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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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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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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Make Friends With Your Kitchen

Make Friends With Your Kitchen
As a working mother, it can feel overwhelming having to feed my little clan. Plus I have standards darn it! Which means no takeaway and minimal processed food, because really not only is home made better for you and cheaper, a lot of the time it’s more delicious too!

Chatting to my mummy pals, basically what we all want is for meal times to be calm, simple and hopefully even enjoyable.

I have made a list for you of some hints and tips to help make your kitchen your friend. Hopefully a life long friend that you share with your family rather than a friend you only talk to because you have to.

Make Friends With Your Kitchen

1. Have a plan. Meal planning has been a huge life saver for me and my family. Huge. I started when my daughter (now 2!) started having solids. I realised I couldn’t have a panic every day at 5pm trying to figure out what we were going to have for dinner. That just ain’t sustainable. Instead, I sit down once a week and write a meal plan. I shop once a week knowing exactly what we need. To learn more about meal planning click here. To download my free meal planning printable click here.

2. Have a clear working space. This is probably the thing I struggle with the most. I love cooking and hate cleaning. However, the wise mature me has learnt that doing the dishes makes me happy. Eventually. I try to have a clean kitchen before going to bed, but failing that (some nights it is too much) then after breakfast the kitchen gets a full clean. Come crazy dinner time you’ve got clear space and all equipment is clean and ready to go.

3. Keep it simple. Yes we could all make every single thing from scratch using organic ingredients. But really. Who has the time or money? Know your limits. Don’t plan a banquet feast on a day you have something on. Allow for tired days. Buy snacks. Have an idea of your emergency family favorite meals.

4. Clean as you go. When you start cooking, fill the sink with hot soapy water. Even if you just throw things in, it will make cleaning up easier later. Plus you will have an easy way of washing your hands.

5. Share the load. I love to cook but I love that I don’t have to do it every night even more!! I am so grateful that Legoman cooks dinner twice a week (2 of my 3 workdays). He is home with our daughter those days and so meals are his job. Does he love cooking? No. Does he love us? Surely does. This has helped me not be such a control freak in the kitchen too. Don’t have a hubby? Do a bulk cook up with girlfriends or plan to have meal swaps with families close by.

I hope these simple tips help you make friends with your kitchen. Not sure what to cook for dinner tonight? Try my delicious Roast Chicken with Garlic, Sage and Thyme or perhaps my Pumpkin, Leek and Millet Oven baked Risotto.

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Baby Led Weaning Shopping List

Baby Led Weaning Shopping List Essentials

Are you new to Baby Led Weaning? Not quite sure what things to have on hand for your little one? Use this handy shopping list at your next grocery shop!

Life with little ones can be so much easier when you’re prepared. I learnt this lesson when Possum started solids. It’s basically what led me to try meal planning!

Here I was in the kitchen everyday at 5pm with a hungry tot and absolutely no idea what to feed her let alone Legoman and myself! That’s not a happy head space to be in everyday. Since then meal planning has saved our hungry tummies and tired brains many times over.

But the other little trick that worked was getting to know what foods were easy, quick and nutritious for Possum to have. I would make sure these would go on our shopping list each week so that I knew there was always something in the house Possum could eat if she wasn’t too keen on whatever it was we were eating at that meal.

Here is a shopping list of great foods for baby led weaning so that you can have a quick reference and help your day run a little smoother. Is there anything you would add? I would love to hear and I can add to the list.

  • Banana – and here is a little trick to make it easy for bub to hold: use your little finger pushed into the end of a peeled banana to split into three segments. Game changer!
  • Sweet potato – makes sweet potato wedges super easily. Cut into wedges and roast at 180¬įC for 30 minutes or until starting to brown.
  • Field mushrooms – possum loooooooved to demolish a roasted field mushroom for dinner. Roast at 180¬į, smooth side down, with some olive oil for around 20-30 minutes. Cut in half to serve.
  • Cucumber – or cubumber as Possum now calls it. Cut into sixths for easy to hold chunks. We never bothered to peel it.
  • Oats – mix 3 Tbsp oats with 3 Tbsp water in a rounded dish then microwave for 2 minutes. Easy! Comes out as a very easy to hold oat biscuit.
  • Pear – allergy friendly and easy to munch.
  • Avocado – the perfect foot for baby led weaning! So much messy fun! Cut into chunks and have the bath (and camera) ready!
  • Yoghurt – plain full fat yoghurt. Offer on a preloaded spoon or put in a bowl and embrace the mess! A great substitution for sour cream in recipes too!

Now our Possum is two! We are really pleased to have gone down the Baby Led Weaning path. It was such a fun and enjoyable way to introduce food into her world. We are due with bub #2 in August and I am certainly going to choose to do Baby Led Weaning again. You can read a bit more about our Baby Led Weaning experiences here and here.

How’s Baby Led Weaning going for our family?

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Looking for some recipes for your little one? Here are some Baby Led Weaning winners:

How to have a stress free toddler birthday party + free party planner printable

How to have a stress free toddler party + free party planner printable

In case you missed it, my beautiful daughter turned 2 this week! So of course we had a lovely little party for her over the weekend. And I have to say the whole event was relatively stress free.

How was having a gaggle of toddlers and family around stress free? Well let me tell you why…

  1. Don’t have the party at your house.¬†Possum’s first birthday was at our house. This meant the house had to be clean. Need I say more. This year we went to the park, literally around the corner from our house. It has kick arse swings, two slides, toilets and under cover picnic areas. Perfect. There was plenty of room for happy toddlers to run around, grass for younger bubs to roll around on and plenty of breathing room for this pregnant mumma.
  2. Delegate, delegate, delegate.¬†Repeat after me. “I don’t have to do everything, I don’t have to do everything”. This is what friends and family are for. Grandparents are wonderful in so many ways. Their amazing cooking, cleaning and entertaining skills can all be put to good use when planning a party. For example my mother in law cleaned up the undercover picnic areas for us the morning of the party. Amazing. My parents came to our house to help do morning dishes, entertain Possum and my Mum was wonderful and whipped up some cream cheese icing at the last minute for Possum’s birthday cake. My sister loves shiny pretty things and is wonderfully creative. So her job was decorations. I literally said “balloons and streamers in rainbow colours”. I arrived to find home made paper chains, balloons, streamers, glittery shapes and a happy birthday banner. Way more than my brain could even compute!
  3. Keep things simple.¬†Toddlers are wonderful little creatures and get crazy excited at even the littlest of things. Like having party hats and a cake. They don’t need a live band, 20 animal petting zoo AND a decorator cake. The little ones had so much fun dancing around the park with streamers, hiding in bushes and watching balloons make farting noises as they zoomed through the air. Nice and simple.
  4. Get someone else to take photos.¬†Kind of like your wedding day, you want to enjoy the fact you have kept a tiny little person alive for so long despite horrible sleep, a diet of food scraps and cold tea and a complete and utter sense of having no idea what the hell you are doing. Celebrate! But do get someone else to capture your happy faces. Make sure that person understands your camera and are happy to be the camera person for the day. Reassure them you don’t want Ansel Adams images, just your typical family happy snaps.
  5. Skip the presents.¬†I don’t mean all together, but just from party guests. I think Possum’s Grandparents would have a meltdown if we said no gifts from them! Ask guests to bring a plate of food to share instead. This is a double win. Your party gets catered plus you don’t have to deal with bringing even more¬†stuff into your home. Also, many kids/adults have food allergies and sensitivities. Bring a plate allows families to bring known safe food. It also saves you having to make gluten free, dairy free, nut free, egg free anything.
  6. Have an amazing husband. I am beyond grateful for having a husband who is great with logistics and event planning. He used to organise logistics for ultra marathons and the such, so a toddler birthday party is easy! Lovely little touches he thought of were things like having a camping stove to make the nanas and grandmas hot cups of tea, packing camping chairs and picnic blankets, having camping plates rather than throw aways. So thank you so much Legoman for not only being an awesome father but also a wonderful husband! xx
  7. Have a plan.¬†It’s a good idea to have at least a vague idea of what you need/want for this party. To make this easier for you I have made a free party planner printable. Stick it on the fridge (next to your free printable meal planner!) and add to it as you think of things. Click Pea Fritters Party Planner Free Printable¬†to download.

I truly hope you have a wonderful day celebrating your little person! Have a friend who you think might find this post and free party planner printable helpful? Simply share this post on Facebook, Pinterest or email!

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