Wednesday 25 January 2012

Guest Post - 'The Notes Read High Risk'

Ellen Arnison writes a witty, evocative and popular blog, In a Bun Dance. She is a professional writer and author. Her book, Blogging for Happiness, was published last December.

Enjoy ....


My final pregnancy culminated in a C section not long after my 42nd birthday. And so I was an older mum too.

My first child was born in 1999 when I was 32, the second in 2002 at 34.

The subsequent years saw me on my own for a while before I met and married second husband - the Panther of News.

The PoN was lovely with my boys and I really didn't have a huge urge to have more kids... so we plodded on.

Then my dad died a couple of months after our wedding and we had a bit of a seize-the-day conversation after which I had my IUD removed. Then I forgot all about it.

It was almost ten months later before I started to feel a bit odd. OMG, as they say. I can cheerfully say I hadn't really thought it through.

All was well until I miscarried at 20 weeks. A post mortem showed that I had Protein S Deficiency - a blog clotting disorder. This probably had much more of an impact on how things were than being older.

Now it was impossible to forget about it and we, ahem, applied ourselves to the business of conception. I paid close attention to my cycles and learns that the field window of opportunity often comes earlier and earlier in the 28 days as you get older.

Three months later I was pregnant again and this time my notes said HIGH RISK all over them in red pen.

Bring pregnant was reasonably horrible. I was injecting myself daily with blood thinners, I had sore hips, a low placenta and an irritable uterus. Oh and the little chap stubbornly stuck in the sideways (transverse) position the whole way through. It was a very, very long gestation.

However, Boy Three was delivered healthily by C section - all 9lb 2oz of him.

I did have PND but I think that was much more to do with having such a tense and scary pregnancy coming quite quickly after a miscarriage.

I bottle fed the hungry little fellow from the off and he thrived like a thriving thing. Being older made me much more comfortable with that decision after struggling miserably to breastfeed the other two.

As an older mum I am definitely much more relaxed. The boy ends up in our bed quite a few nights a week but we don’t really worry about it. We don’t have routines and in a way the whole family is bringing him up.

In danger of sounding like Old Mother Time, I would say that parenting for 12 years so far has taught me that, within obvious limits, it doesn't really matter how you do the job of being a mum.

I've seen hippy go-with-the-flow babies, rigid Gina Ford tots and everything in between. By the time they hit the middle of primary school you can't tell the difference.

So in the words of my toddler "be lax mummy it'll be fine”.

Ellen Arnison On Twitter


  1. That's a lovely post, Ellen. Your toddler definitely has a wonderful way with words!

    CJ x

  2. Thanks CJ. He certainly does. I just love toddlerisms.

  3. Great post and as a fellow older mum I have to say being lax (within reason as you say) is certainly the way to go. You have to do what is right for you. Love your little one's lovely turn of phrase. Polly


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