still needed to think about and make plans. (Regular readers: remember that name I mentioned? Looks like it's still an option!)

As things are potentially imminent, we need to pack Mrs T's hospital bag. That's the next job. In the meantime, we did our first lot of baby washing today.

It's daft the things that can bring a tear to your eye...

Tiny socks. On our radiator.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Terminology lesson *updated*

This is a cot

This is a crib
(Or cradle, but that's quite an old-fashioned term.)

This is a moses basket

Well, that's what we call them in England, anyway. Some recent comments suggest that things might be mixed up somewhat on the other side of the pond. (And Bassinet is not a real word.)
Updated: I'd forgotten about the word cradle.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Fully educated

We’ve completed our three sessions of “Parentcraft” classes (that’s ante-natal classes to you and me) run by the midwives at our local hospital, so we can confidently say that we now know exactly what to expect of this whole childbirth malarkey.

I hadn’t been sure we’d need to go to the classes, and was concerned beforehand that we’d feel out of place as we’d surely be among the oldest present. Our town has one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancy in the country so I really thought we’d be twice the age of many of the mums attending. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised: there were ten couples at the first session, and not only were most of them around our ages, seven were married. (The group did dwindle somewhat over the three weeks, and last night at the last final session we were five couples – including one expecting twins.)

So – what did we learn?

Well, nothing new really; just all the stuff we’ve already been reading about, with a few local specifics (like where to park when you come in for delivery!) and opportunities for questions and worries. Last night we moved on to post-natal care, breastfeeding and a little about nappies. To give us an idea of what to expect to find in a full nappy, the student midwife had kindly brought in three full ones demonstrating different kinds of poo at different stages of feeding. And passed them round. How lovely.

Thank God she’d made them up out of various foodsfuffs! (Marmite, pesto, and korma sauce if you’re interested. I’m sure the real things will smell somewhat… different.)

It was nice to get to know a few others in the same boat as us, and we arranged a "reunion" for when all the babies are a couple of months old. I do hope everything goes well for all of us.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


There is a cot in the house.

This is beginning to feel weird.

Updated: picture of a cot added for clarification. It's one pretty much like this one.

Monday, February 05, 2007


People keep asking if we’re ‘prepared’ for flicker to arrive. Hmmm, let me think... Emotionally? Hardly. Practically? That’s what they usually mean, and the answer’s still no. We have bought a travel system and car seat. That's it. We’ve bought nothing else.

Okay, so it’s fair to say that other people have given us a few lovely things (babygrows, soft toys, photo albums and other assorted bits of ‘stuff’), but we certainly don't feel ‘prepared’ in any practical sense. People even ask if we’ve decorated “The Nursery” yet. The what? Oh, you mean the guest room. Well, no. Why would we do that? When Flicker’s old enough to let us know what colour he/she wants it then we’ll think about it*. We have just been offered a cot, which we’ve gratefully accepted even though we’ve not entirely decided how much use it’s likely to get. (See earlier post for co-sleeping suggestion.) I guess we should get some nappies in at some point, too...

When I took the blog down after Christmas, I lost my list of blogs from the sidebar, so I’ve just re-instated it from various sources. Some of you are on there only because you’ve commented on my posts and I’m hoping to catch up with your blogs at some point. If you know you used to be on the list and I’ve missed you, do let me know. (Also if you’d rather not be listed.)

*Actually, that bit’s a lie: we are planning to decorate it in the summer. But when people do ask, that’s what I tell them.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Power of Prayer

A couple of months ago, I bumped into Edith while walking through town…

Edith: We’re so pleased about you and [Mrs T]. We’ve been praying for this for years!

Me: Um, well, thanks, but wouldn’t it have been nice to ask whether we wanted children before praying for it?

Edith: Huh?

Me: Well, if you believe that prayer works, which I know you do, isn’t a bit presumptuous to pray for something for someone else without thinking to ask whether that person wants the thing you’re praying for. Did it never occur to you that we might not want children?

Edith: (Looking a little uncertain whether I’m toying with her or not.) But we always thought…

Me: Well, thanks for asking.

A slightly awkward pause, then I grinned at her, and she smiled (with relief, I think!) and we went our separate ways.

I was toying with Edith, but only to some extent.

And then this week I saw Edith at church, and she asked if everything was okay with Mrs T, then whispered to me “Are you happy?”

“Of course I am, Edith.”

“Oh, good. You really had me worried after we met in town.”

Oops: I hope I didn’t toy with her too much. I did have point though, didn’t I?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

At last: a new post

Hi folks.

Sorry I've been away. Regular readers will know that I had to take the blog down for a bit and it's taken me a while to work through deciding which posts to re-publish and edit. (The blog is now limited strictly to stuff about the pregnancy and isn't allowed to digress into family stuff and other areas.)

So as it's been a while since my last "new" post, what's been happening? Mrs T has finished at work and is able to relax and enjoy being pregnant. She's finally started to let herself read about pregnancy and try to learn something of what she'd let herself in for. (Birth seems a pretty daunting prospect!) We've signed up to "Parentcraft" classes with our local midwives (what used to be called antenatal classes) and also for a private "Preparing for Birth" class run by an independent midwife in London. A 30-week scan showed everything as it should be.

We had Three in a bed recommended to us by very good friends whose son has shared their bed since day one. (He's now about 16 months and is beginning to use a cot-bed.) I was intrigued and have nearly finished reading it through; it's a well-researched and passionate argument for co-sleeping, and suggests that babies who share the family bed do better in just about every area. They sleep better, feed better, grow more confident, become less clingy and more. And the parents sleep better, too, allegedly. Sounds pretty miraculous, and our friends did admit they've found it had work but "wouldn't want to do it any other way". Reading through, I've become increasingly enthusiastic about the idea, although many clearly have big reservations. I'll maybe try to post a fuller review some time. Mrs T certainly isn't sure about the idea; she's going to read the book when I've finished it.

In the meantime she's been reading The Baby Whisperer solves all your problems, which seems a much more mainstream parenting guide - although I say this before I've read it myself. (Mrs T did notice that it doesn't reject t he idea of co-sleeping outright, which many books seem to do.)

And we've continued with the excellent The Rough Guide to Pregnancy and Birth, reading it week by week the pregnancy has developed. We've read on to the end now to get a clue as to what's ahead!