Normalcy

We have a walker on our hands! Last week after a while of taking one step and thinking better of it, Dylan decided to show off to his girlfriend when they were on their play date and took not just a few steps but a whole bunch of them! I knew he could do it and just needed the confidence to do it ๐Ÿ˜€ We didn’t get to go see the Coca Cola truck on the tour because of he has been really suffering with his gums, but after a few very very bad nights, he actually slept pretty well: Saturday night, he self settled on his one and only wake up of the night. It was much needed!

I have embraced the planner world and I feel like I am regaining control. I have an Erin Condren Life Planner which is the home planner, and will be a keepsake and as a documentation of our year:

and I have this compact Saffiano Filofax, which I managed to get really cheap thanks to a heads up from the girls on the UK Planner Addicts community on Facebook,ย with a December trial of DIYfish v3s1. As it is a compact it will be kept in the bag for out & about. The inserts from fish are absolutely brilliant, I was looking over the catalogue trying to figure out what would be a good insert for me at the moment and I chose the weekly on 2 pages (v3) as day on 2 pages was a bit overkill for what I needed. It was a toss up between style 1 and 5, but I chose 1 for December. May choose 5 for January though and decide which one is the best from there ๐Ÿ™‚

I got a job! You may remember back on the post “Countdown Begins”ย that I wrote about a job that I was keeping my fingers crossed for? That’s the one I got! I had a phone interview and when I didn’t hear anything back within the 5-7 days, I called them up before being asked in for a face-to-face interview on the Thursday and was called with a job offer on the Monday before starting Saturday. A lot to take in, especially on 3 hours sleep (my poor little guy and his gums) on my first day but luckily it was health & safety and forms to fill in, and my very first shift is actually this Saturday. But looking forward to getting into the swing of things and settling into a new routine.

And I got new shoes from work:

Countdown begins…

3 days. 3 freaking days! My not-so-little-anymore baby turns 1 on Saturday! This past year has been incredibly… I don’t even know the right word as it was just a mish mash of emotions.

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“Seriously mum? Must you insist on taking photos all the time…?” He looks so grown up!

He has for quite a few nights been so clingy that I reverted back to co-sleeping if he absolutely would not sleep in his cot. He is really out of sorts with his cold and teething. Poor little dude. But doesn’t he look so handsome with his hair styled after his bath? LOL

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Dylan loves playing with his cousins. He got to hang out with little cousin Oscar on Gareth’s birthday at a big soft play in Cardiff.

Oscar & Dylan

and lots of attention from his big cousins Elijah and Oliver too! Here he is being tickled by Elijah.

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We shall be having a small tea party for his birthday with Gareth’s family. Super grateful that Gareth, Dylan and myself will get to spend the day together for his birthday ๐Ÿ™‚

At the moment I am lucky that the monkey is napping in his cot at the moment so I can get all my paperwork up together for the job centre as I have an appointment tomorrow. This fortnight has seen another 5 applications made, and currently one rejection but hearing anything back is quite rare, but at least getting that rejection means you know where you stand. There is one job in that 5 I am keeping everything crossed for. It is weekend work pretty close to home and more than minimum wage in retail and I put my CV in to the store last week.

But all the stressing about everything has had consequences and that is my colitis is flaring. I am putting off phoning the IBD team at hospital for now by upping my meds to what they were originally (3 caps, once a day was keeping symptoms at bay and the nurses agreed for me to keep it at that, so I’m back to 3 caps, twice a day).

Just need to keep a positive outlook on everything.

10 months

It was a little sad celebrating Dylan’s 10 month milestone when it turned out to be the day that Robin Williams passed away. ย Photos of him just seem to be a blur these days. I want to update my cover photo on Facebook but long gone are the days he would stay where he was put!

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I think this was the closest I could get to a photo that I could use! ย That face melts me every time.

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Can’t really get cuddles much either, as he constantly wants to be on his feet but hasn’t found his balance yet. But he sure loves tickles! We are also on tooth number 3! (They are like buses!)

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I adore Curious George, and no matter what we are doing, at 8am we stop to watch George. I find there is something strangely comforting about this show, I just love it and I cannot for the life of me put my finger on what it is. For me, the day is off to a bad start if we do not watch George.

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My fitbit needed sprucing up, so I did this which has since come off, but that will be for another post I’m sure, as I have had my fitbit since 2nd January so I should do a post about it!

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S, how is the weight loss going? ย Pretty well I’d say! Over a stone off (148lbs starting, currently another lb off so 133lb currently) and just 1 more stone to go! Slow and steady wins the race after all ๐Ÿ˜‰ This does mean I am going to have to go clothes shopping :/ I really dislike clothes shopping!

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As for the job hunting? Meh, do not ask. I have been on 1 interview which I still haven’t heard back about and have managed to apply for the same 1 job on 3 different occasions.

Wait a minute!

I am not ready for it to be July yet! It’s only now having Dylan around, I realised how fast time truly goes. I look at him now and see less of a baby and more of a little boy with his own little personality.

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He loves the Bewitched introduction, and often stops what he is doing to watch it!

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He is coming on leaps and bounds, sits up unaided lovely and mostly enjoys holding on to hands so he can get up on to his feet and has got the hang of “walking” (with help of course!) even if he does look like he’s had a few LOL, he enjoys being on his feet! This is Dylan sitting in nanny & grampy’s caravan in the back garden:

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Speaking of caravans, we had our very first family holiday ๐Ÿ™‚ Visit to the zoo, exploring the Devon Cliffs site, going on the beach and playing in the pool. I’m sure Dylan had a great time! Not a bad view from our lounge area either!

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But it’s back to reality now, and sorting out things going forward…

May

… Remember me…? I’m not going to give you the usual “it’s been crazy/busy/hectic” (though it has been).
I have been filling times being pinned to the sofa with a baby who refuses to sleep so I often get my glasses whacked off my face as I wrestle him into submission and he finally drifts to sleep and then I have been working on my family tree as well as having Disney videos (Phil, Emma and Ben ones, Steph & Jeff ones, and SeeYaReelSoon ones all on YouTube).
My family tree on ancestry has an impressive 188 people on it, the furthest I have traced back to are my 4 times great grandparents on my mum’s side but I still have to find their birth years & through the community I have for information from a few people who are distant relatives of mine, the most recent being a gentleman whose grandfather was the brother of my 2 times great grandfather. I am waiting on a letter from my grand aunt in Australia for information on her father as he has me completely stumped, and I sent her pictures of Dylan too ๐Ÿ™‚ once I have that information I will be using my 14 day free ancestry trial which I have been saving for when I hit the wall and cannot find anymore information as I have been doing it all using their free access weekends though its limited in the records you have access to. I would also love to know about my great grand uncle who died in 1916 by accidental drowning while in the navy. I clearly have been spending far too much time watching lots of episodes of “who do you think you are” whilst stuck on the sofa!

I so wished I was having the time to work on Dylan’s album… According to that I am still pregnant and just had my 12 week scan so I am terribly behind, but unless it’s on the telly or I can do it on my phone, it seems lately it just isn’t being done. Otherwise I run errands, play with Dylan, try and squeeze some housework in and then to get Dylan to nap I hold him in my arms and catch up on my shows (teen mom 3, generation cryo, goodnight sweetheart, the upper hand, who do you think you are & undercover boss). It has got to stop though, ditto the taking up the entire double bed at night time, and he will be forced to sleep in the cot.

Thankfully at baby group I met a mummy who lives around the corner from me with her daughter who has got me into a course for “Learning through play” for 2 hours a week with a free creche (it’s fab, we spend about an hour or so going over syllabus and then spend time with the children in the creche and do an activity with them) and this week I also started a cookery group at another local school which also has a free creche.

It’s hard to get my head around the fact Dylan is now 7 months old! Time has disappeared away from me. I have a mere 2 months left of maternity leave left and then I need to find a new job, and we are also going to look at moving as we are only in a 1 bed flat. It’s all getting really overwhelming thinking about it all.

February

So here we are, over 8 weeks on from my last post, and to be honest things are pretty much the same. Weeks have been filled with appointments; from doctors, to hospital, to drop in clinics… Dylan’s reflux got worse again and more medicines for him. My flare continued and so I had to go to hospital, where more blood tests ensued (I swear, if I get a month without being a human pincushion, I shall celebrate!) just Thursday 6th I had to go to hospital to be an outpatient for a quick procedure, which I was super grateful for it being quick as I had Dylan to look after which is why sedation wouldnโ€™t have been an option and had dropped him off with my mum at her office which she only works across the road from the hospital and her work colleague and boss are great in the fact they let my mum look after him at work while I attend my appointments if its not going to be a straightforward one. Of course because its the day time after being in the car and being pushed around too in the iCandy he’s out for the count and as good as gold which also helps as he doesn’t disturb anyone ๐Ÿ™‚

We are trying hard to get into a routine, and I love spending all my time with this little handsome guy!

Lots of kisses and cuddles ๐Ÿ™‚ We are actually off to our first baby group tomorrow, because we didn’t have any appointments this week mercifully. Well, he is due a weigh in which luckily is in the same room as baby group so two birds & one stone and all that. I’m really nervous about meeting the mums there! I hope he enjoys it ๐Ÿ™‚

There is an advert on TV from SMA that it’s always good to remember!

I must go now as Dylan keeps kicking the pull out part for the keyboard in the hideaway desk thing we have and it keeps pushing it away lol!

Time Flies

Little man is 11 and a half weeks already & another year is over. On 4th November I ended up being taken in to hospital by ambulance with chest pains. It was so bad that I couldn’t hold Dylan, I was feeding him and I was crying from the pain and had to ask Gareth to take over. Thankfully after an X-ray and an injection to thin my blood as I had a suspected pulmonary embolism, I was sent home to go in the next day for a CT scan. However the scanner was broken which meant another trip to hospital for an injection and the following day finally I got my scan but it didn’t go smoothly. After 2 hours waiting around and 3 failed attempts to get a cannula in I was sat in tears just wanting to go home to my son thinking I couldn’t take anymore. I had to have an anaesthetist do an ultrasound on my arm to find a vein as I had so many needles that they couldn’t successfully do it without, and my cannula was put in and a scan was done, but the only explanation was that it was either a very small blood clot that it wouldn’t cause any problems or the chest pains was “one of those things”. I have been back and forth between home & doctors/hospital and it was wearing me down. Just yesterday I had to go to the doctors (and take poor Dylan out in that awful weather!) for yet another blood test. The good news is the chest pains are no more though. 7th November we lost my nan (my mum’s mum) and I went with my mum to see her in the funeral home. I had never seen a dead body before, but I had to do it, especially to be there for my mum and support her & though it was emotionally hard and upsetting, it was nice to see nan at peace. I spend nighttime awake with Dylan as he is always so unsettled at night. Sadly day time isn’t spent catching up on sleep… I honestly don’t know how I am still functioning but I am grateful for my parents who have taken Dylan overnight so I can catch up on sleep and when staying overnight at my mother in law’s house, she lets me & Gareth have her bed to sleep in and takes over the night shift from me with Dylan so that I can rest up… So 4 ish nights from the last 11 and a half weeks that I have got some sleep. It’s tough going but ask any parent, and they will no doubt say the same: just holding your child, cuddling them and looking into their eyes… Every single second has been without a doubt worth it all, and I wouldn’t change a thing. Dylan is smiling now and it melts my heart every time. Just putting him on to comfort milk has made him a different baby. We had a lovely Christmas & Dylan got some lovely gifts from Santa including a baby memory box with his initial on it & some foot & wrist rattles he loves ๐Ÿ™‚ 2013 had a little shaky start & pregnancy and the start of parenthood was difficult for me, I am so glad to have my little prince with me. 2014 is going to be a good year. I have been working on a December daily so that Dylan’s first Christmas was documented so when it is finally completed I will share ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy new year everyone!

Welcome Dylan

The last 2 weeks have been ridiculously crazy. Today should have been my last day at work before I took 2 weeks off as annual leave before going straight into my maternity leave awaiting our arrival whose due date was 21st November.

But on the 10th October, I started work at 7.30 as I needed to leave work at 4 so I could make my routine 34 week midwife appointment at 4.30, and it was just a regular Thursday otherwise. I was the midwife’s final appointment of the day and she was running a little late, and when I went in we did the usual: urine test, blood pressure and go through my list on Evernote of problems I had been having (mainly very bad swelling in my feet and ankles which in the last couple of days had spread up into my knees) I had protein in my urine and my blood pressure went from 160/100 to 170/100 a mere 5 minutes later.

She wasn’t happy and thought something wasn’t quite right, called the triage at the hospital who agreed that I should go in, and she told me to pack an overnight bag just in case they wanted to keep me in for observation, but I had to get someone to take me. Luckily I didn’t live far from the doctors surgery so it was a short drive back home and I called my parents as my hubby was still at work (and luckily not in the new office in Bristol!) so I got home, grabbed my backpack which I loaded with a few snacks as I figured I wouldn’t get tea and chucked some PJs and a change of clothes to go home in the next day, and my parents came to pick me up and take me in.

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We sat and waited until Gareth came in and my parents left. I was taken in, they monitored my blood pressure and hooked me up to a machine to keep an eye on baby who was doing just fine… It seemed that it was me who was the problem. I felt like my body was once again letting me down, and both me and Gareth discussed getting a McDonald’s on the way home as we were both really hungry but my plans of getting in from the midwife and having my chicken dinner and a nice shower and washing my hair had gone completely out of the window, and neither of us could be bothered to cook so late.

It had gone 10pm when they said they were keeping me in so Gareth went home and they moved me up to the maternity ward and I tried to settle down for the night in my PJs. I was given a cheese and pickle sandwich as I hadn’t eaten and I was hungry but I couldn’t settle. I was getting pounding headaches and my blood pressure was still really high that a nurse told me I had pre-eclampsia and generally when you have that you have pretty fast labours. I tossed and turned but I didn’t quite feel right, so I got up off the bed to grab my drink when all of a sudden I felt like I had wet myself! It was about half past midnight by now and the trickling would come and go every time I moved. I wasn’t entirely sure I needed a wee in the first place but I toddled off to see the nurses in their room and get some help. The same nurse who told me I had pre-eclampsia came and helped me out and I was really hoping, as embarassing as it was, that I had peed myself! She got a doctor to come and see me and check what had happened. Nope, it was definitely my waters that had broken! I text Gareth to let him know what had happened but as the nurse said there was no urgency and he didn’t need to come in. In hindsight, it had turned out I had lost my mucus plug the day before which could have been a bit of a sign really, but I was hooked back up to the machines and was monitored… I was having the start of contractions and wasn’t even aware. Again, turns out what I thought was baby moving was actually tightenings. I was blissfully unaware!

Less than half an hour later I was being moved to the delivery suite so I had to call Gareth back up and tell him that in actual fact he needed to come in to hospital pretty quickly. By 2am I was 4-5cm dilated and I was having a bit of gas & air, and when it came time to push I stopped that all together, and we welcomed our precious Dylan to the world ๐Ÿ™‚ Born at 4.45am and weighing 5lb 6oz on 11th October 2013.

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He got to have cuddles with his dad for about 45 minutes while I got stitched back up (happily back on the gas & air by that point! It was wonderful, didn’t exactly take away the pain but it certainly made you feel out of it enough that it didn’t matter! For that reason I never got to spend time with Dylan as I wasn’t “with it”) and then they whisked him off to the special care unit, purely as a precaution as he was born so early. He ended up having to have the lamp for his jaundice which was pretty normal for babies too.

I struggled as I still had the pre-eclampsia swelling and it was pretty much all over, my stitches were giving me grief, I was struggling to sleep and I was missing my little man and could only see him if I got someone to wheel me in a chair down the next floor. I was in hospital until Tuesday, and was discharged but it was so difficult as I packed up all my belongings looking forward to going home but though I had all my clothes and toiletries, I was still leaving my son behind. For 2 days I was home I ended up having to go to the doctors as an emergency appointment as my uvula swelled so badly that I choked on it a few times, and I was still trying to express to be able to breastfeed, which is very difficult when you have a premature baby who is away from you. Then I was having to take penicillin (they ruled out an infection but it was a precaution), my steroids and the rest of my meds and it was getting increasingly difficult having to express every 3 hours, including during the night, take the antibiotics 4 times a day equally spaced throughout the day an hour before food, my steroids that needed to be taken with food, and get into the hospital to visit my boy a couple of times a day and try and establish breastfeeding with him as well as eating healthy home cooked meals… It was beyond taking its toll on all of us.

Luckily enough one of the nice nurses on the special care ward managed to get me a bed on the transitional care ward on Thursday night which meant I would get to spend a minimum of 24 hours living in the hospital with Dylan and have a nurse to keep an eye on us too, until he was ready to be discharged.

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It was nice to be with him, but being on a ward with 3 other women and their babies was just as hard. Though we had the nurses should we need them, I felt like we were circus monkeys proving that we could look after our little ones, and night times once you had settled your own baby back off to sleep, one of the others would start to cry… so sleep was very difficult. But you couldn’t deny, I had the best view from my bed ๐Ÿ™‚

Sunday evening we were finally discharged and we went home! For my sanity it was just what I needed!

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Today Dylan turned 2 weeks old! But yesterday Gareth got a trapped nerve in his neck to make things even more trying for us, but we are plodding along and enjoying our little Prince ๐Ÿ™‚