I’m having a…

GIRL! It was quite a shock, I was expecting another boy, but there was definitely no boy parts. Although she did have her legs crossed for a good while.

Here she is

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And this was our announcement yesterday.

announcementI am still in disbelief I think. I keep referring to her as him and my husband corrects me. Even since before I knew I was pregnant, my Benedict was talking about “baby sister” and he hasn’t stopped since. He knew this was a little girl.

Pregnancy wise it’s definitely not going to be an easy one (not that it ever is for me). My SPD is awful at the moment and I have very limited mobility. Today, I made the effort to go out the local home education group, it was the first time we’d been. There was no one there, I ended up walking across a field twice trying to figure out what was going on. Turns out they had the time wrong on their facebook page, sigh. We went home as it would have been too late for my husband ,who needed to go back to work. But by the time I got out the car and had to climb the stairs to my front door…well I couldn’t, and husband had to try to help by half lifting me. The pain is excruciating – and I’m only 17 weeks. I’m seeing an osteopath tomorrow, and hoping for some relief.

And of course, my gestational diabetes is in full swing and I’m trying to take it easy with walking around anyway with my cervix, but I have a toddler and it’s much harder than last time.

But it’s my autoimmune causing the worst issues. I’ve been pretty unwell throughout this pregnancy and developed Raynauds, but my rheumatologist (before dismissing me as ‘post viral’) ran some final blood tests when I was 14 weeks pregnant. Several antibodies came back positive, obviously my ANA is still high at 1:1280, but it has been for years, but also my anti ro and anti la antibodies came back positive, these antibodies show up in lupus and sjorens and in pregnancy they are a risk for causing neonatal lupus and complete heart block. Also I got a positive p-anca. The heart block is definitely worrying, it’s only a small risk – 2 to 5%, but it’s not a good one if it happens. I’m still waiting on discussing it all with my doctor and talking about monitoring the baby’s heart. It should be monitored by ultrasound weekly from 16 weeks, and if heart block is found then I need steroids throughout my pregnancy to try and reduce the severity. But should be is not the same as will be. My local healthcare is not well known for being proactive.

I knew my pregnancy wouldn’t be easy, but this confirms what I’d already thought – this is my last baby. Let’s hope we can get her to a good gestation (preferably full term) and healthy.

I’m feeling lots of little kicks, she is nowhere near as active as her brothers, even on her scans she looks calm and just chilling out, but I get some little kicks every couple of hours or so.

I love her so much already.

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Surprise!

I know it’s been a frightfully long time since I’ve written anything. Somehow time got away from me. There is one other reason of course…

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Meet “Joey” (as named by Benedict). I am 13 weeks and 4 days pregnant right now. I wasn’t actually trying to hide this, I even wrote several half blog posts but never got round to publishing them. i don’t know where the time goes these days. Hubby got a job working during the day,rather than nights, I’m working 3-4 hours a day from home and doing my degree and I never seem to stop.  And I’m adding a little person into my crazy house :D.

I am not known for my fertility, so when i was pregnant on the first month we decided to “sort of try” I was shocked, amazed and utterly in awe. I was expecting to wait at least a year. I felt the day of implantation and thought, “I wonder if that was implantation,” and decided it was impossible. At 9 days past ovulation I got a positive pregnancy test! I also had a dream about this little guy implanting on the left side of my uterus – and that is exactly where he/she is.

And even before I took a test, Benedict knew, he was chatting all month about babies. I didn’t even know why. He kept telling me about his “sister”. It would be amazing if this is his sister!

I had my cerclage on Tuesday, it went well enough but I woke up with all my muscles in my neck, jaw and stomach hurting. Very weird. I’m trying to relax as much as possible, but it is much harder this time, looking after a toddler.

I asked my doctor why my last cerclage “came undone” my previous cerclage doctor has retired, so she didn’t really know. She did seem surprised though, and discussed the likelihood of my irritable uterus being the cause, and if I do get contractions I need to get my cervix scanned to check for funneling and dilation as then I really DO need to stop.

Benedict is a whirlwind of excitement, learning and joy. So much energy and love. Today, he said to me “me make mama happy again” because I’d not been playing as much since surgery. Poor little guy. I can have entire conversations with him now, full sentences about all manner of things. He also tells people “me miss you” when he sees them. I love him so much.

He even talks about Gideon. He wanted to bring food to Gideon’s grave one visit, I had to explain that Gideon doesn’t need food, but it was very kind to offer.

And he is so excited about Joey. He asks all the time to see baby, or to play with baby, or hug baby. He is really sweet, of course he has his tantrums and we had to move him to his toddler bed as I can no longer lift him, so he does often get up in the night and wake me. But he is such a bundle of fun.

Well, hopefully I’ll update more soon. My gender scan is around in around 3 weeks.

18 months

My tiny little boy turned 18 months yesterday! What? How is this possible? Very odd. I’ve been so busy that I barely noticed it happening.

We went on holiday last week to Hay on Wye. Just for the week in a rented cottage. But we had a lovely time. Benedict was happy because he had his nana with him all day every day. This boy does loves his nana!

Also the house overlooked farm land. And every morning we saw a friendly cockerel outside the kitchen window, which was pretty much the most exciting thing in the world to Benedict. There was also sheep. He spent most of the days baaing and cock-a-doodle dooing.

He had a great time exploring, running around, and the house had a lovely garden – which we don’t have, and he spent every possible moment there.

Here are some pics

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he loves to carry the umbrella. That was at Llanthony Priory. It was just breathtaking.

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and he met dinosaurs

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and here’s a picture of him the other day, sitting on his new scuttle bug

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of course, being Benedict, he doesn’t just sit on scuttle bug

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haha! He’s so adventurous. And always friendly

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he can be a little grumpy determined. Especially if he doesn’t get enough sleep, or he gets up too early. Or he’s teething of course. He has acquired about 6 teeth in the last 6 weeks, so the poor boy has hardly been happy.

Anyway, I’ve weaned him down to only 3 feeds a day, and research suggests that hydroxy is actually safe for nursing, especially as he hardly feeds much now, so I’ll start it when I see my doc next month and wean Benedict with no huge rush.

I must go to bed. It’s 11pm, and I’m sure Benedict will have me up at 6am tomorrow.

 

Visited His Grave

I still need to make a video for Gideon’s third birthday, as always, but I can’t find a song that speaks to me. Maybe I need to listen to the radio more to find that song. But I don’t know. Usually, I just hear something, and I know it’s right.

I had a nice Easter, of course Benedict was ill with something, he had a high fever and a nice rash all over his body. With scarlet fever going round we were worried, but the doctor decided it was likely viral and it went away pretty fast.

I tried not to eat too many Easter eggs, for waistline reasons. And Benedict enjoyed helping me out I’m sure.

Easter is always bitter sweet for me, it was Easter time that we lost Gideon of course. We had to delay the funeral as it was Holy Week. When I think back, I remember very little of the week or so leading up to the funeral, or even the funeral itself, I navigated it in a sort of trance like dream. But I know it was tomorrow, the 26th.

I remember trying to choose flowers. Asking if they could make anything small enough to fit on a tiny white coffin. Things like that stick in your mind. I remember visiting him for the last time in the funeral home. And he looked so small, but so peaceful. I remember thinking I wanted to pick him up and run away with him. As absurd as that sounds. I just couldn’t imagine never seeing him again.

And I never imagined making it here. Three years down the line. Somehow, still going. Despite the pain. And, yes, chasing around a different little boy, a laughing, funny little boy. It was the dream. I got the dream because of Gideon, but I never got to have it with Gideon.

We finally got the chance to go and visit his grave, this year everything has seemed to go wrong, there has been so much stuff happening, so it’s been impossible to go visit. Once I arrived I felt so guilty we hadn’t visited sooner. His grave was beautiful of course – we had planted flowers, and they were in bloom, but still, I felt we should go more often. A couple of things were missing from the grave, I’m hoping just from the bad weather…

Benedict helped by handing us flowers and walking around holding the gardening fork, looking purposeful. He also took a flower, and walked with determination over to another grave. The grave of a little boy who died aged just 6. He just toddled over and smiled, and then put the flower on the boy’s grave. You could hear him muttering to himself, about dis and dat.

It was very sweet to watch him, I don’t know why he chose that grave, he just did. And we left the flower there of course. He seemed so determined about it, I couldn’t take it away.

You can see how Gideon’s grave is a little wild, but that’s because we planted so many flowers there. I might need to trim them back a bit so they don’t overwhelm the little stone.

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Benedict likes the cemetery, he waves at things we can’t see. And because we talk about Gideon a lot, he likes the association that these flowers are for Gideon.

Anyway, it’s late again, and I must go to bed.

Frogs

We took Benedict on his first visit to the library to get him a library card. He of course charmed everyone while he was there. Apart from a man with a beard. He doesn’t like bearded men for some reason. He got very upset and the man tried to hide his beard under a bag, it didn’t fool him for a minute.

He explored the books, walked around and generally enjoyed himself. he’s actually really doing well walking now. I’d say around 70% of the time, if there is somewhere to go he will walk instead of crawl, and although he falls down a lot, he is happy to get back up again.

Not the best picture in the world I know. But he likes to move around a lot.

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We picked up a nice stack of books

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I want to take a photo a day, so this is today’s photo, on New Years day I came out my house and saw a beautiful rainbow. A beautiful sign from my little Gideon I think.

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And yesterday, I couldn’t think of anything to take a photo of. So I present you with…frogs. Frogs on my bath. What better symbolises a house with kids, than frogs on the side of a bath? Last year all I had was shampoo and conditioner…maybe a sponge or two, but now I have frogs. I love it 🙂

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The Minki Bee

So I’ve been very busy, working on something new and great. My mother and I have started a custom cloth nappy business – The Minki  Bee. (Yes I’m advertising! Go like us before finishing reading this blog post) Of course, she’s doing the sewing for now, I plan on learning soon in order to ensure we can keep up with orders. There has been a brilliant initial rush, which we are still working on, after that I hope we can continue to get orders through. We deliver internationally too and let’s be honest. How cute is this?

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OK, I admit, I’m a whovian 😉 If you are not a whovian, how about this?

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Benedict can now say Dada, Mama, Yaya, Gaga, goo, gee and ning. Ning seems to mean he’s tired and goo and gee seem to refer to my boobies, althgough I’m not sure which is which!

Here is his 6 month picture, with current stats ( It’s silly because I haven’t done one in ages, but here it is.

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Now he is currently sleeping in his cot. Well not currently, but he has been transferred to cotland from his moses basket his month. He really doesn’t do naps, it’s my biggest battle. I wouldn’t mind if he didn’t NEED them with a BIG NEED. He is SO cranky without them. He will literally scream all day if he doesn’t nap. It is THAT bad. But getting him to nap is impossible, some days he will only fight me for about 40 minutes of screaming and then eventually sleep for 1.5-2 hours, the rest of the time he just screams for an hour until I give in and take him downstairs.  Incidentally I’m not just letting him scream, I’m right outside, coming in to hug him when he gets upset. But I’ve tried ALL the methods, nothing works. He hates napping. But oh he is such a happier baby when he does. Happier as in completley different – cheerful, relaxed, smiley. Right now I’m writing this as he tries to nap. By tries to nap I mean rolling around his cot.

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Rolling around is his new favourite thing. He likes to roll everywhere, he sees, he rolls, he gets into all sorts of mischief. He rolls to plugs and pulls out laptop cables, he tries to eat cables, he licks shoes, he tries to eat nappies (not clean ones) and soon I just know he’ll be crawling because he’s up on all fours rocking whenever he gets the chance.

Motherhood is such a strange thing. I never imagined I would be where I am now. Worrying about naps and cranky babies…it seems such a “normal” part of motherhood (OK, Benedict is slightly crankier than most I understand, but still), and something I never thought I would experience. If you’d even told me when I first lost Gideon that I would be here, right now as I am, trying to make a go of a cloth nappy business with a 7 month old baby in tow, I would have either laughed or called you crazy – or both.

There’s been a lot of loss in some of the pPROM groups over the last couple of days – women who were in their “rainbow” pregnancy, losing another child. It’s so awful and not fair at all. And I think I am too scared, for many different reasons, to even have another child. I’d love to have one more, but it hasn’t been easy, infertility, pPROM, incompetent cervix, cerclages, gestational diabetes and the worst SPD ever…how could I ever do bedrest with another child? How could I even look after a child with the SPD that was SO bad last time that I literally could not physically walk, even with a cane. And most of all, how could I risk losing another child?

Obviously I’m not thinking about getting pregnant any time soon, but it comes up in conversation? How many children do you have (umm….two, please don’t ask people that question, it’s complicated to answer), how many do you want (want or are likely to have?). I know nothing is guaranteed in life, but I don’t think I would have got through the last pregnancy without bedrest, and I had an irritable uterus too. So sometimes I look at Benedict and try to remember that I might never get a chance to experience all this with another baby and I think that’s hard for me to imagine. Life passes by so fast, it’s hard to keep up. Benedict is already 7 months old, soon he’ll be crawling and then walking and then before I know it he’s going off to school (unless I homeschool which I might).

And I can’t help thinking that the further we get into the future, the more I leave behind my Gideon in my past. I’ll always feel his missing presence in our lives.The little boy who should be here, annoying his little brother no doubt and causing chaos 😉

 

Camping Fun!

Well, we are back from camping. I was terrified that Benedict would not be happy with the sudden change, and he would become very upset…and scream all day. But he seemed thrilled to be in a new place and especially happy to watch the world go by from his mat on the tent floor. He charmed every camper there, and he finally understood just how great rolling over is. He’d been able to roll both ways for weeks, but he never really did it very often. He didn’t seem to see the point, But in the tent, on his National Trust picnic blanket, he suddenly realised just how useful it is to roll around to get to everything – and he was off. Unfortunately this also meant he got into all sort of mischief and had to be watched closely, but he had a lot of fun and loved the great outdoors.

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Ignore those plugs, he was watched constantly, and when he started getting into them, we moved him away.

Yes, he is wearing cloth – we cloth nappied the entire holiday 🙂 It wasn’t as hard as you’d think, we just used disposable liners. And we tie dyed that vest he is wearing. And I managed to keep gluten free and dairy free the entire time! Now that’s hard while camping!

He was of course moody in his usual times, morning naps, evening etc. And we took him on a river cruise on the River Wye. He was very happy until they started reading their tour information really loudly on speakers and poor Benedict got very upset (he gave me the big lip). Of course it was a 40 minute boat trip and we could not get off. Instead of enjoying the lovely scenery we spent our trip trying to keep Benedict calm.

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But other than that he was fine and seemed to enjoy camping and sleeping in a tent. Even bathing outside (well under the awning)

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Plus he turned 6 months old on Tuesday! I can’t believe how fast time has gone by! In another 6 months, my little boy will be a year old!