Mammy Guilt

Mammy guilts are the worst. I take my hat off to working Mammy’s, it must be so tough to be away from your children every day. I count myself as very lucky and although I am a working mother, I only work 27 hours a week, 10 to 4 Monday to Thursday and I finish early on Friday, so I can do the school pickups. I am blessed that I can drop my kids to school every morning, enjoying a dance and a sing on the way and watch them as they run happily into school.

I put in a few tough weeks, it doesn’t happen often, but it made me think and appreciate how lucky I really am. Some nights it’s been 7pm when I was get home, dark outside and really cold and so tired after a long and stressful day. I get into my nice warm house and I am welcomed with hugs. Then its straight upstairs to get my clothes off and wash my face and I snuggle in on the couch with the boys and Sean for loads of hugs and kisses. The little time we have together on those long days before the bedtime march is precious. Then Nathans ears began to heat up and get red and Jacob starts to wilt, and you know it’s time for bed.

Sometimes we take for granted our little people and we dwell on the all the stuff they do to annoy us. I don’t know about you but there are times when I am sick of listening to my own voice. Stop doing that, get dressed, eat your dinner, stop fighting, stop killing each other and so on. I get so caught up on how busy I am, where the kids have to go today, is the house clean, how much washing I have to get done and how tired I am.

There is always someone out there worse off. I have the freedom of the evenings and the leisure of getting ready in the mornings. There are Mammy’s and Daddy’s out there who leave early in the mornings and don’t get home until their little ones are ready for bed or sometimes asleep. I don’t know how you do it. You are amazing.

I have a friend who made a choice to change career from a few hours a week to a commitment of shift work, long hours, a tasking job and all for the sake of her family, her kids and a better life. How hard it must have been to make that decision, the guilt and the torment of “Am I doing the right thing”. Well I think you are amazing and I commend you. I know its not easy being away from your kids but in order to get the things you need and want in life, sacrifices have to be made. I also think the time spent with your family is more precious and you cherish it more. Kids are so resilient, and they adjust well to change. As long as they know they are loved, that’s all that matters.

Mammy guilts are the worst, I can’t speak for Daddy’s because I am not one, but I feel the Mammy guilts all the time. After a long day or a stressful occurrence, it’s our loved ones that suffer the most. I know myself when I am stressed or upset I don’t have the same patience. Or when I am trying to concentrate on something important I am not always present. At night time in our house there are stories, songs and enough cuddles for a year. However, when it becomes late, and monkeys start messing and not getting into their beds or whinging, my patience slowly disappears. Sometimes I snap and shout to get back into bed or go to sleep and as I walk out of the room Mammy guilt sets in and I don’t want my cross voice to be the last thing they hear before going to sleep. I creep back into the room for more kisses and cuddles, a few I Love You’s and Goodnight.

Another example of Mammy guilts is on the way to school and your 5 year old gets upset about something totally irrational, like he has my bottle and I wanted that bottle…….. He starts to whimper and cry and before you know it you are at the school. You don’t want to send him into school upset so it’s cuddles behind the car door in case anyone see’s you hugging him and his street cred is ruined. You wipe his eyes and kiss him on the cheek. He wipes it off and says ughhh because you are in public. You try to say something funny to make him smile and if that doesn’t work you accidently hurt yourself off the car door. Hurting yourself usually gets a giggle. As he runs into school your heart breaks just a little because you just wish you could have cuddled him all day until he was ok again. Mammy guilts – who’s idea were these, who invented them?

Well I wish all the Mammy’s out there a Mammy guilt free day. Take a day to yourself. Kiss your children on the cheek and tell them you love them and go do something that makes you feel good. You need it to reboot the batteries and I promise the guilt will still be there when you get back. Be kind to yourself x ……………………….

To be continued

Sick of Hospitals

After my last post I was very sick for approximately three weeks. I think I may have got food poisoning and because I have IBS the symptoms were prolonged for a few weeks. I was so fed up of going to the toilet, feeling nauseous and just tired all the time. I think some of the meds may have aggravated the symptoms too. Not pleasant. It got so bad that I could barely get out of bed and on one Thursday afternoon I went to my GP. After explaining my symptoms and the pain I was physically feeling in my abdomen she sent me to A&E.

This was a very long night. My sister came over to watch the kids as Sean was working late and I headed off. The waiting room didn’t look too bad on first appearance and I thought I would be seen to quickly, but I was so wrong. I got there around 5:30 and left a 2pm none the wiser as to why I was so sick. I sat in the waiting room for most of that time while 8 people were seen ahead of me. I was starting to wilt as I hadn’t eaten of drank anything all day and I was exhausted. I think they must have forgotten about my chart because after the eight person was called ahead of me and the ninth person was told he was next I had to say something.

Speaking to the lady at reception I was starting to get upset. Soon after I was called into triage again and this time the nurse took my bloods. An hour later a doctor called me. She brought me through the dark, overcrowded hallways to find a room she could talk to me in. She asked me to describe my pains and my symptoms and she looked at my chart. I had told the nurse in triage that I suffered from IBS in the past and when the doctor looked at my file and saw this her mind was made up. She didn’t want to know anything else and just dismissed all my concerns. No tests were ordered except for my bloods and she proceeded to discharge me. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t want to stay but I didn’t make the decision to go over there lightly and I was going home in the same state I came in. She left to write me up a prescription and came back approximately an hour later to let me go and then had to send a nurse back to remove my cannula. Needless to say, I crawled into bed when I got home.

The previous day I had been to the early pregnancy unit in Portlaoise to have follicle tracking done. The first on in a long time and I was nervous. It was my left side that was active that month and there were two follicles, a 16mm and an 18mm. I was thrilled and scheduled to come back on the Friday for a repeat scan.

On Friday I was wrecked after being in the hospital all night. I got up and went into work as we were so busy I couldn’t afford to be out sick. I arranged for the boys to be picked up from School and I went straight to the hospital after work. While waiting I was excited to see how much the follicles had grown and today’s scan would give me an indication of when I need to give myself the HCG injection. I didn’t have to wait too long, and my Gynaecologist appeared to do the scan. We went into the room and had a quick chat about the last scan and the last few months.

I was lying on the bed with my legs open in a vulnerable position, watching the monitor with bated hope that I was going to get good news. This time it was going to be different. To my disappointment there was no change. The follicles had not grown in size and looked hazy on the monitor. I hadn’t ovulated. I had no mucus this month which was a clear indicator that my hormone levels were not right starting this cycle, I should have known by this indicator alone. I was heartbroken and as she continued to talk to me I felt myself disappearing into my thoughts. It was hard to concentrate. Then she asked what I wanted to do next and had I considered IVF. I couldn’t take it all in.

The lady who scanned me the last day came into the room and I just shuck my head at her. She gave me a sympathetic look and I tried to hold it together. I then thought of being so sick and could this have impacted it. They both said that it was likely, and the Doctor ordered a stool sample to be analysed for me. I left soon afterwards, trying not to engage in more serious conversations.

I didn’t get to take the HCG on my peak day or day 14 as there was no point. But three days later I started the cyclogest, femtab and the HCG trigger shots on days 3, 5 and 7 after peak. I made an appointment to get my bloods done a week later and was hoping that these results would be good.  I called on the Tuesday to get the results and I nearly fell out of the chair when the nurse gave them to me. My Oestrogen was 804 and my Progesterone was 199.5. I couldn’t believe it, my progesterone was the highest it’s ever been. I asked her to re-check the result of the progesterone as it was so high. I called the clinic in Dublin and they reduced my hormones at the beginning of the next cycle and said that it was a good month. I was glad the blood results reflected the change in the medication as it meant my body was finally reacting to them. It also meant I was starting the next cycle with good results and this would be beneficial to trying and retaining a pregnancy. December would be my month………

To be continued

Giving Back – Action for Homelessness

With Christmas just around the corner and so many without roofs over their heads I thought it would be nice to put together a few essentials for those who are homeless. I contacted PATH Portlaoise action to homelessness and they will accept anything that we can collect.

There are two ways to help. Firstly you can purchase some items from the list provided below and drop them off to the Portarlington Community Centre, there will be a large box in the foyer/reception area, which will be in place tomorrow.

Or you can donate money using the link below. I have set up a Go Fund Me page and any donations, small or large, will be used to buy supplies and donated to the amazing volunteers at PATH. The supplies will be donated on the 21st/22nd of December.

Thank you in advance for your support x

List of Essentials:
Tooth brushes
Tooth paste
Deoderants
Shampoo
Shower gels
Wipes
Small packs of tissues
Band aids
Hats, scarves, gloves
Socks and underwear
Crisps
Chocolate
Small bottles of water/juices
Sleeping bags

 

https://www.gofundme.com/actionforhomelessness

 

I would like everyone to know that I was not approached by PATH to do this collection, I just felt an urge to give back and after watching TV over the weekend, seeing people in tents or on the streets broke my heart. Whatever their circumstances, however they ended up there, they are human just like you an me and the deserve to be looked after and to be seen. Every little helps and the supplies we gather as a community will go a long way. PATH Portlaoise Action to Homelessness relys on people just like you an me to fulfill the amazing work they do. By just providing a small portion of your Christmas spend you can help someone.

Please note that any money raised on the go fund me page will be used to buy supplies with full transparency. The total raised will be supported by receipts and proof of purchases.

Feel free to share my posts and PM me.

Love Dawn xox

Christmas is Coming

Winter is well and truly here, and Christmas is coming fast. With all the excitement of the 1st of December this Friday and the Toy Show that night, we decided to take down our Christmas decorations last night. It was the only night that suited, so we embraced the excitement. Sean went into the attic and started to gather the decorations, I was at the bottom of the ladder as he passed stuff down to me and the boys ran up and down the stairs bringing everything to the sitting room. It was great fun and for the first night in ages there were smiles everywhere, and the boys were in great form.

I started by unpacking the boxes and the bags, getting all the decorations out and organised. I put up the tree and fluffed out all the branches making sure there were no gaps. I took out my lights and wrapped them around the tree. I didn’t feel I had enough, so I didn’t decorate the tree last night. I have been getting inspiration from a few of the pictures I have included below, and I hope to try recreate this feel. These photos might help give you some inspiration too.

Over the years we have picked up decorations for the house and with the help of the kids we placed these around the sitting room. We call them our Christmas family and for 4 to 5 weeks of the year they keep us company and then they are carefully packed away into the attic for the next year.

I have also gathered a few garlands and every year they end up in a different place. They have been up the banisters, wrapped in lights, along the tops of the radiator covers and over mirrors and fireplaces. This year, however, I have put them in the kitchen. It is a room in the house that seems to miss out on the Christmas spirit as there are very few places to utilise. But I found the perfect spot. We got a new kitchen put in 2 years ago and I insisted on ceiling high cabinets as the gap above the previous presses was used to store a lot of junk. There is a small gap between the pelmet and the ceiling and the garlands I picked up in the 2 Euro shop fitted perfectly in here. I can’t remember what price they were, but they are adorned with acorns and berries and festive season to a more practical room.

I have a good garland that I bought when we first moved in and a set of lights to go with it over the radiator cover in the hall. This garland used to be placed over the fire place but as this was removed it was left without a home. Trying to bring Christmas throughout the house is an expensive task, so little touches here and there helps keep me from getting carried away. I find the best time to pick up the more expensive pieces are in the sales after Christmas. Last year I was able to get some outdoor lights and some hanging decorations for the tree.

The decorations used on my tree were purchased from Home Base in Portlaoise 2 years ago. I had changed the colour scheme in the house and wanted the tree to be more pinks and silver. At the time they had some beautiful pieces in stock and they were really good value. I also picked up a small tree for the boys to decorate, which was usually placed on the landing outside their door. However, this year there is a book shelf in the way and we decided against putting it in their bedroom in case it upset their allergies. It has been carefully placed in the sitting room on a table and will draw your eye as soon as you walk in the door. This was a bargain in Home Base 2 years ago and when I pick up extra lights later today the boys can decorate it.

Taking inspiration from the first photo I purchased white fun fur from Whyte’s Fabric shop on Cutlery Lane in Newbridge. I bought enough to wrap around the tree and also create a bed of fur underneath. The woodland creatures look amazing in this picture and I am on the hunt for a few to add to my collection. The lights on the tree are the warm white LED lights from Argos. They are great value and currently on 3 for 2 mix and match.

Christmas is an amazing time of year to just appreciate what you have, spend time with your loved ones and make sure your children have a great day and understand the importance of love and kindness. This year has been extremely tough for Sean and me, emotionally and financially with all the treatments. It’s a lot of stress to put on any relationship, but things happen for a reason and we have matured and become closer and more loving and respectful. The rest is up to faith and hope. This year Sean has taken the week between Christmas and New Year’s off, the first time since Nathan was born and I am really looking forward to spending our days visiting family and friends or just sitting at home playing board games with the kids and eating our way through all the treats – yum yum!!!!

I would like to wish you and all of yours a happy, warm and safe Christmas and maybe we could all try give back to our local community or to those less fortunate than us.

To be continued

 

Our Christmas Decor

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Christmas Inspiration

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Twin Territory

Since my last post I was back up to see my consultant in Neo Fertility and I am back on hormones and medication. The meeting in Neo Fertility went really well. I was so nervous and wasn’t sure how I would take to the new consultant as I found the last one very cold and not invested, she made me feel like I was just a number and I felt rushed at every appointment. For the cost of the appointment and the importance of the information being discussed I would at the very least expected to feel heard and receive some compassion.

I met with Dr. Boyle and he went through my charting, what happened over the summer and my recent HSG scan. I explained that I came off medication for the summer as I believed my tubes were blocked and there was no point. He was very kind and understanding and full of encouragement. He asked how I was coping with the process mentally and I thought this was a nice touch. He discussed timelines to stick to the plan and went through different methods I could use to decrease or break down my adhesions and scar tissue, which might be beneficial.

Then it was down to the serious business, the medication. After reviewing my charts, he said that I wasn’t reacting to the lower dose of medication. This was not surprising to me as I felt all along that my doses needed to be increased. I only had one good month after an increase from 10 letrozole to 14. Taking this into consideration my dose was increased to 21, which was 7 tablets on days 3, 4 and 5 of my cycle. This was putting me into twin territory, a small chance but a chance all the same.

He also increased my HCG/pregnol injection on day 14 from 10,000 units to 15,000 units. My doses on days 3, 5 and 7, after my peak day, were also increased from 2,500 units to 5,000 units per day. The letrozole is to encourage the growth of a large follicle, being on this high dose may produce two large follicles, hence the chance of twins. The HCG on day 14 is to help rupture the follicle and release the egg. On peak plus 3, 5 and 7 the same injection is used to increase progesterone levels, which need to be at a certain level for the fertilised egg to attach itself to the womb and to not miscarry.

I am also taking cyclogest from peak plus 3 for 10 days and oestrogen for the same days. Throughout each cycle I have to take metformin, folate, vitamin D and also thybon. The Thybon is new and he prescribed it to me as I felt with all the exercise and trying to eat healthy I wasn’t getting anywhere. He asked if I cold all the time and if I felt hard done by with my efforts and said that my metabolism was probably very low and this would help give it a kick start. I was very excited about this, it’s so frustrating putting all the effort in and feeling like you’re not getting anywhere.

I left feeling hopeful and excited about trying for a baby again. In the past I got so worked up and consumed with the mechanical and scientific side of things I forgot about all the fun that can be had in the meantime. I was inconsolable every month when my periods came, and it took me days to recover. This time, after speaking with Dr. Boyle, I am going to use the time until we get pregnant to enjoy the baby making process and to become closer with Sean. If we take the stress out of the situation it might help our bodies relax.

I filled my prescription in the days that followed. I started on the metformin, folate, vitamin D and thybon straight away and waited for my periods to come to take the letrozole. A week into taking the meds I felt great and thought my body adjusted well. The metformin upset my tummy in the past, so I was relieved it didn’t happen this time. However, my relief was short lived and after taking the hormones my tummy turned. I don’t know if it was the hormones or a bug, but I was sick with diarrhoea for days. My mood also changed but I can’t really describe how I felt. I wasn’t bouncing around, I wasn’t sad, I wasn’t grumpy, I was just mwah!!! Like the emoji.

In the coming days I have to go for follicle tracking and this should give me an indication of how the medication is preforming. I will know after this scan how many eggs are going to rupture and what sizes they are, if there are more than one.

I mentioned in my last post about not knowing how I felt about IVF and not knowing if it was something I was willing to consider. I don’t want this statement to be taken out of context or to seem harsh in anyway. It was merely meant that I have been through nearly three years of trying, both naturally and with the aid of hormones. I am lucky to already have two beautiful boys and I am sure that if I had no children when I started this process I would have jumped at the chance, but now, having been through the mental and emotional strain of this process, I would not be in the right frame of mind to make the leap to IVF. I suffered really badly with post-natal depression, which manifested into anxiety and OCD. Not being able to control things has been a huge issue for me. Making a commitment to IVF would be a huge step with no guarantee and it’s not a decision I could make lightly.

I understand the overwhelming urge to have children, and I understand the need your body as a woman feels to carry a child and to be a mother. It is not fair when you are faced with difficulties trying to conceive, when you know that you would love that child with every ounce of your being. Just know that you are an amazing person and through whatever means you decide to try, you are doing what’s right for you. I wish you every happiness and hope that you and I will both get what we desire in the end. Keep your head up and your heart filled with love……………………….

To be continued

 

Third Time’s the Charm

So just a quick update on our infertility journey. Yesterday we attended the hospital again for a repeat HSG scan. After waiting 2 hours to see our consultant we finally got called into the X-ray room. I got up on the table and had prepared myself for the worst……………………….

The past week has been really difficult and honestly, I didn’t realise how bad I was feeling until Sunday night. I had myself convinced that we were looking down the route of IVF if we ever waited to conceive again. And I wasn’t sure that I was ready to pursue this avenue now or at all. Sunday was so hard. I was on the verge of tears all day and I was snapping at Sean because he was in work all weekend and I needed him. But instead of saying that, I gave out because he wasn’t there to help we with the boys or the house work.  I am well capable of handling all of the housework and anything those little monkeys throw at me but this weekend was an exception.

I must have got 3 or 4 hours sleep Sunday night. I watched loads of TV and played loads of games on my phone until my body gave in. Monday morning was all picture and no sound apart from the occasional rush I put on everyone to get ready in time. The boys had their school pictures and had to wear their full uniform, which didn’t go down too well. Out the door we scurried, a kiss at the school gates and we were on our way.

We checked in and I asked the girl had they got the new catheters? Of course, she didn’t know as she was only on reception. There was a lovely gentleman there that worked in X-ray and he kept us informed during our wait and later helped the consultant during the procedure. Nearly every second person that walked by knew Sean, I think working in Supervalu and being so friendly he gets to know so many people and they all said hello as they went about the hospital. Two nurses also approached us as we were waiting so long to make sure we hadn’t been overlooked.

It was a long wait and I was exhausted, nearly falling asleep on Sean’s shoulder on more than one occasion. He turned to me at one stage and mentioned that I was in much better form the last day and asked was I ok. Nope, I was not. Since the 30th of June my head has been all over the place and not to mention my heart. I just needed to know, one way or the other. Are my tubes blocked or not? I needed to move on with my life and plan for the next stage. Living in Limbo is not good for anyone’s mental health. As my youngest would say, “Mammy, you and I were not born with patience”. Well to get through the last few months you would need patience of a saint.

Sean turned to me and whispered – “It’s showtime”. She’s arrived. My belly started to flutter and my heart began to race. The lovely gentleman called us in to get ready and I climbed up onto the bed. He raised the bed up high, while the doctor busied herself getting all the instruments ready again. “Knee’s Up” she instructed and she inserted the speculum. This first part is always so uncomfortable but this time was the worst. Maybe because I was so tense but it was so painful. The catheter was inserted and the screen was pulled over my tummy. I could see what was happening on the monitor beside me. The liquid was inserted and my womb began to fill, but no spillage.

She removed the tube and inserted another, using the speculum again. This time wasn’t as bad. The liquid was inserted again and the still no spillage. Both the consultant and the gentleman attending her looked eagerly at the monitor waiting for spillage. But nothing. She mentioned that my womb was filling nicely and she was going to give it one more go. She started to insert more liquid and then the cramps started. I gasped with the pain and she cheered “Yes!!!!”, in a none sadistic way. She apologised and told me to breathe through the pain. She said it was not so good for me but she was thrilled to get a reaction. Cramps meant spillage and low and behold a tiny vein of die appeared on both sides and there was large spillage into my abdomen. I was elated and in shock. Trying to breathe through the pain as she said and also looking at the screen to be sure. The consultant told me that she had to put a lot of pressure behind the liquid to get this result and that there was probably a kink in my tubes, but this was amazing news, hope had been restored. Sean kissed me on the forehead out of relief.

The consultant helped me to a sitting position and I went to the bathroom to dress myself. While I was in there Sean asked if they could show him on the monitor what he was supposed to be looking at. Fallopian tubes are so small it’s hard to make out. The consultant said how brave I was and Sean told her of the relief I was feeling. When I came out of the bathroom she was rushing off but said that today’s result was great and to ring her secretary to make an appointment to see her in her private rooms.

The relief was unbelievable, my shoulders felt light again, the knots I have been carrying around all summer instantly disappeared and I felt like I was floating on clouds. My head was racing again but now it was full of hope. I know it’s not going to happen overnight and the problems that we had been experiencing the last few years have not gone away, but there is HOPE……………………..

To be continued

My Little Piece of Heaven

We moved into our house 9 years ago, in October. It was a new house and there was nothing done with the garden. We were coming into the winter and would soon find out how water logged the garden gets in the wet months. It was destroyed and we just looked at it with the door closed as you wouldn’t dare walk on the grass from the fear of disappearing into a muddy puddle.

When the spring months came around we decided to build a shed to house our washing machine and tumble dryer and also to store tools, a lawnmower and other pieces. Then I got the bright idea to dig foundations for an extension that we would eventually build. Crazy I know but there was a method to my madness. I wanted to lay cobbles on one side of the garden – going from the back door to the newly built shed. I thought that if the foundations and sub floor were laid and poured and I would then have a clear area for the cobbles and once we built the extension the cobbles would be in the right place and not need to be moved. Crazy, I said that earlier, because as the years went on the extension that I had originally planned for is only a fraction of the size I would like it to be.

The cobbles were laid and the concrete was poured into the extension, which served as a seating area over the following years. We planted some flower beds, using log rolls to line them out and tried to enjoy what we had. The kids were small and it suited us at the time. Nathan loved to kick football and ride his trike around the back and when Jacob started to crawl in the Summer of 2013 it was easy to open the back doors on a fine day and let them enjoy all their toys. We kept the garden as nice as we could, painting the fences Wild Sage from Cupirnol and the posts were Inisfail from Dulux to match the house. We put trellis to the rear of the garden with netting behind it to stop Nathan from losing so many footballs. This was a waste of time as the day it was installed Nathan cleared the 12ft height at only 2 and half year’s old.

The grass was always a torn in my side and for years I fought with the idea of digging it up. I tried everything in my power to save it. I dug it up and put down stones and drainage to allow the water soak away. I sowed grass seeds every year, trying to thicken it up. I even spent one summer forking it weekly and throwing sand down along with seeds and feed. Nothing worked. Last summer, 2016, there was no growth, I barely cut it all summer. And when the winter months came around the surface water was worse than ever. However, the straw that broke the camel’s back was Christmas Day 2016. The boys went outside that morning in their new runners with a new football that Santa kindly brought them and they both came back in destroyed. That was it, decision made, the grass was gone.

After the Christmas madness passed I spent the next few weeks planning what I wanted. Ideas danced through my head and the excitement started. I decided to go with paving slabs. A nice concrete base and if I ever go ahead with my extension I won’t feel too bad taking then up, as opposed to if I spent a fortune on granite or some other expensive garden tile. Grey was my new love, so the slabs worked out perfectly. To add some texture and not to have a plain surface I chose the cracked ice slabs from Strong’s in Emo. They were reasonably priced as I was getting 300 or so and they delivered them within a few days. I also got the gravel, sand, bags of cement and the brick shaped curb that I used to mark out my flower beds. I thought these were a nice touch and they matched in with the colour scheme.

Another idea I had was to replace the wooden fence panels. Sean and I would spend days every year or every second year painting these panels. As you can see from the pictures they have an in and out design and the fence posts to the back were a nightmare to paint. There were also a few of the panels starting to rot and fall apart and it was either replace them with identical panels from 50-60 euro or get concrete panels for 45 euro per fence. It was a no brainer. The concrete ones were more private, easier to maintain and have a lifetime guarantee – as in, unless someone purposely tries to smash them – with great difficulty – they are not going anywhere. We replaced all the panels down one side of our garden, with our neighbours blessing and to the rear of the garden.

While all of this was being planned out and actually the day after the panels and slabs were delivered, two fence panels blew out during the night. It got very windy and when we woke up there were two panels broken on the ground. This was a sign they had to go. On the far side of the garden we decided to go with ship latting instead of the concrete panels. This was my father’s idea and adds great character to the garden and also provides great privacy. These latts come in 16ft lengths and it’s a very cost-effective way of replacing a fence. The latts were attached to the concrete uprights and run from the house to the shed. There were loads of offcuts leftover from the fence so I asked for the wood on the shed door to be replaced. It ties in nicely with the fence and gave the shed a makeover.

Before the slabs were started another phase of the design needed to be perfected – the pergola. I really wanted to define and frame our seating area and loved the idea of the pergola and in years to come having it draped with plants, climbers and fairy lights. It was suggested that I install the 6×6 uprights in steel boots to prevent them from rotting, this way they wouldn’t be in the ground and open to the elements. Concrete was poured under the four post positions and allowed to set over night. The boots were then drilled and set into the concrete using special bolts. This then provided the size and shape of the pergola and the slabs could be started. I got all the wood for the pergola and fence from Laois Sawmills in Portlaoise. Tom in there was a great help and talked me through my drawings and what I needed.

The pergola took shape quickly once the posts went up and the guy we had working for us in the garden was brilliant with his hands. Within two weeks we had our garden back and it was time to start planning the plants and the accessories. The first thing to go in was the rattan effect outdoor furniture we bought the previous September from Willoughby’s Hardware in Monasterevin. We purchased it on sale at a bargain 599.00. It is a large table with a glass top with 6 seats in grey. It came with seat pads for each of the seats and is a very sturdy set. For my birthday in February, Sean bought me the large lantern that is positions beside the pergola post. It is such a beautiful addition to the garden and I have battery operated candles inside that light up to create a nice ambience.

We widened our flower beds and most of what was there got destroyed during the build, so we were starting from scratch. But before we could plant anything the fences had to be painted. Sean sealed them with PVC Polybond and then I gave it three coats of white paint. My intention was to paint them a light grey but when the three coats of white was finished I loved it. It just made the whole place look so much bigger and it was so bright. I used the grey to paint the pebble dash at the back of the house so as not to waste it and it helped finish the area with block colours. I used the left over white paint to paint the shed and window sills.

The canopies to the back of the house are door canopy’s and can be found on done deal. I ordered them in April and at the time I couldn’t find anything like it in Ireland. We ship a lot of equipment from China through work so I contacted the supplier over there and ordered what I wanted. It was important to have a good overhang from the house as I wanted to be able to use the BBQ pictured even if it was raining. The overhang I requested was 1.5m from the wall and each panel or canopy is 1m wide. I got 5 of them and they slot together like a jigsaw. The gutter at the top of the house stops any water coming down the wall side of the canopy and then the overhang of 1.5m gives great shelter when it’s raining. I can open my back doors in any weather and not worry about the rain coming inside or even wetting the doors.

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Leading onto the BBQ. This started out as just the BBQ, which is in the centre of the unit. It was gifted to be in February as a birthday present. I always wanted an outdoor kitchen and ran the ideas by the powers to be in work. It spiralled from there. The BBQ was built into a 2.4m mobile unit, with drawers for storage and a bottle cooler for all those parties that I hope to have. On the right-hand side of the BBQ is a 2 ring cooker and the other side is a work surface. The BBQ is a 4 burner Smeg Commercial BBQ and is very powerful. It comes with a drawer for water underneath the burners to aid in cooking, and this helps keep the food moist and not charred. The fabricators in work built a hood for the unit to finish it off. It’s on wheels and open to the back for ventilation. I am in love with it and hopefully will have loads of lovely meals from this over the years.

The next thing to arrive was the playhouse. I got very claustrophobic in the house with all the toys and they were taking over everywhere. This was purchased from Moody brothers in Kildare and as soon as its insulated in the coming weeks and the electricity is in it I will do a separate blog post about it.

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The idea behind doing the garden up like this was to reduce the maintenance and to try enjoy it more. I wanted to create a space outside that felt like an extension of the house and like an extra room. On a sunny day with the back doors wide open and a light warm breeze in the air, it’s like a little bit of heaven. The boys don’t use the garden to play or kick ball anymore now that they are that bit older. They love to be out the front on the green with their friends, so it seemed like the perfect time to turn the garden into a space we could all use.

I bought a few pieces from Homestore and More to stick up on the fences and some picks to stick out between the flowers. This will all add to the character of the garden. I also have some windchimes to add a melody to the wind. With the good weather coming to an end this year, the work outside has come to a halt. It is my intention to light up the pergola with fairy lights and hang an outdoor heater on one of the overhead rafters. I have gazebo curtains to surround the pergola on a cold night and some cloth canopies for overhead. With some more growth on the climbers the pergola will be a vision of beauty, wrapped in green foliage and draped in blossoms.

As I said earlier the flowers I planted this year were all new with one exception, which was the Californian Lilac in the corner of the garden. I bought most of the plants from Glanbia/Country Life in Monasterevin and a few climbers and bedding from Pat Coopers Hardware in Portarlington. Pat gave me a feed to sprinkle over my garden and told me it would take up to two weeks to work. He wasn’t far off the mark and when we returned from 10 days away in June the garden was like a jungle of green, with amazing colours peeping through and beautiful scents. I will add the details of the plants below, I should have most of the tags at home.

I hope you enjoyed the tour around my little piece of heaven …………………………..

 

To be continued

Before and After 2Before and After 1

Make-Up Room

This room in our house has always been used for the boys, when they weren’t sleeping in there, they used it as their play room. It had cream and blue walls and nursery stickers of animals scattered around the place. With all the fuss in the last couple of months and the feeling of not being able to control my own body or make my own decisions about my future as a mother, I thought it was time to take it back for me. Create a sanctuary that I could escape to. And instead of it being referred to the baby’s room by everyone in the house it is now “Mammy’s Make Up Room”.

It wasn’t long after my operation that I made the decision to change the room. I took the week off work after my op and during that week on my hands and knees with tears streaming down my face I started to remove the stickers. A few of them were ok to get off, but the majority took some wall with them. It was a relief that day to take some control back. I organised the painter for a few weeks down the line and then I started to plan the décor.

I had to work around what was already in the room, like the built-in bed and the radiator. I wanted to keep the bed, as its always handy to have an extra bedroom. When Nathan was 20 months old we decided to move him into a bed. I am a space saver at heart so tried to think of the best way to utilise the room while not making it feel tiny. I bought a single bed and tried to run it under the window as pictured. However, it didn’t fit and this really frustrated me as it was only milometers out. Luckily my friends partner was a carpenter and it was Brian to the rescue.

I asked him to cut the bed in half and shave off those extra unwanted milometers. Then to somehow reconnect it and put four doors on the front. To the back of the bed there is a piece of wall the sticks out and I asked him to build me a box for book storage. It is shelved off at the height of the bed so that the kids didn’t disappear into Narnia when trying to pick a book out at night. This was all built from MDF and painted white. The mattress fits in snuggly between the two walls and it was the perfect room when the boys were growing up.

Brian also made the shutters on the windows that you have previously seen in our bedroom and it was because of this room that we decided to get them. For some reason, that I can’t figure out this room can get very cold in the winter. The temperature instantly went up 5/6 degrees when the shutters were closed. They were a great asset to keep in the heat as they are fully sealed around the edges and they keep the light out, so it’s easy to get the boys to bed in those bright evenings and to stay in bed longer in the mornings. These are made from Pine and have been stained. I’m toying with the idea of sanding them back and white washing them – but we’ll just have to see.

The bed provides great storage in such a small room, as I mentioned earlier the book box to the rear of the bed is still full of books. I am reluctant to get rid of them as the boys enjoy story time so much. Then under the bed is extra storage. I have the full size of the bed to store quilts, toys, boxes etc. There is also a wardrobe built in behind the door. When we moved in this was just shelved so we bought two rails and so we could hang up clothes. Now it’s just used for all the extra hangers, but hopefully when I get my cleaning hat on I will be able to move in my handbags, shoes and other accessories into it.

The bed is dressed in Ikea bed sheets that I got recently, which were only €12.00. They suited the colour scheme perfectly as I had chosen grey for the walls – which is Dulux Silverwood – and white for the furniture. Grey and white is the perfect combination, creating a crisp, clean feel to any space. But once you let grey into your life and into your house it takes over. I have a white sheet on the bed with no need for a valance with the freshly painted doors at the bottom. These are a feature in themselves. The pillows are duck feather and down. They are my preferable choice in a pillow, I just love how my head sinks into them at night and they nearly surround the sides of my head in a world of cosiness. I bought these on offer in HomeStore and More a couple of months ago, along with the quilt, protective pillow cases and a protective sheet for the mattress. Homestore and More is such good value and quality. A deal is always on hand to inspire you to make changes at home.

The radiator cover is an Oxford brand. It’s really heavy and sturdy and good quality. It was very simple to put together and just finishes the room perfectly. This cost €110.00 from Morrison’s catalogue in medium. I got two, one for this room and one for the boy’s room. The radiator had to be moved years ago when we were building in the bed as it was tight up against it. Our plumber, Tom, moved it with no hassle at all and it gave us more room to tuck in the sheets and now to fit the radiator cover.

Moving on to the makeup table in all its glory. This is from Ikea too and is the best buy I have ever made. Sean and I put it together in a few minutes and with its drawer for storage and the glass protective top hopefully it will last me a few years. It was a bargain at €100.00. The mirror is also from Ikea and cost only €19.00. I bought chrome plated wall lights with 5 bulbs on each for either side of the mirror as pictured below. These need to be wired in and is on my to do list, or at least on the electricians to do list 😊

To fill the drawer, I found plastic desk organisers in a pack of 6 i.e. one long tray, two half size trays and three small trays for €6.00 in Homestore and More. I got two the first day I was over there and went back a week later and they were on sale for €2/€3 a pack, so I picked up a couple more. Such great value and so beneficial for separating your make up. All the decorative heart lights, in white, are also from Homestore and More. I both these at half price and I think they are still reduced. The white pots that I am using to store my brushes are from Ikea and are only €2.50 for the small ones and €6.00 for the large ones.

Also on top of my make-up table are a few pieces from Homestore and More. A cotton pad dispenser, only 99p, a swivel box with three tiers at only €3.99, the black mirror with LED lights around it was €9.99. The grey heart hanging on the mirror is from Dunnes Stores, which was only €3/€4 and the LOVE wooden sign on top of the mirror was €5.00 from Dunnes. The tab boxes behind the bed are also from Dunnes ranging from €3.00 from the smallest one to €8.00 for the larger one. The big white cushion on the bed was moved from our room which is old stock from Dunnes Stores.

To finish the room, I want to get a nice chair or stool, I shared a few of my preferences yesterday on the shop page of my site. I want to get some nice frames for the walls so I can put some prints and pictures up and maybe a few more decorative pieces. Send me your suggestions if you like………

To be continued

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All the links to each of the pieces is below:

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nissedal-mirror-white__0459572_pe606202_s4musik-wall-lamp-wired-in-installation-chrome-plated__0482669_pe620318_s4

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043190_mediumskurar-plant-pot-in-outdoor-off-white__0114579_pe267096_s4057810_large

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Wrong Hospital Equipment

On Wednesday, I had an appointment with my Gynaecologist in the hospital for a repeat HSG scan. If you have read my earlier blogs you will know that I had this test in November. Thankfully back then, my tubes were patent, which means no blockages, so I had something to work towards. However, something has happened in the meantime to block them, as during my laparoscopy there was no spillage of die into my abdomen. My doctor later told me where she would normally use 10ml of die, but she used 50ml on me and no luck.

I have been living for Wednesday’s appointment all summer. I tried to relax and take my mind off things and just enjoy the summer, which was harder than it sounds. I haven’t slept a night since my procedure on the 30th of June. I have noticed my anxiety going through the roof and my moods along with it. I have tried to keep on top of it but somethings trigger anxiety and there is no quick solution of reversing it. I have spent the summer convincing myself that two children is plenty. Going through all the negatives of having another baby and really trying to convince my head to be practical. But the heart wants, what the heart wants.

Sean and I made our way to the hospital Wednesday morning, trying to laugh and joke in the car. Either way I was going to find out for sure one way or the other, so I thought! We checked in at the X-ray Department and waited for my doctor to come down to me. About 40 minutes later I was brought into the changing room and told to put the gown on, that my doctor was on her way down. I got up onto the bed and waited nervously. She bustled into the room from ICU up to 90 and she started to prepare for the procedure. I knew what to expect. It wasn’t going to be pleasant.

It took her a few minutes to remember who I was and then she was in full patient mode and trying to explain what was to come and that she would need to have a think about what to do next depending on the results. I just wanted to get it over with. Up my legs went and she inserted the catheter into my womb. The die was then injected into the catheter and the cramping came and went. I could see the screen and my womb filled with die. She seemed to be getting frustrated and said that she was going to have to try the whole thing again.

There was no spillage from the first attempt and I can remember from the last scan clearly seeing the die spilling out from my womb into my tubes and into my abdomen. She blamed the catheter and asked the girl attending to see if there were any other ones that she could use. They had recently changed their equipment and these were not up to her standard. The process started again and the die was injected into the catheter for a second time.

Again, no spillage. I feared this outcome but it wasn’t the end. She asked me to come back again next cycle for the same procedure, giving them time to get the right equipment. She said that she thought there may have been some small spillage from the left side but she couldn’t be sure. Sean took this optimistically and firmly believes that there is a chance it’s just the equipment. Me, not so much. I understand that she was not happy with the catheter but I saw the die so in my womb, I felt it come out of me afterwards. So why didn’t it spill. The worst part of it is the torture of another month of waiting. Another month of anxiety, another month of tears and no sleep.

I want to believe that the outcome will be positive, I want to believe that I will hold my baby someday. I pray and believe that everything happens for a reason. I know that God has a plan for all of us and we just don’t know what the plans are yet but it’s just hard day to day to stay positive and put my trust in the higher powers.

A very good friend sent me this to me a few weeks ago and I am going to try concentrate on accomplishing this over the next few weeks and forever. Family is the most important thing and life is too short. So hopefully with the love and support from my family and from my faith I will find a way to manage my anxiety and pain and just enjoy what I have and the life that Sean and I have built. I know it sounds cliché but in these times of crisis and pain I have really seen our marriage go from strength to strength and I can truly say that I am with the love of my life and who I am meant to be with for the rest of my days……………………………..

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A gentle reminder from Pope Francis to slow down and just embrace your life.

This life will go by fast.

Don’t fight with people, don’t criticize your body so much, don’t complain so much.

Don’t lose sleep over your bills. Look for the person that makes you happy. If you make a mistake, let it go and keep seeking your happiness.

Never stop being a good parent. Don’t worry so much about buying luxuries and comforts for your home, and don’t kill yourself trying to leave an inheritance for your family. Those benefits should be earned by each person, so don’t dedicate yourself to accumulating money.

Enjoy, travel, enjoy your journeys, see new places, give yourself the pleasures you deserve. Allow dogs to get closer. Don’t put away the fine glassware. Utilize the new dinnerware; don’t save your favourite perfume, use it to go out with yourself; wear out your favourite sport shoes; repeat your favourite clothes.

So, what? That’s not bad. Why not now? Why not pray now instead of waiting until before you sleep? Why not call now? Why not forgive now? We wait so long for Christmas; for Friday; for Reunions; for another year; for when I have money; for love to come; when everything is perfect…look…

Everything perfect doesn’t exist. Human beings can’t accomplish this because it simply was not intended to be completed here. Here is an opportunity to learn.

So, take this challenge that is life and do it now…love more, forgive more, embrace more, love more intensely and leave the rest in God’s hands. Amen.

To be continued

Buttermilk Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 350g/12oz Self Raising Flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 Egg
  • 85g/3oz unsalted butter
  • 300ml/½pt Buttermilk
  • 300ml/ ½ pt Semi-Skimmed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Butter for frying

 

Method

  1. In a bowl, sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and sugar.
  2. In a separate bowl or jug, mix together the buttermilk, milk, eggs and butter. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and stir to combine. Do not overbeat – stir just to combine.
  3. Melt a small knob of butter in a large frying pan. Using a ladle, pour some batter into the pan to make a pancake. With Buttermilk Panckes I always pour a thicker pancake compared to the traditional ones. Depending on the size of your pan, you may be able to make more than one pancake at a time, or if you are confident you can use two pans at the same time.
  4. Cook the pancakes for about a minute, or until the underside is golden-brown and the top is bubbling. Then turn them over using a palette knife or fish slice and cook for another minute. Keep the pancakes warm in a very low oven while you cook the remaining batter.

 

Serving Suggestions

  • Drizzle with Honey or Maple Syrup
  • Fresh fruit
  • Butter

Traditional Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 250g/4oz Cream Plain Flour
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 2 Egg
  • 600ml/ 1pt Milk
  • Oil for frying

 

Method

  1. Sieve flour and salt into a bowl.
  2. Make a well in the centre of the flour, break in the egg and add about a third of the milk. Beat well, gradually pouring in the rest of the milk and drawing in the flour to make a smooth batter. I use a handle held mixer to mix the batter and I sieve once I am finished to make sure there are no lumps left.
  3. Pour batter into a jug and allow to stand for about 30 minutes. (Personally, I like to make it the night before and store it in the fridge).
  4. Brush a pancake pan or frying pan with oil. When the pan is hot, give the batter a stir before pouring a thin layer onto the pan.
  5. Fry until golden brown. Turn and fry the other side until brown also.
  6. Stack pancakes on a large plate, as they are cooked.

 

Serving Suggestions

  • Dust with Shamrock Golden Caster Sugar, add a squeeze of lemon juice, roll up and serve
  • Drizzle with Honey or Maple Syrup
  • Fresh fruit served with natural yoghurt or whipped cream
  • Stewed apples, flavoured with cinnamon and a dollop of fresh cream
  • Or if you are strange like me you could have yours with chef brown sauce – don’t judge till you have tried it, it’s amazing.

Buttermilk Scones Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 450g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 100g cold butter, diced
  • 85g golden caster sugar
  • 284ml buttermilk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Splash of milk

 

Method

  1. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Put the flour, salt and butter into a food processor and pulse until you can’t feel any lumps of butter (or rub in butter with fingers). Pulse in the sugar.
  2. Gently warm the buttermilk (don’t throw away the pot) and vanilla in a microwave or pan. Using your largest bowl, quickly tip in some of the flour mix, followed by some of the buttermilk mix, repeating until everything is in the bowl. Use a knife to quickly mix together to form a dough – don’t over-mix it.
  3. Tip onto a floured surface and lightly bring together with your hands a couple of times. Press out gently to about 4cm thick and stamp out rounds with a 6cm or 7cm cutter. Re-shape trimmings, until all the dough is used. Spread out on a lightly floured baking sheet or two. Add a splash of milk into the buttermilk pot, then use to glaze the top of each scone. Bake for 10-12 mins until golden and well risen.

 

This is an amazing recipe and so tasty for a treat or afternoon tea.

 

Serve With:

Butter or

Whipped Cream and Strawberry Jam

PHI Brows

Last Wednesday, on my week off, I got Phi Brows/Micro Blading done in La Belladonna Hair and Beauty Salon in Monasterevin, County Kildare.

As you can see from my before picture my own eyebrows were very thin and the hair was sparse. I had scaring from chicken pox as a child and hence bald patches where the hair wouldn’t grow. When I applied make up I would always fill them in as you can see from the pictures below.

I love a good brow, I think it helps shape your face and define your features and was longing to get micro-blading done for so long. An opportunity arose and when I was on my week off I made an appointment.

Judi, my therapist for the afternoon was so nice, very kind and inviting and made me feel at ease immediately. She also got me excited about the end result. Judi spent quite some time preparing my brows. My eyes were closed but she used the prep time to draw the shape of the brow to suit my face, using time and precision. Once she was finished I was allowed have a look and make any changes I liked to suit my preferences.

It was time to start the micro-blading. Judi drew on one stroke so that I knew how it felt and what I was in store for. It wasn’t pleasant but as they say, “pain is beauty”. The right eyebrow was completed first and this was the more sensitive side. I couldn’t speak and just spent the time trying not to clinch my jaw in case it made the shape of my brows turn out different. The longer strokes were the worst because I didn’t know how long they were going to be.

Judi showed me the right side as soon as it was done. This was great motivation to get through the left and to keep going. The left wasn’t as bad and I was able to hold a conversation through this one. I sat up at the end to have a good look at them and I was over the moon. They looked so natural, besides the redness and swelling. My face was instantly transformed. Judi thoroughly explained the aftercare I needed to complete daily for 1 week and we made an appointment for me to return in 4 weeks for my top up. Music to my ears was the numbing agent that can be used on top up day.

I am so appreciative of the opportunity to get phi brows done and can’t wait to apply make up at the weekend after giving enough time for them to heal. To wake up with brows in the morning and not have to worry about accidentally rubbing them off during the day is such a treat. I feel great and will be eternally grateful to Judi and La Belladonna Hair and Beauty for this amazing transformation xxx ……………………..

To be continued

Just the Four of Us

Today, yesterday and the last few weeks have been a struggle. But today more so than anything. No particular reason, I am sure it’s just a build-up of everything. Isn’t it awful when life knocks you down and makes you feel like giving up.

As you have read over the last few months I have been struggling with fertility. I have mentioned the big dark cloud that looms as things keep getting progressively worse with disappointment after disappointment. Well this is different. I can’t even describe how I am feeling, I am fine one minute and then angry, upset, inconsolable, or just plain crazy the next. My need to control things has increased and my anxiety is through the roof.

This is not a call for sympathy or I am not trying to dwell on things to be a martyr, it is just a lot to digest and I feel like I am mourning. I am mourning the life that I thought I was going to have and the baby that I was going to love with all my heart.

I have received conflicting reports from Doctors, all helping to mess with my head even further. When we met with my Gynaecologist, who did the procedure, on the day my stitches were being removed, she gave us hope. It was more the delivery of the news than the words themselves as she delivered them with a smile and optimism. Sean came out of the meeting with a sigh of relief and said that wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. To which my reaction was – “Were we in the same room?”.

She explained that during the hysteroscopy there would have been an element of fluid and there was no spillage from my tubes. The D and C went ok and she was happy enough with her findings and she even showed us pictures of my womb and tubes. From these pictures, she was able to show me the opening to my tubes which were in fact open and not in spasm. However, during the laparoscopy instead of using 10ml of fluid she used 50ml and there was no spill into my abdomen. She explained that during the procedure my tubes might go into spasm but that it was unlikely that this would happen for the length of time that she was doing her investigations. She then explained that my left tube had attached itself to the wall of my bowel with adhesions and that surgery to remove it and free it up may not be successful.

There was so much to take in and she was very understanding and kind, but also said that with the art of making babies anything goes, that although things don’t look or sound great that miracles happen and people have proved her wrong in the past. I am not feeling miracles at the moment. I don’t want to give myself anymore false hope. The last few months have been all about the science and through no fault of my own miracles have not helped. I have done everything I could. I have pumped my body with so many hormones and drugs. I have put my life on hold and I have been borderline insane at times. But no miracles.

I want to believe that everything will be ok and that things are the way they are meant to be, but am I really meant to be this unhappy and this broken. Am I really meant to feel guilty that it’s all my fault that I can’t give Sean another child or my children another sibling. I understand that things happen in life to make you stronger and that you will see down the road why it happened or the greater good that has come from this experience. But this is going on for nearly three years, I would rather just know why I feel like I am being tortured.

My consultant in the fertility clinic in Dublin told me that my tubes are more than likely fine and that they were just in spasm. It was very blasé on the phone and there was no consideration of my feelings. He hadn’t seen the scans, he hadn’t done the procedure, he was just giving me the numbers. He told me he would see me for my next appointment (which was meant to be this week and we would talk about it then). He said to arrange to get another HSG scan done, which I had. This would hopefully show that my tubes were ok and if not, I would have to consider more surgery or IVF. I postponed my appointment with him. What was the point in paying out 200.00 when I had no more information for him. I need to wait to have the next HSG scan done and also be back on treatment to have some blood results to review.

I am afraid to even try for a baby at the moment because I am at risk of ectopic pregnancy and losing my tubes altogether. If I was to fall pregnant I would need an early scan to rule it out. Imagine finding out your pregnant and feeling the excitement that it has finally happened and then living with the worry for a few weeks that it may be ectopic and not viable.

I brought Nathan, my oldest boy to an appointment last night with a craniosacral therapist last night, which is another day’s work. But this woman was able to read me, and not in a physic sort of way. She asked me if I was ok, she said that she could feel that I was holding a lot of upset on my chest. I told her that I was grand and she said that “Mammy’s always are, for the sake of their kids”. Am I that transparent, besides that fact that I am spilling my guts to all of you. But can I not even put on a fake smile and pretend to be ok in public anymore?

Another way of looking at it is why should I have to pretend to be ok? Why can’t I just be a mess all the time? I haven’t slept since the 30th of June, I am exhausted, both mentally and physically, I am trying to put on a brave face for my kids all the time and I am just tired. On the rare occasion that they find me upset I just tell them that I have banged my toe or have a pain in my belly. They have asked a few times in the last few weeks when Holy God is going to give us a baby and I have had to try hold my SHIT together and tell them that there will be no baby for a while and that we are happy, just the four of us……………………………..

To be continued

The Lights Went Out

It’s with a broken heart that I write this post. And while you are reading it, I am sitting with the Doctor waiting for her to say out loud what I already know in my gut to my true.

Friday morning, I went to hospital early, nervous but full of hope. We checked in and made our way to the Day Ward. After meeting my nurse and being shown to my bed I waited patiently to be called for my turn to go to theatre. The nurse went through questions with me, took my weight and then the Doctor came to insert the cannula and take some bloods. I was told that a section had gone in first and I would be next. This wasn’t the case and I was waiting around until 12 to be called.

The anesthetist came around to go through a few things and then I was asked to get into my gown. It was time to go. I had butterflies in my stomach and as Sean kissed me good bye I knew I needed to be strong and just get through the next few hours alone. I was wheeled down to theatre on the bed as I was on a drip to keep my fluids up. I was waiting in the corridor outside of theatre to be called in. My theatre nurse was the same one I had when I was having Jacob. It was familiar space but this time I wasn’t getting the baby I desired so much.

The doctor came out to me before surgery and said that she was going to do the laparoscopy and that if she needed to do any work while inside that I would have to stay overnight. It was time, I was wheeled in and helped from my bed to the operating table. Bright lights and the sterile smell and soon I was under after breathing in gas through the mask.

I woke up nearly three hours later in recovery with the theatre nurse calling my name. I was tired and didn’t want to wake up. There were nurses coming in and out and then my nurse from the day ward arrived. Then in walked my Doctor/Surgeon. I wasn’t fully coherent but I remember everything she said. She told me that she did not do any work during the laparoscopy. She told me I had a lot of adhesions and that my tubes were blocked, especially my left. She told me that she pumped me with blue dye and that it kept pouring out of me and not to be alarmed if there was blue appearing for the next few days. She said that she was checking for endometriosis and I didn’t have it. She said that I wasn’t to go back to work for a while and she gave me a prescription for pain relief. She also mentioned that she needed to check my scans from November as my tubed were not blocked then. She told me to come to see her on Thursday to get my stitches out and to go through the operation. Then she left and my nurse followed her. She was gone about ten or fifteen minutes and I spent that time yapping to the nurses. Coming out of the anaesthetic made me hyper and I couldn’t stop talking.

When my nurse returned, her and the theatre nurse wheeled me back to my room. We met Sean coming out of the theatre doors and he said he had been pacing for an hour and a half. Poor Sean he must have been beside himself with worry. When we got back to the room I asked Sean to dress me, the gown is horrible and sweaty and I was feeling disgusting after the surgery. Poor Sean saw some things that I am sure he wishes he could un-see but he was a trouper. He was an amazing help all day and looked after me the best he could. The nurse told him to go to the car and have a snooze to let me rest and to come back in an hour or so. I couldn’t sleep, I had the urge to pee and eventually called the nurse to help me to the bathroom. My nurse was gone to do another job so there was another lady with me. She was lovely and heavily pregnant with only 10 weeks left.

I was very unsteady on my feet and she propped me up on the way to the bathroom. I got myself onto the toilet and ten minutes later nothing was happening. I had to call out to reassure the nurse I was ok. I eventually squeezed out the tiniest drop and got back into bed. Sean came back soon after that and kept me company. I was so naive and just so delighted to finally know why I wasn’t getting pregnant. I thought that now we knew we could fix it and just unblock my tubes.

It was nearly time to go home and the nurse was in with me checking my wound. It was oozing a bit but nothing to be worried about. She took out my cannula and was talking to me about how attentive Sean had been all day and how we were an amazing couple. Then she started to get upset. The conversation moved on to whether I could remember what the Doctor had said to me earlier as she didn’t want me to get upset on Thursday if I was hearing it for the first time, that my tubes were blocked. She asked me if we had thought of any other options like IVF or adoption and I think she knew by my face that we hadn’t. None of this conversation registered with me as being strange until the next day and I just continued as my happy little self, glad to be finally getting out of hospital.

I got home and my sister had Jacob, I came in and put my feet up waiting for Jacob to get some cuddles. I face-timed Nathan to reassure him I was home and ok and had a quick chat with my sister when she called over, then It was off to bed. That night Jacob slept with me and although it was lovely to have him there, I was in a lot of pain. Sean had to work the next day so Jacob and I got up around 8:30 and I made him some brekkie. Soon afterwards alarm bells started going off.

I remembered that my tubes weren’t blocked in November and this was one of the first things to be checked in the fertility process. Then I thought it was strange that if there were adhesions there and she was already working on me why she hadn’t dissected them. Then the nurse came to mind and how she got upset and asked me had I thought of any other options. It was time to use Dr Google. It was confirmed, blocked tubes are nearly impossible to unblock if there are adhesions and scar tissue. I would never conceive naturally again. My whole world crumbled and my heart began to race. I lay on the couch barely able to move, screaming with the physical pain of heart break. How could this be happening. Months of torture all for nothing. I didn’t mind doing it as there was light at the end of the tunnel. Now the lights had gone out.

I text my fertility advisor to call me when she was free. I needed to hear it from a professional. The rest of the day was a blur. I told my Mam but she didn’t want to believe it and told me to wait until Thursday when I met my Doctor. I told Sean and my sister and each time my heart broke a little more. Saying it out loud made it real. My dreams were crushed. And I know a few of you might be saying – but you have two beautiful boys. Although I cherish them and love them with every ounce of me, when you long for a baby and then find out that your body has failed you, it’s heart breaking beyond belief. I feel like I am in mourning, I feel guilty as it’s my body that has failed and I am denying Sean anymore children, I feel so angry that this has happened and I am sure there will be no real explanation as to why. Why is the big question? Why me? ………..

To be continued

Welcome Distractions

It was the week leading up to the procedure and I was distracted with Birthday parties, football matches, training and other kids related stuff. The weekend started with Jacob graduating from Montessori on Thursday. It was an emotional day and both Sean and I were bursting with pride, our baby was finally finished creche and ready for big school. On Friday, after school Nathan attended a joint party for two of his friends and of course Jacob tagged along and then after that they had a match and I had dinner with a friend. The next morning was a breakfast birthday party at 10am, which they both attended and we were meant to go back that afternoon for the older brother’s party but poor Jacob was wrecked and fell asleep. He was all partied out.

I spent Saturday afternoon scrubbing the house trying to get on top of the house work for the following weekend as I knew I would be out of action. In between scrubbing and cooking I went outside to chat to one of the neighbour’s. It was an overcast day with a lovely breeze but still warm. I didn’t see the sun pop out at all that day but Mr Sun definitely saw me. I got the worst burn of my life all over my chest and down my arms as far as the inside of my elbows. And course I had a shiny Rudolf nose. I didn’t notice it till that evening until it started to get sore and turn purple. I am usually so careful wearing factor 50 to avoid these situations. I was so annoyed with myself but at the same time confused as it wasn’t overly sunny.

Saturday night in all my shinny sun burnt glory I had a ladies’ night organized out the back. We put up a gazebo and we all had our blankets to snuggle as the night went on. It was a well needed escape from the stress that I was facing with the impending operation. We laughed until the early hours of the morning and I enjoyed a jug on Pimm’s. Of course, I over stocked for the night, preparing freshly cut orange, lemon and lime slices, sliced strawberries and some mint to spice up the drinks. There were jars of sweets, pringles, doritos and pretzels a plenty. I thoroughly enjoyed the release and the company and of course paid for it the next morning.

Sunday was a quiet day by all accounts, we took turns getting some sleep and about 4pm I got the bright idea to go to Portlaoise. I wanted to get some leggings and a loose top for the hospital as it was a day procedure and a jammies wasn’t necessary. Much to everyone’s dismay we all headed to Portlaoise. It was a quick visit, in and out of Shaws sorted the clothes and I ran into Boots with ten minutes to spare to get some Aloe Vera for my burns. Boys got a cheeky McDonalds and everyone was happy going home. I packed my bag that night and everyone got into our bed at eight o’clock to watch some America’s Got Talent.

Like the weekend, the week was as busy. Monday Nathan got his school report and to treat him and celebrate I brought him to the cinema. We were like the CIA trying to get out of the house without telling Jacob. Nathan was dying to get his hair cut so we went there first. Blade 3, a comb over and two lines shaved in his head later we were on route to Portlaoise. Much to his disappointment I stopped in Shaws first. I wanted to see if I could get a soft wireless sports bra that I could wear under my clothes at night-time and specifically for the hospital. I wanted something that separates the to footballs attached to my chest but without any wires. Such a thing doesn’t exist and after trying on a few Granny bra’s we bolted.

A quick feed in SuperMacs and then off to the cinema to see “The Diary of a Whimpy kid – The Long Haul”. I booked the tickets online and luckily got them for half price with the June offer. We had a great time and it was nice to have Nathan to myself. Jacob is two years younger but still considers himself a baby at times. He monopolizes me and poor Nathan doesn’t get a look in. I think he does it to get a rise out of Nathan most of the time and then I have to explain that there is plenty of me to share. Nathan enjoyed himself and that’s what mattered. I was so proud of his good report.

Tuesday was one of the neighbour’s birthdays. When I got home from work they were already there and I happened to get an appointment with the nail technician to fix my nails. The top coat on a few of them had cracked and I was embarrassed about going to hospital with them that way. Sean was off early on Tuesday so it worked out well and he was able to pick them up from the party and I followed home.

Wednesday night was training in the rain, I had to wet boys jump into the car afterwards. Home for a bath and some super and then bed. Sean was working late both Wednesday and Thursday night so he could be off Friday so I was running around after the monkeys by myself. I left Thursday night free so I could get myself ready.

I took a long time to settle the boys to bed Thursday night. I had to explain to them that I may not be there when they woke the next morning as I was leaving early to go to the hospital. Their childminder was coming over to get them out of bed and ready. It was Nathan’s last day of school and he was going for a sleepover in a friend’s after school so I didn’t need to worry about him the next day.

However, that night he was very unsettled. He kept getting out of bed and I had so much to do. At first, I was getting annoyed with him and telling him to go back to bed. But then I realised he just needed some reassurance. I realised this when I was having a shower and a tiny person appeared and frightened the life out of me. I followed him back into his room when I was dressed and gave him loads of cuddles. I explained that I was going to hospital in the morning to get my tummy checked to make sure it was ok and that I would be home the same day. He was going to have his iPad with him in his friends and at any time all he had to do was Face Time Daddy to check on me. He seemed happy with that and turned out to go asleep. As I was walking out of the room he called me back and asked, as he always does, “When is Holy God going to give us a baby Mammy?” And I replied as I always do, “Soon baby, very soon”.

Or so I thought………………………………………

To be continued

Internal Combustion

To all my wonderful followers, sorry I have disappeared for a while. When you are exposing yourself, and sharing your inner thoughts and feelings it can be very draining. Don’t get me wrong I am really enjoying it and find it very therapeutic, but at the same time it’s very hard to be so vulnerable.

During my last post, I talked about waiting for my blood results. I received the phone call from the GP and they said that my progesterone was not tested, however my oestrogen levels were at 871. A huge jump from my highest ever reading. However, I was gutted that my progesterone had not come back, this was the tell all result that I needed and it wasn’t good enough. I called back to the doctor’s and happened to get the lady on the phone who took my bloods. She said that she definitely requested for progesterone and said that the results were in fact back. I asked her to get the GP to phone me back.

Shock to the system! My progesterone had reached 116. I couldn’t believe it. I was so thrilled. This had to be it. I called the clinic and they said that they were happy with the results and no change to treatment. I also spoke to my fertility advisor and told all my nearest and dearest. We were all so optimistic and praying that it had eventually worked. I was feeling sick, tired, and suffering terrible with indigestion. My breasts were really tender and I was delighted. All signs that I was pregnant.

My periods were late by not one, but two days. This was it. I was so excited. I even looked up my due date. I was due on my birthday. All the signs were pointing in the right direction and I was thrilled. Day three late and I got out of bed. I knew before I even went to the toilet, my dreams were crushed. My periods came and were heavier than ever. Probably due to my progesterone levels, meaning my lining was thicker. It was now the 1st of June and I had a choice to make.

I was devastated to say the least. I think what made it worse was that my results were where they needed to be. I was finally reacting to the medication and I was so optimistic that it had finally started to work. It was not a good day but as I said decisions had to be made. I called the clinic and told them. They said that because I was getting the procedure done at the end of June that I should stay off all medication for June and try avoiding fertile days. That’s it I was on holidays.

Officially I couldn’t try this month. If I did by some miracle conceive, it would be too early to tell when I was going for my procedure and I could potentially, accidentally abort the baby. I couldn’t take the chance so the chastity belt went on 😊. Nathan had his school tour the next day so it was easy to focus on his excitement. I also had to pack for our holidays as we were heading off early on Saturday morning. That evening I had a hair appointment. I hadn’t got my hair done in ages and fancied a change. Probably not the right day to go, being so hormonal. I sat down for my consultation and said I wanted to go back blonde and I wanted to cut it. I have been dying it brown for a year or two now and it doesn’t last very long. My own natural tones are so warm that cool tones won’t stick. Blonde it was.

I sat in the chair with all the packets in my hair thinking what have I done, am I brave enough for this huge change. Will I like it? I am very attached to my hair and when it doesn’t work out how I envisage it I get very upset. I didn’t need any more upset today, why did I do this to myself. Suck it up, Dawn. It will be grand, I kept telling myself. It was the hormones. I was like a crazy lady in my head, talking to myself 😊. I had planned on get waxed but my periods ruined that too so I decided to get my eyebrows and eyelashes tinted. The beauty therapist told me that she could help me fill out my brows if I give her a few months. This was music to my ears as I often look like I have no eyebrows, they are so light and so thin. With all this going on you can only imagine was I looked like. The tint was put in and the packets removed. A treatment was put in my hair and I was left to return to my seat. Once I sat down I got an awful fright. The state of me. My eyebrows were so bushy and my hair slicked off my face. I looked like a man. That’s it, there was internal combustion going on. I had exploded inside. Nobody approach me, nobody even look at me, I needed to pull myself together. Help! Crazy person trying to escape.

I thought they would never remove me from in front of the mirror, oh good god, hide my reflection. The treatment was removed and my brows were waxed, the excess tint was removed and the two hairy-mollies across my forehead were reduced to slightly thicker darker brows than I had before. Phew, I could look in the mirror again without repulsing. My hair was still wet though and I wasn’t sure how I was going to react. Oh, the torture. Hurry up and cut it, I have no patience. The inner dialogue was on over drive tonight. Luckily my hair was ok, it was a shock to the system and was going to take some getting used to but I didn’t hate it. What made my day was when I went to pay, Mammy had gotten there before me. I was delighted, such a kind and generous gesture. It was now time for bed, woah! I was tired, time to switch off the brain.

Nathan loved his school tour on the Friday and as I waved him off that morning I decided that June was going to be all about the kids, about me and about Sean. We had our holidays to look forward to, a concert in Cork, I had planned dinner with an old friend and a cocktail night with my neighbours. Sometimes I think we spend so much time in our heads, overthinking and worrying that sometimes we feel like we are going to explode. I know that this is true for me and I need to remember that I have loads to look forward to and so much to be thankful for………………………………………….

To be continued

Kids Come First

April was a new month; my positivity was oozing. I was so excited. Then reality hits and these things that consume you don’t seem so important anymore when your child gets sick. Easter was approaching and the kids were bursting with excitement. The thoughts of all those Easter eggs. On the Thursday before the Easter holidays I collected Nathan from my Mam’s as normal. He was complaining of a headache and was very sheepish when I picked him up. In the ten minutes, it took me to drive home he couldn’t open his eyes as the light was hurting him. I told him to go straight upstairs when we got home and go to bed.

Nathan is not a child to give in easily, there is always a row in the evenings when it is time for him to come in off the road and get ready for bed so for him to get out of the car that evening, go straight upstairs, close his shutters and get into bed was so unusual. He got into bed fully clothed with his shoes on and by the time I had unloaded the car and got into the house his temperature had soared and he was shaking in the bed. I helped take his shoes off and gave him some calpol to try get his temperature down. All the while he was crying cause the door was slightly ajar so I could see what I was doing. He fell asleep soon afterwards and I checked on him occasionally.

Sean came home at 6ish and I filled him in, I had an appointment in Portlaoise so I rushed off, keeping in contact with him over the phone to get updates on Nathan. My appointment lasted an hour or so and when I got back to the car I saw a missed called from Sean. Nathan had woken up and got sick and he was still very hot. I knew in my gut when I saw the call that Nathan had been sick, I could just feel it. I was home soon after that and checked on him. As Sean was filling me in we could hear someone up and Nathan had stumbled into the bathroom and was crying because of the light, trying to go to the toilet. He was very disorientated and wobbly on his feet. I helped him get back into bed and gave him some Neurofen to help with his temperature.

After I settled him I called the VHI 24-hour nurse-line. I went through all his symptoms and she stopped me and said, “Mammy you need to bring him straight to A&E”. I knew I would have to, but sometimes you need a professional’s opinion to let you know you’re not overreacting. Poor Nathan, I had to get him out of bed and into the car, trying to keep his eyes covered at all times. The drive to Portlaoise in the dark must have helped him or the medicine must have kicked in because when we got to Portlaoise he had cooled down and cheered up a bit. It’s always the way when you bring your kids to the doctors they make a liar out of you. I remember as a child myself being very sick and lying in Mammy’s bed. It was late at night and before the Midoc and out of hours Doctor’s services that are available these days. Mam called our doctor at the time as she must have been worried about me and he came out to the house. When he was gone, I can remember her giving out, messing, that all I did was smile when the doctor was there and made her feel like a liar. Ooops!

Anyway, back to Nathan, we had to check in downstairs and I swear the receptionist thought I was a hypochondriac. She let us in and we made our way upstairs. It was 10ish and there were two babies ahead of us. Nathan was wrecked so he fell asleep on the couch, thank god, he did as we were waiting hours before we even got seen. I couldn’t understand the wait with only two ahead. While we were waiting a couple with a seven-week-old baby came in. Baby was crying and Mam was too, on and off. Baby had been crying all day and they were worried about him. They had forgotten to bring any bottles with them, probably not knowing how long you can be held up as it was their first. A nurse went to get them a bottle to feed him to see if that would help with the crying. As she was gone to get it, Mam was getting very frustrated and started to cry again. I really felt for her, as I know how it feels not knowing what to do to help your baby and then the guilt of feeling that you are doing something wrong.

The nurse came with the bottle and baby started to drink it. However, the teeth were too big and he was gulping. I was sitting there and I could hear him filling with wind as he gulped and his poor tummy was rumbling. I was toying with the idea of saying something, will I, won’t I. Well I did. He was crying as he drank and it was obviously so uncomfortable for him. I had to interrupt and I just explained that he was filling with air and that he was going to be in a lot of pain, the teeth were too big. She agreed and decided to fly home to get him his own bottle. I think she needed the break.

While she was gone, I offered to take the baby from her husband, I really just wanted a cuddle for myself 😊 He was so cute and tiny. Poor pet had colic and was full of air. As I held him in my arms and rubbed his back he got up loads of wind. He eventually settled and drifted off to sleep. As he was quite I was talking to the dad and subtly tried to tell him to keep an eye on his wife as she seemed to be struggling. I knew her pain, I suffered through it, and getting on top of it early and getting support and help from your loved ones is so important. He seemed like a really nice and genuine guy and was all about his wife, which was lovely to see. But something he said shocked me. I mentioned Post Natal Depression and that I had suffered with it after my boys and he said that people are talking about it too much, its everywhere. He said that people are too quick to jump to it and that in his case his wife just needed her Mam and she would be ok. He didn’t have an attitude, he was just matter of fact and that’s what he thought. It threw me really, as the whole problem is women don’t talk about it as much as they should and they suffer in silence until the problem consumes them. It needs to be more acceptable to talk about and to ask for help.

Besides that, he was a lovely guy and was asking me all about Nathan and was very kind and polite. When his wife came back, the Doctor happened to call me at the same time. Nathan was still asleep so I told them to go ahead first, they were worried and distraught and Nathan’s symptoms had subsided to an extent. They happily took the offer and we were called soon afterwards.

I went through all of Nathan’s symptoms with the doctor and he felt it was important to get a sample of Nathan’s blood to test. Poor Nathan doesn’t do pain, bit like his Daddy. I had to restrain him while they inserted the cannula. He is so dramatic at the best of times and was sweating and screaming at the thoughts of the inserting the needle. He also needs to know exactly what is happening at all time and needs to watch so that didn’t help matters. I remember about a year ago he got a splinter in his finger. It was hurting him and he wanted it out. That day will be engrained into my memory forever. I sat him on the kitchen counter and although he wanted it out, he didn’t want me to look at it, let alone touch it. That was proving to be difficult because without super powers I wasn’t going to be able to get it out. He screamed and shouting and sweated for a solid hour. He jumped down off the counter so many times and pulled his hand out of mine every time I was close to getting it out. Two people called to the door that evening to what I am sure they thought was a torture house. I was shouting at him to stay still, he was shouting at me to take it out, don’t touch, stop, ouch it hurts and then Sean was there trying to calm us both down. It was like a comedy show on TV.

So, you can only imagine what he was like when they were trying to put the cannula in. They got it in eventually. He is allergic to the numbing cream so they used a spray, but even that wasn’t welcomed. They took a sample of his blood and told us to wait in the waiting room until the results came in. At this stage I was getting tired and so was he. I thought they were going to send us home as he wasn’t symptomatic anymore. The couple with the baby came out while we were waiting and they were given the all clear with baby. He had colic and that’s why he was screaming all day. I suggested they get him tested for intolerance to dairy and also look for some alternative remedies that might help him. As they left the doctor approached me and took me by surprise. He told me Nathan’s white blood cell count was alarmingly high and they were admitting him. They were worried about Meningitis and wanted to get him on very strong antibiotics asap.

I called Sean to tell him and asked that he get some clothes ready for us. Then I called Daddy to see if he would bring them over. I felt terrible as it was 3am before we got admitted so he had to get out of bed. Sean fell back to sleep, the big dope 😊 I had to ring him again to wake him up. Once Dad had gone I was able to lie down on the extra comfortable chair bed and close my eyes for a while. On the rounds the next morning the doctors explained that they were worried about meningitis and that they wanted to send bloods to Temple Street and run their own bloods cultures. They also wanted to do a lumbar puncture – I said no, not unless it was completely necessary and wanted to wait for the blood results first. Nathan was spiking a temperature for a few hours but it was soon controlled with medication and the nurses were in every few hours to administer antibiotics into his cannula.

Its gas, kids are so funny. Nathan was upset as he was missing his last day of school – seriously! It was more like missing out on the party in school. He had loads of visitors that day and was delighted with all the match attacks he got, spoilt rotten. The boredom was starting to set in and he was in isolation so couldn’t leave his room. Either could I as he didn’t want to let me out of his sight. When Dad came over late I ran out when he was going to get something to eat and left Nathan with Sean. When I got back he was asleep and I followed soon afterwards. The next morning when he woke up he was as bright as a button and that was heightened when Nanny arrived with the white and grey united kit. He was made up. Had to get dressed straight away. He was running around the room and dancing. After Nanny left for work we got some breakfast and he wolfed it down. All we needed now was the doctors to come around to discharge us, we had cabin fever.

The night before we got the all clear for meningitis. I had to chase them for the results as no one told us. With those results and the fact that Nathan hadn’t spiked a temperature since the day before and he was in flying form, I wanted to go home and keep an eye on him myself. He didn’t need round the clock medical attention anymore. The doctor came in and he was lovely. He got Nathan to do some jumps and tests and Nathan was loving the attention. He had young kids himself and was chatting football with Nathan as he was all kitted out. I asked for him to be discharged and eventually got around him. They wanted us to stay for the week, but I had Jacob to think of, my job and also Nathan’s sanity. He wasn’t feeling sick anymore, if he was I would be the first to stay. They let us home on the condition that we came back daily for IV antibiotics and therefore the cannula had to stay in. It was a compromise we could accept.

Nathan was delighted to get out and he strolled out on top of the world. He insisted on going straight to the barbers to get his hair cut. He’s gas. Dad met us there with Jacob and he was thrilled to see us both. It was a beautiful day and Nathan was glad to get home to his own house and see his friends outside. He sat on the bench first talking to them and he even snuck in some football.

The next few days we went back to the hospital each day for IV antibiotics. After a few days though his fingers were very cold and his arm too. He was uncomfortable and had pins and needles. I called the hospital and they said they would probably have to redo the cannula in the order hand when he came in the next day. That was not the case. They removed it completely and he was reassessed. The doctor had a team of student doctors with him and nurses and on review of Nathan’s file wanted to re-admit him. I refused, he was only covering himself I think and we negotiated to get oral antibiotics instead. We were free, Nathan was thrilled. He had to get repeat bloods the following week but besides that he could start enjoying his Easter holidays.

We never found out exactly what was wrong with him but was glad it didn’t manifest into something serious. With all this going on you can only imagine I completely forgot about myself. I didn’t get a chance to arrange follicle tracking and I sure wasn’t thinking about ovulation. Luckily I was only at the beginning of my cycle and didn’t miss any of the important days…………………………….

To be continued

March – The Month of Many Weathers

I started into March down in the dumps and just heartbroken. But as I said before I had to pick myself up and look forward to the next month. I think a positive attitude helps things along. I started my new cycle on March 2nd and on day three and four I took my fermara x 5 on each day. I called the OBGYN to arrange follicle tracking for day 9. This has become so important to me as it helps me understand what is happening inside. How my body is responding to the hormones and if this month is looking good. Well it was all good news this month with my results, things were looking up. But don’t get too excited – no pregnancy yet.

On Day 9, I went for follicle tracking, Aideen greeted a very upset me. I found it hard to hold back my disappointment of last month and getting my periods. I wear my heart on my sleeve and am always hoping for the best and miracles so that when it doesn’t happen the disappointment is huge. Aideen could see that I was upset and explained a few things. My scan showed that I had a follicle 17.9mm – this was a good size for day 9 but not ready to rupture yet. The scan also showed the many follicles or cysts in my left ovary. Aideen asked me out of the blue “what do you do to be creative”. I thought I misheard her at first and asked her to repeat herself. She put me on the spot. I couldn’t think of anything off hand and just replied that I don’t really take much time to myself for anything. Aideen explained that in Chinese medicine your left side is your female side and your creative side. By being creative you are forcing your left side to work and this may help it to be more functional.

This is where “Get Creative” came from. Aideen told me to go home and even if I just did some art with the boys or found a hobby for myself this would help. When I thought about it afterwards, although I don’t sit down with the kids for art time as they are so busy, I am very creative in my own ways. I love to partake in interior design, I think I have a good eye for it, I am also very creative in the garden and love putting together plants and colours and creating a calming space. I love to bake and decorate cakes and buns and there are loads of different ideas rolling around in my head at any given time. So, although I am not obviously creative, I am definitely not without creativity.

I was scheduled back in for another appointment a few days later, on day 12. This time the follicle had grown to a juicy size of 24mm, it was ready to pop. I arranged for my HCG injection to be given that night as advised by the fertility clinic and then the next morning I got a positive result on the ovulation tests. Everything was looking good. I had a few days of good mucus and from this I was able to calculate my peak day. My review appointment was the 20th and I was full of hope going up there. I met with Dr. Michelle and we went through my charts briefly and then discussed changing my medication going forward. I also told her what Aideen had suggested about taking Co-Enzyme’s and Exputex – she agreed and included them on my updated medication list. Then she suggested the Food Intolerance test. This was quick and simple and a whopping €135.00 on top of the consultation fee. But as you can see from my previous post about the results it is worth it to find out.

A few days passed and on peak plus seven I got my bloods done – Progesterone and Oestrodial. I was optimistic this month and couldn’t wait to get the results a few days later. I remember ringing the nurse and it felt like I was getting my leaving cert results all over again. The butterflies in my tummy were flying all over the place. The nurse nearly knows me at this stage and when she gave me my Progerterone result I had a little screech of excitement. It was 50.4. Such a huge jump from last month and I was thrilled. The Oestrogen was also good at 537. I felt so positive this month and of course was wishing and hoping that this was it.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be this month either and although getting my periods upset me I was so hopeful as the results were finally looking up. April, this was going to be the month………………………………

To be continued

 

2013 – A Tough Year

If any of you have suffered with Post Natal Depression you will know it’s hard to explain or put into words what your feeling. I remember leaving the hospital on my first baby, Nathan, and before I left the nurse told me to be aware of the baby blues hitting in the next few days. But there was no explanation of what we should feel or how we should react or no follow up support. For me Post Natal masked itself in many different ways:

  • Depression
  • Loneliness
  • OCD
  • Anxiety and Stress
  • Guilt

After Nathan, there were a few low months that I felt the cloud, as I described it before, looming but honestly this was pushed to one side as I had a wedding to prepare for. I had a year between having Nathan and getting married. With all the major things booked I could have my time at home with him for a few months and then it was all systems go from the New Year. I didn’t have time to ruminate. It really hit me after Jacob more so when I returned to work full time.

I went back to work in January 2013. I loved my job so much and really felt I had found my forever place of employment. This all changed when I got back to work. The lady that replaced me was leaving soon after some loose ends were to be tied up. I returned to my office and reprised my role as Accounts Payable. However, the girl I shared an office with was a cold sole and by that, I mean she felt the cold. I, on the other hand, am always warm. There was a heater behind my desk that was turned up full blast most of the day and then she also had a heater the length of her desk, in front of her desk. The door was always closed as the information we worked on and phone calls contained sensitive information. I was so warm. I could feel my face overheating and I was struggling to function. I didn’t say anything about it and I struggled on just trying to do my work and get on with it. One day while my colleague was on her lunch I opened the window behind me to get some fresh air. I forgot to close it before she came back from lunch and when she returned to the office I shut it. I also lowered the heater from 5 to 4 on the dial one afternoon. The next day she had a go at me and told me how annoyed she was that I turned down the radiator and how inconsiderate I was and that when my maternity replacement was in the office there was never an issue. She was not one bit nice that day. I got upset as my emotions were all over the place. I tried to explain that I was really warm and the office was uncomfortable to work in. That it is very hard to cool down and much easier to warm up with an extra layer or two. The office was only small and therefore unbearable to work in the heat. She really upset me that day and there was no reasoning with her. That was the day I decided I couldn’t do it anymore. I felt I was being bullied and there was no one I could speak to or get help from.

A couple of weeks previous I brought Nathan to see the consultant regarding his tonsils. He had at least one antibiotic a month due to tonsillitis and ear infections. He was only two and a half but he was missing so much time from creche and then I was also missing time from work. The consultant took one look at his tonsils and told me they were rotten and had to come out. He was scheduled in for two weeks later. I had to take time off from work to be there for his recuperation and this made me feel terrible as I was only back five or six weeks. I was able to go into work during this 2-week period on the days my husband had off and also when my mam was off from work. At least I was trying to be accommodating as possible.

I was nervous about the operation and Sean couldn’t come to the hospital with me. I don’t think he felt comfortable asking for the day off but I was really hurt, I needed him with me. Thankfully my Dad came so I had the support I needed. We checked into our room and the nurses were fussing about getting everything ready. Nathan was fasting and couldn’t understand why he couldn’t eat and therefore they tried to get him in as early as possible. They put the numbing cream on his hand for the cannula insertion and after a few minutes it started to burn him and he took an allergic reaction to it. This had to be removed but he was getting stressed and so was I. His time came and he was wheeled down to theatre. I was allowed go into the operating with him until he was put under anaesthetic. This is when things got very upsetting. I had to restrain him for them to get the gas mask on his face. He was screaming at me to stop and to lift him up. It was the most difficult time as a Mammy that I have ever had to go through. I knew it was for his own good, but that was hard to comprehend at the time. As a Mammy, your instinct is to protect your children and I was getting very upset.

He finally went to sleep and I was ushered out of the room. I had a cry on Daddy’s shoulders and we went to the café to sit down and wait. The operation didn’t last as long as I had expected and a nurse came looking for me in the café. Nathan was in recovery but he was hysterical coming out of the anaesthetic. I forced my way into in recovery and jumped into the bed beside him and cradled him. He was upset about his foot as the cannula was inserted into it instead of his hands. He as so groggy and in and out of sleep, but when he was awake he was crying. I was glad to be moved back to our room where I could comfort him in peace. He was fine after a long sleep and some food and ice pops. We were released the following morning and he was happy to get home. He told me his tonsils were bad and had to be thrown in the bin.

His recovery went well and he was so brave. On day five his scars started to get really tight and it was loads of medicine and ice pops to get him through. On day 7 he was feeling much better and I brought him for lunch in a local restaurant. He was itching to get out of the house so I thought some lunch and ice-cream would be a nice treat. I had carbonara and we sat back and relaxed. That evening my sister was coming over to make her boyfriend a cheesecake, as it was the eve of Valentine’s Day. I tasted a bit of the Belgian chocolate that she was using but didn’t like it and still felt full from my lunch. That night I woke up from my sleep with the worst pain high up in my stomach. I couldn’t sit, lie, stand or move. It was excruciating. I was crying with the pain and woke Sean. I rang Midoc and made an appointment. Sean rang our friend to come and get me as he couldn’t leave the house with the two boys. I wasn’t in a position to drive myself. I got to Midoc and they sent me straight to A&E. I was assessed and quickly put onto a drip and given some IV antibiotics.

The pain started to subside and I was brought for an ultrasound. I was admitted shortly afterwards and told I had gallstones. I was in hospital for a few days, which was really tough as Nathan needed me at home. On release I was given an appointment to have my gallbladder removed in the coming weeks once the swelling and infection went down. In the meantime, I returned to work and that is when the incident occurred with my colleague. I wasn’t on an amazing wage and with the cost of two kids in full time childcare and trying to pay bills, it wasn’t worth it. My heart wasn’t in it anymore and I was leaving my kids and not getting home until late every day. I know so many people do it but at the time it all got too much. I handed in my notice in work reluctantly and finished up the week before my op.

While in hospital getting, my gallbladder removed I felt really down, I was lonely. With Sean at home with the kids and having too much time to think and be away from them, I think this is when I started to realise something was the matter. Also, while in hospital the doctors kept talking about my weight and telling me I had to lose weight. I had lost 24lbs since January and I was really active as I was training for the mini marathon. This really got to me as it was a sensitive issue and I was doing my best.

It took me a really long time to recover from the operation and for some reason I was having recurring pains as if I still had my gallbladder. Being at home again, although it was great to be with the kids, it isolated me from adult contact and I started to become more and more of a recluse. I was getting upset a lot, my stress levels were so high. I could feel anxiety creeping in about doing simple things. After a few months of feeling so low I approached my doctor, I told her how I was feeling and that I didn’t want to be medicated, but I wanted to be referred to someone that could give me the skills of managing my stress.

Even that felt like a weight lifted. The first guy I met was not for me. Firstly, he couldn’t possibly understand what I was going through and honestly he wasn’t even trying to understand. I got that feeling from him like he wasn’t listening and then he gave me a patronising speech. Back to the doctor I went and she referred me to someone different. This time the fit was right. She was a real Mammy figure and gave me a hug at the end of each session. She made me feel like I wasn’t alone and gave me some coping skills to deal with everyday anxiety and stress. It wasn’t a fix all but it definitely helped.

However, as the summer continued that year Nathan got very sick with pains in his belly and I ended up in hospital with him. He couldn’t walk one Sunday when he woke up and was doubled over in pain. He had been ill for a few days with a high temperature and tummy aches but no vomiting or diarrhoea. Sean was working that Sunday and my parents and sister just happened to be in Galway at the same time for different reasons. So, I was on my own. Over to the hospital with Nathan and a one year old. Nathan was admitted and Sean’s sister kindly came and took Jacob from me. Nathan had an ultrasound and an x-ray and it showed his abdomen was full of air. It looked like he was full of bubbles on the ultrasound. A tube had to be inserted down his nose and into his stomach to release some of the trapped air. He was so uncomfortable and upset with me for letting them put the tube in. It’s tough to be the baddie even though you know it’s for their own good. Thankfully he recovered quickly and was back to his normal self.

A few weeks later I put my back out. I bent down one morning when Sean was in work and took some food out of the grill for the kids. No sooner had I bent down, I felt something go and I couldn’t get back up. I was in agony. I rang one of my neighbours to come and get me some medicine out of the press as I was crippled on the couch. My sister came to take me to Midoc and my parents took the kids. I was given an injection to ease the pain. Over the next few weeks the pain didn’t go away. I was barely able to function normally and the medication wasn’t helping. I couldn’t take the full medication either as I had two kids to look after. I think people thought I was exaggerating as they were getting annoyed with me. I asked for an MRI after four weeks to see what was causing the pain. I knew it was sciatica as the pain went down my right leg. The MRI was done and the information sent back to my doctors to read. I had a bulging disc and deterioration of the lower spine and they couldn’t give me an answer as to when I would feel better. I had to let myself heel and they suggested taking to the bed in order to give myself time to get better. Obviously, this was not possible and I still had a one year old who needed to be fed and picked up and cuddled all the time and a 3-year-old who wanted to be up as much. It was October before I felt better and stopped taking pan relief.

It was such an eventful year with all of the above happening and I am sure anyone would struggle under those circumstances. But with having PND it heightened everything and made it harder to let things go.  There were other personal things that happened that year like strains on important relationships and this added to the loneliness and isolation I felt ……………………………………

To be continued

Our Wedding Day

Your Wedding Day is such a special day and ours did not disappoint. I stayed in Mammy and Daddy’s the night before my wedding. I slept in my own bed and Tara took Nathan in with her so that I could get a sleep. The night before there were a few family and friends in Mam and Dad’s house, a few glasses of champagne and wine were consumed and then Tara and Shauna (my sisters) presented me with my hen memories book, with loads of pictures and messages from all my chicks 😊. It was such a nice gift and something I will cherish forever. Off to bed early as I needed as much sleep as possible before the big day.

Early to bed and early to rise! I was up early and straight into the shower. Our hairdresser, Andrea, from the Hair Gallery in Portlaoise was there to get started. The rollers were put in and then it was under the dryer for me. While I was drying, I was on my phone reading all the well wishes I had received that morning. It was so relaxed. The front sitting room was the hair studio, the living room was for makeup and the kitchen was chaos. There were bodies everywhere. Olive was on the floor with a few of the kids putting the marryoke lyrics into the mass booklets, Nathan was crawling around full of divilment. We had so many visitors that morning. The flowers arrived with my uncle. My cousin was driving Sean and the Groomsmen so he was in the house to collect the flowers for their lapels. My Aunt was there with my beautiful flower girl and her brother, our junior groomsman/usher for the day. Someone went out and got breakfast for everyone there and drinks and laughter were flowing.

Once my hair was done it was off to make-up with Lisa, she did an amazing job. Everyone got their turn at hair and makeup, they even squeezed in a few extras. The photographer and videographer were there taking pictures of us as we got ready. We also filmed some scenes for our marryoke. It was hilarious singing along to the lyrics of Barry White, “My First, My Last, My Everything”. I had to sing it by myself and with my sisters and Mam. Our videographer and photographer were Frame It Weddings (https://www.frameitweddings.com/). Richie and Les were so accomodating and captured amazing memories from the day. After that I was walking around the house enjoying the atmosphere and a sip of champagne. Tara and Shauna my bridesmaid were off getting ready and so was Mammy. They looked amazing. We were all so relaxed that we forgot the time, oops! The car had arrived to bring us to the church and I wasn’t even in my dress. The pressure was on. Into Mam and Dad’s room I went and I was helped into my dress by my sisters. Tara tightened the back and Shauna was underneath fixing the tulle and strapping in my shoes. Dad came in once I was dressed with Nathan in his arms and tears were shed.

Then we were off. Into the car with Daddy and off we went to the church. It was a glorious day and the temperatures reached 26 degrees. I was a bit late for the church so as soon as we arrived it was time to line of for the procession. Dad turned to me and asked what he was to do when we got to the top of the aisle. I started off by saying you can shake Sean’s hand and then lift my …., oh s**t. I forgot my vail. In all the excitement, the vail was hanging the in the wardrobe and it was forgotten about. Panic stations! Tara took over, into bridesmaid mode. My uncle was called for, with whispers going down the church. When he came out him and Tara jumped into the car and sped off towards the house. The priest, Fr. Tommy came out for a chat and the church inside was alive with whispers wondering what was happening.

Tara and my uncle arrived back in no time and the vail was thrown in any which way, who cares, it was here. Down over my face and the String Quartet Vltava began to play. As I walked down the aisle I got so emotional, it was finally happening. I was on my way up the aisle to the love of my life, ready to start a new chapter and commit ourselves to each other in front of all our family, friends, and God. It was a beautiful ceremony, if I say so myself. I prepared the mass with help from Fr. Tommy and tried to get as many involved as possible. All the kids in the family were invited and they all did prayer of the faithful in pairs with their siblings. Sean’s sister did a reading and so did a very close friend of ours.

It was time for the vows and Sean and I had been practising for weeks. He nailed his and I mixed mine up to a different version but no one noticed, till now. Before the priest got to announce us as husband and wife I leaned in and kissed Sean. I got the timing wrong and the priest made a joke and the whole church erupted in laughter. It wasn’t the first time during the ceremony that laughter was heard as Fr. Tommy made a few jokes about how late I was and about my vale. It made the ceremony more personal. I dos were exchanged; another kiss was had and we were married. My sister read a prayer after communion which was very emotional for everyone. We signed the registry and took a few photos and then we danced out of the church to Barry White.

Everyone gathered in the church yard after congratulating us. Champagne was passed out to the immediate families and group photos were taken. It was great to see all the people who could join us on our special day and looking back at it now we were so blessed to have so many. It’s sad to think that a few special characters have passed away since then, but they are always in our thoughts.

The wedding party made their way to Emo Court for pictures. It is such a special place for us and it was fitting to have our pictures taken there. We got all the group shots out of the way and then everyone left, leaving Sean and I and the photographer for some more intimate shots. It was so hot in Emo that poor Sean got burnt on his head. Once the photos were taken the videographer got some scenes of Sean and I singing and dancing around a tree for the marryoke. Sean was so embarrassed which made me laugh more. It was hilarious. Richie and Les from Frame It Weddings were there encouraging us – more Sean and me to embrace it and just enjoy it. The photos and footage would be worth it.

On our way to the reception we were so overwhelmed with the ceremony and everyone’s love and well wishes. We took that time to relax and have a cuddle and a chat before the exciting celebrations ahead. We arrived at a red carpet leading us inside the Heritage in Portlaoise. I am so glad that we went with this venue, they were amazing and so accommodating. We had originally booked the Heritage in Killenard and it was only going to be a small wedding with a large afters. We booked the day of the wedding fair and the next day they called us back to cancel our booking as the meal was only for 30+ people and it was too small. I was heartbroken, but in hindsight it worked out for the best. A few weeks later the wedding fair was on in Portlaoise, again we booked for a small meal and a large afters. They were happy to take the booking and helped with all our questions. The next day after discussions with my parents the guest list went from 30+ to 200. Portlaoise was the perfect venue, they provided us with loads of choices and accommodated us with everything we wanted and needed. It was an amazing day from start to finish.

There was a champagne reception with canapes and music playing in the background. We were able to enjoy a chat with a few of the guests before being called for dinner. We decided to have the speeches before dinner, Sean was so nervous that he said he wouldn’t be able to eat knowing he had to speak. Sean’s brother was the best man and he was the MC, introducing us as husband and wife and handing the mike over to my Daddy. His speech was so heart felt and there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. Actually, looking back all the speeches were tear jerkers and everyone was crying. My sister Tara said a few words, Sean and I spoke and Conleth, Sean’s brother and his Mam also spoke. Then it was down to the meal.

The day flew by and it was a whirlwind of excitement. The band that played were called Epic, they have since reformed as The Electrix. Damien Carroll the lead singer was brilliant and they got everyone on the floor after the first dance, which was “Better Together” by Jack Johnson. This song is so special to us and has been our anthem for years. It was amazing that when we went to get Nathan’s 3D scan that this song was playing in the background and was used as the music on the DVD of the scan we took away with us. The second song was one of my Dad’s favourites, “Simply The Best”. Him and I had such a good dance that at some stage he spun me and I landed on my bum. He got too excited. I was up as quick as I went down and not many people noticed.

The cake was made by Bernie Gorman of House of Cakes. She called in to my house for a consultation and everything we discussed was brought to life on the cake. It was a castle of course, because I secretly I wished I was a princess. There were icing cut outs of the wedding party going up the stairs of the cake with Sean and I at the castle doors. There were also 3D butterflies going up the cake. The theme for the tables was different breeds of butterflies and the invitations and mass booklets all had butterflies on them too.

The videographer (Les) had set up in the lobby outside the function room and had loads of different groups singing along to Barry White. It was such a good addition to the day as everyone embraced it and the DVD turned out great. The afters came around so quick and when the band took a break Sean and I decided to disappear for a few minutes. I had bought a lighter wedding dress from Monsoon in Kildare Village so that I could change into it later in the night. I was never so glad to get out of my wedding dress. I bought my dress in Berketex Brides upstairs in the Jervis Centre, it was my dream dress and I fell in love with it. Mam came with me to pick it and it was so nice to have that moment together. Afterwards we went to St Mary’s Chapel for dome champagne and dinner.

As I said earlier the day was very hot and with all the too-ing and fro-ing I was roasting under all the tulle. I put my hair into a shower cap and had a cool shower. I felt so refreshed we were able to go back down to the party and appreciate it more after taking those few minutes to ourselves.

The dancing went on all night and last few stragglers hit the residents bar. There was great laughter and reminiscing done when the crowd thinned out and we even had a performance of Braveheart from my cousin dedicated to Daddy. Tears of laughter flowed from everyone’s eyes. I only watched the video recently of the performance and it was so funny. The bar staff brought out some sandwiches to soak up the drink and Sean and I left around 3am. It was the perfect day from start to finish and I cherish the memories deeply in my heart. We are so lucky to have such amazing families and friends and they all got to share our special day with us.

Baby Number 2

We got married In June 2011, just a year after having Nathan. It was our plan to have another baby as soon as possible after getting married so they would be close in age. We jetted off on honeymoon, nowhere exotic, it was just a break away. I assumed that we would get pregnant straight away like we did with Nathan but my body had different ideas. It took us until October to conceive and that is when we decided to take a break from trying and just relax. In hindsight, it wasn’t that long at all, but like now, you feel it every time you get your periods. I had just started a new job and I was thrilled with myself, 2 weeks later I found out I was pregnant. The whirlwind begun.

I was very nauseous on this pregnancy too but it wasn’t like the last time. I was thrilled and had a good attitude but I couldn’t help the waves that presented themselves on more than a few occasions each day. My sense of smell was heightened and the women I shared an office with drank coffee all the time. I had to run to the bathrooms most days. Any slight smell would set me off. It was hard to conceal it in work. Our Christmas party was coming up and we were going away for the night. I had to pretend I was drinking all night to try get away with it.

After Christmas I started to get pains in my lower right side, and a few days later I decided it was time to go to the doctors to have it checked out. Of course, the doctor was airing on the side of caution and sent me to A&E in case it was appendicitis. I was so worried because I didn’t want to do anything to harm the baby, like having to go under anaesthetic. I was seen to very quickly and an ultrasound was arranged to see if it was in fact my appendix. Anyway, long story short it wasn’t appendicitis because it’s still intact but at the time they couldn’t give me a definitive answer. It was a worrying few days.

The nausea went away for a few weeks but came back with a bang in January and February. It got so bad that I couldn’t keep anything down, not even water. I was dehydrated and so tired. I went down to the doctors to see if there was anything they could give me to stop me from getting sick. At the time, he gave me an injection as I was a few days without food and that wasn’t healthy.

The pregnancy progressed and we went for our 3D scan, like we did on Nathan. This time we were sure we wanted to find out. It’s a boy!!! Another boy, Nathan was thrilled to be having a baby brother. There was great excitement when we got home to tell Mam and Dad and my sisters. I also took a trip down to my aunties house and showed her the pictures from the scan. We sat out on her decking and it was very emotional as I started by saying “meet your Godson”. I know it’s premature to ask so early but I knew I wanted her as Jacob’s Godmother. She is a great mammy and has always been there for me and I treat her two children as my own too. There is only 12 years between us and from changing my nappies as a baby to now, we are very close.

After one of my check-ups it was noticed that I had a kidney infection and I was admitted into hospital again. I wasn’t feeling any discomfort so it took me by surprise and with Nathan not even two at home it was harder to just think of yourself. Nathan was so cute and well up and he loved his mammy. We have a very special bond, so as hard as it was for me to be away from him, it was even harder for him as he didn’t understand. I was released after a few days and told to continue taking antibiotics.

A whirlwind, I told you. It was coming near my due date and I was attending the gynaecologist for a check-up. Mam was with me that day and it was lovely for her to come and see baby growing inside. After all the usual checks were performed it was time for a chat. I wanted to discuss an elective section. The Doctor was not happy, she said that after one section that I could have a natural labour this time. I could not be convinced. The trauma of the last delivery was in the back of my head and it was likely that I would have to be sectioned anyway as the labour progressed so I wasn’t taking any chances. She then listed off all the risks of having a C-section including harm to the baby and that I could die. Very dramatic, but I suppose they have to cover themselves. I was adamant and at my next appointment my date was set.

In the meantime, it was normal life, I was working away until two weeks before, everything was packed in the suitcase, unpacked, and packed again. Babies room was ready and all the equipment like car seats and buggy was ready to be used. We just needed baby. A week before my delivery date we had my cousins wedding. I was as big as a beached whale with a week to go and the big idiot that I am decided it would be a great idea to wear my clip in hair extensions. I was being cooked underneath them. Sean and I snuck out to the car after dinner and he helped me get them out, oh the relief! It was a great night but we retired early around 12pm.  It was nice to be a part of her day and to enjoy all the family before our big day. It was like I had a fortune teller’s crystal ball as everyone was rubbing my belly all day. People are drawn to the bump. Just remember it doesn’t have magical powers.

In the week leading up to going into hospital we were busy getting ready. I went down town one evening before Sean finished work to pick up flowers and a thank you card to midwife that worked in the clinic who was so helpful throughout this pregnancy and the last. I was getting back into the car after picking up flowers from the florist and Nathan pulled his hand out of mine and darted out onto the road into oncoming traffic. The car that was coming slammed on his breaks but there was still an impact. Nathan fell to the ground with fright and I ran onto the road to pick him up. How easily it can happen, he just got excited and pulled away from me. He was ok, thank god as the car had slowed so much. I was just worried about him and in shock.

I called Sean and he came down to me immediately. I was cradling Nathan in the front seat of the car, thanking god nothing serious happened. The girlfriend of the driver gave me her number and they moved on after making sure Nathan was ok. They were in shock too. I didn’t leave the house again until it was time to go to hospital. I feared going into labour from the shock so I just stayed put and cuddled Nathan for a few days.

The morning of my delivery was so exciting. I could nearly burst. I couldn’t wait to get to hospital. I didn’t tell many people my delivery date so that we could go over there in peace and not have people ringing all day. We got the hospital and there was another couple just in the door before us. You should have heard Sean giving out, we should have got here quicker, walked faster from the car – hello pregnant lady here, swollen feet, dislodged pelvis, do you want to carry me??? I didn’t mind, he was coming today, we only had to wait a few hours. Lazy bones was pacing the hospital room, come on, where are they, is it our turn yet? He was worse than a child. A one stage he laid his head down against my bump on the bed and fell asleep. Well for him!

In walked the porter, it was time. Up on the gurney I climbed and away we went. I was more nervous this time around as I knew what was coming. Im terrified of needles and the spinal was freaking me out. It took what felt like forever to get the needle in and there was even talk of putting me asleep – hell no. I was meeting my baby, not waiting a few hours. They eventually secured the line and it was time to get started. In walked the Doctor and her understudy and the section begun. I was sick again after the spinal but it passed quickly, this time I was prepared and told the nurse ahead of time that it was a possibility. As the doctor got closer to baby she asked if I suffered with indigestion. I said no as this was never an issue thank god. She went on to say that baby had a full head of hair. He was lifted out a few minutes later and I was given a peak over the screen. While she held him up he peed all over her. I knew then he was going to be trouble.

Baby Jacob Felim was born at 12pm weighing 8lbs 8oz with a full head of black hair and again the image of this Daddy. After the midwife checked him out he was given to Sean for cuddles, he laid him down beside me on the head of the theatre bed and I snuggled into him for kisses and cuddles. He was finally here. Doctor then said that while I was already open that there was a cyst on my ovary that would annoy her on any future scans and if she could remove it. I told her to work away, I was too busy looking at Jacob. When the cyst was out she gave me a sneaky look and then it was into recovery. The hospital had changed its policy since I had Nathan and now they allowed skin to skin for mammy in recovery. Sean had to leave and went back to the room. It was so special to have that half hour with Jacob to myself. He latched on very easily and was so content on my chest.

The excitement begun as calls and texts began to roll in, visitors were over and Jacob was cuddled by his nearest and dearest. I had asked that only immediate family visit that day so I could rest and it also gave Nathan a chance to meet his baby brother in private. He was so excited to see me and he climbed up on the bed for cuddles. My first boy was no longer the baby and it’s like he grew into a giant overnight. I couldn’t get over the size of his hands, he was a big boy now. He brought in a teddy for Jacob and gave him a kiss on the head while Nanny cuddled him. The cuteness.

When everyone went home that night and Sean left, Jacob had a feed and went to sleep. I was wrecked and floated off to sleep too. Next thing I know it was morning and the nurses were poking at me taking my temperature and the rest. Jacob had slept all night and was happy wrapped in his little cocoon. I fed him shortly afterwards and we waited for Daddy to come in. I was never so happy to have a shower. Later that day the doctors were around and worried that Jacob was slightly Jaundice. They did the Bilirubin test and they said he was just under the level but was ok, so I relaxed and thought nothing more of it. Later again a younger doctor came back to check Jacob with a group of student doctors. He checked Jacob again with the bilirubinometer and although the levels were close to normal and the same as earlier he decided to do a blood test. I was so annoyed and reluctantly allowed him to proceed. The results came back normal and I told him I didn’t appreciate my new-born baby being used as a guinea pig for his students to learn something.

With all the stress of earlier that day, or so I thought, I got a terrible pain down my arm and into my shoulders. I just ignored it for as long as I could until it became unbearable. The pain went into the top of my back and down the other arm. My head was thumping. The anaesthetist was called as they were worried that there was a leakage of spinal fluid and they may have to do a blood patch. Thankfully it started to subside and the pains were due to trapped air, as I was sectioned and then had a cyst removed, I was open for a while. The air travelled to the top and that’s what was causing the pain. I was wondering why for the last few days the nurses and midwives were asking if I was passing wind, I thought it was a bit personal.

The next day came and Jacob and I were released from hospital, such a relief to get home to my own environment and to Nathan. It was bliss, a shower and to lie in my own bed. I had Nathan one side, Jacob lying on my belly and Sean the other side. I couldn’t have asked for anything more …………………

To be continued

 

Unanswered Prayers

My birthday was finally here, I was awoken like most mornings with a smile and a squeeze from Nathan, he is always the first up in the mornings. Jacob was soon to follow. Sean got up and got my presents and the boys were full of excitement giving them to me. We put on Bruno Mars “Perm” and had a little disco in the bed. The opening line is “It’s my birthday (No it’s not) ……”. After our sing song and the boys shaking there moves, it was time to get up and get organised. Bathroom first and then……. My periods had arrived. As prepared as you are for them to come, there is always disappointment. It hit me like a blow to the chest and I was crying uncontrollably in the bathroom. Sean came to see what was the matter, the boys were down stairs having their breakfast. He hugged me and told me everything was going to be ok and it will happen when it’s supposed to and all the usual things a man says when he really has no clue how their wife is feeling at that moment but is instinct is to make it better. I was inconsolable.

Tears as big as golf balls streamed down my face for what seemed like hours, I felt drained and my heart was hurting. I had to pull myself together. It was my birthday, I had to go to work. I had so much to be thankful for. I got ready and set off, on the way I called the chemist and ordered my medication for this cycle, I am always worried to order it before I get my periods in case I am giving up hope and with that maybe brings bad luck. Always stay positive until reality hits. Work wasn’t too bad. I work with my Dad so I got a big birthday hug when I arrived. His business partner heard me talking about buying a BBQ and gave me one of the commercial ones we have on sale in the showrooms. The day was starting to look up.

I called my gynaecologist that I visited in January to arrange follicle tracking for February. She too prescribed me hormones to take at the beginning of each cycle but I decided to stay with the medication from the clinic in Dublin as it was a full treatment of each cycle from start to finish. I was booked in for Day 9, which to me was too early and I explained that I don’t usually ovulate until day 15/16. No it was Day 9 and that was it. This worked out to be a Friday and as I only work a half day on a Friday I decided to book the day off.

In a bid to cheer me up Sean booked Kelly’s Steakhouse for dinner that night and I organised my sister to babysit. The food was fabulous as usual and we had a great evening. I even treated myself to some wine. It was straight to bed after dinner. Friday was a busy day. I had work for a few hours and then off to the local GAA Dinner Dance. When I got home it was off to the blow dry bar for GHD curls and then to get my make-up done. My neighbour is a make-up artist and she is amazing. She always makes me look and feel great. I wore a black jumpsuit from Joanna Hope purchased from the Simply Be website. It was bedazzled and very flattering.

It was a great night and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I was able to relax and unwind. I met the midwife from the clinics that we attended during both pregnancies and she was always so good to us. I told her my situation briefly and she said to hang in there, to continue taking the metformin and it should start to work in the next couple of months. I needed to hear that and get her reassurance. I was obviously meant to go to the Dinner Dance and meet her that night.

The month continued and I took the hormones on day three and day four. This month they had been increased to ten from seven to see if this had any affect. I went for my follicle tracking in the early pregnancy unit in Portlaoise on day nine of my cycle. It was great to go as it gives you some indication of what’s happening on the inside and if your body is responding well to the drugs. The lady who did it for me was amazing, she was so kind and helpful and had great advice for me that I had never heard before. She suggested taking Exputex as this would help me produce more mucus each cycle. You should take it in the days coming up to ovulation. She also suggested that both Sean and I start taking Co-Enzyme Q10 as it helps strengthen the head of the sperm to aid penetrating the hard exterior of the egg and also should help me produce better quality eggs. There are loads of more reasons why to use these supplements but they are the main ones.

That day my largest follicle on my right-side measured 21mm. This was a big improvement to last cycle and I was over the moon. I went out to the car and called my fertility advisor straight away. She suggested calling the clinic, which I did next. They wanted me to take the HCG injection the next day. A mature follicle that is due to rupture usually reaches 24mm, on their advice, so I was very close. Once the injection is given, it causes the follicle to rupture within 36 hours and then ovulation occurs. The reason behind the injections is to ensure that the follicles rupture as sometimes this process doesn’t occur. As it happened the next morning I got a smiley face on my ovulation test which indicated an LH surge. I was good to go. I called Mary and made arrangements to see her that evening.

This cycle progressed normally, the progesterone was not really affecting me as badly anymore and I started taking Femtab this cycle to bring up my Oestrogen levels. On day twenty (peak plus seven) I got my bloods done and the results came back a few days later. My Oestrogen levels had come back up to 605, I was thrilled but the progesterone was still low at 42.6. It’s so frustrating, one without the other is no good and I had to prepare myself for disappointment again this month.

As it happened my periods were late, I got very excited and was praying for a miracle. In the back of my mind I was excited. A year previous I had lost a very special uncle and I pray to him and Nana all the time to send me a baby, put a good word in. It was coming up to his 1st year anniversary and my periods were nowhere to be seen, I thought my prayers had been answered. But it was not meant to be. They came a few days later and again I went through the same emotions as last month. I felt myself slipping under the dark cloud again, I thought this month was it, I felt like I was being teased with them being late. It’s not fair. I would love that baby so much and I honestly considered giving up treatment. I had a review appointment with the clinic in Dublin that I made in November and I postponed it. I couldn’t face it, it wasn’t going to affect this cycle regardless as it had begun already, so what was the point until I figured things out in my own head.

It’s so hard every day to face infertility issues. I know I have my beautiful boys and they are what keep me going. However, they are constantly asking for a new baby, especially my oldest boy, he loves kids and is so kind and gentle with them. He likes to talk before bed every night and have cuddles and asks when Holy God is going to send us a baby. He plans if it’s a girl or a boy depending on his mood that day and he picks out the baby’s name. He tells me he wants the baby to sleep with him and we laugh and joke about him changing dirty nappies. He refers to the spare room as the baby’s room and we have all got into that habit now. I always tell him our baby is not ready yet but Holy God will put it into Mammy’s belly as soon as he/she is. Kids are so accepting, this is all he needs to hear and off he goes to bed. Kids are so resilient, there innocence to the big bad world is something to cherish. Keep the problems away and let them just enjoy their childhood.

Oh to be a child again ……………………………………

To be continued

January Blues

Christmas came and went and there was great excitement in our house, the boys were thrilled and totally spoilt as per usual. I didn’t have a drink Christmas day as I had entered the second half of my cycle and didn’t want to take any chances. I usually allow myself to have a night out or a few drinks around the beginning of each cycle to wind down and drown my sorrows. I started the progesterone again this month and they were not agreeing with me. I had heartburn constantly and was living on gaviscon. I couldn’t enjoy food at all and felt nauseous for the whole week. Instead of a night out in the pub Sean and I went to the cinema and then to Kelly’s Steakhouse to for something to eat. It was our first time there since it reopened. The meal was amazing, eyes were way bigger than my belly and I suffered for it afterwards.

I was optimistic this month, naive really to think it would happen as soon as I started the hormones. But my emotions took over. A late Christmas present from Santa. We had a quite night in for New Years and I got my results from my blood test a few days into the New Year. They weren’t good. Oestradiol had gone down slightly from last month and my progesterone levels had plummeted. I was heartbroken. I knew my periods would be coming in the next day or two and I was trying to prepare myself.  A few days later I decided to email my consultant, I was confused and frustrated and needed some guidance.

In the email, I basically said that I wanted more information on how the whole process worked. I could not understand why my Oestradiol had halved since starting the medication and why my body was not reacting to the progesterone. I like to know what exactly is going on in my body and have all the information. The email I received back three days later was not helpful at all. It did not address any of my questions and basically suggested that I look into fertility counselling. I didn’t need counselling, I just needed answers. This upset me more.

I had booked follicle tracking for Day 12 as requested by the clinic and just focused on this for the following days. Day 12 was a Saturday morning. The boys had a birthday party in the local play zone for their cousin’s birthday and I went to get the tracking done. It was my left side that was active and there were two follicle’s 11mm each. This information was forwarded to my consultant in Dublin. I got all my answers from the Doctor that did my follicle tracking, she was very understanding and helpful and although I was upset leaving the clinic I had more information than before. I knew now that the progesterone levels were only being topped up by the medication I was taking. That if I had a result of 33 that this meant I probably only had somewhere in the region of the teens or twenties and the meds just topped it up to 33. Therefore, it indicated I had a poor ovulation or none at all the previous month. Knowledge is key and without it you are doing it blind.

My consultant in Dublin called me first thing on Monday morning and wanted me to go for another scan that day. Said that there were no dominant follicles and another scan would give her more information. At €100 per scan it wasn’t just as easy as of course no problem. I was annoyed and said no that I couldn’t go today and that I had one booked for Saturday. Curiosity got the better of me and I called the local clinic to see if they could fit me in. They squeezed me in for after work. This time it showed that both follicles had grown to just above 15mm. This information was also passed on to the clinic and I received a call the following morning. I was now on Day 15 of my cycle and was not testing positive for an LH surge on my ovulation indicators. I also had no mucus present to indicate ovulation. So frustrating! I couldn’t take the HCG injection without any clear indication of ovulation.

It got to Thursday and there was still no positive result. I called my fertility advisor for some advice. We both agreed that I should bring my Saturday appointment for follicle tracking back to today to see what’s going on. So, off I went again, another €100. This time the scan showed that the follicles had ruptured and that there was fluid in my pelvis. The doctor in the local clinic was happy with the cycle in her opinion but the clinic was not convinced. I suppose the blood tests would give a better picture of what was going on this month. They weren’t good, my progesterone was at 37, no move from last month and my Oestradiol had halved again. It started at 533 and was now at 156. What was going on? I rang the results into the clinic and they agreed to increase my Letrozole from 7 tablets to 10 and also to put be on Femtab which was to increase my oestrogen levels.

The end of the month was coming, January was nearly over. I can honestly say looking back it now I was so depressed for the whole month. I didn’t want to socialise, I barely wanted to get out of bed, I was struggling to hold back the tears most days and honestly questioned what was the point. My birthday was coming up at the beginning of February and as it happened by periods were due that day. Talk about trying to ruin the birthday buzz. I got a phone call from a friend to attend the local football club’s dinner dance. I gave myself a kick in the bum and tried to come out of my slump before my periods arrived. I figured if I didn’t take control not only would it ruin my birthday but it was going to be harder to dig myself out from under the cloud once I got my next periods. I started back at the gym and made plans to get out of the house. I got my nails done and bought a new outfit for the dinner dance. I put on a brave face and got on with it………

To be continued

Baby’s Arrival

Today was definitely the day, contractions were coming strong with really no break in between. Around lunch time I called Sean to come home from work. I remember sitting in mam’s waiting for him to come home with my face buried into the side of the arm chair. Although the pain was not pleasant I was bursting with excitement. Sean picked me up and it was straight to the hospital, he may have broken a few speed limits along the way. He dropped me at the door and parked the car. I remember holding myself up on the bollard outside the hospital when my cousin and her boyfriend walked past.

I went upstairs to be assessed and was assigned a midwife. I was barely 2cm – seriously what was the pain all about so. She showed me to my bed and told me to go have a bath. Bad idea, I got into the bath like a beached whale. I had nothing to grip onto when the pains got strong. And oh boy, they went from bad to worse. I got out of the bath with great difficulty, I was like a contortionist. Sean helped me to dry myself and get dressed and he went off to get the midwife. She escorted us to the delivery rooms and that’s when the fun began.

Baby was sunshine, meaning his spine was against my spine, this was causing so much pain in my back. One of the housekeeping ladies popped in and brought me some toast and orange juice. I didn’t eat it all maybe just a bite or two and a sup of the drink. Sean was rubbing my back and the midwife was busying herself getting prepared for what was to come. They started talking and somehow knew each other’s families and got into a great conversation. Hello! I am still here in pain. Rub my back. Grrrrrr!

I was not progressing much, cm’s hadn’t changed and a decision was made to break my waters. At this stage, my Mammy had arrived and Sean stepped out for air. The doctor came in and broke my waters and there was meconium present. All hell broke loose and the pains got worser. 😊 The registrar on duty came in and said that I would be ok that process would be very slow and to proceed with a normal delivery – Epidural, anybody. I was sucking on gas with no relief.

Next thing the midwives start talking amongst themselves, they noticed something on the trace with regards to baby’s breathing. They weren’t saying much to us but I knew something was wrong. Mam kept asking for information but they ignored her. The gynaecologist on duty was called who happened to be the same one that delivered myself and Sean all those years ago. Thank god for him as I wouldn’t like to think of what could have happened. An emergency section was called for immediately. Baby was struggling and needed to be delivered asap.

I got a terrible fright and really did not want to be sectioned. It wasn’t in my plan and I was scared. Sean wasn’t here either and I later found out that they wouldn’t let him back in as my mam was in with me. A gurney was brought into the labour ward to transport me down to theatre, I could barely move with the pain and the midwife that wouldn’t give us any information was beside me. I asked her to help me up off the bed and she said no – she didn’t want to hurt her back. She definitely won’t be on my Christmas card list. Sean was outside the labour ward waiting on me. He got a terrible fright as he didn’t know what was going on. Mam hung back for a minute and had a stern word with the midwife for withholding information and being down right rude.

It was off to theatre. It was such a rush, I was brought in and placed on the operating bed, I was asked to sit very still heaped over while they inserted the epidural/spinal – which mid contraction is very difficult to do. Success they were in. Instant relief. No nicer feeling, honestly. After having contractions on and off for a few days and the intense last few hours it was amazing. I felt a cold tingle down one leg and then down the other. No more pain. They did their checks to make sure it worked and the screen went up, they were ready to go. Sean was brought in at that stage and I was more worried about him seeing anything gory as he is so squeamish.

After getting the epidural I felt the need to get sick, I was given anti-nausea meds but it didn’t help. Damm that lady who gave me toast and orange juice! Incisions were made and baby was delivered. He was checked first and then brought to me. He was gorgeous, Nathan was born at 8pm weighing 8lbs. He had lovely black hair and was the image of his daddy. Sean and I sat there starring at him for a few minutes before the midwife and Sean brought him upstairs to check him out and get him dressed. Time in recovery was the longest half hour of my life.

Eventually I was brought back upstairs on the bed and was met by Sean and Nathan in the hall. Mam and Dad were waiting outside my room door and it was all hugs, kisses, and tears of joy. I was reunited with Nathan and everyone got their cuddles. Mam and Dad left soon afterwards and Sean and I memorised every part of our baby. I was so happy and overjoyed to have him with me finally. It was hard to put him down, the cuteness. Pictures were taken, phone calls were made and text messages were sent. He had arrived and we wanted the world to know. The drama of the day was behind us and forgotten about, it didn’t matter now that he was here…………………….………

To be continued

 

First Pregnancy

There is no better feeling in the world than holding your baby for the first time, their smell, their tiny fingers, and toes, how actually small they are. Your emotions are over flowing and it all becomes real. This little baby you have been growing inside of you for 9 months has finally graced you with their presence. You’re in love, a love that is like no other, a love that fills you with joy from head to toe. Your protective side kicks in and when the nurse takes your baby to dress him and make sure everything is ok, you watch her, you watch her every move, making sure your little person is safe. Not taking into consideration that the nurse or midwife works with baby’s every day or that this is what he/she is trained to do. She has your baby now and she’s not worthy.

Let me take you back to the beginning. Deciding to have a baby and change our lives for the better was easy for me. I wanted a baby forever, I was always broody and surrounded myself with children, especially my cousins growing up. I felt like I was a part of their lives and them apart of mine. I was first to offer to babysit. I remember traveling across the country as a teenager to spend time with the first-born cousin in a long time. I was obsessed. My aunt that lived locally had a baby a few years later and I nearly moved in. I was 6 years old when my youngest sister was born and she was so precious to me. I mothered her and still to this day have to be reminded that she has one mother and my role is a sister.

It took Sean a little longer to come around to the idea. I think it’s different for men, he was being practical and was thinking with his head and not his heart. Can we afford a baby, are we ready, it is the right time? He came around in the end. We went to Manchester for a few days in the August to see a match and stayed with Family. We had a great time and really relaxed. We had decided we would try when we got back. We figured it would take a while for it to happen. Little did we know that God had different plans. We got pregnant first time, how simple it was looking back at it compared to our struggles now.

As you will see from yesterday’s post we got engaged in September and two weeks later found out we were pregnant. I remember going up stairs to unpack from our night way and doing the test. When the results were, in I couldn’t believe. Although I instinctively knew, I was still in shock. I nervously called Sean upstairs and showed him the test. He hugged me but I could see he was struggling to digest it all. He went back down stairs to watch the match and I busied myself upstairs. I came down a few minutes later and offered to go pick us up some dinner. I wanted to leave him to his thoughts until he was ready to talk to me. When I got back we went outside as it was a nice day to eat our food and my cousins arrived, they were staying over for the night. When they went to bed later that night we sat down and had a great chat, Sean was delighted and I knew he just needed time to process everything.

It was then time to tell our families. We called to my parents’ house first. I was so nervous. I had participated in a fitness camp over the previous few weeks and signed up for the next one. Mam mentioned the camp and was asking what nights was it on. This was my cue. I said I won’t be able to take part this time, why she said? Nervously I told her and she was thrilled. She told Daddy straight away and they both hugged and congratulated us. Daddy made a joke and said now he was married to Granny and I knew they were ok with the news. My sisters were there too that day and everyone was told in my house. Off to Sean’s Mothers house.

When we got there his sister happened to be there too as well as a few of his brothers. We went into his Mam’s room and told his Mam and sister first and then told his brothers. There was great excitement. The hard bit was over. I don’t know why we were so nervous. We were adults, had bought our own house the year previous and were now engaged to be married. I suppose it’s only natural.

I went to the doctors on the Monday morning after finding out, he thought it may not show up yet on their tests as it was so early, but it did. All my information was sent to the hospital to get me in with a consultant and to arrange the first scan. It wasn’t will all this was over the nausea started. For weeks I was so nauseous, until one day my mam said to me on the phone during a moaning session; “You will never be pregnant again for the first time, don’t waste it moaning and feeling sorry for yourself, enjoy it”. It was the kick in the bum I needed. I just got over myself. Mind over matter.

I loved every minute of being pregnant, every scan, every kick, every hiccup. I loved it. It was the miracle of life. At 24 weeks, we went to Blackrock for a 3D scan. I was dying to find out the gender, Sean was on the fence as usual. But when the scan started he was sold. He wanted to know who he was looking at. Our son. He was the image of his Daddy; strange I know but his features were the same. That was an amazing time for both of us. On the way home, we picked his name and stopped in Newbridge to pick up his letters for his Nursery.

Time flew to the end and I was nesting for weeks. The house was ready but no sign of baby. We got to term plus 4, it was a bank holiday Monday and I woke with contractions, they were mild but happening. It was 6:50am and I rang Mammy. The excitement began. She said to come straight to her house and be there until I needed to go to hospital. The day passed by and the contractions came and went. I was ready for my baby and had planned to have a natural birth. It got to the early hours of Tuesday morning and Sean and I went to the hospital. I was assessed and given a bed. No move and I was discharged as quick on the Tuesday as the contractions stopped for a few hours. I was exhausted and glad to get home to Mammy’s for a sleep. I slept well on Tuesday night but the contractions woke me again on Wednesday morning. Today was the day………………………

To be continued

Getting Engaged

On the Friday 11th of September 2009 Sean asked me to marry him. It was a whirlwind of excitement. Sean had arranged that we both had the day off work. I was blind folded that morning and put into the car, prepared for the surprise ahead. We got to Emo Court and Sean took me for a walk. He had a bag in his hand and wouldn’t tell me what it was. I hate surprises, I was not born with no patience and the suspense was killing me to know what was in the bag. He took me down a path that was covered in trees, like a tunnel.

Approximately half way down we stopped and out of the bag came a box. Very intriguing!!! Sean held it while I opened it and inside was a bottle of champagne and stuck to the front of it was a little note saying, “Will You Marry Me”. I couldn’t believe and it was so overwhelmed. I hugged him straight away and we were both very emotional. A few minutes later he said, “You didn’t answer me”. Oooops I got carried away – forgot to say Yes! Of course, it was YES!

We stayed in Emo for a few minutes, Sean carved our initials and the date into the tree beside us, but the excitement was bursting. We made it back to the car and I called my Mammy straight away. She was screaming and shouting with excitement down the phone and couldn’t believe it. I called my Dad (who already knew – fill you in later) and then called my sisters and my closest family and friends. Mam did the rest. Sean called his family too. We went back to Mammy’s house to fill her in properly and then it was on to Newbridge to pick a ring.

Fields in Newbridge was our jewellers of choice – Sean had it prearranged and they were so helpful. Rings were coming from everywhere but of course it was the first one I tried on that I went back to. It had to be ordered as they didn’t have my size. Heart-breaking to come away without my ring but it was worth the wait. We met up in the local pub for drinks that night to celebrate with my family. And the following night we went to celebrate with Sean’s family. An amazing weekend.

Sean went for a drink with my Dad the night before the engagement in Dad’s local pub. I wasn’t really that suspicious as we were both off the next day so why not. Dad goes out most Thursday nights so he just joined him. I later found out that the reason behind this night out was Sean wanted to ask him for his blessing for my hand in marriage before he asked me. Old fashioned I know, but it was a mark of respect and Daddy really appreciated it. So, did I. The next day, Friday, Daddy knew what was coming. He kept ringing Mam all morning asking her if she had any news. She thought he was going mad. He would never ring her so often.

We planned an engagement party for four weeks’ time, Sean’s family were heading away on holidays for a few weeks so we wanted to make sure everyone was there. We are from different towns not far from each other so instead of picking one over the other we settled on neutral territory – The Fisherman’s Inn. It was perfect for a great night.

In the meantime, we had booked a night away in The Killerig Resort in Carlow. It was a gift from Fields when we purchased our ring. We made the booking for 2 weeks after we got engaged. It was lovely to get away and step back from the madness that ensued with getting engaged. The hotel was gorgeous and we were upgraded to a Junior Suite. We had a beautiful dinner in the hotel and I had a glass of wine. It didn’t taste right. Strange, it would be my drink of choice. I said it to Sean and said I just wasn’t feeling it tonight. We went back up to the room after dinner and got an early night. The next day came and I was aware that my periods were due but no sign. Only a day late so wasn’t getting too worried. On the way home I got Sean to stop at the chemist and I picked up a pregnancy test just in case. As I said no patience.

When we got home there was a match on. Sean made himself comfortable on the couch and I went to unpack. I did the test and continued doing a few jobs. The results were in, it was positive. As clear as day, Pregnant 3-4 weeks………………………………………………………………

To be continued

Sitting Room Makeover

Your couch is a very important part of your family life, from the obvious relaxing and watching tv to all its other functions such as:

  • Changing baby’s nappies
  • Eating your Saturday night takeaway
  • Kids enjoying popcorn and a movie with their friends
  • Your almost one year old pulling himself up and getting steady on his feet as he walks holding on to it.

It’s a very special piece of furniture but ours was looking old and tired. We bought it about 7 years ago, pre-children. It replaced a leather suite that Sean had picked out when we first moved in, but it annoyed me deeply and I didn’t find it comfortable. One day I decided enough was enough and I put it on Done Deal. It may have been briefly discussed at some stage, maybe when Sean was falling asleep but it definitely wasn’t agreed on, as I was later told. The ad was up with pictures and within the hour Sean received a phone call from a local man coming to collect his furniture. Oooops I should have put my number on the ad, that was an awkward conversation. He got over it!!!

The suite we replaced it with was a newer version of the couch you can see below. It was so cosy. We got a three-seater couch and a one seater. Within the first two weeks I came home one evening to find a hole chewed into the seat cushion on the three-seater couch, all the stuffing was pulled out and that was the end of the new couch. From then we covered the seat cushions with blankets.

The poor couch had threads pulled out from everywhere, the cushion was ripped as I said, the frame on the three-seater was shaky and broken as we later found out and it was time for a makeover. I contacted local upholster Quality Upholstery. I sent them pictures of my suite on Facebook messenger and they sent me back a price and the amount of material I would need. I decided that it would be great if I had a two seater to replace the one seater. Trying to expand the family and room for visitors to sit, it would definitely be more beneficial to have more seats. I scoured Done Deal and narrowed it down to a few options. I finally settled on a couch in Wexford as pictured below. It was €40 and a lot worse than mine, but who cared, all I needed was the frame. Off my husband and his friend went on a warm summers evening down to Wexford and back after work one evening. He must really love me!!!

That weekend my sister and I went to Newbridge to the Fabric Outlet to pick out fabric. I knew I wanted grey but I had so many options to choose from. You need another person with you to help choose, you have to pull out rolls of fabric and place them beside each other to make sure they match and another pair of eyes is essential. After an hour of trawling the shop we settled on the Grey and White Triangular patterned fabric. It was easy to pick the base, I needed something darker as that is where little toes first touch as they are climbing up with dirty shoes. It was harder to pick the cushion fabric, the accent colours. The staff in the Fabric Outlet were run off their feet, the place is so busy but when it came to my turn they were very helpful and full of ideas. They cut extra fabric for me as I had changed from a one-seater to a two-seater and off I went. The fabric was so reasonable only 4.95 per metre. You can find them online at www.fabricoutlet.ie or on Facebook @fabricoutlet.ie.

Phil and her husband Murt collected our furniture on a Thursday evening, including our ottoman and said they would be back in a few days. I asked for our ottoman to be converted into a storage box so that I could use it for storage of dvds. Nothing could have prepared me for the finished piece, it was amazing, out of this world. You can see from the pictures below that it was a total transformation. The frame was fixed on the three-seater. We were lucky to pick up three large cushions in a warehouse that were going to be thrown out, for the back as these are expensive to buy and they really help fill out the back of the couch and make it look so much grander. The two-seater looks great and was a bargain and they look amazing in the sitting room.

While the couches were gone, we repainted the walls with a lilac/grey colour and changed the wall paper on the chimney breast. We also previously ripped out the fire place as it was never used and placed an electric stove into the alcove for effect. Removing the hearth off the floor has given us so much more room and floor space. The new floor boards were laid and it looks like a new house.

To add some cosiness I ordered a mat from Dennis McGinley carpets in Portlaoise. I wanted a large mat to fit between the couch and the ottoman and I wanted it very high pile and cosy under your toes. The boys love to sit and watch telly on the mat and they play on the floor a lot so it was important that it was comfy and warm. It was a bargain, I chose the carpet I liked and Dennis arranged for the size I wanted to be piped around the edges from a lady in Portlaoise.

It didn’t help that I had bought a mat two weeks previous in Dunnes for the sitting room that was put down for a day and is still rolled up upstairs. Oooops again!!!!

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So Tired and Sad – Help Me!!!

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Food Intolerance Test Results

As part of the fertility treatment the Neo Fertility Clinic suggested a Food Intolerance Test which I had done just over two weeks ago. The consultant took a vile of my blood and sent if off to be analysed. The reason behind this is that some foods can act as fertility blockages for example: wheat and dairy.

Well the results are in; my life is over 😊 Dramatic or what!! I have intolerances towards the following foods:

  • 95 Milk (cow)
  • 52 Potato
  • 51 Milk (Goat)
  • 50 Cashew Nut
  • 47 Corn (Maize)
  • 47 Yeast (Brewer’s)
  • 43 Barley
  • 41 Wheat
  • 40 Egg White
  • 39 Pistachio
  • 28 Oat
  • 28 Peanut
  • 26 Trout
  • 26 Yeast (Baker’s)

The numbers beside each food group indicates the level of intolerance. Borderline foods are between 24 and 29. The higher the number the worse the intolerance is. So now you can see why my life if over – no more chocolate and wine or any alcohol for that matter is out the window.

I know, I know, I know, it’s only a food intolerance test and not an allergy test and I can still eat the foods and suffer later but for the sake of getting healthier and for fertility reasons and I going to do my best to stick to it for now. Maybe introducing foods back in at a later date.

I just rang Sean and he told me he was going to divorce me if I give up chocolate, my boss told me to start working from home, I swear I am not a crazy person without chocolate, but I might get a little cranky!!

The next few days will be spent researching foods I can eat. It mostly eliminates processed foods and carbs. All fruit and Veg are ok, nuts are not a problem as I don’t like them. However, carbs are going to be an issue. This is where I need your help. If you have any suggestions or are in a similar situation please email or pm me with ideas or recipes.

I can’t believe I have an intolerance to potatoes – I’m Irish for goodness sake. Rice it is so – every night. Help!!!!!!!

I will be so skinny in a few weeks. I am going to weigh in this evening, start as I mean to go on. I will post weekly updates of weight loss and hopefully in a few weeks after cutting all this stuff out the results will be amazing – here’s hoping!

I already have lasagne ready for this evening so can’t help that but I have a really healthy lunch with me. Big changes, starting tomorrow……………………………………….

To be continued

 

Getting Started on the Meds

Once the weekend of celebrating for my sisters 30th was over it was back to reality. On Monday morning, I started taking my medication. No hormones at this stage, just medication to get my body function normally and my vitamin levels up. The reason behind this is the clinic want two more sets of bloods including AMH, which is an egg count and level of vitamin D3. My review appointment was scheduled for the end of November.

Eleven tablets later I went off to work, not feeling any different. Little did I know starting the tablets that one of them wouldn’t suit me. LDN – Low Dose Naltrexone is a new tablet used in fertility, for me it was supposed to help me sleep, help with anxiety, moods etc. However, there are side effects in some people of vivid dreams and of course I am one of those people. I took them for a few weeks but had to stop, I was exhausted. I had so many vivid dreams every night, I was waking up confused, upset, angry and just worn out. They just weren’t for me. Poor Sean didn’t know what was going on most mornings. I was either cross with him for something that happened in my dreams or really upset. I think he thought I was losing my mind 😊

I came off them just in time, as it happened, as I had a weekend planned with my sisters in Liverpool. I wasn’t allowed drink while taking LDN but was glad of a few glasses of vino to help me relax while I was away. I didn’t expect much from Liverpool but was pleasantly surprised. It is a gorgeous city. We went from Friday to Sunday and packed loads in while we were there. On Friday night, we booked a comedy show in Comedy Central, included was a meal in Panam on Albert Dock. The package was very reasonably priced and the meal was gorgeous. There were a few good comedians performing on the night and a few giggles were had.

On Saturday, we did a bus tour of the city, so we could at least say we saw most of the sites. Then it was up on the Ferris Wheel and the Merry Go Round like big kids. We had a beautiful tapas lunch with a cocktail on Albert Square and then enjoyed the sun sitting outside The Pump House. All in all it was a great weekend. I was delighted to get home to see Sean and the kids on Sunday evening.

My Hysterosalpingogram was scheduled for the following Monday morning, up early and into the hospital. It was a fairly quick procedure, I won’t get into the details, just to say it was very uncomfortable but it didn’t last long enough to warrant any drama. I was told there and then that my tubes were fine and my womb was slightly on the small size. However, I carried two 8lb babies so it stretches fine.

October was just meds and bloods and charting every day of my cycle, waiting for the signs of fertility to know the optimum time to conceive. All the while it didn’t matter, my progesterone was too low for conception. Not only did I have to worry about getting pregnant, I also had to worry about holding a pregnancy. I was told that low progestogen levels more than likely would result in a miscarriage. I still prayed for a miracle at the same time.  I phoned my October results into the clinic the first week of November and as I had two sets of bloods phoned in since my last appointment they could bring my review date up by two weeks. I got excited, I knew the next appointment meant starting me on hormones and although this seemed daunting, it meant that my results should start to get better and I was optimistic this would help me get pregnant. I made the appointment for a Monday and Sean and I planned to go into Dublin city afterwards to see all the Christmas lights and get started on our Christmas Shopping. Longest two weeks of my life………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

To be continued

WHY????

The question I keep getting asked over the last few days is WHY? Why do you want more children? Why are you going public? Why are you going public in such a big way?

Firstly, blogging is something I wanted to do for a long time but I really wanted to do it about something that was important to me and something that others could relate to. I am also a giver. I want to help people all the time and if just one person who was suffering in silence or didn’t know where to start first with getting help with fertility issues read my blogs and I gave them comfort and hope, that’s all I need.

With regards having more children. I love my two boys more than life itself and would go to the end of the earth for them and I am sure all parents can relate to that feeling. Bursting with love, pride and over course protecting them. However, I have always wanted a big family. I have 2 sisters who I love dearly and wouldn’t change it for the world. I also come from large extended families and my love for children has always been there. I took for granted being able to get pregnant and never thought after the boys that I would face any issues. But I have and knowing that something stands between you and having another baby is horrific. I have no control over it really. I am taking the medication, I am being proactive and doing all the right things but there is no guarantee. But I am determined and I am going to keep trying.

Going public was a big decision and it ate away at me for ages. Especially when I registered my Domain and it was all becoming very real, very quickly. I was apprehensive. But I am glad now that I did. Sitting at home letting the cloud get you is not healthy. It’s not healthy for me, for my marriage, for my children or for my friendships. I wanted to step out ahead of the problem and share it. Use my knowledge and experiences to help others and to just break the silence and the taboo. I have fertility issues, I am not embarrassed or ashamed, I am not a bad person because of it. I am human.

Hopefully I can help others and please feel free to contact me privately if you have any questions.

Party Planning

I’m taking a step away from the serious stuff today and going to give you some ideas for planning a party. I love party and event planning. When my sister decided to have her 30th in my parents’ house it was all systems go to make sure everything ran smoothly. I offered to sort out all the decorations and make the cake.

Decorations

We decided on pastels and started to search all the party websites. Then I landed on Party Parlour (www.partyparlour.ie) and found amazing pieces. We had to get enough to decorate two Marquees and the garage. We are very lucky that in my parents’ house we have all the facilities to host outdoor events and I was blessed to have both boys Christening parties there after their ceremony’s.

You will see from some of the pictures I attached the decorations that we went with. Floral buntings, tissue pom poms, honeycombs, paper lanterns, hanging fans and much more. By picking a colour scheme of pastels it was easy to mix and match decorations creating an array of colours and styles. I had some old fairy lights which we used to light of the ceiling in the garage along with the DJ’s lights.

Photos

I thought it would be fun to get some photo props and decorated an old frame for taking pictures. These pictures could then be added to the album I created for my sister with photos from her childhood and all the major happenings in her life. I contacted most of her friends through social media and asked them to send me pictures for the album. This was the best gift of all as it was from everyone there. All the pictures were printed by the local pharmacy Adrian Dunne’s, the girls in there are so helpful and efficient and the photos are reasonably priced when printing in bulk. I spent most of the night with a camera around my neck making sure I captured all the fun. Documented memories forever.

Drinks

The idea was that everyone brought their own drinks and there was a bit of everything in the house too for the all-night partiers. Mam and I ordered a cocktail bar for the party as a surprise. Cocktail Mocktail from Portlaoise and they seemed to have been in festival circuit last year from their pics on Facebook. The bar is inflatable and the set up takes no time. You can find them on Facebook @cocktailmocktailirl. It was a great addition to the night and added a bit of colour to the décor with the neon lights.

The Sweet Table

So as usual when I say I am going to do something I do it times ten. I offered to make the birthday cake but thought we wold need some cupcakes too. And as there was going to be kids there it was suggested we might need some sweets. So, the birthday cake soon spiralled into a Sweet Table. You can see the pictures I attached. I made the cake and the cupcakes on the Friday night and then Saturday morning as I mentioned in my last post between meeting with the fertility advisor, decorating and beautifying myself I had to ice 60 cupcakes and decorate them. Sean was in the kitchen beside me during the mayhem and asked “why do you always do this to yourself”, I don’t know, maybe because I am crazy!!!! Someone needs to restrain me, I get so excited. There were very little cupcakes left so I don’t feel too bad.

I raided my house to decorate the table, some birdcage battery operated lights I picked up in Heaton’s on sale and a large birdcage tea light holder that I picked up in the local €2 euro shop. The jars and scoops were borrowed from a friend and I decorated the marquee in lanterns and battery operated candles to add some ambience. These were borrowed from my cousin and originally purchased from Dunnes Stores.

The night was a huge success and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves. A local events caterer provided food and the music was provided by a friend of my husbands, he comes highly recommended. He had a mixture of music for all eras and genres and kept everyone on the dance floor all night.

A Visit to the Doctors

Summer 2016- A visit to the doctors:

I made an appointment and nervously went in, hoping to be told I had nothing to worry about. I had recently changed GP’s and am so glad I did. The level of understanding and care I received was second to none and I wasn’t with the practice very long. My bloods were taken and I was referred to my gynaecologist. There was nothing abnormal in my bloods, only the length of time I had been trying warranted further investigation.

I felt like the appointment for my gynaecologist would never come. While waiting, I had repeat bloods on Day 3 and Day 21 of my cycle. This was important to give a clear indication of how my hormone levels were. After chatting with a good friend and explaining my worries she gave me a card for Dr. Phil Boyle of the Neo Fertility Clinic in Dublin. Of course, I rang but was told in August that he was so busy that the next appointment was November – Seriously! My heart sank. I had no time to wait, I wanted to get down to the root of the problem asap, I wanted a baby, yesterday!

The receptionist explained that they had recently taken on another consultant and that she had been shadowing Dr. Boyle for a number of weeks and if I wanted I could have an appointment with her, Dr. Michelle Morris. I jumped at the chance and got an appointment for 20th September. In the meantime, my gynaecologist got back to me with an appointment for the 17th September. Of course, I went to see both. Two different approaches, two different opinions, why not, I was desperate.

Gynaecologist:

My first appointment was with my OB/GYN on a Saturday morning. I was so nervous but so excited too – I was finally going to get some answers. She did a scan and found that my left ovary had 7/8 small cysts/follicles. Not enough to be Poly Cystic, so that wasn’t the problem she explained. She wanted to arrange for a Hysterosalpingogram – HSG scan which would check my womb and that my fallopian tubes were patent. Being patent means, in my understanding, that the dye that is injected inside my womb would be able to exit my fallopian tubes without meeting any blockages. This scan was to be arranged on my next cycle.

Neo Fertility:

This appointment was only a few days later, Tuesday. It was a bit of a whirlwind, so much information. I had to start charting every cycle. I gave Dr. Morris a history and my blood results. I discussed with her the cysts/follicles found in my left ovary. She asked me about my moods, sleep pattern, weight and to describe in detail my cycles. I left with a prescription and a book to track my cycles and I was really confused. There was so much medical jargon and meds I had to digest, my head felt like it was going to explode. The only saving grace with the Neo Fertility clinic is you are put in touch with a Fertility Advisor. I was given her name and I knew I would be ok.

Fertility Advisor:

The lady was local and I knew her, I was so pleased and rang her the very next day. I asked her could we meet so she could explain how I was to track and to go through what was discussed at the meeting – I was so over whelmed. The meeting went great, she took her time, explained everything, explained the meds, the tracking, and the importance of relaxing. The same day I was baking, from early, for my sister’s 30th birthday, glowing with tan and had to go home and ice 60 buns and a cake and then decorate the Marquee and get hair and makeup done ahhhhhhh!. Relax – not possible!

I gave myself the weekend off to enjoy myself and started on the medication on Monday. This consisted of Metformin to treat Polycystic Ovaries, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Vitamin D3, Morepa Platinum Omega 3’s, Pregnacare Conception and LDN – Low Dose Naltrexone. The girls in the local chemist were amazing, they were and are always on hand with any questions or worries I have and are so supportive each month. They really helped starting all this medication so much easier.

I am very fortunate to be in a position to attain all this help and with the support of my parents, husband and family was able to positively take action. I am not the type of person to sit back and let things take over me so I had no choice to be proactive. This was only the start and nothing happens overnight I know that, but still when October came along and I wasn’t pregnant it hurt. It’s like your heart breaks just a little, a slight crack and you can physically feel the pain. My coping mechanism is to eat some chocolate, have a little cry and then get excited about the next month. Pick myself back up and plan ahead ……………………

to be continued

Introducing Me

As you will see from my About page my name is Dawn. I am a mammy to two beautiful boys, Nathan and Jacob, and married to Sean.

The reason I have finally decided to start a blog is to give myself a voice. I want a virtual diary so that I can share the good with the bad. And hopefully through my experiences I can help someone else.

I have a really good life, I have my family, my friends, my house, a job and so many things to be thankful for but I also suffered with Post Natal Depression after both boys and am now I am having fertility problems. These are two subjects that are uncomfortable to talk about and I don’t find, from my experience, that people are willing to share. So therefore, sometimes it can be lonely to have no one that truly understands the heartache.

I know how lucky I am to have two children already, however, the want for a child outweighs any reasoning. To know the miracle of creating your own flesh and blood, to feel the baby grow and move inside of you, it’s an amazing gift.

The day after having my first boy Nathan I was lying in the hospital bed with my deflated tummy and although Nathan was in my arms I said to Sean that I missed the movement in my belly, I missed being pregnant. He nearly dropped to the floor in shock 🙂

The last few years have been a whirlwind. In 2008 we bought our house, the following year we got engaged and a few weeks later found out we were pregnant with Nathan. Nathan was born in 2010 and exactly a year later we got married. Jacob was born a year later in 2012 and we have been busy ever since with our little monkeys. On New Year’s Eve 2014 we decided to start trying for another baby, the boys were getting big and the time was right – so we thought. Over two years later we are still trying.

It got to 18 months and I knew something was wrong. I started to get disheartened and upset every month when it didn’t happen. Close friends told me it was probably just stress and that I should try forget about it and it might happen. I knew it was time to go seek some professional help, be proactive and get some answers …………………………

 

to be continued

 

Jacob’s Worst Day Ever

Today was a normal day in the Heavey household. There were a few times that I had to raise my voice, for instance, “get dressed”, “put your shoes on”, “put your jumper on”, “get out of your uniform”, “go back upstairs and put skins under your shorts”, “stop blowing that bloody tin whistle”. But in our house this is normal, voices have to be raised once you have asked your children to do something 10 times or more and they are continuing to ignore you. Nathan has selective hearing, definitely a trait from his Daddy 😂 and Jacob is as stubborn as the day is long.

However, as Jacob describes it best, “It was his worst day ever”!!! On route to school this morning Halloween costumes were being discussed. Poor Jacob couldn’t make up his mind, he changes costumes in the evenings 5/6 times, his imagination runs away with him. He knew he wanted a new one and that he would possibly choose Wolverine – a Marvel Avengers character. He then decided he wanted the costume at that very moment. Not possible, I tried to explain, we are on our way to school. “Can you get it on your way home from work Mammy?” was the next question. I replied “no baby, I wouldn’t make the shops in time”. That’s when his world began to end.

He started to cry and got really upset. I tried to explain to him again and if he was really good I would get it for him at the weekend. What you don’t know about Jacob is how dramatic he is, everything is drama. I swear if he doesn’t make me millions in Hollywood, I’ll be disappointed. He was devastated, I was the worst Mammy ever. He wouldn’t get out of the car at school and he wanted it now!! At this stage I was beginning to get annoyed and of course I did what every good Mammy would do, I tried to reason with the little people “you have one chance now to stop that silly crying or you’ll get no costume. Do you think money grows on trees? You are too spoilt and you have to be good to get treats. Keep it up now and you’ll get nothing……….” and so on and so on? 

It’s the crying that gets me. I wouldn’t mind if they were hurt tears or real tears but with Jacob this morning it was a tantrum. It’s the whaling and screaming at high pitches. He decided to get out of the car and with some cuddles and a pep talk bounced into school with a smile on his face, while I was left sweating and up to 90 after his performance.

I picked the boys up from the Childminders after work and came home. They were fed so no need to worry about dinner. They played outside and Nathan got ready for football. When Nathan left I brought Jacob down to the shop to get something for my dinner but nothing took my fancy. I was getting “Hangry”. Home again and back outside while I chatted to one of neighbors. All was rosy until it wasn’t. He fell over!!!

When my kids get hurt, they don’t take it in their stride, they don’t calmly come get me to tell me their woes, they scream as if they have been hit by a train, car, bus and everything else that moves. He ran to me limping, trying to pull up his skins to show me the tiniest scratch on his leg. “It’s bleeding Mammy, it’s bleeding”. “No sweetheart it’s not, it’s just a scratch”, I replied. He jumped into my arms, his arms wrapped around my neck, dangling from me because; one I wasn’t ready and two he couldn’t wrap his leg around me because it was too sore. I asked what happened and through screams and tears he told me he fell over the path. “I wish I never fell Mammy, I wasn’t looking where I was going. It’s stinging, it’s stinging”. 

I brought him inside and tried to get his clothes off for a bath. Of course he screamed and didn’t want his clothes off. “It’s bleeding Mammy, don’t take off my clothes, you’ll touch my leg. I can’t straighten it, I can’t walk”. I carried him up the stairs in my arms and ran a bath. All the while he screamed some more, “I’m not getting into the bath, I can’t put my leg in, just rub it Mammy, do it gentle, not too hard, ahhhhhhhhh”!!! I placed him in the bath and at this stage he was sweating from the drama of the knee. I washed his hair while he held his leg tight to his body and continued to cry. Mind you there were no tears. That’s when he told me it was his worst day ever. 

I lifted him out of the bath, he had his sore leg tight to his body while his other leg trailed behind. I wrapped him in a towel and he said don’t let the towel touch me as he limped into his bedroom and told me he could only walk slow. I asked him how he was going to play football in school tomorrow and his answer was he can’t, his legs too sore. I proceeded to dry him and he told me he couldn’t lift his arms. Why? I asked. “Because”. I sat him on my knee singing to him as I dried his hair. His eyes were rolling and the crys were starting to subside. The odd moan or scream would pop up but silence was resuming. Once I had his hair dried, I laid him into my chest and stuck his blankie under his neck. Cuddled into me, swaddled in this towel, I sang his favourite songs. He fell asleep. 


How could you be annoyed with this cute little face. He was exhausted from all of the drama and the tiny cut on his leg. I continued to sing and hum and placed him on his pillow. I dressed his bottom half and covered him up and it was all over. Calm had been restored………..,,,

To be continued