Another week another drama in Bump world. Good news my glucose levels are fine after the disgusting Lucozade test so no gestational diabetes for me. Bad news, whilst testing the glucose tolerance my bloods revealed a nasty shock - my negative blood group has developed antibodies.
Ironically I found out this information at the appointment to have the Anti-D injection to stop my body from triggering these pesky antibodies. So it is now too late and I am stuck with them forever. They don't seem to know how this has happened as i haven't suffered any trauma to the bump which could cause baby and my blood to mix but what it means to the baby is that my blood has been 'sensitised' so if the bump is a positive blood group (which statistically it is likely as Husband and Little E are) my blood can start to attack the baby's red blood cells thinking they are foreign bodies. The level at which this happens depends on the concentration of the antibodies in my blood and how the baby then copes with this attack.
As this has happened past 12 weeks (my bloods were fine when they checked at my booking appointment) hopefully this baby will be lucky and only have a weak attack but any future babies I have will be attacked right from the start because the antibodies will always be present now. Even though we only planned on having two this makes me sad.
So what happens now? Not entirely sure as the midwife was somewhat vague. I have an appointment with my consultant next week (luckily) who can give me more information and I assume test the concentration of the antibodies in my blood so we know how bad the problem is. But for now I am left freaking out and feeling rather upset that my body is fighting Bump and potentially causing damage rather than nurturing it.
Little E and I had lots of fun this week Christmas crafting. Our main success are the Christmas cards which have a cupcake theme this year. Crafting with Little E is a bit like an assault course. It has to be fast, constant and varied (and at the end I am exhausted!). But she absolutely loves it. Most of her craft activity takes place during her two days a week at nursery. Her clothes and body come back looking like she has been paintballing. I tip my hat though as the thought of multiplying Little E by 20 or so and handing them all paintbrushes makes me break out in a sweat...
This crafting experience was paint free (thank goodness) but did involve one of her favourite things - a glue stick. Luckily we have a glass table which stands up to the challenge of most crafting activities. I tend to leave Little E in her PJ's for any craft activity so I can carry her at arms length to the bath immediately after and by happy accident she was wearing her 2012 Christmas pyjamas which was very apt for this activity..
The card design was quite simple but allowed her lots of creativity. We stuck on the cupcake case and she had free reign to fill it with sponge and icing from her selection of pom poms and pipe cleaners. The final stage of the design was to add some sprinkles (stars) to the top of the cakes which she did very delicately.
Overall Little E made 15 cards, each one unique and clearly a (somewhat abstract) Christmas cupcake. The hard part is deciding who makes the grade to receive a special card! Now, what design can we make for Easter...
This week I am jumping through yet another hoop in my quest to have a C section delivery with Bump. Last time I gave birth 'naturally' in theatre with the help of a giant set of forceps. They call this assisted delivery but in my case the assistance led to over two years of recovery punctuated by procedures and pain and tears. Despite checking with two GP's that I would be able to have a C section if we tried for baby number 2, and despite this prolonged physical (not to mention mental) trauma, I don't qualify for a medical C section. Instead I am jumping through a series of hoops and bureaucracy to get an elective C section as if I have simply woken up one morning and decided I don't fancy pushing this time...
Not that it should matter. If I had woken up and decided I wanted a C section it is my right and the attitude of the hospital seems to mirror the experience I had three years ago with Little E; Your body, Our rules, our way. Today was a trip to the post-birth trauma councillor who was lovely but had to hear my story again from the top because on not one occasion have I seen the same person at the hospital. I feel like typing some bullet points and laminating them as a handout to speed up this process Also, if I have to listen to the risks of a C section one more time I may spontaneously combust. Is no-one listening to me? I completely understand it is major surgery and there are a number of risks to me and baby. I have had them explained numerous times now, but didn't I just spent the last half hour explaining my experience of the statistically less risky, 'natural' birth? We haven't even got onto the fact that Little E had to have six months of physio due to damage to her neck from the medieval torture device (forceps), so excuse me if I'm not on the vaginal birth cheer-leading squad.
To add insult to injury my post-birth notes still have not made it from one hospital to the other despite the nine week time gap and apparently no-one in the NHS has ever heard of this space age technology called email. Husband is coming to the consultant appointment next week to stage a sit in until I am given a C section date. If anyone has a good slogan for a placard tweet me.
N.B. I generally believe vaginal birth is the best option for the majority of women and I never would have considered an elective C section first time round. My delivery experience is unusual and the chances of it happening are slim, just like the majority of the C section risks. I don't believe a 'natural' birth would be sensible with the muscle damage and scar tissue I have from my first delivery which is why I am adamant a C section is the right delivery for me in this instance.
It's not Monday, it is Saturday but I can't contain this rant for two more days. If there is a partial sentance that is driving me mad this weekend 'don't like it' is it. It doesn't seem to matter what I hand Little E she seems set on rejecting the first three things I suggest. From the type of pyjama bottoms to the colour of her pen she will screw her face up and announce ''don't like it'' as if I have handed her a rotten banana. Foods which she usually loves are being met with this rebuttal as are her favourite toys (and her favourite people). It is like I am stuck in some bizarre South Park parody...
There appears to be two ways I can handle it; Succumb and hope she'll like something eventually if I offer her the entire contents of the fridge or stand my ground and physically force her into the blue jeggings while she scratches my face and screams her head off (then removes the jeggings 45 seconds later). Neither are very appealing so perhaps i'll just ignore the situation entirely until she is hungry enough to eat whatever I offer her. If i turn the heating off she may even put the jeggings back on...
Whilst I type this she has drawn on her bare arm with a pink pen which she ''don't like it' ten minutes ago. Clearly she found a satisfactory use for it in the end.
Husband picked Eloise up from nursery yesterday and arrived home with a big surprise for Mummy - two amazing nursery photos taken a few weeks back by a visiting photo studio.
I immediately want them both. One is adorable and the other a hilarious posed shot which has to be kept. I cannot choose. In fact I NEED them both... Until I turn over and see the price £35 EACH! Really? That's £70 if I buy the two packs... *Cue horrified look* Ok we'll buy one but then the inevitable happens and we we both want different ones...
Each sealed pack consists of pre-printed photos: 1 10x7''; huge photo, 2 7x5'' and 4 6x4'' photos. I don't need all these! I just want one of each but that option isn't available and if I send them back they will just bin the set - what a waste!
I'll leave you with a glimpse of the two images tantalisingly me from their security sealed packages...
The bump is growing! I was surprised to find that baby now measures about 35cm in length which I demonstrated to my work colleagues using a ruler... If I think about if for too long I get a bit freaked out that someone that big is curled inside me, kicking and hiccupping away. My colleague has been excited for weeks about feeling a baby kick for the first time and bump obliged yesterday with a small thud against her hand. It then proceeded to kick me so hard in an organ that I felt bruised all evening!
This week has been mainly been punctuated by indigestion. Baby bump has shifted up severely constricting my whole digestive system. Eating now means hours of discomfort as my squished organs try to manoeuvre around the alien who has invaded my body. I am hoping it all settles down soon as it is starting to disturb my sleep. My indigestion has been mirrored by my father in law who has been suffering in hospital with a bowel obstruction. So this week has been full of worry and huge relief that he is going to be ok. It has been a learning experience though and I have learnt a lot about abdominal surgery and the long term side effects it can cause including scar tissue adhesions which can cause all number of problems years down the line. It does make me think a bit more about the C section but in contrast to my experiences last time with scar tissue from forceps I think i'll take my chances with the abdomen.
I should count myself lucky to have got over half way before this kicks in but I can announce that this week heartburn is officially here and it looks like it is staying. Experts believe pregnancy hormones relax the valve that separates your gullet from your stomach. This allows gastric acids to seep back up your gullet, causing a burning sensation from your breastbone up into your throat - Heartburn.
Last time round I suffered a bit earlier in my pregnancy. I immediate started living off chewable Gaviscon tablets, munching them like tic-tacs but no-one warned me of the side effects - basically I didn't go to the toilet for a week. So I am avoiding them entirely this time round. I have found that drinking milk can help calm it and staying sat upright rather than relaxing backwards on the sofa can help keep the burn at bay. Regular meals are also really important - if I go too long without eating something it gets really bad but munching on a cracker gives the acid something to work on and stops it almost immediately. Fizzy drinks and wine (I wish) are now completely off the menu as it just increases the acid.
Sleeping is the only area I can't quite crack - Laying flat in bed brings on symptoms but propping myself up just gives me a crick neck in the morning so I am putting up with it at night for now. Oh well, only 15 weeks to go....
We have a big problem every single day. It only lasts a few minutes but it involves grappling with a ferocious caged animal, chasing it round the room and potentially suffering scratches. God knows what the neighbours think... I am of course talking about brushing hair.
My beautiful little girl has curly hair. We have no idea where this has come from but it is pretty much un-tameable. To give you an idea this is how it looks in the morning:
That image says it all. Imagine running a brush through it... The only way it an be brushed is by wetting it, dry brushing just creates a mad afro. Once wet combed (cue severe tears and screaming) it has to be left to air dry as a hair dryer creates a bouffant effect straight out of 1983.
Enter the Tangle Teezer. I was recommended this comb by a friend and essentially it looks like something you would groom a horse with. Multiple short, stubby teeth set over an ergonomic plastic pad which sits nicely in the palm of your hand. It is designed to be used with wet hair to glide through knots without snagging or pulling at the hair. Little E chose a pink one (surprise,surprise) but it comes in multiple colours and a variety of designs. This one is the classic brush and retails at around £10.
So, how did it go down. Well it has not solved the problem entirely as unless the hair is completely soaked, and preferably just shampooed, it still tugs a fair but due to the copious knots and tangles which mysteriously appear overnight. Slightly damping her hair is not enough to get it to run smoothly through the hair. It certainly works better than a normal brush and I will definitely be sticking with it as the best option for this unruly mane of strawberry blonde hair.
Here is a picture of how it looked this morning after dampening with water and a brush with the Tangle Teezer, a great improvement (if still a little mad!):
I don't spend much time in the freezer aisle of Tesco. 95% of my freezer is stocked with homemade food which I batch cook so we have extra portions for a later date. Emergency fish fingers and frozen peas are kept in as standard and I have been spotted in the ice cream aisle from time to time... So it was unusual for me to be wandering down these aisles last weekend but a child free day meant a leisurely trip to Tesco without a two year old hanging round my neck was a novel treat.
On a whim I picked up these basa fillets from the Young's Gastro range. Seasoned with salt and black pepper crumb, they were on introductory offer at £2 (usually £4) for two fillets. I was so shocked at how good they tasted! Imagine a really posh fish finger with light crispy crumb and perfect seasoning. Super easy to cook (22 minutes in the oven) and big enough to satisfy bigger appetites. As a quick after work dinner I served with oven crisped cheesy jackets and peas.
Beyond fish fingers for Little E I can't say I have ever purchased frozen fish (unless you count prawns) and I was surprised how juicy the fish was. Basa is the posh name for river cobbler which is basically a cheap version of cod and I have always shyed away from it at the fish counter for no logical reason beyond the preconceived notion that price and quality go hand in hand. The taste of these fillets has made me reassess this as I wouldn't have known the difference. Youngs, you have a fan!
Artist, Baker and Blogger. Mum to my two beautiful, cheeky girls. Muddling my way through parenthood with equally cheeky Husband.