Just another love story

Ever since I was a little girl right up until the age of 18 I thought naively that everyone found their soul mate. This isn’t really my fault though, my parents met when they were 16 and have been together ever since, so naturally I thought this would happen to everyone. It is a lovely thought that everyone in the world would find his or her soul mate, maybe not straight away but eventually.

Tragically this allusion was broken when I went on a family holiday when I was 18 and met an older women who did her best to look after herself, she had a nice tan and makeup tattooed on. I remember her telling me she holidayed alone because she had nobody and how she hoped and wished she had found her soul mate. It was right then that I thought this could be me. I never really thought that I would never fall in love. After that holiday my perception completely changed, I no longer thought that I would definitely find someone but rather that I never would. At 18 I still hadn’t had a serious relationship so in my teenage mind it must mean I never would. But little did I know I was wrong and in fact I already knew my soul mate, it just wasn’t our time back then.

I met my jigsaw piece when I was 6 years old, I had moved house and to another school. We were only children back then but we were inseparable. I remember spending hours playing kiss chase in the playground, going on play dates to the cinema and going round each others houses at weekends. I had my first kiss with him when we were on a school trip in Scarborough in year 6. He had knocked on my bedroom door (I was sharing with a group of girls) on the evening of my birthday. I answered and stepped into the corridor embarrassingly with no top on although back then it didn’t matter. That’s when we shared our first kiss together. It was something that we both remember and treasure and will always treasure. We shared our first kiss and we will share our last.

Unfortunately we went to separate secondary school and lost contact from year 8 to 12 (school years). Aidan went to boarding school in Somerset (he got a Somerset accent, which at the time was amusing) and ended up becoming boyfriend to my best friend at the time Megan. Their parents lived on the same street and one summer when he was back they met and started dating. I always wonder what would have happened if it was me he was dating back then. Would we still be together now? I’m a strong believer that everything happens for a reason, if we had gotten together then I probably wouldn’t have had my son Harry. That’s a future I would never want. Anyway back to Megan… She gushed about having a boyfriend and couldn’t wait to introduce me to him, little did she know I already knew him. It was like we had never been apart, we became best friends again and that strong connection was still there. (I would like to point out here that although we had a connection we never got together romantically) I was to find out later on in life that my best friend also saw this connection I had with her boyfriend. It maybe the reason we didn’t stay best friends. But from that moment on we were forever in each other’s lives.

Our lives took different paths again. I went to university in Lincoln and studied media production, which is were I fell pregnant with my son Harry. Aidan took another direction and went into the marines and had a long-term relationship. But no matter where life had taken us we still stayed in contact. When I had moved back home and had my son, Aidan would visit me on leave. The visits stopped after a while. Aidan went abroad for a year with work but it was then surprisingly that our bond got stronger. There wasn’t a day that went by that we didn’t message each other. I longed for the ping of my phone to let me know I had an email. I couldn’t wait for him to be back home and see him in person. It was wrong for us to talk the way we did. Aidan still had a girlfriend but we couldn’t help the way we felt about each other, it was an impossible situation (again we were never romantically involved until they separated).

As I said Aidan and his girlfriend did separate. It didn’t end as smoothly as we had hoped but I guess many relationships don’t. We gave it time before we announced we were together out of respect to his ex. I was over the moon that we were finally together. I felt ashamed at first that I was so happy knowing someone was hurting because of me but Aidan assured me that their relationship was over a long time ago. All I wanted to concentrate on was the positive remarks from family and friends, the type that make you realise how lucky you are that you have so many people supporting you. I know that I am so lucky to have found someone that loves me for all my quirks and annoying habits. It’s a lovely feeling when you first realize that you love someone. It didn’t take me long to know that I loved Aidan. I knew it before we got together, every time we said goodbye there was a longing to kiss him. I’ll never forget our first kiss after being together and how intense it was, every kiss after has been the same.

I hope this is more of a love story than me just boasting about how happy and in love I am. Things are always a bit more complicated that what they seem. As I have previously said Aidan is in the marines so we have to spend a lot of time apart, which is difficult and seeing Harry, who has fallen in love with Aidan too, looking for him when he’s gone is upsetting to see. But this is a topic for another time as it’s one that needs more than a few words.

I still like to think that everyone will be so lucky as to find their other half. Don’t get me wrong many people like to be alone and for a large part of my life I was like that. We all deserve a chance to be happy. I have found mine with Aidan and Harry and hopefully in the future I will be able to tell my children about how we got together and keep the idolism of love alive like my parents did for me.

Are You Scared of a Ten Year Old?

I think every parent worries. I worry about my son being healthy, being happy and most recently I have started worrying about what my baby boy is going to grow up like in society today.

The other week I was walking home from my parents house and came across a group of 6 to 10 year olds coming out from the park. They had just noticed more of their friends and began swearing and dancing in the middle of a main road. I was mortified that someone so young had learnt such disgusting language. They were shouting words that most adults wouldn’t use. I started to think to myself what it would be like for my son to grow up with children who think it is fine to use expletives and behave inappropriately. What happened to the innocence of youth? I want my son to grow up believing in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy and not bad language, guns and violence. I have thought many times about moving out of my town and into a small village so that there are fewer children for Baby H to get involved with. But how different are children from a town and a small village? Surely if they have both been exposed to the same environment they would both turn out the same? To make my anxiety worse when taking my sister to work there was a 12-year-old smoking outside. Smoking! I have seen teenagers smoking thinking that they are apart of a cool crowd, but I have never seen someone so young with a cigarette in hand. What would make a child think that it is a good idea to put poison into their body? Where have all the children gone? I find it sad that children now want to grow up so quickly that they waste the best years of their childhood pretending to be an adult instead of playing tag and stuck in the mud.

Is it any wonder that people are scared of youths when they hang around in large groups and you are walking by yourself? But truth be told so many of these children are kind natured and are only wanting to be apart of the latest fashion trends and hang out with their friends. But it doesn’t stop adults being too scared to go out at night because of the fear of being attacked by children. I am fearful of my son growing up to become one of those children that have no manners and think it is funny to try to scare people because when children get into a wrong crowd they can go down the wrong path too.

Today I have seen a young teen fall off his bike and cry out in pain and nobody stop to help him. So what would you do if you saw the teenager fall? Would you stop and help or would you avoid the situation altogether because you don’t know who they are? It amazes me how people can communicate with strangers on the internet and yet when someone is in need on the street they are ignored. Is this fear that stops us from being kind to strangers or is it ignorance of society today?

The Nipple on the Cake

Breastfeeding builds a bond with your child that I can’t even put into words. But I’m sorry to burst your bubble it’s nothing like you imagine in your head. This isn’t a movie.  And even though I went to the breastfeeding clinic at my local hospital, which I completely recommend! I still wasn’t fully prepared for the reality of breastfeeding. The best advice I can give before your baby is born is get as much advice as you possibly can from friends, family and professionals. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare.

Labour is exhausting but it doesn’t stop there, sorry to say, the sooner you breastfeed the better chance of success. I never had a problem with getting my son latched on, but once he was latched on that is where he stayed for the first couple of days. There were times when I fell asleep sitting up in my hospital bed feeding my baby because it is continuous. But that is how your milk will come in. It normally takes a couple of days but when it does you will be feeding your baby every three hours, even throughout the night. But that is better than before right?

So you’re tired then…Ouch! Two weeks into breastfeeding my son, both of my nipples were cracked, sore and bleeding. I was told this could happen but I underestimated how difficult it was to get through. I was tired, emotional and it felt like someone had taken sandpaper to my nipples and all I want to do was give up. But there are ways to get through it. I sent my parents out on an emergency nipple shield hunt in hopes that it would help, unfortunately Baby H found it too exhausting to get milk from the shield. Then came along Lansinoh Nipple Cream, which was a miracle cream! Expensive but a miracle. I have no idea how I would have managed without its soothing, numbing goodness. You will be pleased to hear that it doesn’t last for long, your nipples will get tougher and can withstand the strong suckle of your bundle of joy. Just check when your nipples get sore that your baby is latched on properly. Its called breastfeeding because the baby sucks on the breast and NOT the nipple. Lick under the nipple and suck the breast.

When breastfeeding gets easier you might want to venture outside of your new motherhood bubble and unless you express you will have to breastfeed in public. In my town there are several places where you can go to breastfeed in privacy, Mothercare and John Lewis are the ones I used to use if I could, so it maybe useful if you lookup where you can go before tottering out. I am very confident in myself so I have never had a problem with taking my boob out in front of people, but there are ways to make breastfeeding more discreet. I got given some good advice from my auntie who said ‘wear a large vest top under whatever you’re wearing so you can lift the top up and the vest down and when the baby is feeding no one can see a thing.’ I found this so much easier than putting a cloth over my shoulder, which turned into a tent so I could latch Baby H on! Not so discreet.

I have breastfed in a middle of a public place. You should never feel ashamed or embarrassed, but there people who disagree with breastfeeding babies in public, so unfortunately you may have to deal with these small-minded people. I have never got any negative comments only embarrassed looks from men and glares from surprisingly women. No matter what, you should always enjoy  breastfeeding moments because they will not last forever.

Mine didn’t last for long. When Baby H was 3 month he wasn’t gaining as much weight as he should have. In a panic I decided to combine breastfeeding with bottles in attempt to get his weight up and thankfully it worked. Baby H has always liked to snack, so when breastfeeding for only 5 minutes at a time he wasn’t getting the fatty milk that he needed. When I had to start feeding my baby boy bottles I felt like a complete failure as a mother. How could I have messed up something so natural to me? And to make matters worse I had been starving my son without knowing it. I found myself getting upset and crying at the though of bottle feeding my baby and starving him when I was breastfeeding. Looking back I know that it wasn’t my fault, these kind of things happen and it is nobodies fault. Consequently when I fully stopped breastfeeding my large boobs that I had gotten because of breastfeeding had shrunk back to my small but beautiful boobs, maybe even smaller than before! I have learnt so much from my time breastfeeding Baby H and I will take this knowledge on to when I have my next child. I loved my time breastfeeding it was the cherry on top of the mother of all cakes.