Monday, 28 November 2011

Pregnancy Patter - 22 Weeks And The Big VBAC Debate

I can't believe it's almost 2 weeks since my 20 week scan. I'm 22 weeks tomorrow - eek.

2 weeks of knowing the sex of our baby, it's a strange I'm still not really used to. Part of me wishes that I didn't know as some of the excitement has gone now. Matt wanted to know (and I didn't) so I'll blame him happily. Still, at least it gives me something to focus on and the opportunity to look at proper themes for the nursery rather than just going neutral like we did last time.

In my last update I told you that I was ill with a sore throat and headache and that Mini Cheddar had been suffering badly with an awful cold and cough. Well, that transferred to me and I've spent a good amount of time in bed over these past couple of weeks feeling truly horrible (hence the lack of blog activity). I still have an awful cough now. Just as I was starting to recover at the end of last week I was hit with a stomach bug (or I ate something that didn't agree with me) and spent another day and a half in bed - and on the loo!

I'm hoping that after 3 weeks of illness I'm finally bug free and can look forward to Christmas - and our yearly December mini holiday up to Edinburgh in a couple of weeks. I'm also hoping to catch up on everyones blogs again!

So, on to other things...

As most of you know I had to have an elective section due to Mini Cheddar being well and truly stuck in the breech position.

The thing is, I'd planned a natural water birth so when I was told this news I was completely crushed. My NCT course covering natural birth (with a brief 10 minute section on caesarean birth) seemed pretty pointless at the time. I spent a good couple of weeks in tears and took to a baby forum where, with help from others in the same situation, I got through it and accepted I was having a c-section.

I turned it into a positive in the end and, as it happened, I had an amazing birth. The caesarean was a lovely experience and one I will cherish.

Shortly after the birth of Mini Cheddar
(eyes and nose puffy from blubbing)
So, now I'm pregnant again and over half way through. I saw my consultant a couple of weeks ago and she gave me a leaflet on having a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean). They are recommending I try for a VBAC as I have no real medical reason to request a caesarean but I can push for one if I wish.

The thing is, after being so totally crushed at not being able to go through a natural birth process last time, I always thought I would jump at the chance for a VBAC. But now, faced with the decision I find myself wondering if I really want to try for one. My head is filled with so many questions...

1. What if my scar ruptures?
2. What if I can't get through the natural birth and end up having an emergency caesarean?
3. What if something awful happens?
4. What if, what if, what if?

I know it's just me being silly and worrying but I know so many women who have gone through natural labour only to end up having an emergency caesarean. I don't think I could cope with that after having such a positive first birth experience. The thought of everything spiralling out of control makes me very nervous.

However, it may not come to that...everything could be fine.

If I choose an elective section the thought of having to spend 2 nights in hospital away from Matt and Mini Cheddar after afterwards also fills me with dread. The thought of not being able to pick MC up or do much around the house etc. is not something I would want either.

However, when I had my first caesarean, as it was elective, I had a great recovery. I was driving 2 weeks afterwards and healed really quickly.

I have been told if I go for a VBAC then they will only allow me to go a week overdue and if there are no signs of labour they will go ahead with a caesarean anyway so part of me is thinking I should just go ahead with a section and save all the faffing!

Oh decisions, decisions.

I'm seeing my consultant 21st February 2012 so I have until then to decide. I'm trying not to think about it until after Christmas but it's not going to be easy.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Pregnancy Patter - 20 Weeks And Scan Time!

Hello baby!
We had the 20 week scan today and it was fabulous. We got to see the baby in so much detail and it really cheered me up as, despite having a much better time with the sickness etc., I've had a bit of a crappy time over the past couple of weeks - all starting with my beloved dog being put to sleep just over 2 weeks ago. I should be feeling really happy as we have so much to look forward to over the next few months but I've been a bit down. I'm guessing pregnancy hormones just make everything feel 10 times worse.

I was feeling very anxious before the scan. I just wanted to know that everything was alright. Even though I've been having good movements now for a long time there's always that niggling doubt.

We ended up finding out the sex of the baby this morning. I didn't want to find out but Matt did and as I wouldn't let him find out with Mini Cheddar it was time to concede. We weren't going to tell anyone but our parents asked so we told them. My Sister said she doesn't want to know though - so hoping my Mum and Dad don't spill the beans! It feels very strange knowing...I still wish we hadn't found out but I'm happy also that we did. I know, I don't make any sense but hey, I'm pregnant!

We spent a long time with the consultant after the scan. I'm consultant led as I had to have a caesarean section with MC. I have until 34 weeks to decide to try and push for another caesarean or to try for a VBAC. I must say at the moment that the VBAC is looking more desirable - the thought of staying in hospital for 2 nights with MC at home will kill me. It's funny because first time I was so prepared for a natural birth and was destroyed when I knew I'd have to have a c-section. Now, after having such an amazing c-section birth, the thought of a VBAC scares the hell out of me! What will be, will be I guess.

The glucose levels in my urine were VERY high today which is of concern to them. I am due to have a GTT at 30 weeks anyway because of family history of diabetes - I had to have one with MC but it was fine. Hopefully it's just the amount of pineapple juice I drank this morning when I woke up (oops!) and the fact I had THE biggest chocolate panettone at Piccolinos last night. 

In other news I'm feeling really ill in a non-pregnancy related way. My throat feels like it's on fire, my head aches and tonight I've started aching. Really hacked off as I had my flu jab in October. MC is really struggling. She's had a bad cold and the worst cough ever for almost 2 weeks and tonight she's thrown up everywhere. She's had a sleep for an hour and then woke up coughing and crying and talking about wanting to go to Asda (?!?!). Back to the doctors for us tomorrow!

That's all for now...enough of my ramblings. See you in 2 weeks!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

A 2 Year Old's Guide To Losing A Pet

It's been a week today since I was at that vets where they put my 15 year old dog to sleep.

This has upset me more than I ever imagined.

"I miss Betty"
But what about Mini Cheddar?

She had to come to the vets with me as I had no-one to watch her. Neither of us witnessed them putting Betty to sleep. We had all walked into the vets together - Mummy, daughter and pooch...and then MC and I left alone, me just clutching a pile of tissues the vet had handed me along with a lead and Bettys precious collar.

MC asked me as we walked out the vets "What about Betty?"

I couldn't answer. I could barely see through the haze of tears, let alone speak.

MC asked me on the way home in the car "Where is Betty, Mummy?"

I told her that Betty was going on a long holiday.

"When will she be home?"

"She's not coming home sweetie, it's a special holiday" I sniffed.

When we got in the house I was a mess. I dearly wanted to be strong. To hide it from her, but I couldn't. MC just handed me tissues and kept saying "It's okay Mummy, Betty will be home soon".

Then she started playing with her Duplo bricks and built a tall tower.

"Look Mummy, I've built this tower. When Betty sees it she will come home".

Now she still builds towers all the time and places them in front of the picture I have of Betty in the lounge. She talks about Betty a lot and I really hope it stays that way as I do want MC to remember her. She even asked for a photo of her and Betty for her bedroom.

Betty and MC - as seen on her bedside table
What breaks my heart is how our routine has changed and how much MC has noticed. Every morning we would go downstairs together into the kitchen and let Betty outside into the garden. Now, every morning without fail, MC comes into our bedroom and says "Is Betty Dogface downstairs?". She opens the cupboard in the kitchen which once housed 'Betty's biscuits' and says "But there's nothing in here Mummy!". She used to love feeding Betty her dog biscuits.

MC has been sad, standing where Betty's bed once sat and asking where she is but she's not been upset about it as she doesn't really understand.

Although, somehow she knows whenever I look sad or get upset that I need a cuddle and to hear the words "I miss Betty, Mummy" and then gives me a kiss and pats my back.

I think 2 year olds are far more switched on than we sometimes give them credit for.

I'm so thankful for my beautiful girl and how caring she is. I couldn't have got through the last week without her.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Mamas & Papas - At The Heart Of The Word 'Family'

As most of you know, I was lucky enough to be invited by MumPanel to the head office of Mamas & Papas in Huddersfield last Tuesday to preview their new range. Living in the North West/North Wales area means that most of the events I get invited to are a bit of a trek as they are usually 'darn sarf' so I jumped at the chance to attend this. Not only is it just over an hours drive for me but it's for a brand I absolutely love!

As soon as I found out I was expecting Mini Cheddar back in 2008, I spent countless amounts of time at my nearest Mamas & Papas store. I think everyone knows and loves that brand so much as it oozes quality and style.

What I didn't realise though, was just how much the word 'family' is at the very heart of the company. The company was founded by the lovely David and Luisa Scacchetti in 1981. Luisa was an expectant mother who was frustrated by the lack of choice when it came to prams and baby products so she found what she was looking for in Italy. From then, Mamas & Papas was born and celebrated it's 30th birthday this year.

We were lucky enough to spend time in the company of Amanda and Olivia - David and Luisa's two daughters who now work within the business. Amanda is the very reason the company was born and her passion for the company, along with Olivia's, is in abundance which is so heart-warming for a large company. David and Luisa are permanent features at the company and Luisa still personally approves every single product that they sell which I think is just amazing and shows her 30 years of commitment to quality. This is something that has made me extremely passionate about the brand myself.

Mamas & Papas are also very focussed on keeping costs down for customers. They are constantly looking at their price points to offer a wide range of options to suit all budgets - something much needed in the current economic climate.

The brand new Sync - available Feb '12
We were treated to sneak previews of the forthcoming Spring and Summer range which were excitedly shown to us by the team. They showed us the new features and the new colour ways. Every one of the staff their had such a passion for their products and were very knowledgable. They are so welcoming of comments from parents and are constantly improving their products on the feedback they receive.

We were shown everything from the latest buggies to the top-of-the-range pushchairs and also baby carriers (I loved the Comfort and even got to try it on for size!). We were shown the range from the re-designed Trip which is the lightest weight holiday buggy and will be priced at a mere £39 up to the Voyage at £179.  We were also shown the Sync which is a brand new hybrid (cross between a buggy and a pushchair) available February 2012. It's suitable from birth, has a multi-position recline toggle system which means no jolting your sleeping baby - hurrah! What I also loved about this model was that it had an intelligent folding system which means that none of the fabric touches the floor when it's collapsed.

The Urbo now with bigger basket

The pushchairs were where I really fell in love. The Sola, Urbo and Luna all with modifications and new colour ways. When I was pregnant with MC, I did my research on pushchairs if only the Mylo from Mamas & Papas had been available - I think it launched 6 months too late for me sadly.

I can honestly say that I could have cried when we were shown it. I hear about women who have 'pram envy' and go through countless prams during their time as parents and I have never understood it - until now. I had serious pram envy when I saw the Mylo - it's amazing - I love it and I am now secretly scheming to have a pushchair related 'accident' with my old pushchair so I can convince my husband to buy a Mylo!

The Mylo - "I love you dream pushchair"
There are certain parts of the Mylo that are handmade and you can tell - it's the epitome of design and innovation. I can't believe I am talking like that about a pushchair but, hand on heart I just love it. The unique selling point of the Mylo is the single-handed fold. Just what I need next year when I'm struggling with a new baby and a 3 year old! I had a go at collapsing it and it really is so easy to do. You can also get adaptors for car seats which is perfect. It's not exactly cheap at £545 but, having seen it in action I would gladly pay's definitely worth it.

There is also the option to purchase a carrycot which, and I think this is fabulous, is suitable for overnight sleeping! For us it would mean no more hiking a travel cot on frequent nights away. The carrycot can also rock, be put on a stand and the infant can be propped up which is perfect for those babies that suffer with reflux.

The Mylo - one-handed folding system

I could talk about the Mylo for hours, I love it that much.

Now, having spent time with Mamas & Papas and their products I am even more in love with them too.

The new Spring/Summer range will be coming to a store near you next year.

Go check them out!

This is not a sponsored post.  
I did receive travel expenses, a gift voucher, a Christmas goody bag 
and some yummy lunch (thank you again Mamas & Papas!) but all words,
views, opinions and photographs are entirely my own.

Friday, 4 November 2011

My Dog Is Dead

I didn't know what to title this post. I couldn't come up with the right words. I thought of emotional titles, I thought of heartwarming titles. The thing is, the fact remains.

Bamburgh Beach - 2007
My dog is dead.

Sounds brutal but it's the truth and at the moment I feel so numb it's untrue.

I thought I was prepared for this moment. I'd talked about 'this day' coming and I knew at almost 16 years of age she didn't have long with us but it's hit me badly.

If she'd just died in her sleep of old age I may have been able to handle it better but yesterday morning I was faced with that awful decision in the veterinary surgery - the decision that every pet owner dreads.

I had to put my dog to sleep.

It didn't help that my husband was away down in London and my parents were on holiday - plus I'm pregnant! I felt so alone.

I had to take Mini Cheddar with me as I had no-one to look after her. It didn't help that she was being very 'difficult' so I was trying to talk to the vet between my sobs whilst MC is running around the surgery having removed her wellies!

I know there will be people reading this who are thinking "it's just a dog, get over it". If that's you then please don't comment, I really don't want to hear it.

Sleeping - 2008
Betty was more than a dog, she was a massive part of my life for so long and, even though she was old and didn't run about as much as she used to, the house feels so empty without her.

She was such a loving little dog to those who really knew her. She could be a nasty piece of work when she was younger and she never got on with other dogs, she would regularly see off even the biggest of dogs if they got too close for comfort.

I feel sad that I haven't been able to give her the attention she has needed in these last couple of years of her life. I blogged about Betty at the beginning of the year when I realised how old she was getting. Her quality of life these past 6 months or so had gone downhill fast, she had cataracts and could hardly hear and what finally got her was an infection in her back legs. She was too old to undergo anaesthetic and the pain and lengthy treatment without it was something I couldn't have put her through.

"What would you do?" I asked the vet.

I knew her answer before she even spoke.

Meeting Mini Cheddar - 2009
So at 9.45am yesterday Betty was put to sleep. The thing that upsets me most is that I couldn't be there when she went because of MC. I had to wait in the echoey waiting room and just listen as I heard them shave her leg in preparation for the injection.

I was awake at 5am this morning crying. I'm wracked with guilt about my decision. I know it was for the best but I can't help it, it's one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make.

MC said to me this morning "I miss Betty" (we've told her she's gone on a long holiday and won't be coming back).

"I miss her too, sweetie" I say "I miss her too".

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Pregnancy Patter - 18 Weeks And Loving It

Well, 2 weeks has passed since my last proper update and I have to say things have turned around remarkably in those 2 weeks.

I feel alive!

On the Tuesday of that time I was at my worst when a package arrived from the lovely people at WaterBaby. I took my first drink that day and haven't looked back since, it was literally like I'd been reborn the following day. I even managed to do housework which I hadn't touched in a long while.

It could be a total coincidence but I think not.  I've now run out of WaterBaby and, although I'm still feeling reasonably OK, I do have to say I haven't got as much energy as when I was drinking it. So...I've just ordered a bumper pack with them.  Hope it arrives quickly.  I just need them to start doing some sachets of the drink that you can add to water so I can take them on holiday with me!

In other news, it's just less than 2 weeks until our 20 week scan.  I'm very nervous but also excited.  Matt is still saying he wants to find out the sex but I don't. I've agreed that if he is adamant then I'll go along with his wishes and we'll find out as we didn't with Mini Cheddar.

I've also got all my old maternity clothes out of the loft. I thought I was lucky in that I'm pregnant at exactly the same time of year as I was with MC...then Matt went and booked a big holiday for January! So it's going to be a bit of a scrabble trying to find some very cheap Spring/Summer maternity wear.  We have so much to do over the next 2 months we've had to write a list to keep track of it all. Somewhere in the middle of it we are going up to Edinburgh for 4 nights for our usual Christmas jaunt...I feel like a pregnant Judith Chalmers at the moment.

The only bad thing that has happened in these past 2 weeks is the fact my chin erupted in the worse case of spots I've ever seen...I was just lucky that I was potty training MC so I didn't really need to go out. My skin wasn't even this bad when I was a teenager. My bathroom cabinet is like an advert for Clean & Clear. Lets' hope they are under control soon!

Yesterday I was lucky enough to be invited to the head office of Mamas & Papas for an exclusive look at their new Spring/Summer range. I have always loved Mamas & Papas but now I'm 'in love' with them completely (and the Mylo!). The staff there are so lovely, knowledgeable and passionate about their products. I'll be writing up a blog post about my trip there very very soon - exciting!

So, enough of my ramblings for now...I'll be back in 2 weeks with news of the scan.


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