Tuesday, 27 July 2010

We're All Going to the Zoo Tomorrow

I looooooove love love love the zoo!!!!

I love all animals but especially the type you don't come across every day.

I've mentioned before I love penguins most of all and I'm going to see them this week and cant wait.
Our nearest zoo is in Edinburgh which is 80+ miles away so we don't go that often, but when we do I am in heaven. These are some photos of our last visit which was last year.

When I know I'm going its ridiculous. I cant sleep the night before and once I'm there I run around like a woman possessed. My hubby finds it hysterical to watch. I can stop being super excited. My mum doesn't like zoo's I think its the smell and she's not a great animal lover (She likes all things clean), so we didn't get to go to there very often when I was a child. I have lots of fabulous childhood memories of great days out with my parents but no many of them involve animals.

So when Hubby suggested we go this week at some point I jumped at the chance and we're just waiting for a half decent day and then we'll pack up and go.

I'm soooooooooo excited. Yay!!!

Friday, 23 July 2010

Breastfeeding and Me

For those of you who have read my birth experience blog this is kind of a continuation of that. This is my experience of post birth in hospital and at home and the way my babies feeding was handled by medical staff and community midwives.

I didn't breastfeed Sophie 11 years previously to having Caleb. I was 21, alone and wanted to be able to hand her over for help and feeding to the people around me. Plus at that age I was body conscious and a bit too selfish.

When I found out I was having Caleb I battled with the decision through my pregnancy. I tried to discuss it with my community midwife but she told me I couldn't do both so would have to decide. That was her one and only piece of advice and the only time she discussed it with me. Less than an hour after my traumatic birth experience with Caleb I asked one of the midwives what they thought I should do and she handed me a bottle. End of story. He couldn't feed as he was so full of gunge anyway but again on the ward I asked for someone to advise me or at least show me what to do and was told not to worry about it right now and worry about the fact he couldn't feed at all.

As I said, I came home less than 24 hours after birth, and on a Friday night so the first midwife I saw on the Saturday was an on call midwife and wasn't interested as she didn't know me personally. I asked her if I could express and feed from a bottle with formula and she looked at me like I had 3 heads. I wouldn't know if that's madness as I've never breastfed or ever been told what to do.

By 4 days old I asked my own community midwife and again she skirted the issue and said, ' Oh well you're bottle feeding anyway, so I'd stick with that!' I WAS ONLY BOTTLE FEEDING BECAUSE NO ONE WOULD HELP ME!!!!

By the time Caleb was 4 weeks old I was still producing milk and still struggled with the uncertainty of it all. He used to turn into me all the time as if he just knew what to do and I used to cry as I felt I was letting my little boy down. I still do feel I let him down in some way and if I could do it again I'd have given it a go on my own with no help.

If I am blessed with another baby at some point I will try and if it works out great. If not at least I wont have the guilt of not trying again. Its a gut wrenching feeling to feel like you're letting this gorgeous little bundle down.

My Birth Experience

At ten days overdue with my second baby Caleb I was admitted to the local maternity hospital here in Ayrshire. I’d had a lovely birth experience with my daughter Sophie 11 years previously so had no worries or nerves at all. I just couldn’t wait to get my lovely boy out and home. I had been induced with Sophie at 22 days overdue and was adamant that I didn’t want to go that long with him as he was already huge from my scan.

The hospital was fairly new, 2 years old and very modern inside with all new mod cons. When we arrived we were directed to the ward which was a four to a room ward with ensuite bathroom. The nurses station was in the middle of the main hallway which was huge and covered the whole maternity floor.

I was induced at half past 2 in the afternoon and my contractions started at 6pm. Come 6am in the morning I was moved to the labour ward where I was told they weren’t real contractions and false labour and so was given more of the induction drug and sent back to the ward. My husband went home and got a couple of hours sleep and headed back around 10am laden with goodies. We were both still very excited.

At this point I should tell you, my husband is a policeman and had worked in a drug Squad in the town where the hospital was now bases. On my maternity notes my community midwife had noted this down and said that I should be allocated a private room in case of him being recognised by anyone he may have had to deal with I the past. This didn’t happen pre birth and wasn’t acknowledged at all. I was just so excited and so desperate to see my little boy that at this point I wasn’t too bothered and when we told the ward sister she assured us after the baby came we’d be given a room.

So, around 12pm a doctor came down to assess me and told me that I was 3cm and could be admitted to the labour ward again. I was told to walk down the stairs and so we packed up and off we went. As I got to the top of the stairs my contractions started coming thick and fast so we got the lift with the help of a lovely orderly.

I was welcomed back to the labour ward and was still really happy to be there and excited. That soon became short lived. Although my contractions were coming every 2 minutes and were bad I was still in good spirits and laughing and joking with people. First a ward sister came to put an IV in my hand as I was to be given an antibiotic during labour as I had been diagnosed with strep B at 38 weeks. She couldn’t get the IV in at all but insisted in persevering. Eventually when my left hand was pouring blood and swollen like Grapefruit she gave up and moved to my right hand eventually with the help of another nurse it was in. . By this time I was in a lot of pain and also crying as she’d hit bone several times. Next was the epidural saga. I was talked into taking one as they were going to speed up my labour with a drip so they could measure my antibiotics. I didn’t want one and was shouted down by 2 separate midwifes. So the saga began. A trainee anaesthetist was called down and she took 11 attempts to get the tube in my back, stopping every minute for my contractions. She also kept hitting a nerve which made excruciating pain in my right thigh and hip. After half an hour I was begging them to stop and leave me alone. My poor husband who held my hand throughout was so upset and supporting me the whole time. I was told by the midwifes to stop being silly and the girls boss was called down to try. She got it in on her 3rd attempt….. Or so we thought. For around 15 minutes I had relief and my other IV was attached to speed things along. Soon after though the pain started coming back and I told me midwife. She topped up the epidural with a button above my head and I could feel it running down my back.

When my midwife left to go and get something I told my husband I could feel it wearing off and my back was wet. He checked and said the tube was out and that I had to tell the midwife. The pain started coming fast and the cocktail of IV’s I was on was making me feel sick and woozy. I begged my husband not to tell the midwife about the epidural though as I was terrified of them trying to get it back in again. I went through another hour of labour and started feeling really ill and sick. At 8pm I told my husband to grab a sick bowl, and told the midwife I could feel the babies head. She poo poo’d me as Id been 5cm when she checked me 5 minutes before. 30seconds later I was sick and out shot my son all 8lb 14oz of him. I was ecstatic but just wanted to go home straight away.

I was stitched up and taken for a shower. All IV’s and tubes removed and and baby cleaned up. My husband was just in shock. I think the whole thing was so traumatic for him he was exhausted.

I was taken up to a ward with another 3 girls for the night and as soon as I got there I wanted out. My husband was sent home instantly and rudely and I was put in a bed and left. There were 3 babies and one was going through withdrawal which meant it screamed like you’ve never heard before all night. Caleb slept but I felt sick and wanted to go home. I lay in bed and cried all night. At one point he threw up in his bassinet and I needed help with him as I didn’t feel good at all. I had to carry him, bleeding and exhausted along the outside corridor to get help as my buzzer didn’t work. I wasn’t leaving my baby in the ward with drug addicts alone. When I came back to the ward there were two girls in the bathroom smoking which meant the whole ward was full of smoke. I told the nurse and she had a word and also told the girl with the screaming baby to attend to him. Needless to say this didn’t work at all. I was told I had to pee ASAP in a container so I staggered into the bathroom and found it covered in blood and used sanitary towels. The toilet was covered as were the walls, sink and shower. That was it for me. I went back to my bed and text my husband and told him to come sign us out. I wanted home.

He arrived 2 hours later and told the nurse he was taking us home now. At which point the was told we would have to see the doctor and then hopefully we could go. Caleb still hadn’t fed at this point. He was full of gunk and kept just throwing it up. The doctor told us we could go home when he fed.

We went back to the ward and at this point my husband realised he recognised and had dealt with at least 2 of the girls in there and their partners. It was obvious they recognised him and that was it for us. We found a midwife who was sympathetic to us and begged her to help. She told us we had to get Caleb feeding now. We spent the next 3 hours with her on and off, trying to force milk down his throat but he just kept throwing it back up. Eventually my husband drank 2oz of the milk himself and we were cleared to go. This was at 5pm and he had been born at 8pm the night before.

It was the worst and scariest 2 days of my life. After such a lovely birth with my daughter 11 years before I was genuinely in shock for weeks after, at the state of the hospital, and the treatment I was given. The feeding of my baby was another story I will share but the whole experience has left me scared and upset. I so want more children but the thought of ever being in that place again or going through what I went through leaves me cold. 

Nappy Cream and Medicine Carry Case Review

Last week I was sent a couple of things by the lovely people at 'Emma's Diary' to review.

The first of which was 'Bepanthen Ointment', which coincidentally was a godsend as Caleb is teething quite badly and has quite bad nappy rash at present. I was also sent a , 'Nurofen Medicine carry case'. Handy too as he's been needing his painkillers a lot this last week and we have been busy with relatives and birthday visits keeping us out the house .

Firstly the Bepanthen. I had heard of Bepanthen but since Caleb was born I've always used another big brand of nappy rash cream which we only put on when the little man needs it as it sometimes can create a barrier in his nappy and stop them absorbing as much as normal. I've been using the Bepanthen for a week now at every change as hit bottom is so sore with his back teeth pushing through. I have to say I didn't find it quite as greasy as our normal cream and his nappies were still as absorbent. His nappy rash has improved quite a bit and he certainly doesn't seem as uncomfortable.
Bepanthen claims to stop your babies skin drying out like some other creams and it seems to live up to its promise. It also claims to contains no fragrance or colourings so is delicate enough for all ages of baby including premature babies. The only downside I could see was that it seems to be considerably more expensive than the cream I use. When I went onto some supermarkets websites to price it, it was around the £2.50 mark for a 30g tube. The one I use is around £3.50 for a 250g tub. It means that if I'm completely honest I may buy Bepanthen if his bottom was very sore when teething but probably would stick to my usual brand for general use, although I was impressed by the Bepanthen results.

The other product I was asked to review was the Nurofen medicine carry case and syringe. This I love. Its a great idea. On days out and overnight stays I usually have to put medicine bottles in little freezer bags in his changing bag as the bottles get so sticky after every use and you don't want it all over clothes or nappies in the bag. It also has a little window on the front for instructions of when they need their next dose and the child's name. This would be especially handy for little ones who are maybe in childminders or nursery's during the day. It also comes with a handy measuring syringe which I have to say normally I wouldn't use as Caleb's always preferred spoons for his medicine but for very small babies this would prove very handy. There's an interior mesh pocket where we kept some spare spoons and a few sachets of paracetamol painkillers too. We were at my sisters who's expecting her second child for her birthday this week and she was commenting on how simple and clever the case was.
Its a great idea and I'm planning to keep using my case from now on.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

My Fear of my Baby Choking

Let me take a minute to explain the eating situation with my boy and why it makes me panic regularly.

Most babies start on solid food between 6-9months, some younger some a bit older. You start them on stage one type pureed food. If you're like me you'll boil veg, fruit and all sorts of goodies and freeze them in tiny pots for use. I did it all. Everything I made he choked and vomited on at 6 months so I put him back onto milk only and he continued to thrive and put on weight so I left it a while and thought once his feeds weren't enough he'd let me know. 8 months came and he got two teeth and liked yogurt which was fine, so I started making more food and trying him again. This time I bought a fine sieve and even after I'd blitzed the mixture in the processor I'd pass it through the sieve too. Again he choked and vomited and again I took him off the food.

Eventually at around 10 months I started buying stage one jars of food for him and he seemed to do not too badly but now and again he still gagged and wretched on them. I persevered though and soon he managed them and yoghurt's along with his milk feeds and did really well. Every 6 weeks or so I would try him again on lumps and biscuits and again he would gag and projectile vomit everything in his stomach up again.

At 13 months I took him to the doctor as by this time he was refusing all solid food which made me think he must be hungry and worried me. The doctor referred him to the hospital where they said they'd get an appointment for him to have a camera down his throat under anesthetic to check the muscles in his throat. Apparently it's fairly common for them to be under developed and need steroids to help them build up.

In March at 15 months and a week before his hospital appointment he caught Noro Virus and was violently ill for 7 days with no res bite whatsoever from vomiting. He lost half his weight and was at the stage where the doctor was just putting off admitting him to hospital to be put on a drip. Eventually it cleared up and as soon as the virus had cleared he was eating everything and anything. The first day he wasn't sick he ate toast, chicken, pasta, banana and crisps. This was completely alien for us and as my confidence was so badly dented with all the weaning problems I've had with him I felt I couldn't trust my instincts. So I held back a lot of food which might be a choking hazard with him. Hes only just catching up now with other kids at 20 months. He has no fear of anything but every time he gets something new to eat I cant feel the panic setting in.

I know I have to stop this and let him try all different things but I still feel the fear of him
choking every single day.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

The pram dilema.

Its so sad when your baby outgrows stuff isn't it? A real sign they're growing up fast. I just didn't expect it to happen so fast this time round.

Calebs Maxi Cosi Mura is too wee for him and I'm so sad. His feet hang over the edge and his head touches the hood. He's only 19months old and I expect a pram to last at least until they're 3. I'm so disappointed in it. The carry cot was fantastic and he was in it right up until he was 10 months. The car seat was great too. We used it on the wheels until recently as it was spacious and convenient. The seat unit has just been uncomfortable and not to his liking right from the beginning and I wondered if he was too wee for it, so left it a while until he was bigger. It been used a handful of times and now he's uncomfortable in it as he's too big for it.

I have a concord fusion pushchair too and cant decide whether to just sell the Maxi Cosi and be done with it. I'd so like to have another baby soon and cant decide if I'd use it again or not. The fusion has a carry cot for it and I have the newborn car seat unit for it too. Its just the Maxi Cosi was my first pram for the wee chap and its sentimental value really. I find it so hard to part with anything of his.

There's the other issue of double prams. If I do have another baby in the near future would I need a double pram. I walk a lot with the pram and quite often my car lies outside the house unused for weeks. What age will he not sit any longer or what age does he need a pram up to?

Arghhhh help!

Rain Rain Go Away

While the rest of the countrys been sweltering in itself the last two weeks, we up here in Scotland have had nothing but rain and lots of the stuff.

Its been wet,windy and pretty much gross.

I need some sunshine and BBQ's. Traditional summertime fun. This is depressing.

We all know that the sun is good for our mood and Vitamin D is essential for our bones and skin. So wheres ours???

Hurry up summer. I need you.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Endemetriosis and Me

Hands up out there if you're a sufferer of Endemetriosis. Me!!

I've had it since I was a teenager and didn't realise that the level of pain I had every month was substantially worse than others. It wasn't until 6 years ago it was finally diagnosed after spending months in excruciating pain that would keep me up all night and have me on the sofa with a hot water bottle all day. My Husband eventually persuaded me that this wasn't just normal lady problems and I went to see a specialist.

So what are my symptoms? Well without being too graphic, extreme stomach cramps which over the years have spread into my back, rib cage, hips and thighs. Some months I cant sleep for the pain in my right hand side altogether. On the worst months it can feel as if someone is pulling out my ovaries and stabbing me in the back all over at the same time. It can occasionally make labour pain seem like a mild tummy ache. Maybe that's why labour hasn't really bothered me. When in labour with Caleb the midwife kept telling me I had to have pain relief as it would get worse and I had to explain I was used to pain. Other symptoms are bloating and heavy bleeding/clotting.

I've often wondered how many women are out there who suffer like me and put it down to 'lady problems' as GP's don't really seem to be too quick to refer sufferers for help.

How is it treated? Well, at the moment I am on a contraceptive pill, ovaranette, Mefanamic Acid and large dosed of co-codamol. I've been told the only cure is a hysterectomy which I don't feel at the moment is an option for me. I so want more children if possible and the disease doesn't seem to have affected my fertility thus far, touch wood, too severely. I've been told pregnancy can help with symptoms for a while after but both times mines been worse and during pregnancy I had terrible pain for the first 5 months with both babies which is worrying and mean I was scanned every 3 weeks from 5 weeks onwards to check for internal bleeds.

This month has been one of the worst so far and I've found it very hard to carry on with the little one and the house, but as its an invisible problem it's still expected I carry on as normal which really gets to me. When the pain is worse than labour and I'm grinning and baring it on heavy medication and feeling sick and sleepy I still get no sympathy or help. I think I'm my own worst enemy with it as over the years I have learnt to get on with life as much as I can until it passes but as it gets worse I wonder if I'll just be seen as a moaning woman or whether people around me will try to understand a bit better?

Right now I just live for the good months and hope they don't become few and far between.

Monday, 5 July 2010


I feel a rant coming on. A bit of a 'I'm sick of my ground hog day style life at the moment' kind of rant.

For those of you who don't know my hubby is a policeman who has just been appointed a Detective in the CID full time as of last week. Generally what this means is he works non stop, for very ridiculously low wages for what he does and is hardly ever here. When he is here he gets phoned a lot and is constantly in work mode. I don't mind him having the career he wanted but I would like just a bit of 'real' family time sometimes. Caleb misses his daddy a lot when he's not here physically and mentally and I miss the support.

As well as Hubby's job I feel a bit fed up with our house situation and where we live. We bought this house 4 years ago with the intention of doing the vast quantity of upgrading it needed and moving on. I was a mortgage advisor at the time and doing a lot of mortgages for property developers. It was something I was desperate to get into. We bought our house in a minimal state of repair with new central heating and a kitchen but the rest needed doing. We intended to put the work in ourselves then sell up fast while the market was good, making a bit and buying another project. It wasn't to be. The market started crashing just as we were mid upgrading, and work started drying up for me, so money got tighter. I found out i was pregnant and lost my job all in one month and the house lay unfinished. It still has small jobs outstanding but we feel after 4 years we nearly have to start upgrading the decor and interior again already if we were to put it on the market. House prices are still to low for us to do so in this area yet. We wont make money but just to have the option to move on would suit me.

We have never had a holiday together since we met 8 years ago as we never had the money, saving for a wedding and to buy a house together. I'm desperate for a change of scene and the kids have never had a holiday as a family. Sophie will be 13 soon and never been abroad or even on holiday with us.

Sometimes I feel my place is to work at home, alone as a mum and housewife and general skivvy most of which I generally enjoy but I need some fun too. There's not many nights out. One since Caleb was born 19 months ago with my Husband which was cut short when Caleb took swine flu. Even a nice day out as a couple with no kids would be wonderful. My husband feels the ground hog day effect too and it's taking its toll on us both.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate everything we have for its good points as well as its bad. I have two beautiful healthy kids, a generally lovely (if a bit grumpy) husband, a roof over my families heads, and food in their mouths. I would just like a bit of light hearted fun in my life to lift the mood around here once and a while.

Rant over. Sorry.