Monday, 30 November 2015

Fresh paint, festive beginnings and feeling under the weather.

This past weekend has been a funny one, I've had this awful chesty cold for four days now which has really knocked me, I think its originated from being so worried about our little baby bump over the last week or so due to awful inaccurate news from a rather horrid sonographer to be quite honest. This week has just really caught up with me, trying to do too much while running on empty and feeling like i'm forever behind on everything I want to be able to get started, or completed. (including Christmas shopping!). So even though this weekend we had plans, it was nice knowing that we had the option to go at our own pace for the most part of it as opposed to the constant flow of rushing around that we do during the week.  

Saturday morning we had our kitchen freshly painted again just to finalise both rooms (and go over the pen marks from Phoenix!) So the littles and I headed to my Dads to have a relaxed afternoon while Mr T went to football, we had a lovely time, and relaxed once we returned home knowing that our kitchen painting was finally completed - this was a lovely sight to wake up to first thing Sunday morning and it definitely made all the difference despite me wanting to add a few more finishing touches with home accessories and blinds. it felt like we were taking another gradual step towards making this house our home sweet home.

Time went on and off we went to Halle's christmas singing with her little friends in the village church near the nursery and school. She was so excited, and has been practising all week giving us little shows in the evening. I am so glad I got to film her singing, it was the sweetest thing! she was in her element without a doubt, a smile beaming from ear to ear. Daddy then took Phoenix up the road to watch the football while us girls when to the Christmas fete that followed the singing - lovely time spent with them as they was looking around for what they could spend their money they had left over from holiday on, they both had their nails ('witwoos') painted, tattoos and did a number of activities alongside their friends. we then headed to get cakes (high fives from me and baby bump!) and went back to meet the boys for a roast in the village pub.

I love times like these, just going with the flow, quality family time and taking it all in, occasionally holding back tears of pride at how wonderfully lucky I am to have these people in my life. Even more so at how rapidly they seem to be growing lately, and this is another reason for why I love to photograph, write, and share snippets here - I want to remember these little days, with my special people making my heart feel full and content. 


Our 20 week scans, gender and roller coaster news.

Recently I wrote a post about the ten things i'm worrying about in this pregnancy, our fourth little baby. When writing this, I had no idea what feelings I would experience when I had another worry to add to that mix. A worry on a different kind of level, the level that is our baby's health.

Last Saturday, we got up nice and early as usual (usually stupid early as the kids seem to know its the weekend these days, when all we want to do is catch extra sleep, yeah maybe in twenty years!) we got ourselves ready, hopped in the car - all very excited to see our little baby bump again. I did have little anxious feelings, but I think that's only natural with any scan you attend, its the unknown waiting for you no matter how positive you try to be, all we wanted to know was that our little baby was continuing to grow happy & healthy.

We got to the hospital, the unit was running pretty late, but this was to be expected on a busy Saturday morning. Mr T had football not long after our appointment so we were wondering if we'd make it all in time. The little ones had been so patient and played nicely sat with us, and reading books eagerly waiting for Mummy's name to be called, and ...45 minutes later, it was our time to go in to see our baby.

What we usually would expect, a pleasant and happy member of staff greeting us in didn't happen this time. Instead we had this very rude, abrupt, sarcastic, and unsympathetic person stood before us ordering how we sat, no smile, no you know usual talk that goes on on any maternity unit - it was just stern, and quite shocking. We fully understood that it was busy, but making someones experience feel so un special wasn't needed at all. Phoenix and Daddy went for a little walk as he was getting a little upset about Mummy being poked and prodded and his nap was well over due from the appointment being so late. This then left the girls & I waiting to see our little bundle. They sat so patiently, smiles spread across their sweet faces staring at the screen waiting, while the moody sonographer dictated to me how they need to be sat straight and nicely, talking to me but with her back completely turned on me. I then laid down ready, asked if I could have a cushion to support my head as when I lay on a flat surface my back just can't handle it easily at the minute due to my split muscles which I explained to her - she snapped with 'well sit up and i'll put the bed up, you are not allowed your hand near your head', I said okay and again asked for a little assistance due to the pain but no, i was completely ignored and looked at like I was being pathetic. I also mentioned that when scanning, could she not put so much pressure on the area near my belly button as my tummy split is very sensitive there at the minute, she responded with the snappy 'we never scan that high up, your uterus isn't that big'. So as you get the idea of how unprofessional and rude she was we got on with the scan, and to be honest she had already ruined the experience for us already with her attitude, it felt so unimportant to her and she made that known, it was almost as if she was scanning items in a supermarket - no joke.

Any other time I would've said something, but you know when you're emotional, and actually in a state of disbelief, and also trying to keep calm, cool and brave in front of your little ones. I was just wishing for the scan to be over but also talking away to my girls to reassure them that they were looking at their baby brother or sister.

The sonographer then mentioned with no emotion at all, no sympathy that the baby's bowel looked abnormal, it was brighter than it should be and that we needed to see a consultant within three days to see the issue in more depth. I can't explain the feeling I felt being told that, fighting back tears in front of my girls and for her to then give me a few leaflets on 'echogenic bowel' (could be markers for things such as cystic fibrosis, along with other serious illnesses.) I couldn't believe my eyes, we've never ever had an experience like this before, and I was just praying that it was a horrible joke, or just a mistake. As I got my bags, she then snapped 'Well I won't bother telling you not to worry as I can see you already are, bye bye'.

Walking out, waiting to see Mr T, I just had to say 'give me a minute' before rushing to the toilet to again try and compose myself before returning to face my girls, the waiting room and my flu jab. I didn't say one word to him until we got to the car as I just needed to process it all, kind of anyway. He said he knew the minute I opened the door that there was something wrong. He just said 'we'll see the specialist and see what they say, ignore that lady, she was probably having a bad day as it was obviously quite busy, but she still shouldn't have been so rude. We'll deal with it together.'

On the brighter side of things, we had our referral scan on Thursday evening, again with lots of worrying going on, we were finally put at ease by our lovely consultant sonographer. Completely a whole different experience, positive and thoughtful. All the things I asked the previous person (the muscles sensitivity, the position I laid, my hand up near my head) I said to him and not once did he question any of it, he also apologised for her behaviour and has confirmed my decision to report her to be honest. Along with this, he quietly scanned our baby, not saying too much - which left me worrying even more. At the end, he then asked the gestation and weights of our previous babies, we responded, then he ended the conversation with a huge smile and 'I believe there is nothing wrong with this baby at all'.

Deep breath.

In that 30 minute appointment, we were reassured that our little baby bump is continuing to grow very well, with no abnormality. There has even been a weigh gain of almost 80g in just 5 days! sounds small i know but equally amazing in pregnancy talk. I can't put into words how happy we felt walking out of there with our little scan photo (the previous lady didn't give us one.) Mr T & I hugged each other so hard, smiling so much and with him saying 'see, I told you our babies are strong, that lady just had a bee in her bonnet that obviously effected her work ethic'.

Keep growing strong little baby, your siblings can't wait to meet you, neither can we!

and for the baby's gender....

Is a.....
And we're so happy to be having another surprise baby after doing the same with our three littles, the girls are currently routing for one of each, with Halle adding the confusion at her nursery by telling her teachers 'Mummy has a boy AND girl in her tummy!'. 

Make your guesses people! ;)

You can see our fourth pregnancy posts here, starting with most recent:

Did you choose to find out, or have a surprise when expecting your baby? 


Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Ten worries I have for my fourth pregnancy.

I've been meaning to write a little list of things I'm not necessarily looking forward to during this pregnancy, our fourth pregnancy in five years. I am one of those people who believe that being able to have and grow a baby, let alone more than one baby is amazing, a miracle even. I would say I've been very fortunate with my pregnancies and labours give or take a few things. That being said, I think its only natural that us ladies get a little apprehensive when growing a human being inside of them, and having to make sure everything is okay with both baby and yourself right up until the baby is born - then its a whole other ball game, especially when you have other children to be looking after too!

So here's a few things I am not jumping off the walls in excitement for during pregnancy (on a serious note, and a few silly but equally serious - a head grinding into your pelvis isn't any fun for any one):

1. Preparation: As this is our fourth (and 99% chance our last) pregnancy, I am still in the thoughts of how to get prepared for when the baby is due to make his/or her appearance. Like arranging the childcare for our little ones (aged just 5, 3 and a half and 22months). I want them to know Mummy will be okay and feel at ease without me for a day or so. When I gave birth the other times, I would have a sense of guilt and I leave my sleeping child/children with family members while I go to give birth and change our world forever, then have the emotional new Mama tears when they came to meet their new sibling the next morning (I had three Wednesday evening babies, spontaneously - random I know!) When cradling my newborn baby, I can't help but wonder how it will effect my children I already have waiting at home for me despite their excitement. Having new siblings completely changes things in more ways than one, attention has to be divided again but with experience - and something we are still learning more about each day, with team work, love and keeping a realistic mind, it will work itself out and if it doesn't - deep breaths, hugs and kisses & trying again the next day will always help. Things can be hectic when you have little ones close in age so for me, trying to remain optimistic but realistic is something that keeps me going. That and plenty of love time with my littles.

2. Hormones, Antenatal depression, Post-natal depression: Need I say more? Hormones are a bitch, and pregnancy hormones are the biggest of bitches. they consume me, especially when i'm tired and make I feel like complete crap on top of feeling crap, or I actually feel like i'm doing great then something happens which reverts me back to crap mode.  I have horrible hormones in pregnancy, a lot of the time its tiredness related, but also when I set myself too many things to do (unrealistic expectations) and just get myself feeling like i'm a failure if I haven't managed to do them. I then lose motivation to do the things I enjoy - again huge relation to tiredness here (hello low bp & iron deficiencies in all pregnancies!). Health visitors have mentioned the whole AND/PND if its ever been an issue in the past, but not really knowing how to offer me advice. I am one of those people who don't like labels, I don't easily accept help as in my sometimes irrational mind, I see it as admitting to not being able to cope - as ridiculous as it sounds. I have read self-help books as for me, these have helped me understand all the psychological changes during pregnancies, and that it is a common thing to feel. Medical terms, and labels are funny things, because for one label it may mean a lot of different things for millions of different people. I have never felt bad feelings against my babies, of course there would be times of frustration when i've questioned my babies sleep, or feeding etc but more so its only ever been me feeling like I need to be better and completely scrutinising myself if I haven't felt like i've coped well with something (like when I had ten solid weeks of breastfeeding pain, enduring rounds of mastitis, a cut nipple from a baby bite, thrush and bad latches, yes ouch but we persevered, got help and fed to 13months, yay!) ...or been the best version of myself (something I still feel in the present) and this is something that has been with me from childhood. Its something that I want to manage better but I believe that lack of help from midwifery/health visitor professionals previously - I will do it my own way and at my own pace should it arise. This isn't a dig at the NHS, but it thought I'd put my honest experience there. 

3. The 'nothing is comfortable' stages: Everything stylish I want to wear makes me feel like a mother elephant displaying a colourful tent, or the things I can wear comfortably leave me with the fabulous options of jeans with the hair tie trick (fourth pregnancy and never had maternity jeans, wth), leggings, baggy tops, and flat pumps, hair in a messy bun in my daily routine. Having an array of cushions or my trusty 'dream-genii' taking up half the bed just so my hips don't feel like they're about the break. The 'army roll' is the only way out of bed without pulling my back, or making my damaged tummy muscles 'dome' uncontrollably. Having to put my tummy to the side when hugging my loved ones, struggling to paint my toe nails, and putting shoes on - the fun!

4. Will I suffer pelvic girdle pain again? I was lucky enough to only have mild back pain in my first two pregnancies, well it hurt but was manageable. However, in my last pregnancy I think I was around 36 weeks when pelvic girdle pain started to set in, and around 38 weeks I was left in chronic pain days at a time, specifically not being able to walk for two days - awful pain. The reasoning was that my core muscles are completely damaged which has left me weak and susceptible to this type of symptom. Having a baby so low and engaged didn't help either! I am expecting it to return, but hoping I have ways in which I can prevent it and rest more - easier said than done when I already have three littles ;).

5. Having time for myself/ with my partner: I am going to try and make a point of remembering that time for myself is important. Again, this is something I have found hard to do as I am always with my little ones. I will plan on enjoying hot baths alone, reading a book, getting my hair done for the first time in about a year in an actual salon! and remembering it is a healthy thing for everyone having a peaceful time out on your own. This isn't be pitying myself - I just literally never feel like I have enough time in the day to do it all, but I think I need to schedule some me time in the priority sometimes. Mr T goes to football on Saturday afternoons, so I will be scheduling in some more coffee shop dates saturday mornings thats for sure! I can probably count on one hand, how many child-free dates we've been on in the last five years so thats something we want to do more too, not just before the baby comes but it will be a lot easier considering I will have a breastfed baby changing things come april which makes it less simple when going for an easy meal right!

6. Will our breastfeeding journey go well? I'm not doubting myself here as I've successfully breastfed three healthy babies to the ages of 13m, 15m and 17 months, we did each as a team I guess. But every baby is different, each of my previous breastfeeding journeys has been different, showing unpredictable difficulties which we did overcome thankfully. My second journey was the easiest with hardly any struggles, you can read more about my third journey here. I had some amazing help from my local Baby Cafe with my first baby, so much so that it gave me the motivation to want to help others who may have struggles. I completed the breastfeeding peer support course through the Le Leche League back in 2013. Something I still really feel passionate about but thats not to say this next baby will have an easy run. I've written a few pieces of the course, my experiences and my love of breastfeeding here on my blog, you can search them through 'breastfeeding' if you fancy a read. So for our little bundle due next April, I'm keeping an open mind to how it will go, but also remembering everything I've learned and conquered prior to now throughout my breastfeeding journeys with my three beautiful children to whom I am ever so thankful to as without them I would have never had experienced any of it! 

7. Nearing my due date & how my birth will go? I think its only natural to feel a little on edge when on the verge of giving birth, especially when you have numerous school runs to be doing twenty minutes away from home and the area of the hospital! And the thought of not having time to rest and relax like I did when on maternity with our first baby, watching endless amounts of DVD boxsets or eating nutritious food. Since having my other children, and learning i'm pregnant again, its just about hoping the time and place will be a right one! Mr T works in various areas, which could be an issue, but hopefully there will be a couple of people 'on call' nearer the time if we need childcare quickly. Something that can't be helped though, I am the main carer at home so the dreaded school run will be on me, waddle and all! I'll just make sure i'm wearing black leggings incase my waters break on the playground! I'm hoping its another night baby in some ways - so much easier, kiddies are asleep with family looking after them, and wake up to know they're meeting their new sibling!

After having three very fast labours (a couple of hours, 57minutes and an hour!) I still have a little bit of anxiousness when it comes to thinking about birth. I think about making it on time to the hospital as we were cutting it fine with all three, luckily we live about a five minutes drive away from the hospital now so thats good! I have questioned having a home birth and was going to with our last baby, but due to the haemorrhage after our first, I kind of have a niggling feeling at the back of my mind if it happens again, and my partner felt so nervous at this thought of mine! Considering how well my other labours went through, I would feel comfortable giving birth at home, but the fact I have had wonderful experiences in midwifery-led units I don't think I would want to change that now for our last? Who knows, it's something to think about. I would like to get the chance of a water birth though - my labours have been too fast for them to even run the pool so that would be nice! You can read about my third birth here. All three were similar in ways, but also very different, including a post-partum haemorrhage, an unknown back to back labour (despite being the fastest and second easiest) and the relaxing 'nearly fell asleep labour'. I think its only natural to have these feelings as birth is completely unpredictable regardless of how many times you've done it. The only thing I keep in mind is that ultimately, I have faith in myself when giving birth, I trust my body and my baby. I've never practiced hypnobirthing or any specific type of birthing but being that its something I an interested in, and have basically done throughout my labours anyway using deep breathing, not panicking, and going with each contraction - its something I think would be great to hear more about. That being said, I've been offered a free course from one of my daughters friends at school as its her profession. I'm looking forward to learning additional calming methods which I can add to my own and maybe use in other areas of my life or even help others in the future.

8. Unpredictable symptoms in late stages: So when I was expecting our third baby, I had a weird feeling like my waters had broken at 34 weeks. After a long four hours being observed until 1am I was given the choice of being checked over and having an internal to see what was going on or go home and see how it goes. The thing they was concerned about was that i always have early braxton hicks which are basically as strong as normal ones at times, but without the waters or cervix going pop I don't feel it, it's just the strength in my tummy that 'gets it ready' as they say. They also said they could give the baby steroid injections to make sure the lungs would work if the baby came early, but I chose to trust my body and everything worked out in the end with our healthy baby boy being born at 40+3. I think the best thing i can do it hope for the best, trust my body but also know that it can be unpredictable for anyone.

9. My recovery with diastasis recti:
As I've written before about my DR, I have a huge worry on my shoulders as to how i'm going to manage physically towards the end of this pregnancy, and not only that i'm hoping for the best when it comes to my recovery - not to be wishing the pregnancy away or anything but its a reality that will occur in a matter of 20 weeks or so. I'm hoping I will be able to repair the damage to some extent, and then also prepare myself for when I need to have the surgery in a few years time. but for now I will strive to enjoy this last pregnancy, and remember that all things take time. 

10. Names!
We are stuck for names this time around! in all three of our pregnancies, we have decided to keep all as a surprise, as to then reveal that our little ones have quite unusual names. so trying to think of something on that scale once again is proving tricky at the minute. Nothing has stuck out to us yet, we have little ideas but nothing that our hearts are singing to. When expecting our first baby, we have a definite girls name, and then iffy boys names, turns out we had our little girl and decided on an unusual way of spelling it too which mean a lot to us. With our second, the baby was originally going to be a something completely different if a girl, but I found a beautiful name a matter of weeks before the baby was due and when giving birth to her, she just didn't look like the original name at all, She was instantly like the name I had found in a book. With our third, we had this time right from the beginning for a boy or girl, everyone looked a bit bizarre once we announced but we think its a super cool name either way! We always go for names with meanings too, and if you look these up, you'll see a method to how we chose them, special meanings to us and to them as well.
How did you find it during your pregnancies? what worries did you face? 

You can read more about my pregnancy update here.

This post will also appear in the next edition of 'Oh Lilla' Magazine :)

Let's Talk Mommy
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Monday, 23 November 2015

20 weeks pregnant in our fourth pregnancy

The past few weeks I have felt like time is flying, almost to the point that i had wondered if I was 19 or 20 weeks, It seems to be going so fast but also seems like it has taken us a while to get here, to the point of not feeling so un well, the days when I wake up with actual energy even if it is small amounts sometimes. I've had so many days when I've been an emotional wreck, my hormones have taken over and I feel like a completely different person. Tiredness has been a huge factor recently especially as two of our little ones had been having very up & down sleep patterns, including not wanting to go to bed nicely like usual, waking up in the night, and then waking up for the day at 4am, with the other one waking consistently at 5am. it made everyone anxious, tired and moody. and in my case, pregnant moody - never a good result. cue tears flowing at anything, moodiness then feeling extremely guilty for it. So where time has been very limited, I have also been annoyed at myself because I've been slacking on my tummy exercises for my diastasis recti, which I know isn't going to help me now or in the long run. So I will try again, squeezing as much as I can in between sorting the littles out and once again reminding myself that my needs matter too. That being said, once they go to sleep (thankfully the past 3 nights have been brilliant and back to normal) I literally just want to curl up under my blanket and relax. This weather makes for hibernation though! But, I will make more efforts with the time I have.

A lovely thing that has happened recently is that we bought something for the baby, I know we've basically got everything having had both genders, but it's a tradition of ours to buy something neutral new and fresh which symbolises new beginnings with someone completely unique to us once again. we also came across a pair of new hand-knitted booties that have never been used by our three which will go nicely too.

In the next few weeks I have a consultant appointment coming up, this is where we can talk more about how I was feeling so poorly and weak in the first three months (advised to do this by my midwife just to make sure i'll be okay and well looked after) They will also just rule out anything as I had a post partum hemorrhage after Yve's was an hour or so old but the other two were fine. I think everything will be fine, and i'm hoping to be referred back to just midwifery led care as I want to give birth where I feel comfortable. and that is either on a lovely unit where i've birthed before or maybe even at home.

Symptoms I've had recently are the mentioned:
- fluctuating hormones.
- tiredness (whats new?)
-Back ache (due to no core strength)
- Now struggling to bend to reach my shoes!
- bleeding gums (It's bizarre, but i've had this in all four pregnancies - not nice, dentist appointment is very soon thankfully.)

I am in need of some maternity jeans I think. After three pregnancies and never having to use them, after doing the trusty but equally annoying hairband trick I think I may invest in some, either that, or live in leggings like usual! On a serious note though, I would like some even though the likelihood is that this is our last pregnancy, I may as well do it in more comfort! and I bet they come in handy for post-pregnancy tummy's too, I also really want to keep trying new styles and adapt it to my pregnancy shape, where I am always so busy doing the school run, its always quite rushed, but I like to try out new pops of colour, and I want to try more 'no jeans, or leggings looks', maybe some long midi dresses, long sleeves and tights - see i'm going for comfort again there? ;) I may do a little post about some outfits, not that i'm a fashionista by any means but hey.

In regards to baby, movements had been quite slow a few weeks ago, leaving me filled with worry, but after having the scan on Saturday, it was reassuring to see that baby is still okay, and the movements have definitely become more frequent again now so thats lovely to feel. I'll be posting about our scan in the coming days, with a few bits of news and the experience of our time there.

So for now, here is my 20 week bump pic:
And here are my bump pics in order of weeks just to see if theres any changes over the coming weeks!


Wednesday, 18 November 2015

The 50 States, Wide Eyed Editions book review.

A few weeks ago, I noticed a parcel come to my door that I wasn't expecting. Little did I know that I had been one of a few bloggers that had been selected to review a wonderful new book 'The 50 States' released from Wide eyed editions.

My first impressions was how well made the book is, hardback, very vibrant, wonderful big size easy for more than one person to browse with, quirky and fun. I've only ever visited Florida when I was younger but would love to see more of the US after seeing my Dad visit so many amazing places there too. Along with my little girls enjoying looking through the book, checking out different flags and places, learning new names - my Dad has borrowed the book to read too! He said it looked like a wonderful publication with lots of useful info in small doses to gain knowledge of the USA through cool infographics and state trivia also leaving him thinking where he may fancy visiting next!

My five year old is only starting to read and my three year old is learning too, but despite the lack of an older age, she really enjoyed checking out the different pages, pointing and asking more and more about little places and pictures. I showed her where Mummy had visited before, where Grampy had been before to which she found lovely to hear. I will definitely be keeping this book where hand can reach, for when the time comes that they want to learn more, and will hopefully one day get to visit. I'm sure it will come in super handy as education progresses and minds become more curious about the world around them. This book would also be fab for someone who is from the US too, or who is traveling, or hoping to live there one day. Filled with so many facts, and places to see it would be an instant hit with many. 

It has a RRP of £20, which I think its absolutely fair due to the sheer quality, great design and wonderful facts throughout. 
*We were very kindly sent this book in return for a review, All views and opinions are honest and my own.


Tuesday, 17 November 2015

A white hot chocolate date with my girls

Yesterday morning, we had such a busy one. It started off with going to choose new blackout blinds and curtain poles ready to kick start more internal decorations as we've finally been told it's the end of our external works that seemed to have taken a life's time to finish. If you've read some previous posts, you'll have seen that it's been a bit strenuous and relentless having constant works going on that basically dictate your days. 

Anyway, after the choosing of those, were planned on getting our new bathroom tiles but house shopping with three kids doesn't always go smoothly so we then decided to get some lunch instead, not necessarily the healthy kind - I really fancied some Macdonalds fries! Then Mr T dropped us girls into town. They both insisted that they wanted to take 'an open-top bus' home, as the rain hadn't stopped all day I compromised with a normal double decker bus ride home once we were finished! 

Once in town, busy as ever on a Saturday morning, we looked around the shops together, dodging the rainfall and giggling along the way. We did need to pick up a few things but time was short as Mr T needed us back by 1pm as he plays football on Saturday afternoons. I wanted to get Yves some new boots as well but after trying on a few pairs we didn't find any that she liked 100%. With a time check, and remembering our promise, we then headed to Costa for our 'white hot chocolates', with a choice of cake each. Yves opted for a reindeer biscuit lolly where as Halle went for the mini cherry bakewells - as I predicted. Anything with those glacier cherries on the top is a winner for our little H. The barista gave the girls their drinks at the same price as normal babycchinos instead of the full adult price of a festive drink so that was nice, and with lashings of cream and the cherry sauce of course in lovely little snowman cups much to the girls delight! I love little dates with my girls, we've not done it enough really, we've had one solo one each but this was our first date as 'us girls' and it was lovely, even though a little rushed - having time to talk, watch and take them and their little quirks in is something I am grateful for. I hope they g row up knowing how much I love them and how much I was our closeness to blossom, I can imagine doing these things with them when they're growing older, something I never got to do with my Mum, but did with my dad. We're best friends now and if I could make a wish, it would be that my little children and I will be best friends forever and love will always be there. We enjoyed the bus ride home, them more so than me as I really just wanted to fall asleep and get home! But it was so cute listening to them describing how they liked it, people watching, us three snuggled on one double seat. The rain didn't dampen spirits as they were full of giggles and smiles, we then ran down the road to our house in the pouring rain, clutching hands and ready to relax for the afternoon. (our first bus ride living here and thankfully the bus stop is two minutes away!)

All morning I had been a little on edge taking them out after hearing the news around the world. The same with how I feel anytime I hear anything like it, I just find it hard to comprehend how people can be so cruel, why they want to commit so many awful things to innocent people. Those poor people having to face fear head on and not know if they would ever get to see their loved ones again has got to be the worst feeling. I had to turn the news over, it just upsets me so much that these type of situations are going on everywhere, it really makes you question where is safe in the world? The most frightening thought is that this ever changing world is our children's future. I mean, anything is uncertain - that's life. But to have the adult knowledge of what's going on when your little ones are completely none the wiser is a scary awakening for when they do learn about the bad things life can show. I've also been really anxious as my Dad flies out on holiday on Wednesday, and with all the other news it just makes me scared if something will happen. He always says though that life doesn't stop for anyone, it will continue and so must we, fight through it all and overcome. Fear shouldn't be the way of living, feeling inferior by other people's crazy actions. 

Life is for living, enjoying, with those you love, I want my children to grow up knowing that love will conquer all, be kind but also be twice as strong. Know their worth and know that they deserve happiness.

So on that note, a simple hot chocolate date with my girls no matter how on edge I felt at times, was something we will make a regular thing. Time with them to continue getting to know their ever changing personalities, experiences in school and nursery and laughing, cuddling until our hearts are full. 

Besides, they've already made a note of all the different types of hot chocolates they want to try this festive season anyway! I wanted to take my 'big cam' along instead of using my phone but sometimes you just need to enjoy the moment without carrying around a chunky piece of equipment (my 35mm lens is heavy!) 


Tuesday, 10 November 2015

A family trip to Cogges Manor Farm

Back at the end of September our family was in much need of some 'quality time' together as the past few months had been very hectic around here. What with lots of house renovations going on, finding out our exciting news, and with that myself feeling extremely poorly for those first three months. Plus the whole starting school for our Yves, more nursery days for our Hal and just a lot of change in such a small time scale really, we've still not 100% settled since moving to our new house in April as ridiculous as it sounds but where the place needed and still does need so much work, it's been a test in the waters that's for sure. 

So when some days give you a little refresh, it sometimes calls for time to switch off and just focus on a day dedicated to the ones you love most. As much as we long to live down by the seaside one day, we are fortunate to have such great places to visit near where we live. We decided to go to Cogges Manor Farm, it's always such a nice day out its not massive but it's just enough when you want to take your little ones to see some animals to feed or have a run around. They had so much fun, and even enjoyed the lunch we shared together, They especially loved the wooden play area where there is a huge zip wire that the girls built up the courage to go on this time which was lovely to watch. Then there was Phoenix chattering away to the chickens and the girls telling us how much the pigs stank like poo and that they didn't want to feed them anymore because they stank 'too rotten'. 

All fun & giggles in our little ordinary day out. watching as my little chap walks hand in hand with his Daddy who he idolises, the girls making cunning plans with one another and encouraging each other to explore their surroundings and to hold the guinea pigs. The fact I felt so awful as being secretly pregnant at the time but wanted to make the best of our special day. Days like these when nothing else matters except having your true loves around you.

Heres some photos from our time at Cogges Farm, and a little film too.
Having a natter with the older ladies.
Jump for joy!
Wheres Wally
We woke Phoenix up from his nap as we knew he would've been sad to have missed it! 
My biggest girl looking so grown up.
My affectionate little Halle.
A just woken up daze
Finding apples in the orchard.
Delicious hot chocolates.
I'm a sucker for homemade soups, we shared these along with a yummy selection of sandwiches all with freshly made bread.
Down to the guinea pig hut, this little face just shows the joy about being there!
Which way now?
Still feeling rather rough but nothing would stop be enjoying a go on the slide with this little chap.

Our crazy three, I love this photo. 

Heres a little film I made:

*I have not been paid to mention Cogges Farm, I just wanted to document our little day as we love little trips to places like this. 

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Hello second trimester!

Today marks my 18th week of pregnancy number four!

 To say the last three months have been hard is an understatement. If you read my last pregnancy related post you'll have seen how really rough it's been in this pregnancy, most definitely being the toughest by far - symptom wise. I think what added to it is that when you have more than one child, especially close in age (ours will all be aged 5 and under by the time baby number four is born in April) - time for rest doesn't come as easy as when you were expecting your first, or even your second baby when you can nap when your toddler does. This time around I've felt so awful with some new symptoms added into the mix which basically felt like it was spinning out of control for the first three months, i'm definitely feeling lots better now which is a huge relief, my results have come back good but they want to keep a close eye on me for the next few months in particular.

I had my 16 week midwife check up this week, this was a late appointment considering i was then 17 and a half weeks pregnant due to no free spaces, and then we were away on holiday in Devon last week for Y-M's fifth birthday. It was lovely finally having my appointment in more ways than one, as the midwife was one I used to work with in the NHS, and she's also seen me through each of my previous pregnancies so talking with her puts me at ease as she knows my history with it all. Another reason why it was such a relief more so than usual is that the babies movements had gone very quiet the past week, if any at all some days and where i've had another round of major headaches it did make me worry that something wasn't right. In my previous pregnancies, I felt the babies earlier on each time and I started feeling this little one move around 14 weeks. So for it to slow down so much made me anxious. I was just itching to hear our little baby's heartbeat and to know he/or she is well and healthy. It took a while to find the heartbeat as it kept wriggling so much in there but a strong beat was found, A huge sigh of relief from me thats for sure. She also mentioned that my placenta was posterior so the more favourable position. I remember that my girls were anterior high and Phoenix was posterior high so maybe why I felt the movements earlier this time but I just think where there is so much free movement with my diastasis recti - it can basically hide very well and make me worry! My BP was good in this check up considering I usually suffer with very low levels in pregnancy along with anaemia, but its all looking good so far!

We recently had our letter from the hospital with our baby's downs screening result with it thankfully being in the lowest risk category so another huge relief! With the girls I never had this test as we wanted to leave things to fate, where as with Phoenix and this little one we decided to as its something I think we needed to have clarified where we already had such huge responsibilities and would've wanted the preparation if the result wasn't as good.

I attended my first physiotherapy appointment in this pregnancy last week which went okay, I've been given a tubi-grip for minimal use and will be assessed every month as I get bigger and will eventually be given a pelvic girdle to help support my bump if necessary. We went through lots of exercises, advice and made a plan for my next session. I will be getting back into my exercises for my tummy now I know the coast is clear and it wont effect the baby in a negative way, or me. I am still following my dvd, but the main thing is stretching, posture and making sure I am activating my pelvic floor and transverse abdominals regularly to build up my strength. I found swimming was soothing for my bump in my last pregnancy too and is a nice way to work out even if its a casual swim with my family so i'll be doing that too. Anything to hopefully prevent getting PGP again like the late stages in my last pregnancy.

Here's my 18 week bump photo.
I am hoping to do regular updates, I may combine my weekly into a monthly batch post or something as time is limited already without the added pressure of writing every detail here, along with my personal diary at home. So i'll pull extracts from that and share with you in some format here. I really had my heart set on sharing some Vlogging for the first time here so hopefully within a few weeks I will once i've built up the confidence to share myself talking on camera. I love documenting my pregnancies through words, photos and film and want to remember this one as much as the last three if not more as this is 99% our last. So i'll continue to document and share snippets here (but hopefully my vlogs too!)

Incase you missed my first uploaded to social media bump photo, this was my 16 week bump! I feel like my bump is changing shape everyday and is so pokey out. Maybe due to having big babies before and big frontal bumps!

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