My Journey

From mind to paper and back again.

All the pain of pregnancy and labour goes away…

or so they say.  And I am inclined to believe them.  If I could remember Oliver’s pregnancy being this difficult I wouldn’t have done it again, don’t get me wrong, I would never not want to meet this new little man, but my body is struggling to cope this time around 😦

The cholestasis is bad, with scratching everywhere I have cuts, scabs and scratches all over my body – no rash, I just get really itchy to the point where I can be in tears while I am scratching but there is nothing I can do to stop myself.  The medication is helping to control the bile acid rise in my blood stream but that doesn’t control the itchiness… so I am stuck with baths and menthol aqueous creams which work for a few minutes and then it starts all over again.

Top the cholestasis off with gestational diabetes, I am on tablets three times a day for that, having to test my blood sugars after every meal as well.  Then add on  the vitamin D deficiency, the iron deficiency, and the fact that I have hypothyroidism as well and you can tell I am like a walking chemist.  On a regular day I am taking 12 tablets before the need for paracetamol because oh yes, I have just been diagnosed with SPD… no wonder I can barely walk. 

I am 32 weeks and 6 days today and my consultant has said with everything that is going on, and with the fact that I had a spontaneous labour at 36 weeks with Oliver, that I am not likely to get to 36 weeks this time, which means that the baby is likely to be here in around 3 weeks and is likely to need a short stay in the NICU as well.  This is it for me, as much as I love being a mum, two little boys are definitely enough for me, they are my world already, but I couldn’t have a third baby.  I would rather stay as healthy as possible, spend some time after Christmas cutting down and losing weight (hopefully once baby is here I will lose all my baby weight as I have only gained 7lb in total and at my last growth scan he was weighing an ounce under 4lb, so when cord, placenta, waters etc are taken into account, I don’t think I have done too badly).  I want to be able to get down on the floor with both of them and do jigsaws or play row row your boat and be able to get up again at the end of it!  I want to take them both on the park without hobbling from one thing to the next and I want to be able to carry and lift them like there is nothing wrong with me.

Don’t get me wrong, I still have a slipped disc which I will be seeking treatment for again once the baby has arrived and I know that will impact on my quality of health, but I am determined to do everything I can to get healthier.  I get that everything I do can have an impact on things so if I can lose some weight and it eventually comes to needing another back operation, it will be a shorter recovery timescale than if I remain at my present weight.  I’m tired of being tired and at 7am I am yawning as I write this but this little man will all be worth it when he arrives x

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Page One

Well actually, it’s the second page I have done but this will be the first of Oliver’s pages.  I hope you like it, I have already placed photo’s and journaling cards in the next six pages and just have to write the actual information onto them now.  I can’t wait to do them and add them into the folder that I still need to buy 🙂 I think a trip to Hobby Craft may be in order in the next week or two to get one and start adding the pages into it.  These big pages (12×12”) will be for our large family album. I also have photo’s printed for a mini album that I will have to order from Amazon.com in a little while, I will actually be ordering two, one for the new baby and one for Oliver so I can keep a little album for both of them of their first year for when they grow up.  Once they are done, I may look to get them a large album each that I can add to over and over.  Anyway, here is the first page, once again, the lighting and photography isn’t great as it is late on here but I wanted to share it, and shall show you the other pages when I have added the journaling.

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Once I had done this I have sat and trimmed a lot of my other larger photo’s that have lots of empty space down to the 3×4 size to fit where the journaling cards go as well, so I get a better mix of photographs throughout the pages and the mini album.  I’ve been getting rather emotional looking through all of the photographs we have for him.

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Clothing Testing

So for me when sewing bibs and burp cloths are the norm and clothes are something that really talented other people do. But tjis week I have been trying to work well out of my comfort zone. I bought a pattern that is a shirt and trousers and made Oliver the shirt. Trousers still to come.

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I used snap fastenings instead of buttons as I’m turning the set into Pjs for Christmas eve for him.  For my very first shirt though I’m pleased.

Then this week I have been lucky enough to be asked to test a new pattern for A Sparkly Baby. It’s a Raglan hooded jumper. I’ve made two so far – one is up to 7.5lbs and the other is a 2T slim fit and I can’t wait to try it out on Oliver x

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I will definitely be making plenty more of these little jumpers x they sew up in a couple of hours and are gorgeous!

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A Catch Up

So it’s been a while and I’ve got a lot to tell you and share with you 🙂 I hope everyone is okay.

The biggest news I have to share with you is that I am pregnant (22 weeks) and that by the end of the year Oliver will be having a little brother 🙂

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So in preparation I have started sewing.  Some of the items I have made more than one of and am putting them onto my Etsy page for Snugglebugz (find me here).  The first thing I have been practicing is my changing bag.  I used the Stellar Weekender pattern from Swoon and love it.  So far I have made two at 70% for a perfect sized changing bag.  I can fit 5 of Oliver’s nappies in (he’s a size five), a pack of wipes, nappy sacks, creams and hand sanitizer, a juice bottle/cup, my phone, purse and keys, and a spare set of clothes.  Perfect for a day out.

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This week I have also made one of these full size, for my hospital bag and started to pack it.  I can’t believe how much space is still in there after everything I have packed!  There is a carry size pack of newborn nappies (how small are newborn nappies, I really don’t think Oliver was that small ever), a pack of the fabulous H20 Water wipes so I don’t have to mess about with cotton wool and water every bum change, 3 sleepsuits, 1 vest (I need to get a couple more), one towel for bath time, my toiletries (travel sized) babies toiletries, a blanket/wrap for in the car, birth announcement notes and a pen, breast pads and hat and mitts.  There is still plenty of space for all of my clothes and a coming home outfit for us both too 🙂 I am in love with this bag, I love the fabric and all the other things about it!

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As you can probably see, it has 2 patch pockets on the front, 2 open pockets on the back, an open pocket on either side and 4 big open pockets inside!  Plenty of space and lots of places to separate different items, mine and baby’s toiletries are all in one pocket, with announcement cards and pen in another.

I told you I have packed breast pads and a hat and scratch mitts.  Guess what? I made them!  The breast pads are reusable, breathable and have the softest fabric on top :)  They’re also a lot prettier than the disposable ones and took minutes to do, so I have decided to make some more.  Four pairs won’t be enough for me anyway :)  The hats, I have made in both blue and pink (I made them before our last scan) and there are plenty for in the Etsy store – I also have some plain denim look knit material so may even make another little hat in that too.

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I am also hoping to make a few more items to go directly into this bag 🙂 a changing mat that can be rolled up to keep handy but also not be cold on new baby bums, a dummy pouch and some more bibs are all on my list as well as burp cloths.

Enough about babies though, I have a toddler too!  And he’s growing up so fast 😦 in less than seven weeks my gorgeous baby will be two!  It doesn’t seem two minutes ago since I was preparing for his arrival, let alone his first birthday (and now his second).  He’s a very chatty little boy and although he doesn’t have tonnes of words, he has enough to get by, and definitely knows his own mind.  I asked him for a kiss the other day and he shook his head, laughed and then pulled his tongue out at me!  Cheeky monkey!  He still likes his snuggles though which is fine by me.

Here’s a recent picture so you can see how far he has come from that little man in the incubator.

2014-08-19 21.47.55-1I’ve also been doing some sewing for him over the summer and made him two little pairs of shorts, and a pyjama eater.  The pyjama eater I got told would scare children but Oliver loves his, they will be added to the Etsy store in the next week or so.

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Of course, you can still find the staples of dribble bibz, messenger bagz and burp cloths on the store too.  If you can’t see something you are looking for, please send me a quick message, either through the Etsy store or on my Facebook Page where I will do my best to help.

What does all this mean for me though? 

Well being pregnant means I can’t have any of the treatment I need to sort out the slipped disc that I have, so I have to wait until at least January before I can have my MRI scan to help the specialists decide what course of action to take.  It also means that I no longer work for Santander as they have ended my contract due to ill health.  So instead, I have been on a short course with the Prince’s Trust and registered Snugglebugz as a business and am starting to work on building up stock for Christmas fairs and things like that.  Hopefully I will be adding a newborn clothing range and some gorgeous snuggle blankets once I have been through the CE testing with them.

So that’s everything I have to tell you all, I hope you are all well and am looking forwards to catching up with you! x

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A day of fun

We have been busy today.  After a quick trip to the doctors we all bundled into the car and off we went to The Deep.  We have a free pass plus where we can visit as often as we like in the year since we went on my birthday so we decided to use it.  It only takes 40 or so minutes to Hull from our house so we were there by dinner.  I have to say, it was BUSY!  But then, its six weeks school holidays.  Having said that, we didn’t have to queue for very long and we were in within a few minutes.  Oliver loved the big fish, but wasn’t so sure at the smaller tanks.

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Oliver tried to catch the fishes! lol, after this bit we went under the glass tunnel and up in the bubble lift which seemed to go down very well.  (So did the little teddy from the gift shop).

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After The Deep we got in the car to drive home and decided on the way that we would go to Cleethorpes for the afternoon instead.  So Oliver got his first go on a fairground ride (or three) and we had a nice walk along the beech front before we had some tea in a promenade cafe.

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Oliver really enjoyed the different rides and then the chips at the beech but it wasn’t long before he looked like this:

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We all had a really good day and that was after a really good weekend where me and Oliver went to see my mum and step dad on Saturday and my dad and step mum on Sunday.  While we were there my older sister came to see us as well.  Here is a picture of Oliver with his cousins Bella and Riley Smile

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Oh and by the way, we’re full time cloth bums now! how cute is this?

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Cloth bum take one :)

There are lots of things I wanted to do when I fell pregnant, some I couldn’t and some I just didn’t.  Cloth nappies were one thing that I just didn’t do.  I know all the benefits, less nappy rash, kinder on the environment, saving up to £400 in 2 years etc etc… but disposables are easy.  So that’s the way we went. 

Recently though, I’ve seen lots of pictures of babies in ‘cloth bums’ and the patterns on them are gorgeous.  It renewed my want to try cloth nappies, so off I went, trawling the internet for information on the different nappy types to try and understand which one would best fit our lifestyle and routine.  In the end I opted to try some pocket nappies.  Then I had to try and work out all the different inserts.  I opted for bamboo as most people seemed to think this had the best absorbency and due to initial outlay I was only ordering three nappies to try at night.  I had to go with what would last Oliver 9-12 hours.  So the order went in on Saturday for 3 Little Bloom pocket nappies.  You can find them on Amazon.  At £5.70 each including 2 bamboo inserts they were some of the cheapest I had seen but I couldn’t find any bad reviews so I decided to give them a try.  I ordered a slightly cheaper package with only one bamboo insert per nappy.  They arrived yesterday.

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Then the questions started.  So many people wash nappies before use to increase absorbency.  So I went and got some natural soap flakes and was all ready for washing them but decided to ask in one of the mummy groups I am in.  One lady told me that at times she has used the nappy straight away and just expected to change it earlier but that she only uses Microfiber inserts at night.  I decided to use two bamboo inserts for the night and just go with it.  I went to Boots and got some flushable liners and also some bed saver mats and when Oliver was getting ready for bed we just went with the flow.

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Doesn’t he look sweet?  There is a bed mat underneath because I was panicking but we had no leaks what so ever and I was over the moon when I changed his bum this morning and the bamboo inserts had sucked all the moisture away from his bum with no sagging involved unlike after a night in a disposable.  So we have some more nappies on the way with 2 bamboo inserts each.  I’m hoping after a few nights we can start to convert to day time use as well Smile

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Sew, what have we been up to?

I wonder if you can guess before the end of the post Smile

First I hand dyed some fabric green, then I made a little bag out of some printed cotton fabric I had in.

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Then I printed out some pairs cards and a nursery rhyme.

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I also printed and laminated a small pattern.  Then cut it out and started to trace around it on the hand dyed fabric.

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Then I got started on stitching them up.

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And stuffing them.

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And then I made four more Smile out of hand dyed speckled green fabrics Smile

Have you guessed yet?

We’ve been making a nursery rhyme bag for five speckled frogs! Open-mouthed smile  If you would like to make your own, you can get the pattern from here.

The pattern has the chart and instructions to make your frogs, the chart and instructions to make your bag to hold them, the pair cards and the nursery rhyme to print off and laminate too.

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After spending 9 months on the inside

Oliver has now spent 9 months with us on the outside too!  That’s right, my gorgeous little boy is nine months old today!  Time has flown and he is getting bigger everyday and doing something new everyday too!  Soon mummy and daddy won’t be able to keep up! (Very soon).

From this:

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To this:

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I can’t believe where the past year and a half has gone!  Here are some other photo’s from our journey to today 🙂

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Do I look like my mummy or my daddy?

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Or do I just look like me?

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This is me at one month old

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And at two months old

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Here I am at three months old playing with my toes

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At four months old I started using my teether toys!

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I learned how to play peek-a-boo at five months old

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At six months old I picked my favourite teddies

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At seven months old I took a real liking to my food

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All that play time is tiring, at eight months old I started sleeping at night better.

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And here I am today, nine months old, playing on the swings in the park.  (I even got to go on the slide too but I wasn’t sure of that one).

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What a week

this week has been.  It started with a funeral followed by a friend losing her 7 month old baby.  Being back in work and Oliver being off didn’t help and on Friday I ended up at the doctors and she has put me on anti-depressants.  Hopefully this will help as the one that she put me on was also the tablet that my pain specialist recommended for pain relief in my back and leg. 

The tablets are making me very foggy first thing in the morning but surprisingly (and what I was worried about) I am waking up in the night to Oliver’s demands so that is good even if the morning brain fog isn’t.  It’s taking me over an hour to shake it at the moment but I have only just started to take the tablets so hopefully over the next few days it will become easier to function.

In the mean time I have done a little stitching on my current Heaven and Earth Designs project: SK Fragile which has no less than 45 different shades of pink in it.  I am enjoying seeing this one grow and am hoping to get it finished by the end of August which is when the reward programme finishes.  I already have CCK’s Dragonflies finished and have decided on which chart to request for finishing this one but if I do finish SK Fragile in time I have no idea which one to ask for in it’s place, it might be that I ask if I can combine the two for a bigger chart. (I have done a little more since these pictures were taken).

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Oliver has found the transition of me going back to work hard too, he has been up and down with his eating and sleeping and generally being a winey baby which is very unlike him.  We have had some success in the eating side of things though as he is willing to eat lumpy food and I have found a new bowl that I adore.  If you have read my posts in the past then you will know that I haven’t ever found one that suits us before and I ended up just using little picnic bowls that I got from Asda.  Not any more – Nuby have done it again and released a new addition to the weaning range and I love it!  The bowl comes with a completely sealable lid and it has a place to clip a spoon and fork (included) and a little flippy thing that keeps them covered and clean.

These bowls are brilliant!  They are currently on sale at £3.99 and come in a range of colours that are nice and bright ready for the summer Smile They are microwave and dishwasher safe and are the perfect size for a single portion (either a jar or home made) for Oliver and I am looking forwards to getting our next package and trying out the other new weaning products.  If you haven’t seen the new additions to the range I would highly recommend taking a look.

I have also been doing some bits of crafting recently – you might have seen the teddy I made from one of Oliver’s baby grows recently, I am also currently attempting a doggy too.  The teddy pattern is from Funky Friends Factory – it is free for signing up to the news letter and really easy to follow.  The doggy I have the pattern for and no instructions so it is proving a little more difficult but so far we have a head with stuffed ears, and a nose.  It will hopefully be done by the end of next week for me to share with you.

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I am hoping later this afternoon to make some salt dough hand prints with Oliver.  If I manage to do so I will get some pictures on in the week once they have been painted.

Have a good week everyone x

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Is the hardest part over?

I knew going back to work after having Oliver would be hard.  We all dread it don’t we? I never realised quite how hard that would be until it happened.  I haf never planned to go back full time but circumstances meant that I had no choice, so on Monday morning and every other morning this week I have set my alarm for 5.30 am and been at work for 7am. Yes I have a baby and I am generally up early but not that early. I am shattered! And I feel like someone stole my son for a few days and replaced him with the devil child. He wasn’t sleeping or eating during the day and then only sleeping a couple of hours at night so until Thursday we were at our wits end. That was when we decided to go out for some tea. The pub we went to served Oliver a proper baby meal (not many places do them as well as kids meals). He had a full portion and a nice big drink and by 7.30 after just a little bit of a fight he was asleep!
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We had tears from me, tears from him and it’s been stressful but we are now getting there. We are currently visiting family for the weekend and have had 2 good nights followed by days where he has eaten. Hopefully this will stick as next week I am working later shifts and am hoping that being there in the morning will help me get his routine back on track.

People have told me that the first week is the hardest, I hope so.

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