Thursday, 16 February 2012

Pregnancy Diary: 21st Jan - Making the announcement!

We wanted to tell some of our best friends before we announced it to the world via social networking as we didn’t want them to be part of the masses. We obviously informed the people we had already told about the baby before tonight, that everything was ok but we had a big group of local friends who we wanted to tell face to face. These people were friends that we met through, we spend lots of time with and for me have been a rock in the hardest of times without them even knowing. We had the best opportunity as some of our friends were having a party, only days after we got the results. This gave us time to get our heads round the news and let a few select others know before we announce it. We have some amazing friends and we have had to be so secretive with them which has been so hard to do. Hoff found this easier than me as I am one of those people who just can’t hold my tongue with important news. I had a few initial worries and stumbled over my words when trying to tell them and found myself avoiding the word pregnant... I just couldn’t say it! I couldn’t get that word out so I said ‘I’m getting fat’ winked and rubbed my belly or ‘I’m not drinking for a special reason’ with the same action... I don’t know what was wrong with me why couldn’t I say the one word that described it perfectly, anyway they got the jist.

So for the party, as a bit of fun, we had to write a poem, it could be about anything we liked but we had to write one ourselves. I took this as the best opportunity to make my announcement and work the words ‘We’re having a baby’ into the poem for shock tactics. I asked the host’s if this was ok first as I didn’t want to steal the lime light but as they already knew about Sprout they were 100% happy with me doing it this way. So the task of writing the poem was now on me... this was bonkers how was I supposed to do this? Do I do long and soppy? Short and sweet? Funny and tactical?... I decided I was going to go with a mix of the 3... So after 4 attempts here is how I broke the news....

How times change over the years,
Boy’s drinking Smirnoff and girls drinking beers.
Boy’s watching cooking programmes and reality TV,
Girls watching cricket and loving the footy.
Life is very different for me now too,
And I believe this is down to all of you.
Without meeting you I’d be ever so boring,
I’d be like old man Kev sat in the corner snoring.
I’d not even know half of the stuff that I do,
Scrap that, who am I kidding; I still don’t have a clue.
With knots in my straws and J bombs now banned,
Life is so different from that in the sand.
I wouldn’t change any of you lot for the world,
But that’s enough soppy shit before I make you all hurl.
I now live life to the full and I blame lots on drink,
But as you can see I’m not drinking, so why’s that dya think?
You see we’ve got our own bit of news, Hoff and me,
We’re excited to say, we’re expecting our first baby...
So for all those cheeky gits who just thought I’d got fat...
Tonight keep one eye open... I own a cricket bat!!

I was shaking so much I couldn’t read the bloody paper and I stumbled when I got to the word ‘baby’ as I was just about to cry... but I pulled myself together and said the last few lines with ease before being greeted with hugs, kisses and congratulations. Sadly some of the guests were late so we then had to break the news again, without the poetic wording this time... bloody late comers! Anyway everyone was over the moon and as I’d scheduled the ‘Breaking News: We’re having a baby!’ blog post for 9.30pm I jumped onto the nearest computer and shared it via twitter and facebook so that everyone could join in the fun... only issue was I think I shared it via someone else’s facebook first as it didn’t appear on my timeline... I had to go back and reshare it, via mine this time, and it was successful. In fact my phone just didn’t stop beeping... It’s still going now at 2.30am!!
So now EVERYBODY knows and we’re having to come to terms with the fact that this is now ever so real but we are ever so excited. I have never seen Hoff grin so much when they started shouting ‘Daddy, daddy Hoff, Daddy, Daddy Hoff!’ he looked so proud... then he made a joke about not knowing if it’s his until the results get back... It got a big laugh but I threw something at his head, cheeky git!

We had an amazing time at the party and would like to thank the hosts Nikki & Gary for letting us break the news and jump the lime light for a few moments... and for all the amazing food!

Now for the future.... EEEEEKKKKK

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Pregnancy Diary: 19th Jan – OMG The Results are IN!!

So I was hoping for the results to come through before Friday so that we could announce the pregnancy at a friend’s party, but I was thinking it would probably be Friday that I get them or knowing my luck after the weekend... but NOPE I got them today!!! 
I answered my phone and when I heard Eva’s (the genetics specialist) voice I began to panic... ‘I have some news’... My heart fell to my stomach, my brain was about to burst... ‘it’s all good news’ she said... at that moment my whole body melted into nothing and I slumped to the floor. She told me all the details but I almost switched off.... I could hear what she was saying but it wasn’t sinking in. She said she was thrilled and that she was now able to tell me the sex.... ‘It’s a boy’ she said... my body stopped still again... ‘ahhhh that’s nice’ was my response... I had this odd feeling inside me like I was really happy but something was missing.... I had kept telling myself it was going to be a boy because I had a weird feeling but deep down I wanted a girl.
I got myself together and thanked her over and over for all her help and then she was gone. I won’t speak to her now until I want another baby... that’s a scary thought. I was a bit sad that after all the hard work she had done and all the phone calls we’d had she was now out of our lives... I’m going to send her a picture of him when he gets here with a big thank you card. 

Then I tried to get hold of Hoff... the only day he was in a meeting and not the office, so he couldn’t answer his phone... typical. I text him asking him to phone me ASAP and then I just had to wait... on my own, in my house, with the biggest news ever and I couldn’t tell people until he knew that’d be wrong... It was the most painful wait, it was worse than the wait we’ve had for the past 3 months by far!... there were tears, grins, panic... not much else happened really until...

1 hour... YES A WHOLE BLOODY HOUR... later! I get a phone call! ‘What’s up?’ he said... I went on to explain and all I could hear in the background was him giggling and repeating ‘it’s a boy’... happy daddy to be. All men want to hear the words ‘it’s a boy’ deep down and he was in fact hearing those exact words. He had to scurry back to work but he was so happy... I could now begin to tell my family and friends that already knew about the baby and tests, as I knew they were waiting as impatiently as me. I had tears, screams, laughs and I told you so’s! All very relieved and all very happy for us... So now to prepare for the real announcement on Saturday, the announcement to the world.... Oh my... I’m ever so nervous, that makes it feel so real!

Now just to make this clear, I wasn’t too disappointed for long about this baby having boy bits, in fact, I decided quite quickly it would probably be easier as we already know what to do with a boy. I still think that if I had a girl, Karma would come and bit me in the bum and she’d be a terror teen just like I was and we’d not cope.... so technically a boy is a blessing in disguise. I often think that people that say it doesn’t matter what the sex is, secretly have a preference deep down, as its hard not to. Especially if you’ve already got a particular sex... everybody dreams of the perfect family, a girl, a boy, a mum, a dad... this can’t be helped. So I’m not awful for having my initial disappointment and it doesn’t make me want this baby any less or make me an awful mother. It just makes me human... I might dress him in pink frilly dresses for a while, but other than that it will all be fine.... *disclaimer* this is a joke! 

So there we have it, I’m going to be a mum of 2 boys, in a house with 5 males and I’ll be screaming ‘Put the toilet seat down!!!’ for the rest of my life... Oh the Joy of male domination!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Pregnancy diary: 14th-18th Jan – Pillow Heaven & Waiting

14th Jan – Pillow Heaven
Hoff bought me a maternity pillow from Mothercare! It is actual heaven! It’s like a long sausage shape that bends with your body and fits from your head, under your boobs and belly and in between your knees! I have never felt so comfortable in bed in my life... Why did I not own one of these before?? Everyone must buy one!

18th Jan – The wait is killing me!!!!
Oh for God’s sake... I know they said 2 weeks and it’s only been one but it’s hurting me inside more and more every day. I can’t deal with this crap anymore. I need to bloody know... Patience has never been my strong point but this is beginning to grate. I’ve waited 13 weeks now and I’m starting to want to cry more and more.... but that might be my hormones... either way AAARRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH get on with it!!....
*disclaimer* I know they’re working damn hard with my tests to get the results and I am really grateful I just needed a tantrum moment to get it out of my system! I love them really.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Pregnancy Diary: 12th Jan - Too early to buy a Cot?

So this morning I misplaced my mother after she forgot to take her keys on the school run and decided to disappear into thin air. After several phone calls to people who I thought she’d have gone too, I decided she would just be in a charity shop somewhere. Turns out she was... I know her too well. 3 hours after taking Kyd to school she appeared at my door. She had been wondering around the shops she said. We had made plans with some family members to have lunch, which turned into dinner as we had to wait for someone to finish something. We had a trip round the lovely Primark and then went over for dinner. After dinner we went shopping again... I was knackered by this point and I wasn’t really supposed to have left the house but I wasn’t complaining it was nice to see people. We then went to Mamas and Papas I loved looking at these with the knowing we were nearly at the stage where we might be buying things for real... turns out we didn’t have to wait. As they were having a sale my mum decided it would be a great idea to purchase a CotBed now so that it’d be cheaper... Although I was overwhelmed by the generosity a small part of me was nervous, are we jinxing the test results? Are we doing this too early?... Oh and where are we going to keep it for 6 months? The play room is still just that, a play room, we have ages before it’s a nursery! Also turns out they store it for you until you need it... How great is that? So in April we will receive our Cot and then it’ll only be 3 months to wait for it to have a use.... I’m still abit sceptical as I’m a bit of a superstitious type of gal but it’s a Big Tick off my ‘To Buy’ list though I suppose... Thanks Mum xxx

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Pregnancy Diary: 11th Jan - Shocking News

So today I’m quite sore, a little like an internal bruise that hasn’t appeared just yet. I can’t bend down and I’m really tired but again I am under house arrest and therefore I can just rest up in bed or watch TV. My mum took Kyd to school and Hoff was back at work and I just slept until midday. I got up at about 1pm and then watched TV downstairs... not that much of an exciting kind of day but I quite enjoyed it actually. My cousin Red came to see me with Salt and Vinegar Squares and a bottle of Dr Pepper and I have never been that excited to see her face. She came to keep me company and we just had a giggle and watched TV. My mum picked Kyd up from school got him changed and took him out so he was out of my hair so it was still quite relaxing even after 3.30pm which is rare in this house.
Then all of a sudden my phone rang, it was the Genetics specialist. I thought she was just seeing how I was doing after yesterday and that she was checking I was taking it easy... turns out I was wrong, she had some news... ALREADY!
I couldn’t breathe, Red was just looking at me like I was about to burst... then she said it...
‘The quick test results showed NO SIGN OF DOWN SYNDROME’
I thought I was going to be sick at first but it sort of didn’t sink in. She went on to say that it wasn’t 100% accurate and that I’d have to wait until the full results were in to be sure but it was looking good... I couldn’t believe how quickly that they’d got the results back. I knew they’d been waiting for the tests in the lab but I wasn’t expecting the results just over 24hrs after the actual test as I was told 3 days. Even the specialist was shocked at the speed of their work. I didn’t know what to say. She said she’d be back in touch as soon as she hears from the rest of the results and she congratulated me on jumping this hurdle.
I tried to ring Hoff at work and he didn’t answer so I held off telling anyone until I spoke to him. I sat for a bit with Red and then all of a sudden it hit me. This was the biggest hurdle. This was the biggest risk and although it wasn’t 100% yet it was almost like my shoulders felt lighter. Red laughed at me as she had wondered why I hadn’t really mentioned it after the initial phone call it was like I’d forgotten. I rung Hoff again and broke the news. He was so shocked actually he was more confused I think. How could they know so quickly? Right now for the phoning of the family and friends waiting on tender hooks with us... let’s just say the news was well taken and everyone was relieved but also know that this is still a secret and there were still things to be tested!
So there we go... I’m pretty relieved but I honestly think it’s not sunk in yet. I seem too calm

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Pregnancy Diary: 10th Jan - The Big Day – The CVS Test

So this is what I’d been waiting for and I know that this whole situation will be over within 2 weeks and we’d know the fate of baby Sprout. Even that sentence is killing me to say. One part of me wants to jump for joy and one part of me wants to scream and cry. I don’t want this to all end in tears but I need to know so it has to be done. I need to do this, for me, for Hoff and for our family. I honestly believe this is for the best and my fingers are crossed even if my head is a mess. I know this is the right thing for us and we will deal with the results as and when they come. It’s all up to fate and fate is something out of all of our control. So let’s just do this. Our appointment is booked for 10.15am, we got there early so I could have a bite to eat for breakfast... a bite sums it up really as that is all I actually had as that was all I could stomach. We dodged 2 people we knew in the hospital as obviously people didn’t know anything and going in to the maternity unit was a little obvious. We appeared at the Ultrasound waiting room handed over my notes and sat down. I was surrounded by pregnant women waiting to see their babies for the first time and this made me smile thinking about how excited they must be... it distracted me a little from what was about to happen. We made small talk and then Hoff said to me ‘did you know that they can tell the sex of the baby from this test?’ I had purposely not read up on the tests as I thought it would freak me out so I had no idea they could do that. He however had done his research and he was quite excited by this. I told him I wasn’t sure they could so I’d ask the consultant when I got in there. We were then shouted... I was gobsmacked I thought we’d be waiting ages. We slowly walked in we were greeted by the consultant and the screening midwife who I’d had many conversations with on the phone and we sat down. I took a deep breath and decided to smile through it. I was shaking and Hoff was clinging on to my hand for reassurance. We went through the necessities and the risks and then we heard it again... we heard the heartbeat. I smiled but deep down I was praying. I was praying after all this we’d hear that again. We then saw sprout again on the screen. I can’t believe how much sprout had grown it was bouncing about and trying to punch its way out of there, so much so that the consultant struggled to get a clear picture and angle. He measured the nuclear fold in sprouts neck and it was normal... this is a huge sign of Down Syndrome and so was a relief... although Kyd’s fold was also normal hence why it wasn’t picked up during pregnancy so it wasn’t really that telling for me. It also turns out Hoff was right you can learn the sex of the baby from this test, this is exciting as I’ll know at 13-14 weeks rather than waiting for the 20 week scan... this is great for a planner like me! I’m excited to know. BUT Then it was time...

*this next part will be in detail if you are squeamish skip this paragraph*
I know many parents or expectant mothers will not wish to know details of the CVS testing but as I struggled to find a parental version of the CVS test online I hope this will help other mums about to go through it understand the process fully from a parental point of you. Please don’t read it if you don’t want too and please don’t judge me for having the test done in the first place.
They start by numbing the wall of the belly with an injection, the same one they use on your gums at the dentist. They then rescan the belly and locate the placenta. With a long sharp needle and quick action they then pierce the stomach wall. It was quick but painful and I held on to Hoff’s hand tighter than ever before. He then moved the needle into place and with another quick and sharp movement he pierced the womb. This felt like he’d popped a balloon in my stomach and I have to admit it was the most painful part although it was quick so short lived. Whilst searching on the scan screen for the placenta and making sure he was in the right place he said ‘if you can see right there this is the needle point and this is the placenta’... at that point my eyes were tightly shut and I wasn’t about to look, Hoff did though and he said he didn’t look long but couldn’t help it. As I told the consultant I had my eyes shut and was trying not to look I began to laugh... not the best time really as your stomach moves and I had a great big needle sticking in it, but he had made me relax and therefore giggle. He located the placenta perfectly and he began the next part of the procedure... He had to jiggle the needle up and down to make a suction so to get a piece of the placenta into the syringe. The only way to describe this is to imagine a child on a space hopper or a pogo stick... this was the action taken on my stomach, up down, up down. I’m not going to lie it hurt and It wasn’t a nice feeling at all but again it was quick. He then managed to suck up into the syringe and within seconds he pulled it straight out of my stomach and it was all done. It was all so quick. As he checked he had enough of a sample he declared that it was successful... If it hadn’t been they could only attempt to do it once more and then they’d have to stop. Luckily it was all over for me. It was such a relief and it was so quick. He then checked sprouts heartbeat again... Sprout seemed perfectly happy in there and was absolutely fine. We even got another scan photo to prove it. The whole thing took less than 20 minutes and hurt less than I’d thought because it was all done quite quickly. The midwife present said that many women find it doesn’t really hurt it’s more of an uncomfortable and unpleasant feeling, just depends on the patient I suppose. So I had got there at 10.15am and I was out and home by 11.30... Thank God for that I had a whole morning of waiting planned.
Time is now 12pm and I’m lying on the sofa with a bacon sandwich. I have a small pin prick just under my belly button and I’m only a little bit sore but that’s about all I have to show for my morning of madness that I’ve waited 11 weeks for... I thought I’d be bruised or bleeding and I thought I’d at least have a bigger plaster than this. It’s almost funny, if getting it hadn’t hurt so much. I am really tired, I’m not sure whether that’s due to the lack of sleep last night or the stress of this morning but as I’m under sofa arrest so I can sleep if I need too as I have nothing to worry about. I am under strict instructions to do nothing for 48hrs and I’m happy but nervous about that. I have 2 days of doing nothing I’m quite good at doing nothing when there are things to be done but when there is nothing to be done I can’t stand it. My mum is on her way from Yorkshire to be here over the bed rest period and she will be on Kyd duty. The housework is done and I literally have nothing to do but write this.... This feels so weird. I feel a bit useless like a beached whale. Hoff has just gone out to get me some KFC which is probably the best and most romantic thing he could’ve done for me at this very moment in time.... I’m easily pleased. I have let all my knowing well wishers know I’m safe and home and now I can just sit and catch up on my soaps.
I now have a 3 day wait for the first result and 2 weeks for the full set of the results including the sex of the baby.... Then I know fully what this is going to bring... a baby or devastation... This is going to kill us more than the last 11 weeks I think. Wish us luck!

Friday, 10 February 2012

Pregnancy Diary: 9th Jan - Booking in with the Midwife

So the weekend ended finally, and the next two days are now very important, starting with my first Midwife appointment. I have had so many appointments with consultants at the hospital I’d not booked in with the midwife as of yet because there was no need really. I’ve currently had 3 scans, heard the heartbeat and had so many blood tests that she would’ve been made a bit redundant, so we waited. The hospital had done all my booking in bloods and so the appointment was quite quick compared to most booking in appointments. She was pleasantly surprised that she had been beaten to it and that the results were already on my file. I had been made aware that I was not currently immune to Rubella and that even though I’d had the MMR when younger and again when Kyd had his it just hadn’t worked. I was told to be careful and to try and steer clear of anyone with suspected Rubella. Rubella comes up as a rash, a sore throat and a temperature, so to me that’s a hard one to tell if someone has, so how I steer clear other than to keep myself in isolation I don’t know. Rubella can cause all sorts of complications including miscarriage and so it is so important in the first 12 weeks that I avoid it and then after the first trimester it becomes less of a risk but it is, in fact, still a risk. I am almost 12 weeks now so I’m almost over the first hurdle but I’m still quite scared about this situation. According to the consultant some adults just don’t take to the rubella vaccine and sometimes they need a double dose. So after this little sprout is born I get to have an MMR jab and then a month later another one. After that I will be tested again several months down the line to see if it has worked. Sometimes it just doesn’t... so fingers crossed it kicks in and I don’t have to worry. So the Midwife was all smiles and let’s just say amazed after explaining my past 11 ½ weeks and the journey from genetics to hospitals to her. She was very understanding and she knew about all my issues and I’m quite satisfied that she will be able to help if there are any future problems. I will be solely under her care after the 18-20 week scan so I’m sure we will get to know each other well. I’ve just had a thought... IT’S TOMORROW! It’s tomorrow! My CVS test is tomorrow. I will have to go through it all... Tomorrow. OMG this is what I have been waiting for for so long... so why am I so worried now. This test can cause miscarriage. What if the tests come back and it’s all gone wrong and we have to make a hideous decision? I have been set in my thoughts of right this is what we are doing... so why today am I thinking about the ‘what if’s’? It’s a bit late for that really I have had ages to think this through and now I’m backing up on all my pre made decisions. What if the tests come back clear and then I miscarry because of the test? What if it’s my only chance to have a child without disability? I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself. Would I think that it was my fault for being impatient and having the test in the first place? Would Hoff blame me? Oh all these things that I thought I’d sorted out in my head have now become questions again! This is not fair. Why can’t my life be straight forward like everyone else’s! Now I can’t sleep and I need to be rested for tomorrow... grrrr I need this to be over and all to go well.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Cybher & Britmums Live: The Race For A Sponsor

So last year I went to Cybermummy courtesy of Johnson's baby and all after just a few short weeks of blogging. I really enjoyed myself and although it was quite scary being in a room with hundreds of other mummy bloggers, I think I learnt a lot from the experience. I really want to attend both Cybher and Britmums Live events this year but, I'm going to be honest here, due to having a baby on the way and a wedding to pay for next year, as well as everyday life with a disabled child to contend with... I can't afford it without help from a lovely sponsor... This is where this post comes in...

I am looking for a sponsor for either both or just one of the events... I'm not greedy, or stupid, I know asking for both might seem like I'm taking the mickey but I promise I will make it worth while to the company involved... but if not one will do just fine! :)
Sooooooooo If you are looking for a parent/mummy blogger who has a good reputation with some big name brands (The Football League, Oreo & recently Visit Florida  just to name a few) with the addition of a reach within both the parenting and special needs communities, then I just might be your blogger!

What the event's involve:

Cybher - 12th March 2012
Cybher is the first all inclusive female blogger event of its kind in the UK. It’s taking place on the 12th May 2012 at 8 Northumberland Avenue in the heart of London. This one-day event will bring together the most influential bloggers and speakers from all corners of the blogosphere to network, inspire, share and learn. There will be brands – brands that interest all women and not just parents and there will be content – lots of it. In fact there will be so much on offer that you will question how we managed to fit it all in. We’ve taken all of the feedback from previous blogger events we’ve been involved with and we can promise that Cybher 2012 will be more memorable in every single way.

Britmums Live - 22 - 23 June 2012
This two-day conference is solely dedicated to the British parenting blogger & its audience and will attract some 500 attendees. Britmums live is run by the UK’s largest parent blogging network of more than 3,000 influential and engaged bloggers and is set to make a massive impression on the blogosphere. What with some fantastic top name bloggers all set to attend and some high-profile speakers, such as Sarah brown and Ruby wax its the ideal time to connect with bloggers.

What I would offer a company after sponsorship:
  • A professional blogger/brand relationship with all terms of the agreed sponsorship fulfilled within the agreed time scales.
  • I will only acquire the one sponsorship (per event or for both) meaning it will be only your brand/company I represent.
  • I can wear branded clothing with your brand/company logo (t-shirts, badges etc…) on the day of the conference (within reason ie all in ones etc lol)
  • Your brand will be mentioned in conjunction with all my post relating to the Britmums live/Cybher 2012 event here on the blog. Post will then be blasted out to over 1000 twitter followers and again over 1000 seperate Facebookers (as well as a number of other parenting and blogger networks)
  • Tweets & RT about your brand and any promotions competition’s you may currently be running
  • A full length detailed introductory post introducing you as my Brit Mum’s Live/Cybher sponsor 2012
  • I would be happy to review and share my opinions on any of your products here on the blog
  • Would be happy to run any relevant competition’s for my sponsor here on the blog
  • Brand Logo with attached link to your website featured in my blogs sidebar for the period of one year (longer for both events), with an additional mention in the Reviews and PR listing (remains on the blog indefinitely)
  • Mentioned as my sponsor on my business cards (with logo if necessary) which will be handed out by myself at the events
  • An article or guest post on your blog/website (topics and amount of posts can be discussed prior to sponsorship agreement being made)
I am also open to discussion on any request you may wish to make as to form a sponsorship that is tailored to suit us both. 

What I would need in return:
  • Cost of conference ticket which currently stands at £49.99 + £2 booking fee (Britmums), although this is an introductory price that may slightly rise dependent on how soon ticket is purchased before the event (closing date for introductory price 28/02) and £100 for Cybher (introductory price now not available)
  • Two nights hotel accommodation (for both events) for the night before and following the first day’s conference (remember Britmums is a two-day event) No more than £250.00 per event (maybe less depends on prices at time of booking)
I think that’s a great deal and a great opportunity for some great exposure at a low-cost.

If you're interested in becoming the sponsor of my blog, then don’t hesitate to contact me and I’ll be happy to send you all you need to know such as stats, reach, testimonials, klout scores, blogging achievements and more.
Please feel free to email any questions you may have and I’ll be sure to answer them the best I can.

If you would like to know more or to make an offer of sponsorship please contact me by email on:

Pregnancy Diary: 6th-7th Jan - Pillows and Dreams

6th January: I NEED A DECENT PILLOW!!!
I have got the worst neck ache EVER! I need a massage so desperately my back feels like its screaming ‘FIX ME!’ I need help. I know the cause, it’s my blasted pillows. Feather pillows are all so lovely when you first plump them up and lay down... but within an hour you are flat on the bed and you wake with a crick in the neck. I need a new pillow quick before I need a new back. I tend to hug a pillow on a night already, I have done for years. It gives me extra support for my body and it’s helped lots of issues I’ve had over the years. I think now is the time to get a specially designed pregnancy pillow though as I think it will become a huge part of my life over the next few months... well hopefully... all going well!
I’ll have to do my research though... I’d never have thought Pillows would be this high on my agenda right now but they are... Oh how times have changed.
7th December: This Weekend is dragging
How can one weekend take so much longer to disappear than all the others? The time for the CVS test is looming and I just want to get on with it and get it over with. I think I’ve been patient enough now and people are starting to guess that I’m pregnant so the sooner I can announce it the better! I’m struggling to keep it under wraps now and when people ask I’m just not lying any more as I’ve got to the stage that I need to just scream it from the roof tops. Knowing that every other pregnant couple can announce it by the 12th week and we can only sit and wait just isn’t fair. My brain is popping and my belly is growing and my heart is bursting with awkward nervous energy and I still have to wait two more weeks until we know. I keep catching myself getting excited about being a mum again, then kicking myself and telling myself I’m being stupid because how did I know this was going to happen? It was all down to fate now wasn’t it. I couldn’t change it even if I wanted too. I am useless in this situation, I’m a self confessed control freak and this is a situation I can’t control and that is killing me! I’m supposed to be trying to stop my stress at this important time and this is just making it worse. Just hurry up and end please weekend of hell, I need a break.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Pregnancy Diary: 5th Jan 2012 - Oh Hello Migraines My Old Friends...

Migraine: A severe recurring headache, usually affecting only one side of the head, that is characterized by sharp, throbbing pain and is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, pins and needles and visual disturbances (Aura). Vasodilation in the brain causes inflammation that results in pain, but the exact cause of migraine is unknown.
I am an ‘irregular’ Migraine sufferer I am used to getting them randomly and not very often. I haven’t figured out what triggers them yet either even after all these years. I got my first Migraine when I was pregnant with Kyd 9 years ago. I was at the end of my pregnancy though and they became quite frequent and carried on through the 6 months that I was breastfeeding. But then they stopped... well sort of... I have had a handful of severe migraines since, as I have managed to easily control many of them with off the counter meds. I carry them around in my handbag just in case, as when they start they get to their worst quite quickly....
Only problem is... I’m now 11 weeks pregnant and, as most of you know, pregnant people can’t take ANYTHING! So I can’t prevent, fix or cure it. All I can take is Paraceptamol and that doesn’t help when it gets in to full swing. 

I got my first one in ages a few weeks ago in hospital and I put it down to the meds they’d given me. (For those that have never had one I’ll describe it) My eye sight started going with bright flashes of lights in front of my eyes (Aura), my head started pounding and the lights in the waiting room were so bright I had to wear sunglasses... inside... in December... I think the staff thought I was being  a diva to be honest. It gradually got worse, my speech started slurring, it was like I couldn’t group my words into a sentence and when I could they just wouldn’t transfer from my brain to my mouth. By the time I had been in to see the specialist that I was waiting for, I had got to the pins and needles stage. They start in one of your fingertips, they then gradually work their way up and down my fingers, moving gradually around my body in most cases. I’ve had them in my nose, face and arms before and it is quite a scary feeling when you don’t know what it is that’s going on! I thought I was having a stroke the first time it happened but now I know its normal I try and ignore it. It doesn’t last long and it’s almost like a warning for me really, because soon after that stops, I know the nausea will start. Now, nausea and migraines with me can vary from just feeling a little bit sick, to violently being sick and I never quite know what to expect. I tend to stay walking distance from a toilet or a bucket and avoid any movement. After that I always fall asleep. 

You’d think that’d be it.... NOPE this can reoccur in random orders for up to 72 hours... 72 HOURS!! And after that you feel like you’ve got the worst hangover in the world without a drop to drink!... so the horrible ‘I didn’t get anything from it’ kind of hangover! It can affect me for up to a week after and I can’t look at the computer screen or watch too much tele as I can’t focus. I can’t read words, say words, spell words and it’s almost like being 5 again. My memory is never very good but after a migraine ‘attack’, as they’re called, I have no memory at all for names, numbers and general things. I could be using this as an excuse for my Blonde Moments... but the truth is, I use my Blonde Moments as an excuse for these occasions. It is so much easier for me to explain to people that I’m just being Blonde, than it is for me to say ‘It’s the after effects of a migraine I had 2 days ago’ people who don’t get severe migraines just don’t get it!! So I will carry on with using my hair colour as an excuse and those who know me know that my ‘blonde moments’ and my ‘after effects’ now just sort of roll into one... and are generally known as ‘Alicisms’.

I have now have had 3 migraines since that day in the hospital each at varying stages and the last one starting Monday night and although I felt better Thursday the ‘Alicisms’ are still in full flow today. I’ve had to spell check this 4 times and there will still be mistakes. My doc told me yesterday that there is not really much I can do but hope and pray that they stop after the first Trimester... Oh the joys of being pregnant.
Anyway I’ve learnt a lot the past few days researching what causes Migraines in Pregnancy and I thought I’d share with you some of my pearls of wisdom that I have picked up from the tinternet... clever this tinternet malarkey isn’t it...  take a read even if you don’t get migraines as they can strike anyone at anytime and it’s good to be prepared... Enjoy...

Some Facts on Pregnancy Migraines:
Hormonal change in women is a common trigger for those prone to migraine. This is often shown in pregnancy when the sex hormone levels show profound changes which has an effect on whether your migraine get better or worse. Oestrogen sometimes reaches one hundred times the normal level, whilst progesterone levels decrease, rising again towards the end of the pregnancy. However, the fluctuation of levels is not as pronounced as during the non-pregnant state, which may be why migraine often improves during pregnancy. This improvement may also be due to the increased levels of natural pain-killing hormones (endorphins). These are several times higher during pregnancy, and though the relief from migraines they provide might last the whole pregnancy, the levels settle back down after delivery, normally allowing migraine attacks to recur.
However, it is not always the case that your migraine will improve, especially in the early weeks of pregnancy. For some women, migraine can go on unchanged, or more rarely even get worse.... (Oh another reason why I’m RARE... Jees can I not just be normal for a change!)
During the first three months the symptoms of pregnancy can make your migraine worse. Morning sickness can mean that you feel like eating and drinking less which can cause low blood sugar and dehydration. If you are not careful this can make your migraines worse. You should try to eat small frequent meals and drink frequent small amounts of water to prevent this. You will also be helping reduce any pregnancy sickness.
Studies show that migraine without aura improves after the first three months of pregnancy for about 60-70% of women. This is the case especially if your migraine has been linked to your menstrual cycle.

...If you experience migraine with aura you are more likely to continue to have attacks during your pregnancy. Also if you experience migraine for the first time while you are pregnant it is likely to be with aura.... (OH JOY! Well that’s something to look forward too isn’t it... NOT!)
So what can you do to help it...

Ideally, all drug treatments should be avoided, as many are either considered unsafe or their safety has not been tested in pregnancy or breast feeding. The use of any drugs during pregnancy or while breast feeding needs to be discussed with your doctor, so that you can weigh up the relative risks and benefits of any treatment.

For treating a migraine attack as it begins, paracetamol is the drug considered safe during pregnancy and breast feeding. This should be taken in soluble form at the earliest signs of an attack, preferably together with something to eat. Aspirin has been used by many pregnant women in the first and second terms of pregnancy. Aspirin should be avoided nearer to the expected time of the birth as it can increase bleeding. Ibruprofen should not be taken in doses over 600mg per day.

If you need anti-sickness drugs for your migraine, the following have been widely used in pregnancy without evidence of harm: buclizine, chlorpromazine and prochlorperazine. Domperidone and metoclopramide are safe in pregnancy, but they are probably best avoided in the first three months. Again, you will need advice from your doctor on what is best for you.

Many women prefer to take complementary and alternative medicines such as homoeopathic and herbal remedies rather than traditional medicines whilst they are pregnant, considering them to be milder. It is important to remember some complementary treatments can have an unwanted effect on your pregnancy just as conventional medicines can. For instance, some women find aromatherapy massage very helpful, and may be unaware that some essential oils (rosemary for example) need to be avoided. Reflexology treatment is not always advisable during pregnancy, and all complementary medicines should be taken under supervision of a qualified practitioner. Feverfew should not be used during pregnancy.

Non-drug treatments certainly can be helpful, and massage, acupuncture, relaxation and biofeedback have been found to be useful by some. Some women also find applications of heat or cold to the head can be useful. 

So then, not really much I can do to fix me really is there?... I’ve just got to get on with it and hope and pray it sorts itself out! I’m lucky really because I know a few Alternative Therapist’s so I’ll be going to them for some advice and treatments as I’m slightly stuck as to what to do.... also I might wangle a lovely Day Spa trip out of it... it’s worth a try isn’t it! *wink*

JUST TO ADD: If you do think you are experiencing migraine for the first time whilst you are pregnant it is important to visit your GP so the causes for your head pain can be found and treated if necessary. Pre-eclampsia, for example, can have symptoms similar to migraine.

OH AND... There is no evidence that migraine (with or without aura) has an effect on the outcome of the pregnancy. Migraine in a mother does not harm or endanger her baby.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Pregnacy Diary: New Year - Final Hurdle Over

31st December: New Years Eve, the final public hurdle...
OMG, what a relief. We do actually have plans but away from prying eyes and wagging tongues and there is no need to drastically search for a Kyd sitter either. We are having a quiet night in with a take away Curry and a few good friends... who are also pregnant... and know everything that’s going on! It’s like a weight off my shoulders not having to lie to people all night... I am so relieved!
The Night: So we had an amazing and soba night after a good win at the footy. Nobody drunk even the boys stayed soba... that might have been guilt rather than through choice but we didn’t ask them too! It was quite sweet really I thought. We had a lovely curry, drank fake wine, watched Kyd get overly excited by the fireworks on the TV and then went to bed! First soba NYE in years... and I loved it! It shows what can change when something so important is making it do so... I never thought I’d enjoy a quiet NYE as much as I did and I’m rather proud of myself... if not slightly worried that I’m getting old before my time... nahhhh!!
The good thing is I have no other drinking engagements until after the test results soooo we’re home and dry until we can actually announce it or not... as the case may be... but either way it’s the last public hurdle.... Phewwww

1st January 2012: Not long to go before we know...
Ok so on the 9th I have my first midwife appointment and the 10th is the CVS test... emotions are running high today and I’ve realised I’m not that far away from finding out the truth behind sprouts fate.... that sounds so wrong but it is true. The daunting prospects of the results are really getting to me. I can’t stop crying. Not only that but I am really struggling with this stupid sickness. I have had a soba NYE but feel like I’ve been downing pints of vodka! I’m so dizzy it’s stupid I have to keep lying on the floor. Needless to say I haven’t left the house today and I have been lying down and doing nothing... although we have put Christmas to bed today and got the house back to normal. It feels weird but lovely all at the same time.
I’m praying that this sickness, dizziness and hormonal outbursts are all worth it and are all come with a beautiful final product.... fingers firmly crossed!

Monday, 6 February 2012

Pregnancy Diary: The Christmas Period - Hurdle after Hurdle

24th December: Christmas Eve hurdle over... just New Year to go!!
So I’ve been panicking about people guessing and people questioning the reasons why I’m not myself... i.e. not drinking! You see I like a drink and my friends and family all know this so for me to say ‘Just a cranberry juice please’ is a rare occurrence and screams ‘ALARM BELLS’. But there was no way around it as if I just didn’t go and see them on occasions such as Christmas and New Year they’d be more suspicious, suspicious bunch my friends you see! So I had to deal with it arm myself with an excuse and just deal with the consequences.
So I did just that, only problem was as I walked in the pub somebody placed a bottle in my hand and said Merry Christmas.... I never have to order in my local you see as the bar staff know what I drink so why would today be any different... oh dear... now what I can’t drink a vodka based drink, but I can’t be seen not drinking the vodka based drink... oh for god sake this is madness! I knew one person in the pub would understand as she knew so I cornered her and asked for help... her response ‘go to the toilet a lot and flush it bit by bit’ oh she’s a clever bunny isn’t she! So I eld the straw to my mouth with my now half empty drink and chatted away as usual. Hoff’s mum was there with us and I could see the concern of the bottle in hand on her face, this was worrying me. She was surrounded by people so it was hard to go over and explain my toilet actions. I jumped at the chance as soon as she was alone as I didn’t want her thinking I was damaging her first grandchild. She laughed luckily and I’m pretty sure she got what was going on after that. Luckily we weren’t there long as we had to go and play Santa and get a very excited little boy to bed.
I got away with it... this time! Just New Years Eve to go and I knew this would be the hardest public hurdle of them all.... but it would be the last!... Thank God for that!!

25th December: Christmas Day Emotions run high
I was an emotional wreck this morning. Watching Kyd open all his presents set me thinking that next year there might well be 2 stockings laid out for Santa.... but what if there’s not kept going through my head and then that made me get all emotional... So whilst cooking my very first Christmas Dinner I began to cry. I want this baby so much. I want to be a mummy again and do it all properly this time. I feel like I’m cracking up at the moment and I’m pretty sure it’s mainly hormone based but I wish it would stop distracting me from what really matters... staying healthy and strong for the people around me... as after I stopped crying and pulled myself together I started getting another migraine... and just as I was putting the bird in the oven, not what I needed really. I had to cook Christmas Dinner in the dark whilst I waited for the tablets to kick in, as I was blinded by the lights... To be honest though I did a good job in the dark so move over Delia!!
After all that we had a good, a bit quiet but good, Christmas.... I didn’t even miss the Alcohol... I’ve changed, I don’t even recognise myself!

26th December: Boxing Day with the family
I have a bloody big family, so big in fact that I hardly ever sit in a room with all, if not most, together so days like Boxing Day are the perfect opportunity to see them all... except we didn’t think we were going to until after meeting my 2 uncles at the football they told us they’d sprung a get together on one of my aunts and so we were to meet at hers at 7.30/8pm. I had discussed with Hoff about how I was going to tell them all if things went wrong and how difficult it would be if I had to spring it on them all... soooo I made the decision to break the news, In fact that’s wrong... we told the 2 uncles and then asked them to tell the others so that I didn’t have to say it all out loud as I don’t make much sense when I cry. I really wanted them to know and I wasn’t sure how they’d take the news. Last time they found out I was pregnant I was 16 and it was a huge secret let slip by a worried cousin and however supportive they were I know they were disappointed. It was like I wanted to do this one properly but I was too unsure of the risks of telling them and the risks of the pregnancy in general... They all understood and as they bit by bit found out I could relax with my glass of fake wine (shleur) and not face any more questions. I don’t want to have to talk about it if it all goes wrong and they know this now so I think they’ll all stand by me and respect my decisions... it’s a massive relief to see smiling faces about it all but a bigger one to know I can turn to them if I need to in the coming weeks... *a great big relaxing sigh*

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Pregnancy Diary: 20th-22nd Dec - Dating Scan Day

20th December: Dating Scan Day
Today was the day we found out if our dates were right. We went to the hospital after an eventful morning trying to get Kyd to school on his last day before Christmas, he was trying to pull the wool over Hoff’s eyes with the ‘I feel poorly’ card, I pulled the plug on it quite quickly which caused a tantrum... he doesn’t do mornings very well... nothing like his mother *whistles*...  So we were told we’d be waiting ages in the hospital as we were squeezed in and so Hoff (who was supposed to be working from home) took along his laptop and dongle so he didn’t get in trouble.... turns out we waited less than 45 minutes and he didn’t even get his laptop out of his bag... result. We met the specialist and he was lovely. People with a sense of humour put me at ease and he opened with a joke... I don’t remember what it was I was too nervous I just remember laughing... so this relaxed me completely. We discussed why I was there the history with my genetics and Kyd’s diagnosis. We made small talk about Christmas dinners whilst we prepared the machine and then we saw the Baby... it was so much bigger and clearer than last time and it was only 8 days ago we saw it last... remarkable really the speed at which they grow at this stage. It was lovely seeing it’s little heart beating again and then all of a sudden we hear this little dumdumdumdumdumdumdumdum it was its little heart beating! We were actually listening to the heartbeat... this made it all feel ever so real! I don’t think Hoff realised what it was at first until the doc said ‘well its heartbeat is at the normal beat per hour’. It was amazing and although I had tried so hard to tell myself that this was all a dream so to prepare myself for the worst... I was ever so giddy! You couldn’t wipe the smile off my face if you’d tried. Hoff looked the same he was trying to be clever and hide it but you could see his eyes gleaming. The baby was measured and it showed that I was 8 weeks and 4 days pregnant and that my due date was 27/07/12..... WAIT A MINUTE... HOLD UP!!... That is exactly a year to the day that we have booked our wedding (27/07/13)... HOW WEIRD IS THAT!!!  Good job I have that year to lose my baby weight really hey!! I’d have had to delay it otherwise!... anyway all was growing nicely and baby was as healthy as they could make out via a scan and he passed us 3 beautiful pictures and then it was on to the serious stuff!
THE DATE FOR THE CVS TEST... He worked out the earliest I could have it done and booked me in... 10th January 2012 was the date which they would do the tests, I’d be 11 weeks and 4 days. EEEEEEEKKKKKK now that did feel real. Although strangely I was still smiling and so was Hoff. He went through what would be going on and what would be happening on the day. It was all quite straight forward and I was happy with our final decision. The Midwife who was present took my blood as we needed to find out which blood group I am... I had no Idea, surely after the amount of blood I’ve had taken someone had written down my blood group... obviously not... She also took my Booking in bloods so that the midwife didn’t have too when I actually booked in with her. I hadn’t yet as we didn’t know what was going on and we were seeing so many specialists we waited for the all clear before we bothered. We made silly small talk again but during the silly small talk he explained that I was one in a million... and no it wasn’t a come on... he meant that out of all the women he see’s and tests for the Translocation gene I actually have it and they generally don’t... also the translocation I hold is one of the rarest that he’s seen... I always knew I was one of a kind but it’s nice to hear it sometimes!! Lol , shame it makes things like falling pregnant and having a baby such hard work! Anyway with that parting comment we wished them a Happy Christmas and then we left....
So there you go we have the dates for the big test and we have a due date too AND to top it off we have another 3 pictures of our baby to go with the one we have already. It’s gone from looking like a baked bean to a broad bean in 8 short days... I’m still amazed at the difference. We are going to start a baby album up now with a timeline of scans... we’ve got loads more to go yet... most photographed baby yet to be born!! Getting it prepped for stardom... well we can dream!
I have also spoken to my Genetics specialist today who is now up to speed with my crazy few weeks of trauma and tears and she has notified the labs of the date for the CVS test so they know they’re receiving them and when... So it’s all set to go at that end which is nice to know. Hoff has to have his bloods taken at the CVS test as well as me as they need a clear view of his genes too... I’m not sure how he feels about this but he will just have to man up and take it, as with the amount of blood they’ve taken from me recently I’m surprised I’m still standing. The Midwife is also now booked for my booking in appointment and they could only fit me in the day before the CVS test... busy few days I’ve booked myself in for there. Luckily as they did my bloods today they don’t have to do them again at the midwife appointment... thank god for that!
Right time to make the tea... I’m still smiling.
22nd December: Feeling it
Dizziness, sickness and hormones are in full swing today I’ve almost fainted 3 times #thatisall