Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Its almost the day!


W're nearly there. It's all planned, booked, meticulously arranged, we've had some brilliant donations of help, and all 12 months are sponsored now.

I am nervously excited about it, thought I know it will go well, since I have had already had my pictures taken.

All my best laid plans have gone belly up tho...I havent had my nails done, nor my eyebrows waxed, I have PMT-spotty skin and my hair desperately needs cutting!!

BUT I am hoping Holly is a pro with photoshop!! And if nothing else, my disorganisation and crap-ness will make veryone else look even more AMAZING!

Wish us all luck!!!

Monday, 29 August 2011

Back to reality!

Contrary to popular belief, there are other things going on here, other than the SDR stuff! It half only almost taken over my life. But I have started a Blog for Will to try and keep the two things separate.

So, aside of SDR...whats going on? Well, I have somehow, sort of managed to get on top of the housework. Just about. I found loads of stuff I'd forgotten I had! I love it when that happens, though it is irritating, as I always think, I'd forgotten about that, stuff it, it can go in the bin/charity bag/etc but I cant bear to part with whatever it is. I am a hoarder!

Also, Will starts back at school next week. He is going to be in the Reception class! and going full-time! I am gutted. Totally gutted.

I am definitely one of those mums who lives for the holidays. I cant wait for October half-term already!

Last week we went shopping for his shoes. What a faff it is trying to find shoes to go over splints! Nightmare. If you think Clarks is crap for choice....Try shopping with Will. Eventually we found some that he was happy with though. Better still, when we got to the till, they were half price. Bargain!

Here he is, showing them off...

We're done now, that's everything bought, I just have to put labels on everything, and then off I go, next Tuesday, to drop my little man off for his 1st full day. I suspect there will be lots of tears!

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Just as I get into bed,....

Gahhh. This whole fundraising thing is driving me mad. I sit here staring at the laptop screen all evening, brain gone to mush, unable to make an plans or think up new ideas for Will's fundraising.

But then...BAM, I get into bed and 83261723601293801239 ideas whizz through my head!

I really ought to take a pen and paper to bed with me!!

So far on our list we have got
  • Walk up Snowdon
  • Leg-wax for the guys!
  • Football match
  • Raffle night at local pub
  • Band night at local pub with a collection
  • Family Fun Day at local leisure centre
  • School non-uniform days
  • My uncle is hoping to do a sponsored Run for it too!
 We're going to get in touch with the local paper, radio stations etc too. Also set up a Just Giving page.

Its a HUGE amount of planning and I am freaking out a bit, that we won't be able to do it :/

Saturday, 27 August 2011


Silent Sunday

SDR. Again.

I have previously blogged about the possibility of Will having the SDR operation. I am finding the whole thing very emotional, this probably sounds really strange, but  I feel as though we've grieved for the fact that Will would never walk, and that was fine. But now there is a tiny glimmer of hope, and I am trying so so hard not to get too hung up on it, in case we're disappointed!

I don't want to promise will that he will walk one day, and it not happen. For him to be disappointed, or feel like he has let us down!

I'm struggling with it, just like when we got that 1st diagnosis. Its very nearly 3 years ago (1st October), and I can still remember every second of it. But at the same time, it blurs into insignificance. Will has achieved so much more than we ever thought possible.

He has proven them all wrong with so many things, and I am so proud of him. It just sort of feels like he hit a brick wall and hasn't done 'anything new' for a while. and its VERY unlikely that he will walk without an aid, if he doesn't have the operation.

I am pretty sure that we're going to go ahead with the procedure. If nothing else but to keep a hold of the mobility he has. Cerebral Palsy causes deformity. This means that any mobility he has now, as a child, will be ruined as an adult, especially with the growth spurts that come with puberty!

We have recorded the video application we need and his Physio said something yesterday when she was doing it. She told Will's dad and I that she sees will once a week at the moment as she feels his CP is responsive, and she feels like she is making a difference, where as in a year or two, it wont be like that, it wont respond so well, so she will only see him every 3 weeks instead.

This struck a cord with me. Surely if its responsive at the moment, then NOW is the time to have the operation?! Right?

I have been speaking to a lovely lady called Debbie. Her grandson Leo has had the SDR. I think its fair to say he hasn't had the easiest time, but my god has he come on! The progress he has made is amazing! I have seen the video application the made for the SDR and also videos of him walking UNAIDED afterwards and the difference is immense!

I cant express how nice it is, to finally speak to someone who has felt all the things I am feeling right now, to know that its normal and to have a rant to!

"I have sat where you are wondering if its possible to raise the money, If the operation will cause more issues than it will solve, that all the English medics cant be wrong, If you can deal with the stress of raising money or the guilt if you don't"

This puts all my rambling and muttering into one eloquent sentence. I do feel like that. But I also feel like it is worth it all.
Huge thanks to Debbie for answering some of my 93,889,638,989,347,189,303 questions, and just for making feel better!

Read more about Leo here. :) he is very cute!

Welcome to Holland..Life with a child like Will

I have read this poem so many times, and still it has the same effect. A soggy keyboard.

I wouldn't swap Will for the world. Sometimes though, its so very hard not to feel cheated, for him to not be able to do all the things he should be able to do!

I am so, so proud of everything he has achieved, and know he will grow up into a delightful man. But this is a bit of an explanation of how it feels, when your special little person has Cerebral Palsy.

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting. 

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."
"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy." But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay. 

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place. So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met. It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts. 

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned." 

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss. But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland. 

by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved

The Gallery:Animals

This week the Gallery topic is Animals. 

If I'm honest, I'm not a great animal lover. We have had hamsters, Guinea pigs, fish etc. but they all died, and no-one seemed bothered. They were not replaced.

Having worked on a farm throughout my teenage years, there are few animals that frighten me, apart from, that is, Spiders. and rats. Spiders in particular. I cant cope with any bigger than a 10pence piece. It stresses me out if there is one in the bedroom, I cant go to sleep with it there. Nor would I walk under one that's on the ceiling.

Dave isn't a fan either, so between us we squeal like school girls and argue over whose turn it is to remove the critter and put it outside. This is on Dave found when he was putting the wheelie bin out for rubbish collection. it had the longest legs I have ever seen and made me shiver at the thought of it coming in the house!


For more critter pics, follow the link to Sticky Fingers and add your own whilst you're there :D

Thursday, 25 August 2011

What happens when you leave your 4 year old alone with a camera!

I can't for Will to grow up so I can embarrass him with all the pics I have taken of him...Including one of him wearing a bra! :) 

I was preoccupied on the phone, Will had the camera, and this was the result. They made me laugh a lot, he is so funny! :)


Funky Giraffe Bibs

The lovely people at Funky Giraffe Bibs sent Amber and I some to try out. Just something else for my poor postman to have to deliver...(I have a fluffy nappy addiction!) They arrived alongside some gorgeous smellies..more about those later...

We tried them on for size..Perfect!!

Amber felt the need to share a biscuit with one....

And her new trick, holding her own cup...we're yet to master the actual drinking part tho..more spilling at the moment! :/

But...When we took off the bib, her top was perfectly dry underneath! Brilliant!

Funky Giraffe Bibs are a fab shape, they secure at the back with nickel free fastenings, there are couple of poppers to allow for growth, which is always a bonus!

Lined with Fleece, they stop the dribble getting through to the clothes, and I also found they because of the cut of the fabric, they sit quite close to the chin, without being too tight, but it means that Amber isn't getting red and rash-y from her chin and neck being wet all the time!

When we took the bib off, it was very soggy on the outside, but her clothes were fine, totally dry!

I would 100% recommend Funky Giraffe bibs, we love them!

Also in the box was some Bubble & Balm Luxury Anti-Bacterial Hand wash, and some citrus soap.

I am wary of using anything fragrance on Amber, as she has very sensitive skin. normally we bather her in just water. But I thought I'd give the soap a try. It smells amazing and feels lovely to wash with, and best of all, no dry-ness or red-ness for Amber!

The anti-bac hand wash is now in the bathroom, it even worked a treat on Dave's 'post-work' greasy hands!

I love the smell, the fact its fair trade, and that it does what its meant to! lovely product! :)

Ahhh, 1 less appointment to fit in!

Today I had to take Amber to a Consultant appointment. She has been regularly since she was born as she was early, also, she had an enlarged kidney.

Well today she was weighed, and at 29weeks and 2 days, shes is a tiny 6.3kg, 13lb15 :)

She has finally grown into her kidney (lol) and there are no further concerns, so she has been discharged with a full bill of good health.

I am so pleased. I have no concerns, other than her Uber-Sensitive skin, but we have a referral to dermatology for that already. She is doing all the age-appropriate things, and more!

Just perfect!

Best of all, its one less set of appointments I have to cram into my busy schedule...Who says its easy being a stay at home mum?? :)

Monday, 22 August 2011

Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy

I posted yesterday about the SDR operation that we are contemplating for William.

Its such a huge choice, but...
Will's dad and I have sent the online application. We talked about it for ages, a few hours and then we decided that we could sit and wait and HOPE they change the rules about the American version of the SDR being done in this country on a wider scale, or we could get our arses in gear and get ourselves to the states.

So as long as Will is accepted, we're hoping to raise the money to go mid Feb/March. We have worked out finances, and we think we need to raise £45,000/50,000. We want to have money to come home with, to make sure we can have a private physio to hammer the intense physiotherapy for Will. We already know that the NHS is crap from that POV, there just isnt the funding to get enough physio! Also, no doubt we will need more equipment that the NHS wont/cant fund or will take years to do it. In addition, another family that we have been speaking to had an extra unplanned operation, which left them with more medical bills to find the money for after they came home. We need to be prepared for that financially.

This is quite possibly the biggest decision I have ever made. I am sat here like a lemon, I feel like I should be doing something, not sure what though! :/ Its playing on my mind loads now, I am really fidget-y.
After sending the application, we got an email that said to expect a reply within the next 48 hours, with a list of information they need, MRI scan results, X-Rays, medical notes, and the like.
Once thats all been sorted, we can start fundraising. It is going to be a long, hard slog to get every penny we need together.
Watch this space and wish us luck!

Listography...A week in pictures...

This week, Kate Takes 5's listography is a lazy one. Nothing at all to do with the fact that she was hungover for the majority of the weekend. At all. :D

Here is my week...

Will and Dave panning for 'gold'

Amber stealing Daddy's coffee ice-cream :)

We bought a new Didymos wrap, and have now mastered getting Amber on my back! Happy days.

Showing off my excellent my 6mo daughter a jammy dodger...

Both of my children are TV addicts! Look at them sat in front of Horrid Henry. For the millionth time!

Now you have looked at mine, go here and add yourself to the linky :)

Sunday, 21 August 2011

How do you make a decision like this?

As I have mentioned millions of times, William has Cerebral Palsy. If you are reading this and don't know much about it, there is a tab ^^^ up there :)

Currently his treatment is basic, well for us anyways! He wears these splints he has a walking frame. Walking far isn't really an option, so he also has a chair which he push for him. He has been referred for an Active User chair, this is one where basically the wheels are further forward on the frame, and its easier for him to push himself independently. He gets tired quickly, tho I find its quicker if hes bored ;)

Alongside the splints and frame, Will also has a standing frame, which basically supports his legs and holds him in a standing position whilst his hands are free to play or do whatever. He uses this daily at school, but since its the holidays, we have it at home now.

Everyday we have to carryout 3 lots of stretching exercises, it takes about 20mins. Now that he is at school part-time, we find that we only get to do them twice a day. Hes not a great fan of doing them, but needs must! We find the more he does, the stiffer his legs get,and the stretches are meant to undo the stiffness.

Ages and ages ago, we found out about an operation called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR). We mentioned it to Wills then Orthopaedic Consultant Mr Bass, he works out of Alder Hey, but he said it wasn't an option. Fast forward a few months and Will's Orthopaedic Consultant changed over to Dr Kiely, based at Gobowen, this was because he goes to a Welsh school, has a Welsh NHS physio etc, and it meant everyone was singing off the same page.

The last appointment we had was with a registrar in place of Dr Kiely and he mentioned something about the SDR, and Will being a suitable candidate, but the chances of getting it on the NHS are slim to none in the current economic situation.

Will's dad and I have been looking into self-funding it. It is done in the states, in St. Louis Children's Hospital.

I have borrowed the below from the Scope website:

What does the surgery involve?

Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy describes a surgical procedure carried out to the lower vertebrae usually between L2 – S2 (lumbar and sacral area). The vertebrae are opened to reveal the spinal cord which contain the neurones of the central nervous system. These neurones (bundles of nerve fibres) channel messages between the brain and different areas of the body.
Electrical stimulation is used to identify and sub-divide sensory and motor nerves. This process continues until the specific nerves and nerve roots affecting the spastic muscles and which may not be “transmitting” properly are identified and cut. Due to the size of the nerves and rootlets, this is a very precise procedure and therefore the surgery can last several hours and requires a general anaesthetic.

and more importantly the risks, according to British sites are as followed, again from Scope.

Risks and possible problems

It is important to remember that this procedure is irreversible and involves major surgery so we would strongly advise parents to consider very carefully whether or not this is suitable for their child and talk to the medical professionals involved in your child’s care. Not all patients with spastic cerebral palsy will benefit from SDR and some patients will see no benefit or even deterioration in their condition following surgery.
Side-effects can include:
  • severe pain after surgery (58%)
  • unpleasant feelings in the skin (40%)
  • constipation (20%) and urine retention
  • experiencing increased spasticity during times of stress months or years after surgery (40%)
  • weakness in legs
  • dislocation of joints.
% figures based on study of 250 children who underwent SDR (2)
Discouragement in the patient, due to the long follow-on process, has also been reported.
SDR can highlight weaknesses elsewhere, for example, where muscles working alongside the spastic muscles have adapted to compensate for the increase in muscle tone.

However, St. Louis Hospital basically says it is a 100% success rate with no complications.

Now, as a mummy, how do I make that choice? I cant help but be cynical and think that the American site (st. Louis) ultimately out to make money, so are going to play the positive card. We (Will's dad and I) have both joined a Facebook group where people who have either had the procedure, or had children have the procedure post. They are all singing the praises, one woman even said she didn't look at the risks!

It is so so hard to know what to do. As it stands Will is a happy, chatty little boy who is, albeit unconventionally, mobile. If things were to go well, it could improve his life, no end! If it were to go wrong, it could substantially decrease his quality of life!

I would appreciate comments on this, positive or negative. Just to get an other peoples views please :)

Friday, 19 August 2011

Flashback Friday!

Dave and I are the subject of my Flashback Friday, it seems fitting since next weekend it will be 2 years since we met.

We met at a local pub near us, on their monthly Friday night Karaoke night.  The first time he spoke to me, I thought he was horrible! LOL!

He was with a group of our mutual friends (mostly guys) and I thought they were all rude and obnoxious idiots!

That night is a bit of a blur, there was far to much alcohol involved! But two nights later, we met again in different pub where we all were going for Bank Holiday Sunday Karaoke. I had a boyfriend at this point, but he was a bit of an arse if I'm honest. That relationship ended midway through September

Dave and I became Facebook friends, purely for me to tag him in all the attractive pictures I'd taken ;) and some nights we'd stay up really late chatting about our plans for the following weekend. We always went out in a group, never just the two of us. But some how, people knew before we did that there was some sort of spark between us. we both denied it, and carried on as we were, however, the pub, AKA the 'Rumour-mill' got behind it, and everyone was gossiping about us, and how we were apparently together. We weren't! :D

During this time, I was making plans for my 21st birthday. I was pregnant on my 18th so couldn't drink, was tired and grumpy and hated every second of my party! :( so for my 21st i was determined that I was going all out and having a fab weekend!

 I had planned it all out, my actual birthday was on the 8th October, a Thursday, so some friends and I took the kids to a soft-play. Nothing spectacular, but I did have cake! Then on the Friday night I had a house-party, Will was at his dad's for the weekends, so everyone came to mine. It went on until 6am, when we decided to calm down and make Sausage and Cheese Sarnies! :D The next night, the Saturday, we'd planned a night out to Chester. So off we went, me wearing a bright-pink, flashing sash, a balloon round my wrist and a shot glass on a string!

This picture is the 1st ever kiss between Dave and I. I don't remember it, but it apparently happened as we have photographic proof! :D

This picture here is Dave and I staggering back to get a taxi, where I left him behind and rolled home at about 5am.!

We continued to see each other regularly within a group, but then started meeting up on a Thursday night, again to go to the pub, fuelling the rumours of 'Dave and Michaela'. For some reason, we still hadn't managed to get it together. we were both protesting that we weren't interested. Then I found out that Dave had had a thing with a girl we knew and I was so upset, and cross too. I don't know why, it's not like we were in a relationship. Well i do know why, I liked him a lot, but thought I'd missed the boat now! :(

Even after all this, we still protested we weren't into each other but I think my reaction to the other girl made Dave think actually, this might not just be one sided! All through the November and December we texted constantly, and saw each other 3 or 4 nights a week. Until one night the conversation moved on to him and we managed to admit there were more feeling than just friendship. But my worry was that if things didn't work out, that I'd lose my friends ship with him, and that would have been awful!

So, STILL, nothing came of it all! Much to the frustration of everyone else!

Christmas rolls round and on 23rd December, we went to the pub again. It was packed, full of people we didn't know, which is unusual for this pub! I went to the loo, leaving my drink with Dave but when I returned, he'd left my drink on the table and gone outside to smoke. I was furious, more so than I should have been really i guess. I have had my drink spiked in the past though, and I'm very careful now.

It ruined my night and I was really upset. I stayed inside talking to some other friends whilst Dave stood outside. He text em asking me to come outside, and that he was expecting a slap. instead he got a kiss and there w go! FINALLY!!

It didn't end there tho, as we kept quiet about it until after new year! :) when finally, much to everyone relief, we went public! haha.

Things moved fast tho, and Amber was born in February of this year, 13months after we officially got together!

Writing this made me reminisce about all the fun we had, our whole group that used to go out has either fallen out, or moved on, which is sad, but some of us have had babies and some are in new relationships.

The thing I was most worried about with Dave was losing my friendship, but to the contrary, thing couldn't be better and I love him so much! :)

Bittersweet Cerebral Palsy

Amber can now sit up unaided. She is 6.5 months and has well and truly mastered it. She has now decided that she doesn't want to lie down to play!

This is a whole new experience for me. Will was almost 2 before he could sit unaided, and even then he was extremely wobbly. Amber rolls over, and has been doing since about 12weeks. Will was 13months the 1st time he did it!

Now I know you *SHOULDN'T* compare, but its so hard not to. Its natural to do it.

The past few days have been an emotional roller coaster for me, whilst I am so proud of Amber, and how shes coming on, its a bitter sweet celebration, and highlights the things Will struggled so hard to achieve!

When Will was a baby, before we knew about his CP, we used to say things like "ooh, I cant wait until he's running round." etc. But it never happened. With Amber, I want to say those things, but I daren't. I feel like a just cant jinx us. This even sounds silly to me, so I bet it sounds ridiculous to 'outsiders' but I just cant take any chances.

Part of me grieves for the milestones I didn't get to with Will, or rather, the fact that by the time he finally started to talk, it was met with relief rather than excitement.

I have thought about all of this a lot recently, and ever the optimist, tried to see the plus sides of it all. During my pregnancies, I suffered terribly with SPD,(Symphasis Pubis Dysfuntion) particularly when I was having Amber, and I couldnt carry Will, or lift him up and down the stairs. SO he had to do it himself! By the time Amber was born, he had mastered it completely! :)

I am hoping that having Amber will continue to bring Will on. and that Amber's development woon't be over-shadowed by these feelings!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

The Gallery:Black and White

This weeks gallery topic is Black & White.

I trawled through all my recent pictures for one to suit the brief, but 1 just kept sticking in my mind

This is my 20weeks scan with Amber. The scariest but loveliest experience of my life. especially after everything that happened with Will :) 

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Flintshire Mummys Calender Update..

I have mentioned before that some local Flintshire Mums and I are doing a Charity calender. We're raising money for the North Wales Chrysalis Trust. Its an amazing cause and I am really proud to be a part of it.

My friend Holly is the photographer, she's the one who did my boudoir shoot. Which BTW, Dave loved!! :)

I would love it if my blog followers could have a mooch over to our Facebook Page and Twitter and support us.

We have been very lucky in securing sponsors for our calender, but we have some openings still if you would like to contribute. We have also been grateful to receive offers of help, make-up artists, nail technicians, hairdressers. Even a free spray tan! (Well for those that want one, I wont be partaking in this bit, I quite like my pasty white-ness...)

The shoot is taking place at the most beautiful location, Soughton Hall in Sychdyn. They are kindly letting us use some bedrooms for the photo shoot.

We have been in the local paper a few times now, and Facebook support has been amazing. I am so excited about the shoot, we're having regular meetings to iron out all the details, though with the buzz of it all, it takes a while for us to get down to the productive part of the meeting!

I am very proud of all my friends and how brave they are being for this calender, I am sure it will be a huge success!

Well Done Girls!! :)

10 things you didn't know about me...

The lovely Sarah from thisisme-sarahmumof3 tagged me in this post, so here we go. I'm a pretty open person, so there probably isn't a lot you dont know about me...But I have 10 things!

#1 I really really want to be a teacher one day. Even when I was a little girl, and all my friends wanted to be a pop-star, a model or a doctor, I was always the teacher!

#2 I spent a significant amount of my childhood in and out of care. I eventually landed in a foster placement with the most wonderful lady called Sylvia. Even now, 6 years since I left, we still speak regularly and I know, whatever it is, she will always be there!

#3 I hate cats. With a passion. If I could rid the world of them all, I absolutely would. No questions asked.

#4 I had my tonsils out when I was younger, about 4 I thin. But they grew back! I didn't know this until i got horrendous tonsillitis and argued with the GP! Lol.

#5 I love getting into bed with fresh, clean, COLD sheets. I open the bedroom window every morning, even through the winter, and change the sheets as regularly as my washing basket allows! (This is usually more often that required since we part-time co-sleep and Amber insists on throwing up on my bed every morning!)

#6 I am more of a fan of Winter than Summer. I love sitting in the house when its dark and raining, laughing at feeling sorry for those stuck out in it! Also, Christmas is the best time of year!

#7 On the subject of Christmas, I have present-wrapping OCD. (This extends to birthdays too!) and all the present have to have similar paper, IE all red and green, or lilac and silver. I put ribbons and bows on everything, including the kids. They generally hate this, as they can't get them open!

#8 I don't like Mushrooms. Why would anyone want to eat them? They are slimy! Yuk!

#9 I am terrible with Money. It burns a hole in my pocket. I can't save at all! Dave goes mad, I am always buying something, especially for the kids! :)

#10 I'm a secret knitter...

So, thats my 10 things... I am now tagging


Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Confessions of a Knackered Mummy

I have been up for the majority of the night with Amber. Then just as she was contemplating sleep...cue Will, with his best 'too early in the morning screech' "Muuuummmmmyyyyy, Is it morning yet?" Gahh! Dave has never left for work so fast. Up and out the door in about 3 minutes, never even stopped for a coffee. I can't think why! :/

So, abandoned by Dave, left alone with 2 small children, and the mother of all tooth-ache, I am soldiering on through the day, praying for bedtime to arrive quickly. Normally I am a strict mummy, but today, in an act of survival, I confess the following:-

It is 12.33pm. Will is not dressed.

The breakfast dishes are still on the table. Will is having a lunchtime picnic of sandwiches, grapes and Skips. whilst sat on the sitting room floor

Whilst eating aforementioned picnic, Will is watching last years CBeebies Panto on Sky +. For the 3rd time today.
I have managed to get myself dressed. Even have a wash and clean my teeth. But I haven't brushed my hair today!

The basket of washing I brought in from the tumbler this morning is still sat on the lounge floor. Washing still crumpled.

I may well be on my 15th cup of tea. I really wish I liked coffee or red bull, I could do with the extra caffeine. Perhaps I will resort to Pro-Plus.

I have taken some mince out of the freezer, but let's be honest, we're mostly likely gonna have a takeaway!

Monday is sheets day. But it was Dave's birthday yesterday (more about that when I get a minute). Sheets day is now postponed until further notice.

I think that is enough for now. Though I suspect I will be back throughout the day to add more to my list.

Listography...Guilty Pleasures

Ohhh, so I am new to Kate takes 5's listography. But this one made me smile. I think I would be able to list more like 50, than the required 5! ;)

1) I try my best to be 'Uber-Mum'. you know, the wholesome, cooks from scratch everyday, organic produce bought from the local farm shop, brought home in a reusable bag on the handle bars of my bicycle type...BUT there are days when I just cant be bothered. (There are also days when I don't have time, but IMO, that's excusable!) And on the 'not in the mood' days...

Good old Heinz. I love spaghetti and sausages. It reminds me of being a kid!

2) Facebook, Twitter, Myspace...the whole lot! Dave is forever moaning about my online relationship! I don't know what he's talking about. I absolutely DO not take my phone to bed so I can update status'/check notifications whilst doing a night feed....


3) Kids Films...including *ahem* High School Musical

All the DVDs stacked up by the TV, are absolutely just for Will. Not me. I don't watch them when he is at his dad's. Ever. I promise. Nor am I able to recite the words, whilst dancing round the kitchen like Gabriella...

4)Haribo Super Mix.

I regularly nip to the shop for electric, or milk...and come back with Haribo super mix, large back, you know, to share around the kids. I regularly eat the whole bag before it even makes the cupboard. It has to be done in a particular order, to save the best for last! The best being the green and yellow jelly babies. YUM!

5) My kids. Well things for my kiddies.

I have a serious shopping addiction. I just cant help myself. but now I have two kids, its worse! Especially with Amber's nappies...I spout all the crap about saving money on disposables, blah blah, but probably spend twice as much on cloth nappies!! But SHHHHH! Don't tell Dave! ;)

Well, there are a few of my guilty pleasures. I could go on forever, but that defeats the point. So, if you have some to share..make your way over to Kate's page and add yourself to the list!

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

The End of an Era..

Wow, this morning I find myself packing away all Amber's baby stuff, swing, bouncy chair etc. They are being sold to my friend, who is expecting her 2nd baby this Christmas.

Amber will be our last baby. I feel really said about that, I always wanted a big family...I come from a huge, Catholic-sized family, with lots of brothers and a sister. But realistically, its not going to happen. Not with my crap body and its inability to do what women were made to do and deal with a pregnancy properly! And also, the extra stress and demands on our time with Will having Cerebral Palsy.

There are some bonuses to this tho...

I'm sat here by myself, Amber in bed having a nap, Dave in bed after his rally, Will with his dad. All I can hear is next doors lawn-mower. Peace. If we had more kids, what are th chances i'd get them to nap together??? LOL!

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Michaela, the rally widow...

Dave, my sometimes lovely other half likes rallying. You know, the stay out all night, drive stupidly fast, within the speed limit, down random little country lanes type...

Well, he often tells me he doing one on ** date, fine, I dont mind, it doesnt bother me really. Until the actual night. He left at 4.30pm today, to drive to Hereford for one. Well it is now half past 12. His car was due out at 11.50pm. He text me a fw minutes before to let me know he loves me and is starting shortly.

I am now sat on pins. I cant stay up all night, I have to get up with Amber. But I know I wont sleep properly. I cant settle knowing hes out there, in the middle of nowhere. It is worse now we have Amber, mostbly because I cant go with him and the marshalls.

Roll on 6am when I will get a text, probably along the lines of 'I'm alive, just finshed, going for breakfast now' before him and his brother start the 2 hour drive home!!

An introduction to my little people...Amber

Just like her big brother, Amber was a surprise. Sometime last June I realised my period was late. 2 little pink lines later, and here was Amber. I wish! It was slightly more complicated than that!

Unfortunately I don't do anything by halves, and my pregnancy with Amber, was somewhat eventful! She was due on 13th March.

At 16weeks I requested an Amniocentesis. This was declined by my consultant as she thought it 'was a waste of NHS funding'. Quite why she came to that conclusion I have no idea. I went above her head and the procedure was carried out at 17weeks pregnant. The plan was also to put in a cervical stitch, but this was to be done at 18weeks. When I went to the hospital for this procedure, they said it couldn't be done as I had an infection and cervix was dilating already.

Basically we were told I had to cross my legs and get to 24weeks, or else they wouldn't help our baby! :'( The following 6 weeks were potentially the most emotionally draining 6weeks of my life.

The amnio results were clear, and confirmed that we were expecting a girl.

I continued to attended weekly monitoring, swabs and white blood counts to check on the infection. I rattled along with the amount of anti-biotics I was taking! Nothing seemed to clear it, or if it did, it came back with a vengeance!

Finally, we got to 24 weeks. and we all started to breathe again. But now Amber's kidney was starting to look too big on the scans. So I was back and forth having more scans on that, more monitoring and more infection screening!

With Will, I started having contractions at 28+6. with Amber 28+6 took me to Christmas day! I walked round with my legs crossed for a few days before! After the 25th, I breathed a sigh of relief. I had already got further than I had with Will!

Unfortunately our luck didn't last forever. On the 6th January (30+4) I woke up feeling a bit odd. I had routine ante-natal appointment anyways, which i attended. Whilst I was there, I asked for more steroids. I had to argue it, but eventually they agreed.

Fast forward to 8pm that night, (I had gone back to bed when Will went to his dads that night) I woke up to a huge pain across my tummy, and within an hour was contracting 12mins apart. Dave took me to hospital at 10pm and they confirmed, that I was having proper contractions. They gave me nifedipine to slow the contractions so that they could get another dose of steroids. and a shot of pethidine to ease the pain and hopefully for me to get some sleep as I was shattered. The hospital I was booked into (Wrexham Maelor Hospital) had no space in SCBU, so I was transferred out to Glan Clywd Hospital. The contractions petered out the next day after lots of nifedipine and pethidine and eventually I was transferred back to WMH.

To cut a VERY long story short, the contractions stopped and started for a few days, and I was transferred back and forth between WMH and GCH. Until both of those were full and I ended up at Arrowe Park Hospital. On January 11th, at 31+2, my waters went. I was kept in until the Friday and then sent home with a view to taking me in at 34 weeks for a cesarean.

I was in and out of hospital for the next 3 weeks, and inbetween I had weekly monitoring, and scans to check fluid levels. I was booked in for my CS on February 1st, at WMH. But when I went for me pre-op on the Monday, the bloody SCBU was full again!! So AGAIN, we were transferred to APH!

Amber Dawn finally arrived at 12.40pm on 1st February, weighing in at a tiny 4lb 15. With her being born at 34 weeks, there was some concern about her breathing etc, but she came out and screamed the place down! :) Dave got a cuddle whilst I was stitched up again. He even shed a tear, I cried my eyes out! :)

The CS went well, but my blood pressure was very low so the next bit is a bit blurry. I was taken into recovery, where I had a cuddle with Amber, but she was getting cold and wasn't able to regulate her temperature, so they decided to take her to SCBU for a check up. I wasn't really with it, so don't think I was aware of the severity of the situation.

Amber was taken in to Neo-natal Intensive care as she was struggling with her breathing. She was put on CPAP to help her with this. and sadly, we were unable to cuddle her, or get her out of the incubator. This was so hard. Dave's mum came to the hospital and I took her down to meet Amber, but it could have been anyone's baby, I felt detached from the whole situation. I was desperately wanting to breastfeed, but Amber wasn't strong enough. I was encouraged to pump my milk, which I did, and on day 3, my milk came in. I have never felt pain like it! It wasn't like that with Will!

I was discharged forom the maternity ward on the Friday, and stayed in the Ronald McDonald house which was amazing!

Things seemed to get worse for a while, I was so worried about her, she was so, so tiny and the effort of breathing tired her out so much. She didnt like being touched or mithered. It was awful.

But things eventually started to improve. She was born on the Tuesday, and on the Friday Amber and I had our 1st cuddle! It was lovely! By Saturday, she was off the CPAP, and just in an incubator with oxygen piped in. On the Sunday she was transferred into HDU, where, on day 5, she had her first breastfeed. It was amazing. I was on a high for days after. She continued to be fed via tube for the majority of the time, but this was decreased and she started to feed from me more and more.

Monday and a shif into the nursery.They decided she was able to just go into a hot-cot, but as she still needed some oxygen, they put in nasal canulas. I was horrified, felt like we were going backwards! The nurses reassurred me tho, that it was in her interest to have the help from the canulas, and be feeding from me all the time, and then be weaned off the oxygen.

I found it very very hard to be a mum of two at first. especially given the complications. I needed to be with Amber, but Will needed me too! I couldnt be in two places at once, and I didnt get to see a great deal of Will, as the hospital was 22miles from home and he was in nursery, so it meant a long day for him! He wasnt particularly bothered about the arrival of his new sister, as it was all a bit scary and we hadnt told him too mkuch. but when she was a week old, he came in to meet her. But Dave said 'oh, she looks a bit yellow today' and then he was worried about holding her, 'incase I get yellow too' LOL! He came again a few days later and had his 1st cuddle. it was a very emotional day for me, having both my babies in the same place at the same time and being able to cuddle them both was lovely.

It took 8days to wean Amber off the nasal canulas, but finally we came home from hospital on 15th February, with Amber weighing in a 5lb exactly.

She continued to gain weight and grow brilliantly, shes 6 and a half months now, and weighs about 13lb. We are so proud of her, shes doing fab. We were warned that there may be some developmental delay with her being premature, but shes doing everything she should be. Into everything, rolling everywhere, sitting up, eating anything you give her. She is a superstar!

We are still breastfeeding and I feel it is a huge acheivement given her being born so early, we are up for peer supporter training too, it is somehting I feel passionately about, and so does Amber! :) Hopefully we will continue feeding for a long time yet!

I think Amber will be our last baby. There are too many complications in my pregnancies and I dont think I could cope, physically or emotionally with another one. Dave couldnt afford to keep us either ;) haha. So I am going to enjoy every second of Amber being a baby. After all, I've blinked and Will is 4, they don't stay babys long at all! :(