Monday, 30 January 2012

'Dens' 30/366 Project 366

There is a fantastic new game in our house that involves building a den out of the sofa cushions - its perfect for small people!

Now that's the Cherry On Top..

I was tagged to receive a rather lovely blog award recently from my friend and fellow Blogger Claire at Mummy Of Many Talents.

You may know Claire from her award winning blog A Boy With Aspergers.  The name of her latest Blog 'Mummy of Many Talents' is very apt as Claire is just that!

So here are the rules of accepting the Cherry on top award..
*    First you must thank the blogger that sent it - Claire thanks! Coming from you it means a lot!
*    Next you must list three things you love about yourself. That's not as easy as it seems as I don't really look at myself in a positive light that often, here's mine. 1) I love my 4 gorgeous, special and inspiring children 2) I love that I can accept a challenge and do my best to complete it (this task shows that!)  3) I love that I can express myself through my blog and be able to say that's my space if you don't like it sorry but I am being true to myself.
*    Next you must post a picture you love - tough because there are so many pictures I love but this is one that springs to mind.  I love the innocent eyes and the awe on his face at the camera.

*   Lastly you must pass this award onto 5 more awesome bloggers.. So here's the next 5 I tag...
My friend of 15 years and fellow birthday sharer Wendy at Inside The Wendy House, the lovely Emma at Emma and 3, The fab Heather from SAHM Loving It, one of my favourite bloggers that is always a joy to meet up with, Super Amazing Mum and lastly a lady that is simply kind, generous and downright lovely Alex from Doing It All For Aleyna. Consider yourselves tagged lovelies x

Sunday, 29 January 2012

'Drumsticks' 29/366 Project 366

Well this is what breadsticks drumsticks are for aren't they?!

Silent Sunday

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Messy moments - My entry to Messiest Kids competition

Children and mess just seem to attract each like magnets!

I have a few photos of my childrens messy moments. This photo shows how much fun you can have squishing raspberries through your hair!

This is my entry to the Appliances Online messiest kids competition, check out all the other entries over on Me, The Man & The Baby

Reasons to be Cheerful Week 4 #R2BC

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart

I am joining Mich again in sharing my Reasons to be Cheerful this week.  You can join in by clicking the icon above!

1)  It's Friday!

2)  I spent a lovely day learning how to cook Indian food at a bloggers event and I have to say I impressed myself and it renewed my cooking zest.  I am looking forward to trying some new recipes with my new vigour for all things culinary.

3)  Travelling to the above venue gave me a chance to catch up with my friend Wendy and put the word to rights.  With the to and fros of Christmas and illness we haven't managed to see each other since before Christmas and I always enjoy our get togethers.  Friends are an important part of my life.

Although not life changing reasons to be cheerful some reasons are sometimes overlooked so this week I am cheerful for those small but important things.

A Series of Firsts meme

I haven't done an 'about' tag post for a while and I have to say with Little Man hitting 15 months we are seeing a lot of first time events - tell me about yours...

This is a tag post so if you are tagged fill in your 'firsts' answers and tag 5 others to share theirs.  Don't forget to mention who tagged you...

*   Who was your first boyfriend/girlfriend?
Mine was at age 11 and he was 14.  He was called Steve and I am proud to say we are still in contact even after 27 years!

*   First person you kissed?
Same person as above. Again aged 11 and I felt very grown up.  I can still remember where it happened.

*   First pay packet - can you remember what you bought?
I bought a suede jacket for £185 (can't imagine spending that on a jacket now!)

*   First record or CD you remember buying
Mine was Our House by Madness!

*   First holiday abroad?
I went toGreece at aged 15 with my friend and her parents.  I fell in love with the sunshine and the whole holiday thing there and then.

Now I will tag the following to see what their first memories are!


'Delicious' 28/366 Project 366

Today I headed off to Dilli in Manchester for an Indian cookery lesson. I had the chance to make some amazing tasting Murgh Kali Mirch with Paneer.  I have to say I totally impressed myself with the dishes I created under the expert guidance of  Dillis Chef Naeem. It was part of the #LivingSocialEats event in association with Living Social UK.  A great day full of Indian taste delights.

Another Half Term activity idea - Stories at the Zoo

London Zoo are holding a Stories at the Zoo event during Half term week with daily activities and workshops.

Children can discover how to draw their favourite Zoo animal under expert guidance from award-winning illustrators, while authors’ give top tips on how to write and tell the perfect story.

The event also celebrates the launch of a new range of books from the Zoo written with the help of the keepers, conservationists and scientists.

Stories From The Zoo
There are daily activities from sock puppet workshops to story telling and prices are:

Adult: £20.50
Concession: £19.00
Child: £16.00
Children under three: FREE

Booking in advance? 

There is an online offer available for family tickets, family offer (2 adults + 2 children or 1 adult + 3 children). Save 10% excluding donation, enter code 1234 in the promotion code box when purchasing tickets. Only available online and not at the gate.

For further details see the website here.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Sleep is important - some of my tips for getting children to sleep

I am someone that needs my sleep and without it I am groggy and snappy.. just ask my husband!

I usually sleep well unless of course my children are unsettled.  Here are 3 of my best tips to encourage children to get a good nights you get a good nights sleep!

1) Make sure the room is at a comfortable temperature of around 15C to 22C (59F to 71F) so children are not covering and uncovering themselves and waking up.

2) Avoid stimulation before bedtime so no games of Hide and Seek or Peekaboo! Relaxing and having quiet time before sleep can help them settle better in bed.

3) A bath or massage with a lavender based oil or bubble bath can sooth babies and children. Lavender is well known for its relaxing effects.

 Childrens beds from Time 4 Sleep

If you are looking for a new bed for your child there are a great selection of childrens beds from Time 4 Sleep. I especially love the football bed (see above) on their website!  

Slimavite challenge 2012 - week 4

Well 4 weeks into the Slimavite 2012 challenge and it's been slow going this far compared to last year when I lost over 3 st in just 6 months.

I know that any good diet encourages you to lose, over the plan, 1 to 2 lbs per week and so from that point of view it is going well but I guess I am impatient!

I am trying to incorporate at least 2 decent length walks into each week so I am getting fitter as well as losing weight so hopefully I will see the benefit in my general fitness as well as around my waist.

This week I weighed in at 13 st and 4lbs so that is a step in the right direction with a 1lb loss. My mantra as always onwards and downwards...

Week 4 loss - 1 lb
Left to lose - 2 st and 4 lbs
Follow my journey or better still join in with me! 

Review disclosure

'Buttons' 27/366 Project 366

No matter what Little Man has to have the 'buttons' and actively seeks them out.  He knows all the hiding places and even giving him a spare set without batteries doesn't work - it has to have a red light when he presses it!

Thursday, 26 January 2012

'Expressions' 26/366 Project 366

One of the amusing things about toddlers is the fact that they come up with an amazing array of expressions. I am not sure what this one is saying though .....

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

'Burnt offerings' 25/366 Project 366

Note to self:  unwatched pasta is a tough job to get off when you get caught up on Twitter!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Messiest Kid Competition entry

Here is my entry to the Appliances Online messiest kid competition at Mother’s Always Right.

It was last week and the first time Little Man had fed himself - I think some of it went in his mouth!

Yummy Food Competition entry

This is my daughters entry into the Appliances onlineYummy food competition’ hosted on the “A boy with Aspergers” blog.

My daughter drew this picture incorporating an apple along with her hand grabbing for her favourite food item.....

'Happy food' 24/366 Project 366

My daughter made her own school lunch today - happy food indeed!

Monday, 23 January 2012

When did THAT happen?

I am hurtling towards 40 (next year) and one or two things I have noticed recently are quite alarming...

Catching myself saying to my nearly teenage daughter "Its school not a fashion show"

Finding and singing along to a song on Radio 2 !! Ok, ok I turned it over when I heard Chris Evans but the damage was already done...

Looking at a pair of slippers and thinking they look comfy.. COMFY come on what happened to killer heels and blisters? Or even taking off shoes altogether and walking home from a party barefoot (those were the days)

Seriously contemplating 'sensible' knickers but realising it may be all downhill from there and having an image of Bridget Jones pop into my head - phew close!

Deciding that bed socks are suitable bedroom attire (ok not ready for cotton nightdresses but scared that will be next)

Looking in the mirror and thinking about age defying face products... can you really defy age or is it just good genes?

I thought life was meant to begin at 40 and I am using words like COMFY - when did THAT happen?


'We Are Not A-moo-sed' 23/366 Project 366

Little Man and I went out for a walk together this morning to get some fresh air.  As a SAHM it can sometimes feel like you never leave the house except to transport children so I thought I would burn some calories and take in the sights.  Living in the country means we are never far away from somewhere to walk.  I am going to try and walk a lot more and enjoy taking some photos for my Project 366 at the same time.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

'You missed a bit' 22/366 Project 366

Little Man has found a great new toy - our hoover!  He wouldn't let me have it back without a mini tantrum and I was surprised he wasn't scared of the noise.  He seemed to know exactly how to hoover, must have been watching me, so I am guessing I hoover a lot - must right that wrong...

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Slimavite Challenge 2012 - Week 3

This week I have been getting back into the swing with my Slimavite plan.  Before I started the plan I used to skip breakfast and usually lunch as well and then eat a big meal in the evening.

With the Slimavite shakes I have the convenience of a 'meal' without food which I find hard to face in the morning and with the rush of the school run didn't get time for.  Having a shake is so quick and easy as you just mix a spoon (provided in the pack) with 250ml of semi skimmed milk and shake. As I have only ever drank skimmed milk I am also cutting the calories in a small way with those as well.

The shakes are available in chocolate, strawberry and vanilla although you can get a 'latte effect' by mixing a teaspoon of water to a spoon of coffee and adding to the vanilla shake - great in the mornings!

This week I was eager to see my loss but when I jumped on the scales and weighed 13st and 5lbs (the same as last week) I have to admit I was disappointed.  I then did a stupid thing and got a bit low and ate chocolate and crisps - why do we do that?!

I have kicked myself since and told myself to get a grip and will carry on as before, 2 shakes and an evening meal of about 600 calories and let's see what happens next week... onwards and downwards!

Week 3 loss - 0lb
Left to lose- 2 st and 5 lbs
Follow my journey or better still join in with me!

My favourite evening meal - stir fry with tofu
Review disclosure

'The great match up' 21/366 Project 366

There are certain household chores I hate more than others and sorting socks into pairs is one of them.  I emptied the sock bag (yes we need a bag for all our socks!) today as it was time to tackle the sock pile and along with a screw and a hanger (??) there were socks that haven't seen their sock partner for months.  Here's what I faced this morning before the great match up!

Friday, 20 January 2012

'Playing Footsy' 20/366 Project 366

When I was pregnant with Little Man every scan I had showed that he had one foot underneath him or sat with his legs crossed.  When he went breach at 35 weeks this proved quite uncomfortable for me when he kicked his feet I can tell you.  Even now he loves to sit with his feet crossed or legs crossed - even in his highchair eating his tea!  Looks so uncomfortable to me but i guess he thinks otherwise.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

A Virgin 'The Gallery' post - Eyes

I am a virgin! A virgin to 'The Gallery'  that is....and with the theme this week being eyes I knew exactly the photo I wanted to share....

Since his first day in this world I have photographed and filmed my little man and he is well used to it now and luckily for me actually seems to like having his photo taken.

I love this photo because he is looking so intently at the camera as if he is trying to look down it or figure out what it does.  He is absorbed in it and I think a little mesmerised looking at the facial expression.  I cannot take my eyes of his when I see this photo - I love it!

Why not join in and share your interpretation of this weeks theme?


'Guilty pleasure' 19/366 Project 366

Yes I am on a diet but today was one of those days and I needed it!  Come on don't you get those days?

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

'Open Wide!' 18/366 Project 366

Today saw Little Man attend his first visit to the dentist and he was a little reluctant to open wide... but we got there in the end.  As with all his 'firsts' I wanted to photograph it and luckily our Dentist * thought I was mad * happily agreed and from the photo I would guess even Little Man knew it was a first!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

'Blazing a school run trail' 17/366 Project 366

This week we have had some amazing sunrise and sunsets and normally I am driving when they happen.  This morning on the way back from the school run I pulled over and took this photo of the beautiful horizon we drove towards.

TheBoyandMe's 366 Linky

Monday, 16 January 2012

'Feeling boxed in' 16/366 Project 366

Our local Council have said we can no longer put cardboard into our recycling bins (just garden waste) and because of this and the fact I WILL not just stop recycling because it means a trip to the local tip, my house is becoming overrun with boxes - I am starting to feel very boxed in!!

Sunday, 15 January 2012

'I can do it!' 15/366 Project 366

Today Little Man fed himself for the first time! He was surprising good at it and although he turned the spoon the other way up and spilt some he did actually manage to get food in his mouth and his smile says he was rather pleased with his efforts....he also showed a left hand preference for the first time as well.

Friday, 13 January 2012

'Up there!' 13/366 Project 366

When we were out for a walk this morning Little Man was very impressed by his first sight of a crane in action...

Thursday, 12 January 2012

'Bed Head' 12/366 Project 366

Although I love his blonde hair I think Little Mans bed head this morning tells me its time to get the scissors was a bit wild and with a double crown you can't flatten it down. When he was a smaller baby his hair had days when it looked like he had put his fingers in the socket - it stood totally on end!!

Slimavite Challenge 2012 - week 2

So Last week was back to routine and back to my Slimavite shakes which was hard at first after the Christmas indulgences.

After a day or two I was soon back in the swing and enjoying feeling less bloated and tired which, as a sufferer of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is quite common when eating the wrong foods.  I have found if I eat meat (hence why I was vegetarian for 14 years) in a large quantity it really upsets my tummy and thats what you tend to eat most of at Christmas.  I am back to eating....

Lentil Bolognaise - one for Little Man and one for me!
Which is one of my favourite meals but I have to cook it for myself and Little Man only as my family tend to moan about how healthy it is!  I have also made sure I had lots of...

Stirfrys are my staple diet

Served with 3 minutes fine noodles.

These are so easy and quick to prepare and I use marinated Tofu in with the vegetables which cooks in minutes - the whole meal is ready in less than 15 minutes which is great if you are busy or in a rush.

So this week I weighed in at 13 st and 5 lbs which is a 1lb weight loss for me this week.

Week 2 loss - 1lb
Left to lose - 2 st and 5 lbs
Follow my journey or better still join in with me!  Link your Slimming week updates below and let's support each other on our journeys....

Review disclosure

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Dark clouds on the horizon

Where to start.... I have started and rewritten this post a few times in the last 30 minutes.  The words are there they are just like spaghetti in my head.  Feelings and emotions entwined like a sea of serpents and until I untangle one of them none will make sense.

I have suffered from depression several times in my life and don't feel it is anything to be ashamed about nor, to me, is a badge of honour or a taboo subject - let's face it almost everyone will be affected by it and what's the statistic, is it 1 in 4 will suffer from it at some time in their lives?  From this past experience of depression I know I am started to edge near the hole of blackness as I used to call it.

Depression at that time felt like a well of darkness and on good days I was far from the edge but darker days saw me starting down in the black mirths of my well. The strange thing is I have so many reasons to feel anything other than depressed and I started January with a sense of vigour and excitement.

My depression is usually caused by stress and feeling pressured.

I wanted to just get this down on cyber paper so I can know when the dark clouds start retreating and I do not feel as stressed, low and fed up as I do today.  Without a stick to measure by I may miss a silver lining in them and that is exactly what I need right now...

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

The Watt Loss Challenge - Doing our bit to help

In our household we try and be 'watt savvy' and by doing so we are not only helping keep the bills in check but also doing our bit for the environment.

I have recently starting using a Smart Meter which is a clever little gadget that tells me so much about the energy I am using right now, how much I used yesterday, the last 7 days and even the temperature of the house.  I was amazed when I started using the meter just how much certain everyday appliances actually cost to run and so because of this we now use the tumble dryer only in emergencies  (yes we all forget to dry a vital piece of school uniform now and then!), I try and use the microwave when the oven is not essential and turning the heating thermostat down just 1 degree all helps.

Smart Meter helps us see exactly how much energy we are using.
One helpful exercise was to explain the Smart Meter and how it works to my children and then afterwards I got one to stand and watch the meter while the other one went round the house and turned on (then off) the appliances and lights and then got the other child to do the same.  They were shocked by what they saw and all that running around soon got them warmed up to - double whammy! They are now telling me just how much energy I am using when I am cooking.

We have always used energy saving light bulbs and the cost of these has dropped considerably in the last few years so they save the pennies when you buy them and when you use them - bonus!

When it starts to get dark outside I go round the house and draw all the curtains and also tuck them in behind the radiator if possible so the heat isn't just going up the back of the curtain and not into the room and rather than turn up the heating we go old school and put on a jumper - simple but effective.

Once the children are asleep I have stopped leaving a light on in the hall all night and have switched to using a plug in low voltage baby night light which omits enough glow for any middle of the night trips to the bathroom.

As my 15 month old doesn't really get dirty another way of cutting costs is to leave his bath water in for another person, cutting the energy needed to heat more water and saving water into the bargain.  Why not warm up and share a bath with your partner and share a bit of quality time together?

This post is for the Smart Mums campaign run in partnership with British Gas, if you want to get involved and share your energy saving tips why not go and link up at

10 things they don't tell you about toddlers

When you are pregnant you get lots of advice about what to expect when you have a baby but what many of the guides don't tell you is what to expect when your small bundle of joy starts to grow, such as...

1)   Once your baby gets mobile changing a nappy becomes more like The Krypton Factor and the last thing your baby wants to do is help.  From twisting and turning mid change to just getting them to stay still long enough to actually put the nappy on - the challenge is on.

2)   Anything your baby eats does and will come out the other end but with a far stronger smell ! And why is it always when you are out and about?! Some nappy changes should carry a Government Health Warning!

3)   Feeding your active baby becomes a bit like throwing a food fight with you as the target - you have been warned. Toddlers love to squeeze their food through their fingers and even better through your hair.

4)    Toddlers always seem to remember and repeat exactly what you don't want them to!

5)   Art starts at home - usually on the walls, carpets and your duvet cover makes the perfect canvas for babies Sudocrem smeared hand prints.

6)   The TV remote, your keys and your mobile phone will become the sole seek and destroy mission for a toddler and yes they do know where you hide them....

7)   No matter how many hours of filming and photos you take, the minute your back is turned or the camera is off is when they will take their first steps or say their first words.

8)   Boys soon discover a new toy that appears when they remove their nappy!

9)  Your bed is their bed!

10) Dummies can never be located in the dark of the night but magically reappear after you have had to put the light on and waken the whole house up doing so!

These are just some of the things that are coming flooding back to haunt me as my baby becomes a toddler and I am 'enjoying' them all but I am sure you have more.....

'Squashed' 10/366 Project 366

We bought this bear for Little Man before he was even born and he is very intrigued by the key that is around his neck but I think the fur scares him a little as it is quite realistic feeling for a toy.  He could be a little nicer to the poor bear as well - poor thing!

Getting organised - A suggestion for Half Term Quentin Blake Exhibition

I love the artwork of Quentin Blake and have yet to find another artist that portrays people in such a unique way.  My children have a collection Of Roald Dahl books illustrated by him and they always comments on the pictures.

I wanted to let you know about a new exhibition of the man's work that is to open soon at The Foundling Museum in London:

Quentin Blake – As large as life  (Runs from Thursday 12 January –Sunday 15 April 2012)

Quentin Blake is one of Britain’s best-loved and most successful illustrators. Well known for illustrating stories by Roald Dahl, Blake was Britain’s first Children’s Laureate.  Showing at the Foundling Museum, Quentin Blake – As large as life presents recent work commissioned by four hospitals in the UK and France. Further information on this exhibition and what else is on offer is available on the Foundling Museums website.

The Foundling Museum  is situated at 40 Brunswick Square, London WC1N 1AZ and entrance prices for this exhibition are £7.50,  £5 concession but free to children. So as Half Term will here before we all know it this new exhibition may be worth bearing in mind for a visit.

Here's a taster of some of Quentins work...

Planet Zog 1 © Quentin Blake

© Quentin Blake

Monday, 9 January 2012

'Giant baby loose in New York' 9/366 Project 366

One of Little Mans favourite presents this year was this taxi sent by a friend from New York.  I was watching him play for ages with it yesterday and couldn't resist this shot !

Sunday, 8 January 2012

'Do they know something I don't?' 8/366 Project 366

I caught sight of some bulbs sprouting in my patio tubs today.  Do they know that Spring is on it's way or will they be tricked by a sudden cold snap?  The way the weather feels today I am not sure but I am hoping they are right in wanting to push towards Spring.

Silent Sunday

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Diary of a 15 month old...

One of the main reasons I started my blog was to keep an online diary of Little Mans life.  I have never been very good at writing down milestones in the baby record books but my blog is somewhere I can keep my own records.

On Wednesday Little Man was 15 months old and I realised that I haven't actually written a progress report of his many achievements in those 15 months so this is a post to update those.

Complete with angel wings -  first set of professional photos (10/11/10)
He had his first set of professional photos taken aged nearly 6 weeks old, although I have been taking photos and videos of him since the day he was born.  He was happy to be posed and dressed up and never complained once (thankfully!)

Aged 6 weeks
In his next photo shoot in April 2011 he was far more mobile and proved again he was far from camera shy...

Not the quickest to learn to sit up, he finally sat up without support for the first time in July 2011 (9 months old) when he was at his brothers Sports Day.  He had sat up since May but was rather like a Weeble between May and July.

August was the start of 2 'firsts' in a row.  On the 20th a first tiny bud of a baby tooth starting to erupt closely followed by another 2 days later.  This first was closely followed by another on the 23rd August when I woke up to find he had stood up in his cot for the first time.

With his next milestone, crawling, I let him down as I cannot remember the date he first achieved a taste of mobility - sorry Little Man (see I should have written this before now)

Again this week we have had two 'first' within days of each other.  Aged exactly 15 months he took his first two steps (apparently he did this for the really first time on New Years Eve but I was out with friends for coffee and didn't witness it)  I didn't know whether to be happy or sad for the fact that he is progressing or that my baby is growing so fast.  Today he built his first tower of blocks (4 high!) but before I could take a photo he knocked them down by clapping at himself - hopefully next time I will manage it.

My baby is becoming a toddler before my eyes and although I have wanted to treasure him being a baby for as long as possible, purely from the selfish point of view that he will be my last child, I am filled with a bursting pride at his accomplishments.  The one first I really don't want to happen is his first official word as I love his babbling and attempts at 'talking' so much.  I do think from what I have heard so far his first word will be tickle, tickle as we are nearly there with an "ickle, ickle" at every tickle he receives.

So there an official record of the progress of a 15 month old baby and I will be sure to record the next ones as soon as they happen for fear of missing any.

On his first birthday

'Goodbye till next time' 7/366 Project 366

I am a bit of a Bah Humbug when it comes to decorations.  I love buying and wrapping presents and the family part to Christmas but not the tree and the decorations.  It is pretty with the lights and all that but doesn't it get in the way and make the room look smaller?  I love taking the decorations down so I can concentrate on the year ahead so today is about that.  Now where's that ladder? Back in the loft you go!

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Slimavite challenge 2012 - week 1

In my post Christmas update I was disappointed to see the scales showing 13st 7 lbs but that was quickly replaced 'well yes but you did lose nearly 3 and a half stone prior to that! And that was just since May!'

Sometimes we can be too hard on ourselves over our small failings (like just being human and liking to indulge at Christmas) and forget the bigger picture.  I am fully intending to remember that as I set myself a new 2012 Slimavite challenge.

Losing all that weight last year was fantastic and brought me down to my pre-pregnancy weight.  Am I happy? Yes and no...  being back to a pre-pregnancy weight is amazing and I can get back into much of my old clothes but I want to go back to where I was when I got married in 2006 - 11 stone exactly.

So my 2012 Slimavite challenge started on 1st January with a weigh in of 13st and 7 lbs and today I weighed 13st and 6 lbs so since Sunday I have already lost 1 lb.

Starting the Slimavite plan is really easy as I am replacing 2 meals with a milkshake designed to help you lose weight - sounds perfect.  Your main meal is whatever you fancy that adds up to approx 600 calories.  The Bite Plan on the Slimavite website giving helpful advice on making informed eating choices or if you fancy some inspiration there is a handy recipe suggestions section as well.

Week 1 loss - 1lb
Left to lose by the 22nd April - 2 st and 6 lbs
Follow my journey or better still join in with me!

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

One Born Every Minute #Dads - Our experience

One Born Every Minute returns to our televisions tonight and I have to be honest and say I do not watch it.  Not because I can't but just because I cannot watch birth without feeling an immense feeling of emotion.

Having had four children I have had my fair share of labours and luckily none of them too traumatic.  I wanted to share my most recent labour experience.  This one is obviously the most recent in my memory.

As I have had no complications in my first three labours (although they were all large babies over 8lb 8oz, my recent pregnancy was set to be as uneventful.

** I wish to add at this point that I am needle phobic - not just scared but petrified and have had hypnotherapy to try and deal with my fears and my husband is petrified of anything medical especially hospitals.  You can get the picture of what we were like as a pregnant couple!! **

I knew Little Man would be a big baby and from my size and shape so did every one else!  All was fine til week 35 apart from a minor and thankfully incorrect DVT scare that required 2 days of hospitalisation and a scan on my calf muscle.  The movements felt from the baby suddenly changed as I reached 35 weeks and I no longer was feeling the kicks in the same way or place.  I went to a routine Midwife appointment and was sent to the hospital for a scan.  My Husband was popping 'Calms' the entire journey and we sat in the waiting room like a pair of caged tigers.

The scan showed that Little Man had moved into a breach position (hence the change in movements) and they were concerned as time was running out with a due date the next month.  We were told to come back the next week for another scan and handed information leaflets on Caesarian births - we were petrified, not just because of the severity of the information we held in our hands but also the fact that I cannot be given any needles, the lack of mobility after the operation and the obvious factor it would involve a hospital and my Husband greatest fear.

On returning the next week the baby had still not changed position and we were told as he was such a large baby there was almost certainly no alternative but they would allow us to try ECV to try and turn the baby manually into the correct heads down position.  At this stage we both went into panic as after searching the internet it appeared to be a 50/50 procedure in regards to success.  I was also told it could be painful. My husband by this stage could have kept Calms herbal stress relief tablets in business.  He refused to let me go alone even though he would have to face another hospital visit.

We returned at week 38 (the last possible time I was given to have an ECV) and the waiting room had 4 others in front of us.  We watched as they came out trying to judge from their faces if their procedures had been a success and working out our odds on a 50/50 success rate.  Selfishly we hoped we would be lucky.  My Husband gripped my hand so tightly as we held back tears as we heard our names and I was on edge how he would react to seeing me in pain in the process.

The Doctor went through the pros and cons and assured me the scan done before had showed enough fluid surrounding the baby to attempt the ECV and confirmed through an examination of my tummy that he was a 'good size' which could be a good thing in that if he turned he may not have enough room to turn back but his size may stop him turning in the first place - not the thing you really want to hear at that point.

After 15 or so minutes and my hand red raw from my Husband grip as he fought fear and concern we were told he had turned and we could proceed as planned with a birth at a low intervention Midwife Led Unit (MLU) which was a blessing as I don't think either myself or my Husband could have coped with a Maternity Unit or a Caesarian.  We were 'off the hook' as far as our worst fears went.

My due date came and went (September 22nd 2010) and I was told I was to be induced at the main Maternity Unit if I did not go into labour the next day at 7 days overdue due to the size of the baby.  Once again we were right back to our worst fears - a busy hospital and intervention involving needles.  We didn't need to say the words to each other as we both knew we would face needles and hospitals if induction was given.

We went to our induction appointment scared beyond belief but wanting only the best outcome for our unborn baby.  It was like walking your last steps to the electric chair which for those of you without such phobias may be seen as pathetic.  The Midwife on duty said we didn't look very happy for a couple having a baby that day and we told her why.  She read my maternity notes plastered with warning of our phobias and then the unheard of happened (well so we were told by the other Midwives on duty) she told us to go home, eat curry, have sex, jump up and down and try ANYTHING to get labour to start on its own and booked us for the following Tuesday to come back if it all failed.  We both shed tears at the 4 day reprieve as we left the unit baby less.  The roller coaster was still in full velocity speed.

3 days later at 8PM I had a bath and had a show.  I called my Husband to come and check I was right and he agreed... we just had to keep things moving as one more day and our hope of a MLU birth were over.  I went to bed and prayed for something to happen, my Husband did the same.  At 5AM I was in early stage labour but me being me I wanted to be sure and also drop the children off to school on the way so I didn't have to let down my school lift share!!!  On arriving at hospital in our MLU we were hopeful we would get the birth we wanted.

On examination I was told the baby was to far up and I wasn't in labour.  My words were something like it can't hurt more than THIS - are you sure!  An internal examination confirmed I was actually 7 CM dilated and was whisked in the labour room - we were go.....

The traumatic ups and downs of first a Breach baby, the once a week scans that my poor hospital phobic Husband endured whilst all the while telling me not to worry when his eyes told me he would rather commit Hara Kiri than be in a hospital.  Following that the ECV intervention, the stress of having to go to be induced quickly followed by the reprieve and then the elation at actually arriving at our place of preferred birth and that was all before the actual labour and birth.

3 hours and 45 minutes later, after a gas and air only birth (surprise surprise no needles) we welcomed our 10lb 13oz Son into the world - 12 days late and totally gorgeous.  I thank everything we were able to experience the birth we so longed for and that we did it all with the support of each other.  Birth is not just experienced by the Mother and Dads also find a lot of the whole thing traumatic even if it is for different reasons.

Little Man at 10lb 13 ozs looked nothing like a newborn baby!

I am thankful for Midwife Led Units and to the wonderful and understanding Midwife, Anita, who made the whole experience as easy as possible considering our phobias.  We need more Midwives like her.
One Born Every Minute is on Wednesday nights from 4th Jan, 9pm, Channel 4 and available online at