Part Three – Why My Body Feels Like a Like a Ticking Time Bomb

Part Three - Why My Body Feels Like a Ticking Time Bomb

This is part three of my story of being pregnant with placenta previa. You can check out Part One and Part Two.

Since my last placenta post, I have stayed in hospital. I was in a hospital nearly 2 hours away from home but thankfully, so thankfully, I was transferred to a big tertiary teaching hospital about an hour from my house. Closer to home. Closer to Legoman and Possum. And this hospital has everything that could possibly be needed in an emergency. It has a NICU and and an ICU. The ward nurses are also well versed in looking after mums going through exactly the same thing as me. They have even buddied me up with another “bleeder”. Hurray for having placenta previa!

I have basically spent the week reading this book, colouring in this book, watching Community and doing a bit of crochet. If you’re as bored as I am, you can check out my Instagram account as I take photos of the little rays of sunshine in my day.

As I live an hour away from this big hospital, and my local hospital has now said no to delivering our baby, I am here in hospital until delivery. As crappy as it is being so far away from home and having to eat hospital food every day, I actually feel very calm. It is incredibly reassuring knowing that if anything goes wrong, I hit a big button on the wall and people will literally come running. And not random people, but highly trained medical people. Bonus!

I saw the doctor this morning and actually signed the consent form for the C-section. And was told our baby will be born between 20-26th July!!! Exciting!! A date to focus on, the time our baby will be born, the time when this whole ordeal will be over with. This also gives me a bit of energy to start having conversations with midwives and lactation consultants about making plans for delivery day. I am planning on expressing before the birth so that in the event of me needing a general anaesthetic, bub can still be fed my milk. I am also going to make it very clear and written down, that I want skin to skin ideally between bub and myself as soon as possible. Failing that with Legoman if I am needing further intervention during surgery. And there is quite a real risk of that. 1 in 10 placenta previa surgical deliveries need further intervention, as I was told by my doctor. So it is wise for us to plan ahead.

After getting the exciting news of knowing the week baby will be born, my placenta obviously also got a bit excited and decided to get all silly and bleed again. For the fourth time. In 4 weeks. I felt sad and annoyed. As soon as you have a solid few days without bleeding you lure yourself into a false sense of security. Thinking the last bleed you’d had will be just that, the last bleed you’ll have. And then another one comes along. I am so grateful that they have all been small. Very grateful. And I am so grateful to already be in hospital. All that needed to happen was to tell the nurses, have a CTG, have my obs taken and go back onto the oh so sexy task of pad watch. Not many pregnant women have to buy pads multiple times DURING their pregnancy.¬†I’m normally a cloth pad kind of gal but planet earth gets to suffer with me on this one.

So the journey continues. Taking it all day by day. Hoping for the best and hoping for no more bleeds.

Got some ideas on how I can spend my time? I’d love to hear! Post a comment below ūüôā

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Mama, you are held…

mama, you are held

There seems to be a lot going on in the lives of those I care about right now. A lot. Too much really. It takes a crazy amount of strength to be a mother. To birth your child and to birth yourself. I wrote this for my best friend, at her blessingway before she gave birth to her beautiful child. I wanted her to remember how strong she is and that she will always be held. We both needed to revisit it today. We both cried to read it. I hope it gives you some strength, courage and hope. You are not falling mama, you are held.

People say birth is a miracle
I disagree
A miracle is an event only achieved by God
This is not birth
Birth is a mighty deed
One which you and I were always intended to be part of
One which we were made to experience
One which is so in keeping with how this entire universe is put together
Pretty full on thought really!
Part of me wishes it were a miracle and you could kick back and let God do all the work
But the knowing in me says the work is to be done.
For this mighty deed is yours
And yours alone
But you are not alone
You are held
By every woman here with you now,
You are held
By every woman in your life,
You are held
By your loving husband,
You are held
By the ground beneath your feet,
You are held
By the power in your body,
You are held
By the invisible arms of love,
You are held

And you will continue to be held beyond the mighty deed of birth as you start to begin the mighty deed of parenting.
But then you will have two tiny, fierce, wonderful arms who will hold you like you’ve never been held before.
You may be small,
But you are mighty.

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Pear, Raspberry and Macadamia Loaf

Pear Raspberry and Macadamia Loaf. A delicious, guilt free treat for your tummy. Perfect as a toddler treat too!

Like cake? Love cake? But feel a little guilty when you eat it? Have no fear! My loaf is here! This Pear, Raspberry and Macadamia Loaf is totally guilt free, low in added sugar and loaded with healthy goodies like chia, buttermilk and raspberries.

Pear Raspberry and Macadamia Loaf. A delicious, guilt free treat for you mummy tummy. Also a great toddler snack!

Not too long ago Legoman and I sat down to do a cupboard clear out in our kitchen. A whole bunch of unfun was had. But, I did realise we had a lot of certain things. Apparently I hoard almond meal, carob powder, pasta and macadamias. There are worse things I could be hoarding! Don’t judge me!

Macadamias are Australia’s gift to the land of nuts. They are a little buttery ball of good fats, antioxidants and even have natural plant sterols to keep your cholesterol in check. Plus, they’re Australian so of course they’re wonderful! They work beautifully into both sweet and savoury dishes (did someone say Macadamia crusted fish??). Next time you’re out shopping, try some macadamias and try not to eat them all before you bake this Pear, Raspberry and Macadamia Loaf!

Pear Raspberry and Macadamia Loaf. A delicious, guilt free treat for your tummy. Perfect as a toddler treat too!

The day I baked this was our local Winter Magic Festival which is held each year to celebrate the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. It is such an amazing outpouring of community spirit and love. This year was the first year I haven’t gone in a while, but I was feeling very pregnant and very uncomfortable that day. So I baked instead (and did laundry, cleaned the toilets, did the dishes….). But gorgeous Legoman and Possum had a fab morning together. Here’s a little happy snap of Possum in her get up. Dressed proudly by daddy! She said she was a strawberry, and apparently I was a rainbow. Love her so much!

Pear Raspberry and Macadamia Loaf

Pear, Raspberry and Macadamia Loaf – Makes 1 loaf

1 cup SR flour

2 Tbsp chia seeds soaked in 1/2 cup water

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup LSA

1/2 cup macadamias, chopped and toasted

2 pears, peeled, cored and chopped

1/3 cup frozen raspberries

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

75g butter melted

1/4 tsp cinnamon

3 Tbsp coconut sugar

1 tsp No Egg with 2 Tbsp water or 1 egg

1. Preheat oven to 180¬įC. Grease and line a loaf tin.

2. Soak your chia seeds in water and let sit for 15 minutes.

3. Combine dry ingredients (except coconut sugar) and nuts in a large mixing bowl.

4. Beat together, in a separate bowl, the buttermilk, NoEgg and coconut sugar until bubbly.

5. Stir wet, chia and dry mixes together. Add butter, pear and raspberry. Stir to just combine.

6. Pour into a baking tin and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes. Check with a skewer. Allow to cool before chowing down!

Pear Raspberry and Macadamia Loaf. A delicious, guilt free treat for you mummy tummy. Also a great toddler snack!

And just an aside, I’ve been having a local tour of local hospitals the past few days thanks to by placenta previa. This has left Legoman flying solo with Possum at home. He sent me this picture of our kitchen tonight. It looks AMAZING! And I just want to publicly say a HUGE thankyou to my husband for being such a wonderful support for me and such a loving daddy to our Possum. I love you Legoman! xxx

Pear Raspberry and Macadamia Loaf

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Part Two – Why My Body Feels Like A Ticking Time Bomb

Part Two- Why My Body Feels Like A Ticking Time Bomb

This is Part Two. You can read Part One of my story here. 

I’m lying in a hospital bed. Again. I’m now 33 weeks pregnant and last night at 6pm I had my second bleed due to placenta previa. Thankfully this second bleed was a much more calm affair than my first. Legoman was home for starters!! I could tell my little Possum that mummy needed to go sleep at the hospital. The gorgeous thing said “I love you mummy. I will carry your dressing gown for you.” She’s so resilient and brave. I’m so amazed by her.

At 6pm I went to change into my pajamas (I’m pregnant, it’s allowed!). I went to the toilet and found blood on my underwear. There was no sudden gush this time. I had time. We called the midwife (who was probably about to have her dinner!) and called my mother in law to take me to the hospital. Legoman helped Possum get ready for bed. There was no panic. No tears. Just a sense of “here we go again”.

I was expecting them to bundle me up and send me off to the big hospital again, but I was pleasantly surprised when they said I could stay at my little regional hospital. My own room! Close to home! Room with a view!

There was no talk of delivering baby. Thank goodness.

There was the reminder though that I have used up two of my three strikes. Next bleed and there is no going home until bub is born. I could handle those kind of consequences if I had any control or choice over these bleeds. Instead I feel cheated. Dobbed in for something I didn’t do.

You see I have none of the risk factors for placenta previa. None of them!

My placenta is big and fat and healthy. Bub is big and healthy. It’s head down and ready to go. It knows what should be happening. I know what should be happening. This is not what should be happening.

I’m 12 hours into 24 hours of bed rest. Then home time. To wait.

No more work.

*** I started writing this this morning. Around lunch time my family left to go home after visiting me for the morning. All was looking well. The doctor came in to say I could go home! Hurray! After he left, I went to the toilet, washed my hands and then felt it. Felt the gush. Again. I looked and I had fresh red blood on my pad.

Shit.

No going home for me today.

Shit.

I called for the midwife and told her. Back onto bed rest. Back onto the CTG to monitor bub. Doctor back in and I’m told I will be transferred in an ambulance to a larger hospital. Again.

Shit.

My Possum is expecting me home this afternoon and I won’t be coming home.

People keep asking “Is there something I can get you?” and I feel like saying “A BRAND NEW F******G PLACENTA!!!”.

As I lay in bed and waited for my transfer, I cried. Out of exhaustion. Out of frustration. Out of sadness. Out of anger. My midwife sat with me while I cried.

The closest big hospital has no beds for premature babies so instead I will be transferred to another hospital which is a further 40 minutes away from my house. I will be nearly 2 hours away from my home, my husband and my daughter. And I don’t know how long I will be there for.

That’s the thing with placenta previa. You ask a question and the response you get back is “Well that depends”. There are no straight answers. No predictable outcomes. No normal turn of events.

I take comfort in knowing every day helps baby get bigger and stronger and more ready to be out in the world. I take comfort in knowing I live somewhere with amazing medical care. I take comfort in knowing my daughter is well loved and well looked after while I am in hospital. I take comfort in knowing baby is doing well in my belly.

But this waiting game continues and it’s a game I don’t want to play anymore.

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Cheats Spaghetti and Meatballs

Cheats Spaghetti and Meatballs

On top of spaghetti. All covered with cheese. I lost my poor meatball. When somebody sneezed.

I will give you $5 if you didn’t just sing that in your head! Everyone loves spaghetti and meatballs! With the weather we’ve had today it was the perfect bowl of comfort our bellies were looking for. And this cheats version means no time wasted in making the meatballs.

cheats spaghetti and meatballs

This Cheats Spaghetti and Meatballs is a great way to squeeze some veg into a dinner that your whole family will eat. It’s a tasty combination of eggplant, sweet capsicum and yummy zucchini. The meatballs are made using simple sausages! Genius! All you do is squeeze the meat out of the casings straight into the pan to make little meatballs. Takes a moment compared to making your own. I used a $4 packet of sausages from Aldi (I’m totally converted!). Too easy! My secret ingredient is just a little pinch of cinnamon to add a lovely sweetness without any added sugar.

Possum loved her dinner and so did Legoman. Dinner success! This might be one that ends up on your meal plan for next week? Or even on your family favourites list?

cheats spaghetti and meatballs

Cheats Spaghetti and Meatballs – Serves 4

400g spaghetti

6-8 sausages (I have made this with beef sausages and with pork, both are delicious)

1 onion diced

1 medium eggplant diced into small cubes

1 red capsicum diced

1 zucchini diced

2 cloves garlic finely chopped

400g tin chopped tomatoes

1 Tbsp tomato paste

2-3 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp cinnamon

salt and pepper

Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley to serve

1. Put a large pot of water on to boil, ready for the pasta.

2. In a large skillet/frying pan add the olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until starting to colour. Add eggplant and cook stirring for 5-10 minutes until starting to soften. You may need to add an extra glug of oil.

3. Squeeze the meat out of the sausages into the pan to make little meatballs. Continue stirring to brown the meatballs.

4. When meatballs have browned, add in the remaining vegetables and garlic. Cook for a few minutes.

5. Add in your tinned tomatoes, tomato paste, dried oregano, cinnamon and salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Continue to cook over low-medium heat for 20 minutes. Sauce should thicken and meatballs should be cooked through.

6. Cook pasta as per packet directions.

7. Serve with parmesan and fresh parsley. A lovely glass of red wine would go down a treat (this pregnant mumma has to wait a while longer for that!)

I hope your whole family can sit down together, enjoy your Cheats Spaghetti and Meatballs and enjoy each others company.

cheats spaghetti and meatballs

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Mango and Coconut Smoothie

Mango and Coconut Smoothie

I must be missing summer at the moment. Pina Colada Muffins one week, Mango and Coconut Smoothie the next! We live in the Blue Mountains, Australia, which is a remarkably beautiful place. But come winter time, it’s really bloody cold! Our fruit bowl is full of pears, apples and bananas. Nothing like the melons, mangoes and stone fruit we devour in the summer months. Thankfully I have found that you can buy 1 kg (yes 1kg!!) of frozen mango for around $6 at Aldi! Woohoo!!

And the other week, while I was in hospital, a foodie friend of mine not only brought me two trays of Italian pastries (he knows me well!) but he also brought some amazingly delicious coconut milk. I’m so used to coconut milk in tins from the supermarket, that this cold bottle of light sweet coconut milk was a revelation!

Mango and Coconut Smoothie

Now I know smoothies are all the rage at the moment and people are loading them up with avocado, quinoa, protein powders and the milk of yaks from outer west mongolia. In our house smoothies are a much more simple affair, with one main purpose. To cheer up a tired and cranky two year old. This Mango and Coconut Smoothie can be prepared with a toddler in one hand and your ingredients in the other. It comes together in a moment so little people don’t have to wait. And it is super delicious!! And healthy too! Huzzah!

This Mango and Coconut smoothie was a mega super amazing hit with my little Possum. Initially she wanted to save some for Daddy, but poor Legoman never got to taste it as Possum decided the extra glass was probably better off in her belly.

So go grab yourself some frozen mango, some coconut milk not in a tin and some healthy bacteria packed yoghurt to whip together this delicious Mango and Coconut Smoothie. Enjoy!

Mango and Coconut Smoothie – makes 1 big smoothie or enough to share with a hangry toddler

1 cup frozen mango

1/2 cup plain full fat yoghurt (or a few big spoonfuls)

1/2 cup coconut milk

1. Place all ingredients in a blender and whizz together until smooth.

That’s it! So simple and delicious! A great snack for pregnant mums, breastfeeding mums, busy mums, tired mums, happy mums, hangry mums and your little folk too. Add frozen mango to your shopping list on your meal plan this week (click here for your free printable meal planning template)!

Mango and Coconut Smoothie

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Why My Body Feels Like A Ticking Time Bomb

Why My Body Feels Like A Ticking Time Bomb

Pregnancy is meant to be a time of joyful anticipation. As due date approaches, the “I wonder when” is thought often and with a little smile. Butterflies start to flutter in the very round, full tummies of women around the world as they eagerly await the arrival of their little bundle of joy.

I’m not feeling it.

I am certainly waiting. But not for the arrival of a little person. Or the feeling of those first contractions.

I am waiting to feel a warm gush. To see an unwanted red stain. To have that wave of panic set in again.

This is what it feels like to have placenta previa. You feel like a ticking time bomb.

You wait and wait, for that bleed you’ve been told is likely. You wonder when it might happen. You wonder how big is it going to be. You wonder if it will be the catalyst to you ending up in hospital for weeks. Or maybe it will be the moment your baby is brought into the world, weeks too soon. Will you be alone when it happens? Will you be doing the grocery shopping? Will you be at work? Will it be the rude awakening from a good night’s sleep?

I am currently 32 weeks pregnant. 2 weeks ago at 11pm, as I lay in bed, I felt that warm gush. A familiar feeling to any woman over the age of 13. It’s a feeling you’re not meant to have when you’re pregnant. I jumped out of bed, pulled down my pyjama pants to find a large blood stain on my underwear and through to my pyjama pants. Panic set in.

Legoman was away in the bush, out of phone reception. I was home alone with our 2 year old toddler. She was sound asleep in her room. I called my best friend (who thankfully and wonderfully lives one block away), who was already awake with her 10 month old. She was on her way. I broke down on the phone and she straight away came to my house. I tried calling my midwife, no answer. I tried calling the hospital, an answering machine. I tried my husband in desperation, voicemail. My midwife called me back just as my best friend opened my front door. She held me as I attempted to pack a bag. My amazing midwife was on her way to pick me up.

I was shaking so much at this point. Still feeling the bleeding, not knowing what would happen next.

I kept thinking that my daughter would wake up and I won’t be there. Neither will her daddy. It was the first night I had ever had away from her. Not the circumstances that milestone should happen in.

At hospital they cannulated me, told me I couldn’t eat or drink and gave me the first dose of steroids, in case my baby needed to be delivered. In case my baby needed to be delivered. That was not what I wanted to hear. My husband wasn’t there. This couldn’t be happening.

An ambulance took me to a bigger hospital where I was taken into Delivery Suite. All this time, my wonderful little baby was wriggling around and doing amazingly well. This helped me to stay calm and focused. An ultrasound at 3:30am confirmed that baby was fine and the bleeding had also slowed right down. Everyone started to relax. I could eat again. I could attempt to sleep.

5:30am came and I was woken up by the woman in the room next to me going through the final throws of labour. A few loud screams of “GET IT OUT OF ME!!!” had me giggling in bed, knowing how¬†very close she was to meeting her little person. 10 minutes later the cries of a new life welcomed a quite calm. Life goes on.

6am saw me calling my parents to firstly tell them (but hopefully not alarm them) that I was in hospital. I also needed them 1.5 hours drive away at my house to look after my daughter. Off they went.

7am – phone call from my best friend to say good morning to my daughter. She was handling the surprise of waking up to Aunty very well. The promise of croissants in the kitchen got her out of bed.

10am – up to antenatal ward now that the red blood had stopped. But the cannula remained in my arm until I was discharged, just in case.

3pm – I finally got to speak to my husband. He was calm, way too calm.

6pm – I got to see Legoman.

The next 24 hours involved lots of visitors, waiting, Pad checks (those poor nurses) and nervous exhaustion. I also had to call my work and tell them I wouldn’t be in as I was in hospital. I was discharged home once the brown spotting had stopped and a more thorough ultrasound showed baby was fine and my placenta was still too low. The cannula came out (thank goodness) and I was put on “pelvic rest”. Which basically means nothing goes in. A friend at work thinks this is a brilliant idea and wishes someone would issue her a medical certificate that she can show her husband!

I got through the first bleed. And now I wait for a second one. No one can tell me what the chances are that I will get a second bleed. No one can tell me if my placenta will move enough to avoid a c-section. All I keep hearing is “Every placenta previa is different”. Helpful.

Hearing the stories of other women in a similar situation has been amazing support. I have joined a couple of Facebook groups and a forum where women support each other through these exhausting, emotional pregnancies. There is so much power in sharing our stories. One common thread is we are all hopeful. Hopeful to reach close to our due dates. Hopeful for no more bleeds. Hopeful our child comes into the world in a calm way and not through an emergency. Hopeful for those very first cuddles.

I would love to hear from you if you have had placenta previa or are going through a similar experience at the moment. Together we can all get through this.

After my bleed I made an Emergency Phone Numbers list to stick on our fridge and to share with family and friends. I am hoping we never have to use it. You can grab a copy for yourself here.

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