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Mummy Hour! Join me on Twitter for a chat

If you’re on Twitter why not join me for Mummy Hour!

8pm-9pm every Thursday I’ll be Retweeting your comments, questions and topics and discussing them.

It’s a great time for mum’s to grab an hour when (or if) the kids are in beds and get chatting to other mums, you can stay in your PJ’s, drink your tea (or wine) and natter away in the comfort of your own home!

What are you waiting for it’s nearly 8pm, join me over on Twitter.

Don’t forget to tag me @Yummymummysblog and use the hashtag #YMBMummyHour

Yummy Mummy Blog’s Twitter

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We’re the lucky ones

Watching Coronation Street tonight brought back dreadful memories and gut wrenching feelings of when I went into premature labour at 25 weeks and 5 days of pregnancy with Jack.

We’d had heartbreak already in our first two pregnancies, first with a Molar Pregnancy and then with a Miscarriage. Jack was our rainbow baby, our ray of sunshine, once I got past 12 weeks I breathed a sigh of relief, but more heartbreak was yet to come.

At 25+5 weeks I felt a trickle, not like the usual discharge you get in pregnancy, this felt different. I didn’t think much of it, I’d never been this far in a pregnancy before, it was my first successful pregnancy, so maybe this is what happens…I thought to my self. Then I stopped feeling him move as much and something within me just told me to go and get checked.

So I rang the Maternity Assessment Unit and arranged to go in, they gave me an icy glass of water and Jack was back to his wriggling ways, by that point it was very busy on the unit so I did feel like a time waster. I got a rather stressed and huffy midwife who told me she had to do a test because I said I’d felt a trickle but that I’d been “the fourth lady with leaky waters today” that it’d be nothing, just some discharge, so I didn’t even ask what the test entailed I just let her to the uncomfortable swab and started to get my belongings together, ready to go home.

The midwife returned with a very different expression on her face, she suddenly turned very pale and before she opened her mouth a consultant walked in and said “Okay, so what time did your waters go?”….What?

After all the grief we’d been through losing two babies, I never thought the feeling of your heart sinking could get any worse, I was wrong.

The next few days were a blur of needles, swabs and doctors…but what mattered, he wasn’t born. All I can remember is being sat with Paul, cuddling, praying that he stayed put. The fact is the health staff intervened, if they hadn’t Jack would not be here today.

With their support and monitoring, Jack stayed in my womb until 29+5 weeks and then was in NICU for 6 weeks after being born at 3.5lbs. Fast forward 3 years and he’s a happy, bubbly, clever little boy, it’s easy to forget the terrifying experience we went through in his pregnancy and after his birth, but watching what Michelle went through on Coronation Street brought back those feelings and memories.

We are so lucky, we were over the 24 week mark in my pregnancy and our baby boy survived. Kym Marsh went through exactly what her character did in Corrie, who better to act it than someone who has been through it? I don’t know how she found the strength but she’s a strong lady who has done justice for every woman who has gone into premature labour.

Watching her go through that just reminds me what could of been, I know the feeling of being told you are in premature labour, I know the feeling of knowing your child might die, but I am the most grateful and lucky person in the world to not know what it feels like to lose your child, for the hope to be gone.

The episode really highlighted a lot of issues with the way couples are treated in that situation. When I suffered both my Miscarriage and Molar Pregnancy I was put in a room of happy couples who were cooing over their scan pictures of healthy babies, during their ordeal on Corrie, Steve and Michelle had to listen to newborn babies crying, it’s heartbreaking that it is the case that couples aren’t given the privacy and proper setting to grieve and go through this heartbreaking experience and even if the health staff wanted to give that to them, the sad fact is there probably isn’t the facilities.

I never thought I’d feel lucky looking back on what we went through when Jack was born, it was heartbreaking and I wish we never had to go through it, but in reality it is a memory, a story we can tell that ends in success, our baby boy is here and he is healthy, a lot of people don’t have that, their’s ends with grief and that is why…we are the lucky ones.

 

 

 

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Looking back on 2016

For me, December is a time to look back on the year you’ve had an assess what you want from the year to come.

So what has happened for me in 2016? Where do I start?!

I got married!

I had a baby (my first girl).

Jack turned three.

Mikey has turned two..

I’ve started blogging again!

Getting married at 28 weeks pregnant was…an experience! Only joking, I loved it! Everyone thought I was mad and that it would be their worst nightmare to be pregnant on their wedding day, but I loved it! I am completely not a part animal, I love the comfortable life, sitting down, taking everything in and that I did, followed by a couple days in health spa with my new hubby…just what we needed especially before the imminent arrival of our new little one.

Before we knew it she was here, our little baby GIRL Nicole! I still can’t quite believe I have a daughter. Don’t get me wrong I love my boys and I was fully expecting a third boy which I was over the moon with, I had the name picked and everything, but having the experience to have a daughter as well as a son made me feel extremely lucky. She is beautiful and more perfect than I can ever imagine, plus she’s been exclusively breastfeeding from day dot, which has always been a personal goal for me, 14 weeks so far and there’s no sign of stopping! Wahoo!

My little three pound preemie Jack turned three, loves nursery and isn’t sad to be away from mummy (imagine me doing a sad face) I joke! He started three hours of nursery in April and is now up to 6 hours a week and no longer breaks his heart when I leave him, which I love but also makes me say “Awww my baby is growing up”, but I’m so proud of him, he is being praised constantly for his amazing speech and confidence.

My baby moo moo bear Mikey turned two, he has had a progressive year. His speech hasn’t progressed but his personality has, he is a little daredevil, basically the more you scare him the more you like him, so there’s a lot of rough and tumble, he’s a real man’s man. He’s starting speech therapy and portage to help him with his speech and social skills in the new year which I’m very pleased about, I’m a great believer in therapies.

2015 was a year when my Depression took hold a little bit and I stopped writing, which I really missed. I love blogging and I missed it. Don’t get me wrong I have a very full life and love my family, friends, husband and kids but blogging is something that is just for me and I know now even when I am feeling down I need it in my life, it’s like my diary that I share with the world, but I love it,

So it has been a very happy, memorable but manic year! There has been non-stop planning and organising throughout, so it’s safe to say there has been a lot of stress but also a lot of enjoyable times with family and friends.

There are lots of reasons 2016 has been a positive year for me, even though I’d like 2017 to be the complete opposite in the way of craziness, this year holds a lot of fond memories for me.

So now I look forward to a comfortable and quiet 2017 spending lots of enjoyable unorganised time with my family of five.

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The Last Baby

I always knew I wanted a big family, I wasn’t sure how many kids maybe four or five. I didn’t predict the difficulties I’d have in pregnancy due to my Bicornuate Uterus…how could I? So fast forward to full fledged family life I have three kids, am married and have had two Cesareans, which means I can have one more baby and it will have to be a Cesarean the doctors say.

If you’d have asked me a few years ago if I’d like to stop at three children, I’d of said absolutely not! I love them when they are babies and as toddlers and as little people. Even though it’s tough and hard work, I love it, I feel like it is what I was made to do. I’m not looking forward to the time my house is quiet and not overrun by little dictators.

But due to the health problems and risks I have in pregnancy and the practical side of having three kids, I have nowhere, literally nowhere to put a fourth baby when I go out means I’m toying with the idea of this being the point where I stop. I know I could wait a few years and have another one when these three are in school, but then I love the fact these are all close together and I just keep getting the feeling I am done.

There is a feeling of sadness with your last baby, don’t get me wrong I am so full of love, there is so much love in my heart I am overwhelmed, but there is an end of an era like finishing your years of child bearing….which is OK. People tell you, that you should be happy with your lot, well I am, I have three beautiful children and wouldn’t change them. They have given me the best experiences of my life so far and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life loving them, but knowing you won’t go through a pregnancy, birth and newborn, toddler and preschool age again is a little sad. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, it’s just that you’ve loved that part of life so much it’s a bit upsetting when that ends.

When you have the feeling this is your last baby, you hold them a little closer and stare at them a little longer, not because you love them anymore but because your older children have taught you how fast it goes, you wouldn’t change the amazing, hilarious and beautiful people they turn into, but you find yourself telling people it only seems like yesterday they were tiny and you take it for granted amongst the piles of nappies and sleepless nights time seems to pass in a blur, so of course it’s different when you’re holding your last child, your older children have taught you to cherish these tiny cuddly moments, because before we know it the sleepless nights just wanting 5 minutes peace from our newborn will turn into sleepless nights worrying about our teenagers.

So I never thought I’d say it, but Nicole could be my last baby. Not because she’s a girl after two boys, me and Paul had this conversation during my pregnancy when I thought she was a boy. Only time will tell, but to be honest I feel like the luckiest person in the world to have three beautiful babies that are all healthy and I am content with the possibility family is complete.

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My Two Cesareans

My Two Cesarean’s

I’m not going to lie, I never wanted a Cesarean.

I wanted the natural (uncomplicated) vaginal birth, with the baby on my chest straight after and we’d have the special bonding moment then live happily ever after.

Well I have a Bicornuate Uterus so in my case, the above is NOT going to happen. Ladies reading who have a Bicornuate Uterus, don’t be freaked out, this is my situation, not everyone’s with a BU.

So my first son was born vaginally at 29+5 weeks (due to my BU), during the pregnancy a Sonographer assumed I would be having a Cesarean because of the shape of my Uterus which caught me off guard, but because that didn’t happen I just brushed it off.

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Yet my next two pregnancies took the option out of my hands, both pregnancies were fairly similar, even though Mikey was a boy and Nicole was a girl. Both babies were small and breach which meant a lot of scans and check ups. The general consensus through both of those pregnancies were that the babies were unlikely to move out of the breach position due to the shape of my uterus, which was quite heartbreaking for me, because if I’m honest it’s not what I ever wanted.

But I had to give my head a bit of a shake and put the situation into perspective…all that really mattered is that my baby was born safely, so if a Cesarean was the way that had to be done than that’s what I’d do.

I’m going to be brutally honest (and again this is just my experience) the first Cesarean I had with Mikey, wasn’t too bad at first. I was more scared of the Epidural, but after having a breach baby laying in the most uncomfortable position in my body, it was quite nice to not feel anything, until they started to actually cut into me. So I thought you didn’t feel anything…wrong! You feel everything, but you don’t feel any pain. It’s sort of feels like someone doing the washing up in your tummy, so it’s a lot of gritting your teeth and pulling a cringe face, but after experiencing childbirth, this is the more peaceful and least painful way to deliver the baby.

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The recovery time afterwards is what I underestimated, it didn’t help I slipped down the stairs as soon as I got home, but the pain in my scar was there for months afterwards. Sometimes it was real pain and sometimes it was being uncomfortable, like if my knickers were too low or trousers were too tight. It completely put me off ever having a Cesarean again, so I prayed that during my next pregnancy the baby wouldn’t become breach and I could go for a VBAC (Vaginal birth after Cesarean). As this was my first Cesarean, I had nothing to compare it to, but I was told my family that I showed my scar to and health professionals that my scar was really low and that was because of how low Mikey lay.

Then with Nicole, my inkling was right, she was breach and wasn’t budging. So a Cesarean was the plan again, I secretly hoped she would turn last minute, mainly because of the recovery time, I found it really hard with Mikey and then I only had a 10 month old Jack at home but this time I had two toddlers running around and the suggest you lift nothing heavier than your baby…slightly impossible.

So as I prepared myself for the worst, my Cesarean went well but I was surprised by the fact I now had two scars. Everyone I spoke to including the surgeon said he’d cut through the old scar so I’d have only one scar, so that’s what I was expecting, but apparently my old scar was too low, so now I had two. At first I was a bit gutted but actually as time went on I realised this recovery was completely different, I had some pain but nowhere near as bad as after I had Mikey, by the six week point I was completely pain-free.

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Now Nicole is 15 weeks old and my scar causes me no problems at all. It goes to show that every experience is different, even in the same person. I heard so many horror stories and so many positive stories, it turns out that you have no idea how it’s going to be for you until you do it, the same as child birth, except that’s even more unpredictable.

If you’re expecting a Cesarean, try not to be freaked out by all the hype about how awful it is, even if it is painful for a while after, there is lots of support and it won’t last forever. Everyone is different and some people swear by having a Cesarean, so you’ve just got to see what happens for you.

If I have another baby I’ve been told I’d have to have a Cesarean to be safe and actually now I am happy with that. In the grand scheme of things it really doesn’t matter how babies get here as long as they get here safely.

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But you don’t look Depressed…

But you don’t look depressed…

Apparently if you’ve had Postnatal Depression before you are more likely to have it again.

When I first had Depression I didn’t think it was Depression, I thought these were normal feelings after losing a baby, actually after losing two.

Being pregnant again and getting past my “safe point” of 12 weeks during my pregnancy with Jack seemed to help, but then I was taught a harsh lesson about how there is no safe point in pregnancy, when my waters went at 25 weeks and he was then born at 29 weeks. Those same feelings came back and my coping mechanism with life (or lack of) returned, that seems to be my way of spotting when something isn’t quite right with me, if I am suddenly unable to cope with everyday situations.

Of course my baby being born almost 3 months early wasn’t an everyday occurrence, so I cut myself some slack, just because I had the same feelings as when I lost the babies, didn’t mean I was Depressed, right?…Wrong.

I had this amazing baby, finally at home, finally in my arms, yet I felt like I wanted to die. I was so terrified of someone holding my baby and hypersensitive to what people said that I was isolated, but that was okay (to me). My baby had been born early, it was OK to be overprotective, that’s what I thought, and do you know what? I wasn’t wrong, I had every reason to be overprotective, but my fears of leaving the house, even walking down the street were wrong, it was Depression, it turns out it had never really gone, there just happened to be a lot of traumatic things happening around me that gave me even more reason to be sad.

So for a moment I sat and thought about how I may have Postnatal Depression after my first child was born, but I also felt off-colour, maybe I was ill? No…I was pregnant. Jack was three months old and he was going to be a big brother. Well, that answered all my questions, it must have been my hormones making me think like that. They’ll settle down, I thought, then before I had any time to think about myself or what may be going on in my head, or even the joy of a new baby…

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I got the phone call every child dreads, my Mum saying my Dad was having a heart attack. He’d had one before when he was 42, it was very minor and he’d been improving since then, age now 50, I calmly got ready to make my way up to the hospital to check on him, but that wasn’t the case. As soon as my Mum told me, “they said his heart isn’t beating” that’s when I knew it was over, I just knew in the pit of my stomach, he wasn’t coming back.

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So as my bump grew, so did my Depression, but my Dad had died of course I was depressed, it was grief! I’d never thought about the fact that since my first loss with a Molar Pregnancy, which brought with it a Cancer scare, that I had been suffering with Depression all this time, I had the thinking process that once I’d had Mikey I would be OK.

Don’t get me wrong, if you met me on the street or even spent a few hours with me, you’d probably say “You don’t look Depressed”, I was a master of disguising it, partially because I was ashamed, I had two perfect children by this time, what did I have to be Depressed about? And the rest of my fear was telling someone and then once flood gates open, they don’t close.

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There’s also the fear everyone is too afraid to talk about, that your children could be taken away from you, I thought if I told my doctor that I felt like I was worthless and failing in every aspect of my life, that I didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning and I was afraid to leave the house, that he’d think I couldn’t cope and would take my kids away, but this isn’t the case.

Finally I got the courage to go to the doctors over a year after first telling him I felt Depressed and he helped me, I didn’t take antidepressants because I was Breast feeding and didn’t want to stop, but I started counselling, which helped. I found life easier to cope with, I wasn’t afraid to get in a car with the kids in case it crashed, or walk down the street in case someone just took them from me, I felt like I could lead a normal life again, of course I will always grieve for my Dad, but life was manageable again.

So with my fifth pregnancy and third baby, I felt strong, like this time was different. I’d got into a great routine with my boys, they are both great kids, who sleep, eat and behave well (most of the time). There was the everyday stress of life in general, knowing I had to have a Cesarean which wasn’t what I wanted but was safest for baby and planning my wedding, but I was coping.

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So what came next hit me like a tonne of bricks…

My husband Paul and I had a minor argument about 9 days after Nicole was born, it was that minor I can’t remember what it was about, but I remember just thinking “I can’t cope with this…I want to die”. The feelings of anxiety crept back again, I was scared to do things in case something bad happened, yet no-one knew. Since then it’s been like a snowball effect, it’s just got bigger.

There is a stigma that comes with Depression, that you must have a reason for it, it needs to be solvable…but what if it isn’t? I don’t want to feel like this, I hate that I anticipate every situation, conversation and reaction, but I can’t help it. I’ve got Depression…again, and it isn’t fussy who it chooses.

So I don’t look Depressed…

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I can tell you, you’re right I don’t have the face of Depression because there isn’t one, it doesn’t matter who you are, how much money you have, what religion you are or what race you are, Depression can affect anyone at anytime.

I have three beautiful healthy children, an amazing husband and a loving family, I have every reason in the world to be happy and I am a lot of the time, but when I have a chance to gather my thoughts, or I’m faced with an everyday situation, I crumble.

Being Depressed doesn’t make me a bad mother, I love my kids, I look after them and I do everything in my power to make them happy. There isn’t even a question in my mind that I’d rather be anywhere or doing anything else than being with my kids, but the stigma of Depression leaves people feeling like they don’t deserve their children and this just isn’t the case.

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If you are suffering with Depression, you need to talk to someone. Whether it is a family member, friend or a doctor. Let someone who cares know how you are feeling, there is no way out of it alone, I’ve learnt that the hard way, I’m about to start Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, in the hope I can put these horrible feelings behind me.

The only way to fight it is to talk to someone, Depression wants to isolate you…don’t let it.

Here’s some support links:

MIND

PANDAS

Mothers for Mothers

PNI

House of Light

APNI

The SMILE Group

 

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A break from blogging

So  I’ve had a bit of a break from blogging the last few months. I’ve really missed it and feel there are so many things I have missed recording about my little monkey’s.

To re-cap I have two little boys Jack (2.5 yrs) and Michael (1.5 yrs) and write about all the trials and tribulations of being their mummy. Since I stopped blogging things have changed quite a lot, I am now expect a baby GIRL!

I will talk about my pregnancy more in upcoming posts but I’m still in shock it is a girl!

I just wanted to write a quick post about why I haven’t been blogging for a while, there has been no major reason other than life just getting in the way.

So now I have my 2yr old, 1 yr old, 20 weeks Pregnancy and my wedding in 8 weeks! Safe to say I have plenty to write about…..