Thursday, 4 February 2016

The second time around

Things are different this pregnancy, but some things are comfortingly familiar too.

The vomiting and mornings spent over the sink. Except this time I have a mini me who likes to imitate my retching sounds and laugh to herself.

The bone tiredness that has lead me to fall asleep at work twice...! And to plonk Ada in front of a dvd in hopes I'll get a few minutes shut eye (didn't work).

The anxiety and worry of early pregnancy have been similar to the first. An ED trip, 3 urgent scans, lots going on and not much happening. Once again I am relieved and thankful to have made it to the second trimester.

This time I am well looked after, but pregnancy has lost it's innocence. Daily injections, regular check ups, scans and tests. Talks of percentages of pre-eclampsia, abruptions and blood clots, and chances of making it to my August due date (very unlikely.) Discussions of risks and hospitals capabilities and staying close to medical care at all times. Things are different.

The joy of seeing out wee bean transform from a smudge to an alien like creature, to a wee baby is still as strong as the first pregnancy. Perhaps even stronger, as now I know what that wee dot is likely to grow into one day.

Hi my baby!

All in all I'd say pregnancy is one big waiting and trusting game. Those close to me will know the times I've struggled with worry and the times I've tried my best to trust my body and trust my baby. I believe God has a plan for this baby, and I believe that whatever may come our way, I, we, are strong enough to get through.

Today, I'm just enjoying the growing bump and anticipating the kicks to come. Trying not to think too far ahead, but imagining life with a sweet babe again in our arms.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

World Prematurity Day: My premmie nearly 2 years on

Today is world prematurity day. This day raises awareness for the hundreds of thousands of babies born early every year.

This year, the day nearly passed me by. The only reason I really remembered is because I do a little volunteer work for the Neonatal Trust, so of course it's on their radar.

This year, I no longer feel like being premature defines Ada, or me as a mother. At nearly two years old she is just a regular toddler with most of the vestiges of her early days left behind. The only times it crosses my mind might be in a conversation about birth, or the early days with a newborn and I'll be reminded of our journey. Or when Ada sees her paediatrician or dietician to check up on her weight and eating.

I can now see what I could never know in those early days: she'll be fine. 

That tiny little girl with chicken legs, and see through skin, covered in masks and under a blue light. It all felt like such a nightmare, and now it seems like a distant dream.

That fragile girl is gone and in her place is a rambunctious toddler, full of life and cheekiness, and new words and tantrums and cuddles and love.

And while I wouldn't wish this journey on anyone, I can now see the positives, and the people I've met and the paths I've been on that I wouldn't have been able to without Ada's early birth. It is a privilege and a joy for me to be able to talk to other mothers who are going through this, and to be able to provide a perspective of hope and of 'I understand.'

Here's to World Prematurity Day and celebrating all those families who have 'been there, done that.'

Tuesday, 6 October 2015


It's almost a rite of passage of becoming a mother, I think. Feeling guilty.

I am not the type of person who would generally feel guilty in life (except when I should have!), but motherhood has been a whole new ball game. 

Guilt and lies would often enter my head:
It's my fault she was born early. If only I'd seen the signs. It's so obvious looking back.
If only I'd continued trying to breastfeed, I'd have been a better mother.
I leave her in care too much!
I should feed her better food

and on and on and on. 

It came to a head a few weeks ago when guilt got a bit too cheeky and tried to make me feel bad for the most ridiculous thing. In a way it was good as I could recognise the ridiculousness of feeling this way!

I'd had wrist surgery a few days before so I only had use of one arm. I woke up and I was spewing my guts out- I had gastro. I get the kind of gastro where all I can do is lie on the floor and vomit every 30 minutes. I get it so bad I often end up needing medical attention.

Before I lost my capacity, I arranged for Ada's carer to come pick her up and take her for the day. There was about an hour before she could come. So I managed to bring Ada downstairs, I gave her milk, dry ricebubbles and put a baby dvd on which she watched happily.

As I lay on the couch watching her and trying not to spew, guilt came along. 'I'm such a terrible mother!! My child isn't even dressed, I've fed her dried ricies and am fobbing her off for the day!!'

I would have laughed (except that would have made me more nauseous). It was so ridiculous. So I said back to guilt 'I'm a f*@king awesome mum!! Ada is going to be well looked after today, she is happy now and I even managed to feed her breakfast. Go me! I rock!'

Ever since then I've been able to see guilt a lot clearer for what it is- lies.
I'm finding it much easier to retort back to guilt (in my head...don't worry I'm not speaking out loud.)

It's my fault she was born early. If only I'd seen the signs. It's so obvious looking back.
No one would have known. My quick actions saved her life. Look at her now, she's thriving.

If only I'd continued trying to breastfeed, I'd have been a better mother.
I couldn't have fed her- she didn't know how to suck-swallow-breathe! She was tube fed for 10 months and I pumped for 8, I rock!

I leave her in care too much!
I leave her in care approximately half of the week, we still get plenty of time together. Not to mention she LOVES care and is constantly saying her friends name and loves playing with her.

I should feed her better food
She is fed well. Spaghetti on toast every now and again is ok- she loves it!

If anything else I can say to guilt 'She is happy, she is safe, she is secure, she is loved.'

Guilt is such a wasted emotion. I can't really be bothered entertaining it in my life anymore (well except when I should...guilt can be a good way to help consider your action.)

To any mum who is struggling with guilt, remember, it's all lies! You are a great mother, your child is well looked after, safe and happy. Guilt doesn't deserve space in your head.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Home for Now

We moved into this house in October. And while this place is a MILLION times better than our last place, I still felt a bit blah about parts of it. It's a rental, and we are planning on buying at some point, so I had this idea I couldn't spend money improving a rental. But then I found pinterest inspiration and made a few small changes and before I knew it I was on a roll! There are little 'spots of happy' throughout the house which make me feel more content spending time here, and more like this is our home, instead of a house. I feel like valuing our rental has made me more happy to be here until we make the next big step.

  Ada's room before

Ada's room after:
(including black out curtain liners- a great investment!)


I took some plain drawers in the study and whacked a bit of Molly Voodoo paint on them. This paint is amazing and doesn't require any sanding before use!

Now I have a nice wee office nook

While I was on a roll with the paint I did this wee shelf from the Sallies for our front door

I discovered Euro pillows!!!

 We don't have a laundry unfortunately, just this monstrosity which can be seen from our lounge. A quick curtain installation and it's much better!

Bathroom before
Bathroom after

 Wee touches


Kitchen nook


(New curtains are next on the list!!)

Next project:
I've been waiting to do this beauty up for a while. I've got fresh paint and new handles on order and over the next few weeks I'll do it bit by bit at night. I can't wait for it to be freshened up!

I've had a lot of fun with these wee projects, I hope you enjoyed seeing a wee glimpse of them :)

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

The Motherhood: 18 Months


You are 18 months old today.

As close to 2 as you are to 1 and I can't believe how fast time is flying.

To be honest, your first year dragged a little. This second year is flying by and I want to grab time by it's heels and tell it to slow right down!

Everyday is a new day with you. You are constantly changing and learning and growing.

Over the past few months you've shed your baby-hood goodbye and well and truly welcomed toddlerdom into our home.

In your first year I was sleep deprived, and you were still and mostly quiet. Now I (usually) have enough sleep, and you are chaos and noise.

You are talking and learning new words all the time. Current favourite phrases include 'less go' (as in, lets get out of here mum before I lose it!), 'dank ooo' (thankyou), 'shus' (shoes) and 'cuuk' (book.) You're a pro at animal noises but you haven't quite learned that sheep and other 4 legged animals don't all say 'ooof ooof'

You haven't mastered the word 'no' yet but you have mastered shaking your head which you use at your every whim.

Frustration and tiredness lead you to lose it- tantrums on an evening are your way of telling us you are O.V.E.R it! We're slowly learning to respond and cope with this new behaviour, and guide you through all these new overwhelming emotions. We get 'over it' too sometimes, and then take a deep breath and carry on.

You are a great sleeper and know your own limits. You happily go to bed and talk yourself to sleep.

Discovering lipstick
You are far more social than your Daddy and I put together. You gain energy and joy from being around others. Your idea of hell is a quiet morning home chilling out (quite the clash- that's my idea of heaven.)

You constantly challenge me to be a better Mum and person. I think before you were born I had this idea that I would reach a 'pinnacle' of motherhood which would involve me wearing an apron and happily building block towers with you for hours. You and I both know this isn't our reality. I can see now I'm never going to reach some great pinnacle of motherhood. I am flawed, and you are too and that's ok. We will muddle through together.

So here's to you, at 18 month, no longer my baby but my wriggly, joyful curious toddler. Here's to climbing and laughing and reaching and falling and all the bits in between.

It is my joy (and my heartache, sometimes) to watch you learn and grow and change.

Mummy xx

(See my other 'Motherhood' posts here and here)
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