My hyperemesis gravidarum experience

Hyperemesis GravidarumFresh from wedding fever, it’s back to reality (although I’m sure I won’t be able to resist a few more wedding posts) and the news that the Duchess of Cambridge is suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum in her second pregnancy is bringing back some memories.

Pregnancy is amazing. You’re in a continual state of awe that you can do this – that your body can create a new life. You feel your baby moving around inside you and it feels amazing.

Many pregnant women get some kind of sickness or queasiness in pregnancy but for me, it was something else.

I remember being in hospital during my pregnancy with my second child, on a drip which was feeding me the fluids my body needed. I couldn’t even keep down a simple glass of water. Crucially, I’m now ashamed to admit that I was wishing I could stay in hospital for longer, that the doctors would say I had to stay. To me, that would mean I could be looked after, that I wouldn’t have to worry about looking after myself, let alone my family (we already had a 2 year old by then) anymore.

What this tells me is that hyperemesis affected my mind as well as my body. I mean, who wishes they could stay in hospital? But then, why wouldn’t it affect my mind? I couldn’t go about my day as I usually would. Even getting up was an effort. I felt continually ill, was sick every time I tried to eat or drink something and as a result felt I was failing in my duties as a mother to my 2 year old.

And of course, I felt I couldn’t complain about it. I was so lucky to be pregnant a second time after all. There was nothing wrong with my baby, despite me being on the cusp of being classed as an older mother really, at age 36.

I had hyperemesis with both my children (my eldest is now nearly 4 and youngest nearly 2) I might add. It started at around 6 weeks and lasted until 20 weeks, with the worst period being during that 1st trimester.

I say all this and also say that I would do it all again if I’d have known how it would be. The reward is more than you could ever hope for and we have a beautiful family.

But I do feel for poor Kate Middleton. She’s been through it before and must know she’s got some weeks to come of feeling very ill. There must be so much pressure on her.

I wish her well – but I do also look forward to the happy baby news at the end of her pregnancy.

Image credit: www.pregnancysicknesssupport.com

Forget-me-not-Friday #59

Forget-me-not-Friday
This week, my 21 month old makes another appearance. Her speech is developing rapidly now and she will suddenly say something that makes me stop and think “you’re really growing up!”

It was really simple. We’d got into the car and fiancée had returned to the house to get his wallet.

21 month old, clear as day: “where’s Daddy gone?”

I thought this was brilliant. It showed that she was pondering something in her little mind and was able to articulate it. Well done, little one! (and poor me…two chatterboxes to contend with…)

Pottery Painting with Growing Up Milk

The look of concentration
The look of concentration

Last Sunday 3 1/2 year old and I took a trip to Minikin Emporium in Sale to paint some pots.

My eldest lively daughter was very excited at this prospect. We were guests of growingupmilkinfo.com which is a new online resource for parents, providing meal planners, nutritional advice and lots of articles on keeping your little ones healthy.

We were promised a picnic alongside the pot painting which of course made 3 1/2 year old bonkers with anticipation – she thought it was a birthday party and kept asking who’s birthday it was and why weren’t we singing? In the end we did sing Happy Birthday to the pot she had painted, just to keep her happy.

We hadn’t been to Minikin before. Its a lovely little place and the staff were really attentive (they brought me two coffees – now that’s all the attention I need). Although we were there for the event which involved painting a mug, I could see the variety of pottery available to paint, from ladybirds to cats to pots for the garden. I got into a discussion with one staff member who explained they even do evening events for adults where you can bring your own wine (wine and pots? Interesting combo! Must try it sometime!).

Pot painting 293 1/2 year old enjoyed painting her lovely mug and really paid attention to what she was doing. The staff brought more paint whenever we needed it and explained that the pot would then be sent away to be ‘put in the oven’ to set the lovely colours and we could pick it up at a later date.

She was enjoying it so much that I bought her a butterfly to paint, too. We had a really good time and would definitely return – I can see that it’s also a lovely cafe and sweet shop! This didn’t escape my daughter’s attention either. We left with a bag of sweets and are eagerly awaiting our finished pots…

Disclaimer: We were guests of Frank PR on behalf of Growing Up Milk Info for this event and have not been sponsored for this review. All opinions are those of Expression and Confession.

Plum Baby Little Yums

Plum Baby Little Yums: Review

Plum Baby Little Yums

I’m always on the lookout for healthy snacks for my two girls. They’re 3 1/2 and 1 1/2 and seem to eat constantly at the moment.

I feel like I’m a constant snack machine – and then they’ll easily polish off their meals, too. Big bowls of porridge in the morning, a round of cheesy toast for lunch with the current favourite – celery sticks – and they astonished me a couple of weeks back by eating bowls of salmon and noodles with a thai style sauce for tea.

I always have a snack box on the go when we’re out and tend to fill it with cereal bars, bananas and raisins, but they do get bored of them.

So I was pleased to try out Plum Baby’s Little Yums, especially after hearing that Prince George eats Plum Baby products. If it’s good enough for him, it’s good enough for my two!

The snacks are suitable from 6 months upwards and follow the Plum Baby ethos of organic ingredients. I was impressed with the little wafers, which are made from buckwheat, plus fruit and veggies. They would have been perfect for weaning and they’re great now to carry around as snacks. My two just grabbed them and ate them so I assume they are a hit!

Plum Baby Little Yums
The girls in various snack stealth positions

They’re a nice size and very easy to hold. The flavours and ingredients are very different to those I’ve seen before – they’re available in spinach, apple and kale or pumpkin and banana. The combinations obviously work well, as my children can be picky about spinach in particular.

They’re not too pricey compared to some of the baby and toddler snacks I’ve bought. Tesco currently have these on offer for £1.99 and they would usually retail at around £2.49 for 6 packets (each containing 3 wafers).

I’d definitely buy Little Yums again – my children enjoy them, and I feel like I’m getting more fruit and veg into them!

Disclaimer: I was sent some Plum Baby Little Yums for the purposes of writing this review. All opinions are my own.

Family Fever
Forget-me-not-Friday

Forget-me-not-Friday #44

Forget-me-not-Friday

This week’s forget-me-not-Friday is as simple as: my 16 month old took her very first steps!

It was only a few steps, and she’s only taken them a handful of times since, but it’s major progress and I think she’s so clever.

For a while now, she’s been bum-shuffling around like you wouldn’t believe. She’s a little one-handed shuffling commando! She’s so adept at it, she probably thinks: “why walk?”

Then again, surely she can reach more cake when standing up…

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Illness, guilt and parenting

I’m feeling the need to have a rant.  I also write a blog.

The two go together perfectly.

As some of my readers may be aware, I hate being ill and I am incredibly disappointed in the human race for not yet delivering to me a cure for common pesky viruses.

Ok I’m not dying or anything and I totally deserve whatever you may throw at me in terms of “pull yourself together, woman!” or “you don’t know how lucky you are!”.  But I’m still ranting.

Recently, I suffered from the illness many parents dread, and from which they tend to suffer (if you’re like me) around once a year.

The vomiting bug.  Rotavirus.  Norovirus.  I’m sure it has many different names (I could give it one).

It did its usual trick – came on very suddenley in the middle of the night, just as I was enjoying some blissful slumber after a week or two of get ups with a coughing three year old. After the necessary vomiting, aching muscles and general malaise followed.

I rant about having the norovirus and feel guilty as a parent for being ill

Before children, of course I would have taken a pragmatic view and rested the next day – perhaps lying on the sofa watching films, wrapped up nice and cosy, waiting for the illness to pass.

But now of course, my winter vomiting bug day went something like this:

7am: First child wakes up and wants my attention. I turn over, unable to get up and ask my fiancee to deal with it. I feel guilty, as well as rotten.

8am: We’ve progressed to getting the children ready. I just about manage to get our one year old dressed. I’m not my usual exuberant self and think she must wonder why. I feel guilty.

9am: Phone in work and tell them I’m sick. Feel guilty. Arrange care for the chidren. Feel guilty for asking.

9:15am through to about 2pm: Intermittent sleep, waking up, feeling fretful and guilty about not doing stuff. I could be getting some washing on, putting those picture frames up, at least doing some online grocery shopping.

2pm: Decide to try and eat something. Put a crumpet in the toaster as I think it’s all I can manage. Wash some crockery up at the same time. Feel awful and go back to bed.

Feel guilty…and so the day went on until I gave up, admitted defeat and went to bed for good.

Of course such a common bug only last for around 24 hours, but it leaves you feeling generally rubbish and not quite yourself for a good few days afterwards. I remember fiancee telling me “you’ve been grumpy for two days now!”.

I guess my ranty point is that it’s hard enough dealing with work, organising the children and all the general stuff that goes on in my head about school applications, picking presciptions up on time, dentists appointments, writing thank you letters, sorting out some swimming lessons, remembering to pay for ballet class.

Being ill just tips me over into ultimate grumpiness as it interrupts my life and my children don’t understand that I can’t be the same person, just for that day or two, even if I try.

Annoying.

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My littlest one turned fourteen months old this week

My baby turned fourteen months old this week and I reflect on her development and learning

My littlest girl is now fourteen months old.  Where did all that time go?

Recently, I’ve been thinking she’s been neglected on the blog.  Every Friday, I write a Forget-me-not-Friday on a funny exchange between my children and I that week. As my three year old is the most articulate, this is always about her at the moment.

Well today it’s all about one year old – now a whole 14 months. It’s her second Christmas, and yet the first during which she will be aware of what’s going on. She has her own stocking and mounds of presents and will eat Christmas dinner alongside the rest of us. We can’t wait!

In many ways, she’s my little surprise. When I only had one child and found I was pregnant, I kind of expected that the second would much the same as the first. An irrational line of thinking of course!

Here’s a list of surprises my 14 month old has given me to date:

  • She’s tall! Erm, where did that come from? She was 53 centimetres when she was born and still remains way above her peers in terms of height. Mr EC and I are average height, if that. The only tall person in the family is one of my grandparents.
  • She’s cuddly. Whereas three year old has always been very independent, she loves to be cuddled and held lots.
  • She’s very dexterous. She could use a spoon really early and there’s hardly any mess when she eats – I’m definitely not used to that! She loves stacking bricks and cups too.
  • She’s a bum shuffler! It’s so comical to watch how far she can get on her bum. No crawling for her – she always hated being on her front.
  • She knows what’s going on. She says quite a few words now but her understanding of what’s going on around her is great. She starts shuffling towards the stairs when she hears the word bath mentioned in conversation, for example.
  • She thinks sleeping during the day is for wimps! Three year old used to have a one to two hour sleep by now! Not one year old. Twenty minutes tops. Even if we’re walking with the pram or we’re travelling in the car. Then again, she’s flat out by 6:30 every night and we don’t hear from her until morning!
  • She hates cake and thinks it’s the weirdest thing ever. Seriously. Give her a small piece of cake at a party and she looks at me as though I’ve given her worms or something.

I wonder what further surprises she’ll bring?

Forget-me-not-Friday #21

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Each Friday, I write a short post on the funny things my nearly-three-year-old says.

This week’s is indicative of a new bargaining process that has begun between nearly-three-year-old and myself.

Me, observing nearly-three-year-old eating her dinner of sausage, beans and smiley faces and noting that she has eaten the sausage and smiley faces but no beans.: “Can you eat some beans, too, please?”

Nearly-three-year-old: “Well, I don’t want the beans.”

Me: “Eat two spoons of beans, then you can get down.”

Nearly-three-year-old: “Well – I’ll eat two spoons of beans if I don’t have to have a bath later!”

Me: “Hmmmm…”

Six months later…blogging with passion

“It feels like two bloody years” said my partner, Mr EC.

I thought this was quite an apt quote to begin this post with, as it’s true – blogging has become a passion that’s infiltrated my world in ways I didn’t expect.

I wrote my first blog post on the 25th March, entitled Once upon a time…

Since then I’ve written a total of 116 blog posts. That’s roughly 4 or 5 per week!

A few thoughts on my journey to date:

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  • Blogging is not only an addiction, but a life-changing vehicle. This is what Mr EC was referring to. I blog in the bath. I surreptitiously check my phone/iPad for blog-related tweets when we’re watching TV. He’ll be telling me about his day at work and my eyes will glaze over as something he’s said causes a flash of electrical activity in my new blog-wired brain as it assesses how this new information could impact on blogging life (well he does work in an SEO-related field – that’s Search Engine Optimisation for non-bloggers).

    Further to that, I’ve made lots of new friends – whole new world of friends and colleagues, in fact. Some I’ve met in person, many I have not. As with any new wide circle of friends, I know there’ll be some I’ll remain in contact with forever.

  • Those bloggers – they can be a competitive, innovative, inspirational and opportunistic bunch! Speaking of this new world, it’s a multifaceted arena of personal thoughts and experiences, advice and guidance, product reviews, brand links, competitions and giveaways, services such as downloadable Ebooks…and I’m sure there’s plenty more I haven’t mentioned here. If I sit down to read a few posts, I can start by entering a bloggers competition for a product and end by reading a tear-inducing post about one woman’s grief.
  • It’s ever-changing. This is what I’m finding exciting about the blogging. I don’t know where it will lead and don’t know if I ever will, as when it does lead somewhere, that somewhere will then lead to another somewhere. Opportunities to link up with other bloggers, to guest-write, to be sponsored to attend a conference, who knows? Am I the next Will Taylor? Most probably not, but you never know!
  • Most interestingly for me, I’ve discovered aspects of myself that we’re obviously crying out for some of the limelight and weren’t getting it until blogging came along.

    For example – I can sit down, think “it’s six months since I started blogging, I really should write something”, feel completely uninspired, and then as soon as I write the word “the” the words start to flow. Before I know it, I have at least a 500 word post.

    I’m not bleating about my writing here – I’ve no idea whether it’s any good or not – just that I had no idea this word thing was possible.

    On that note – those of you who are thinking about blogging but think you have no inspiration, just do it! It’ll be surprising, believe me…

    “You only fail if you stop writing” – Ray Bradbury

    Forget-me-not-Friday #20

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    Each Friday, I write a short post on the funny things my nearly-three-year-old says.

    This is the last day of a week’s holiday in Anglesey. The following is an interview with nearly-three-year-old about her holiday experiences.

    Me: “What’s been the best thing about your holiday?”

    Nearly-three-year-old: “Digging up in the seaside”

    Me: “Did you like the fishes?”

    Nearly-three-year-old: “Yes, I did”.

    Me: “What’s nice about the fishes?”

    Nearly-three-year-old: “I like the fishes because they’re nice”.

    Me: “What about the castles?”

    Nearly-three-year-old: “I like the castles because they have hidey holes”

    Me: “What about the butterflies? What’s nice about those?”

    Nearly-three-year-old: “I like the butterflies because they’re nice. They flutter, like this.” does a fluttering butterfly dance..

    Me: “And what’s the best thing you’ve had to eat?”

    Nearly-three-year-old: “Pizza!”

    Nearly-three-year-old is referring to our exploits at Anglesey Sea Zoo, Pili Palas and Beaumaris Castle amongst other exploits! Full holiday round up post to follow…