Dear Stranger, Happy Fathers Day

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Fathers Day in our house will be spent with two excitable little boys proudly gifting their Daddy the cards and presents they have made for him this week at nursery and treating him to a day of relaxation from the 6 day working week he routinely puts in for us. It’s always a lovely day, and I feel proud watching the man I have known since he was 19 years old spend time with his children and receive the love and recognition he so very much deserves. But, it also leaves a strange feeling with me – a feeling of wonder and sometimes a feeling of envy that I’ve never been that child…I’ve celebrated many a Fathers Day – with Spiderdad, with my Grandad and with my Stepdad – but never my biological Dad.

I’ve never met my biological father – I’ve never even seen him, I’ve never spoken to him and I’m probably never likely to. My Mum fell pregnant at 19 and it wasn’t a situation which was going to lead to 2:4 children, or even a ‘Dad’s house on the weekend’ scenario – he was gone before I was born. They were young, and I hold no judgment or grudge for the choices either one of them made over quarter of a century ago – its very much their story and I was far too preoccupied doing somersaults in the womb to care.
I’ve been very lucky that I have an amazing extended family in the shape of beautiful Grandparents, Aunties and close cousins that as a child not knowing him ever crossed my mind. My mum married when I was 5 and my Stepdad became the main male role model in my life alongside my Grandad – who I am immensely proud of – and no questions were ever asked, or even thought about asking. We were a mostly happy family – until the divorce! – so I never felt like anything was missing.

Then I had my own children – overnight it opened a can of worms. When pregnant, my midwife asked about genetic conditions – I could only give half an answer. When my babies arrived everyone would discuss who they looked like – I would wonder who I looked like. When it came to filling in the Family Tree in my Spawn’s baby books, the maternal Grandfather side was left empty. Ofcourse, I could have put my Stepdad in there, but at the time we were not in contact and had grown apart and Tipex is not something I never wish to use in the books that document my beautiful boy’s lives, but – and it may sound brutal – we have to be honest don’t we – I don’t know the answer to the line in the book, so I can’t write it for them. It will never make him of less importance but I refuse to pretend, brush it over, or keep them in the dark. I do not know their biological Grandfather.

That’s not to say I don’t believe there is a place and alot of love to be had from being part of a step family – there is – and I am a massive believer in nature VS nurture – I love expensive shiney things (Not that I can afford many – Hello, stay at home Mum!) and I know for sure that comes from many years spent with my Stepdad and his tastes, and on a less matericalist note we are quite similar emotionally. Many step families work amazingly well for people and only good is to be gained. I have gained good from mine – now I am an adult I have a great friend in my Stepdad – I talk to him daily, I know if I needed anything I could ask him, and my children have met him and enjoy their time with him.

But what about the man that made me, the man that could walk past me in the street and I would never know – he’ll cross my mind this weekend – I’ll log on to Facebook and be met with status’ from friends tagging their Dad’s to wish them a brilliant day, and when I post my cards to my Grandad and Stepdad and help the boys write theirs for Spiderdad, I will wonder what I would write in mine to him, if I ever had the chance. I don’t, so this will have to do.

Dear Stranger,

You don’t know me and I don’t know you, but you are half of me and I am half of you – and I’m a poet! And you could possibly be one too – I haven’t a clue…

We’ve never met before, but I am still thankful to you – that probably sounds bizarre – I bet you are wondering why there is no anger and resentment – well that’s because it’s hard to feel negativity to someone you don’t even know. I’ve learnt alot from living without a biological father and what I have gone without has led me to find a man who will never give up on me and our babies.
I hold honesty dear from craving my own truth, I value my family fiercely from you not valuing me, and I love my children as hard as I can from never having yours. Please, Mr Spidermum’s biological Dad, the above is not a dig – it truly is all positive and and a nod to you that although you are absent, your action’s have still shaped me into who I am, which has led to me living the life I have always dreamt of.
I feel sad for you in a way – my children are beautiful, full of fun, character and love and you’ll never know. You’ve missed some eventful times – my childhood, my teenage binge drinking sessions (infact, I would never blame you for that one…), the opportunity to beat the boys that broke my heart, my engagement, the births of the spawns and one day our wedding. If I missed a second of my boys lives, I would feel cheated. I hope you don’t.
I don’t know why you left before we met, I don’t know why you have never been in touch, but I do know that you are still a part of me – a part that causes wonder and sometimes frustration when I look in the mirror and wonder who could be staring back at me, but it’s part that drives me to be the best parent I can be.
So, when my children ask me who their Grandad is one day, I will say I do not know – but whoever he is has made me love you stronger and harder than if things hadn’t have been this way.

Thanks, Stranger. X

Finally, I would like to wish everyone a very Happy Fathers Day – the Dad’s, the Stepdad’s, the Mum’s doing a Dad’s job and to any expectant Fathers. Being a parent really is the most amazing thing. Enjoy your special day. X

Spidermum 💙

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The Spidermum guide to surviving the wedding season with children

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The invite drops on your door mat and your thrilled to see you are invited to an impending wedding – you, your other half, and your beautiful little spawns – hurrah!
On one hand it’s a massive relief you won’t have to find childcare and your so thrilled the invitee welcomes them with open arms and on the other hand a small part of you dreads the task at hand of controlling two tiny dictator’s in a religious and formal establishment – It was an experience, I will say – and as we have many a wedding to go to this year, I would like to take the opportunity to share with you the knowledge and tips I have gained from our first mission that I would like to call, “Why the fuck didn’t we hire a babysitter”.

Step one – If you’re not religious, become religious.

Before the ceremony starts you recite a silent prayer to the man above asking for him to erase your toddler’s memory of any words not quite so Godly and plead with him that if he ever was to ever place tourette’s upon your child, could he please save it until after the vows.
The fear of 3 year old Spawny #1 would out my occasional “Jesus Christ!” outburst filled me with dread – can you imagine – “In the name of Jesus Chri…” – “Mummy! That man is saying your naughty words! Naughty man! Mummy, is he going to say shi…”
Thankfully, this situation never manifested itself and I believe it was due to my pleading prayer at the start. I not only attended a wedding, I also became a born again Christian. All hail Jesus.

Step two – Don’t be afraid of the walk of shame

It was inevitable that with two small children I would have to do the parent walk of shame atleast once throughout the day. 19 month old Spawny #2 is an absolute character – full of love for life with heaps of energy, I predict he will be completing marathons by aged 3. He’s a vocal chap too, and asking him to be silent is like asking me to stop drinking Prosecco at the reception – it’s not in our genetic makeup and we just can’t help ourselves.
Spawny #2 decided to get particularly noisey at the crucial moments – he was infact so noisey I’m not even sure if the Bride and Groom took any vows – rumour has it they left as man and wife but due to the carnage of restraining said child and humming him nursery rhymes to try and distract him to no avail, I had to walk THE walk – in absolutely ridiculous heels, may I add – and exit the church feeling like I had sinned from spawning 2015’s Damien Devil child as I passed the church committee on my way out. I missed the whole bloody thing but I heard it was beautiful – Congrats, guys!

P.s – Right hand side, 4th row from the front – that banana did belong to us. Forgive me, Father for I have sinned – my toddler rejected it mid service how you’ll probably reject me from church again due to my panic induced “hush the child” littering escapade.

Step three – Prosecco

You arrive at the reception and a small weight is lifted – the children are free to roam and play and…Oh my God, is that a river they could fall into?! You become anxious about the river – you alert and give permission all fellow guests to rugby tackle your spawns should they also see them approaching said river and down your first prosecco to take the edge of off your panic. Hic.
All is going swimmingly – thankfully that’s a terminology and not because your in the river wading children out – and you know Daddy has the eyes on the kids, so you help yourself to a few more glasses whilst “ching chinging” your way through conversations on current affairs and what not. Hic
This is going great! Your a social fecking butterfly!

Step four – More prosecco

Ok, ok. Feeling less of a butterfly now – more a rabid moth clinging on to any hope of dignity or turning the current situation around. Your other half has now taken full responsibility of both children and has left you to slide the slippery slope into the gutter. You know your whooping too loud at the speeches, your pretty sure you just dribbled on your dress and you have the alcohol munchies so bad you ate your portion of the high tea like a wild beast from a David Attenborough documentary. Yummy. I love food. I love wine. Where are the kids?  Hic.

Step five – Put down the Prosecco

Alright. Stop now, you absolute twat. Your not the legend you think you are, that comment made to a victim of your current state was not as hilarious as you first thought and having your Father in Law lift you off the floor because “your shoes are too hard to walk in” is a pathetic excuse. Where are your beautiful children? Oh there they are – with their Daddy and their wonderful Uncle’s having the time of their little lives playing and being loved. You take a moment of reflection – you love them so much, so so much, you love the father of them so so much – just to clarify I mean the father of my children, not the father of their Daddy or their Uncle’s – we may be in rural Somerset, but that’s just not how I roll – you want to make a billion more babies so you can have hundreds more like the ones you are lovingly watching be little angels, you know it’s not the prosecco talking – this is real talk, man – so real you feel utterly compelled to rush over to the men in your life and make you love for them known – you start the bleary eyed journey over to them…and then your jam comes on. They are safe. Your on that dance floor quicker than you can say, “You drunken mess, come and dance”. You catch your other half sigh, relieved. You’ll get him later. Hic.

Step six – The final curtain

You’re done. It’s a miracle your still alive. Your darling better – much better – half has settled the little spawns to sleep in the car, lovingly wrapped them in blankets and they rest with the sweetest smiles on their little faces. It’s been fun letting your hair down, after all us Mum’s rarely get the opportunity and you feel you have made the most of it but it would have not been possible without having the most amazing Dad for your children by keeping them safe and loved whilst you abused your liver and the venue’s stock of the sacred fizzy. There’s only one way to show him your gratitude, and that’s to make him some rolls up from the feast of a Hog roast and deliver them to him as he waits for you in the car.
Cor, check out that succulent porky meat – hello, I am still on about the hog roast here – you ram the meat between a couple of baps – Yes, we are still on the hog roast – and wrap them in some napkins as a thankyou for being so lovely – after all, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.
You say your goodbyes and stumble from marquee to garden to car park and then it happens – man down! Those bloody shoes! Only no one buys the shoe excuse anymore – pork has flown everywhere, your Father in Law may possibly vomit with repulsion at your state at any given moment so what do you do to save yourself?
Why, you scoop up all the pork, chuck it in the rolls and continue to the car to deliver the goods. Yummy.

You can’t even remember who you are, where you come from, or whether eating pork rolls seasoned by car park is a socially acceptable thing to do at all, but what you do know is when you stumble into the car, look at the sleeping spawns and the man in your life you absolutely know the meaning and sentiment of a wedding – it’s about love, family and making beautiful memories. It may be a stressful job – keeping them quiet and safe and you have a longer wait on your first sip of bubbly than your child free company, but you wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’d still drink a shit load of prosecco though…

Part 1 – The Birth Group Cult – The gross confessions

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One glorious pleasure that the pregnancy and birth of my spawns bought me – apart from an actual child of course – was a membership into a hormone fuelled cult known as an online birth group.
4 years ago upon the confirmation of a preggo eggo, I signed up to a website known as Baby centre – it’s an online forum filled with wisdom and knowledge on all things pregnancy, childbirth and newborn baby – they provide chat rooms for you to make friends with fellow eggs that were fertilised around the same time – I’m not sure if allowing hundreds of temporarily emotionally unbalanced, nauseous, sleep deprived women to converse with one another is insane or pure genius.
It starts off a little like dating – well, what I assume dating is like – as previously mentioned I have been with Mr Spider since my teenage years so a date to me is a drive thru Mcdonalds in a MK 2 fiesta with some fetching neon lights strategically placed underneath the motor vehicle to make it look, “rude” – so with that in mind I am making the assumption that it progresses like dating…

Step one – you make an account with a username – you try to capture the true essence of your personality within it or make it as basic as possible due to the impatient excitement brewing inside you to tell a group of strangers you have a positive test. Hello, Im_having_a_baby1985!

Step two – You introduce yourself as the newbie, list your pregnancy symptoms and wish all the other women well. You continue to refresh your post waiting for a response, urging that fellow egg to reach out to you.

Step three – Someone gets pissed off that no one responded to their egg and leaves. Everyone is sad – or atleast pretends to be and a suggestion of a secret Facebook group is discussed. A poll is uploaded, the votes take place, the verdict is announced – the group is moving to Facebook! In dating circles, this is a bit of a big deal isn’t it – inviting them to see your life, likes and your mug shot!

So, here we are, complete with real names and real faces – we quickly all become THE best of friends, share our wedding pictures if we are married, our children’s pictures if we already have one or two and our deepest darkest secrets – I was more a “share pictures of your dog” kind of gal but I thoroughly enjoyed the blossoming friendships, 24 hour advice and being able to share such a special time with some great ladies. Time progresses quickly and before you know it you are having your 12 week scan and asking for nub guesses, do they look like a boy or a girl, is my bump 12 weeky enough, is it normal that my gentiles have swelled to triple the size already? See, that’s the thing – whilst you share the good times you also share the really, really gross time too.
Now, before I continue maybe I should urge you to stop reading if you are a man or a female of a delicate disposition hoping to start a family soon – I’m only being honest, and I do apologise for being generally vulgar by nature but there was a birth group filled with these thoughts and fears, so clearly we need to air the dirty laundry a little. From memory, my personal favourites were…

1. Swamp crotch. Put it this way, if your pregnant vagina remotely resembled your non pregnant vagina, it is a miracle you are with child. The most common complaint from the ladies I love was, well…a swampy crotch. You can Tenna lady all you damn well like but mother nature is in charge and along with the weight of your unborn spawns melon sized head resting upon your nether regions it really is no wonder your parts become the size of the lips of a participant from the Kylie Jenner lip challenge, and you leak like a tsunami. And yes, it is pee.

2. Stretchmarks. Oh em gee. I was terrified of these – shallow, maybe – but you are told time and time again it is the one thing you cannot get rid of once you have them (piles are quite similar in that respect too – ahem…) I remember I wasn’t alone with my rather large fear and we would all comfort one another everytime a new line appeared. Occasionally we would sob and wail, too. Save yourself the expense of the special lotions and potions – £120 later on litres of Bio Oil and hours spent dangerously sliding about like a washed up obese whale which almost resorted in Mr Spider having someone come and do a health and safety risk assessment for me, my oil and our bath due to too much application, I can honestly say – I have some, and I do not care. They aren’t as bad as what you think they will be. My belly button that now resembles a cats anus, however…

3. Pubes. Right, well. You tend to wave “Tally Ho” to the locks in your pants thanks to your ever growing bump at around 25 weeks of pregnancy, give or take. After that, whatever takes place is out of sight and mostly out of mind – until the due date draws near and you realise you have grown an amazon jungle complete with its own aboriginal tribe – think mud huts and everything. You go into blind panic and out comes the shaving foam and a hand mirror – I have even heard of some recruiting their darling husbands with the garden sheers and hedge strimmer for a more professional look. In hind sight, all I can say is do not fear – once active labour hits you’ll be pining for the presence of the aboringi’s for a bit of moral support.

The thing is, pregnancy can be gross. Amazing, beautiful, exciting, but definitely gross. Had I not had a group of ladies with the exact same worries to share my inner thoughts with can you just imagine how you would feel with thinking you were the only one?

So it is with that, that I thank the gorgeous ladies from 4 years ago right up until today – this hour infact as I asked them to cast back to their swampy crotches to remind me of the horror – for being there through it all. Alot of us have gone our separate ways, but we certainly shared some special times! I’d like to do a few more blogs on our other experiences, as there really has been so much more to the journey other than vaginas…

I’ll be back…

Miscarriage awareness – A footprint in my heart

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I was washing up today and had the TV on in the kitchen, minding my own – when This Morning came on with a discussion of miscarriages. I stopped in my tracks and listened to the lady speaking, bravely sharing the pain she had experienced, all in the name of raising awareness. 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage, but how many other women do you know of who have suffered? I bet not very many – for whatever reason it’s such a taboo thing to talk about and even now as I write this I am uncertain as to whether I will click the “publish” button and share this with you all – I want to, but I fear it coming across as attention seeking, or self pitying and I rarely do serious so it feels out of my comfort zone, but I had my baby taken from me too once.

Mr spider and I hadn’t planned to fall pregnant – infact, it could not have come at a more difficult time – babies had never crossed our mind before, despite being together for 5 years already, we had never even discussed them – I was a newly turned 20 year old working out what I wanted to do with my life and Mr Spider was very much into his expensive hobbies and we lived for the weekend, besides I don’t even think we would have known what to do with a small person who would rely entirely upon us!

That all changed one autumn evening when I realised mother nature hadn’t reared her bitch of a head – I couldn’t even remember when she last did come to think of it, but pregnant? Nah! Amongst my group of friends, pregnancy was something to avoid so we would always reassure one another that the way to make the witch appear was to do a pregnancy test – reverse psychology if you like – obviously it would come back negative and the search would continue. Firstly, I would like to point out that it is nothing short of terrifying purchasing a stick to pee on when you look about 12 years old at most (I either have stunted growth or a gene I will appreciate when I am in my fifties – I can’t ever look my age at all) and secondly I’m not going to lie about how apprehensive I felt that it may come back positive. Stranger things have happened.
Home we go – mainly to recover from the elderly man serving me taking 3 bloody hours to get the security case off the test and then he greeted me a gem of a question, “Would you like a bag?” Would I like a bag? Would I? Yes! And if you aren’t going to give me one for my pee stick, I’ll take one to put over my head to hide the utter embarrassment of this ordeal. Oh how I would love to serve him viagra pills one day. But that is unlikely, as I have moved 2 hours away, he was so old he has probably passed away, and I’m also a stay at home mum with a distinct lack of viagra contraband to sell. However, given different circumstances…

I did the test and felt physically sick – I rested it on the side of the bath and waited 3 minutes for it to reveal our fate. Now was not the time for us to start a family was the only thought racing through my mind – one minute down – can’t peek yet. I’d get really fat, I didn’t want to get fat – 2 minutes down, not long until I can look now. Do I even like babies? I don’t think I do. I like dogs. 3 minutes is up – let’s take a look. Oh my God, I am pregnant. I’m pregnant and Baby, I already love you.

It hit me hard. As soon as I saw the line signalling a positive test I loved my baby and whatever was wrong with our lives or not particularly baby friendly, we could fix. It’s funny how your feelings can change so dramatically and so quickly, but the love took over. I had life growing in my uterus and I instantly wanted to protect them and love then and wow, a baby.
Mr Spider was as shocked as I but we really felt like it had happened for a reason and we would do everything we could to get ready for this small person to come and be with us – we’d move, we’d save, we’d grow up and have a future, the three of us.
Now people always say not to get carried away in the early days, but when you are so in love and feel like you have been given an olive branch to make your life a better one in the form of a little bundle, it’s hard not to. We would sit up all night and talk about baby names, pushchairs and how we would tell our families – at the time it was our little secret and it felt beyond amazing. We adored them already and knew their name be it a girl or a boy, I was even having some sickness, we would tell everyone soon but for now the baby was all ours – our future and our hopes.

One morning I woke up and didn’t feel well at all – must be pregnancy related I thought – this was a brand new experience for me but I had read no end of complaints of sickness and sore backs in those few weeks I had been frantically searching the Web looking for constant reassurance I was growing our child safely and well. I decided to take a bath to see if a bit of a soak would make me feel better but unfortunately this is when our goodbyes began. I had started to bleed.
I called Mr Spider and called the Dr’s surgery who agreed to see me. I sat opposite my childhood GP, sobbing through absolute fear that there wouldn’t be a baby when she reassured me that bleeding was very, very common in pregnancy – scary but common. I think it’s important to remember this if you are reading as my very last intention is to scare anyone. I have many friends who have bled in pregnancy and have gone on to have beautiful babies, but either way it’s not something to ignore. My Dr didn’t ignore me and sent me to the Pregnancy assessment unit at the hospital – this filled us with a little hope, but deep down I knew.

I don’t and won’t go into the details of what happened here as I just can’t find a nice way to write it – it was clinical and quite cold but even now the pain has been healed from being blessed enough to have two beautiful babies, I just feel bad for my unborn fetus that they had to be treated in that way – as a fetus. I appreciate there is a medical job to do and the nurses must see the situation regularly but it was unique to us – to us this was our baby and for the weeks we had known about them our hearts were filled with excitement and love. I had been told the words “I’m sorry, your miscarrying and you are losing your pregnancy” and I felt like my heart had been ripped out – I had never met this life growing inside me, I had never even considered that I might like to be pregnant but I knew them and I knew that I was going to miss them so, so much.
It was hard for Mr Spider too, his baby had gone aswell and he had to remain strong for me – the biggest kick in the teeth was the physical pain which now having been in labour with two children I know feels very similar. Why did I have to physically hurt when emotionally I was battered – it’s such a  awful thing to try and process – one minute you are pregnant, and the next you aren’t.  We cried a lot the night we got home. No talk of baby names or pushchairs. No conversation at all.

We told our friends and family after it had happened and we knew they sent their love and support but no one talks about it, I can’t blame them – I’m not really sure how you address something like that, but I knew I wanted to talk about it – my baby existed once, I was proud of that, but never felt I could say. Comments you receive can hurt – “you can try again” – well, I didn’t want to. I wanted that baby. My baby. “Atleast you didn’t lose it later in pregnancy” – as awful as that would have been, pain is pain. Dreams are dreams. Love is love. They are your child from the start and are stolen from you. No matter when a woman miscarries it is devastating. I have never felt that is a fair thing to say. Saying goodbye to someone before you have even met them should never be an option.

I believe everything happens for a reason and 5 years on I thank that little baby for coming into our lives and waking us up to what we really wanted – a family. Whilst I am no longer sad I hold the experience very close to my heart think of it often – the pain was raw for a very long time, until I looked into the eyes of my first born baby actually, when I met him I cried with joy and a little bit of sadness that we would never be blessed to see the face of our one taken from us.

Never let anyone dismiss your feelings if you have miscarried, and never give up hope that you’ll hold your own baby one day. If you want to talk about it – talk! We need to address this so much more. This is my first time in doing so as I have never felt able to, but why shouldn’t I?

Your a Mummy from the moment you conceive, so please never feel anything less. 💙

Speaking about the unspoken

It’s a really awkward topic of conversation, and one that could do with so much more awareness within modern day society but it’s socially taboo to discuss. It detects for something which is very real and close to my heart, so in honour of my loved ones that have suffered, I say balls to keeping zipped…
In this blog I bring to you my story of the “Meeeear”

The “mear” is commonly known as a – now I struggle to say this word as it turns my stomach – cervical screening test, or a smear. Vom. It detects for abnormal cells around your cer…around your cerv…oh goodness, bare with me – what I am trying to say is, it detects for anything untoward going on with the opening of your baby house. Also referred to as womb, but baby house is cute and shit.
I was invited for a “mear” in 2014, but like many women do I put the letter in the drawer and promised to myself that I would book an appointment to get it done. Cervical cancer is something that is prominent within my family so I really did need to phone up and book it, and I would – I was just waiting for the kids to nap so I could call, I’d had one before so I knew there was nothing to fear.
2015. “Mear” reminder. Bollocks. Okay, it’s got to be done. The doctors surgery is right by the nursery that my two little chaps attend so I promised – although it was pinky promise this time – myself to go in and book en route.
I waltzed up to reception feeling empowered by my positive actions to keep my health in check – how womanly and liberating of me to be offering my vagina on a plate to stand a really good chance of beating any potential cancer’s arse – I recall there was even a bit of a hair flick going on. Not pubic hair, I hadn’t literally put my vagina on a plate. Gosh, I’m such a feminist making an informed choice to do this, I thought to myself whilst queuing for the reception desk.
Arrive at said desk.
“How can I help?” Asks the middle aged woman with an actual hedgehog for hair. Oh God. Hedgehog. Spikes. Cervix. Ouch. Shit.
“Err…I errr…” Come on, Spidermum. You can do this. Glance to the left of me, there’s a man…he’s going to hear my filthy, dirty little secret.
“Yes…” says an expectant Hedgehog
“I need to book in for a test please” clammy hands now. That Spikey fucking hair. I wonder if she can lip read?
“I need to book in for a s…a sm…”
“Sorry. A what?” There’s a queue forming behind me. Come the fuck on, woman! You’ve given birth before!
“I need to book in for meeear” I mouth.
“Oh.” She says. Pause. She’s none the wiser.
“You know, a meeeear” I mouth again.
“I’m sorry…I didn’t…”
“I NEED TO BOOK A SMEAR”
Brilliant. Lost my cool. The whole surgery now knows I need my bits prodding. The elderly gentleman behind me has grown so impatient I fear he is about to give me a good prod too. With his walking stick obviously. 
“Ooooh!” She chuckles, “a smeeeeear!”
Now not only does the entire surgery know, news has also spread to the pharmacy next door and anyone unlucky enough to be passing by. Good one, hedgehog. Twat. I’m surprised I didn’t arrive home to find a new trend of #spidermumsmear.
Praise the Lord that is booked, I thought as I left the surgery not feeling quite so empowered. Why is it such a “thing”, why?! I think the trauma of booking will be way worse than the act itself.

Wrong. So, so unbelievably wrong. Now the aim of this is not to scare future “mearer’s” or in fact make it sound like a torturous procedure – if you don’t possess the same trail as thought as me – it really isn’t. Many family members and friends have told me it’s nothing to worry about, and as stated above I’ve had one before so it really should have been a a walk in the park. Probably a walk like John Wayne after it had taken place, but still…
Today I attended my appointment with a supportive Mr Spider in tow and a lovely little prescription from the Dr in the form of valium. Come to Momma. Out of nowhere an irrational fear had been formed in my mind. Instead of trying relaxation techniques and reasoning with oneself, I did what any other erratic individual would do and phoned my darling of a GP and demanded, begged and pleaded for a little something,something. What with my love of diamorphine and now valium, I would like to take the opportunity to state here that I only enjoy legal, prescribed drugs for a medical purpose and in no way dabble with any sort of naughties for recreational activities. 1. Because it has horrible, horrible consequences on people’s lives and 2. Hello price tag!

So we enter the nurses room. Usual chit chat, how are the children, how’s her grandchild, are we going on holiday this year – hang on a minute, are we? – And then she asks me to head over to the bed and remove my clothes. Oh no, I ate a pizza the night before and totally haven’t kept up with my squats, side bends and sit ups – I can’t believe this is happening. I start to take my trousers off – look Dude, if you’ve stumbled across this post and this line excites you, your in the wrong place, love – and then my underwear, And then came the dilemma – do I remove my zebra print socks or not? My mind was telling me no, but my body was telling me, “Yes! Get them the bloody hell off, you pale, wobbly,pizza eating embarrassment!”
How dare you speak to me like that, I thought. The socks are staying.
So I shuffle onto the bed as elegantly as possible – ha, just ha – and we continue our chit chat when I see it coming towards me in all its horrifying glory – shining bright, but not so much like a diamond – the vagina Jack.
“Oh God. I’m a bit worried” I alert her
“Oh you’ll be fine my sweet, you’ve had two big babies” – err, what exactly did she mean by that? The cheek. Hope my socks fucking stink. Take that.
Out of nowhere, I start to go dizzy and very sweaty. Me no like this, I thought. Time for a pep talk to myself.
Spidermum, this isn’t about you – it’s about keeping yourself safe to make sure you are fit and healthy to see your boys grow up, to lessen your chances of having to suffer something so awful such as cancer, to have peace of mind that you are well. You can do this, you’ve done it before, you’ve done so much worse before now. Come on. Be a champ and take one for the team. Sorted.
I can see her peering between my legs, a hand clad with a rubber glove, is that a hint of glee I see sparking from her eyes? What if it is and really she’s the nurse equivalent of Harold Shipman and plans to end the life of my lady bits with her tools. I mean, I wouldn’t allow Mr Spider to do this to me – why should I trust her?
“No. Please! I’m scared. You can’t do it.”
“It’ll be over before you know it” – Pah, heard that before.
“Ok. Ok. Try again. I can do this”
I start to cry and frantically shake. I can’t do this, she’s definitely a Harold Shipman, I can feel it in my jittery bones.
“Would it help if Mr Spider was to come and hold your hand?” She asked.
“Yes. Maybe”
Over he comes. Squinting with his eyes so not to witness the crime scene. He gives me a few reassuring words and tells me it’ll all be okay. Love that Mr Spider, I do.
So now I have my legs wide open, a nurse between them and Mr S at my side filling me with encouragement and holding my hand – are we about to birth our 3rd baby here? Did I totally miss a sign? I start panting to fit the role, just incase.
Oh, I’m not panting am I? I’m actually hyperventilating. I can’t breathe properly. Or see because my tears have caused my eye makeup to submerge itself into my eye socket – she’s going to have to give that jack a quick wipe and open my eye up, I think.
“Have you got any gas and air? I ask. Serious question – don’t judge me. Harold Shipman laughs at me – I wasn’t joking, she thinks I was joking and carries on trying to do her day job down below – my legs are shaking so much, I am now more nervous about knocking her head and giving her whiplash than I am the “mear”. She’s fumbling and I am wincing, and crying, and panting and traumatizing Mr Spider. I would rather give birth!
“Its no good” she says. “I can’t do it. Your a closed book” – Love, I am posting the most intimate details of my “mear” on to the world wide web, I am many things but a closed book is not one of them.
I sigh a huge sense of relief and continue to cry like an emotionally unable newt over wasting her time. She tells me to go home and watch some videos of a “mear” on YouTube to become more relaxed with it. That moment of feeling bad was short lived. She then continues to put a vagina jack into my hand and reassures me that it is perfectly okay if I WOULD LIKE TO INSERT IT MYSELF. I start to cry again. Seriously, where did they find this one? Too much 50 shades of grey for her, I think.
Mr Spider wipes my tears and looks hopeful that I might like to try that one day. Mr Spider is now receiving the silent treatment.
She umm’s and ahh’s and decides the only thing for it is a referral to the hospital for me to have a “mear” where they can sedate me much more than what would be safe to do in the surgery. Woohoo – I love a good day out!

So, the point of this post is this. UK tax payer, I apologise for taking up more NHS resources than anticipated-  you have my word, that whilst I am on a career break at the moment, I will soon be paying back into the system to make up for taking millions and trillions of pounds worth of treatment when I could simply have grown a pair of balls.  
Ladies, it has to be done, and hopefully you are all much braver than I and it can be a simple 10 minute procedure. If your not there are other options – look at me, I am receiving the extra support (and drugs) I need, so if you are fearful aswell – talk to them, beg for a referral, turn up to the nurses office blind drunk and pretend she is Christian Grey – do whatever you have to do, but GET IT DONE. We all want to live to see our little people grow and flourish, and it’s our right to keep our health in check, regardless of what help we need to do it.
I’m going to post really soon about how well my hospital appointment went, and how I have had the test done and survived it – watch this space! #doingitforthekids

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A Spidermum was born – part 2

I have 2 boys. Two beautiful little boys that I liken to Springer Spaniels in dire need of castration. Gorgeous, hyper, loving, demanding – there is never a dull moment. As we have previously learnt, spawn #1 was a massive suprise but not as much as his little brother who was to follow much sooner than we ever anticipated…

We’d relocated from my hometown – a small but pretty little city where you spend your entire salary renting a house no bigger than a shoe box. And not even to the standard of a trustworthy Clark’s shoe box. Now we had a child to think about we chose to head out into the glorious countryside and decided to make a home in Somerset. Or Zummerzet if you will. The set of Somer is a beautiful place full of nature, farming and those lovely little village halls sporting bunting made from sweet old Aunt Nora who is everybody’s Aunt, but biologically not. At least that’s the kind of county it is if you don’t relocate to fucking Bridgwater. I liken it to the Bronx, only there is no Jenny on our block, everyone has a little because they refuse to work for a lot, and the only rock you’ll be getting is through your living room window. Come to think of it, mine is probably impending – cheers mate!
With that being said, and after the initial horror of realising that the highlight of being here is the local Aldi and the hilarious man that roams the streets dressed as Michael Jackson – it’s an alright place to be – the colourful characters and lovely friends make it worth sticking around for. That and we’ll never be able to get on the property ladder anywhere else.

So here we were, in the company of the pretend King of Pop and Vladamir with his heavy bass high fi system next door – For what it’s worth, I now fucking hate “Gangnam Style” – seriously, Vlad…seriously –  when we found out that spawn #2 was incoming! Oh em gee. They were on to something with, “New house, New baby!”
Darling baby spawn #1 had just celebrated his 1st birthday when we discovered the news – my womanly functions were AWOL but there was absolutely no way I could be with child. No way at all. We’d been so busy moving house and celebrating Christmas and a first birthday that I don’t even recall holding hands – which genuinely leads me to believe I am in fact the modern day Virgin Mary. I still stand by the theory of immaculate conception to this very day.  Surprisingly, I took this revaluation in my stride – we’d had a whirlwind year raising Spawny mk1 that the nappies, sleepless nights and weaning were still fresh in my mind and I felt excited for the challenge – since moving I had given up work and officially become a stay at home mum so I may as well accept the promotion to stay at home Mum of two! What an adventure we were going to go on…

Pregnancy whilst looking after a baby is nothing short of hell. If I wanted to torture someone I would hand them a bum shuffling toddler with selective hearing and pay someone repeatedly to kick them in the pelvis. With a steel toe cap boot. I wasn’t glowing this time around – I’m not sure I was the first time – but this time it was awful. SPD, anaemia, and HG (please translate to constant sickness. Every minute of everyday and everywhere – hello Tesco DVD aisle!) it was physically and emotionally really hard. I didn’t have one of those neat, cute bumps this time either, I became nothing short of morbidly obese and it was not a nice feeling. I think it’s ok not to enjoy a pregnancy, it bares no truth in how much you will love your baby once they are here, but aside from the movements and kicks and ultrasounds it can be a really long, exhausting 9 months. And 9 months to the day it was.

The day before his birth I temporarily turned into a nurturing domestic Goddess. Spawny #1 – who had not long learnt to walk – and I decide today would be a good day to clean the house. We did the Windows, the floors, even took the sofa apart and washed all the covers. That night at 8pm my waters went all over the fucker.

“My waters have gone!” I exclaimed excitedly to Mr Spider. He shot up out of the remaining dry part of our DFS special and hurriedly put his shoes on – I have no idea why, I wasn’t contracting and we were having a home birth anyway…the pool was up and ready to go in the dining room.
“Chiiiiiiill…” I asked of him, like the calm hypnobirthing hippy I so desperately wanted to be. I had it all under control. I bounced on the birthing ball, phoned the midwife, straightened my hair, painted my nails, applied my tan, lit some candles, blew the irritating candles out, put some positive re-affirming birth mantra’s on play, turned off the positive re-affirming birth mantra’s before I hunted down the woman reciting them and kicked her with that steel toe cap boot and repacked my bag just incase – not that I would need it because Mrs “You are a strong confident woman and can surge your baby out into the world without even pushing or breaking a sweat and I say this when I haven’t even experienced so much as a period pain besides pushing a watermelon out of my lemon” said so.

“That smug twat!” I hissed as I turned the drone off.
“Chiiiiill…” said Mr Spider.
Oh no. Oh no he didn’t. I was getting angry, I was in pain, contractions were 5 minutes apart lasting 60 seconds…where was my midwife? MIDWIIIIIFE. Its no good, she was about 2 hours away. To the hospital we go…ne naw ne naw! (Deja vu, anyone?)

Thunder and lightening – very, very frightening…”Open the door!!” I screamed mid contraction in the pissing rain, thunder and lightening waiting for the birth centre to open their passage to me. I was praying my passage would just hurry the hell up and open to put me out of my contracting misery. The door opened, a small Chinese man stood smiling at me and invited us in. Where is the midwife I pleaded – it was then he told me that he was the midwife. I think at that point, my cervix just closed itself shut and locked the door to my baby.
Water. I needed water. Mr midwife – who seemed a little bit unnerved by my demands – did as he was told and ran the bath in our room for me to lay in and create some abstract scene from ‘Free Willy’. I thought I would sound like a whale calling out in labour, but in actual fact I sounded like a dairy cow. I mooed and mooed and turned to Mr Spider for some loving encouragement to find him asleep. Dead to the world. Bastard. Absolute bastard. 16 months on, I remind him of this daily – sometimes in a jovial manner and occasionally with sheer venom and hatred behind my words. The door to our room was shut and the birthing centre was an empty place anyway with there only being 2 ladies allowed to birth at the same time, so I suspect Mr Midwife had taken himself off down to the TV room for a coffee and a thrilling episode of ITV’s ‘Nightscreen’.
“Help! Help! Mr Midwife! Mr Spider! You asleep over there in the chair, you Twat – wake up!” Eventually help came in the shape of an even more unnerved Mr M and a sorry looking Mr S…and a crane to hoist me out the now freezing cold water, and my dear old friend, Diamorphine. Love you, buddy.

Anyone that has been given the heavenly shot in the bum – I am referring to the diamorphine injection here, you filthy minds – will know that if it works well for you, it works really, really well. Snigger. Life was amazing.
Hours passed and I don’t really have much recollection of the rest of the labour – I bet Mr Spider doesn’t either as he probably fell back to fucking sleep – but the next thing I know is there is a major concern for me as my heart rate was dipping and not only had the whole experience of being hoisted out of the bath made an impact on me, our little baby was very unhappy too.

In walks the consultant – a dead ringer for what I imagine Sven-Goran Eriksson’s father to look like. I’m a sucker for an old man – not in a gold digging whore type of way, more in a “bless your heart, you fought in the war” kind of way. I know there is an age gap between Mr Spider and I, but it’s really nothing extravagant.
He mumbled a lot, he paged a lot, the midwife did that reassuring stare quite a lot – what was going on? In a nutshell, my pelvis couldn’t birth my baby. See, told you I was the modern Virgin Mary…
In walked a big team of very important people, with very important decisions to make whilst they stood and stared at my very sore lady garden. It was time to call it quits – we had bred a genetically modified sized baby and no amount of pushing was going to bring him into the world – ha! Take that, Mrs “You are a strong confident woman and can surge your baby out into the world without even pushing or breaking a sweat and I say this when I haven’t even experienced so much as a period pain besides pushing a watermelon out of my lemon” C section it was.

It wasn’t David Wicks performing his art form on me this time, it was Ronan Keating! I was so pleased, I love Ronan Keating and do have a bit of a soft spot for his Irish accent – oh God, I hope I had remembered to shave, I mean the man was about to slice me open and see my insides but how could I ever leave a sexy impression if I hadn’t trimmed my bikini line? Horror struck upon me.
They made their first incision into my baby’s home at 3.53pm on the 4th of October 2013 – Stereophonics “Handbag and Gladrags” was playing and although it was far from the hypnobirthing home birth I had longed for, it felt pretty Damn perfect. It was relaxed and calm and Mr Spider – who was now awake and all eyes and ears – and I felt relieved…it had been a long labour and we just wanted him here safe. Because that is essentially what matters at the end of he day, isn’t it?
One of the theatre staff was snapping away at my open stomach documenting the entire procedure so we could get it put into a photo book for loved ones that Christmas – I joke – and the shakey hands and chattering teeth were very apparent in me when they told us to get ready. He was on his way!
Whether you have done it before or not, when you hear that you really can’t control your emotions – the long wait and wonder of who this little person is has come to an end, and as painful as it was to carry him it was the last moment of him being totally just mine – me, as his mummy, able to protect him and keep him safe from harm.
Mr Spider was crying, I was crying – the urge to hold him in our arms was hurting!
3.57pm – he’d arrived. Hello my darling baby boy with your big blue eyes – all 9lb 10oz of you. I looked at him and I just loved him so much – the second time around you know how much you have to look forward to and I could tell from that little smirk on his newborn face it was going to be an experience. And oh, has it ever.

So now here we are as a family of four – our new addition affectionately known as Spidey.

I couldn’t wait to start the adventure.

P.S – The midwife still hasn’t arrived…

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A Spidermum was born – Part 1

I fell into motherhood you know. Mr Spider and I had been teenage sweethearts – him a slightly older teenager at 19, but was still young enough to not make our relationship sound totally illegal and perverse – since 2005. We met through friends in a time when Mr Spider drove motor vehicles of those resembling something from a budget reenactment of “The Fast and the Furious” Like, a really really budget version. But he did have under car neon lights. If I’m honest, that’s what sealed it for me. We grew up together, we made mistakes together – think 46 inch LCD TV’s on hire purchase…don’t do it kids – and we fell in love with eachother really early on in the start of our lives, but we still walk hand in hand today.

We planned to do everything “properly” – you know, careers, marriage, mortgage and then babies but in 2011, 6 years into our relationship, and after a weekend of far too much wine on my part – I remember it well…out with my darling friend from work, in the club acting as socially awkward as ever, but then coming alive like a banshee on a resuscitation table upon the beautiful sound of Robin S’ “Show Me Love” – we discovered we were in for a massive rollercoaster ride in the shape of a piss ridden stick revealing that I…we…were pregnant. We were going to have a baby!

If I’m completely honest my first thought was, “Shit. I am going to get fat. And stretchmarked. And there is a strong possibility that one’s lady garden may never recover from the harrowing act of child birth. Shit. Shit. Shit” but soon my thoughts turned to how magical it would be to have a mini us, and how maybe this was what I was truly meant to do with my life. Maybe, after years of soul searching and continuously feeling at a loose end it had come to me – I was meant to be a mother!

Oh, it was exciting and dreamy – this amazing little secret was ours, buried deep inside my tummy, what a womanly Goddess I was nurturing our unborn child from within…and then the morning sickness hit. OH MY GOD/insert other religious figure relevant to your beliefs – can I even call God mine in this instance being with child out of wedlock? It was awful, horrendous, a constant hangover, you know the ones you get after mixing tequila with a pint of Stella because it seems like a genius idea at the time? Yes, that. I vaguely recall asking to send the baby back so I could trade it for a Shih Tzu instead.
The NSPCC and RSPCA both frowned upon my proposition, so it was with a lot of nerves, raging hormones, and sheer unconditional love for the little person I was yet to know that I carried (read as waddled) my way to 40+6 weeks pregnant.

On the 11th January 2012 at approximately 2am I was awoken with a massive pop. A massive meconium filled POP. This did not bode well for my home birth I had been planning, it essentially meant my darling baby had taken a massive dump in their waters and was in serious danger of inhaling it and becoming very ill. To the hospital we went…nee naw nee naw! (you resist the urge to type that being a mother of 2 toddlers. Impossible)

We arrived, they examined me, took my stats, we walked around the hospital grounds to encourage the contractions to turn themselves up a notch, some pain came – not much – “this is easy, I’m a hero” I smugly thought to myself. Fast forward 5 hours…
What the fuck was happening to me? I thought I was in labour, you know – the beautiful act of giving life, I felt like I was going to have an uncontrollable bowel movement and produce a baby elephant. I’d asked for a fucking puppy remember, not an elephant! Still, I tried to remain a strong confident woman and with the gas and air canister firmly by my side I contracted my way through another 10 or so hours. The baby wasn’t coming, and neither was any hospital meal after insulting the nurse with a mid contraction outburst of, “Stuff your lasagna, I want chips! Chips, you bitch!” – how awfully rude and out of character, may I add that by this point I think I was tripping on diamorphine. Amazing pain relief for me – if you don’t know, get to know. In a controlled environment for medical purposes only, obviously. I could have killed for some chips though. Anyway, back to the baby. It wasn’t coming. It was getting distressed, I was on my 20th hour of labour – I can barely manage 20 minutes on the treadmill, I too, was feeling somewhat distressed. There was talk of surgery. I pleaded with them not to do a C section, I was so scared of the aftermath of my poor tummy, but my baby wanted out so we had to find a way…Hello forceps!

“David! David is that you?!” I called out, at this point I was on the spinal drip, gas and air, left over diamorphine and heap loads of nervous adrenaline. We were in theatre. Mr Spider was scrubbed up and looked like he was likely to pass out at any second, but the man who really caught my eye was David Wicks – the Eastenders bad man! He was peeking up at me behind the curtain separating my head and the lower part of my body which temporarily didn’t belong to me. “David! A man of many talents!” I excitedly shrieked.
“I’m not David” he calmly replied with a pitiful smile.
“David Wicks! Whatever would Pat Butcher say?!”
“I need you to push” said David.
I gave a half arsed, exhausted push whilst feeling honoured to be in the presence of a household name. Nothing. Boring. Back to David…
I turned to Mr Spider who was furiously trying to get me to focus on pushing fuelled by the overwhelming urge to meet his baby, just about to alert him – as if he hadn’t already heard – that Dave was delivering our sprog when I heard him say, “Here they come…here’s your baby!”

He appeared over the curtain, an imprint that will never leave my mind – my baby. Our baby. A tiny, grumpy little person, all 8lb 5.5oz of him – half of me and half of the man I loved the most. I’d wanted a boy and my wish had come true, but what gender he was became irrelevant and I didn’t even mind that he wasn’t a puppy, he was perfect and in that split second I had gone from a girl with no idea what to do with her life to a woman – a mummy! – who had every reason to live. It suddenly all made sense when I held him in my arms for the first time…no matter what happened, it would always be him and I. I had never realised it but I had been waiting forever to meet him, to know and love this miniature person. On the 11th January 2012, my life begin.

So, there you have it. Spidermum was born. We’re 3 years in and everyday is an experience, sometimes its out of this world amazing and sometimes it leaves me yearning for that puppy I almost switched him for. Its one big learning curve and a heck of a journey to be on and I would like to write about it and share with you all – if you’ll have me!

To be continued….there’s another kid, ya know.

If you made it this far, Thankyou!

Spidermum

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