25.12.12

And here the blog ends....

On the 20th December I gave birth to a beautiful daughter. What a precious gift. We are delighted and in awe of God's kindness. He has sustained us through our journey through illness, miscarriage, possibility of a premature baby and now birth. What an amazing Father we have.

Thank you for sharing in our journey.

Over and out x

19.12.12

37+6

I still here and still pregnant.... I keep getting pains on and off but it seems that everything has slowed down. I am seeing the consultant later so hopefully he will be able to give me some insight into how long he thinks it will be now. My joints are flaring badly and I'm in a lot of pain with them. I can't wait to meet our baby!

17.12.12

Contractions 3 minutes apart....

Action stations!!!! That is until they stopped again!

I had contractions roughly 3 minutes apart lasting for around a minute for about an hour and a half yesterday evening. Then my brother arrived to stay the night and obviously the shock of thinking he might end up delivering the baby was enough to make them stop!

I've been getting what I think is a bloody show and the typical 'clear out' of the intestines!! Nice!

I've been very uncomfortable with period type pain for the last few days and I feel a bit odd. I don't really want to leave the house which is strange. I'm 37+4 today and I've started getting period type pains back again this morning. Is this it?..... Exciting!

15.12.12

Full term plus 2

I made it! Unbelievably! After the roller coaster journey we've been on it is such a relief to no longer be having a premature baby. I am so grateful.

At 36+6 I saw my consultant who said that the baby's head was only 1/5th palpable and that he might see me later that night or the next day as he thought I'd be going into labour sooner than later... I'm still not in labour but I am I hospital as there were concerns about my blood pressure. I have spent all day in hospital being checked and there was talk of inducing me tonight if the blood test results came back showing pre eclampsia. Fortunately they didn't but they still wanted to keep me in to be monitored. I'm having my blood pressure taken every four hours.

Being on an antenatal ward is always quite eventful. I am surrounded by people would have been induced and are in labour. The girl opposite has just been whisked off to delivery as she was needing to push and it sounds like the lady in the corner isn't far off!!

I'm getting lots of sharp pains in my pelvis and tightenings but trying to relax through them.   I'd love some sleep but it's so hot on the ward lights are on and it's obviously noisy, it's hard to get any sleep. I'm hoping to get home tomorrow and sleep all day!

10.12.12

36+4

Eek only a couple of days until I am full term! How did that happen? Where is our very premature baby?! Putting on weight and snug inside!

My Grandad has just said that he thinks that I will have the baby this week at 37 or 37+1. I hope he's right because I really would very much like to meet our baby now.

We have come up with two boy names and one girl name. So hopefully one will suit the baby!! My three year old god children are guessing that it's a girl. My best friend L thinks it's a boy. We're just not sure either way!!!

1.12.12

35+2

Just under two weeks until I am term and just under five weeks until my due date!

I am getting much stronger and more intense tightenings. It is very difficult to get comfortable when they are happening. Actually it is so hard to get comfortable anyway as most of the time I have little heels stuck under my ribs! Sitting on the soda to knit just isn't possible which is a big shame!


19.11.12

33+4 and George's due date (16.11.12)

The 16th November should have been a very different day to what it was this year.  It was George's due date.  I took some photos of his rose bush which is flowering again this year!


Last week the consultant wanted to put me on a monitor to just check that everything was okay as I'd felt the baby move less.  Turns out all was absolutely fine.

I am getting very excited about nearing our little baby's due date.  It's only 6+2 weeks away and full term is only 3+2 weeks away!!! We've packed the bags and have been practising the hypnobirthing techniques we learned in our classes.  I've been getting ever so uncomfortable and can't sit on the sofa, lie in bed, or in the car for long before I get little feet or a squishy bottom in my ribs.  I'm getting up once or twice a night to go to the loo and really not sleeping very well but can't wait for our baby to arrive.

The nursery is all finished and I love just sitting in it, listening to relaxing music, especially The Seal Lullaby (Eric Whitacre) which reminds me of both our babies.  I've just ironed three last white newborn sleepsuits and about to put them away in the drawers in the nursery.  Oh I could spend all day in there pottering around and reorganising things!


7.11.12

Comedy moments

I went to mock head butt the wardrobe door during a light hearted conversation with my husband but I ended up rebounding violently off the wardrobe door... The bump got in the way!

Tonight I decided to draw a face on the bump to email this my Grandad to make him laugh as he's not very well at the moment.


5.11.12

31+4 and first day of maternity leave!

Ah this is all very nice. I'm on the sofa with a warm pain au chocolate, Country Living magazine, Classic FM playing and nothing to do until 2pm.
I certainly want to make the most of this time. I have already washed, ironed and put away all the baby clothes we have bought and been given. I have done a bit of batch cooking and have frozen one beef casserole so far along with some portions of lasagne. My hospital bag and the baby bag is packed. The nursery is ready for action, the dining room is set up for changing the baby when I am downstairs and is a great place for the pram to be out of the way. The moses basket is set up in our room with the monitor and the house is organised beyond all belief! My mum put 'strategies' in place so that the house works for us in a more efficient and effective way.
What I do still need to do is make some Christmas decorations! Christmas for A and I will definitely be at our house this year if not for the rest of my family too unless I am in labour!
I have decided to only plan one thing in my diary a day so that I have plenty of time for just resting and sleeping if I need to. I'm not going to have this time again so I need to make sure I don't over do things now just because I have lots of free time. It's not free time, it's planned in rest time!
This morning I had a friend from church here who is a La Leche advisor on breastfeeding. It was such a useful time as she was able to go through what was normal and also talk with me about the ways in which I can try breastfeeding if my joints are in a flare. It is lots more technical than you first think. You can't just ram the baby on to your breast! She reiterated what I had already been thinking about most parenting books..... Burn them! I am increasingly coming to the conclusion that I need to trust my own intuition and instincts and I need to remember that my baby is clever and knows when it needs feeding or changing. I need to become adept at reading my baby's signals.
I have looked at a number of parenting books that give you routines and advice that seems counterintuitive to what I feel you ought to do. I don't doubt that these books are helpful to some people but I don't think that I want to use them to rely on. I would hate to be in a position where I am holding my baby in one hand, and the book in the other and so busy reading the book and clock watching that I don't 'read' the baby's signals! Also, the baby won't have read the book!

1.11.12

31 weeks

I never thought I'd be pregnant still! The next goal is 32 weeks as I think that means that the baby has an even better chance. Top be honest I think at this stage if I got to 35 weeks I would consider myself fairly home and dry. Although I know deep down that still things do and can go wrong at 40 weeks. But all that is nothing I am going to worry about.
Mum and I have worked hard this week during my first week of maternity leave to get systems in place in the house so that things hopefully run more smoothly. We've reorganised the entire house I think in the process and I keep looking in the wrong cupboards for things in the kitchen! We have organised and put away all the baby clothes and I've just put the last sheets on to wash ready to make up the moses basket and carrycot. Oh I feel so much more on top of everything now.
I've been concerned about getting a routine going for the baby and the more I read the more complicated it gets! I've looked at Gina Ford, the Baby Whisperer, Baby Wise and a handful of others.... I've come to the conclusion that I need to listen to my baby and trust my instincts. Burn those books!!

18.10.12

29 weeks today

I had a scan yesterday and got to see the baby in 3d but it was so so far down in my pelvis that the sonographer struggled to get any decent pictures of the baby. She couldn't even measure its head it was that far down. No wonder that I've been so uncomfortable!
We saw the consultant who wanted to check I wasn't about to go into labour so sent us up to the delivery ward to have another fetal fibronectin test. Fortunately it was negative. If it had been positive we would have had a tour of the neonatal unit and I would have been admitted for monitoring and given steroid injections to mature the baby's lungs.

Baby's Playlist

Well we gave the baby a concert tonight and played lots of different types of music and saw which ones it moved about to the most.

We think that the favourites were Mc Hammer, Don't touch this... Elton John,  Tiny Dancer, the BBC cricket song and the Charlie Brown medley! Beethovens 5th,  Mozart and the Beatles weren't so popular!!

16.10.12

28+5

It's 3am and I've been awake for a while feeling quite stressed. I think it's a combination of work, the thought of labour, being high risk, really uncomfortable and very cold. My husband has just got up to put the heating on it's so cold!!

13.10.12

28 weeks +2 days

Hooray I made it to 28 weeks!  This is a big milestone not least because my consultant wasn't sure I'd get there!
There have been a couple of moments en route to 28 weeks that have been worrying especially when I thought that labour might be starting in the week. The surges got so much more intense and it was so uncomfortable. Nothing I did would relieve them. Fortunately they eased off and i was able to get into the bath time relax.
The third trimester tiredness has hit big time but when I think what my body is coping with, I think that I'm actually managing brilliantly! I need to keep this in mind and not blame myself for not being 100 percent. I have a very hectic and physically and emotionally draining job that it tiring at the best of times let alone with the extra demands of being on senior management, I work from getting up to going to bed, I have severe juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and have been off medication for 14 months... Oh and I'm growing a baby!! A baby that has got big enough to reach 28 weeks! It a wriggly little thing and likes to kick mostly on the top right hand side near my ribs, and punch my left hip area. Doing somersaults is a favourite past time, as is trying to fit under my right ribcage! The baby likes to play games with me when I poke it, he or she pokes back! Awake time seems to be about 11pm when little Bear is really useful for a good play. Just when I want to get to sleep! I often wake up at 5.45 when the baby is wriggling then too.
Oh I do love this little baby!

29.9.12

26+2 weeks! And what a week....

I ended up in the Delivery Unit last Saturday night as I was getting bad pains and tightenings.  I tried everything I could think of but still nothing seemed to calm them down so I phoned the hospital.  They wanted me to go up straight away as they thought I might be in premature labour so off we went.  It was good to see the unit where I am very likely to deliver our baby so I was pleased for the sneak preview!  The doctor and midwife checked that the surges weren't changing my cervix and did a fetal fibronectin test - they were both fine so I was allowed to go home.  The test gives a percentage chance of delivering in the next two weeks....so I think I've got a good chance of getting to 27+2 weeks at least...We heard the heartbeat too which was reassuring despite the fact the midwife couldn't find it to start with (I could feel the baby kicking at the time so I knew there wasn't anything to worry about!).

The bump really is getting massive now but apparently you can't tell that I'm pregnant from the back at all and people say that I haven't put on any weight other than the bump.  Getting comfortable to go to sleep is not easy but we're practicing the hypnobirthing techniques every night which is good.

Today we rearranged the nursery and I am so pleased with it.  I can't wait to bring home our little baby!


14.9.12

Hypnobirthing and 24+1 weeks

Having just had possibly the most stressful few weeks at work, it was unsurprising that my blood pressure was high when I went to the midwife last week. She told me that I had to slow down and reconsider work because I was at risk of a pre term birth. I emailed my boss and he has organised for me to not be in work for an extra two afternoons in addition to the day off I have anyway and not to be doing any extra duties etc. This is a huge relief as I will be able to do all my paperwork over a longer period of time and it will mean I can do all my management bits I work time rather than working until 11pm and getting up at 6am...and also working weekends too.
We had our first hypnobirthing class last night. The lady came to our house and we are having a private class which is really good. We talked about the theory for hypnobirthing and it seems to make a huge amount of scientific sense. We did a relaxation session at the end and also watched a hypnobirth which was really calm. I'm so excited!
Latest name ideas from some children... Anakin, Yoda, Rubella, Chocolate, Tiger, Kitty, James, Lilly and Holly.... The little boy who said Rubella was totally serious as he thought it sounded nice for a girl... I had the let him down by telling him it was a disease!! He was rather disappointed!

9.9.12

23+3 weeks

Wow the bump is huge and growing so fast! I am absolutely loving the kicks and high fives the baby is giving me. I can be watching it kick my stomach and then see a ripple as it moves across.
We've been thinking of names and think we are fairly sorted now for a boy or a girl...No telling just yet though!
I've been knitting some cardies and just can't wait to meet our baby. He or she wriggles lots and kicks when I put music near my bump!

17.8.12

20 weeks+1 and the scan

Today our baby is the size of a banana apparently!  Wow that's quite big really.

We had the 20 week scan the day before yesterday and saw our dear little Bear again - oh he/she was just so sweet and I fell head over heels in love with them again!  Bear was chomping on his or her hands and waving, kicking and knee-ing itself in the face (clever!).  Before we went in I said to my husband that this is the only time in my life that I hope my baby is 'average' and low and behold you couldn't get more average than our baby - literally spot on the 50th percentile for everything. All the body systems look good with no obvious problems.  Praise God!

The consultant sonographer who did the scan said just what a sweet looking baby we had and that if she could take one home, she'd take ours.  What a lovely thing to say.  I know we are biased but on the screen the baby really did look ever so sweet!

I can see the baby's kicks through my bump now which is so nice.  The baby tends to kick a lot at about 8am, late afternoon, mid-way through the evening and then when I'm lying in bed about to go to sleep.  I woke up in the middle of the night the other night and it was kicking at 4am.....Can I start a sleep routine already?!

12.8.12

A stitch

Ooh I have a bad stitch on one side of the ever growing bump. Google tells me it's just my uterus stretching but I feel like I've been on a long distance run without realising!!

We took up the amazing offer from Huggies in Sainsburys this week and bought three packs of nappies and got 27 normal sized packs of wipes for free! Bargain! I also got a bit excited about buying tiddly clothes and bought the baby a pack of little vests, two matching hats, a gro bag and a gorgeous knitted blanket. It all feels a bit more real now that we've started to buy the baby things and clearing out the nursery in preparation to be painted.

My joints have been flaring this week and I have a telephone appointment with my consultant next week. I'm half considering going back onto some medication which would be safe I pregnancy but I'd really rather not if I can help it.

The baby has been kicking a fair amount which has just been so lovely. I can feel the kicks from the outside now which is very exciting! I wish the baby would kick more often!!

I am 19+3 today and have the 20 week scan next week. I feel a little nervous about the scan because of all the things they are looking for but I know what ever happens, God is totally in control and will equip my husband and I to deal with what we need to.

I am busy knitting at the moment, as is my mum and granny! The baby is going to have so many lovely knitted clothes. Scrummy!

3.8.12

18 weeks and 1 day

I was sitting on the sofa this evening with my hands on the bump and for the first time, I felt the baby kick hard enough that I could feel it outside me!!! I got my husband to try putting his hands on and nothing happened so he went to sit back down. Then the baby did it again so I could feel so back my husband comes and fortunately the baby kicked again and he felt it!!! Then when we both had our hands on the bump, the baby did a massive kick and made me jump it was so big and sudden! What a great day!
The bump is getting tight, big and heavy... How much bigger do I need to get?! My lower back has been quite uncomfortable for weeks now and sleeping is difficult as it's hard to get comfortable.
We've decided on nursery curtains and paint now.

28.7.12

On holiday with good friends

We have been mostly on holiday this week with friends, staying in a lovely Grade 2 listed house in the countryside. We have played lots of croquet, had good food and sat in the sun. I've managed to knit a fair bit more of the baby jacket I've been making.

I've been finding that despite having more energy than in the first trimester, I still need to get to bed at a decent time and sit down much more than in the first few months. I feel that the bump has got quite heavy and standing up for long isn't ideal. Walking any distance isn't great either as I feel that the baby is quite low and coupled with round ligament pain/stretching, it's all pretty uncomfortable. I've been getting Braxton Hicks contractions since very very early on and they are getting pretty wearing now. I really do feel the need to rest which is a feeling that is new to me in general life

26.7.12

17 weeks today!

The baby is the size of a turnip today apparently. I don't think I've felt any movement since the kicks which is worrying me but Google tells my husband that at this stage it's normal. I'd love for the baby to tell me it was there. I have started playing it relaxing music which is good for me too.
The baby has the nickname Bear now which is better than 'It'. I just can't wait to meet Bear. We're doing the nursery at the moment. My mum is making some gorgeous curtains and I have chosen some blue paint. We don't know if it's a boy or a girl but decided that this paint was unisex.
The hypnobirthing cd and book arrived yesterday so I am pleased to be able to start reading that. The cd seems relaxing so far... Despite the fact that I have been awake since about 4am!
Later on today I was sitting doing some work, generally minding my own business when all of a sudden a head shot over to one side of my uterus and jutted out significantly! Bear had moved again before I could take a photo.

21.7.12

I have been kicked in the stomach...

From the inside! Twice! I was playing the baby Eric Whitacre's The Seal Lullaby, which is further down on my blog if you want to listen, and I got kicked! Wow this is the first time I have felt the baby kick. A very strange sensation but oh so lovely.

My blood pressure is quite low so feeling fairly dizzy. Crisps are doing their bit to help :-)

We are trying to buy the baby a travel system today.

18.7.12

An email to good friends

Dear All,

Following a rather difficult appointment at the hospital today, we would very much appreciate some long-term prayer.  

I saw the senior consultant today and he was concerned and has deemed the pregnancy as high risk.  It is quite likely that I will go into very premature labour and he said that if I can get to 28 weeks (40 weeks is when your due date is) then we can breathe a sigh of relief however, that is still very early for a baby to be born and it would obviously need a great deal of special care in hospital with potential life long complications.  It is also likely that I will need to have a c-section to increase the safety for the baby (although he said it is riskier for me).  I'm still having contractions which are probably being caused by the kidney infection I've had for the last 3 weeks.   So upshot is that I've got to keep a low profile - no travelling (our holiday to France has been cancelled), no lifting or carrying, no galavanting about.... and to have lots of rest lying on the sofa which just doesn't come easy to me! 

So specific prayer requests:
1) Pray that we would entirely trust God with all of this knowing that he has us in his hands.
2) That the baby would stay healthy inside for as long as possible and that the rest of the pregnancy would be really boring! 
3) The infection would be got on top of and the contractions would stop, and I would start to feel better.
4) That my joints would not flare on top of all of this.

As you might imagine, this is all a bit of a shock and emotionally draining but we're okay and looking to God for our hope and sustenance.  This isn't something that can be 'fixed' and is going to involve a lot of hospital trips and monitoring so please could you avoid asking lots of specific questions about the situation, but letting us know from time to time that you are praying  would be a huge encouragement.

Thank you for being such great friends and thank you in advance for your prayers. 

15.7.12

A few more potential movements?

I'm 15+3 and am wondering if I can feel teeny little movements occasionally from this very active baby. My placenta is at the front so I have been told to expect not to feel much until later on but just at the edges of my uterus, I am sure there is a butterfly in there!! It's only when I really concentrate though!

13.7.12

Back in hospital

Gah! Will I ever get out of here!! At least lunch is slightly less beige and a darn sight more tasty. This time I brought in emergency ketchup to combat anything beige! And hooray, vegetables! I spotted some fruit in the dining room too so I will raid that later. There are no beds at the moment so I'm having to wait in the day room which is really not very comfortable. I'd much rather go home.

So eventually I got a bed for the afternoon and evening but I persuaded them to let me go home as there weren't really going to do anything over the weekend. As soon as I started talking about going home doctors started appearing as if by magic! I had a scan of my kidney and it looked fine which is good news. They think I've had an infection if not still have one but the antibiotics aren't working but instead are covering up what's going on when they culture my urine in the lab so I've had to have 72 hours off the antibiotics and will go back on to the ward tomorrow for some more tests. They said they will admit me if I'm not better. Honestly I'm not sure I am better but I don't feel horrendous. We've had an impromptu visit from the in laws and now my mother in law has bad food poisoning and is staying with us until she feels better. I'd like to point out here that she ate some dodgy fish in a restaurant when I was in hospital and so hadn't eaten anything at ours..... Not my fault!!!


12.7.12

It's so nice being home and 15 weeks today

I am at home but still on antibiotics. I had an appointment at the antenatal clinic yesterday and instead of my consultant, I saw the most ridiculous registrar who didn't seem to know what he was meant to be doing. He gave me some very contradictory and worrying advice about my antibiotics and I left the appointment really very cross indeed. I phoned my consultants secretary at 9am and she was lovely. As soon as I said who I had seen she groaned and knew exactly where I was coming from. She said that she would get the consultant to phone me about the appointment so hopefully I can have a phone appointment with her an not be fobbed off by this registrar.

On the huge plus side, I helped with some doctors training yesterday and got scanned for 3 hours. 3 whole hours of sheer indulgence looking at the baby on the screen. Never again will I think that scanning someone is easy! Wow these doctors were pretty hopeless at scanning and the sonographers helping them were such professionals.

The baby was ever so active and it looked incredibly sweet. I saw it swallowing which was funny to watch. Oh I fell head over heels in love with this gorgeous little baby who God has trusted us to look after. I cannot wait to meet him or her.



5.7.12

Nutritional beige lunch?

Ooh how this needs ketchup! Actually anything of any other colour! Apparently there was no fresh fruit to be had and the tiniest of salads out except I'd spotted a fly flapping around it...

I am so relieved to have heard the heartbeat. I am getting cramps in my tummy and back which are very possibly down to the kidney infection irritating everything plus my uterus stretching but it's natural, I think, to fear the worst. Praise God though that whatever happens, there is nothing out of his control.


182 days until my due date!

I'm 14 weeks today! HOORAY!

But I'm in hospital and will be until at least tomorrow. The lady who was snoring was just dreadful all night. It got louder and louder! And guess who is still asleep now?!
----
Wow the midwife just found the babies heartbeat loud and clear!



4.7.12

13+ 6 and in hospital

I have a kidney infection and they want to give me a drip of antibiotics and fluids. I'm hoping it will perk me up no end!

-------
It's now 11pm and I've just had MY IV antibiotics.  The lady opposite me using snoring just so SO loudly! Even with my ipod on and my hands over my ears it is still deafening! I can hardly hear my ipod!



2.7.12

Butterflies?

I am pretty certain I felt flutterings in my uterus today... Just briefly!

In and out of hospital

Oh what a last few days!  I've not been feeling too well over the last week or so and have been getting contractions on and off.  On Saturday, I phoned the maternity hospital and they thought that it sounded like a urine infection and said I needed to get some antibiotics.  So I called the out of hours doctor who wanted to see me.  They gave me antibiotics and I went on my way.  Since then I have been feel more and more unwell and left work today at lunchtime.  I saw the GP this evening and she sent me to the maternity hospital and I got seen really quickly.  They gave me much better antibiotics and tested my urine which by now was showing more signs of infection than on Saturday.  I was allowed to go home rather than stay in under the strict instructions to phone them tomorrow if I feel any worse.  I am seeing the obstetrician on Wednesday anyway, otherwise I got the impression they would have kept me in overnight.  The midwife also had a go at hearing the baby's heartbeat! We could hear it for a few seconds before it moved out of the way again, and then it would come back again!  The midwife said it was a good heart rate too.  I'm now in bed about to try and eat some dinner.  A lovely lovely friend sent round a food parcel!  3 bags of Waitrose goodies to keep us going. How lovely.

27.6.12

My official scan

I had my official hospital scan today. When I first booked it I thought that I was going to be 12 weeks today but I have been put forward again today and now have a due date of 3rd January 2013. So I'm 13 weeks tomorrow.

When the sonographer first put the scan probe on my tummy the baby was asleep and sucking its thumb! It was just gorgeous. Soon enough though the baby took its thumb out of its mouth and started moving around. We could see the bones in the hands so clearly and the baby was holding up one of its hands so we got a lot of waving from him or her!

It was a lovely scan and send everything seems to be normal which, for me being always told something is not normal with my health, was a relief to hear.

26.6.12

This is not for the faint hearted

So at some point in life until fairly recently I figured that getting pregnant would be easy... Surely? You hear all about people who got pregnant the first time they tried.

Incorrect...

I hadn't realised that I was going to have to spend 6 months off medication before we could even consider trying to fall pregnant.

I thought that I wouldn't be too bad off the medication and would get pregnant first time we tried.

Incorrect...

Off the medication is like trying to move a juggernaut along by blowing on it really hard.  Fortunately it only took a few months to get pregnant with George and I fell pregnant the first month with this baby.

I was under the impression that I would go into remission when I was pregnant.

Incorrect...

So far anyway. Into remission? Into full on serious flare up certainly but remission? Remission seems as far away as the East is from the West at the moment. I came close to phoning the hospital one night and asking to be admitted as the pain was out of control. I lie in bed at night tossing and turning in agony in all my joints because any position is just so painful. Now with the added complication of being pregnant nearly in the second trimester when you are meant to only be lying on your left side... What does my left hip think to this? Yeah not happy! I have chronic bursitis in my left hip due to an accident a few years ago and to lie on it even with a memory foam mattress topper is not a long term option. When I say long term, I mean longer than 10 minutes.

But in all this, I have a loving Heavenly Father who knows exactly what is best for me and I trust Him with His perfect plans for me. Hardship is not necessarily a bad thing, it produces perseverance.

This is from the book called Romans in the Bible which explains why I have this hope that suffering is not necessarily a bad thing (chapter 5 from verse 3).

Not only so, but we can also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

And that is the reason for my hope.

23.6.12

12+1 today

I forgot that I was 12 weeks until I was going to sleep last night! The baby is now totally formed apparently and just has to chunk up!
The nausea has got a bit better and I can pretty much get through the day without panicking that I'm going to be sick. I feel much better now that I've had a scan and am less worried. The tiredness is still crippling and along with flaring joints, it's hard going at the moment.
I got into work yesterday and couldn't stop crying. I don't know whether it's just hormones or whether it's the pain in my joints coupled with a massive lack of proper sleep for a while. Probably everything! I was due to be going to a friend's birthday tea this afternoon but have had to pull out of going. I just need to rest. I think I push my body to the limits and then it always backfires!

21.6.12

12 weeks tomorrow

There is definitely no sign of any kind of remission... I'd take partial remission in a few joints, in fact just in one joint, I would take anything. I am in huge amounts of pain and can't seem to get much relief at the moment. I was on the verge of phoning the hospital the other night due to the pain and doing something like that is most unlike me.

Oh this is so hard.

19.6.12

Told my work colleagues

And they were so happy! Turns out most of them had already worked it out as I look pregnant, have been so tired and sick!

17.6.12

The scan

Oh my goodness it was so worth going for the early scan. They have dated me as 11+ 2 whereas from my very early scan I should have been 10+ 4 today so that's great! Nearly a week passed in 10 minutes in the scanning room!

The baby was jumping about all over the show and wouldn't keep still for any length of time. It seems to have long legs and is just so cute! We could see the arms and legs, heart, head and stomach clearly and the sonographer said that it had a perfect heartbeat.

What a wonderful day!

We've booked a private scan

It's today...
I'm nervous as I just am not sure I could bear another loss...

13.6.12

10 weeks today

It's been a real struggle to keep my eyes open today. Wow I am exhausted! The sickness seems to have been worse today and sea bands and eating hasn't helped. The only thing that works just about is a totally bonkers CD called Morning Well which you can buy from the NCT website or Amazon. It works by rebalancing your inner ears and has got a great track record in NHS trials.

I talked to my boss last night about starting Maternity leave at the beginning of November so that I can have a very good rest whilst heavily pregnant and coping with my arthritis. He thought that was a sensible idea and asked me what I was thinking about returning to work afterwards. I wouldn't ever want to not work where I do, I love it so much! So I told him this but I also said I just wouldn't be able to say until I had had the baby as my priorities would change and with my joints it would be hard to know how I would manage work as well.   I then asked about the possibility of returning after a few years, perhaps when my children are in nursery, and my boss nearly jumped out of his chair and said that the job is mine and they would very much want me back. How lovely! I was pleased as it gives me alot of reassurance that should a job be available when I am looking for one again, then I can go back. Brilliant!

10.6.12

The tin man strikes again

I have slept so badly because of a combination of needing the loo twice, feeling hungry and sick at the same time and to top it off flaring joints.

This morning is a real struggle to keep focused and positive mentally with my joints. I know that giving up isn't an option but that's how I'm feeling right now. The pain is ongoing, sickening and intense in each of my joints and there doesn't seem to be any sign of going into remission in this pregnancy... At least not yet. I can not lose hope that it won't happen but when you are faced with agonising pain day in day out whilst having to live life as normally as possible and act as of nothing is wrong, it is hard to feel the same hope as the people who flippantly remind you that there is a 75% chance of remission in pregnancy. I just want to shout 'But don't you know just how much it's hurting me right now!'.

Let's hope tomorrow is a better day.

9.6.12

Getting comfortable

I knew that my uterus had popped up in week 5 which is very early but now it really is taking over my lower stomach. I can't sleep on my front at all now and even on my side is pretty uncomfortable as if I pull my legs up it gets squished but if I lie on my back it feels uncomfortable like the skin is being stretched too much! Oh for a comfortable nights sleep.... If it's bad now it's only going to get alot worse!

8.6.12

9 weeks and 3 days

I can officially confirm that the bump is out of control and will be requiring a parking permit of its own soon. The maternity jeans are on and oh so comfy. The sickness reached its peak, hopefully, this past week and I've been feeling a bit less sick which has been a relief. I am still more than exhausted though and needing to sleep in the afternoon.
It has been loads of fun telling family about the baby.
My Granny wasn't expecting us to knock on her door as we live about 5 hours from her so the day after we arrived at my parents we went round and knocked on her door... No answer so I phoned her and she was drying her hair upstairs and didn't hear the door. I told her she needed to answer the door as there was a delivery there for her... She hadn't cottoned on by this point so the look of surprise on her face when she opened the door was brilliant! We had some birthday presents for her too so went in and gave her those. In my Granny's birthday card we wrote love from us and Baby. She was absolutely thrilled and was so excited. I've never seen her look so overjoyed before! She kept saying that she was just speechless with excitement as she hadn't expected us to come all the way to visit her and also tell her about the baby too! I went round to hers the day after and she brought out a huge package and said she had something for me that she'd been working on for the last two or three years.... I opened it and she had knitted lots of beautiful cardigans, booties, mittens, hats and gorgeous 1950s leggings all wrapped carefully in tissue paper! Oh I was so pleased. At the bottom of the package there were two absolutely beautiful patchwork quilts - one in pinks and one in blues. She said that she didn't want to get to a point where she couldn't make things for our baby so she had started early! Oh I love my Granny just so much!!! She's now knitting some bigger sized cardigans...

We met up with my mother in law and told her (we had thought my father in law would be there too but wasn't so had to phone him!). We showed her the scan photo and she thought it was a hat... Admittedly she didn't have her glasses on but she was pleased when we told her it was her first grandchild! We then phoned my father in law and told him he'd missed out on a photo... My husband described the scan photo down the phone and he was delighted with the news too! He just kept saying what excellent news it was!!

We told my grandmother in law and she was so sweet! She said that all her friends are great grandmothers and now she gets to be one too! Our baby will be her first great grandchild.

On Friday we told my sister in law much the same way we told my brother. She was very excited and wanted to know all the ins and outs. She's a doctor and gave some sensible advice about going on maternity leave as early as possible with my joints. That night we phoned my other sister in law in Australia and told her the news. She's pleased too and said she's going to start thinking of some names! Excellent, we can have a family poll!!!

So... until the 12 week scan we are not telling anyone else.... My grandad and both our extended families will have to wait.... We have decided not to tell my grandad yet as I'm not sure he will be able to keep it a secret from the rest of the family. Everyone we have told so far are sworn to secrecy!

30.5.12

Telling my family the news

Oh this was hilarious! We saw them at a wedding this past weekend so once they had got through the door and started unpacking their things I casually turned the conversation onto work and announced that I was going to take a years sabbatical from work starting in December this year... They looked at me, at each other and at me again... Then my Dad said 'You're pregnant!' They were over the moon.

We told my brother later on when he arrived. My Mum was in the room enjoying the story as it unfurled. I said to my brother that I think I might have not bought him a birthday present this year but I have already got him something for next year. He asked if it was an Austin Martin... I said no and that it was going to be a bit more of a commitment than a car... He asked if it was an animal... Hmm close! I then asked if he wanted to be an uncle for his birthday. I have never seen my brother look more speechless, gob smacked and excited in my life! He was thrilled and just couldn't believe it.

I am looking forward to telling my Granny next week for her birthday and the in laws too.

Blooming? Or just bloomin' nausea?

Hooray it's 8 weeks today for me and the baby. I've just woken up from a very long afternoon siesta and still feel exhausted.

This morning I went to get my blood tests done to check blood group and all sorts of other things that I can't remember and as I came out of the room my original lovely GP was walking along the corridor and stopped for a chat which was very nice of her. She's been off on maternity leave and only just come back. I was surprised she knew who I was... Did I really go to see her that much? Obviously did! She said that I was looking really well which made me laugh as she's the third person in two days to say just how well I am looking. The other two were work colleagues who don't know I am pregnant. One even said I was blooming! So maybe the more sick you feel in pregnancy, the better you look? They should bottle this! So I let my old GP in on the secret that I was pregnant and she was very excited. She told me that when she was pregnant she didn't get sick just very hungry. One day she accidently locked herself in her spare bedroom as the handle fell off and she ended up breaking down the door to get food!

My nausea and tiredness are definitely getting worse but hopefully they will peak soon. Only 4 weeks until the next scan.  I hope that everything is alright in there.  My joints have been flaring over the last week or so which has made life pretty horrible.  Being pregnant this time doesn't seem to be doing much for my arthritis.

Mum pulled out all my old baby clothes from the attic last night and had fun going through them. This baby is going to have to embrace the 80s! She's found our old cot and high chair too which we can have at their house.

It's 24 degrees today and phew I am hot! George's rose is growing lots though... and the greenfly are loving it... Hmm need a plan!


23.5.12

7 weeks today!

Hurrah! 7 weeks - check, all day and all night sickness - check, utter exhaustion and having to sleep all evening - check, baby bump that really is getting big - check! Chance of keeping this secret for much longer? Not unless I wear a tent!


19.5.12

This baby likes crisps..

... and wants them RIGHT NOW!

But it really doesn't want anything sweet. Chocolate tastes funny and so does Lucozade now which is very bad as it had been keeping sickness at bay.

We have a baptism to go to tomorrow so some creative dressing is in order to disguise the tiddly bump that seems to be growing at a rate of knots! I'd like to think that the intake of baby demanded food is not the cause as quite frankly I am not eating a huge amount of anything right now. My GP says don't worry but just keep drinking plenty.

17.5.12

Comedy hormonal moment

Last night I was so tired that I sat on the floor to brush my teeth after persuading my husband to not only put the toothpaste on the brush but press the button too.  He then offered to brush my teeth for me so I took him up on his offer! All this was so funny that I was laughing so much I couldn't stand up by myself and then laughing turned to tears and I cried all the way through brushing my teeth! It was so funny!

Booking appointment

I had my booking appointment with the Midwife today and I feel totally overwhelmed by questions and paperwork.
Unfortunately the Midwife assumed alot and said 'Oh you don't have any significant medical history' and then crossed out a page on my form before I could set her straight! It's all sorted now but it didn't fill me with confidence that she's asked me the right things.

My lovely GP phoned me this evening just to see how I was doing. How kind! She said not to worry about not feeling like eating much but if the sickness gets to a point that I can't keep fluids down then I need to worry. She asked how my joints were too. Unfortunately I am flaring at the moment.

Lots of rest prescribed!

16.5.12

My first scan

This morning I had my first scan and I saw the teeniest of babies with a strong heartbeat! The sonographer said that everything was in the right place and it looked good. She said that I am measuring 6 weeks rather than 6+ 3 weeks which is what I thought I was. Ah I am so relieved and happy after everything else that's happened.


15.5.12

Massive lack of symptoms

I phoned the Early Pregnancy Unit as I wasn't at all pro active in finding out if everything was ok before the last miscarriage. They wanted me to come up to the hospital so off I went after leaving work in an emotional panic. I was so scared as I just didn't know what was going to happen.

I saw a doctor and she is sending me for a scan tomorrow and is wondering if my high HCG levels indicate twins...  I really hope that the scan shows a healthy pregnancy progressing well.

14.5.12

Today I told my boss

And he was delighted for us! He was really helpful too and said just to let him know how I am and if there is anything he can do. Glad that is over and done with!

I could barely move this morning as I felt so sick. The sickness is coming on about 4.30am and lasts until I fall asleep. I'm having to eat crackers and drink lucozade constantly.

13.5.12

6 weeks today!

I feel so pleased to have got past the date of the miscarriage and now I am 6 weeks with this pregnancy. We are calling the bump Ava for now as I really felt like it was a girl when I first found out that I was pregnant. Happy to be proved wrong or right in January 2013!

We have started taking bump photos because unbelievably already I have a small bump. My midwife friend said that she could feel the top of my uterus so things have started to pop! I am very excited. Of course I feel nervous because of what happened last time, I don't want to go through another miscarriage. I have to think positively and this is a different pregnancy.

So far I've been feeling pretty sick from early in the morning and it gets a bit better in the afternoon but the evenings aren't very nice. I was nearly sick in the shower the other day but haven't been sick yet. Lucozade is amazing though!!! I feel very tired and sometimes a bit dizzy. My boobs are massive and very painful!

We are off to play with our godchildren today in the park as it's a beautiful sunny day and feeling very warm which is a welcome change to recent weather.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Just back from playing in the park with our gorgeous godchildren and we asked our two year old godson what was in my tummy and he said 'a boy'... Which is what he guessed last time given the choice! But having learned from experience now, you don't trust a two year old! My two year old god daughter told me once that I had to put her in her pyjamas for her lunchtime nap... So I believed her, much to her mum's amusement at the effort I'd gone to!

10.5.12

Nausea

If I get through today without being sick, it will be amazing. The nausea has really ramped up this morning. I have a job that I can't just go and hide in the toilets. I will just have to keep eating and hope no one notices!

9.5.12

The last time I was 5+3 weeks...

I miscarried but this time midwife friend can feel the top of my uterus! That is serious growing! Now we are really wondering about twins especially as my hcg levels seem higher than average. My hcg levels at 4+2 weeks were 849 and at 4+5 weeks they were 4002 which is really good and such a relief.

A fair amount of nausea is setting in but still mild and manageable with crackers!! Morning sickness is myth though... I'm still feeling sick when I am trying to go to sleep!!

6.5.12

5 weeks today

And I'm sat in bed, having slept for hours this evening due to extreme tiredness, and I'm eating cold cucumber slices and cheese...having tried mints and crackers... I am feeling fairly nauseous. My husband said I look pregnant already as I have a bit of a bump showing which is most likely bloating but I'm finding it uncomfortable in my jeans and skirts.

I have been having my hcg blood levels done and at 4+ 2wks it was 849 which is double the average... Twins?!  Last time at 5 weeks my level was 48.

Of course I am really conscious of every cramp and back pain after the miscarriage in March and am worried it might happen again.

I've booked a midwife appointment for a couple of weeks time but I think I might bring it forward and see if I can have an early scan for reassurance.

2.5.12

Announcing the news

So I've been trying to think of ways to announce the news in a comedy or memorable fashion... the day I found out I was pregnant I saw 3 of my closest friends (the girls who I pray with) and I told my goddaughter who is two to announce it to them....trouble was, she went all shy and totally failed! But she did manage to spill the beans to her daddy later on!

I told my 2 year old godson and he thinks the baby is a boy!

4 weeks 3 days

Well I'm still pregnant :-) and I've had my HCG levels done for reassurance.  I'm not feeling as pregnant as last time but the same thing happened to a friend of mine and she gave birth to a healthy baby, so I am not unduly worried.  I know that my HCG levels are already much higher than they were in the last pregnancy.  
Eek exciting!

27.4.12

As I was brushing my teeth this morning something amazing happened....

The words "Pregnant 1-2 weeks" popped up on the pregnancy test I had taken 3 minutes earlier...oh wow oh wow oh wow! I had the miscarriage 5 and a half weeks earlier and now by the grace of God I am pregnant again.  I went down to the kitchen where my husband was having breakfast and apologised that our Christmas would probably be fairly complicated and messed up now and put the pregnancy test in front of him! Oh my goodness I am so excited!  If this works out, my due date would be January 6th 2013....however I have heard that RA babies often come early...this could make for a rather interesting Christmas!




A mammoth day at the hospital

I feel pretty overwhelmed by all the appointments I had this week on the same day and in short here is the update!

1) No evidence of eye disease...hooray
2) Lots of blood tests taken to investigate the miscarriage (very unusual to investigate after one but due to my worsening joints they want to speed the process up at much as possible)
3) Blood tests for HLA-B27 to see if I have Ankylosing Spondylitis as an alternative to JIA or in addition to.
4) I am now off the Plaquenil and now am taking Azathioprine and Diclofenac.  I have steroids still in case I feel I really can't cope....

The day left me exhausted and in a lot of pain for the last few days.  I have had three consultant meetings all on one day (obstetrician, rheumatologist and the opthamologist) and have been bombarded with information.

21.4.12

Forget your troubles come on get happy!

I am trying to chase all my cares away today.

After only being able to get to sleep at 1am, I woke up at 4am due to the pain... So I went on Facebook to be greeted with a status update announcing a pregnancy. It's this weekend that I would have been announcing mine. It hit so hard and I felt crushed.

I had a call a few days ago from the hospital asking if I could come to an appointment this week with my rheumatologist and obstetrician. They want to see me together for an extended appointment. I really need to take this opportunity to see how best I can move forward coping with this hideous disease without significant medication. I also have an appointment in the morning to check my eyes to see if I have uveitis... I think it's going to be a full on day. This is when I wish I had someone to come with me to my appointments. Unfortunately my husband can't as he has meetings at work.

17.4.12

Please can someone send a butler round!

I'd love a cup of tea but the trouble is, is that I'm two flights of stairs away from the kettle! My joints and fatigue are dictating that I really can't manage the stairs this afternoon.... But oh how I'd love a cuppa!

I have spent alot of time playing and looking after friends children in the last two days and my body is now complaining loudly and I'm close to crying. I just would love so much to be able to do everything normally.  I guess this is the trouble of having an illness that you can't see... You expect yourself to be able to do more than you can and others expect the same.

I don't like complaining or even really talking to other people about how I feel physically so I'd love to know how to get across that I can't do everything...

15.4.12

Back from a lovely week away

We had a great time, I slept lots and rested well. It was a very much needed holiday. I would highly recommend a holiday soon after a miscarriage as it gives you some focus and well deserved rest time.

We saw my parents too and my Dad was very sweet and said just how sorry they were again with tears in his eyes. It nearly started me off!

I have got a couple of family and friends events coming up over the next few months so more things to look forward to. 

A close friend of mine is pregnant and has just announced it on Facebook. Fortunately I already knew but it still hit me hard reading that she had been for her scan. Of course I am so happy for her that everything seems well with her baby and pregnancy. She was so worried about miscarrying and talked to me about it. It was a hard conversation because I kept thinking at least she has the hope of her baby being okay whereas mine doesn't. She is due just before my due date.  I hope that I am pregnant by then.

2.4.12

Holidays

My boss thanked me for the effort I put in at work last week even though it was a horrible time for me, and asked how I was.  I really appreciated his thoughtfulness.  I am now on holiday which is fortunate.  I need to make sure I rest, rest and rest some more. Another lovely sunny day!

31.3.12

Picking up the pieces and moving forward

There have been a number of really good things that have helped over the last two weeks in my physical recovery and emotional healing. We are glad that we told our closest friends of the miscarriage because they have been so supportive and lovely, not to mention the amazing number of flowers we have received! Also we bought a rose bush and buried the baby underneath which I think has been very helpful... But I think that the biggest thing that has helped was naming the baby. It moves the situation from abstract to concrete and I would say that has really helped us. We are looking into having a piece of jewellery made with George's birthday and name on it.

28.3.12

Work

This week has been awful.  I don't know why I thought that going back to work was a good idea.  I can't think straight, I can't concentrate and all I want to do is sleep.  I can't escape physically or mentally.  I'm exhausted and I just wish that none of this had happened.  I really don't want to go in tomorrow as any tiny amount of stress seems too much to handle.  I've spent most of the evening in the bath crying.  The emotional pain is huge.  I want my baby back.

25.3.12

Hideous nightmares and going back to work

Over the last few nights I've slept badly and have been having horrible nightmares.  One night I woke up, drenched in a cold sweat, from a dream where my baby had died...and then it dawned on me that it was true.

My boss phoned me this evening to check I was alright for work tomorrow.  He was just so kind and thoughtful.  I feel very fortunate to work with such lovely and supportive colleagues.  I really hope tomorrow goes well. I don't want to start crying!

23.3.12

Am I a Mum?

Am I a Mum?
Our magnolia
How can I be a Mum, I couldn't protect my baby?
I can't get to know my baby.
No one will know that I am a Mum.
What identity do I have now?

Will people forget that my baby died?
Will I forget? I don't want to forget.
Will people expect me to get over this in a week?
Why did my baby die?

Is this going to happen again?
"It's so common" people say - that doesn't help
That makes me feel worse to know that others are going through this
That it's so common it might happen again.

The biggest question for me though is Am I a Mum?


22.3.12

Some lovely flowers from some lovely people

Friendship flowers from my friend
Flowers from my parents
George's Rose
My 'Hooray you are pregnant' flowers
from my husband







Our first flower on our magnolia and a bouquet from J

21.3.12

How much more can my body take?

Last night I was shaking with cold, my stomach hurt, my back, joints and neck were so stiff and painful and the glands in my neck were up...My immediate thought was that this was something to do with the miscarriage.  Had I contracted an infection?  I felt incredibly unwell even after paracetamol, a hot water bottle and plenty of blankets.  I called my GP this morning who, as always, was just so kind.  She thinks that I have a virus which is separate from the miscarriage.  Great timing.  

20.3.12

What makes a mother?


What Makes A Mother?
I thought of you and closed my eyes
And prayed to God today 
I asked "What makes a Mother?" 
And I know I heard Him say. 

"A Mother has a baby" 
This we know is true 
"But God can you be a Mother, 
When your baby's not with you?" 

"Yes, you can," He replied 
With confidence in His voice 
"I give many women babies, 
When they leave is not their choice. 

Some I send for a lifetime, 
And others for the day. 
And some I send to feel your womb, 
But there's no need to stay." 

"I just don't understand this God 
I want my baby here." 
He took a deep breath and cleared His throat, 
And then I saw the tear. 

"I wish that I could show you, 
What your child is doing today. 
If you could see your child smile, 
With all the other children and say... 

'We go to Earth to learn our lessons, 
Of love and life and fear. 
My Mummy loved me oh so much, 
I got to come straight here. 

I feel so lucky to have a Mum, 
Who had so much love for me. 
I learned my lessons very quick, 
My Mummy set me free. 

I miss my Mummy oh so much, 
But I visit her each day. 
When she goes to sleep, 
On her pillow's where I lay 

I stroke her hair and kiss her cheek, 
And whisper in her ear. 
Mummy don't be sad today, 
I'm your baby and I'm here.' 

"So you see my dear sweet ones, 
Your children are okay. 
Your babies are born here in My home, 
And this is where they'll stay. 

They'll wait for you with Me, 
Until your lesson's through. 
And on the day that you come home 
They'll be at the gates for you. 

So now you see what makes a Mother, 
It's the feeling in your heart 
It's the love you had so much of 
Right from the very start. 

Though some on earth may not realize, 
Until their time is done. 
They'll be up here with Me one day 

And know that you're the best Mum!" 


I told my parents last night about the miscarriage and they couldn't believe that I hadn't told them before now.  They were just so sad for us but they were very helpful in what they said to comfort us.  My Mum said that I will always know I am a Mum to this baby and a very good one too.  I thought that was very kind and thoughtful of her.  I thank God for my own Mum.