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 🙂

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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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Why your first pregnancy is luxurious

Why your first pregnancy is luxurious

I am pregnant. I feel that summarises a second pregnancy to a tee. I just am. The end. Yes I have a belly. How many weeks am I? Um, let me think….

Rewind 2 years and 9 months and it was a very different story. I bathed in my state of fertility. I carried my belly with the pride of a first time pregnant mum. I luxuriated in my state of pregnancy.

I went to pregnancy yoga, every week. Yes, every week. And was on time. And had clothes without stains.

I also went to the pool. Every week. After work. And never felt rushed to get home for bed time, bath time, dinner time, cranky afternoon time.

Oh and I did African dancing. Of course! Until I was 7 months pregnant! How the hell did I do that???

Did I feel like going to a pregnancy massage? Sure! I will be there in a jiffy! Now? I had a friend call and say she needed a case study to complete her pregnancy massage certification and would it be okay if she gave me two free 90 minutes massage. Best call ever! But then reality hit home. Baby sitting. Where was I going to find baby sitting? Trying to book a time suddenly became like trying to organise a UN Peace Summit. But I have one booked, and boy oh boy am I looking forward to it! 4 more days, just 4 more days.

First time around there was also this endless time (or what seems like it now) to just sit and be pregnant. To really tune in and appreciate the magic that is happening in your belly. I remember every week checking to see what developments were going on. Knowing when bub could start smelling, tasting. How big it got each week. I had every pregnancy app under the sun and would check them all every Monday, even though they all said basically the same thing.

I have actually deleted all the pregnancy apps from my phone this time around because they are taking up valuable space that could be used for the 208839524975634975 photos and videos I have of Possum!

My real life bubby (well she will be 2 next week!) is now what consumes my world. I don’t need to read a book or check an app to know what she is doing because it’s all happening right in front of my eyes! And the day to day learning and discovery that she is doing astounds me more than the measurements of my belly baby. And that doesn’t bother me one bit. Because I know once this belly baby is born, that’s when the wonder will grow even more!

So this pregnancy is just that. A waiting game, until I get to meet this little person inside me and let life truly explode with joy and wonder. In the mean time, I will tolerate wearing hand me down maternity clothes that kind of fit. I will sleep as best I can because my toddler still wakes in the night occasionally. I will not squeeze too much in my week to prove that pregnancy and babies won’t change me. Because it already has. I have no points to prove. I have succumb joyfully to the life of a mother.

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How I Found Out My Daughter Has An Egg Allergy

How I found out my daughter has an egg allergy

When I think of children and allergies I think puffy faces, difficulty breathing, severe rashes and Epi-pens. My family’s experience of food allergies has been a very very different one to that. I want to share with you our story.

My daughter was born at 40 weeks and 5 days in a pretty amazing but intense birth. We were lucky enough to not need any intervention during the delivery and after a bumpy start, we were able to start our breastfeeding journey. She was a happy little feeder but things took a turn for the worse when at 10 weeks of age, I was diagnosed with a massive breast abscess. It measured 7cm x 8xm x 4xm and required immediate hospital admission and needle drainage. Disgustingly and amazingly they removed a total of 125ml of pus from my left breast over 3 separate aspirations. During this time I was on a long and heavy dose of antibiotics.

It wasn’t until I started to feel well again, that I realised just how sick I was. My happy little feeder wasn’t bothered as I had been breastfeeding her pretty much non stop for the past month as I just didn’t have the energy to do anything else! She was fat and happy!

Fast forward to when Possum (my daughter) is around 6 months of age. I was standing in the kitchen, Possum on my hip, munching on some strawberries. Possum reached out, grabbed the strawberry from my hand and ate it! And so began our Baby Led Weaning journey.

I had read lots of info regarding babies and allergies as Legoman (hubby) and both our families have multiple allergies and figured our children would most likely have at least one allergy too. The info I had read and in discussion with our GP, supported the idea of early introduction of foods likely to cause allergies. So we basically didn’t limit what “type” of food she was offered but rather just made sure it was a suitable size, shape and texture for her.

One of her first foods was egg yolk. I had read of its wonderful nutrition for bubs and it was a lovely soft texture and easy to hold onto. I would fry up an egg and peel away the white to offer the yolk. One day, when Possum was about 7 months old, I offered her an egg yolk as I had done multiple times before, only to have her sit far back in her high chair as if she was trying to move away from it. I was a bit confused and just sat with her for a little while. After a couple of minutes she gobbled up the whole thing very happily! I thought nothing more of it and soon after put her down for a nap. She went to sleep well, and an hour later I heard funny sounds coming from her cot. I walked in to find her covered in vomit and looking distressed. I immediately picked her up only to have her vomit down my back. She sounded really snotty but was breathing well. But not crying at all. I tried breastfeeding her, only to have her vomit all the milk straight back up as well. I was starting to panic. My daughter was not a vomity kind of baby. I had absolutely no idea what was going on. Possum then kept vomiting another 4 or so times, fluid pouring out of her. I called Legoman, packed the car and drove her to the local hospital. But by the time we got there, she was her happy normal self again. Utterly confused, the three of us went to a local park to have a bit of quiet time and fresh air.

After discussing it with Legoman, we both just put it down to a bad egg and didn’t think too much more of it. Just to be safe, we didn’t offer her any more egg for another a week or so, and when we did there was absolutely no reaction.

Other things were starting to happen though. Possum went from waking once in the night, to twice, to three times, four then five. She was very clingy and easily upset. Her weight seemed to level out. My once butterball of a baby was starting to look lanky. When I took her to the doctor she had dropped from the 50th centile on the growth charts to the 15th. For a baby feeding as much as she was, something wasn’t right. We had a couple more episodes of vomiting in her sleep, which weren’t associated with egg or any other consistent foods. She also then developed a horrendous nappy rash, which had large raised pock marks. A doctors visit and a couple of swabs later, nothing was identified as a cause. It wasn’t until a girlfriend said “That’s what happens to my girls when they eat something they are allergic to” that a penny dropped.

Possum had food allergies. But what the hell were they??

Ambitiously I took it upon myself to put Possum and myself on the RPA elimination diet, which looks at reducing intake of natural food chemical ie amines, salicylates and glutamates. This diet was also gluten and dairy free, but included egg.

Dinner on Day 1 was a simple egg and white rice pie. All it was, was egg, rice and chives. I don’t know if it was because she was starving but Possum gobbled up a lot of the pie for dinner. When I undressed her for her evening bath, her entire trunk and back was covered in a very fine rash. I posted a photo to social media and the consensus was an allergic reaction. So no more egg, not until we saw a specialist.

I abandoned the elimination diet after a week as it was unbearably hard and I found myself hungry and angry most of the time. It was also the week of Possum’s first birthday.

So off to the GP for a referral to an allergy clinic.

Possum had a blood test, perfectly normal.

Then we attended a large teaching hospital for Possum to receive skin prick testing for over 30 different allergens. This is when we got our answer!

Possum has allergies to egg yolk, sesame, fish, hazelnut and pecan.

All foods which she and I had been eating regularly.

Immediately both Possum and I took all these things out of our diets. Her sleep improved. Her mood improved and she started to grow. And grow a lot! 4cm in one month!

I felt a huge amount of relief to finally know what was causing my daughter’s body so much distress. I felt frustrated and sad that these foods were no longer going to be part of our family’s diet. I felt hopeful that one day she would outgrow some of them.

She is due for her egg challenge now at nearly 2 years of age. It has been booked twice only to be cancelled at the last minute by the hospital due to no beds. So we keep on waiting to hear what may happen.

Possum has been amazingly calm and accepting of her dietary limitations. No tantrums and no fuss. I think it helps that she and I have the same rules for each other (as a breastfeeding mum I don’t eat her allergens as they can be passed on to her through my breastmilk). It can make birthday parties, going out to eat and general play dates hard. We always pack plenty of our own food incase there isn’t something suitable and meal planning has eased alot of stress. We have learnt to read ingredients on EVERYTHING, as quite often allergens are snuck into foods unsuspectingly.

I am grateful Possum’s allergies are not anaphylactic. But the chronic stress her body was experiencing was a horrible thing to witness.

I hope our story has given a different perspective on what having a child with food allergies can be like. If you have any questions or comments, please leave a message below.

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Toddler Cooking Adventures!

quick and easy microwave popcorn

It’s all been feeling a bit like Noah’s ark at the moment. Crazy rain and wind throughout our state for days on end. Weather like this makes me want to crawl under a blanket, eat lots of food, drink hot chocolate and binge on TV series on DVDs. Alas being the mother of a toddler, this scenario pans out a little differently…. “mummy! mummy! mummy! I want to watch a mooooooovie!! mummy! moooooovie!” normally this has started at about 8:30 in the morning. Depending on my level of sleep, patience and general awesomeness I can sometimes hold out until about 3pm. Then it is not just a movie, but popcorn and movie time! For Possum AND mummy 🙂

Possum has been really enjoying getting into the kitchen lately and pretending to cook constantly. Making microwave popcorn from scratch has been a really fun, simple and easy way to include her in the kitchen as well as make a super tasty and reasonably healthy snack for the two of us to share.

Here is how to make it! What movie will you be watching? Our favourites are Madagascar Two (Possum calls it Lion Movie), Ratatouille (Rat Movie) and Rio 2 (Rio Movie).

Easy Microwave Popcorn – serves 4

1/3 cup popping corn

a decent chunk of butter

a shake of salt

Melt the butter in a large microwave safe bowl (I use my Pyrex mixing bowl) for around 30 seconds in the microwave, making sure you have a cover over the bowl. Take bowl out of the microwave, add your salt and popping corn (this is Possum’s job). Stir to combine (also Possum’s job).

Possum's cooking adventures

Possum’s cooking adventures

Stir stir stir

Stir stir stir

Place bowl and cover in the microwave for 3 minutes 20 seconds for a 1000W microwave.

Don't forget the cover!!!

Don’t forget the cover!!!

Stay close by to listen for when the pops slow down. Take your delicious hot bowl of buttery popcorn out of the microwave using oven mitts. Divide among movie watchers or share from one big (but still hot so be careful!) bowl. Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

Delicious hot popcorn!!

Delicious hot popcorn!!

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Baby Led Weaning – 17 months on

Baby Led Weaning - 17 months on

Once upon a time, way back in the golden olden days, I had a baby. A gorgeous butter ball of a 6 months old baby.

I now have a lanky chatterbox toddler!

I did a post 8 months ago (that maths is correct yeah? Dad??) to reflect on our Baby Led Weaning journey. And here we are now with our gorgeous Possum about to turn two (!!!) next month. Safe to say we are past the sweet potato wedges and patties phase and into the “I’m a little person with my own little palate and no you can not make  me eat that roast potato” phase.

In my previous post I had talked about Possum dropping down on the weight centiles and not being quite sure why. Was Baby Led Weaning to blame? The answer was a big fat no! Turns out she has multiple allergies and a lot (and I mean A LOT) of the food I was offering her was actually stuff she was allergic to. Our beautiful Possum is allergic to egg, fish/seafood, sesame, hazelnut and pecan (no great loss with that one IMO). So once we had that figured out, care of blood tests and comprehensive skin prick tests, we were then able to keep her on a modified diet. The amazing thing was she then had a massive growth spurt not long after! As if her body was saying a huge THANK YOU for finally understanding what it needed. The sad part was, as I was and still am breastfeeding it meant I couldn’t have any of those things either. No more pad thai, no more fish and chips, no more sesame snaps. Hello to reading the ingredients on EVERY SINGLE THING when you do the grocery shopping. I still do read ingredients lists religiously because companies are constantly changing their ingredients without telling you. All of a sudden the rice crackers we had been buying, plain rice crackers, had sesame seeds listed in the ingredients list. Well that explained the angry nappy rash!

Anyway! I digress!

So Baby Led Weaning is all about, well, weaning. As any introduction of food is seen as the beginning of the shift for a child from a purely milk (in our case breastmilk) based diet to a fully food based diet. I am proud and also a little freaked out to say we are still breastfeeding. I say freaked out because I am also 24 weeks pregnant! I never in a million years thought I would be a tandem breastfeeder but that is kind of the direction we are heading at the moment. I have had some horrible horrible experiences with feeding aversion prior to falling pregnant which made our breastfeeding relationship hugely stressful and made me want to wean cold turkey. Thankfully the pregnancy actually helped to mellow things out. And here we are. Possum seems to be slowly cutting out her first thing in the morning feed which is nice, though some mornings she will ask “I want just a tiny little bit of mummy milk”. If we are home she will still have a feed before her nap and then has another feed before bed time at night. She doesn’t always feed to sleep anymore which is another bonus as it meant Legoman and I actually went out one night BEFORE she went to bed! Amazing!

So our Baby Led Weaning journey continues. It looks a heck of a lot different to 7 months ago! Let’s see where we will be in 7 months time!

How is your Baby Led Weaning journey going? Are you where you thought you’d be?

To the Mom of a Nursing Toddler

Baby Led Weaning is exactly that, letting your baby lead the way as to when they will fully wean from breastfeeding to solid foods. For alot of people this involves feeding a toddler. An experience very different to breastfeeding a baby. This lovely blog piece really captures the spectrum of emotions I know I have experienced as a mother of a nursing toddler. To all mothers out there, you’re doing something amazing. Much love xx

Wendy Wisner

IMG_5832-0

It’s ok that you’re the only one who can get your child to take a nap.

It’s ok that you’re the only one who can put your child to sleep at night.

It’s ok that you can’t imagine a night away from your child.

It’s ok that you can imagine a night away from your child.

It’s ok that you sometimes resent your child’s very big need for you.

It’s ok that you sometimes feel so full with radiant love when you think of your child’s very big need for you.

It’s ok that your child always, sometimes, “still” nurses in the middle of the night.

It’s ok that you offer to nurse your child when you are tired and you want to sit still on the couch for a few minutes.

It’s ok that you offer to nurse your child to ward off a tantrum.

It’s ok that…

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