Cooking Up Chaos – Week 40

Well, I made it to 40 weeks which means I’ve been pregnant for 2 weeks longer than I was with Luca. As I write this I’m actually 40+1 so “overdue” and I’m honestly quite surprised we have made it this far, for some reason I was really expecting him to come early. Not sure why but I just did.

I’m not bothered he hasn’t though, he will come when he’s ready and as of yet I don’t feel in much of a rush to evict him. Although I would like him to come sooner rather than later so we have as big a gap between his birthday and Christmas as possible. Also because I really want to be able to go to Luca’s Christmas concert as I’m gonna feel ALL the mum guilt if I can’t make it.

It is nice to know though that whenever he comes now will mean Ant can be home with us for the whole run up to Christmas, not having to go back to work until after Boxing Day or longer depending on how long baby boy stays put. Continue reading

Cooking Up Chaos – Week 35

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve written any bump updates.  In fact, it’s been a while since I wrote anything.  Whenever I have a spare 5 minutes it’s usually taken over by nesting or just resting (which I’m not very good at) and I’ve been overloaded with stuff that needs doing that the blog has had to take a back seat, because as much as I’d love to be able to do it all I can’t.

Anyway, I think my last update was at about 18 weeks, and then our gender reveal after that.  So it really has been a while, hasn’t it?  Bump is a very big bump now and I’ve got a lovely waddle going on too thanks to the SPD that cropped up just before the summer holidays.

Since I last posted I have had my antenatal care taken over by the Leeds HomeBirth Team, which is very exciting and we have done a hypnobirthing course with the ever so lovely Hannah from Reframing Birth.  The course was fascinating and has made me feel really confident going into whichever birth we end up having, although I have everything crossed it is my dream of a home birth.  I’m going to post all about the hypnobirthing course later on but it’s been worth every penny so if you’re pregnant and thinking about hypnobirthing I highly recommend checking out Hannah.

Continue reading

Dressing the Bump in BooHoo Maternity

So you may remember that I posted about how pregnancy really makes me lose myself.  I lose lots of confidence when pregnant and think it’s really important to practice self-care and take the time to dress in a way you still feel like you.

Well, thanks to the lovely folks over at BooHoo, these past two weeks I’ve been dressing in clothes that really make me feel myself again and it really has helped me step out of the door feeling much happier and more confident.

When they offered to send me some bits from their maternity range I spent ages deliberating over what to choose.  I think with maternity wear it makes sense to get stuff that will last the whole way through your pregnancy.  Things that will transition through seasons and also that can be worn in a number of different ways.   The few bits that I decided on are quite simple but it’s the staples that really count I think.  Having wardrobe staples that are flexible and can be worn in many ways means you always have something to throw on, no matter what you are doing or the weather. Continue reading

Losing Yourself When Pregnant

I don’t think I’m alone in finding pregnancy a really difficult time. For a number of reasons but mostly for me with my first pregnancy I really felt like I lost who I was as a person. Even before becoming a mum, which then made me lose myself even more but that’s a whole other post.

Once I started to get bigger and my clothes stopped fitting me I really lost my sense of style. Maternity wear can be so expensive and because most of the time I needed clothes quite quickly I bought things spur of the moment or because I needed them, not because I liked them. It wasn’t long before none of my clothes were really me and therefore I felt a bit lost and uncomfortable in what I was wearing.

Then as the bump got even bigger I no longer recognised my body. Add that to the lack of confidence in my clothes and you can see how easy it is to quickly lose who you are. It may sound vain but your sense of style is a big part of who you are. Or at least I think it is. And I think even if you’re having a day with little confidence if you stick on your favourite pair of jeans it does a lot to help. So not having those clothes to help boost yourself up can leave you feeling pretty deflated. Continue reading

Cooking Up Chaos – It’s a Boy

So last week we went for our 20-week scan.

It was in the afternoon so we dropped Luca off at my mum’s as he didn’t want to come with us and headed to the hospital.  I was feeling so nervous beforehand, the worry of getting in there and something being wrong was quite overwhelming but Ant did a really good job of distracting me and keeping me calm.

We went into the ultrasound room and straight away the lovely sonographer showed us our baby’s heartbeat.  I knew it must be fine as I’d been kicked to death that morning but after losing a baby there is always that niggle in the back of your mind.

Once the sonographer finished her little chat with us she asked if we wanted to know the gender of the baby and after one final check with Ant, I told her we did.   She told us she would do all the checks she needed to and then we would find out.  As she did a full-length check of the baby both me and Ant turned to each other and smiled.  Ant mouthed to me, “I think I might know what it is.”  I was pretty sure I did too.  Continue reading

Cooking Up Chaos – Week 18

So I’ve been pretty crap at posting updates weekly (shocker!). So I just thought I’d do them more haphazardly when there are actually things to report as not much seems to change from week to week apart from the odd small things.

Since I last posted though I’ve started to feel the baby move around and now it’s much more frequently. It’s such a lovely feeling and now I am also much less worried all the time as those little kicks throughout the day are very reassuring.  I’m still getting the weird poking out things and wonky belly as well.

I’ve also started with the joys of hip pain and heartburn since I last posted, BUT the headaches have gone.  You win some you lose some right?  I still can’t drink tea or coffee and the foods I’m averse to seems to be slowly growing.  I’m still not craving anything though.  Well, that’s a lie, I occasionally crave something but that something changes each time. Continue reading

Cooking Up Chaos – Week 14

Gosh, that’s it, the first trimester done.

I can’t believe we have made it to the second trimester.  Those first 10 weeks absolutely dragged and the past 4 have flown.

Grass Seed is now the size of a peach apparently.  Anyone else find that hard to imagine seeing as they aren’t the shape of said examples.  I find it really hard to comprehend but it’s nice to know they are getting bigger. And my tummy is definitely slowly getting bigger too.  This has been the week when I’ve really had to think about investing in some maternity clothes.

Week 14 has been a good one, I’m definitely starting to feel more human again and the bouts of morning sickness have eased off which I’m so thankful for.    I’m still getting really, really bad headaches though this week, I get at least two a day which is absolutely no fun at all.

I’m also already really uncomfortable.  My hips are absolutely killing me, and I can’t even walk at the same pace I used to walk at before which is also no fun.  I’m also very aware of my uterus.  I’m so uncomfortable most of the time and I’m not sure if it’s a second baby thing or if it’s because I’m physically a lot fitter this pregnancy, which I wasn’t with Luca.  So all my stomach muscles are really feeling the stretch and change that’s going on.  Because of that, I’ve decided I’m going to lay off the abdominal stuff for a bit in my PT sessions and see if it makes any difference.

Grass seed keeps doing those weird, trying to escape from my stomach, things and it’s happening more regularly as well now.  But when it’s not poking out in a big lump I can’t feel baby at all.  It’s very strange.  I’m going to mention it to my midwife when I see her next week.

I’ve also weirdly started to want to sleep on my right-hand side.  I usually sleep on my stomach or left-hand side but not anymore.  Apparently, it’s a sign that Grass Seed might be a girl, but I’m not sure I believe in any of the old wives tales about predicting gender.  They are fun to look at though and this little prediction makes Luca and Ant very happy as they both desperately want a girl.


Cooking up Chaos – Week 4 – 12

Welcome to my weekly pregnancy update.   This is quite a long one to catch you up over the previous weeks that have got us to this point but after this, I am hoping to just give you a quick weekly update to share with you how this pregnancy is going and the journey to us becoming a family of 4!!  It feels very odd writing that.

Week 4

So I found out I am pregnant today. I took a test really late at night as I had a spa day planned for tomorrow to celebrate my 30th. My period is late by a few days but I wasn’t really expecting to see those blue lines appear.  I had a feeling I might be pregnant but honestly just thought it was because I really wanted to be.  So those faint blue lines were such a lovely surprise.  I was home alone as well as Ant was working a late shift so had to wait what felt like ages to tell him.

Told a few of my friends at the spa today. It was pretty obvious something was amiss as I wasn’t going in the hot tub or sauna etc. Everyone is very excited whereas at the minute I’m just terrified I’m going to lose this one too. Continue reading

More Chaos Coming Soon

It’s with great joy that I can announce we are expecting another bundle of chaos. After our miscarriage in September, we are over the moon to have a little rainbow baby nestled away in my ever expanding belly. I found out 2 days after my 30th birthday and it’s been the best present I could have asked for.

It’s not been an easy journey to get to this point. There have been months of trying and even a few missed periods that cruelly got my hopes up, but this time it’s for certain. I did multiple tests to make sure. Why do we do that??

I’m currently about 13 +3 weeks pregnant but Luca has known since I was about 7 weeks and has been gleefully telling pretty much everyone he encounters. We didn’t really want to tell Luca so soon but he’d been feeling a little neglected as I’m usually outside bouncing on his trampoline with him or wrestling him but obviously some of that had to come to an end. I feel like he needed to know and he’s been very attentive and caring towards me since we told him.

After our miscarriage, I was feeling quite anxious and so we went for an early reassurance scan at about 7 weeks. They found a perfect little blob in there, exactly in the right place and with a heart beating away as it should be. And although it has reassured me that everything is doing as it should be, I was still very much aware that we weren’t out of the danger zone just yet.

We used the scan picture from our early scan to tell Luca and told him that we think there might be a baby in there but we weren’t sure yet and we need to go back for another picture, later on, to see if it grows into a baby. Just in case.

Luca’s response was pretty brilliant.  He said, “I think it’s probably just a grass seed stuck there like Ronnie had in his foot”. Kids eh?  And as you can imagine it’s kind of stuck and so “bump” is now affectionately referred to as Grass Seed.

We went for our 12-week scan in the half term and were delighted to see a perfectly formed little baby wiggling away.  I was so relieved we didn’t need the get out clause.  And was so happy to be able to show Luca a picture of his baby brother or sister that actually resembled a baby this time.  And now I’m starting to feel much more relaxed and actually beginning to enjoy this pregnancy.  Although not the delightful pregnancy symptoms so much. I have really bad insomnia and feel like I have a constant hangover. But as I felt pretty good last time I’m taking all these crap bits as the best signs that everything really will be ok this time around.

So, for now, I’ll leave it there, and keep you updated regularly as we progress until we get to the point of announcing Grass Seeds safe arrival.  Fingers crossed.

From Bump to Baby: Part 2 Induction & Birth

As I mentioned in Part 1 I am aware these posts aren’t for everyone, but as time passes my memory of the most amazing day of my life is fading.  By getting it written down somewhere I can’t lose it I will always be able to look back and remember in detail the single most amazing time of my life and the thing I am most proud of myself for achieving. 

Warning, this one may be a little graphic! 

continued from Part 1

….We arrived at the hospital and were shown to our bed, no private room for induction ladies, instead a 3 bed ward until everything gets going. 
I was seen straight away and had a Propess inserted for 24hrs.  This is a pessary containing dinoprostone, a chemical which helps soften & open the cervix.  Within half an hour I was getting period pain type feelings and by the end of the day full blown contractions.  
I was determined to get this labour going as I didn’t want the Syntocinon drip, this is a hormone they give you to bring on contractions, so I spent most of the day wandering the corridors, climbing stairs and bouncing on birthing balls.
The next morning, after a sleepless, contraction filled night, the Propess was removed and I was examined.  
Good news, my cervix was dilated enough that they would be able to artificially rupture my membranes or as it’s more commonly known, break my waters. 
Bad news, they were very busy so I would have to wait.

Cue more walking corridors, climbing stairs and bouncing on birthing balls.

By 5pm that evening there was still no sign of me having my waters broken anytime soon and the contractions I’d been having for 2 days were starting to wear off. By this point I was pissed off. I’d (wo)manned through 2 days of contractions for absolutely nothing, was exhausted from lack of sleep and it looked unlikely they would be broken that evening.  I just wanted it all to get moving so I could see my little man at the end of it all. 

Around 11pm that evening with my contractions nowhere to be seen we were sat in the family room watching tv.  I’d told Ant to stay with me that night as I was hoping they may eventually get around to breaking my waters and wanted him there to hold my hand.  I got on my high horse and started to have a long rant about how ridiculous it was that they had wasted my natural contractions and how pissed off I would be if when they broke my waters they didn’t start again and I’d have to be on a drip to get them going.

After about 50 minutes of ranting Luca had clearly heard enough and this strange uncomfortable contraction type pain had me shoot of the sofa in shock.  As I jumped up my waters broke. 

The midwife took me back to my bed to hook me up to the foetal heart rate monitor. Now labour had started (even though it wasn’t active labour) I would have to be continuously monitored to ensure baby wasn’t getting distressed, which is quite common in induced babies.

After 10 minutes the midwife decided to move me to a private room as my contractions were getting strong again.  I was then examined and declared to 3cms dilated.  As I wasn’t in active labour at this point it would be another 4 hours before I was examined again.  I was prepared for the slow countdown to birth.

By this time my mum had arrived and Ant decided to go move the car to a long stay car park, after all we could be there a while.  Within the 15 minutes he left a LOT happened.  I went from coping with my contractions with no pain relief to being in absolute agony.  I couldn’t get comfy, when I stood my legs gave way on me, when I lay down it was too painful.  The gas and air was doing absolutely nothing to take the pain away and all the midwife kept saying to me was “You are in so much pain because your baby is back to back”.  I remember telling her that I knew I’d never had a baby before but I was sure something wasn’t right.  In the end she offered me an epidural as that would be the only thing that would take the pain away. I agreed. 

At this point my mum jumped in.  She knew I had been adamant I would never have an epidural for lots of personal beliefs and reasons.  She told the midwife to check me again as I wasn’t a wuss.  The midwife said no and went to get the anaesthetist.  Ant arrived back and was shocked to see his well held together fiancée now an absolute wreck in such a short space of time.  I couldn’t even talk to him to tell him what was wrong I was in so much pain. 
The anaesthetist came in and talked me through the epidural, I have no recollection of anything she said to me, I was so wrapped up in the pain.  The only thing I do remember is her telling the midwife there was no way she would be able to give me one as I couldn’t keep still.
Now my mum was getting annoyed.  She quite plainly told the midwife she would examine me again as there was something not right and she knew me better than anyone and she knew I wasn’t just being a wuss.

The midwife agreed and I hauled myself back onto the bed.  She examined me, just 20 minutes after my initial examination and found I was 10cms dilated and ready to rock and roll.  I had been in so much pain because I was fighting my body trying to give birth, not because my child was back to back.  The midwife then said to me “Your 10cms, what do you want to do?” I had got myself in a complete flap by this point and her stupid question did nothing to make me feel any better.  What the f**k did she mean what do I want to do?

My initial midwife who’d looked after me since my induction, Leslie, came into the room just at the right time.  She had seen the anaesthetist leave and wanted to check everything was ok.  She gave me  back the gas and air and told me to continuously breath it, not stop between contractions.  After a few good lungfuls I felt my body physically relax, I had been so tense as I was in such a panic.  As soon as my body relaxed nature took over and I pushed without even asking my body to.  After about 20 minutes of pushing Luca’s heart rate fell and they rushed in an obstetrician with some forceps to give me a hand.  They also wanted to give me an episiotomy.  Luckily my midwife knew me quite well by this point and knew forceps or a cesarean were my worst nightmare.  She told them to give me 5 more minutes and I was given the anaesthetic in preparation for an episiotomy. 

I was determined that I could do this without the assistance of forceps, after all this is what my body is designed to do.  After a few more huge pushes on my part he made his miraculous entrance into the world.  

Despite the circumstances of induction, which I hadn’t wanted, I got as close to my dream birth as possible.

Thanks to my amazing midwife Leslie, I gave birth to my beautiful 7lb 8oz baby boy at 1:45pm, just 1hr and 55mins after my waters broke without any further intervention. 

He was quite as a mouse and when they placed him on my chest he just stared into my eyes.  I’m not gonna lie, I was shocked that I didn’t cry when he lay there all perfect. After all I’d been an emotional wreck the whole way through my pregnancy.  I’m not sure if it was the shock of such a fast labour, the relief it was over and I hadn’t had the dreaded forceps or the unfathomable realisation I was now a mummy.  But despite the lack of tears I have never been so overcome with love for anything.  He was perfect and he was mine.

.Unfortunately I sustained a 3rd degree tear.  A 3rd degree tear is a more severe type of tear that involves vaginal tissue, perineal skin and perineal muscle.  Therefore I had to be taken down to theatre to be stitched. 
Instead of putting me under general anaesthetic they gave me an epidural so despite my attempt for no pain relief I had it in the end anyway.
After the surgery I was fit with a catheter so had to stay in for 2 more nights, but we eventually got to take our beautiful little boy home….

Photographs ©LittleLucaandMe