16 Weeks Pregnant – Riding Over the Bumps in the Road

Having been to see my midwife today for my 16 week check (well, 16 weeks 5 days to be exact) I must say the time is flying by.

The first 12 weeks were slow mainly due to the usual pregnancy symptoms – nausea, exhaustion and a general feeling of yuck. After the magic 12 week mark passed (and along with a good dose of iron supplements) normal service has almost resumed.

I say almost as I can’t imagine any pregnancy continues without some level of random symptoms as your body adjust to this invasion by what is now a 5inch growing machine. One of the slightly amusing ones is the dreams. Ah, the dreams. Psychedelic, random and more often then not slightly hilarious. One of the lesser amusing pregnancy side effects is that when I’m not dreaming away, I’m awake. Really awake. A lot. I suffered with pregnancy insomnia during my 1st pregnancy except that this time when I do manage to drop off, the familiar call of ‘Mummy, I need a wee wee’ rouses me from my dreams of candy floss caves……….someone tell me the hidden dream meaning in that one.

Another frustrating aspect is the mood swings. Not completely psychotic pregnant mad woman. Just a moderate feeling of flatness when anything moderately rubbish occurs. 80% of the time, completely usual glass half full kind of girl. 20% of the time, what would normally be a bump in the road becomes totally insurmountable. And then I have a ‘good nights sleep’ (ha, see aforementioned) and everything is once again ok.

What is also more than ok is that I heard the heartbeat today for the first time. It was a bit like listening to galloping horses I must admit and even though I’ve done this before, I find it really hard to comprehend that we are blessed to  have an actual little person tucked away in there. Just the focusing on that thought certainly helps to smooth the bumps in the road. That and a pack of Cadburys Cream Eggs x

11 Weeks Pregnant – What’s Been Happening

So we’ve sped along from a 6 weeks pregnant blog post to an 11 week update. You may be wondering what’s been happening in between?

Well, it turns out that having a 3 year old in tow, working almost full time and preparing for Christmas doesn’t half create a tremendous distraction from the early pregnancy aches and pains that seemed to last forever during my first pregnancy.

The nausea has been something of a constant companion, coming and going over the last 6 weeks. I’ve been lulled into a false sense of security as its abated only to come back with an absolute vengeance. The initial belly bloat has subsided only to be replaced with that ‘I ate too many mince pies’ layer of Christmas blubber. Don’t think I can blame the pregnancy for that, I really have eaten too many mince pies!

Sharp tummy muscle pains have also been a favourite and every time a feel a sneeze coming on I’m never sure how long I’ll be clutching my tummy for. The best symptom though has to be the psychedelic dreams, which go some way to making up for the pregnancy insomnia. I never knew my imagination could be quite so wild and I can’t quite remember how long they lasted for in my 1st pregnancy but they generally cause me to wake with a chuckle.

I have felt pretty tired I guess but a more accurate description could be just a little bit ‘meh’. I usually love to fill every second of my time and am pretty productive on an evening but of late it comes to 8.30-9.00pm and I am completely done in. We have been extra busy on the run up to Christmas due to meals with friends, full days out and Father Christmas Fun Runs (don’t ask) but I’ve still felt much less motivated than I usually am. I had my first blood count taken the week before Christmas and had a call from the Doctor yesterday to confirm I’m anaemic. Already. Isn’t it a bit early for all that? I had a few health issues with my 1st pregnancy (preeclampsia and all that jazz) but that wasn’t until much later.

I was initially pretty disappointed to be told there would be a prescription waiting to be picked up but, on reflection, realise that it does answer the question as to why I haven’t been feeling myself.

We’ve got our 12 week scan next week which I can’t wait for. Although we had a 6 week scan and saw the heartbeat pumping away, I’m keen to ensure that everything has developed properly and we’re on the right track. I’ll let you know how we get on! x

 

Early Days – 6 Weeks Pregnant

6 weeks pregnant scan

6 long months after an ectopic pregnancy back in April, I’m happy to report that we are once again pregnant and keeping everything crossed that this little bean is in the right place and hangs in there for the next 8 months.

After the miscarriage, we were determined to immediately start trying again but unfortunately things took a little longer than we had anticipated to resolve. I was extremely fortunate not to require any surgery but the Methotrexate prescribed takes a full 3 months (some say 6 months) to work its way back out of your system. In hindsight, having this additional time enforced upon us enabled me to get back to fitness and feel back in control after what was something of a surreal experience.

The midwives at our local early pregnancy unit were superb and immediately had me in for blood tests to check my HCG levels were rising at an ‘acceptable’ rate. It transpired that they were at a high enough rate not to require a second blood test as they expected to be able to see something when they scanned me. Cue an anxious wait of several days to have the scan – not due to the hospital but due to my work commitments. Work doesn’t half get in the way of life sometimes doesn’t it.

Before we went to see the sonographer, one of the midwives sat us down to talk us through what to expect. She was great. Due to having had an ectopic previously, I was at a higher risk of having another. Whilst the experience for some will undoubtedly make them super fearful of it happening again, I have to say that, for me, the opposite has proved to be the case. Being pregnant is completely out of my control. Sure, I can avoid alcohol, eat sensibly take the vitamins etc etc but ultimately, I have no control as to whether we will take home a baby at the end of it all. The husband on the other hand, was a nervous wreck as we went into the room for the scan. Men bloody well need us ladies to hold their hands that’s for sure.

6 weeks pregnant scan

As the cold gel was squirted on my tummy, as soon as the sonographer pressed down I knew this time was different. But familiar. Like the first time I was pregnant with my son. And I immediately knew that, for now, everything was ok. x

 

Clingy Toddler Alert & The Three-nage Years – Lessons Learned

Dealing with a clingy toddler (he’s nearly 3, can I still class him as a toddler?) in my view challenges parents to the extreme.

At 3 years of age, my son is now old enough to declare (loudly) what he does and doesn’t like but the skill of rationalising opinions and decisions is still a rather complex matter for his little developing grey matter.

During mid August, I was very lucky to go away for 4 days with my friend for some husband and child free girly fun. We certainly explored the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and it’s array of street food and beverages to the full. This resulting in me returning with what I can only describe as man-flu – 3 days off work confined to bed with aches, pains and a miserable cold.

In true female form, I bounced back just in time to head off on another girls jolly to Ibiza with my sister. I’m not going to deny it was bliss – sunshine, uninterrupted beach time and the odd glass of rioja made for a fantastic break.

Having returned refreshed (well, as refreshed as anyone is after a 4 day break on the party island) I was completing final preparations for my sons 3rd birthday. However, my best laid plans for a kiddy-centric celebratory day were promptly thrown out of the window when he suddenly became very poorly and was diagnosed with pneumonia. Don’t worry, he’s recovered well and we’re returning to some semblance of normality. So why am I telling you all of this? Well it would appear that following my unusual absence on holibobs (I’m NEVER away from home overnight), a poorly episode and a birthday, we appear to have in our midst the dreaded Three-nager!

Now, my son has always been the fairly chilled cuddly but confident general picture of loveliness. We’ll gloss over the biting stage at 18 months, that’s for another post. However, since recent events he’s become an emotional and extremely clingy little terror. When I reflect It’s certainly been an unsettling time for him but when, on a Monday morning it takes a full hour to stop the tears and tantrums to get him in the car to nursery, the calm reflection goes out of the window. Whilst we’re certainly not out of the woods of this behavioural stage yet, I can share with you a few nuggets of wisdom I’ve learned along the way so far, for what they’re worth;

  1. Stay calm

If I get upset, he gets upset. I’ve I get angry he goes nuclear. Me having an extreme reaction doesn’t stop his frustration but staying calm definitely eases it

2. Offer comfort

Now, I tried the discipline bit to stop the tantrums but that didn’t work for us. Comfort and cuddles did work, but with a firm approach. I don’t want to be a walkover but when sometimes you just need to cry it out, a cuddle always helps to ease the sobs.

3. Distraction and reward

I’m not a reward chart kind of mum. Don’t get me wrong, they have their place and never say never, but it’s not an approach we currently use. What does seem to work is to distract to a positive event that’s coming up, be it a day out or meeting up with some friends to take the attention away from the current moment of angst.

4. Wine

Ah yes, the solution to most things of a parenting nature, after bedtime of course so you can drink uninterrupted! Seriously though, sometimes when you feel you’ve tried absolutely everything a break is what you need to re-group, gather your thoughts and be ready to face the next day. It may be wine, it may be a session at the gym but some unwind time seriously helps you to think of some more tactics to face the next day with!

Good luck parenting friends and if the UN ever have a vacancy for a negotiator, feel smug in the fact that you would nail the job description in spades!

My Ectopic Pregnancy Experience

I’ve been in two minds whether to write this post for a little while. My blog, by no means up to the standards of my esteemed true blogger counterparts, has always been my little positive corner of the internet to note down my thoughts and musings on just about anything.

But of late, the route to my positive corner took a short, dark and unexpected detour. As a proud mummy of a lovely 2.5 year old little boy, we had been toying with the idea of having another small person for a little while. Whilst my first pregnancy was in no way traumatic it was fairly eventful with high blood pressure, preeclampsia and a stubbornly breach positioned baby dictating a slightly tricky c-section delivery.

I think that due to this, I actually reflected on my pregnancy and birth experience really very positively in that I felt truly lucky to have emerged relatively unscathed with my perfectly formed little screaming bundle of loveliness.

So, when we found out I was pregnant earlier this year just as we were thinking about ‘properly trying’ we were delighted. The first time I found out I was pregnant, my husband was positively petrified. This time, my husband was positively brimming with excitement.

I immediately had those familiar and delightful pregnancy symptoms – sore boobs, bloated tummy to name but a few. All seemed to be progressing as one would expect. My GP didn’t want to see me for a booking in appointment until I was around 8-9 weeks pregnant, even with the issues of my last pregnancy. And so, we told our close family that there would be a surprise addition to the family sometime during October/November.

And then I started to feel really poorly. With an ear infection. What? Yep, I had the most excruciating ear infection and, being pregnant, was very limited on what antibiotics I could have to treat it with. 3 nights of no sleep later and it arrived. The dreaded ‘show’. And the dreaded feeling that something just wasn’t right.

I couldn’t get an appointment with my GP and I couldn’t get to see the early pregnancy unit without a referral from my GP. God bless the NHS and all who sail in her I say. So I paid an extortionate amount of money for a private scan that afternoon. It was immediately evident that I was not the 8 weeks pregnant I thought I was.

We had some time to come to terms with this sad fact during the 4 days we had to wait for an NHS scan. There we were frankly told that the pregnancy was not viable but that it was also possibly an etctopic pregnancy. All pregnancy loss is a sad moment but never did I ever more wish for a ‘straightforward’ miscarriage in my life.

Fast forward a few days and due to my HCG hormone levels and a few other factors, the doctors felt it was safe to treat me with methotrexate, a chemotherapy based drug, rather than surgery. So off I trotted to the chemotherapy suite to sit with a number of the loveliest people facing far more difficult life challenges than me. To say it was all very surreal is quite the understatement.

Whilst I’m still physically recovering from the medication and willing my hormone levels to drop every day (along with the bloody reoccurring ear infection) I am again counting my blessings from this particular experience. I am one of the lucky ones. I didn’t have a ruptured ectopic. I didn’t need emergency surgery. I didn’t lose a fallopian tube. But I did lose a little potential life.

I have my lovely family supporting my and, of course, my ever gorgeous son. Some women are not as lucky as me when they find themselves on this unexpected journey and it has left me with something of a desire to work out how I can make a difference to others who may go through the same thing. There was certainly no emotional support provided in any way from the medical profession and that frustrates me.

So if you happen to stumble across my little corner of the internet and find yourself going through this experience, remember – you are not alone. Feel free to reach out, to have hope and to take really good care of yourself x

 

Easter Egg-citement

As it was only Christmas last week in my head, I can’t quite believe that spring has sprung and Easter has arrived. I have to say, a break is well needed from the day to day routine for all of us I think as we are still trying to shake off the remnants of winter colds in the hope that the warmer weather will bring better health. It appears to be somewhat inevitable that having a toddler (otherwise known as ‘germ magnet’) in the house means that we keep Lemsip shareholders in a pretty good financial position.

Speaking of the toddler, whilst I’m not a super fan of the concept of Christmas Eve boxes and Easter baskets (or perhaps I’m just tight), I have put together a little array of Easter themed treats for my small person this year. He appears to be the only 2.5 year old who has a fairly large aversion to chocolate can you believe. I sometimes doubt he’s actually my son for this very reason. So whilst I have included some sweet treats in his  array of little gifts, I’ve gone for other options for him to play with instead.

Easter Egg-citement

The bunny ears from Sainsburys were an essential requirement – the boy loves dressing up and an alternative to his usual batman/superman hybrid fancy dress will make a pleasant change. I’m not sure whether the bunny Lego I’ve select is really intended for little girls but I’d like to think he’s not aware of gender conformities at the moment to really notice. The little wooden thumb puppet rabbit, also from Sainsburys, is pretty cute and I think he’ll carry this around with him all weekend. The Easter break also can’t go by without a Peppa Pig adventure so we’re planning on reading this to him on Saturday night ahead of a family Easter party on Sunday afternoon and Easter egg hunt at Doddington Hall on Monday.

I’m really looking forward to spending the weekend with my little family, it feels like it’s been a while since we’ve had some down time together. I’d love to hear about what your plans are for the weekend and what’s in your Easter baskets?

x

Do You Want to Go Potty?

Do you want to go potty

*Disclaimer: This is an exceptionally mummy-centric post where both wee and poo will be mentioned!

So the little lovely boy turned 2 at the end of September and whilst we’ve had the occasional toddler tantrum (most often occurring when I can’t get the Sky Plus to rewind and replay the one episode of Gigglebiz I remembered to record) he’s been pretty easy going, even with the obligatory constantly snotty toddler nose.

We’ve had a potty knocking around for a little while now and there’s been a gradual increase in interest in it. Whilst getting ready for the bath at night, as soon as that nappy is removed he’s off like a rocket to sit on the potty and ready to receive a rapturous applause for the little trickle of wee he leaves behind. Now, whilst I believe this is deemed ‘a sign’ of being ready for potty training I really wasn’t sure what to do with this information – do we go for it or is it just a phase? Am I ready for potty training?

Well, the same happened last Sunday night but this time with a closing of the door and much straining noise – yep, there was a number 2 in the potty. Even more rapturous applause than normal followed along with a slightly confused toddler starting at result of said straining for quite some time. So, we’ve purchased some pull-ups and have talked lots about pants and potties – even me and the husbands conversations have been particularly intellectually stimulating this week when debating the differences between Pampers and Huggies pullups and the best method for cleaning out said potty.

Its my day off tomorrow and I really don’t know what to do – gradual introduction of potty and pants or just suck it up and go cold turkey with the nappies? Like any normal person (ahem) I’ve googled and researched with no real answers yet but lots of amusement from these lovely mummys’ experiences.

http://youbabymemummy.com/development/our-potty-training-journey/

Oh Potty Training, How I Hate Thee

12 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Potty Training

So I’m going to try and relax about the whole thing, buy a few extra pairs of trousers and see what happens. We may even go crazy and start thinking about converting his cot into a toddler bed……….on second thoughts, one thing at a time! x

Mummy & Daddy Go Out-Out – Love Fridays

The Mr and I have been a bit wild of late – we actually went out 3 times in one week last week. I know. We are crazy. And, one night was proper out-out, you know where you get moderately dressed up, try to look cool rather than over-excited about going to the now-not-so-new bar in town before staggering home far too late and facing the disapproving looks of the babysitters due to your excessive exploits on a ‘school night’. But we did have fun.

The first night out was to the not known to me at all Robin Hood Theatre in Newark. Now as someone who is not a fan of either theatre in general (I know I’m an ignoramus) nor musicals (see earlier bracketed comment), I didn’t have great hopes for the night. But I was in for a treat as not only was I going along with my lovely gorgeous antenatal crew but one of our flock was in fact playing the lead role. And she was actually really good. And I’m not just saying that because she’s a really good friend – the whole cast were excellent and for bit of something different for a night out (and also for a good price) I would totally recommend going along to this charming theatre and have a look at what this talented group of dedicated actors can do as I for one had a fantastic time.

2nd outing of the week was a much needed date night out with the Hubster. As our respective parents share the childcare of our toddler terrorist for part of the week, we tend to be a little stuck for babysitting passes and therefore nights out together these days are a few a far between. So we made the most of it. Possibly a little too much. We started with a fantastic and civilised meal at La Bottega Delitalia which is a brilliant little independent Italian restaurant in Lincoln. They have an authentic and rustic style to their cooking with fantastic service which never disappoints. They are also one of the few unlicensed eateries in the city which is actually quite quirky. Although we did forget this and the Mr did have to make a quick sprint to the local Tesco around the corner to ensure we were suitably refreshed with red wine during our meal. We then went on to the Optimist Wine Bar for a little taster of the red wine they had on offer (bit better than the earlier Tesco one I’d say!). Again, another independent business recently opened by a husband and wife team with such passion for what they do it was a pleasure to spend time not only in the beautiful surroundings of the bar, but in their company. We then went on to the Cardinals Hat for prosecco and then to the Strait & Narrow for more prosecco. Oh but don’t worry, we didn’t stop there, we then went home and had a ‘night cap’. What were we thinking?? Well, I can confirm we were not thinking at all clearly on Friday morning when the small one woke up at 6am. Yeowch.

Our final outing of the trio for the week was to a friends house for a lovely dinner and yes, more red wine and presecco. We had a fab night in their lovely newly renovated house and came back buzzing with interior ideas for our own place. We also came back with a belly full of alcohol that meant another less than fresh start the next day. When we had to go to my nephews 5th birthday party. It was a test of hangover endurance.

Whilst not exactly a wild week for some, it was just so nice to meet up with friends and, of course, spend some proper grown up time together as Husband and Wife rather than Mummy & Daddy which we so rarely do these days. Haven’t missed those hangovers this week though. Eurgh x

Am I a People Pleaser or a Pragmatist?

I’ve been reading quite a few blog posts over the last few days about the issues around being a people pleaser. We’ve all done it;

“Don’t worry, after I’ve given my son his breakfast, broke away from his cling on cuddles when I drop him at nursery and open the office to make sure the landlord can change that entrance lightbulb to an energy saving one; I’ll pop round and we’ll have a chat about the breastfeeding Pamela Anderson boob situation you’ve got going on”

Too many balls that are spinning, plates you are juggling……..everything gets a bit confusing when everyone seemingly needs a piece of you. It’s said that characteristics of a people pleaser are

  • Avoiding conflict or disapproval by acquiescing to the wishes of others
  • You never want to hurt anyone else’s feelings even at your own expense
  • You have a hard time making decisions, often deferring to others
  • You have a hard time relaxing and doing nothing

You can find a longer list here. There’s certainly something to be said when some of these characteristic, like any, get a little too extreme. Too much of most things is generally not a good thing if that makes sense, you know, alcohol, sugar………the good stuff. But sometimes I wonder if calling some of this stuff out as ‘dependency tendencies’ or  ‘inauthenticity’ makes us ever more insular?

As humans, we thrive on engagement and interaction. Like it or not, social inclusion and the feeling of belonging is important to all of us and, yes sometimes, it does drive our behaviours. Now, I agree wholeheartedly that we should all stand up and make ourselves heard sometimes. We all have something important to say or contribute and sometimes that does have to be placed ahead of other peoples imminent needs. But overall, isn’t people pleasing part of me-pleasing (cue inappropriate tagging of this post to other ‘types’ of me pleasing) ? We all feel so much better when we’ve lent our friend who’s perhaps recently become a mummy an ear about the hell that is breastfeeding. Or when you really don’t mind if you have red or white wine on date night with the husband (just order any bloody wine and quick!). And bloody hell, life is a whole lot easier when you’re not being unnecessarily argumentative with even the Sainsburys checkout operator to express your ‘voice’. Any extreme of any behaviour – too much people pleasing and too much selfish behaviour isn’t always a good thing. But then, who am I to judge, I’m not sure any of us have reached that utopia of ‘balance’ that we all strive for.  To sum up, the following quote really stood out to me today;

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around” (Leo Buscaglia)

x