Sunday, 27 April 2014

The Search for the Perfect Raggy Doll

My favourite toy when I was little was a Cinderella raggy doll. There was nothing whatsoever Disney-ish about my Cinderella - she was an 'upsidedown' doll with a beautiful posh frock and 'up hair' for being at the ball in and when you pulled up her skirt over her head she had a brown raggy dress, a whole other head and scraggy hair underneath - a reversible dolly. I naturally preferred her scraggy side with the patches on her dress - I think I identified with that side of her and found her a much more suitable play mate for being outside in mud. Cinderella, along with a particularly freaky plastic monkey, were the main characters of my childhood games (along with Fred who is sitting here in my nursery post).
When Holly was born I looked for a long time for the right sort of dolly for her. I wanted one that had a good arm she could dangle her by as they played and had wooly hair... but everything was a little too Disney for my liking... until I one day found another reversible one which I thought would do perfectly. Holly doesn't drag this doll around the garden much but she does do her hair and sleep with her as one of her special 3 every single night... and the best bit is that she doesn't have a normal name 'as such' because Holly calls her "True Doll". I must have explained the concept well when she arrived.
Now the search is on for the perfect dolly for Niema. There is a space saved on the nursery shelf ready for a rag doll that will be the perfect little companion for my little girlie as she learns to play and explore. I am particularly fussy about the aesthetics of children's toys and illustrations and so many of the loveliest shops for children's equipment and clothing have dolly's that just have a touch of the 'cabbage patch kid' about them. Call me snobby but I'd like a friend with the 'right' kind of character for MY little girl to play with... not a boring vacant little thing. Thank goodness for Etsy.
Trawling through pages of creative mayhem I have come across some incredibly freaky looking inventions. I don't think my baby needs a goth doll in fishnets, or one with a huge body and a tiny head, or a mashed up face, or a posh hat and a snooty face. Holly and I have sifted through and finally narrowed it down to a few contenders and now must decide which we deem to be the most suitable friend for the newborn we are just starting to get to know. Huge dilemma is whether she needs a friend who will look like her or who looks completely different?!!! I'd be surprised if she ended up having hair as red as a couple of these but they are some of the top of the faves list! Here are some of the shortlisted candidates...

I love too many of these and simply can't decide between the dark hair, red hair, blonde hair or the up hair... from

A choice of gorgeous friends to choose but they look such good friends it would be mean to separate them

MendbyRubyGrace has a stunning selection of dolls in every hair colour going. Possibly more suitable for an older friend just because they are a bit cool and because you can even save up and buy her cute pets and dolls of their own too. Love this San Fransisco Hippy doll though for my girlie just because it looks most like how I'll imagine her to look when she's bigger (ie. my older daughter) Brown hair with blonde bits and most suited to being outside in a big field in muddy clothes, welly boots and, of course, flowers in her hair.

And then these... How amazing are these eyes?! Again, I don't know which of these gorgeous little characters I love more... but each seems completely ready to set off for some pretty exciting and mysterious adventures!

And although I am put off these dolls a bit for their lack of mouth I am quite besotted with their dresses, cute shoes and fluffy hair!

Am I sure she doesn't need all 15?

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Welcome to the world Niema Rose Ivy!


Ahhhhhh... she is finally here! 42 weeks of being pregnant and for 2 of those weeks we have been very cross indeed that she preferred squashing down on my pelvis instead of hanging out with us letting us see her gorgeous little face. All is forgiven now... ish (daddy is still a bit cross about her birth... as I'll explain) but she is here and we are very much in love!
The last 2 weeks were really hard work. Having had a baby who as born the day after the due date I was not expecting the 3rd would be late at all - let alone 2 weeks and all set for induction. Week 41 was spent complaining and googling reasons why my body would not go into labor. I found through doing that that there are probably some 'hormonal ridiculousnesses' that can be associated with overdue pregnant ladies. I found some of the angriest, most upset and melodramatic posts on numerous different forums from ladies from 38 weeks onwards. It made me realise that it was just me going irrationally crazy, it was quite silly and that I should get a grip and get some perspective...2 weeks late is not a big deal and I should ignore all the text messages and people asking me why I was still here and what I should be eating and doing to make her come out. Everyone who's ever had a baby, or knows someone who has ever had a baby has some story about how they ate a piece of pineapple after a long walk and then sat on a birthing ball and out it came - well that is all lovely - but not helpful really. The second week I kept busy at Holly and Elijah's school and kept my sights on the induction booked for Thursday. Easter egg competitions, sports day, parents evening school trips on coaches to Yorvick etc kept it ridiculously busy that there was really no time to fit a birth in anyway and we got to Thursday. 
I knew she would come out quick. The midwife who welcomed me at my induction didn't win me over by telling me to forget I was having a baby and settle in... 'You might be here for 5 days" wasn't the right thing to say to me. The pessary went in at 2.30pm and I got myself ready for the long night ahead. How completely boring to be sat on a hospital ward with lots of other bored overdue ladies. Joel and I watched the hobbit (just out on DVD in time) then he had to leave as visiting hours were over. He'd downloaded me 7 and 8 of Sewing Bee so I got ready for bed and watched Sewing Bee 7 and then put my head down to go to sleep. I was told I may expect some tightenings - like contractions but would just be the pessary starting to move things around. I woke up at 12 as they were starting to get a little more uncomfortable. My midwife had said if they got bad to ask for some paracetamol so at this point I buzzed and asked for those. By 1am they'd still not arrived and I was quite uncomfortable now so I buzzed again (not something I like to have to do) and asked again. At 1.30 I was biting down on my thumb to handle the pain and they still hadn't arrived. This time I was more assertive and demanded my painkillers. Beng told they would probably take an hour to kick in and working out that would be at least another 12 of these pains, I said I thought that I was in for a painful hour and was there anything else, like gas and air, I could take in the meantime?! She said that gas and air would then be ineffective if I needed to take it when I was actually in labor (maybe tomorrow) so instead the best she could offer me was a cup of tea. Well everything is slightly better with a cup of tea so I took her up on the offer. At 2am she offered to examine me to see if the pessary was doing anything even though we should really wait until 2pm the next day and on doing so she told me I was actually 4cm dilated and was allowed gas and air now as I was actually in labor. I cried and asked if that meant I could have my husband back in now and called him at 2.05. She went off to sort me a labor room. Yay! Well 2.15 my waters went and I knew a baby was about to come out. JUST managing to find the buzzer I was able to shout a nurse who asked me if I thought I could walk down to labor ward - I said "No. I can't move and I'm about to push" and in the next 3 minutes there was a lot of stress vibes buzzing around me as the only ward midwife tried to evacuate the poor 3 sleeping ladies on my ward with their pessaries in, locate a birthing pack from a dusty cupboard somewhere and remain calm when they really weren't. 3 pushes on from my waters and she was out! 2.21am on Friday 11th April. Amazing!!  It was so strange. All pregnancy I'd been anticipating the nerve wracking few moments after birth where your baby is whisked away onto be checked, weighed and the moment you wait for the cry. This didn't happen - well, thank goodness, the cry did - but there was no place like that to take her to so she just got handed to me to cuddle, check, see if she was indeed my little girl. She was :-) And she was perfect.

Then I realised my poor Joel had no idea and he'd missed it! He would have gone to find me on labor ward anyway if he had got here in that 15 minutes. I called him. He'd just pulled up outside. I had to say "I've done it! She's already here!" He was gutted to have missed it but also so relieved for me that it was over. He knew how nervous I had been. I do feel so bad though - to miss such an amazing moment when he cares so much about his babies. I think he felt bad for me as well that I'd had to do labor on my own, biting on my own hand to keep quiet and not wake the other ladies and coping with paracetamol and a cup of tea! 
But wow. Meeting that little person. That little wriggly thing that has been inside your tummy all that time who you can only stroke through your skin and try to work out which bits are which. She was just how I imagined her and it is the most amazing feeling that words just can't describe. Niema Rose Ivy is here now and its taken 4 days to write this blog because we are all just too busy looking at her. (and not sleeping, constantly washing, feeding etc!) I'm besotted and looking forward to many more posts she inspires me to write as I go through a new journey with a brand new little person as well as the very precious other two I have been blessed with. Being a Mummy rocks.

Need a spare night to watch Sewing Bee 8 now though.