Saturday, 31 January 2015

This Week's Victories #4

It started out so well...!

-I had a couple of days of feeling almost normal, almost all day. It was amazing! Pity it was just a tease though and didn't last, but I enjoyed it while it did!
- I counted and bagged some money in our change jar - so far there's £76 winging it's way into our bank account. Whoop!
- It snowed (a lot) and I didn't have to go outside in it. Always a victory to me!
- I finally managed to write a post about Las Vegas!
- I made a start on our Las Vegas/NYC photo book. We always create a photo book of our trips, and although it takes aaaaages to do I always love the end result.
- My post What Not to Say to Someone Suffering Hyperemesis Gravidarum was a featured post over on You Baby Me Mummy's The List (which I will add in the link to!)

Unfortunately we had a huge un-victory when our hob decided to start tripping the electric every time we switch it on, so until an electrician comes and works some magic on it our cooking options are limited.

What were your victories this week?

 photo 5b781646-78a7-4470-93c6-49aaf696000e_zpsc88ee6b7.png

Friday, 30 January 2015

Dear Baby - 18 weeks

Dear Baby,

Can you believe we're almost half way? How crazy is that? The weeks seem to be flying by - possibly because I'm still sleeping so much and spending my days mostly in front of the TV, mostly watching Friends.

Earlier this week, I had a couple of days of feeling almost normal again, which I was so grateful for as I got to eat real food - but of course, the flip side of that was increased worry that something might have gone wrong. It's a non-stop panic-fest, this journey to motherhood. Thankfully it's not long now until we get to make sure you're doing OK in there. The sickness has kicked in full force again now though, so I'm crossing my fingers that that's a good sign. The third lot of medication I was given does seem to work better than the first two, so that's been a relief.

The countdown is on until the anomaly scan now - next week, eek! - and we can't wait to see you again. I've been putting everything off until after that, so hopefully very soon we'll start making real preparations for you.


Mum xxx

 photo 5b781646-78a7-4470-93c6-49aaf696000e_zpsc88ee6b7.png

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Christmas Day in Las Vegas

I can't believe it's already over a month since Christmas - where does the time go? You'd think that by now I would have churned out a whole host of posts about our 2-week festive trip, but it's quite a daunting thing to do - there's so much to say that I really don't know where to start!

Christmas in Las Vegas: Living for the Victories

So, I'll start with the fact that we spent Christmas day in Las Vegas, how does that sound? Was it a bit weird? Sure. We're not always guaranteed a white Christmas at home, but we are pretty much always destined to be cold. Las Vegas wasn't hot, but it was mild and very, very sunny. Christmas day was also exceptionally windy, with gusts up to 55 MPH.

We began our Christmas day with breakfast at The Sugar Factory the Paris Hotel. I had a very traditional festive breakfast - sausage and egg pizza. I don't know who thought up putting sausage and scrambled egg on a pizza base, but I like that person A Lot!

After breakfast, we went across to the Bellagio to have a look around the winter wonderland in the Conservatory. I must admit, it was much smaller than I expected, but still very pretty. I loved the Coca Cola bears made from flowers, and the tree was beautiful.

Christmas in Las Vegas: Bellagio
Christmas in Las Vegas: Bellagio
Christmas in Las Vegas: Bellagio

From there, we continued heading south, calling in at Aria, City Center and Monte Carlo. Then we decided to go back to our accommodation and Skype our families to wish them a merry Christmas and have a catch up on how they'd been celebrating.

The plan for later was to go out for a proper Christmas dinner - I'd spent hours hunting around online for menus before we went, and our intention was to have a really lovely celebration meal. However, my pregnant self had other ideas - my nausea ramped up in the afternoon, and I found myself feeling unbearably tired. So, instead of a slap-up Christmas dinner, we went to CVS and bought some frozen burgers. Party on, huh?! Even better, I fell asleep ridiculously early and never even ate mine!

It was a bizarre Christmas Day, enjoyable in its own way, even though it didn't go at all to plan. It was nice to have a relatively low-key day, with just the two of us... But it was odd to have no turkey, Brussels sprouts or gifts to exchange!

 photo 5b781646-78a7-4470-93c6-49aaf696000e_zpsc88ee6b7.png

Monday, 26 January 2015

The Story of Us: A Blossoming Friendship

Somehow, my blog has turned into a pregnancy-fest. And before that, it was an infertility-fest. I'm pretty sure many of you are bored of it, and there is so much more to my life than procreation. There is so much more to Boy and I as a couple than our journey towards becoming parents. So, let's rewind back to the beginning, and please allow me to share with you The Story of Us...

A blossoming friendship

The story of us really begins before we even met. In 2006, I was enjoying my first summer as a single girl for six years - I'd been in a couple of long term relationships, and the most recent one had ended that spring. I was enjoying my freedom, and the ability to go wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted, without having to consider anyone else's feelings. It was a summer of pure fun, made up of nights out, concerts, spontaneous road trips... It was, quite simply, the best summer ever.

Towards the end of that summer, I found out my job was at risk. The children's day nursery I was working at was being threatened with closure and I was facing redundancy. I mentioned this to a friend I've known since high school, and he told me that the company he worked for had some vacancies coming up so if I sent him my CV he would pass it on. I did, and a few weeks later, after attending an interview and assessment day, I was offered a job!

A few days into my new job, I met the person who would be training me up so that I could take over his work to free him up to move into a different role. That person was Boy! We hit it off straight away - purely platonic I hasten to add - and became good friends very quickly.

At that point, I was kind of seeing someone - someone I actually really liked, and Boy was in a relationship. So we got to know each other purely as friends, and to be honest I think that is why things have worked between us. There was no pressure to impress, we could just get to know each other for who we really were and not have to be on our best behaviour or act a certain way.

We began getting into conversation over email at work, which started innocently when he was working out of a different city and dropped me a quick note to say he'd left some paperwork for me on my desk. I did the polite thing and replied, and somehow from there we ended up in a long discussion about Girls Aloud and Harry Potter and goodness knows what else... And from that day onwards, we chatted pretty much daily by email.

Texting began completely innocently too. He'd given me his number because I was travelling north to meet him in Newcastle and visit some colleagues that I would be liaising with frequently, and it's always nice to put a face to a name. As it happened, we had no issues on the day with trains so I hadn't needed to contact him... but a couple of weeks later I was on a night out and I knew he'd gone to a fancy dress party, and in my drunken wisdom I thought it would be a great idea to text him and ask how being a Jedi knight was going for him. (I used to be dangerous with a mobile phone when drunk, I'd text anybody and it usually comprised of complete gibberish!) He replied the next morning, and was very sweet about asking who it was - at which point I apologised profusely, but he didn't seem to mind and that paved the way for weekend and evening conversations too.

Rumours began circulating in the office because we'd often go out into town to buy lunch together, and we just laughed it off and thought the idea of us getting together was ridiculous when we lived 2 hours apart. I really hadn't looked at him in that way either; we were both involved so what was the point? It was never going to happen, and we were just really good friends. I quickly realised that he certainly had a knack of always knowing the exact right thing to say to put a smile on my face. He was fast becoming one of my very best friends.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

This Week's Victories #3

It's been another week of sofa/bed confinement for me, but in some ways it has been a better week for sure.

- Boy worked from home 4 days this week, so I wasn't quite so much with the lonely.
- We successfully took care of the in-laws dog from Sunday afternoon to yesterday evening. There were moments that I thought she might bring about my downfall (mostly on Monday when it was just me and her) but thankfully that didn't happen.
- I saw a different GP this week, who signed me off work for 2 weeks instead of just one and gave me yet another type of medication.
- I've eaten almost a full meal! And I also ate my first packet of crisps this year!
- I've regained some of the enormous amount of weight I lost.
- I even had a day of feeling almost normal (a little queasy still but actually pretty functional!) and even managed to venture into a magical land I believe is known as The Outside today. I left the village for the first time in 18 days, and I went into some places where they give you stuff in exchange for money. Shops, I think they were called!

What were your victories this week?

 photo 5b781646-78a7-4470-93c6-49aaf696000e_zpsc88ee6b7.png

Friday, 23 January 2015

What Not To Say To Someone Suffering Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Over the last few weeks, I've come to realise how little understanding there is in the world when it comes to hyperemesis gravidarum (HG). Clearly I've been frequenting pregnancy and parenting forums for far too long; I'd not only heard of it, but I did have a vague idea that it was pretty darn serious and debilitating. Of course I didn't have any comprehension of how debilitating, but I'm well versed in that now.

Although family, friends, and even the occasional stranger don't understand the condition and the reality of living with it (I use the term 'living' loosely), everyone has a little nugget of advice to offer. The thing is - and I say this with love - this advice is usually complete baloney and actually borders on insulting. So please, don't. Just resist. We know you mean well, but if you find any of these on the tip of your tongue, close your mouth and swallow them back down:

1. "Have you tried ginger?"
(Warning: heavy sarcasm ahead. Proceed with caution)
Ohhhhh! So I've had doctors, midwives, you know - medically trained professionals - trying various different types of treatment... if only I'd realised it was as simple as having a little bit of ginger!
Seriously though, ginger is hardly a secret and any woman suffering the first hint of sickness can easily find that suggestion on Google. The thing is, it's only useful in a particular form and for mild sickness, which really isn't going to help in these circumstances.

2. "How's your morning sickness?"
You know, if I had the energy, I'd be all up in your face right now and clawing your eyes out. This is not morning sickness. Seriously, Google it. Go on. Check out the comparison of morning sickness and HG. And then never, ever, utter those two words in my presence again.
Referring to this constant suffering as simple old 'morning sickness' makes me feel as though you're trivialising it. I'm sorry, it's not the case that I wake up, feel a bit queasy, hurl, and then get on with my day. Not even close. I've barely moved from my bed or sofa in weeks (except to pray to the porcelain god, of course). Getting dressed feels about as physically draining as climbing Everest. So no, its not 'morning sickness'. 

3. "You just need some fresh air."
Ahhhhh, another really simple solution none of the medical professionals thought of! Tell you what, we'll go for a walk, you and I. You just wait downstairs for me while I get showered and dressed. Of course, it will take a while; I'll probably throw up on myself a couple of times while showering, so I'll have to start over at least twice. Then, obviously, that last tiny little bit of energy I had stored was used up while taking the aforementioned shower(s) so I'm going to need to lie down for a few minutes before I attempt to insert myself into clothes. Not to mention that I need to make the world stop spinning, just for a minute. Actually, I'll tell you what, why don't we forget the walk and you can just open a window for me on your way out? That's all the fresh air I need. Thanks.

4. "Should you be taking those tablets if you're pregnant?"
Look, no woman of sound mind wants to take medication unnecessarily. Especially when she's carrying a precious baby. If I really had the option to not take them, don't you think I'd go with that?
As it stands, without medication I can't eat or drink anything. Anything. My body has been dehydrated and malnourished. This is very dangerous for my unborn child, and actually puts both of our lives at risk. I'm not being a drama queen, that's just a fact. So if my taking this medication - which has been studied and shown to have no detrimental effects when used during pregnancy, I and my doctor have both read up on it - means that I can take in some fluids and a small amount of nutrients, then I'm going to do it. It's far better than not, in my opinion. The benefits outweigh the non-existant risks.

5. "Sickness is a sign of a healthy baby."
Is that supposed to reassure me? How healthy do you think the baby is when the mother is dehydrated and malnourished? Please, do add to my guilt.

6. "I wish I had it, I've put on so much weight in pregnancy."
Seriously? Seriously?!?! Read all of the points above, and tell me again you wish you couldn't eat or drink, you wish to put not only your life but your unborn baby's life at risk, all for the sake of saving yourself the trouble of gaining a few extra pounds. Believe me, I'd give anything to be in your shoes right now. I'd love to eat just one full meal!

There are a few more, but these are the ones that have particularly irritated me. If you do want to show caring to a friend who is suffering, I beg you please don't try to offer advice. The best thing you can do is ask how she is, if there's anything you can do to help, and just let her know that you're there and you care. She may be too ill for visitors, but drop her a text every few days - believe me, HG leaves a woman feeling very isolated and lonely and any form of conversation is welcome.

 photo 5b781646-78a7-4470-93c6-49aaf696000e_zpsc88ee6b7.png
The List

Saturday, 17 January 2015

This Week's Victories #2

It's been another sickly week for me here at Victory Towers. The only times I've ventured into the Big Wide World Outside have been when I've had to go to the doctors surgery.

- I have watched almost the entire second season of Scandal this week
- Swapping medication meant that, for one night only, I was able to eat Real Food! Not much, but still - it was the most I'd had in well over a week
- ...and I kept it down!
- I saw my American friend for the first time in aaaaaaaaaaaaages - outside the midwife's office. Turns out she's expecting too, and is only a few weeks ahead of me! Yay!

In other circumstances, I'd say my enormous weight loss was something of a victory (I've lost almost a stone!), but in these circumstances it's really more of a worry. Hopefully I'll be able to regain it, and eat like a normal person, soon.

What were your victories this week?

 photo 5b781646-78a7-4470-93c6-49aaf696000e_zpsc88ee6b7.png

Friday, 16 January 2015

Dear Baby - 16 Weeks

Dear Baby,

I've been writing secretly to you since you were just a tiny embryo; since before we even knew for sure you were going to stick around and grow. It's strange how that seems so recent, yet so long ago at the same time.

We've sure had an eventful time together, you and me. Our first trimester together was actually not quite as hard as I had expected; I felt queasy and nauseous a lot of the time and completely lost my appetite, and I slept as though I was competing at international level, but really the worst of it was the constant headache - which was so much less severe than anything I had anticipated. So thanks for that!

Seeing you on screen that first time, at 7 weeks, was kind of surreal. At that point, your dad and I were just so happy for the reassurance that you were there, you existed, and you were growing just as you should. You looked like a jelly bean at that stage, but you were our jelly bean, and there are no words than can describe the love we felt for you or the relief at seeing your little heart beating away.

The next time we got to see you, just five weeks later at 12 weeks, you had grown and changed so much. You looked like a real little human! You were a bit uncooperative for the poor sonographer and just wouldn't stay still long enough for her to measure you, but we got there eventually. It was truly amazing watching you wriggling around, doing your little fist pumps (we think maybe you're going to be a rocker), and I would have happily stayed there for hours.

As we entered the second trimester, we took you along for the ride to Las Vegas over Christmas and New York for New Year. Unfortunately I got ill, so we didn't get to sample very much yummy food and there was certainly no Christmas dinner on the menu. We had fun though - and still, plenty of sleep! When we got back to the UK and met with the consultant, we found out that there is a very real risk of serious complications with you, which frightens the life out of me. To think that we've come this far, and could still lose you, is absolutely terrifying.

Maybe that's why you've decided to make me so utterly sick since; it's a reassurance that you're still there. I can understand that. It's been tough feeling so ill that I haven't been able to move, must less function, but if that's what I need to do to keep you growing then that's exactly what I'll do. You are my priority now. Work and other responsibilities will just have to wait. So, for the last couple of weeks, you and I have spent our days either in bed or on the sofa with the TV remote and a water bottle for company. I guess it's not so bad. At least I talked the doctor out of admitting me to hospital!

Your dad and I have got some big decisions to make in the next couple of weeks. We need to decide whether or not to find out your gender - we've gone round in circles over it so far because neither of us has any real preference over whether we want to know in advance or wait for the surprise when you're born. On one hand, it would make picking out names, nursery decor, and all of that kind of thing a little easier; but on the other hand, we've waited so long for you that it doesn't matter to us whether you're a boy or a girl, and it's quite exciting having this little mystery going on. Time is not on our side though - we've got less than 3 weeks until the next scan!

And on that note, little baby, I'm going to get back to that very important matter of resting. All my love,

Mum xxx

 photo 5b781646-78a7-4470-93c6-49aaf696000e_zpsc88ee6b7.png

Saturday, 10 January 2015

This Week's Victories #1

It's about time I really embraced my blog's name and started putting it to good use. I chose it for a reason: in life, it is worth noting and celebrating the victories, no matter how big or small they may be. As from now, my intention is to do exactly that!

So, without further ado, here are my victories from the first week of 2015:

- I survived the first day back at work! We won't go into it any further than that.
- I have a doctor who is really very lovely and supportive and helped me out massively this week.
- my wonderful friend was kind enough to phone me at 7am the other day to offer tips and advice. 7am!
- I managed to show up here!

I won't lie, it hasn't been the easiest of weeks. I most definitely wasn't expecting actual vomiting to kick in all of a sudden at 15 weeks, but it did, and coupled with some other news from the consultant it's been a rough time. But these things are sent to try us, and I've done my best to keep a positive attitude and remind myself that it will (hopefully) soon pass.

What were your victories this week?

 photo 5b781646-78a7-4470-93c6-49aaf696000e_zpsc88ee6b7.png

Friday, 9 January 2015

Oh, hello!

Well, hey - look who showed up around here for this first time all year?! How's it going Blogland? Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a fabulous start to the new year.

There has been ever so much going on around Victory Towers (that's a name I just decided on this very second. Do we like or not like?) The two main themes of the last month have been our festive trip to the USA, and of course pregnancy. There is so much to say on both of these topics that I will have to promise to show up around here again soon to update fully, a brief summary just will not do. (If I don't, please feel free to nudge/harass/threaten me as you see fit)

In the meantime, and as something of a teaser, please allow me to briefly introduce the most special of someones who we got to meet properly about a month ago...

 photo 5b781646-78a7-4470-93c6-49aaf696000e_zpsc88ee6b7.png