Crying. Generally.

So, almost 3 weeks ago, my Mum had her bladder, womb, ovaries, lymph nodes and anything else spare, removed. She also had a new bladder created inside her for good measure. When she came out of her operation she was delirious but delirious for too long and not in a “normal” way. I was told she may have had a stroke, or that the anaesthetic may have triggered dementia. Neither was actually the case, she was suffering from severe post-operative delirium, but for a couple of days I wondered if I’d ever talk to my real Mum ever again. The reason she had the operation was because doctors found a “little” tumor in her bladder that was removed and then returned shortly afterwards. It’s all been thoroughly awful and it’s still not over, it’s still awful.

After her op, Mum came to recover and rest with us, which is ridiculous because our house is about as restful as happy hour in Vegas. Obviously Isabelle is still not sleeping through and one night when Mum could really have done with a good kip, Izzy decided to scream. And scream. And scream. During controlled crying we heard Mum go into Izzy’s room to try and comfort her. I went in to see Mum shortly afterwards and found her weeping on the edge of her bed because she couldn’t bear hearing little Izzy cry. Oh the hell of it!

Since then, she’s been rushed to A&E with a sudden infection and told her new bladder leaks. On the bright side however, she’s now cancer free! The road to recovery though isn’t easy and honestly, right now everything feels hard and complicated and rubbish and exhausting.

I’m really looking forward to boasting about how fantastic Mum’s new bladder is. I’m really looking forward to when everything inside her body works again and she’s comfortable and she doesn’t feel sad anymore. But for now I suppose I just have to have hope for both of us, because life with Mum is good and really worth being hopeful for.

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Thoughts on yodelling, a healthy alternative to screaming.

My youngest daughter Isabelle, (the one who won’t sleep or be broken by controlled crying), has the mother and father of all screams. To look at her you’d expect perhaps a gentle gurgle or a cutesy little giggle, but NO, she’s a total yob. When we’re out in public and she starts screaming, I NEVER get a sympathetic shrug or tolerant smile from passers by, I get curled lips or grotesque snarls. On really bad days people have been known to simply run away from us, shrieking because their ears are bleeding.

At the moment she seems to be a bit poorly. I don’t know what’s wrong with her, it may be teething, a virus, permanent emotional scarring from the failed controlled crying, no idea, but she’s very cross, very clingy and very hard work. So, anyway, today she decided that the only place she wanted to be was my hip. At this point, I feel it’s important to say that I’m excellent at doing most things with one hand whilst holding or even breast-feeding the baby. Opening tins, buttering toast, going to the toilet, all easy, but I draw the line at chopping onions. Needless to say, at dinnertime, Isabelle was furious when I dared to put her down to chop said onions and screamed as though I’d just thrown her in the bin, which I have to admit was incredibly tempting.

By the time bed-time finally arrived, I was a match short of fireworks. I don’t know about you, but I find changing a screaming child’s, nappy absolutely hideous. They squirm, they flail and when possible fling poop at areas of the body that have managed to avoid tomato sauce or beige mush. Tonight though, the final straw came in the form of baby-grow poppers. Poppers are IMPOSSIBLE to pop when a baby is kicking and screaming and tonight when none were popping I felt the need to scream. So I did. I wish I could say that Isabelle’s surprise at my vocal outburst stopped her own screams but as you’ve probably guessed it made her scream even louder but with a new element of terror mixed in for good measure. Poor little thing, there’s nothing worse than frightening a baby, so, in desperation, I started to yodel. Yes, yodel. Now that did surprise her and also brought the screams down to a confused whimper.

Now I’m no scientist, (although a double B in combined science is nothing to sniff at) but I do feel as though I’ve stumbled onto some sort of important discovery here. Who knew that yodelling could calm the nerves so dramatically? I’m not talking about the baby of course, yodelling won’t work on her twice in a row, but I found it rather wonderful. I’d even go as far as saying that for a moment it made my spirit soar.

So, if you ever find yourself on the edge of a popper-induced meltdown, just try a quick yodel. You never know, it might work for you too.

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