Welcoming Rohan Emil


So he's here. I'm sure most of you may have been following along on Instagram or facebook, but I thought I would share here a little more about welcoming our sweet Rohan into the world. (Just also to clarify, his name is pronounced like Rowan, just spelt a little differently!) 
I thought I would try and write down how we welcomed our little Rohan into the world, whilst it's still a little fresh in my mind. These last few days have been such a blur of information and emotion that sometimes it's easy to forget I gave birth only a week ago. 

Last week I woke up feeling like things couldn't go on for much longer. The Christmas holidays were just about over and Theo was going back to school. All day Monday and Tuesday I had stitch like pains down my bump and somehow I just knew that things wouldn't hold on for too much longer. On Wednesday, after a bath to soothe my aching bump I had a sudden urge to go to the shops and buy a few last minute items for my hospital bag, and manically rechecked it all when I got home. I'd like to say I felt ready, but the last month or so of the pregnancy just flew by and it hadn't really sunk in that I was full term, and probably wouldn't get any bigger and that indeed the pregnancy was very nearly over. When I was pregnant with Theo it felt like an age to get to full term and here I was at 39 weeks not really feeling like it was really the end, but also feeling like there was no way I could possibly be pregnant for another three weeks or so. 

I took another bath in the evening as I was just so tired from my day racing around the shops and tried to get myself in bed early. I think I finally went to sleep by about 10.30, half way through Madmen, and just too tired. I woke up around midnight with the need to go to the toilet (I was going about 4 or 5 times a night!) with slight cramping pain. As I climbed back into bed after I felt a soft pop and knew, as like with Theo, my waters had gone. I think I actually jumped out of bed (to protect the mattress!) and stood there a little in shock. I was due to have a stretch and sweep the next afternoon and couldn't really believe that it had happened a week early all by itself. I rang the hospital straight away to let them know whilst Rob busied himself packing the last of the bag. 

I had (sort of luckily) been diagnosed with having Group B strep whilst pregnant, which meant I would need to receive antibiotics as soon as I went into labour, so whilst technically nothing was really happening yet as I wasn't having any contractions, normally I could have stayed at home, but I had to go in straight away. We called Rob's parents who made their way over to take me to hospital and someone to stay with Theo. I desperately wanted to wake Theo to tell him we wouldn't be there when he woke in the morning and to in a way say goodbye to the end of our family of three, but it wasn't a good idea. We left the house in a sort of blur, and there was no real goodbye. It all just happened so quickly again that I don't really think it sunk in that I was actually going to go into labour and that the baby would be here pretty soon.

We arrived at hospital around 1am, me still leaking quite a lot of fluid. The next few hours passed with not much happening at all. My contractions did start, baby's heart was being monitored and I had received the antibiotics. I had no real birth plan as such, just that I wanted to be in control a little more this time. I wanted to be able to be mobile if that suited me, to have music and perhaps a calmer atmosphere than last time. Above all I just didn't want to get the fear. I had been attending a yoga and birth preparation class for a month or so and felt that the breathing exercises to stay calm really helped. People had also given me some hypno-birthing tracks which I listened to in the early hours of that morning. So things progressed like this for a while. Alternating from being on the birthing ball, the bed and standing. My contractions were irregular, the midwife checked me and did a sweep, and also broke the rest of my waters just in front of baby's head. 

It was a slow, quiet night and still didn't really feel real. I encouraged Rob to sleep, as he had had even less sleep than me and not a lot was going on in any case. Around 6.30 in  the morning the midwife suggested that because of the group b strep and my waters breaking that the risk of infection goes up the longer the time between my waters and the baby being born passed. Since my contractions were still pretty irregular they wanted to put me on the syntocinon drip to get them started a little more. I was pretty tired by this point, and throughout I just wanted to do what was best for baby. I didn't want to carry on naturally for a few more hours only to end up at this point anyway, just more exhausted. So we decided to go for it. 

I didn't have any pain relief plan, but last time with Theo when I had the hormone drip I did opt for having the epidural straight away, as I was told that it would sort of throw me in the deep end of contractions, and well I had the fear last time. This time however I did feel a little more in control, my breathing was really helping me through the contractions and I just wanted to see how it went. The drip went in at about 7.30am, just before the midwives changed their shifts. I'm pretty sure it started working straight away, as the contractions, whilst not getting much stronger definitely became more regular. As the sun was coming up we dipped the lights even more, put on music and I stayed on the ball just breathing my way through each contraction. In my head I imagined climbing up a hill with each one, knowing I would get to the top and be able to come back down again on the other side.


It didn't take too long for the surges to become more intense, and at points I definitely felt like I was loosing control and didn't think I would be able to manage much more pain. I felt the sudden urge to be sick, like I did in labour with Theo, and I think the fear of having uncontrollable sickness crept in and I panicked. I asked for an epidural. I was so tired and all I wanted to do was lie on the bed in a pain free state like I had last time. In the meantime I tried one puff of gas and air during a contraction, but this time around I hated it. It made me feel way too dizzy! One anaesthetist came but with news that he had been called to theatre, I had sort of lost my control over the contractions. I definitely admitted defeat and didn't want to carry on any more, but by that time my contractions were coming pretty thick and fast that I didn't really have a choice. Rob and the midwives kept on pulling me back and telling me just to concentrate on my breathing, which definitely helped. By that point I, to my surprise started to feel the urge to push. I could feel baby moving down but there was no way I felt like it was time for that to happen. I told the midwives and they told me to just go with the feeling. I had been standing for a while by this point, leaning on the bed, moaning and trying to breathe my way through. Another anaesthetist came by this time being able to perform the epidural if I still wanted it, but I couldn't concentrate on what she was saying, and I felt too far gone by this point. I was still wanting to push and there was no way I would have been able to sit still enough for the epidural, as the contractions were going through my whole body in waves. So I somewhat politely (not at all) refused the epidural. The midwives decided to try and check how I was progressing and asked me to get onto the bed, which I just found to be the most difficult thing to do. It felt like I couldn't move and that the baby was just too far down, but I managed to get on in the end. They said I was about 7cm dilated, but my god it hurt like hell to be checked. 

I wanted to be off the bed and standing as soon as I could again, and I don't really think the midwives expected things to progress as quickly, but to me it felt like no sooner had I stood up again that I could feel the urge to push once more. Soon enough I could feel his head coming out, and informed the midwife that it was there. I think his head may have gone back up, but it was clear that things were moving very fast and that he was going to be born with the next few surges. I didn't really notice but more people had entered the room ready for him to be born. The whole time I felt like my body had just taken over, the noises came out of me involuntarily, as well as a few choice words. But I was aware of what was happening, I could feel every movement of baby, and even though the pain was like nothing else, it felt amazing to know he was nearly there. Sure enough with a few more surges, little pushes and some yelling, his head born, followed swiftly by the rest of his body. 


I think by that point I was in total shock, I couldn't believe he was out and it was pretty much over. I think Rohan was in a little bit of shock too and they took him away to be rubbed and looked at whilst I got myself on the bed. I'm not sure how much time passed but I eventually delivered the placenta then got to be able to finally meet my beautiful boy for the first time and hold him in my arms. We stayed gazing at his little face for quite a while before he eventually had to be taken away to NICU. I was so exhausted by that point I could barely keep my eyes open and I don't think I truely registered him being moved. But it was over, in two and a half hours I'd managed to go from 3cms to delivering him all without pain relief. I couldn't believe I'd actually done it. 

Over the next few hours or so I slept, had tea and toast and expressed my first bit of colostrum. We then packed up our belongings and walked (yes walked eek!) round to the ward before making our way to NICU to lay eyes on our boy. But I shall leave the rest for another day as this is already so very long. I can't believe it's been a week already since he entered this world and we're so glad he is here. I won't go too much here on how I've been feeling since he was born, as I want to keep his birth separate. For the most part it was an amazing experience, it may not have felt it at the time, but I'm so glad I was able to birth him naturally and feel exactly what it feels like to have a baby. This is my last pregnancy and baby, and I feel it ended in the best possible way (other than being able to keep hold of him in my arms) and for that I'm thankful. 

So Rohan, your journey into this world was quick but we're so glad you decided to finally come and meet us. We love you more than we thought possible! 

Welcoming Rohan Emil


So he's here. I'm sure most of you may have been following along on Instagram or facebook, but I thought I would share here a little more about welcoming our sweet Rohan into the world. (Just also to clarify, his name is pronounced like Rowan, just spelt a little differently!) 
I thought I would try and write down how we welcomed our little Rohan into the world, whilst it's still a little fresh in my mind. These last few days have been such a blur of information and emotion that sometimes it's easy to forget I gave birth only a week ago. 

Last week I woke up feeling like things couldn't go on for much longer. The Christmas holidays were just about over and Theo was going back to school. All day Monday and Tuesday I had stitch like pains down my bump and somehow I just knew that things wouldn't hold on for too much longer. On Wednesday, after a bath to soothe my aching bump I had a sudden urge to go to the shops and buy a few last minute items for my hospital bag, and manically rechecked it all when I got home. I'd like to say I felt ready, but the last month or so of the pregnancy just flew by and it hadn't really sunk in that I was full term, and probably wouldn't get any bigger and that indeed the pregnancy was very nearly over. When I was pregnant with Theo it felt like an age to get to full term and here I was at 39 weeks not really feeling like it was really the end, but also feeling like there was no way I could possibly be pregnant for another three weeks or so. 

I took another bath in the evening as I was just so tired from my day racing around the shops and tried to get myself in bed early. I think I finally went to sleep by about 10.30, half way through Madmen, and just too tired. I woke up around midnight with the need to go to the toilet (I was going about 4 or 5 times a night!) with slight cramping pain. As I climbed back into bed after I felt a soft pop and knew, as like with Theo, my waters had gone. I think I actually jumped out of bed (to protect the mattress!) and stood there a little in shock. I was due to have a stretch and sweep the next afternoon and couldn't really believe that it had happened a week early all by itself. I rang the hospital straight away to let them know whilst Rob busied himself packing the last of the bag. 

I had (sort of luckily) been diagnosed with having Group B strep whilst pregnant, which meant I would need to receive antibiotics as soon as I went into labour, so whilst technically nothing was really happening yet as I wasn't having any contractions, normally I could have stayed at home, but I had to go in straight away. We called Rob's parents who made their way over to take me to hospital and someone to stay with Theo. I desperately wanted to wake Theo to tell him we wouldn't be there when he woke in the morning and to in a way say goodbye to the end of our family of three, but it wasn't a good idea. We left the house in a sort of blur, and there was no real goodbye. It all just happened so quickly again that I don't really think it sunk in that I was actually going to go into labour and that the baby would be here pretty soon.

We arrived at hospital around 1am, me still leaking quite a lot of fluid. The next few hours passed with not much happening at all. My contractions did start, baby's heart was being monitored and I had received the antibiotics. I had no real birth plan as such, just that I wanted to be in control a little more this time. I wanted to be able to be mobile if that suited me, to have music and perhaps a calmer atmosphere than last time. Above all I just didn't want to get the fear. I had been attending a yoga and birth preparation class for a month or so and felt that the breathing exercises to stay calm really helped. People had also given me some hypno-birthing tracks which I listened to in the early hours of that morning. So things progressed like this for a while. Alternating from being on the birthing ball, the bed and standing. My contractions were irregular, the midwife checked me and did a sweep, and also broke the rest of my waters just in front of baby's head. 

It was a slow, quiet night and still didn't really feel real. I encouraged Rob to sleep, as he had had even less sleep than me and not a lot was going on in any case. Around 6.30 in  the morning the midwife suggested that because of the group b strep and my waters breaking that the risk of infection goes up the longer the time between my waters and the baby being born passed. Since my contractions were still pretty irregular they wanted to put me on the syntocinon drip to get them started a little more. I was pretty tired by this point, and throughout I just wanted to do what was best for baby. I didn't want to carry on naturally for a few more hours only to end up at this point anyway, just more exhausted. So we decided to go for it. 

I didn't have any pain relief plan, but last time with Theo when I had the hormone drip I did opt for having the epidural straight away, as I was told that it would sort of throw me in the deep end of contractions, and well I had the fear last time. This time however I did feel a little more in control, my breathing was really helping me through the contractions and I just wanted to see how it went. The drip went in at about 7.30am, just before the midwives changed their shifts. I'm pretty sure it started working straight away, as the contractions, whilst not getting much stronger definitely became more regular. As the sun was coming up we dipped the lights even more, put on music and I stayed on the ball just breathing my way through each contraction. In my head I imagined climbing up a hill with each one, knowing I would get to the top and be able to come back down again on the other side.


It didn't take too long for the surges to become more intense, and at points I definitely felt like I was loosing control and didn't think I would be able to manage much more pain. I felt the sudden urge to be sick, like I did in labour with Theo, and I think the fear of having uncontrollable sickness crept in and I panicked. I asked for an epidural. I was so tired and all I wanted to do was lie on the bed in a pain free state like I had last time. In the meantime I tried one puff of gas and air during a contraction, but this time around I hated it. It made me feel way too dizzy! One anaesthetist came but with news that he had been called to theatre, I had sort of lost my control over the contractions. I definitely admitted defeat and didn't want to carry on any more, but by that time my contractions were coming pretty thick and fast that I didn't really have a choice. Rob and the midwives kept on pulling me back and telling me just to concentrate on my breathing, which definitely helped. By that point I, to my surprise started to feel the urge to push. I could feel baby moving down but there was no way I felt like it was time for that to happen. I told the midwives and they told me to just go with the feeling. I had been standing for a while by this point, leaning on the bed, moaning and trying to breathe my way through. Another anaesthetist came by this time being able to perform the epidural if I still wanted it, but I couldn't concentrate on what she was saying, and I felt too far gone by this point. I was still wanting to push and there was no way I would have been able to sit still enough for the epidural, as the contractions were going through my whole body in waves. So I somewhat politely (not at all) refused the epidural. The midwives decided to try and check how I was progressing and asked me to get onto the bed, which I just found to be the most difficult thing to do. It felt like I couldn't move and that the baby was just too far down, but I managed to get on in the end. They said I was about 7cm dilated, but my god it hurt like hell to be checked. 

I wanted to be off the bed and standing as soon as I could again, and I don't really think the midwives expected things to progress as quickly, but to me it felt like no sooner had I stood up again that I could feel the urge to push once more. Soon enough I could feel his head coming out, and informed the midwife that it was there. I think his head may have gone back up, but it was clear that things were moving very fast and that he was going to be born with the next few surges. I didn't really notice but more people had entered the room ready for him to be born. The whole time I felt like my body had just taken over, the noises came out of me involuntarily, as well as a few choice words. But I was aware of what was happening, I could feel every movement of baby, and even though the pain was like nothing else, it felt amazing to know he was nearly there. Sure enough with a few more surges, little pushes and some yelling, his head born, followed swiftly by the rest of his body. 


I think by that point I was in total shock, I couldn't believe he was out and it was pretty much over. I think Rohan was in a little bit of shock too and they took him away to be rubbed and looked at whilst I got myself on the bed. I'm not sure how much time passed but I eventually delivered the placenta then got to be able to finally meet my beautiful boy for the first time and hold him in my arms. We stayed gazing at his little face for quite a while before he eventually had to be taken away to NICU. I was so exhausted by that point I could barely keep my eyes open and I don't think I truely registered him being moved. But it was over, in two and a half hours I'd managed to go from 3cms to delivering him all without pain relief. I couldn't believe I'd actually done it. 

Over the next few hours or so I slept, had tea and toast and expressed my first bit of colostrum. We then packed up our belongings and walked (yes walked eek!) round to the ward before making our way to NICU to lay eyes on our boy. But I shall leave the rest for another day as this is already so very long. I can't believe it's been a week already since he entered this world and we're so glad he is here. I won't go too much here on how I've been feeling since he was born, as I want to keep his birth separate. For the most part it was an amazing experience, it may not have felt it at the time, but I'm so glad I was able to birth him naturally and feel exactly what it feels like to have a baby. This is my last pregnancy and baby, and I feel it ended in the best possible way (other than being able to keep hold of him in my arms) and for that I'm thankful. 

So Rohan, your journey into this world was quick but we're so glad you decided to finally come and meet us. We love you more than we thought possible! 

The baby wishlist

So it's getting very close to that time. I'm 38 weeks and suddenly it's hit me that this is it, I'm full term, ready to go and that this is the end of my pregnancy. I have to say I'm ready not to be pregnant anymore, walking anywhere of any great distance is pretty hard and the waddle is definitely present. Sleeping is pretty uncomfortable and I've suddenly realised how big I am. When I've been out and about I've definitely noticed those sideways glances and some slightly afraid looking people like I might suddenly go into labour then and there.

Last week we had our last hospital appointment, and I'm relieved to say that all is looking ok. The original heart problem is still looking likely but I think the cardiologist ruled out the other problem that they were unsure of. The size of the baby is still slightly larger than average, but not of any great concern. I am still set to go into natural labour and go up to my due date. Even so I have an induction booked for a few days after my due date, which ideally I don't want to get to. I have an appointment with the midwife booked for a sweep next week, which if Theo is anything to go by, could kick start the labour. Scary hey?


So as Christmas has now quickly disappeared we're on full get ready for baby mode. My hospital bag is now packed, and I've just finished sorting through the mountain of baby clothes that we retrieved from the loft (and were kindly washed and ironed by my mum!) and put them away in the drawers. The little spare room has started to be transformed into a sort of nursery, even though we're not entirely sure what's going to happen when we do finally bring baby home. We've not yet sorted out a cot or co-sleeper and I'm not sure what the baby will need just yet so that is probably going to be something we sort at a later point. On boxing day I had a huge manic urge to sort through all of the kitchen cupboards and clear out things we don't need, today Theo's room and toys is on the hit list and Rob is currently being set to work repainting our bathroom. Nesting much? 

We've had to stock up on a few new items for the baby as when he's in hospital, after surgery he'll require clothes that will enable easy access to his chest. Luckily H&M make lovely front opening vests, which I can imagine he'll be living in when in hospital. We're also not sure what is happening with his feet, but from doing research it looks as though he may be put in leg casts to help manipulate the feet into the correct position. Again I'm not entirely sure what is going to happen, but in terms of clothes this may mean he will only fit into loose footless leggings. It's funny how much to you take for granted when shopping for normal baby clothes, and even though I've not done too much there has had to be some more consideration on what we will actually need. But of course that hasn't stopped me from making wish lists and pinning to my baby board. (You can find all links for products above there!) 

So as much as I'm trying to relax and just enjoy this last bit of time with our little family of three (more on that soon!) I feel like we're in full baby preparation mode, and above all I'm pretty excited to meet him! 

The baby wishlist

So it's getting very close to that time. I'm 38 weeks and suddenly it's hit me that this is it, I'm full term, ready to go and that this is the end of my pregnancy. I have to say I'm ready not to be pregnant anymore, walking anywhere of any great distance is pretty hard and the waddle is definitely present. Sleeping is pretty uncomfortable and I've suddenly realised how big I am. When I've been out and about I've definitely noticed those sideways glances and some slightly afraid looking people like I might suddenly go into labour then and there.

Last week we had our last hospital appointment, and I'm relieved to say that all is looking ok. The original heart problem is still looking likely but I think the cardiologist ruled out the other problem that they were unsure of. The size of the baby is still slightly larger than average, but not of any great concern. I am still set to go into natural labour and go up to my due date. Even so I have an induction booked for a few days after my due date, which ideally I don't want to get to. I have an appointment with the midwife booked for a sweep next week, which if Theo is anything to go by, could kick start the labour. Scary hey?


So as Christmas has now quickly disappeared we're on full get ready for baby mode. My hospital bag is now packed, and I've just finished sorting through the mountain of baby clothes that we retrieved from the loft (and were kindly washed and ironed by my mum!) and put them away in the drawers. The little spare room has started to be transformed into a sort of nursery, even though we're not entirely sure what's going to happen when we do finally bring baby home. We've not yet sorted out a cot or co-sleeper and I'm not sure what the baby will need just yet so that is probably going to be something we sort at a later point. On boxing day I had a huge manic urge to sort through all of the kitchen cupboards and clear out things we don't need, today Theo's room and toys is on the hit list and Rob is currently being set to work repainting our bathroom. Nesting much? 

We've had to stock up on a few new items for the baby as when he's in hospital, after surgery he'll require clothes that will enable easy access to his chest. Luckily H&M make lovely front opening vests, which I can imagine he'll be living in when in hospital. We're also not sure what is happening with his feet, but from doing research it looks as though he may be put in leg casts to help manipulate the feet into the correct position. Again I'm not entirely sure what is going to happen, but in terms of clothes this may mean he will only fit into loose footless leggings. It's funny how much to you take for granted when shopping for normal baby clothes, and even though I've not done too much there has had to be some more consideration on what we will actually need. But of course that hasn't stopped me from making wish lists and pinning to my baby board. (You can find all links for products above there!) 

So as much as I'm trying to relax and just enjoy this last bit of time with our little family of three (more on that soon!) I feel like we're in full baby preparation mode, and above all I'm pretty excited to meet him! 

It's that time again...

So guess what...it's time for another minor freak out and some more rambling from my brain. We of course have another hospital appointment tomorrow, one last heart and growth scan, which is most likely the cause of the racing thoughts going through my head and the need to let them escape onto this page.

 I'm dreading the scan tomorrow. I have the fear of bad news, even though there hasn't really been any more bad news since we've been having the extra scans, just possibilities and wait and sees. At our last scan the consultant informed us that the left ventricle was smaller than it was last time and whilst it didn't worry her, and she gave us her medical opinion that she didn't see it developing into a further problem, but still had to give us information on another heart condition that it could point to. A much more serious heart condition with a lower survival rate, more surgeries and unknown quality of life. Me being me needed to know the worse case scenario, and it did scare me. Suddenly what they originally diagnosed didn't seem that bad at all, and these past four weeks has seen me silently telling myself and the baby (and the universe) that everything will be ok, and that this isn't going to happen to us. In a way I don't even really want to go tomorrow, I don't want any bad news, not now that we're so close.



 I feel so many different emotions and worries. I can't even order them here on the page. Obviously as the due date fast approaches and I feel like I could go into labour any day now (I'm nearly 37 weeks, hold on until after Christmas please!) and just feel a little over the pregnancy now. Of course I still love feeling the little boy wriggling around inside, and I know that he is safe and still connected to me, which is something that I'm going to find hard to let go of, but I'm getting sick of being pregnant. The physical side of it is wearing me out, I'm too big and I forgot just how damn uncomfortable you are, and I do actually feel at peace with knowing this is my last. I'm also getting desperate to meet this little boy, to wonder what he'll look like, to know what ever it is that is wrong with him and to stop the guessing games.

 But it all makes me sad and to be honest a little cross. It's starting to feel so unfair that we won't have that special newborn time, I won't get to hold my baby for long after he's born, I'll have to leave hospital without him, express my milk instead of forming a breastfeeding bond straight away. Why does it have to be this way? Why can't I have a lovely healthy, perfect little baby to bring home with us to start this journey as a family of four? It's breaking my heart to have to keep on reminding myself that it's going to be so different this time. I just wish with everything I have that it's all going to be ok, that somehow, somewhere, someone has granted us just at least a little bit of good luck and that this story doesn't end in even more heartbreak.

 But yet there's still so much uncertainty. We don't know the full extent of the heart problem, we have to journey through the baby being treated for talipes and I guess we have to await any signs of other conditions that we may not have been aware of. Yesterday I met a lady who like us had problems diagnosed at her 20 week scan, and even though more problems were found during the rest of the pregnancy, they still had no idea that the baby would be born with an undiagnosable genetic disorder. Something that wouldn't have shown up on an amniocentesis test had they decided to have one. I know I shouldn't obsess and think that this is bound to happen to us, but of course it has me worried. We have the all clear for major known genetic disorders, but of course there could be something there. I'm terrified. I know that whatever will be will be, and that there's nothing we can do to change anything anyway but it doesn't stop my thinking what if. I don't want to go down that trail of thought again, I just want to be able to focus on the now and dealing with things as they come, but it's all getting so close.



 Can you see how panicky this is all making me? I feel slightly frantic in my thoughts and I just want some definite answers. I am a planner, I like things to be set out and organised and I just don't think I can deal with the waiting to see anymore. But you know what, more than anything I just want to hold my baby, to tell him that he's going to be ok, to bring him back to our home and into our lives and be able to love him fully. I want to see him grow and marvel at the new things he learns, I want to see the bond develop between him and Theo and I want to see how our life unfolds. I want this more than I've ever wanted anything before, more than I knew possible to want something. I want him to be ok.

Bear with me, I have a feeling these next few weeks will hold a whole host of tumbling thoughts and emotions, so perhaps it might be best to look away now if that's not your cup of tea. But they need to be set free somewhere.

It's that time again...

So guess what...it's time for another minor freak out and some more rambling from my brain. We of course have another hospital appointment tomorrow, one last heart and growth scan, which is most likely the cause of the racing thoughts going through my head and the need to let them escape onto this page.

 I'm dreading the scan tomorrow. I have the fear of bad news, even though there hasn't really been any more bad news since we've been having the extra scans, just possibilities and wait and sees. At our last scan the consultant informed us that the left ventricle was smaller than it was last time and whilst it didn't worry her, and she gave us her medical opinion that she didn't see it developing into a further problem, but still had to give us information on another heart condition that it could point to. A much more serious heart condition with a lower survival rate, more surgeries and unknown quality of life. Me being me needed to know the worse case scenario, and it did scare me. Suddenly what they originally diagnosed didn't seem that bad at all, and these past four weeks has seen me silently telling myself and the baby (and the universe) that everything will be ok, and that this isn't going to happen to us. In a way I don't even really want to go tomorrow, I don't want any bad news, not now that we're so close.



 I feel so many different emotions and worries. I can't even order them here on the page. Obviously as the due date fast approaches and I feel like I could go into labour any day now (I'm nearly 37 weeks, hold on until after Christmas please!) and just feel a little over the pregnancy now. Of course I still love feeling the little boy wriggling around inside, and I know that he is safe and still connected to me, which is something that I'm going to find hard to let go of, but I'm getting sick of being pregnant. The physical side of it is wearing me out, I'm too big and I forgot just how damn uncomfortable you are, and I do actually feel at peace with knowing this is my last. I'm also getting desperate to meet this little boy, to wonder what he'll look like, to know what ever it is that is wrong with him and to stop the guessing games.

 But it all makes me sad and to be honest a little cross. It's starting to feel so unfair that we won't have that special newborn time, I won't get to hold my baby for long after he's born, I'll have to leave hospital without him, express my milk instead of forming a breastfeeding bond straight away. Why does it have to be this way? Why can't I have a lovely healthy, perfect little baby to bring home with us to start this journey as a family of four? It's breaking my heart to have to keep on reminding myself that it's going to be so different this time. I just wish with everything I have that it's all going to be ok, that somehow, somewhere, someone has granted us just at least a little bit of good luck and that this story doesn't end in even more heartbreak.

 But yet there's still so much uncertainty. We don't know the full extent of the heart problem, we have to journey through the baby being treated for talipes and I guess we have to await any signs of other conditions that we may not have been aware of. Yesterday I met a lady who like us had problems diagnosed at her 20 week scan, and even though more problems were found during the rest of the pregnancy, they still had no idea that the baby would be born with an undiagnosable genetic disorder. Something that wouldn't have shown up on an amniocentesis test had they decided to have one. I know I shouldn't obsess and think that this is bound to happen to us, but of course it has me worried. We have the all clear for major known genetic disorders, but of course there could be something there. I'm terrified. I know that whatever will be will be, and that there's nothing we can do to change anything anyway but it doesn't stop my thinking what if. I don't want to go down that trail of thought again, I just want to be able to focus on the now and dealing with things as they come, but it's all getting so close.



 Can you see how panicky this is all making me? I feel slightly frantic in my thoughts and I just want some definite answers. I am a planner, I like things to be set out and organised and I just don't think I can deal with the waiting to see anymore. But you know what, more than anything I just want to hold my baby, to tell him that he's going to be ok, to bring him back to our home and into our lives and be able to love him fully. I want to see him grow and marvel at the new things he learns, I want to see the bond develop between him and Theo and I want to see how our life unfolds. I want this more than I've ever wanted anything before, more than I knew possible to want something. I want him to be ok.

Bear with me, I have a feeling these next few weeks will hold a whole host of tumbling thoughts and emotions, so perhaps it might be best to look away now if that's not your cup of tea. But they need to be set free somewhere.

All the emotions

So are you ready for another emotion mind dump? Well it's coming anyway.

 First of all, I think my brain just needs somewhere to go ARRRRGGGGGHHHH, every so often and right now it's here, so sorry about that. It's got to happen somewhere and I can feel myself get more and more agitated and worried and it feels like it's all going to boil over unless I somehow let it escape somewhere. But it seems to boil over anyway.

 This week, and the last have been hard. My emotions have been all over the place, I definitely have my cross days where everything seems like it's going against me and I just want a bit of peace. There are days where everything is actually fine and I get a glimpse of what the normal pregnancy would be feeling like and somehow seem to forget everything that is going on. Then there's the days full of anxiety and worry which then leads onto the days where I can feel the dam of tears swelling up behind my eyes and trying my hardest not to let them break free at the wrong moments. I have always loved the power of having a good cry, and when I do finally let them out, and have half an hour or so of good sobbing, nose running, drenched face crying it makes me feel a whole lot better.

 So it's been tough, I somehow convinced myself a little that this time would be somehow easier than the bit when we were waiting for results just after diagnosis. We can get ready and prepare and just wait for the baby and carry on like normal. Except that hasn't happened. There just seems to be more could be's about babies condition every week, new worries we didn't even consider and more potential bad news. There's never a straight answer, there's could be's and hope nots and unlikelys, but there's always the small chance. Just sit tight, wait and see and try not to worry.



 In the past few weeks we've been told that the babies heart might be showing a problem in the size of part of it, but it's not known until baby is born and even then the cardiologist is pretty confident it won't be a problem. I've been told I'm carrying Group B Strep, for which I have receive antibiotics for during labour as to not pass it onto the baby. Which is a relief in some way that it's been picked up now, but yet another thing to worry about in my already stressful labour. Finally, just yesterday the midwife got me all worried saying that I'm measuring pretty big (40cm at 34 weeks) and that they may need to assess me and send me for an emergency scan. On our last growth scan just under two weeks ago baby was measuring an average size, but with an abdominal circumference right at the top end of the scale (but still on the scale, thankfully). Yet again I have no idea what this all means, the midwife was particularly vague and told me not to worry (yeh thanks for that). So after a slightly panicked phone call to the fetal medicine unit at the hospital they have booked me in for a growth scan next week, just as a PRECAUTION. Nothing has been mentioned previously as a worry about the size or abdomen by the fetal medicine team and fingers crossed there will be nothing wrong, but you know, just one more thing to sit and worry about until we know for sure.

 It just makes me wonder when it will all stop, when the potential for bad news will end and we can 100% fully know what the problems are and how they can (hopefully) be fixed. Perhaps we will never know. And whilst there's been no more devastating news and prognosis is part of me needs to yell out: I'M NOT OK. I need a badge saying: I'm finding this hard, things are shitty. But I rarely like drawing attention to myself, but at the same time I feel in the world if you tend to not shout about your problems you get swallowed up by everyone else's and those who manage to shout louder than you. I'm not asking for constant attention and I'm not even sure what I want, I guess I just want to feel understood that it's not all normal, I'm not that excited, I've been finding it really tough and I find it hard to tell people this. I feel lonely and weirdly feel like I don't know if I matter to that many people. Perhaps that's my own doing, my inability to express my feelings more openly and keep in contact with people and update them on my troubles and woes, but I'm just not that sort of person. I guess I prefer to keep a brave face on, to not let that many people in and sometimes that can just backfire when no-one really knows what you are truly feeling. I hate to make a fuss and make people feel awkward, but it also makes me sad.

 I finished work this week, and left for potentially a year or so off. I got a few goodbyes and good lucks, but nothing more. I don't know what I was expecting, not a parade or a party of course, but perhaps a card or a small gesture to say something more. I only work 8 or so hours a week, and don't have any real connection to many people there, but people were aware of what I've been going through and I've been there nearly two years and you know what, it just hurt a little. Just to feel so insignificant and unthought about. It's only work, I know that, but it's just one more thing on top of everything else.

 So there you have it. I'm feeling shitty and sorry for myself. I don't want to be the party pooper in a world of happy healthy pregnancies so I keep my mouth shut, except of course for my occasional outbursts on here, my safe little place on the internet. Soz it's not all Christmas cheer, but you know, it's not always about that is it.

All the emotions

So are you ready for another emotion mind dump? Well it's coming anyway.

 First of all, I think my brain just needs somewhere to go ARRRRGGGGGHHHH, every so often and right now it's here, so sorry about that. It's got to happen somewhere and I can feel myself get more and more agitated and worried and it feels like it's all going to boil over unless I somehow let it escape somewhere. But it seems to boil over anyway.

 This week, and the last have been hard. My emotions have been all over the place, I definitely have my cross days where everything seems like it's going against me and I just want a bit of peace. There are days where everything is actually fine and I get a glimpse of what the normal pregnancy would be feeling like and somehow seem to forget everything that is going on. Then there's the days full of anxiety and worry which then leads onto the days where I can feel the dam of tears swelling up behind my eyes and trying my hardest not to let them break free at the wrong moments. I have always loved the power of having a good cry, and when I do finally let them out, and have half an hour or so of good sobbing, nose running, drenched face crying it makes me feel a whole lot better.

 So it's been tough, I somehow convinced myself a little that this time would be somehow easier than the bit when we were waiting for results just after diagnosis. We can get ready and prepare and just wait for the baby and carry on like normal. Except that hasn't happened. There just seems to be more could be's about babies condition every week, new worries we didn't even consider and more potential bad news. There's never a straight answer, there's could be's and hope nots and unlikelys, but there's always the small chance. Just sit tight, wait and see and try not to worry.



 In the past few weeks we've been told that the babies heart might be showing a problem in the size of part of it, but it's not known until baby is born and even then the cardiologist is pretty confident it won't be a problem. I've been told I'm carrying Group B Strep, for which I have receive antibiotics for during labour as to not pass it onto the baby. Which is a relief in some way that it's been picked up now, but yet another thing to worry about in my already stressful labour. Finally, just yesterday the midwife got me all worried saying that I'm measuring pretty big (40cm at 34 weeks) and that they may need to assess me and send me for an emergency scan. On our last growth scan just under two weeks ago baby was measuring an average size, but with an abdominal circumference right at the top end of the scale (but still on the scale, thankfully). Yet again I have no idea what this all means, the midwife was particularly vague and told me not to worry (yeh thanks for that). So after a slightly panicked phone call to the fetal medicine unit at the hospital they have booked me in for a growth scan next week, just as a PRECAUTION. Nothing has been mentioned previously as a worry about the size or abdomen by the fetal medicine team and fingers crossed there will be nothing wrong, but you know, just one more thing to sit and worry about until we know for sure.

 It just makes me wonder when it will all stop, when the potential for bad news will end and we can 100% fully know what the problems are and how they can (hopefully) be fixed. Perhaps we will never know. And whilst there's been no more devastating news and prognosis is part of me needs to yell out: I'M NOT OK. I need a badge saying: I'm finding this hard, things are shitty. But I rarely like drawing attention to myself, but at the same time I feel in the world if you tend to not shout about your problems you get swallowed up by everyone else's and those who manage to shout louder than you. I'm not asking for constant attention and I'm not even sure what I want, I guess I just want to feel understood that it's not all normal, I'm not that excited, I've been finding it really tough and I find it hard to tell people this. I feel lonely and weirdly feel like I don't know if I matter to that many people. Perhaps that's my own doing, my inability to express my feelings more openly and keep in contact with people and update them on my troubles and woes, but I'm just not that sort of person. I guess I prefer to keep a brave face on, to not let that many people in and sometimes that can just backfire when no-one really knows what you are truly feeling. I hate to make a fuss and make people feel awkward, but it also makes me sad.

 I finished work this week, and left for potentially a year or so off. I got a few goodbyes and good lucks, but nothing more. I don't know what I was expecting, not a parade or a party of course, but perhaps a card or a small gesture to say something more. I only work 8 or so hours a week, and don't have any real connection to many people there, but people were aware of what I've been going through and I've been there nearly two years and you know what, it just hurt a little. Just to feel so insignificant and unthought about. It's only work, I know that, but it's just one more thing on top of everything else.

 So there you have it. I'm feeling shitty and sorry for myself. I don't want to be the party pooper in a world of happy healthy pregnancies so I keep my mouth shut, except of course for my occasional outbursts on here, my safe little place on the internet. Soz it's not all Christmas cheer, but you know, it's not always about that is it.

A pregnancy update, of sorts

So it always seems that about a week before a hospital appointment my mind starts going into overdrive with worries and questions. Perhaps it's just because it's been awhile since I've had reassurance and any information from medical staff, and because we've probably been having to give answers to people that we're not actually 100% on ourselves.

 I'm just about 32 weeks. That means there's only 8 weeks to go. We were told at our last hospital appointment that I wouldn't be allowed to go overdue, but can wait for natural labour to start before that point. I have a small feeling that the baby will make an appearance early, but I don't know if that is just paranoia (please don't come too early baby, we need you to be big and strong!) and worry making me think this way. After all Theo was a week overdue and to be honest I think he could have stayed in there a week longer if it was up to him (a stretch and sweep seemed to get him going sooner than he would have liked I think).


 I'm feeling huge. I'm measuring about 34 weeks, so I'm looking pretty big too. But so far the pregnancy seems to be continuing in a good fashion. I've started to get the dreaded restless legs in the evening a lot more, heartburn is sneaking in at times and moving my tired body around is sometimes a struggle, but other than that I still feel pretty good. I have found that I'm starting to need to eat a lot more regularly, and can't really go two hours without feeling hungry again. But it all feels pretty normal. Except I know that it's not all normal.

 We've got appointments booked in next week for a growth scan and a heart scan, which could both potentially be the last. We'll also discuss the plan for birth so perhaps I'll know a little more then about what to expect. So far I think I will be able to have a natural birth, which to be fair is already filling me with dread. I didn't really have a great birth last time, not that I really realised or felt that traumatised over but looking back it wasn't the best experience. There was a lot of fear involved, and this time I'm afraid of the fear already. Last time I entered labour excited to be able to finally meet the boy who'd been wriggling around inside me for so long, but fearful of the change it would all bring. My labour didn't go as 'planned' and it ended up being pretty medicated and I didn't feel in control one bit. When thinking of having a second I always dreamed of being able to give it another go, to perhaps get the birth that was more in control and a lot less fearful. But now I'm not so sure.

 There is so much worry already surrounding the birth, and in a way I know that my body and my mind may well hold back on birthing this new baby boy. For I know that as soon as he is born he will be taken away pretty quickly to be stabilised and have scans, leaving me alone. When Theo was just a day old or so he had to be taken to NICU for a scan because of an infection he picked up, which resulted in a week long stay and antibiotics, but I still clearly remember the pain of having to be separated from him, even if it was just for a few hours. I can't even begin to imagine that pain that I'm going to feel knowing it could be hours before I can see my baby again, and then not really be able to hold him or feed him. He'll be linked up to wires and tubes in the calm yet ultimately very scary NICU. We'll become those parents that you have no idea how to be. To have to find the strength to sit and watch your baby, just hoping that everything goes ok. I know he'll be in the very best hands, and actually feel so lucky that we are all aware of the problem before hand so the very best precautions can be taken, but it still doesn't stop the fear. Inside at present he is protected by me, but outside it will all become real. The intensive care, the surgery, the waiting, the recovery. Being split between a sick baby and hospital visits and a near 5 year old who will still need his parents.

 I have been looking a little into hypnobirthing and just wish it was something that we could afford to do. I know that being able to stay in control for the labour and stay calm would help immensely, but I just don't know how to manage that on my own. I'm starting a yoga class soon which will hopefully help with the breathing, but I know both Rob and I will be feeling stressed about all that will come. I've got myself a book I need to read, and I need to find some breathing techniques that could help, but it all just feels so scary. I know getting myself worked up about it now isn't going to help, but sometimes it's pretty unavoidable. Right now it seems like the calm before the storm. It hasn't really sunk in that we will have another baby, another child in our lives as that all seems so far away. I forgot how much babies change things, even healthy ones.

 I've finally started buying a few baby clothes, which I'll do a little post on later and nesting is fully kicking in. I want everything sorted soon, I need to feel in control about some aspects of this baby coming. Christmas is creeping up fast and will soon be here, and I know it can all pass in such a blur. Then the countdown will truly begin. Hopefully next week will put my mind as ease once more, and I can find some way of coping with the anxiety and fear that is happening....

A pregnancy update, of sorts

So it always seems that about a week before a hospital appointment my mind starts going into overdrive with worries and questions. Perhaps it's just because it's been awhile since I've had reassurance and any information from medical staff, and because we've probably been having to give answers to people that we're not actually 100% on ourselves.

 I'm just about 32 weeks. That means there's only 8 weeks to go. We were told at our last hospital appointment that I wouldn't be allowed to go overdue, but can wait for natural labour to start before that point. I have a small feeling that the baby will make an appearance early, but I don't know if that is just paranoia (please don't come too early baby, we need you to be big and strong!) and worry making me think this way. After all Theo was a week overdue and to be honest I think he could have stayed in there a week longer if it was up to him (a stretch and sweep seemed to get him going sooner than he would have liked I think).


 I'm feeling huge. I'm measuring about 34 weeks, so I'm looking pretty big too. But so far the pregnancy seems to be continuing in a good fashion. I've started to get the dreaded restless legs in the evening a lot more, heartburn is sneaking in at times and moving my tired body around is sometimes a struggle, but other than that I still feel pretty good. I have found that I'm starting to need to eat a lot more regularly, and can't really go two hours without feeling hungry again. But it all feels pretty normal. Except I know that it's not all normal.

 We've got appointments booked in next week for a growth scan and a heart scan, which could both potentially be the last. We'll also discuss the plan for birth so perhaps I'll know a little more then about what to expect. So far I think I will be able to have a natural birth, which to be fair is already filling me with dread. I didn't really have a great birth last time, not that I really realised or felt that traumatised over but looking back it wasn't the best experience. There was a lot of fear involved, and this time I'm afraid of the fear already. Last time I entered labour excited to be able to finally meet the boy who'd been wriggling around inside me for so long, but fearful of the change it would all bring. My labour didn't go as 'planned' and it ended up being pretty medicated and I didn't feel in control one bit. When thinking of having a second I always dreamed of being able to give it another go, to perhaps get the birth that was more in control and a lot less fearful. But now I'm not so sure.

 There is so much worry already surrounding the birth, and in a way I know that my body and my mind may well hold back on birthing this new baby boy. For I know that as soon as he is born he will be taken away pretty quickly to be stabilised and have scans, leaving me alone. When Theo was just a day old or so he had to be taken to NICU for a scan because of an infection he picked up, which resulted in a week long stay and antibiotics, but I still clearly remember the pain of having to be separated from him, even if it was just for a few hours. I can't even begin to imagine that pain that I'm going to feel knowing it could be hours before I can see my baby again, and then not really be able to hold him or feed him. He'll be linked up to wires and tubes in the calm yet ultimately very scary NICU. We'll become those parents that you have no idea how to be. To have to find the strength to sit and watch your baby, just hoping that everything goes ok. I know he'll be in the very best hands, and actually feel so lucky that we are all aware of the problem before hand so the very best precautions can be taken, but it still doesn't stop the fear. Inside at present he is protected by me, but outside it will all become real. The intensive care, the surgery, the waiting, the recovery. Being split between a sick baby and hospital visits and a near 5 year old who will still need his parents.

 I have been looking a little into hypnobirthing and just wish it was something that we could afford to do. I know that being able to stay in control for the labour and stay calm would help immensely, but I just don't know how to manage that on my own. I'm starting a yoga class soon which will hopefully help with the breathing, but I know both Rob and I will be feeling stressed about all that will come. I've got myself a book I need to read, and I need to find some breathing techniques that could help, but it all just feels so scary. I know getting myself worked up about it now isn't going to help, but sometimes it's pretty unavoidable. Right now it seems like the calm before the storm. It hasn't really sunk in that we will have another baby, another child in our lives as that all seems so far away. I forgot how much babies change things, even healthy ones.

 I've finally started buying a few baby clothes, which I'll do a little post on later and nesting is fully kicking in. I want everything sorted soon, I need to feel in control about some aspects of this baby coming. Christmas is creeping up fast and will soon be here, and I know it can all pass in such a blur. Then the countdown will truly begin. Hopefully next week will put my mind as ease once more, and I can find some way of coping with the anxiety and fear that is happening....

My maternity winter wardrobe must haves!

1 - Ankle boots / 2 - Drop shoulder jacket / 3 - Mama Jyms / 4 - Striped dress / 5 - Slippers / 6 - Maternity tights / 7 - Woollen bobble hat

 I'm longing for the colder weather to arrive, it's been so mild and it puts me all out of sorts. I have yet to reach for my winter coat or hat and its a little disconcerting. I know once the cold weather does arrive I will be longing for these slightly warmer days, but for now all I want is to see my breath on chilly, bright and clear mornings whilst I'm wrapped up in ALL the layers.



 So I'm trying to will the weather by doing a little window shopping and creating a list of some of my winter must haves. Sometimes I think my wardrobe is a little too grey and perhaps I should inject some colour into it...but who am I kidding, I love grey and muted tones. I actually already own number two and four, the dress and drop shoulder coat from People Tree, and though neither of them are actual maternity wear, they have done me very well in these transitioning months of my growing size and the changing seasons! I love clothes that can be adapted and layered. The dress has been just the right thickness to be able to wear on its own on the warmer days, or under a lovely cardigan when its turned a little colder. The jacket has been my go to for the school run or everyday out and about, its the perfect combination of being warm without bulky and I think goes so well with many outfits. These maternity tights have been doing the job and of course you can't beat a good pair of Chelsea boots that can be slipped on (without laces!) for when the bump gets too big.

 As I seem to be spending more and more time at home, and will be for the foreseeable future, nesting and relaxing in my pregnant state I have been slightly obsessing over night and lounge wear! I love these mama jyms from The Bright Company and these slippers from Mahibis. They are definitely being added to my birthday and Christmas list! I also have an exclusive money off code for you, my lovely readers, to be able to use to get 10% off at People Tree for their AW15 range! Just use AATF10 at the checkout! (Valid until 23rd December)


My maternity winter wardrobe must haves!

1 - Ankle boots / 2 - Drop shoulder jacket / 3 - Mama Jyms / 4 - Striped dress / 5 - Slippers / 6 - Maternity tights / 7 - Woollen bobble hat

 I'm longing for the colder weather to arrive, it's been so mild and it puts me all out of sorts. I have yet to reach for my winter coat or hat and its a little disconcerting. I know once the cold weather does arrive I will be longing for these slightly warmer days, but for now all I want is to see my breath on chilly, bright and clear mornings whilst I'm wrapped up in ALL the layers.



 So I'm trying to will the weather by doing a little window shopping and creating a list of some of my winter must haves. Sometimes I think my wardrobe is a little too grey and perhaps I should inject some colour into it...but who am I kidding, I love grey and muted tones. I actually already own number two and four, the dress and drop shoulder coat from People Tree, and though neither of them are actual maternity wear, they have done me very well in these transitioning months of my growing size and the changing seasons! I love clothes that can be adapted and layered. The dress has been just the right thickness to be able to wear on its own on the warmer days, or under a lovely cardigan when its turned a little colder. The jacket has been my go to for the school run or everyday out and about, its the perfect combination of being warm without bulky and I think goes so well with many outfits. These maternity tights have been doing the job and of course you can't beat a good pair of Chelsea boots that can be slipped on (without laces!) for when the bump gets too big.

 As I seem to be spending more and more time at home, and will be for the foreseeable future, nesting and relaxing in my pregnant state I have been slightly obsessing over night and lounge wear! I love these mama jyms from The Bright Company and these slippers from Mahibis. They are definitely being added to my birthday and Christmas list! I also have an exclusive money off code for you, my lovely readers, to be able to use to get 10% off at People Tree for their AW15 range! Just use AATF10 at the checkout! (Valid until 23rd December)


The one where it all starts to sink in

So it's fair to say that these past few weeks have been unpredictably crazy. They have involved so many emotions, sleepless nights and endless questions floating around my head.

 The anxiety of that first week waiting for results and trying to take in all this new information was just too much, the fear of having to make heartbreaking decisions to finally the relief of hearing good news. I don't think I've ever felt so out of my depth in all of this. And this is just the beginning.

 Now that we have had the results and that unknown pain of waiting is over we have been sort of left in a state of no-man's land. We know that the baby doesn't have any other conditions to the ones we definitely know he has. That is talipes and the coarctation of the aorta. Life is slowly returning back to normal as we just try and carry on with the pregnancy all the same. But this is where it gets me, the pregnancy to me is no longer normal. I still have the same feelings of love and nurturing towards this ever kicking babe growing inside, but it all feels different. I feel scared, naturally, of all that is to come and I feel that in a way the joy has been taken out of it all. Instead of thinking about what he will look like or what he will be like when he grows up I am stuck on thinking about how it will be once he actually arrives. These are but just a few of the many questions that are constantly going around my head: How will the birth go, how much time will we have with him before he is taken from us to the NICU, when will we be able to hold him, when will Theo be able to meet him, how long will we all have to be in hospital, when will he need surgery, how will I feed him, how long will recovery take and how will this affect us all, and above all will he be ok?

 I know these are questions that hopefully will be able to be answered for us in due time by the professionals looking after us, but for now we are once again just stuck waiting. I'm so worried about how it will all be for Theo, how we will cope splitting our time between a sick baby requiring heart surgery in hospital to a probably confused five year old needing us to guide him through it all and still give him the love and time he needs (and celebrate his birthday too). What if Theo can't meet his baby brother for quite a while after he is born, or if he can how will he react to seeing this tiny being covered in wires and tubes. How will we react?

 It's times like these where I just don't feel old enough to be having to deal with it all. I don't really mean in a numerical sense, I guess 28 does still feel quite young to be going through this sort of thing, but I also just feel so unequipped and so unprepared for this amount of emotion and responsibility. I'm not saying that someone 10 years older than me is magically able to cope better with this situation, but sometimes I just feel like I need someone to put a hand on my shoulder and say it's ok, you don't have to deal with all of this. It makes me feel like an out of my depth child.

 I feel like in someway parenthood chose us, all those years ago when we first found out we were pregnant with Theo. We've tried our hardest to make it work, to go along with the new journey that was presented to us, going through the motions and just trying our best to provide a safe, stable and loving home for Theo. We always wanted to have another baby, me personally I wanted to go through pregnancy again - I enjoyed it last time. But then life has seemed to have dealt us blows when we've tried. First with the miscarriage and now this. I know that someday we will know that perhaps it all happened for a reason and we'll be stronger as people for going through it, with many lessons learnt but at the moment it's hard, its fucking hard. But I know that we will have to cope, and we will have help and somehow, hopefully we will all get through it.

 I've been feeling anxious also about how to speak to people about the pregnancy. I feel almost like a fraud talking about it like it's all ok when well meaning people asking me how long I've got left or if we know what we're having etc. I feel like I can't just blurt out all the problems we have been facing but at the same time I find it hard to carry on and act like this is just a normal pregnancy, because it's not. It's filled with fear and worry and questions. Most of the time I guess I just need to put on a brave face and answer the questions truthfully without going into much detail. We have another fetal echo scan (a heart scan) tomorrow so I'm hoping we will get lots of our questions answered then.

The one where it all starts to sink in

So it's fair to say that these past few weeks have been unpredictably crazy. They have involved so many emotions, sleepless nights and endless questions floating around my head.

 The anxiety of that first week waiting for results and trying to take in all this new information was just too much, the fear of having to make heartbreaking decisions to finally the relief of hearing good news. I don't think I've ever felt so out of my depth in all of this. And this is just the beginning.

 Now that we have had the results and that unknown pain of waiting is over we have been sort of left in a state of no-man's land. We know that the baby doesn't have any other conditions to the ones we definitely know he has. That is talipes and the coarctation of the aorta. Life is slowly returning back to normal as we just try and carry on with the pregnancy all the same. But this is where it gets me, the pregnancy to me is no longer normal. I still have the same feelings of love and nurturing towards this ever kicking babe growing inside, but it all feels different. I feel scared, naturally, of all that is to come and I feel that in a way the joy has been taken out of it all. Instead of thinking about what he will look like or what he will be like when he grows up I am stuck on thinking about how it will be once he actually arrives. These are but just a few of the many questions that are constantly going around my head: How will the birth go, how much time will we have with him before he is taken from us to the NICU, when will we be able to hold him, when will Theo be able to meet him, how long will we all have to be in hospital, when will he need surgery, how will I feed him, how long will recovery take and how will this affect us all, and above all will he be ok?

 I know these are questions that hopefully will be able to be answered for us in due time by the professionals looking after us, but for now we are once again just stuck waiting. I'm so worried about how it will all be for Theo, how we will cope splitting our time between a sick baby requiring heart surgery in hospital to a probably confused five year old needing us to guide him through it all and still give him the love and time he needs (and celebrate his birthday too). What if Theo can't meet his baby brother for quite a while after he is born, or if he can how will he react to seeing this tiny being covered in wires and tubes. How will we react?

 It's times like these where I just don't feel old enough to be having to deal with it all. I don't really mean in a numerical sense, I guess 28 does still feel quite young to be going through this sort of thing, but I also just feel so unequipped and so unprepared for this amount of emotion and responsibility. I'm not saying that someone 10 years older than me is magically able to cope better with this situation, but sometimes I just feel like I need someone to put a hand on my shoulder and say it's ok, you don't have to deal with all of this. It makes me feel like an out of my depth child.

 I feel like in someway parenthood chose us, all those years ago when we first found out we were pregnant with Theo. We've tried our hardest to make it work, to go along with the new journey that was presented to us, going through the motions and just trying our best to provide a safe, stable and loving home for Theo. We always wanted to have another baby, me personally I wanted to go through pregnancy again - I enjoyed it last time. But then life has seemed to have dealt us blows when we've tried. First with the miscarriage and now this. I know that someday we will know that perhaps it all happened for a reason and we'll be stronger as people for going through it, with many lessons learnt but at the moment it's hard, its fucking hard. But I know that we will have to cope, and we will have help and somehow, hopefully we will all get through it.

 I've been feeling anxious also about how to speak to people about the pregnancy. I feel almost like a fraud talking about it like it's all ok when well meaning people asking me how long I've got left or if we know what we're having etc. I feel like I can't just blurt out all the problems we have been facing but at the same time I find it hard to carry on and act like this is just a normal pregnancy, because it's not. It's filled with fear and worry and questions. Most of the time I guess I just need to put on a brave face and answer the questions truthfully without going into much detail. We have another fetal echo scan (a heart scan) tomorrow so I'm hoping we will get lots of our questions answered then.

Gender reveal! We're having a....

 photo IMG_7358_zpsvhuzrmez.jpg

BOY! Yes that's right, we're having another little boy! I never imagined I'd be the mother of two boys, but there we go. In the beginning of the pregnancy I thought I was having a girl, just because the pregnancy was going so differently to how it did with Theo, but perhaps that was just my body knowing something wasn't quite right..who knows. But as time went on I just had an inkling that it was another boy, and I was right! We couldn't be happier! 


Theo has taken some getting used to the idea as he was convinced it was a girl and that he wanted a sister. Many of his friends who have had siblings in the last year or so have all had sisters, so I can imagine he wanted the same...we've been trying to convince him on the merits of having a brother and I think he's coming around. The other day whilst we were in the bath he whispered to my tummy that he loved the baby, so that's something! 

I honestly didn't mind what we were going to have as I'm intrigued either way to see what the baby will be like, but I just find it hard to imagine a baby boy that isn't Theo, or doesn't look exactly like Theo did. I guess if you are having an opposite sex it makes it slightly easier to imagine a different child...if that makes sense?!


Anyway, we're happy that we know and can start imagining our future a little more now and start planning for all that will happen when he arrives in January. 

 photo IMG_7357_zpsssg4lahu.jpg
 photo IMG_7379_zpslhzvcqpy.jpg
 photo IMG_7368_zps89i8fxqx.jpg
 photo IMG_7356_zpsjca2sf3o.jpg
 photo IMG_7398_zpsgdvxnxwx.jpg
 photo IMG_7421_zpsi4metdie.jpg

Gender reveal! We're having a....

 photo IMG_7358_zpsvhuzrmez.jpg

BOY! Yes that's right, we're having another little boy! I never imagined I'd be the mother of two boys, but there we go. In the beginning of the pregnancy I thought I was having a girl, just because the pregnancy was going so differently to how it did with Theo, but perhaps that was just my body knowing something wasn't quite right..who knows. But as time went on I just had an inkling that it was another boy, and I was right! We couldn't be happier! 


Theo has taken some getting used to the idea as he was convinced it was a girl and that he wanted a sister. Many of his friends who have had siblings in the last year or so have all had sisters, so I can imagine he wanted the same...we've been trying to convince him on the merits of having a brother and I think he's coming around. The other day whilst we were in the bath he whispered to my tummy that he loved the baby, so that's something! 

I honestly didn't mind what we were going to have as I'm intrigued either way to see what the baby will be like, but I just find it hard to imagine a baby boy that isn't Theo, or doesn't look exactly like Theo did. I guess if you are having an opposite sex it makes it slightly easier to imagine a different child...if that makes sense?!


Anyway, we're happy that we know and can start imagining our future a little more now and start planning for all that will happen when he arrives in January. 

 photo IMG_7357_zpsssg4lahu.jpg
 photo IMG_7379_zpslhzvcqpy.jpg
 photo IMG_7368_zps89i8fxqx.jpg
 photo IMG_7356_zpsjca2sf3o.jpg
 photo IMG_7398_zpsgdvxnxwx.jpg
 photo IMG_7421_zpsi4metdie.jpg

The wait is over

So this morning I was going to write a post about us waiting, that had been swimming around in my head for days now. I sat down with the computer open ready to begin describing how these last few weeks have felt, how we've been trying to carry on like normal whilst we wait for the further results of the amniocentetis when my phone rang. It was the hospital. My heart pounded as it did last Tuesday when we received the results from the initial testing and heard with the greatest relief that all was clear for any extra chromosome abnormalities. I confirmed my date of birth and waited to hear, listening for any sign of emotion either way in the midwifes voice. She sounded level, and eager to tell us that they'd just had the results sent in and was happy to tell us that they too were also clear. No sign of any further chromosome conditions. I think I made a noise resembling some sort of huge full body sigh of relief and the feeling of adrenaline and the weight being lifted was indescribable. The best possible news we could have ever hoped for. One more piece of good news. One more victory.

 I don't think its fully sunk in. A good couple of weeks of waiting, of not knowing, of trying to imagine our future with the possibilities of making dreadful decisions, or imagining our lives being changed in ways unimaginable. But now we know. We know the baby still has a heart condition and talipes, but with all the hope still remaining the future looks ok. The heart and feet are fixable. The road ahead certainly isn't going to be easy, but at least for now we know what we are dealing with. We can start to plan and look forward once more.



 I don't know how to even describe the last few weeks. I have definitely gone through a mourning phase for the normal pregnancy we have lost, and the idea of the 'perfect' baby. I've been through a range of emotions; feeling heartbroken, angry, jealous and just not understanding why it happened to us. And also numb. I definitely felt numb for a lot of it. I've seen so many pregnant women, or people with newborns and thought how easy it is for it all to be normal (admittedly I don't know what they are going through or have been through) how that was us just a few short weeks ago. How quickly it can all change, how the life you were imagining can be pulled out from under you and send you into an empty space of not knowing. I wouldn't wish it on anyone, and I know that somehow we're luckier than some.

 We just now have to focus on the rest of this journey, and hope (yes we still need hope!) that everything remains the same (or gets better) with the heart and the condition is still manageable. We know the baby will be poorly and will require extra care and surgery, and when we reach that point it will be hard. But it's something I know we can cope with. But for now we can relax, the future has become a little more clear and we can stop waiting.

 The rest of my pregnancy will be spent going for more scans with the cardiologists and the fetal medicine units for updates and growth checks. I will have to have a plan for care and probably discuss the plan for birth in lot more detail. But that's all fine.

 We also finally decided to find out the sex. Originally we wanted it to be a surprise, but I think we both feel we've had enough surprises and waiting to last us.

 I will be sure to share that here, as well as the rest of our journey. But once again I just really want to thank anyone and everyone who's reached out to us during this time. I know it seems impersonal doing it this way, and even though I may not have replied to all the messages, I have read them all and really felt your support, hope and positivity. It has definitely kept me going and I know it will continue to. All the love xx

The wait is over

So this morning I was going to write a post about us waiting, that had been swimming around in my head for days now. I sat down with the computer open ready to begin describing how these last few weeks have felt, how we've been trying to carry on like normal whilst we wait for the further results of the amniocentetis when my phone rang. It was the hospital. My heart pounded as it did last Tuesday when we received the results from the initial testing and heard with the greatest relief that all was clear for any extra chromosome abnormalities. I confirmed my date of birth and waited to hear, listening for any sign of emotion either way in the midwifes voice. She sounded level, and eager to tell us that they'd just had the results sent in and was happy to tell us that they too were also clear. No sign of any further chromosome conditions. I think I made a noise resembling some sort of huge full body sigh of relief and the feeling of adrenaline and the weight being lifted was indescribable. The best possible news we could have ever hoped for. One more piece of good news. One more victory.

 I don't think its fully sunk in. A good couple of weeks of waiting, of not knowing, of trying to imagine our future with the possibilities of making dreadful decisions, or imagining our lives being changed in ways unimaginable. But now we know. We know the baby still has a heart condition and talipes, but with all the hope still remaining the future looks ok. The heart and feet are fixable. The road ahead certainly isn't going to be easy, but at least for now we know what we are dealing with. We can start to plan and look forward once more.



 I don't know how to even describe the last few weeks. I have definitely gone through a mourning phase for the normal pregnancy we have lost, and the idea of the 'perfect' baby. I've been through a range of emotions; feeling heartbroken, angry, jealous and just not understanding why it happened to us. And also numb. I definitely felt numb for a lot of it. I've seen so many pregnant women, or people with newborns and thought how easy it is for it all to be normal (admittedly I don't know what they are going through or have been through) how that was us just a few short weeks ago. How quickly it can all change, how the life you were imagining can be pulled out from under you and send you into an empty space of not knowing. I wouldn't wish it on anyone, and I know that somehow we're luckier than some.

 We just now have to focus on the rest of this journey, and hope (yes we still need hope!) that everything remains the same (or gets better) with the heart and the condition is still manageable. We know the baby will be poorly and will require extra care and surgery, and when we reach that point it will be hard. But it's something I know we can cope with. But for now we can relax, the future has become a little more clear and we can stop waiting.

 The rest of my pregnancy will be spent going for more scans with the cardiologists and the fetal medicine units for updates and growth checks. I will have to have a plan for care and probably discuss the plan for birth in lot more detail. But that's all fine.

 We also finally decided to find out the sex. Originally we wanted it to be a surprise, but I think we both feel we've had enough surprises and waiting to last us.

 I will be sure to share that here, as well as the rest of our journey. But once again I just really want to thank anyone and everyone who's reached out to us during this time. I know it seems impersonal doing it this way, and even though I may not have replied to all the messages, I have read them all and really felt your support, hope and positivity. It has definitely kept me going and I know it will continue to. All the love xx

When you never think it will happen to you, part two

So I just don't even know how to begin this, but I feel I need to. I need to write down whats going on and all these thoughts and feelings swimming around my head.

 It's been so quiet around here and I just have been getting caught up in our daily life and big events such as Theo starting school, but this week, like this exact week last year, our world has been turned upside down.

 When we originally went for our 20 week scan the baby wasn't in a good position for the sonographer to get all the relevant measurements to know that all was developing with baby as it should. We were given another appointment for another routine scan to try and get the bits she was unable to. Ten days later we returned to the clinic for the second scan, and whilst she managed to get most of the information she needed, the heart was proving difficult to see, once again because of babies position. We were therefore referred for an appointment with fetal medicine to have a scan with the doctor. We had to wait for two weeks. This brings us up to now, 24 weeks.



 With the last appointment of the day and the doctor running late I sat alone in the waiting room (Rob had to pick Theo up from school) waiting for my scan. When finally I was called in the doctor tried and get a better look at the heart, but once again the baby was in a difficult position. After a long scan he sat me down and explained that he had seen, but couldn't be sure, something that concerned him about the heart. He also noticed that the baby's foot wasn't in the correct position. Overwhelmed with the information they explained that I would be referred to the cardiologist for a fetal echo scan to look in more detail at the heart. They also mentioned that there could be a possible link between the heart and the foot abnormalities. This all pointing towards a possible chromosome problem.

 My heart has been pounding these last few days and my emotions go up and down trying to make sense of it all. My mind raced with millions of questions and thoughts, of course ending up at worst case scenarios and how on earth we would deal with it all. In terms of my original risk for chromosome abnormalities I was very low risk, 1 in 19,000. I tried to stay positive, keeping in mind there was every chance that everything could be ok, and just trying to take each step as it came. But it's hard. My heart broke when thinking about the baby being unwell, and the effect it would have on us and of course on Theo. How could we explain to him, when he's been so excited and eager to meet the baby, that it might not happen. I don't have the answers for this.

 On Wednesday we had our scan with the heart specialists and they confirmed that the baby did indeed have a problem with its heart. The problem would be fixable with surgery after birth and hopefully the baby would be able to lead a normal life. It would obviously be a traumatic time for us all and the baby would be in intensive care and there are the obvious risks of heart surgery on a newborn. But perhaps we could deal with this. This is obviously not what we were hoping for, and the shock of it becoming real is just too much to put into words. But just the fear of this not being the worst of it is something I just can't conceive. The nature of having a heart problem and with the added foot problem is something of obvious concern for the doctors, and we were offered the amniocentesis. Then choices and decisions would need to be made about how to continue.

 How do you make that decision? I can by now feel the baby moving around lots and with every kick and turn I'm reminded that there is a life in there, a life that is unwell, but alive all the same. There is already a connection there, a nurturing and a love for this being that is growing inside. There's been six months planning and imagining this baby in our lives, and to have that taken away is the hardest thing I've had to think about in my life. To know that we might have to make a decision to end it is something I never ever want to do. But it is a real possibility. How can it all change in such a short space of time. This time last week, even though we still hadn't had the all clear, it was all still real and going to happen, the baby would be born when it should and we would have our family of four. You get to this point in pregnancy and feel that its safe to become invested in that future. I know that anything can happen at any stage of pregnancy, and you can never be fully certain of the outcome, but perhaps you can feel a little confident that everything is going to be ok and that in a few short months you will have a new baby in your arms.

 So yesterday we went back to hospital once more to have the test. I know some people might not want to know, but we do. The baby may be too sick to survive the rest of the pregnancy, and even if it did make it, it may be still so poorly and we don't know how would we deal with the big change that would come with this sort of thing. We have strength for some of it, but I know personally I am unsure if I have strength for it all. Then there is other people to think of, the impact on Theo's life, our marriage, our family and loved ones.

 I couldn't look at the screen, the view of the baby is just too much, I feel too much. I don't want to accept that things may turn out for the worst. How would we carry on with our lives, try and help Theo come to terms with the change and loss of the idea of a brother or sister. I'm not sure whether I'd ever be able to do this all again, to go through pregnancy. It's just so painful. My heart is broken in a way I never thought possible, and I only know it could get worse. There may be so much more pain to come.

We have everything crossed that the baby could be ok, other than the heart and foot problem which both would be fixable. But now we wait, we wait for news that we don't ever want to come.

 I know that perhaps something like this is incredibly hard to read, and I don't write it to make people feel uncomfortable. I have written it because I need to. I need to pour some of these feelings out, and to try and make sense of it all. There is still so much going on, so much to come to terms with. I want more than anything for it all to go away, for me to feel the kicks and feel joy and not sadness, to look forward to our future and to not have to put our child, or any of our children, through this.

 I'm not going to ask for much, just that those who read this to just send out some positive thoughts that it might all turn out ok. Thank you x

When you never think it will happen to you, part two

So I just don't even know how to begin this, but I feel I need to. I need to write down whats going on and all these thoughts and feelings swimming around my head.

 It's been so quiet around here and I just have been getting caught up in our daily life and big events such as Theo starting school, but this week, like this exact week last year, our world has been turned upside down.

 When we originally went for our 20 week scan the baby wasn't in a good position for the sonographer to get all the relevant measurements to know that all was developing with baby as it should. We were given another appointment for another routine scan to try and get the bits she was unable to. Ten days later we returned to the clinic for the second scan, and whilst she managed to get most of the information she needed, the heart was proving difficult to see, once again because of babies position. We were therefore referred for an appointment with fetal medicine to have a scan with the doctor. We had to wait for two weeks. This brings us up to now, 24 weeks.



 With the last appointment of the day and the doctor running late I sat alone in the waiting room (Rob had to pick Theo up from school) waiting for my scan. When finally I was called in the doctor tried and get a better look at the heart, but once again the baby was in a difficult position. After a long scan he sat me down and explained that he had seen, but couldn't be sure, something that concerned him about the heart. He also noticed that the baby's foot wasn't in the correct position. Overwhelmed with the information they explained that I would be referred to the cardiologist for a fetal echo scan to look in more detail at the heart. They also mentioned that there could be a possible link between the heart and the foot abnormalities. This all pointing towards a possible chromosome problem.

 My heart has been pounding these last few days and my emotions go up and down trying to make sense of it all. My mind raced with millions of questions and thoughts, of course ending up at worst case scenarios and how on earth we would deal with it all. In terms of my original risk for chromosome abnormalities I was very low risk, 1 in 19,000. I tried to stay positive, keeping in mind there was every chance that everything could be ok, and just trying to take each step as it came. But it's hard. My heart broke when thinking about the baby being unwell, and the effect it would have on us and of course on Theo. How could we explain to him, when he's been so excited and eager to meet the baby, that it might not happen. I don't have the answers for this.

 On Wednesday we had our scan with the heart specialists and they confirmed that the baby did indeed have a problem with its heart. The problem would be fixable with surgery after birth and hopefully the baby would be able to lead a normal life. It would obviously be a traumatic time for us all and the baby would be in intensive care and there are the obvious risks of heart surgery on a newborn. But perhaps we could deal with this. This is obviously not what we were hoping for, and the shock of it becoming real is just too much to put into words. But just the fear of this not being the worst of it is something I just can't conceive. The nature of having a heart problem and with the added foot problem is something of obvious concern for the doctors, and we were offered the amniocentesis. Then choices and decisions would need to be made about how to continue.

 How do you make that decision? I can by now feel the baby moving around lots and with every kick and turn I'm reminded that there is a life in there, a life that is unwell, but alive all the same. There is already a connection there, a nurturing and a love for this being that is growing inside. There's been six months planning and imagining this baby in our lives, and to have that taken away is the hardest thing I've had to think about in my life. To know that we might have to make a decision to end it is something I never ever want to do. But it is a real possibility. How can it all change in such a short space of time. This time last week, even though we still hadn't had the all clear, it was all still real and going to happen, the baby would be born when it should and we would have our family of four. You get to this point in pregnancy and feel that its safe to become invested in that future. I know that anything can happen at any stage of pregnancy, and you can never be fully certain of the outcome, but perhaps you can feel a little confident that everything is going to be ok and that in a few short months you will have a new baby in your arms.

 So yesterday we went back to hospital once more to have the test. I know some people might not want to know, but we do. The baby may be too sick to survive the rest of the pregnancy, and even if it did make it, it may be still so poorly and we don't know how would we deal with the big change that would come with this sort of thing. We have strength for some of it, but I know personally I am unsure if I have strength for it all. Then there is other people to think of, the impact on Theo's life, our marriage, our family and loved ones.

 I couldn't look at the screen, the view of the baby is just too much, I feel too much. I don't want to accept that things may turn out for the worst. How would we carry on with our lives, try and help Theo come to terms with the change and loss of the idea of a brother or sister. I'm not sure whether I'd ever be able to do this all again, to go through pregnancy. It's just so painful. My heart is broken in a way I never thought possible, and I only know it could get worse. There may be so much more pain to come.

We have everything crossed that the baby could be ok, other than the heart and foot problem which both would be fixable. But now we wait, we wait for news that we don't ever want to come.

 I know that perhaps something like this is incredibly hard to read, and I don't write it to make people feel uncomfortable. I have written it because I need to. I need to pour some of these feelings out, and to try and make sense of it all. There is still so much going on, so much to come to terms with. I want more than anything for it all to go away, for me to feel the kicks and feel joy and not sadness, to look forward to our future and to not have to put our child, or any of our children, through this.

 I'm not going to ask for much, just that those who read this to just send out some positive thoughts that it might all turn out ok. Thank you x