6 Years ago I was 8 months pregnant with Bella and newly married. Looking back now my life bares almost no resemblance to what it was, not for the better or worse just utterly different. I knew nothing of Autism or special needs, I was a combination of naive and ignorant to everything starting with having a baby! We lived in Spain and the only birthing classes available were in Catalan, not even Spanish a language which I was barely conversational in but I was a heck of a lot better than Catalan. I learnt all I (thought I) needed to know off the internet, I didn’t even have any pregnant friends. Life was about to change massively and I think I concealed just how much I was bricking it pretty well!
5 Years ago we (3) had spent the winter in the UK and were now settling back into Spanish life for the summer season. Bella was approaching 1 and after a winter living with the in-laws (oh yes we did!) I felt like life was sure to get back onto an even keel. Winter had been rough with a baby, no money and yes living with the inlaws…it was a very long season. In a month I’d find out that I was pregnant again…so another dry summer for me!
4 Years ago Bella was nearly 2 and Logan was four months old. We were back in the UK without my then husband. Bella and I came back in the October when I was 7 months pregnant and yes as Bella was under two I had to have her on my lap, with a 7 month bump, for 2.5 hours…on a Ryanair flight. It was probably one of the worst stand alone experiences of my life without even considering the emotional side of things. For the first fight ever Bella was a nightmare, thrashing and kicking and trying to get on the floor. We were in the window seat and the plane was packed I shudder thinking of it! This was before Bella was being investigated for Autism, she was making no attempts to talk and was becoming much more introverted and less interested in people around her.
3 years ago Bella was almost 3 and now diagnosed with Autism and Logan was 1 and a bit. Logan started fully walking at 9 months just to make my life that bit more challenging. The kids dad was flitting between the UK and Spain sometimes coming to see them for a week then away for up to a few months. It was a challenging time, we were separated but not divorced. For a long time it was a bit of an unfinished story and while we fought over many, many things I would never refuse him access as that’s just the worst.
2 years ago we were actually at Butlins on this very day. I thought I was going to have a nervous break down as Bella had been up half hourly throughout the night and got up for good at 5am. New environments and lack of stair gates are a bad combination for bedtime. Bella was almost 4 and in her last term at nursery and Logan was 2. He’d been at nursery for his 15 hours as soon as he could after his 2nd birthday, there was no wanting to keep him at home as long as I could with me! Screw that, he’d been walking from 9 months did I mention that? I was knackered and he was and still is like the Duracell bunny. He needed nursery as much as I did! In the last year I co-founded a charity supporting disabled children which was a natural journey from Bella’s diagnosis.
Last year the kids Dad had remarried after we finally got divorced in the winter and moved full-time to be near the kids (and his wife.) Since the last year he had also been diagnosed with Bipolar which suddenly turned a lot of our experiences into ahhh moments of clarity. This last year has been tumultuous, as I’ve mentioned in past posts Logan is all about his Dad which is funny as they have never lived together in all his 4 years but with the Bipolar and other diagnosis it’s been tricky. Arrangements have had to be cancelled last-minute leaving him distraught and lets face it there are only so many times and ways you can tell a child their Dad is poorly before they’re just going to call you on it. In the last year Logan also got an Autism diagnosis which explains why the last-minute changes disrupt him so much.
Today we went to a special needs gym session with two sets of SEN families we know, fun day for me running around after crazy children with an IBS flare up but what can you do. The kids had an absolute blast, Bella spent the whole time bouncing, running on the high beam (yes running, she has no fear…I do!) and just running towards herself in the mirror. Logan was more social and split his time between his friends but got a right strop on when he got stuck in a piece of equipment and wouldn’t let the instructor touch him to get him out…cue me climbing and pulling myself up to rescue him, deep joy. This afternoon we went to a relaxed performance at our Town Hall where an orchestra played songs from Frozen, The Lion King and Toy Story to name a few. Both kids were probably a bit too tired for it but it was fun nonetheless. It’s now gone 9 and of course after terrible nights sleep last night and frantically busy days today…
…both kids are still wide awake!
Lived in 8 houses in 3 countries over the last 6 years. Travelled countless miles but home is always where Mummy is.
Watching: Well I’ve finished HTGAWM, (hand’s up who knows what that is!) Daredevil (much preferred Season 2) and have finally caught up on Once Upon A Time. This week I’ve watched my usual Flash/Arrow/DC’s Legends combo (I’m going to be gutted when they all end at the same time!) and last night I got around to watching the final installment of The Hunger Games series. I enjoyed it but I always like to watch things get wrapped up, I must admit that I haven’t read the books but to me the last film seemed rushed and a couple of times I really wasn’t entirely sure what was happening which is a bit embarrassing for me (not Jennifer Lawrence.)