Day One Post-Op

Well, it went as well as could be expected πŸ™‚

It’s 3am but I can’t sleep so I thought I might as well post an update.

This is me waiting to go down to surgery. Please note the fetching hospital gown.

I was in theatre for roughly four hours – which was longer than they expected. I’ve briefly seen my surgeon (I was very out of it) and he confirmed that going through my belly was the correct thing to do – apparently there were many adhesions.

I am not shocked by this.

They didn’t initially give me a support band, and I was in a lot of pain – it’s been a long time since I cried from it, but they gave me a belly block and my band and that helps. I was then moved up to a room on the antenatal ward – all gynae-related surgeries are up here.


The irony of this is not lost on me πŸ˜‚πŸ€£


Pain free is sadly not an option. They started me off on Percocet 6 hourly but that was not doing it for me, so they’ve split it out into Oxycodone and Tylenol. I’ve just had my Tylenol so am staying awake for the next 20 min so they can do my obs then hopefully I can get some more sleep.

I’m doing better than I expected though. I’ve been up and about – briefly shuffled to the bathroom and back. They will be trying that again in a couple of hours.

I’ve been drinking so well that they’ve unhooked my IV fluids – though it’s still in my wrist. On my dominant hand. Goddamn bad veins!

I ate some dinner:

I had a nibble of the toast (too much for me) but I did eat all my raspberry ice.

I dislike saltines intensely, but my lovely night shift nurse has found me Graham crackers which are infinitely preferable. Also iced apple juice.

They are planning on removing my catheter soon!!!

Coughing hurts like a bitch and it’s amazing how much you use your abdomen.

My middle shift nurse thinks I’ll be home by Thursday. Which is good. Hopefully I will see my doctor man tomorrow and he can give more concrete information.

Mom is holding down the fort (thanks Momma!) and the hus-creature will be staying with me here and utilising hospital wi-Fi to do some work tomorrow and Wednesday.

He’s not staying with me overnight because we both feel the kidlets need to see at least one parent (and poor mom needs a break!)

She sent me a picture of #1 Son being a ninja πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•

We’ve decided not to bring the kids to visit because I’m in too much pain and the risk of them clambering over me is too high. Also, I don’t want to scare them.

I’m missing them like crazy though.

Right, now I shall attempt more sleep. I might be allowed a shower tomorrow!!!

Operation is go

I am sorry, dear audience, for my very quiet week. My momma arrived on Thursday and I have been enjoying her company before I become neither use nor ornament.

She’s lovely and offered to babysit on Saturday night so that the hus-creature and I could have one last date night. We went to a lovely Brazilian BBQ place πŸ’•

My starter from the Salad Bar πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

When I asked for rare steak when they brought the skewer to the table:

The kids have been really lovely. #1 Son had a bit of a bad week last week, but he is aware I am having surgery and I think he’s worried. He’s loving having Nanny here though.

TT isn’t having as much fun. It’s obvious how much she’s become a Mommy’s Girl since the move. But it seems that while I’m not around she’s happy to be with Nanny, so we are less worried about the next few days.

So I’ve been awake since 04:45. It is now 06:01 and I’m sitting in the Surgical Admittance area after filling in all the paperwork, waiting to be taken down. They think it will be closer to 06:30 than not.

I’m remarkably calm. I want this. I need this. This is the best thing for me. I just would love a drink! Also, I’m not entirely sure how I am to produce a urine sample given I’ve eaten or drunk nothing since midnight.

The hus-creature is much less zen. The poor boy is very worried – so any good thoughts that could be sent his way would be much appreciated.

I shall sign off now.

SEE YOU ALL ON THE OTHER SIDE

Burns Night

So on Saturday, the hus-creature and I went out for a pre-op last hurrah which co-incided with his office’s idea of going to a Burns Night bash.

So out we went.

You cannot say that The Haven didn’t make an effort.

Included in the meal was a nip of a very glorious whisky:

The Bruichladdich Octomore

Yes, that’s dollars a shot! It retails at over $150 a bottle. And it’s peated. But honestly, it was glorious.

This was my tipple for the evening:

It is a Sherlock Holmes:

Basically a posh Hot Toddy, but it was delicious. Normally when cocktails are an option I mix and match to switch it up, but this was so good I didn’t bother.

I got my nails done πŸ’—

<<<<< apparently I can keep for surgery (in six days πŸ™€πŸ™€πŸ™€)

It was a lovely evening. We didn’t get home til 01:30 though as we were apparently on the last train home so we were stuck waiting stationary for over half an hour for the last trains on other lines. Such fun!

Our sitter was amazing though bless her – kept her informed and paid her a “we are sorry the travel time sucked” bonus.

Then on Sunday I got my hair redone. This is the first time since we moved.

So a lot needed bleaching:

(Please note that the original blue still won’t die!!!)

The reaction of the kids was hilarious too. #1 Son loved it.

You are blonde like me mummy.

TT? Oh no. She hated it. Would not come near me at all. Ran into her room, glowered at me, shook her head, stayed with daddy. The lot really.

Even when it was finished she spurned me πŸ€£πŸ˜‚

However the following morning she came wandering in, looked at me and said:

Mommy beautiful head

And touched it, so I am now apparently forgiven. Interestingly, #1 Son is/was most annoyed that I didn’t keep the blonde. And did not accept the explanation that it didn’t suit me πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ‘πŸ»

Lab work woes

So. I had a letter confirming my surgery, which told me I was to toddle up for a pre-operative assessment any time between 22/01/2018 and 03/02/2018.

Please note that: Any time between those dates. There was apparently no need to book an appointment.

I could even go up on a Saturday. Well, although that seemed more convenient, meaning the hus-creature wouldn’t have to work from home, we decided it was most sensible to go up on a weekday.

So, here I am. I was educating my Lyft driver on some fundamental differences in the health care systems between the UK and the USA. He pulled some WTF faces when I explained about waiting lists, but did concede that you know, not going bankrupt was a nice perk.

Also maternity leave. Honestly my heart breaks for the few pregnant women of my acquaintance out here.

So? Do we think it’s gone/going well?

Ahahahahahahahahahaha.

Surely, surely madam you jest?

Well, I got there at 08:10, not bad I thought, since on weekdays they open at 07:00.

First thing I had to remember is that for Americans the First Floor is what I, as a Brit, consider to be the Ground Floor. So I got a little flustered trying to find the First Floor lab. Still, the lovely receptionist sent me to the Registrar to do paperwork.

But hang on, I was told I didn’t need to make an appointment. That I just walked in.

Nope. And that wasn’t the first piece of misinformation.

So I’m sitting waiting and get called.


As I was, the lovely J called to let me know that #1 Son had had a full meltdown in the car over not being able to get out and play.

Well kiddo if you’re going to keep running into school at the wrong times, we have to adjust to fit.

I am expecting a bad day now 😰


First, they couldn’t find my surgery in the system!!!!

So that right there wasn’t good. However, once they checked the spelling of my surname, and got the correct date of the operation in, there it was!!!

And then there was nothing in the system about my pre-operative testing. The lovely registrar (thank you Mary, you were a saint!) was trying her best to find it.

So they try to ring my doctor. Well it was only 08:25 by this point, so they weren’t open.

With many apologies, they send me back to the waiting area.


It’s more than okay. I’m used to any kind of medical related appointment running at least 40+ minutes over. I had brought my knitting and snacks.


The poor staff were amazed that I wasn’t kicking off about this. But see, what does that achieve? You get a black mark against you, which will affect the level of service you receive, and you just make someone else’s life even fricking harder.

I also heard a more higher up person mutter that my particular doctor’s office is apparently known for screwing with the paperwork. They had tried entering a span of dates, including the ones on my letter, but they hadn’t worked.

It turns out that when the provisional hysterectomy was agreed back in December (the 12th for anyone who is interested) the paperwork was inputted into the system and dated for 20th December.

So no wonder they couldn’t find it!


By this point I highly feared for anyone attempting to take my blood pressure!


So off I toddled to the lab, armed with fresh paperwork, labels and renewed hope singing in my heart.

And actually, it wasn’t too bad. I was waiting less than 5 minutes. Then the two phlebotomists fought over who got to stick me because they loved my accent.

I warned them about my (notoriously) bad veins, but she stuck me and got two vials of the stuff first try!!!

So then off I trotted home to relieve the hus-creature (as he was distracting the Tiny Tyrant) and send him off to the office, with a sore arm, but I’m pleased it’s done.

Midweek Madness

Well not so much but things have been happening.

In a week my Momma will be here πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•

I can’t wait.

She’s coming out to help me recover from the operation, which is about a week and a half away 😱😱

As she has been reading the blog you can’t say she doesn’t know what she’s letting herself in for.


There is a pink metallic marker somewhere in this house minus its lid. TT knows where it is. I do not. Many wall cleanings. Much frustration.


Yesterday I had the fun of handling her and #1 Son from 08:00 – 17:00 without being able to use running water. We had previously been given 24 hours notice of sewer pipe work.

Actually they did finish an hour early, but next time that happens I’m filling my dye pots with clean water as well as my kettle.

It is not pleasant washing your hands with baby wipes all day!

I am laying down the groundwork for my main convalescence project.

Yes, it is a 24-Skein project!!! I’m sure there will be others, but this is a simple crochet pattern that will keep my hands busy without overtaxing my brain too much.

Don’t worry Mothership – we will knit socks etc together.

I had already touched on the upcoming surgery with #1 Son, but as it’s getting closer, I had another talk with him.

Do you know what he said?

Don’t worry mommy. I will look after you. And if you need food or drinks I will bring them to you.

Is someone cutting onions in here? I swear my tiny Grinch heart just grew three sizes. My boy is the sweetest kid ever.

Yes, he discovered Snapchat today – J sent me this.

What else has been happening? Not much new really.

Well, except I now have a SSN card!!!!

I am a legitimate proper (alien) person! Roll on everything. I need to start writing stuff down for my Etsy shop now!

Our weekend

It’s been another up and down-er.

Saturday, well a few good things happened.

The lady lady sent her handyman fiancΓ© down to fix our various issues.


Let us just gloss over the fact that we were given six minutes notice, and that I was still in my pyjamas.


So he fixed Nathan’s door handle straight away (though borrowing our tools to do it) but needed to return later to affix the new toilet seat and deal with the bathroom lock*

Which he did, at 17:00 with ten minutes notice this time.

The new toilet seat was equipped, and a hook and eye lock installed – almost out of my reach, so no worries about the children in the main.

He also noted that they were getting in a plasterer to fix H’s bathroom ceiling next month** so if we had any similar issues to report them and they would get them seen to at the same time.

Considering I will be recuperating from major abdominal surgery, how about no to random people in my house doing random crap? Plus H sent her son up two weeks ago and he dealt with the holes in our walls.

We then had Date Night. We saw Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

I liked it. I mean yes there was some sad stuff, and some stuff that could have been better. I wonder what they will do about the next film given Carrie Fisher is no longer with us. But there were some adorable moments.

I want a Porg. And a Crystal Critter. And I used my scary spooky abilities and spotted the actress who played Dr. Ellie Stadler in Jurassic Park.

Which, leads me nearly on to some of the trailers I watched.

Films Which I Now NEED To See:

  • A Quiet Place
  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • A Wrinkle In Time
  • Panther
  • JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM***

There were a few others, but given you cannot have your phone in the cinema, I’ve forgotten some.

So that was lovely. Film was good. Food at the cinema in-house bar wasn’t great but they do good cocktails. We had 45min to spare before the film, so we went to the arcade and played a Jurassic Park shooter – and I didn’t totally suck!!! So that was fun.

Behold the awesome that is reclining cinema seats though!!!

Didn’t get home til half midnight, but the sitter had cable and snacks and the kids hadn’t been evil, so she’s happy to come back next week for our Burns Night shenanigans.

Then came Sunday.

We had a visit from the lovely Libidia, and First and Third. Sadly Second was poorly-sick five minutes from our place, so his daddy took him home and vowed to return to collect his lady and remaining offspring anon.

TT adores Third. However she constantly refers to them as “baby”, which, as they are actually older than her we all find hilarious.

#1 Son gets on amazingly with both First and Second, so he was sad at the diminution of expected guests but they had fun.

However. I learned that I cannot trust him to play in his room at the moment.

During the course of the visit, we noticed three separate small marker pen drawings on the hallway wall. They were too well formed to be TT or Third. And Libidia knows her offspring well enough to know their “lying face”


I wish I did!!!!


#1 Son however not only denied it vociferously but blamed his sister. Now, one of these smaller drawings was a traced handprint. And he had the offending marker on his hand and palm. Yet continued to deny and deflect blame.

So we left that for a bit, until at the end of the visit we went to find them. To be greeted with this:

Now, he was not alone in this. First did assist. Libidia offered to help pay for cost of supplies to repaint.

Fortunately this was not required. Though it did take more than two tubs of wipes to clean off:

And it ruined my poor nails:

So, as you can imagine, neither myself nor the hus-creature were enamoured of our eldest yesterday.

And do not worry dear audience, he did not escape unpunished:

  • No allowance for last week.
  • Costs of materials needed to repaint were to be taken out of his savings.
  • No screens for the rest of the day.
  • I confiscated all colouring materials.
  • I made him tidy his room unaided whilst I scrubbed his walls.

He was not impressed. But he couldn’t, or wouldn’t, tell me why he had done it.

So I shot off a quick email to his therapist, enclosing those photos and asked her to talk to him about it – if she deemed it appropriate.

So that was not a good end to the day.

However, look what I finished:

Yes – IT IS THE SOCKS.

The socks of wonder and joy.

My photo shoot got photobombed!

Despite all the trials and tribulations, I love this kid so darn much πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•


*There was much blathering about the existing one being a Mortise Lock and worry about the kids getting the key and similar.

Look, at this point I don’t frigging care – just get us a damn door lock!!!!

**Uh huh – we all believe that.

***No, really I NEED to. I regress to being an over-excited 10-year-old whenever there’s a Jurassic Park film involved (well except Lost World, but that was due to my disappointment with the book) this is one of my all-time favourite franchises and I cannot wait!!!!!

Career changes

I realised that yesterday was THE BIG DEADLINE for my former office.

Which made me blink in shock and reflect on the last few months. For the first time in a decade I was able to relax over the festive period.

I’m not working 12+ days and 40+ hours of overtime. I was able to visit (extended) family, spend time with my hus-creature and kidlets without feeling guilt.

It felt/feels amazing. My stress levels are much reduced, at least in one way. Yes, my blood pressure is still an issue, and I’ve had/have other stressors, but those are gradually reducing.

I’m happy. I’m missing work, but mostly in the “having my own money” arena and some occasional adult conversation.

I’m going to make a serious attempt at doing something with my yarn skills. I do have my knitting group for at least weekly human interaction, plus the lovely J and H when our schedules allow. I actually planned some colorways last night. I have a specific notebook and I’m writing things down. I also have the hus-creature asking me practical questions, which really helps, as I have a slight tendency to just think about the creative side πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

Six months!

(And two days πŸ˜‚πŸ€£ – but I was busy with MLK stuff on Monday!).

I can’t believe we’ve been on this crazy adventure for half a year!!!

Well it’s not quite as crazy anymore – unless you count the weather!

We’re settling down into something like a routine I think. It’s been a blast, but something resembling normalcy cannot be sneezed at.

So, the hus-creature is pretty settled in his job. He actively prefers being in an office, even with a sucky commute (certainly compared to what it was whilst we lived in Cambridge). He’s happy and stuff gets done, and he has a great work-home life balance, which means I don’t have to get the thumbscrews out.


I mean, if he chooses to work on a sudden brainstorm after I’ve gone to bed? No skin off my nose!


TT is happy. She’s got her toys, access to her favourite films, her brother after 3pm and me. And I come quite high up the list it seems actually – and not just in a “I am bored of this film parental unit, change it”

And it’s been amazing to watch her grow and change.


I do wish she would stop throwing her meal plates and bowls in the kitchen bin though. I know she believes she is helping, but I swear we have lost at least a few that way now!


It’s harder to quantify with #1 Son. He still has moments when he talks about missing England, his old house, his old school, his friends. But he’s getting there. He’s a special boy who needs extra support and he’s getting it. We still have bad school days, but the bad moments at home at least are much less. And the levels of bad at school are overall reduced. We have to remember to adjust our own expectations of him at times, yet the moments when he surpasses or blows right past them make it worthwhile. His therapy will help him, the school are supporting him, and we have documented proof that he’s bright.


I’ll turn cartwheels when he has his first birthday party or play date though.


The cat? She also seems happier overall. She’s eating more, has more places to hide and nest in, and still has human company as and when she desires it. I think this has been as good for her as it has for the children – unexpected bonus.

Me? Again hard to quantify. I’m doing well, I think. I’ve got my operation soon (eeeeep), the Mothership is coming to visit and look after me and the monkeys (love you Momma!). I’ve applied for my SSN, and got my work permit.

My knitting is coming along amazingly, and I have projects planned for recovery and convalescence.

I’m firmly heading down the path to setting up my own dyeing side business. The hus-creature is helping with the practical questions, as I’m still stuck on “what should I call it”. But I can’t put us in the hole to do this!

I’ve got time to sort it. I know I won’t be doing Advent Calendar boxes for 2018 at least.

I’m still going to knitting group – it’s going okay. They are helpful and lovely ladies. One of them bought me a box of Girl Scout Thin Mints cookies as (obviously) I have never had them before! And apparently I should expect casseroles etc to be left on my front porch post-surgery which is amazing.

I do still have bad days. I am still really bad at this domestic goddess malarkey, but I’m getting there. It’s becoming the new normal.

A day of good and bad

So today has been a bit of a mixed bag, so I will divide it straight down the middle.

The Good:

  • SSN successfully applied for
  • #1 Son did all his homework without a battle
  • TT had a nap 🀭😱
  • TT’s insistence on using cloth diapers means she’s now actually telling me (occasionally) when she’s done a wee
  • My beleaguered sock is back on (new) needles, of which I have three pairs so dammit I will finish this bugger.
  • The snow is currently gone.
  • My kettle dyeing mojo has returned and I have 5 more skeins for the next ripple blanket I’m planning.

The Bad:

  • The hus-creature became trapped in #1 Son’s room when the door handle came off in his hand! Which is something I have had concerns about for months. Fortunately it is repaired for now, and will be reported to the landlady*
  • TT is very unsettled tonight and is still not asleep. I may have to concede no naps 😫😞😒😰
  • Snowstorms are predicted. Bye bye clear ground. Hello snow day. Probably.
  • Neither child will accept the toothpaste we have so are both using age 0-2 Aquafresh Milk Teeth until our next weekly shop.
  • The Amethyst dye is not. It is raspberry at best. I am not amused.

*along with reminders about the broken toilet seat and lack of lock on the bathroom door. I will need to ensure that the crayon is off of the walls (again)


The Amusing:

  • TT has learned to apply talc during nappy changes. That got… messy…
  • After #1 Son blamed TT for the (pink) toothpaste in the main toilet, she came toddling through to me, not once but twice to tell me “Nanoo running“. So she is equally capable of dropping him right in it πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

The Yarns:

So from left to right:

  1. Delphinium Blue
  2. Frozen
  3. Amethyst
  4. Berry Crush
  5. Aubergine

On what planet is that Amethyst?!?!? I’ll concede Carnelian (maybe) or even Red Amethyst (yes, that’s a thing) but traditionally, amethysts are purple. To cheer me up, here is a cat with Yoshi riding her:In Soviet Russia, Yoshi ride you.

Martin Luther King Day

I’m not sure whether to wish people a happy one or not.

It’s an important day of cultural significance and I felt it should be marked.

So we had a lovely family day today. We:

  • Went out for lunch.
  • Baked cookie-brownies.
  • #1 Son played with daddy on his computer games.

We think I might have been too enthusiastic with my Kitchen Aid and overbeaten the brownie mix. I’ll learn! The kids enjoyed them anyway, and that’s all that matters. *

#1 Son also had his second full counselling session today. He seemed to enjoy it. He did lots of drawing, and his counsellor was impressed with him.

We do not push or pry with him. Both the hus-creature and myself firmly believe that it’s vital he feels and believes that it is a safe space for him, and that we will only be told what we need to be told, or, what he chooses to tell us.

She will send me notes, hopefully tomorrow, and will send a letter to the school with how she is forming a diagnosis by the end of the week.

She did mention that he was able to accurately depict six separate emotions on faces – I could have burst with pride/relief at that.

If he is still proved to be “on the spectrum” I will deal with it, but if he’s not? Life will be infinitely easier for him. So I cannot apologise for wanting that for him. **

TT continues to alternate between “cute as a button” and “truly demonic“. And it’s impossible to guess where she will fall.

New phrases include:

  • I want it <thing>
  • I get it <thing>

The standard “no”, “my do it” are constant and it’s draining.

She pushes boundaries and rules so much more than #1 Son ever did. She’s bright, stubborn and goddamned exhausting.

And she can count up to eight, and can manipulate jigsaw puzzles on her tablet, and is coming up with names for things.

And has discovered a love of Coraline. Of which I approve.


*I will keep telling myself that darn it.


**But please know I will never love him any less, or be any less proud of him – it’s a complicated set of emotions.