Sunday, June 30, 2013

Happy Birthday Olivia

The Cord  

We are connected,
My child and I,
By an invisible cord,
Not seen by the eye.

It's not like the cord
That connects us 'til birth
This cord can't be seen
By any on earth.

This cord does its work
Right from the start.
It binds us together
Attached to my heart.

I know that it's there
Though no one can see
The invisible cord
From my child to me.

The strength of this cord
Man could create
It withstands the test
Can hold any weight.

And though you are gone,
Though you're not here with me,
The cord is still there
But no one can see.

It pulls at my heart
I am bruised…. I am sore,
But this cord is my lifeline
As never before.

I am thankful that God
Connects us this way
A mother and child
Death can't take away.

(Author Unknown)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

36 & 37 Weeks Pregnant Update & Delivery Date!

It has been a busy fortnight - to say the least. Delivery plans are in place :) Here is my bump at 36 weeks pregnant... (I will add the 37 weeks pic in in the morning - why do I insist on taking them in my pj's before hair and makeup??)

Baby's Weight My bump may still be small but my baby weighed 6 lbs at 36 weeks. Right on target.

Scans I have had 2 since I last blogged. Last week the baby's eyes were open and staring for about a minute - reminded me a little of the alien at the end of the Star Gate movie if I'm honest :) Freaky! The second picture makes him/her look so real.

The pics from yesterdays scan weren't as good since baby's face was looking the other way. The doctor pointed out that they next time we see the baby he/she will be in our arms. 

Heartburn Oh. My. God. Agony! Why has the burn become a pain?!

Maternity Clothes During the hot weather I just wore some empire line dresses I had from last Summer. I haven't worn my maternity clothes this time so I decided to put them in the bad for the charity shop, keeping only a select few items.

Broodiness I think I'll take a break from baby growing for a while. Although I say that now but after I had the last two I couldn't wait to have more. As soon as Eve was born I was broody. I'm one of those women that equates giving birth to emotional crack. I'm pretty sure hubby has me on a four year ban after the stress of this pregnancy :) We'll see how it goes.

Cramps Starting at the back and moving to the front. Enough to take my breath away but nothing regular. Speaking of cramps, since the bump dropped I have been getting shooting pains that would make you scream from the muscle on my inner thigh. Sweet Jesus they make my eyes water.

The bump drop/ Internal Exams The bump dropped much lower 2 days ago and I got excited. Stupid. I saw my doctor yesterday and she did an internal exam. My cervix is closed and far back so nothing is happening yet. Today I was running around the shops trying to pick up the necessaries for my hospital bag (oh yes, last minute) and the pressure was so bad. I assume this is because this is my third and not because anything is happening - although I'm quietly hopeful.

Delivery scheduled I can't believe it but I'm having a baby on Monday!!! I have to go in at 7.30am. The doctor will check me to see if my cervix has opened at all. If it has she will break my waters and leave me for an hour only to see if pains start. If they don't they will do a very low dose of the drip but only for four hours. If the labour doesn't progress quickly by then then I have a c-section. The doctor booked it today and said it was likely nothing will happen with my cervix in that time. I get the feeling that even if I did get to try labour for a few hours that it will most likely end in a section anyway. That's mostly because my first delivery ended in a cesarean thanks to a failed induction rather than what happened to Olivia.

Sunny days in the park I spent most of the sunny days last week at the park with Eve. I feel closer to Oliva there and it's Eve's favourite place to be.We brought a picnic one day and Eve had her very first ice-cream cone - that I know of!


Food cravings I don't know if I can call this a craving but I really can't get enough of the Polkadot muffins from BB's. Anybody who follows me on Twitter may have seen me tweet this pic - same taste in cake as a 5 year old!
I'm also loving Tonic water with half a fresh lime squeezed in. I'm all about tarte, bitter, sharp tastes these days. Can I get an umbrella in my drink per favor!

Moving We are in the middle of planning a family move. A duplex isn't ideal with a toddler and newborn - too many stairs and no where to store a pram without dragging it upstairs. Eve is also most content outdoors - she has been this way since birth. I sense she might be a street urchin. While other kids get to play in the garden Eve gets sent to the balcony - not quite what we had in mind.

Parenting Books Baby Led Breastfeeding, Coping with Two, The Food Nanny, Toddler Taming... these are amongst the books I have read in the past few weeks. I know everything you reads in books goes out the window once the baby is born but I can't help but try to prepare. It's my nerd way of taking control over something I have zero control over.

I'm going to be a patent again in 5 days! Aaaaaaaaagh! I'm so excited :)) I can't stop packing and re-packing and making lists and ironing and getting everything ready. I think I'm supposed to be resting but what can ya do! I promise I will finish the breastfeeding post. I'm off to do that now.

How is everyone getting on with pregnancy, trying to conceive, parenting etc?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

35 Weeks Pregnant & Case of the Crazies

Today might not be the best day to blog about being pregnant. Why? Probably due to the fact that I am a raging hormone. That being said sometimes pregnancy makes you feel rubbish, it's not all little kicks and joy. Although, for me that is certainly the case most days.

Today is not one of those days. But first, to the bump pictures...

35 weeks pregnant Bump pic

I'm given to understand that feeling a little fed-up is normal towards the end of your pregnancy. This fact does little to settle aforementioned raging hormones.

Before I get to the good stuff I'm gona moan about the bad stuff. Oh yes, this is a form of therapy :)

1. Restless legs - I want to kick the bejesus out of everything. I have never had this before. To be honest it's probably responsible for most of my discomfort. Somebody help me! Have you had this?

2. Nausea.

3. Cramps - Periody type pains - don't worry, nothing regular or debilitating. Hoping they pass soon, it's probably just Braxton Hicks.

4. An over-tired, teething clingy toddler today. Completely understandable. I usually take days like that in my stride but Eve was much feistier today and every. single. little. thing led to a tantrum. By 4pm I just sat on the floor and wailed right along with her :) Excellent parenting Amy. I can actually hear her scream from outside right now as my husband tries to get her to come inside. Then again she hasn't slept or eaten in forever. If there is a prayer for patience I really need to start getting holy.

5. Head cold - I don't usually have time for colds. I take a Benyln Day/Night and get on with things like there is nothing wrong. But now that I can't take said Benyln drugs, thanks to their power to constrict blood vessels, and can only take paracetamol (hello, does that actually do anything?) I have had 5 days of stuffy head, runny nose, a throat that feels like a knife sliced through it and worst of all, the congestion - which has me up through the night and up for the day at 5am. Hey, maybe that's why I'm such a cranky witch today (ok, so replacing that w with a b might be more accurate).

6. Braces - My orthodontist added an elastic. Jesus, my face won't stop hurting.

Ok, rant over. Thank you for listening. You can let me know how you would like to be paid. Now to the hearts and rainbows....

Healthy baby My last scan was yesterday and the doctor was delighted with him/her.  I could see a full head of hair swaying back and forward in the amniotic fluid. My heart warms every time I think of it :)) I got some good clear ultrasound photos of the face. I bet my husband that this baba will be a blonde like Eve and I, he's convinced it will be a brunette like him and Olivia. Our family consists of two of each so this baba will decide the balance.

Bump size Definitely bigger this week. Woo Hoo! The shape has changed too - it's sort of dipping down at the front like it's toppling over.

Movement Had one quiet day where I didn't get my usual mental evening kick session. If I'm honest, I was concerned but I did count enough movements throughout the day, they were just different. The following day everything returned to normal.

Weight As I mentioned before, I have stopped weighing. I was too concerned that I wasn't putting enough weight on.

Labour/Delivery I mentioned last week that we had to think about what we wanted if I went into labour myself before 38 weeks. The doctor told us that if that were to happen and I opted to try myself that I would be hospitalised from the very start and be monitored closely throughout the whole labour. That put my mind at ease so we decided to go with that option. If I don't go into labour before then it will be an automatic c-section. I would love to avoid this as we haven't decided how many children we would like to have but I wouldn't like to have to stop because of surgeries, I want to stop when we're ready to. I might be expecting too much. A healthy baby this time is the main priority. I'm actually a little excited about the idea of giving birth myself again. Terrified of something bad happening again but also excited. That's progress.

Pelvic Floor Ooopsie! When the doctor found out I was pregnant and decided for a section at 38 weeks it never occurred to me that I might go into labour before then. Sure, I was prepared for early pre-eclampsia again but that would have ended in a section too. As a result I have neglected my kegel excercises. Now with the possibility of a natual delivery I'm having regrets. How much work can I get done in 3 weeks?! Maybe I should prepare myself for middle-age incontinence - that's the threat the physio used to make me do them. Adult nappies can be sexy right?

Concentration - where art thou? I spoke before about how much I read, well that's on hold this week. I can't concentrate enough to watch a tv programme let alone read. The one thing I can do is write - so I'm beauty blogging up a storm.

Breastfeeding My post on my experience with breastfeeding is nearly done. It turns out that I had more to say on the topic than I thought. I'll put the finishing touches on it and post it tomorrow or Thursday at the latest.

Pregnancy Beauty Tips This is the topic of my beauty column in the Metro Herald on Thursday. I will post the piece when it's printed but I'm also working on a more detailed post on my beauty blog which I'll also put live on Thursday.

How is everyone? Tell me I'm not the only lunatic out there??

Love Amy

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

33 & 34 Weeks Pregnant

So I started putting this post together when I turned 33 weeks, last Monday. Monday you ask? Yep, apologies for the delay. My only excuse is that I am exhausted. Since I was 34 yesterday I thought I would combine the posts.

So without much further ado, 33 weeks bump pic...

 Bump at 33 weeks pregnant

 and 34 my pj's ....

Firstly and more importantly... Where have all the fizzy cola lollies gone?? I have searched high and low for some and they are not to be found. And because said lollies cannot be found I am now fixated on them.

Bump size I have definitely grown. Still small I know but baby is normal size so I don't mind. I'm starting to feel a little uncomfortable getting in and out of bed and the likes. I sat on the floor in the library and when I tried to stand it took about 3 minutes. I must have looked like I was practicing pilates on the cook book isle. I also shaved my legs whilst balancing on one foot this morning in the shower. I sense an accident in my future. Maybe it's time to look for help. 

Baba's weight Baby weighs about 5lb 4oz / 2.45kg at todays scan. A chunky little monkey. I couldn't be happier. The doctor said that if I was allowed go to term that this would be my biggest baby yet. Obviously earlier delivery will effect his/her size.

Ooh the discomfort During my 33 week scan the doctor commented that the baby's head was well down. By well down I don't mean pointing downwards - by the pressure alone I would say wedged down there. After having my last baby the natural way all I can say is ouch.

Weight gain very minimal. As I mentioned before, this is most likely from stress.  I've stopped weighing myself. It was only making me more anxious. Baby is growing so I don't care if my weight isn't.

Baby Brain Yep, it's back. Now what was I saying? Reaching for MorDHA supplement as soon as I'm done here.

Prune Juice Ick on so many levels - texture, taste, colour...bleugh! A necessary evil sometimes. Lets say no more.

Delivery The doctor is so happy with the baby's growth that if I go into labour myself before 38 weeks she'll let me try the natural option. Because I have had a previous section and a loss I'm not suitable for induction. I have a decision to make if I go into labour before 38 weeks (1) go into labour on my own and deliver naturally which is safer for me and better if I plan to have a few more kiddies or (2) go into labour on my own and go to c-section which with our circumstances is safer for baby but riskier for me. I have Eve to think about too. Of course if I don't go into labour myself then the doctor has recommended a c-section. Some difficult decisions lie ahead. One day at a time.

Hyperreflexia What's that when it's at home? Apparently it's just when reflexes are too brisk. The doc noted that I had this at 33 weeks and ran bloods to check for pre-eclampsia. All were clear. Woo Hoo!

A new pain in the bum symptom Last week I kept feeling out of breath (but baby has dropped down) and like my heart was going to hammer out of my chest. I noticed whilst checking my blood pressure that my pulse had hopped from the usual 60 to 110bpm. It lasted 10 minutes, then passed but it was happening 4 times a day at any time. Last night I was watching a movie, felt nice and relaxed and all of a sudden it felt like I couldn't breath and my pulse was racing at 156 bpm. I mentioned it today and am under instructions to come to A&E if it happens again for and EKG. Sure by the time I get there it will surely have passed and I'll have to sit in the A&E queue for hours. Still, I'll be good and go. Better to be safe than sorry.

Nausea The doctor prescribed me something but unfortunately it didn't work. I shall suffer on. Such a martyr.

Breastfeeding Starting to think about actually having a baby. I haven't really accepted that part yet. I've been in the 'I'll believe when I see it' mode. After what happened last time I know its normal. But seriously I need to get my backside in gear! One thing I would like to do differently this time is to have a more relaxed approach to feeding. I was little bit scared of the whole thing last time round. I managed to feed Eve until she was 7 months but it wasn't stress free. Think I'll do a whole post of my experiences with breast feeding - the good and bad. I learned a lot but I need to learn more.

Reading I am a complete and utter book worm as you probably know. Well I had my first book related blubber fest last week whilst reading Clockwork Princess (Cassandra Clare). Bawled like a baby on three separate occasions. I'd like to blame hormones but I suspect otherwise.

I'll be back with my breastfeeding post during the week!

How is everyone getting on?

Love Amy

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

32 Weeks Pregnant Update

So I made it to 32 weeks. I am 32+2 tomorrow - which is the same gestation we lost Olivia at. I feel everything from delight and happiness to anxiety and guilt. All part of the process I suppose.

Here is the bump at 32 Weeks exactly...

 Was messing around with Cocoa Brown tan last night :)

Bump Bigger? A small bit I think. I measured 28 weeks at 32 weeks last time and I would say I am the same now. Once baba is getting chunky I'm not worried... well at least I'll try not to be :)

Veins/Broken capillaries Holy lamb of divine I'm turning blue. My veins look like they're set to explode! There is a lovely long one down the side of the bump, which you can see in my bump pic, and about a hundred more all over. I also seem to have quite a few broken capillaries. These went away within a few weeks of giving birth before so hopefully the same will happen. I don't want to start shelling out for IPL!

Maternity wear Tried on a few more over the bank holiday weekend. Think I'll just let it go.

Diet/Appetite My diet is usually quite good (with the exception of the odd pink French Fancie). I'm a grazer by nature and it seems to work well during pregnancy. I do tend to forget about food though so sometimes I set a reminder for myself. Silly but necessary. I don't have a big appetite this time, I was this way on my last pregnancy too. And yet on my first I was ravenous. 

Cravings Am I the only one who doesn't get cravings? I keep hearing ladies at the hospital talk about them. Not that I mind - petrol sambos don't exactly do it for me.

Scans I have a growth scan on Thursday. The doctor usually does a quick ultrasound on Mondays too but with it being the bank holiday she wasn't there so I am extra anxious about this one. I'm sure it will be fine but with the week that's in it and the little bump I can't help but be nervous. 

The fun parts Swelling hasn't gotten any worse - legs, feet and hands by evening. Hands stay swollen some mornings but legs go down to just a little puffy. I think my face looks a little different  but I'm one of those people that gets a fat face as soon as I put on any weight (Boo Hoo). My blood pressure has been so low for the past week 80's/40's and then randomly shoots up only to go back down. Once it stays down I'm happy.

Emotions I had a lovely bank holiday weekend with my family. I was relaxed and enjoyed every minute of it. When I realised that tomorrow I would be 32+2 weeks something hit me like a brick. My feelings are related more to Olivia though than this baby's health - I know everything looks all right. I had a feeling that this would be a challenging time. Hopefully it passes when the day does. 

Hope everyone who is pregnant is enjoying it and baby dust to all those trying to conceive! (I need to do a post on that one sometime). Let me know how you're getting on.

I think there might be half a Lindor chocolate bunny left in the fridge. Off to investigate. What's that I said about being a healthy eater?!

Love Amy

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

31 Weeks - Lovely scan photo this week

Is it just me or have I gotten much bigger over the past week? Delighted!

Bump at 31 + 2 weeks pregnant

Ahem, please excuse the lounge wear and slippers. I bought a load of these tops in different colours for casual wear in Old Navy in the US. They were so cheap and I chose one size up to accommodate bump - the maternity clothes I had from my first pregnancy were too big last time round - something to do with the truck load of food I ate every hour :) and I didn't want to spend a fortune on nice maternity wear again. It has worked out well. I bought 3 pairs of leggings from Dunnes (the stretch ones - the other ones get baggy) and didn't bother with maternity ones. Other than that I wear empire line tops and dresses that were already in my wardrobe. I actually picked up a copy of In Style and Look today - I haven't bought those since I was in hospital during my last pregnancy. I'm looking forward to high heels already. Knowing my luck I'll put on a stone in the next month and need to go buy the friggin' maternity stuff anyway. Bring it!
Scan I had yet another scan on Monday and it was the best so far. Up until now the many, many scans we have had show outlines and silhouettes at best but yesterday I got a good long look at the baby's full face. He/she was fast asleep and the eyebrows were moving like he was dreaming. Baby's eye shape and forehead reminds me of both Eve and Olivia - daddy's features. Best of all - chubby cheeks have appeared since my scan last week. Baba is getting fatter - woo hoo! One more little scan tomorrow and then a big growth scan in Fetal Assessment Unit next week.

 Great shot of baba's eyes, pity about the blurry lips - face was twitching...

 Chubby cheeks...

Fat hands, fat feet, fat legs and occasionally a fat face... Oh joy. So swelling has really taken hold this week - just as my bump app predicted. I have had some welling around my eyes and lips a few times and have freaked out (pre-eclampsia) but all was well. In the evenings I swell right up to my thighs and my hands are a little bloated. Will keep a close eye on this one as this morning I was swollen up to mid-thigh by 11am. I also got a +0.3 protein reading when I checked my urine - once it stays below a +1 I think I'm good. Hopefully it's gone by the morning.

Sciatic Pinch Don't you just love it when you're out walking and your whole leg goes dead! I seemed to have this a lot in my last two pregnancies but it has only happened once so far this time round. Hopefully its the last time too. Man does it hurt and it also makes me look like a geriatric!

Not long to go Assuming there are no complications baby will be delivered in 6 weeks. In some ways I can't believe how soon that is and in others it feels like a lifetime away. More on that later.

Sleep I could sleep in a warzone, once I have a bed, but over the past few nights it is taking me longer and longer to drop off. Then I wake many times - thank you baby pressing on bladder, only to have trouble drifting off again. I'm pretty pooped.

Emotions I suspect this is the main reason for my sleep disruption. I'm emotionally exhausted. It's so hard waiting for something to come, or not. Checking my blood pressure and urine every day is becoming stressful - now I feel all anxious thinking about it. I assume that's because this is the time the symptoms showed during my last pregnancy. Since I have reached this same gestation I feel like every week baby is in there the more chance my body has of taking him/her down. It might sounds extreme but I hear its normal. Every day is another day that the worst can happen like last time. I know people tell you to be positive - I would tell someone in our position the same thing, but really it's pretty impossible. When the odds are stacked against you I feel like it's more important to be realistic. Then if everything works out it will be phenomenal. I actually can't even imagine what that will feel like. I can't imagine bringing a baby home. I hear that's normal too. 

Eve loves her new Ted Baker blazer. (thank you Nan!) She keeps twirling around. She's also obsessed with her denim jodhpurs - she rubs them and says 'Oooh, jeans like Daddy'. Ah the cuteness.  

Hope everyone is doing well! I'm off to keep my fingers crossed that there is no protein in the morning... and perhaps have some chocolate. 

Amy x

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

30 Weeks Pregnant - What a Rollercoaster

My belly has definitely grown a little this week. Bump pic at 30 Weeks pregnant...

I am actually wearing a maternity top today for a change. It wasn't out of necessity but rather that I wanted to actually wear some of the maternity stuff I bought before this is all over. Bit long in the front compared to the back so I guess I still don't have enough to fill it. Plenty of time and room for growth so!

This week has been like a Katy Perry song - 'Cause you're hot then you're cold You're yes then you're no You're in then you're out You're up then you're down :)

My week has gone something like this: 
Monday: Calm, resigned, accepting
Tuesday: Relaxed
Wednesday: Feeling like myself finally
Thursday: Nervous, worried
Friday: Panicked
Saturday: from chilled to concerned
Sunday: from happy to anxiety to nightmares
Monday: Back to semi-normal
Tuesday: Nervous again

Oh the joy. I have to laugh, I'm all over the place. 

Bump/Weight Freaked out a few times over bump size this week. I know people are sometimes small but when you have had a growth restricted baby before and two normal size bumps previously it's of little consolation. My weight went up by a pound over the past 2 weeks, which is the most I have put on in 5 weeks - happy about that. I had some round ligament pain the other day and was very hungry and woke to a bigger bump the next day :)

Scans I had one on Wednesday and one on Thursday last week. I also had one on Monday and again today. When we went to the hospital on Thursday the doctor thought amniotic fluid looked low based on the bump being small. She performed a little ultrasound and said that there was more fluid in there that there looks to be. Although she had no immediate concerns she wasn't happy to wait a week to look again and said that based on what she saw I needed to be monitored very closely at this stage and would see me twice weekly. I left feeling a little relived but also concerned about how small the bump is. I was also a little puffy that day so they decided to take more blood to check for pre-eclampsia. The scan today showed a happy baby who is growing well. Happy baby, happy mama!

Baba's profile...

Panic I started seeing blotches on Thursday afternoon. Blood pressure was normal so that night I rang A&E to make sure blood work from earlier that day was clear - it was.

Skin So dry 
Hair Nightmare

Nails Bye, bye long and strong, hello crumbly and dry. I believe I have third trimester progesterone to thank for this. Will go smear on some Sally Hansen Vitamin E Oil right away.

Happy Birthday to Eve In other news Eve will be 2 on Thursday, I can't believe it! We had a little family get-together to celebrate yesterday and we'll have her to ourselves on Thursday. I think I will make some Rice Crispie buns with her.

Some Eve snaps...

We picked up Eve's dress and cardi in H&M. Love H&M baby clothes! Her shoes were cheap and cheerful, €7 from Penneys. She has a lovely pair of red converse, which she likes herself but these are great as they have an elasticated inner.

So since everything went well at growth scan this morning I feel relaxed and calm again. Wonder how long it will last this time. Friday is my next hurdle - 30+4 weeks was when symptoms showed last time. Feeling positive. Onwards and upwards as they say!

Must go, I'm being summonsed to go get 'Naisies' which are raisins apparently :) "naisies, wore-dar-you" is the Eve's favourite sentence lately. She also points at the bump and says - aww, baba hee hee, which I translate to mean 'baby in here'. She loves helping me apply bump lotion too. Very cute. I had a big proud Mama moment this morning when Eve pointed at an 'R' on her daddy's t-shirt and named it before making the sound 'rrr'. I can't take credit for it though - it's thanks to a phoenetics game on the ipad :)

Have a great day. Hope everyone is well.

Amy x