Times change

I can’t believe a year ago I was giving myself injections waiting to find out when my egg collection would be, if I would even get any eggs! And now, I am sat in a coffee shop with my 13 week old daughter… I have a daughter!!! I still have to pinch myself! Admittedly I was hoping said daughter was going to be asleep but instead she is laughing at me making funny faces. I am sat in a public place making funny faces with people looking and I don’t care! OK, I’m writing this at the same time but I am a mum now and mums multi-task!

I’m going to say it… I love being a mum!!! It is everything I thought it would be and so much more. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s easy! Heck no! But it was worth every injection, every palpitation, every contraction, in fact every pain and every stitch. I would do it again in a heartbeat. In fact, I’m already thinking about it! Don’t panic! I am not intending on phoning the clinic for round two just yet, but having just hit the big 4 0, I’m contemplating the options!

Of course I have to face the big hurdle of going back to work! Again, not yet. The idea of leaving that little smiley face is unbearable but I do miss the classroom. I’m already looking at jobs coming up but I can’t bring myself to apply for them as they all start in January and there is no way I can leave her so soon. I feel so lucky to live in a country that appreciates the time a new parent needs with their child. For all the governments faults, our maternity leave is still pretty good!

So what is my life like as a solo mum? Well, I spend more time in coffee shops than I thought I would. I spend a lot of time with a baby attached to my boobs and I have indigestion from trying to eat a meal before the screaming starts… I swear, the moment I think about eating, no matter what she’s doing she will want my attention! But, I don’t mind. I’m learning the art of eating one handed… oh and only eating food that needs to be cut with a knife when I’m with other people! I’ve been living off sandwiches, toast and salad. I’ll admit more of the bread based than the veg based options so far!!

I feel tired, all the time! No matter how much sleep I get, I wake up tired. I had a joyous night of 10 hours sleep, still felt tired the next day! (By the way, I am not ignoring her, she has gone to sleep!) I contemplate copious amounts of coffee but I limit myself to two caffeinated cups a day, then I try and fool myself with decaf! It doesn’t work.

Showering is another thing I try and do at breakneck speed… almost literally the other day when I slipped! Reflexes seem to be pretty good at the moment and I managed to hold on to the wall. Not sure Lil has mastered the art of the 999 call yet, nor the cats! The interesting thing is Lily’s reaction after I shower. She screams! It’s like she objects to me being clean! I have tried using the same stuff that I use on her but she still screams. Sorry kid, but mummy is not sacrificing her personal hygiene so I smell right… well not anymore anyway. That was OK in the first few weeks but not now I’m back out in public!

One thing I do love though, I only need ro wash my hair once or twice a week. This is alien to me as I have always had to wash my hair every other day or it looks like I’ve taken a shower at the petrol station. Now, I can freshen up with some dry shampoo and all is well. Not so keen on the clumps that are coming out though. Every silver lining has a cloud!

I have spent a lot of time watching TV! Whenever I would sit to breastfeed, I would put the TV on. I still used to the time to connect with Lil, but as soon as she falls asleep, and that is pretty quick, I need something to occupy me. So I got through the whole of The Big Bang Theory, started Downton Abbey and Call The Midwife from the begining, rediscovered NCIS and found a new series on Netflix with Tia from Sister Sister. But I decided I should use the time a bit more wisely and downloaded Duolingo and am trying to brush up on my French and learn some Spanish! I’ll let you know how it goes! I’m on day 10 so far!

Now that Lily is sleeping less and needing more stimulation, I am looking for things to do with her. I just wish things didn’t cost money! I’ve been asked what I want for Christmas and I am thinking money for groups and classes. My direct debits for my fuel are seven times more than they were two years ago. And I have barely had the heating on this year. Food costs seem to increase weekly, at least Lily is free at the moment but it won’t be long before she’s on solids and I need to provide more than just toast! Insurance prices have gone up, my pet insurance has doubled. Although, this isn’t a massive shock, considering one if my fur babies has a problem with clotting. Having them as house cats seems to have helped though, no major bleeds lately… touch wood! (Yes, I did touch the wooden table I am sat at!)

I hadn’t intended on writing about money, but I guess it’s on the forefront of most people’s minds these days.

So, no things aren’t easy. But I wouldn’t change them. I have the cutest little girl in my life. How she came from me is beyond me! She really is adorable. I am obviously biased but I have had many strangers stop me and tell me so it must be true! Well, the bundle of cuteness has now woken up so I must return to my motherly duties and start pulling faces again!

Stay safe and ciao for now.

Time flies…

When you’re not sleeping!

I can’t believe it’s been 6 weeks since my little miracle came into my world. I’ve been meaning to write and tell you all what happened but I’ve been somewhat preoccupied! So, here I am, little lady is in her chair currently settled and I can tell you about the last few weeks!

The last time I wrote it was a waiting game. My waters had well and truly gone and I was hoping for things to happen. I started contracting but they were irregular. This went on overnight and throughout the next day. I was examined and was 3cm but, becuase it was over 24 hours since waters breaking, the plan was to take me down to the delivery suite so I could have the hormone drip to get things going.

I had to wait due to delivery suite being busy but I finally made it down there. I was contracting about once or twice every 10 minutes so not enough. After using the TENS machine on the ward, the contractions were now more intense and it wasn’t cutting the mustard. I called my Mum and she came in and I finally gave in and embraced the gas and air. Oh I do love that stuff!

When you are on delivery suite, your observations are taken regularly. Mine showed I had a temperature and my heart rate was up, every for me. These were signs of a possible infection so I given antibiotics and paracetamol. After a while I was examined and I was still only 3-4cm so, after seeing the obstetrician, it was decided we were definitely going for the oxytocin drip. Having been a midwife, I knew that meant the contractions would be a LOT more intense, so I asked for an epidural!

Before the epidural the doctor checked baby’s heartbeat to make sure things were OK and then the anaesthetist came in and the epidural was sited. After half an hour I could no longer feel the contractions. The only problem now was baby wasn’t looking quite so happy. The obstetrician came back in and decided to examine me to see if anything had progressed. I was still only 4 cm and the baby’s heart rate didn’t increase during the examination, which isn’t what you want. If you think about it, if someone started touching you on the top of the head without warning, your heart rate would increase. I knew what this meant, the trace was classed as pathological and baby needed to be born, I looked at my Mum and said, “c-section”. The obstetrician then said she felt it was best to go for c-section! I was obviously gutted but I knew what was best and said, let’s do it. I was what is classed as a category 2 section, urgent but we had time. Fortunately, there was no one else waiting so we were able to go straight to theatre.

Now the problem was, as the epidural had not long been put in, there was a big chance that it wouldn’t work well enough for the section, which would mean a general anaesthetic. The anaesthetist tried to top up the epidural and when he tested to see what I could feel, all seemed good. That was until the operation started. I was told I would feel tugging bit shouldn’t feel pain… I felt pain! The op was stopped and the anaesthetist tried again to top up the epidural but as soon as they restarted, I could feel it. It was stopped again and this time, it was decided to go for a general anaesthetic. It felt like another kick in the teeth but all I could think was how important it was my baby was delivered safely.

Because we were now going for a general anaesthetic, my Mum could no longer stay, so she was taken back to the labour room. Next thing I knew there was a second anaesthetist! For some reason I was feeling incredibly sleepy, I hadn’t had the anaesthetic yet. The last thing I remember is the second anaesthetist telling me to keep my eyes open. The next thing I remember is someone asking if I wanted my glasses and then seeing my Mum and midwife coming into recovery with a cot. Apparently,the first thing I said was,”What have I got?” 🤣 So many people had told me they thought I was having a boy I was genuinely shocked when my Mum told me I had a girl!! She was put into my arms and, after days of questioning my choice of names, I knew I had my Lilian. I have heard about that rush of love when you see your baby for the first time, despite the anaesthetic, I felt it! Here was a tiny human being who was completely dependent on me and I would do anything for her. The midwife asked if I wanted to try feeding. I was worried that the anaesthetic would affect her feeding. It turned out I didn’t need to, she fed for a full 40 minutes. It looked like she was already taking after her mum!

I stayed in hospital for a few days which was ideal becuase it gave us a chance to get to know each other. Having a new baby is a massive learning curve, for both! After the initial epic feed, it was than hit or miss as to how she fed. Plus she wanted to be on me all the time. When you are in hospital, you need to put baby in the cot if you feel like you are going to fall asleep… easier said than done when she won’t sleep in the cot and you are so tired you can’t keep your eyes open!

I genuinely can’t thank everyone at the hospital enough, I was so well looked after. And then I went and stayed with my Dad and stepmum where I was also looked after! I only had to think about Lily and what she needed! Food and drink appeared from nowhere! It was amazing.

Things haven’t been plain sailing though. At the end of the first week I felt shivery and had a temperature. It turned out I had an infection in my section wound. (Warning for anyone with a weak stomach) The infection was really quite nasty, it wasn’t just oozing, it was dripping with ick. Now, when I was a midwife I could deal with anything, turns out not so much when it’s me! I couldn’t even look at it! After a visit from the midwife, I visited my third hospital and was given more antibiotics and advised to put a sanitary towel on the wound both for the ick but also to stop the two sides adhering together. It’s taken a few week but my wound is now finally better!

One of the best things over the last few weeks has been introducing Lily to her family. We had an amazing lunch with one side of the family and then we had a beautiful wedding where, having said I wouldn’t be dancing, we spent most of our night on the dance floor! Admittedly, she slept through most of it! Proof that loud noise doesn’t wake her up when she’s sleeping!

The last six weeks have shot past but at the same time I can’t imagine life without my little bundle of gorgeousness! I have forgotten what it was like to be able to eat food when it was hot; being able to go straight back to sleep when you wake up in the night; having a shower without shouting, “it’s OK, Mummy’s nearly finished”; playing white noise at night in the hope it might help with getting a little extra sleep; and doing washing every day! I wouldn’t change it for anything. I feel like things are finally as they are meant to be. I have the most beautiful, perfect little girl. I am so in love. I am so exhausted but when we are in bed at 3am and I have my baby feeding in my arms with my two fur babies lying next to us, life feels complete.

Well, it has taken me pretty much all day to write this! I’m sure there are probably things I have forgotten to mention. Baby brain is real! For now I am going to try and grab something to eat before she wakes up again!!

As always everyone, stay safe and ciao for now. Xxx

Another delay!!!!

I was so hoping that I would be starting my IVF treatment this weekend but it was just not to be… again! I have to be honest this has been frustrating. I am really trying to take things as they come but I just feel like there is always something! Thyroid sorted, injections sat ready to go but sperm donor not approved in time to be shipped from Denmark to get to the clinic. It needed to arrive by Thursday and it is now arriving on Tuesday. I understand the clinic needs the samples to be there ready to go but I just wanted to start!

I now have to wait another month and then it’s over a week of the injections before egg collection, following egg collection the embryologists will put the eggs and the sperm in a petri dish and hope they do what they need to do. I spoke to the clinic and it turns out before I undergo IVF I need to do some online learning! It’s essentially videos that talk about the process. The idea is, that after the final trigger injection, they collect around 10-15 eggs, after looking at the eggs to see which are the right size, then trying to fertilise and then seeing which ones are viable I will possibly be left with 2 or 3 that could be put back.

This is such an emotional roller coaster, but the continuing support is incredible. It will be completely worth it in the end, I know it will! I just have to stay strong! I’ve got this!!!!!

Stay safe and ciao for now!

All systems go again!

Turns out emotions got the better of me after attempt number 3. Once again it was a failed attempt and although I felt ok about it, I think deep down it hit me much harder than I realised and I couldn’t bring myself to write about it. That was 2 months ago now and since then I have had a further appointment at the clinic and I am now going for IVF. It was never really a question of whether I would try IVF or not as I am still so desperate to have this baby. But, there are days when it is hard to be positive.

One thing that really helped me was meeting up with a group of other single mums who had been through the same thing. They all had gorgeous little ones and some had been through a similar journey to me but had finally got their bundles of joy… some of which were now school age! It was amazing and their support was invaluable. It definitely renewed my excitement and positivity.

I also made another decision this week and that was to tell the rest of my family and no longer keep it a secret. I realise that I need as much support as I can get and having such a wonderful family I needed them more than ever. I have been wanting to tell them for a while but I think the negative pregnancy tests after IUI stopped me. With hindsight I wish I had told them at the start! But hindsight it a wonderful thing! And so far, those family members I have told have been amazing and I can’t wait to share the rest of my journey with them. I am so lucky to have such a close amazing family.

So it’s time for IVF! It has been delayed slightly due to an increase in those pesky thyroid levels again, but today was the green light as they are at a good level thanks to a bit of re-jigging of medication. I have also picked donor number 2 and I am waiting for the order to arrive at the clinic. It was a lot harder this time as there appears to be an international shortage of donors due to the pandemic. As if it hasn’t caused enough problems over the last 18 months! I originally found a donor in the USA but having looked into the clinics over there, it appears they are not very strict on the limit of donor siblings so I decided to stick to Europe… I can’t stand the thought of having some weird donor sibling disaster in the future!

My last appointment was quite overwhelming. I knew about the injections I would have to give myself but I didn’t realise there was three different types! Thankfully they are prepared for us being completely overwhelmed and have an A4 sheet with the routine! I can see a lot of alarms and reminders being set in my not too distant future!

It’s funny, as someone who gives people injections on a regular basis, I am a little nervous about doing it to myself! I don’t really know why. I am also nervous about the side effects of the injections. The first one essentially puts your body through the menopause, so these are the symptoms you get. Well, if my mood swings are anything like I get every now and again with my periods, I can imagine I won’t see people until it’s over! Although the nurse said I’m more likely to cry than shout! If all goes to plan, I will be starting the injections at the end of the month. I will let you know as soon I as I have more info!

Thank you for continuing to be supportive, it feels amazing that I can now put my name to my blog!

Ciao for now and please stay safe!


Here we go again.

So, here I am for a third time, dat in my car waiting to go into the clinic. Since I last wrote I had another round of IUI followed by another negative test. I have had a roller coaster of emotions lately. With the first negative test being very closely followed by the disappearance of my cat who then appeared again not long after the second IUI, dehydrated and very hungry. I then had a second negative pregnancy test.

I wasn’t sure at this point whether I should give up on IUI and go for IVF but after a good chat with one of the nurses at the clinic I have decided on a third IUI before a rethink.

I then had the amazing news that my cousin was pregnant! I am so incredibly happy for her but coming just a few days after a negative test I also felt a bit emotional. It’s such a strange set of emotions. I have never been in a situation where something can make me so happy and so sad at the same time. But my happiness for her has outweighed my self-pity and I am looking forward to a new member of the family!!!

Whilst waiting for my next IUI my other cat obviously felt she wasn’t getting nearly enough attention and started bleeding everywhere! She has a problem with her blood not clotting properly and although she is on medication three times a day, for some reason she started having bleeds again. So two nights in the veterinary hospital for her and more worry for me!

I am happy to say she is home now and the bleeding has stopped . We are just waiting on test results to see if there is another reason other than her illness.

And that leads me to today. Sat in the car in very windy and rainy weather waiting to see if third time is a charm. It means a day off placement but sometimes you just have to prioritise and I know which is more important! I am just hoping my cervix is cooperative today! Last time was more painful than the first as my cervix didn’t want to let the catheter in! Not helpful!

Please keep your fingers and toes crossed for me!

Stay safe and ciao for now. Xxx


Well that felt like a very long two weeks. Weirdly, placement seemed to fly by but it feels like months since I went to the clinic for my treatment. Last night I just wanted to rip open the pregnancy test and find out. But I knew I needed to wait until this morning.

5am, I woke up this morning! But, now the time had come, I couldn’t do it! I had got “the fear”! So many thoughts started flying through my head: “What if it is negative? how will I feel? The chances are so low but there is still a chance.” or “What if it is positive? I am going to want to tell the world and the sun’s not up yet.”

After nearly an hour and a half of torturing myself I decided I needed to do the test and find out. I did 2 tests, one would take 3 minutes, the other 10.

Both tests said negative. My initial reaction was that this wasn’t a surprise, chances are incredibly low. But as the morning has gone on the emotions have come in waves. I have spoken to the few family and friends that know and they have been amazing and supportive. And of course the ladies on The Stork and I Mum Tribe, who have been through it themselves. Being a part of a community that has been there, or who are there themselves right now, is invaluable.

Today is for me and my emotions, my grief over what could have been, then I will move on and get ready for the next try. I will not give up. This is meant to be and will be.

Stay safe and ciao for now. x

This is getting excitedly real!

So after being giving the big yes by the main man that is my consultant, I have been peeing in a plastic cup and dipping in numerous ovulation testing sticks. The two apps I have predicted ovulation day as Monday, well that would be about right as that is the first day of my new placement! BUT, yesterday morning I had a line on one of the tests, but was it dark enough?! And It couldn’t be yesterday, I had a presentation for uni! Second opinions confirmed not dark enough but it was suggested I get the Clear Blue test as it gives you either a smiley face or no face, so easy to read! After my presentation I was off to the shop to get the new test for this morning.

Except I couldn’t wait until this morning and did a test last night before bed and… SMILEY FACE!!! Cue complete freak out, no sleep over night and getting up at 6am to do another one just to make sure I really did see a smiley face! I did! This time I took a photo so I could reassure myself. I’m not sure what I have turned into!

I left a message on the answer machine for the clinic and, after a call back, I am off. My emotions are all over the place. Is this really happening? And how on Earth am I going to cope with the next 2 weeks!

Stay safe and ciao for now!

What a Rollercoaster!

I really thought I would be coming on here with yet more bad news. After getting so close to my target TSH of 2.5 milliunits per litre before the new year, I was hopeful for my recent blood test. Only this time I had shot well past and I am now on 0.05! My heart sank and as the doctor discussed re-jigging my mediation I kept thinking to myself, “well here we go again for another 2 months”. I emailed the clinic with my current levels and told them I would be back in touch with the next blood test. Then I wrote in a chat group I am in and someone mentioned that they had a low TSH level but had been told they could go ahead. Well, I was straight on the phone to the clinic requesting a call back! Within just a couple of hours my consultant phoned me and asked bout medication and what the plan was. My heart sank yet again, then came the words I will never forget… “I am happy for us to go ahead and get started with your treatment, whenever you are ready!”. If I had been in the room with him, and we weren’t in the middle of a pandemic, I could have kissed him! I sat there in shock for a few minutes then realised I needed to share my news! I was trembling as I wrote messages to my Mum , Dad and step-mum and to the amazing few friends who have been through my side every step of the way.

Of course the many possibilities of what would happen now started running through my head. I had already started planning the job hunting for the end of my PGCE, after all if I was going to have to wait another 2 months before the blood test it would be another month after that for the start of treatment so there was no question of getting a job. But now, well what IF I am one of the lucky ones, one of the 13 out of 100 38 year old women who it works for first time? But then what if I’m not, what if it takes 3 attempts, or what if IUI won’t work for me and I have to go down the IVF route. Well, I can’t be left without a job! Of course if I leave it the odds reduce to 10% once I hit 39 so that’s not an option! Then I realised that my next cycle is due to start any day which means I could potentially be getting treatment in the next 2-3 weeks!

To say my brain felt like it had taken a trip into a washing machine on a spin cycle was an understatement. Then came the feeling of wanting to tell the whole world. But having to calm myself down and remind myself that I only have a 13% chance of it working so let’s not ahead of ourselves! My cats honestly must have thought I had lost the plot as I started discussing potential scenarios with them! The joy of single life in a lockdown! Which leads me on to another thought… I will most likely have to go by myself for my treatment. I don’t know how I feel about this! The original plan was always that my mum would be there, but she is shielding. To be honest I always thought it might be a bit odd to have my Mum in the room, after all, your mum wouldn’t normally be in the room at the point of conception would she?! But then this isn’t “normal”, is it?

So, the rollercoaster of thoughts and emotions continues! On top of which I have the small matter of uni lectures and assignments! I can’t help feeling this rollercoaster is going to be one of the longest of my life! But don’t worry, I’ll keep you updated of all the ups and downs along the way!

Stay safe and ciao for now!

So close!

What a Christmas it has been! We were very lucky to have a fairly normal Christmas even though my brother was on a deadline to get back to Wales before it closed!

I feel very blessed to have such an amazing family and friends who have been checking in with me to make sure I am not too lonely, it makes me realise despite not yet having children of my own I am still surrounded by people who love me.

Since I last wrote I have also had my offending tooth removed and my mouth is finally pain free… just in time for the Christmas turkey!

And of course the dreaded blood test.. something I have come to dread! I phoned today for the test result and… 2.8! Part of me wants to jump with joy and part of me wants to scream! So close to that 2.5 but still soooooo far! The clinic is closed for the Christmas break so I need to wait to speak to them next week but with treatment in touching distance, could 2021 be my year? Of course there is also the question of the covid vaccine? Not tested on pregnant women and not being anywhere on the list… should I wait for the vaccine???

It’s safe to say nothing is simple at the moment!

Happy Christmas (or any other holiday you celebrate) and Happy New Year!

Ciao for now.