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 🙂 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 🙂

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 🙂

33 weeks

How is it October already? I remember thinking back to March when this part of the journey began and both me and Gareth thinking that November was forever away… Now it’s right around the corner and even with so much planning and years of making the decision for the right time, it still doesn’t quite prepare you for the fact that within just 7 weeks we will be responsible for another human being. Some days I can’t get my head around it but know that it’s coming and sometimes it doesn’t even register in my mind and I feel like it won’t hit me until our baby is laying on my chest after giving birth.

It truly has been crazy times so far, and I wouldn’t have gotten through it all without my darling husband by my side and both cheering each other on as we go along and the support… Next month without a doubt will be one of the hardest, as hubby’s job has been relocated and the commute will be torturous, even more so with the lack of sleep with a newborn (whenever baby arrives) and the fact that me and baby won’t get to spend as much time with him in the week as we would like. Even more grateful for the fact my aunt lives around the corner and my parents and my brother with his family lives just down the road so I have them all nearby should I need them, and a fantastic online community that I belong to with a mixture of first time mums with the same questions as me and mum’s who have been there before and are a wealth of information of things that worked for them willing and ready to share with us “noobs”. I feel incredibly grateful to the people I work with as well. In just 3 weeks I go on annual leave which then goes straight into my maternity leave. They provided me such a fantastic opportunity to work with them and I couldn’t have asked for more wonderful, compassionate and understanding people to work with either. When I was at my absolute lowest after grieving and being made redundant after 8 years in my job back in January, they took me in and took a chance on me. When we had a tough start to the pregnancy and not to mention the last month or so with the health issues I have been having and have been in and out of the doctors and hospital more times than I care to remember over all that time, they were so accommodating. I can already foresee me getting rather tearful on my last day! The preparations continue, and as I am full term from Halloween we are frantically going over checklists and doing everything we can to make sure we are all done by the end of the month, just in case. Well old wives tales suggest that you follow your mother when it comes to birth, I was 3 days early and with my brother who was due in September she actually ended up going into labour that summer, but luckily the doctors were able to stablise her and she then went on to give birth to him on his due date! Then there are the health problems I have which can mean I am higher risk (but doesn’t necessarily mean I will!) of having the baby early. So it just makes sense to be prepared by then I suppose! We do have the cot up ready to go: Untitled I have been doing lots of baby clothes washing, organising everything so I know where I am (thank you evernote for saving my sanity!)  I have labelled boxes of clothes for when baby grows out of the newborn and 0-3 month clothes and the mini drawers next to the cot that used to house my craft supplies are also labelled so that when daddy helps out, he knows where everything is and goes 😉 My checklists are being whittled down to the last few bits, and even though I started it back a couple of months ago now, the one thing that is proving difficult has to be the hospital bag. Lots of items that has been recommended by previous mums, some of which I’ve packed and I feel like I don’t even want to know why they suggested them! It appears to be a general theme amongst the community anyway, possibly because once it’s packed it’ll be a bit more real (you know, forget the cot being up and the pram, baby bath, car seat etc all taking up space in our little flat and having them all ready to go… Once the hospital bag is packed, that’s it! LOL!) My mum took me out at the weekend to pick up my labour nightie, changing mat (an awesome Lion King one! There is a huge Disney theme with this baby I would like to point out!) and black towel (again, something suggested by previous mums and you just try and not think about why they suggest that it be black, and why it’s best to use an old t-shirt or a cheap nightie that you don’t mind if it gets ruined.) It’s slowly coming together. I think I just require some snacks and make sure the cameras are charged up and pack baby clothes, and clothes for me for after. I’m in the mindset that as scared as I am, it needs to be done. Baby has to come out eventually! And while being terrified of the unknown, everyone knows that freaking out and tensing up will just make it all that much worse… Though ask me again while I’m actually IN labour and I might be saying something completely different by then HAHA! As for those health problems, my colitis was still continuing to give me grief, not to mention struggling with the general pregnancy complaints (hello sexy cankles! Haha!) Untitled The IBD nurses had to speak with the consultant and explain the meds I had been given as well as the advice but still nothing was working and I was finally switched off the steroids I was put on a few weeks back, much to absolute relief as they weren’t working and I was struggling with them, and switched to a different type with a much higher dosage from 5mg up to 30mg. The leaflet made for some scary reading but I was assured little one would be fine & I now have to carry a card around with me that mentions my new meds in case I’m in an accident or to show anyone who needs to treat me. And I will be on them up until around my due date (ish) as I need to decrease the dosage by 5mg each week as it can be dangerous to just come off them at a high dose. And seriously? 5 days in and I cannot believe the difference already, even that afternoon of my first dose (I have to take them with breakfast) and I am finally feeling hopeful that these will work and help me get back into remission! I’m having a little side effect which in the grand scheme of things is tolerable. It will take a while as my body needs to adjsut to all the changes, and as my hubby came with me to one of my appointments and asked as I had been doing so well up to the third trimester, if it could be baby putting a bit of stress on my body and causing the flare which they agreed was highly likely. So I may find within months of giving birth, if I haven’t already, I could be back into remission as my body will have recovered.  Though at the moment, I have a heck of a lot of meds to take! Untitled My mum often explained what it was like when she had me, and while I understood what she was explaining to me, it was as if I never truly *got* it. But from the beginning when I thought we were going to lose this little one and the absolute relief and joy when we realised all was OK, and over the months having this bond and being with baby 24/7, feeling movements and hiccups and not being able to sleep so playing “guess the limb” at 4am as I sit and watch a foot, bum or a hand poking out the side of my tummy… I am just so ridiculously in love with this little person and I’ve not even met them yet. Even if the little person in question likes to poke and prod around my left hip and make me wince and yelp, and the movements are becoming much stronger that pain has been inflicted! I had another consultant and scan appointment and baby’s growth is continuing to be average, which I could not be more relieved about! Especially after the continued flare I have been having. And, yeurgh – yup more blood tests done! Baby is so low down though they could not measure the head but femur length and abdomen are all hunky dory! I have never been a baby person, but I always knew I’d love to be a mummy some day and as my mum explained that she was the exact same as me (seriously, I have a photo of me and my cousin’s daughter on her christening. I couldn’t look anymore terrified or awkward if I tried!) but she said as soon as you hold your very own baby in your arms, everything else goes out the window and your mothering instincts kick in. And I cannot wait 🙂 And here’s my 33 week bump picture: Untitled We’re on the home stretch, and looking forward to spending some quality time with the hubster this weekend as he will be back to normal for a few weeks before he has to settle into his new permanent routine of commuting to Bristol every day for work, so we are going to make these weeks count!

Doctors, hospital & tests, oh my!

It has been quite the week so far, but with everything that’s been going on the last few weeks that I hadn’t blogged I just had to fit it in this week, no excuses!

Just this week I have had doctors visit, hospital visit, midwife visit, a ridiculous amounts of blood taken for various tests as I also had quite a scary turn with my colitis on Tuesday night that saw me visiting just in one day visiting the doctor who then got me in to the hospital that afternoon. At my previous midwife appointment, my bump was measuring a week behind (24 weeks at 25) and this week at 28 weeks bumpy is measuring 29 weeks. Well, after the colitis flare (which is easing up each day! yippee!) this is a huuuuge relief! I’m really looking forward to my scan on Monday now to see how the little one is doing where I was worried before. Though my poor arm after all the blood was taken and it bruised, actually turned blue during the last 2 vials that needed to be done, is very sore at the moment… and my beloved husband hasn’t given me any sympathy… Boohoo!

This is my pregnancy journal as it stands so far, mainly just talking about the falling pregnant part up to the 12 week scan. I really need to get the first scan at almost 8 weeks in there, I can’t believe I forgot that!

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And hubby has been playing with his Back to the future lego!

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How I’m using Evernote to help plan for the baby

If you haven’t checked out Evernote (videos), then I highly recommend that you do 🙂 I’ve have been a casual user for a couple of years now, just keeping ideas noted down and some images just like I would in a regular notebook but it’s super handy to have them with me everywhere I go in digital format, recipes I find online, and notes on scrapbook page ideas (and photos to go with it) while it is still fresh in my mind. I have even taken some of my paper notebooks with my doodles in them and have them backed up to Evernote! I have the set list from Hanson’s Birmingham concert back in November 2011 nicely noted down in here while I was at the concert as I didn’t want to forget, a list of our Disney DVD collection, and Christmas gift ideas which I add to each year when inspiration strikes. It’s funny how much I’ve come to love this handy little tool!

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But the one thing that has made me a heavy user of late is preparing for the baby…

My notes include:
Images of baby clothes (newborn, 0-3, 3-6, 6-9 & 9-12) [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][I started a “Baby Clothes” notebook specifically!] Baby clothes wish list clipped from the web/images snapped from catalogues
Birth Plan
Weight gain
Budget advice clipped from Bounty website
Notes to take to my next midwife appointment so I don’t forget what to mention
Images of 12 & 20 week scans
“Thank you” so I can remember as we go along who we get gifts from so we can write thank you notes
My Milestones (When felt baby move, bump measurements)
Copy of my MATB1 before I sent it off to my employer
My Maternity notes… Yes, I sat and “page captured” all the pages from my Maternity Notes book (and best of all it’s now searchable!), my notes are with me EVERYWHERE in my pocket… Much relief!
Baby scrapbook notes, typing out information to include into my scrapbook before I write them down onto the journal cards.
Copies of hospital letters (also page captured and searchable)
“Baby essentials” clipped from Babycentre/what baby needs, taken from various birth group ladies
“Hospital bag” noted from websites/birth group ladies
Money notes (SMP/Maternity allowance information, Links to benefits/cost of childcare)
Checklist of what we still need to buy baby

baby notebook

I hope my list inspires you to give it a try :)[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

New Daily Grind post!

A-woo-hoo! I was sat thinking the other week that I love Thursdays lately, mainly because How I Met Your Mother is on TV as well as Big Bang Theory and we love sitting down together and watching it, and I really wanted to capture that and I hadn’t actually done a Daily Grind/Day in the Life project in such a long time so I decided I was going to do one. It was also by chance that Ali Edwards posted about her monthly Day in the life, and it was going to be the same day as the day I chose without realising. Of course her photos are so much more nicer than mine, but this grind was done purely on my iPhone!

http://kirstybase.com/photolog/27-06-13/

My original hosting package was limited and so I moved my Grind over to google sites (100MB free space so I figured it would do at the time) but luckily I logged into my cpanel and viewed my host’s website and found out that I have had quite a boost to my hosting package! Well that was it, I moved my grind back over to my domain of course and instead of a regular site I have done it as another WordPress site. I have tried Joomla and Drupal, but quite frankly I loved the familiarity of WordPress (it turns out, I’ve been using it for about 8 years now! YIKES!) and ALL my sites are now WordPress. Ha! I have done a simple design for the site and I’m pleased with how it looks.

I know how nice it is to look back on how things used to be “back in the day” and seeing photos of my great grandmother sat at my nan’s house in her usual spot, and the fact that in all these years, I still love the chicken and baked bean combination for tea! Be it chicken kiev with beans, chicken chargrill with beans or my latest: cripsy chicken, chips & beans LOL! And when baby comes along, it’ll be even more special to remember this time we have just the two of us and have it documented.

And whilst listening to an episode of The Daily Digi podcast I heard about Jolicloud, and it’s so nice to think that all my free cloud storage is accessible in one place so that everything I have in all different places will be much easier to locate now 🙂 Please feel free to use my referral links as if you sign up you get free space and so do I:

Box – REFERRAL LINK

Dropbox – REFERRAL LINK

Where’s my glow?

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I have been getting lots of freebies for baby, and with such boxes as my Cow & Gate and Aptamil (above) with the company logo all over the packaging, I have no doubt our postie knows our news LOL!
My latest colitis appointment was a relief, I was told to double my current meds so we can put off having to take steroids a little longer. Though my symptoms have all kind of combined into my pregnancy symptoms. Everything I have read so far say how in the second trimester things get easier and you have a pregnancy glow… Well I am still tired (could be colitis though) but one thing is for sure the feeling that I am breathing fire which I’ve had since the beginning, is definitely baby related! 😀 I have the teenage outbreak over my face, but I’m savouring it all, but just wondering where that elusive glow is!

It’s strange, even though it’s been in the planning stages for about 2 years (tracking periods, wanting to be married for long enough that we got to enjoy the time just the 2 of us, assessing where we were in our jobs and when we felt ready etc) It still doesn’t seem real. I often just take a moment, sit and think “there is a baby in my tummy!”

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Start of a new one

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I have Taz’s collar & his blanket. I miss him so much 🙁

But it’s about time we had some good news…

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Thankfully we can start telling people, that we are expecting 🙂  Which is a relief because of baby & colitis bloating, I’ve been trying to hide this…

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Still far too early for me to be showing (due date is November 21st)! I look forward to when the bloating goes down and I get a proper bump 🙂

End of an era

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Monday last week was one of the hardest days. Taz went to the vet as his health has been failing and he never came home as he was put to sleep.  My adopted furry little brother is gone 🙁


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Making the most of the bank holiday Monday, lots of work to do around the flat. Gareth is repainting the bathroom and the garden needs tidying up too, thank heavens for the gloriously sunny weather.

Carpet be gone!

Carpet be gone!

Finally today the health hazard of  a carpet was removed and new flooring put down, I am so excited & happy! (Ah the joys of settling down and getting old, a new Dyson vacuum cleaner and new flooring in your bathroom and you think it’s your birthday and Christmas all rolled into one! HA!)

It’s been quite a stressful few weeks health wise too, and after getting nowhere with the NHS I ended up going to a private hospital in the next town for a check up, and now a letter is being written to my colitis consultant at the regular hospital and I’ve been given the thumbs up, so a HUGE relief! I’m hoping soon enough I will be OK to go back to zumba class but for now I’m quite content lazing on the sofa & taking it easy getting Hubby cuddles 😀

And while lazing on the sofa, I get to catch up on class. I’m doing Cathy’s “Clean & Simple: The Workshop” over at Big Picture Classes. I love it so far, but I am a week behind on the assignments. Bit of catching up this weekend methinks!

 

Turning 30

Clearly all the changes that had happened thus far in 2013 wasn’t enough for me, and the day before I turned 30, I went a bit loopy…

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… and I had all my hair cut off!

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Well most of you who know me or my story already will be fully aware that I donate my hair to charity, so little girls with cancer can have a wig from it 🙂 Though it’s a BIG difference getting used to less hair, but with everything that had been going on I figured why not cut it all off and have a fresh start?? New job, new year, new hair do… It just seemed rather fitting!

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The ponytail was a few inches shorter as they needed a little bit extra there to work with to get the style I was after, so once my ponytail was cut I had a nice bob like I normally had, but I wanted a pixie do!

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Gareth has been quite ill lately and in a lot of pain, so my birthday was cut short as I looked after my poorly husband who went to hospital on Monday, and that meant valentines was put on hold as well. But it wasn’t all bad… I got myself 2 Project Life’s to play with! The big 12×12 binder which I am not going to be doing weekly spreads as everyone is doing. Nope, mine is just going to be a regular scrapbook, but the ease of the system was far too wonderful to pass up! Bit gutted Seafoam Core Kit had sold out, but it’s OK… I am going to be doubly sure to get the Midnight edition when it is released. I love Paislee Press, Liz is one of my favourite digital designers! Other favourites of mine are One Little Bird, Three Paper Peonies, and Digital Design Essentials… and speaking of Project life I purchased Seafoam at ACDigitals.com and Traci Reed has a sampler over at her blog, which I adored so much I purchased her version of the templates!

I printed off a bunch of the Seafoam cards and put them in a baggie ready to quickly scrap at a moments notice…

UntitledThe mini album will be our Disney holiday album which I have been working on using the collab kit “Day Planner” by Paislee Press and One Little Bird 🙂 This whole being 30 thing isn’t so bad!