Elf on the Shelf

For the past few years you may have heard about the trend from America called Elf in the Shelf. Photographs pop up all over social media much to the amusement of many of us, or annoyance to the rest. It now has a rising popularity in the U.K with more and more households taking part in this for fun only tradition.

But what is Elf on the Shelf exactly?

It originates from a book of the same name that was published in 2005 based on the childhood memories of a mothers scout elf tradition carried on with her own children. The book was written by mother and daughter duo Carol V. Aebersold and Chanda A. Bell and the idea was born during a chat whilst sat at the kitchen table (Source).

All across social media you can see all sorts of posts of what people’s scout elves get up to. Such as hiding out in Christmas trees, making snow angles or causing general havoc when their family are not looking when they return back from the North Pole every night after they have reported back on whether their family deserve to be on the nice list or not.

So, with myself being a self confessed Christmas obsessive and with this being Harrison’s first Christmas partaking in this was a no brainier…for me anyway!

So, please meet our very own scout elf Robin Wintersnap!

He has already been making himself at home, stealing mince pies and hanging out with his best pal Rudolph!

He’s been scoping out the house for all the best hide out places!

As well as making friends with Bunny!

I hear he will start making appearances very soon and reporting back to the big man in red on how well behaved the Lewis Household are being!

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Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat…!

So it’s nearly that time of year again! It’s nearly Christmas! Magic Xmas is back on the airwaves and Christmas 24 is back on the television! The shops are full of angry shoppers!

I love this time of year, I love December (for many reasons) and I love winter!

For me, Christmas starts on the first day of December. I like to think of the advent period as Christmas too as I just love the run up and preparations! This year me and Mr Lewis are looking forward to our first Christmas as parents. Harrison will be almost five months at Christmas so he really won’t know what it is going on; however I feel this year is about making memories for us as a couple, as new parents and to start our own traditions.

December is always special for us as it’s when we got married, and we are looking forward to our second anniversary on 5th December. I can’t believe it has been two years already! It seems like it was only a short while back we were counting down and getting excited about about our big day, stressing over the little details and looking forward to our wintry honeymoon in Cornwall! It was on our first wedding anniversary that I first suspected I could be pregnant, and low and behold two days later we tested positive! It is also a very busy birthday month for my side of the family.

I digress! Back to Christmas now!

So, as I was saying, this year we are starting some of our own family traditions. Most, if not all, of these will go over Harrison’s head this year. I’m pretty sure as long as he’s got some fairy lights to stare at he will be happy and won’t really care for Christmas. He may very well find the hustle and bustle a little over whelming. Specially with all the family around and the noise levels that comes with family gatherings. But it’s a nice thing to start young as although they may not remember it, you as parents will and you can tell them about their first Christmas and show them pictures when they get older.

The first tradition I wanted to start was a Christmas Eve box! I love these and love looking at what others put in them! I worried Harrison would be too young but actually you can put whatever you want in them! They’re becoming more popular in the UK now and a quick Pinterest search will give you plenty of ideas! Lots of people go simple with:

  • Christmas pyjamas
  • Something sweet to eat and drink (think sweets, popcorn, hot chocolate etc)
  • A Christmas movie and/or Christmas book
  • Reindeer food to leave out for Rudolph

These are so interchangeable and there are so many ideas on the internet as to what you can put in them. Other items you could include, depending on the age of your child/recipient and budget include a magic Santa’s key, slipper socks, slippers, a Christmas mug, a festive cuddly toy or even a plate to put Santas mince pie on. The list is endless! Many people buy personalised wooden boxes to use every year (like you would a stocking) and yet another quick search online will point you in the direction of some beautiful products made in the UK!

For Harrison’s Christmas Eve box we opted to keep it simple this year. I picked up a gift box from Matalan and picked up some age appropriate goodies:

  • ‘My first christmas’ baby grow
  • ‘My first christmas’ bib
  • A festive cuddly elf (perfect size for a baby to hold)
  • A pair of slipper socks
  • A festive book or two (That’s not my elf and That’s not my Snowman by Fiona Watt)

Again, there was lots I could have gone with here. Some ideas could include a new dummy, a pram toy, a rattle/teething toy or even items for weaning.

The second tradition I wanted to start was a stocking. As a child, we always had a stocking and we wasn’t allowed downstairs until we’d riffled through them and found our festive goodies! Once we had finished this we would all creep down the stairs behind my dad, who was building the mayhem/excitement every moment, making promises of chocolate for breakfast, and he’d crack the door open. We’d creep in and check to see if Santa and Rudolph ate their snacks and then we’d run for the living room to see all the presents he’d delivered. Every year, and the magic never wore off!

For this year we found a very cute ice blue ‘Baby’s First Christmas’ from The Range. As we will be starting weaning the following month I took the chance to grab some of his weaning items to fill his stocking with. Two birds/one stone and all that jazz! I also grabbed some more fun bits! Some bath time finger puppets, socks and a beautiful ‘baby’s first Christmas’ reindeer rattle.

The third tradition we are starting is one I was desperate to start and is Elf on the Shelf! I know what you’re thinking and yes you are right…Harrison will have no idea what’s going on! He’s far too young and is most likely a waste of time! Believe me, I fought the urge to start it this year, but I figured what the hell! It’s a bit of fun, I can take lots of pictures and when he’s old enough we can show him his letters from his elf and show him the photos. There are so many ideas for this on Pinterest etc; some fun, some silly, some naughty and some really simple! We are going away for Christmas and I’m even planning on taking him away with us there to keep the magic going! Keep your eyes posted on my Instagram for lots of pictures and I will be doing a couple of blogs about him too! For those who do not know, elf on the shelf is an American tradition based on a book by Carol V. Aebersold and Chanda Bell about Santa’s scout elves who report back to the big man who should be on the nice list and who should be on the naughty list. They get up to all kinds of high-jinks and they are infiltrating the UK now. There are cheaper alternatives to the dolls now and there is even a film and an app! We opted for a cheaper version but may invest in the official doll and book once Harrison is older!

The final tradition (at the moment!) is putting the tree up as a family and this is another one from my childhood. Our mum would always want us to wait until after dads birthday but we eventually wore her down and it got put up earlier every year!We would put the tree up all together, argue what goes first – lights or decorations (of course it’s the lights), disagree on what goes where all to a sound track of festive music and a mug of hot chocolate! This year in our house we’ve agreed on 7th December. I’ve always been a 1st December kind of girl but this will be a year to the day we found out Harrison would be bursting into our lives and I thought that would be a nice day to put the tree up as a family.

So as you can see, it’s barely half way though November and it’s already Christmas in my head! Hope you all have lots of fun festivities planned!

First time parents…you got this!

The past eleven weeks have flown by and it’s safe to say we are getting the hang of this parenting thing.

Already in Harrison’s life span, he has battled, or is battling, colic, eczema, a suspected dairy allergy, sleepless nights, baby massage classes and a naming ceremony! Okay so the last two are more fun things for him, but you get my point!

It’s a crazy feeling isn’t it…one moment you are literally finding out you’ve created life, then you go through months of growing that life, then the day comes and that little life is now out in the big wide world looking cute and smelling amazing and you just can’t get your head around that fact…! (This could also be due to the drugs they give you in the delivery ward!)

Then you go home…and reality hits in! Your beautiful baby does not just lay there looking cute and giving off that new baby smell…they have needs and wants. But they can’t tell you…and that, I think, is the scariest part of being a new parent. No amount of reading or attending antenatal classes can truly prepare you.

I feel there is a very popular view that ‘it all comes naturally’ and to a point this may be true. There is a strong urge to want to give your baby everything they need and more. You want to cuddle them and smell them all day long! It’s an over whelming feeling…but it is also totally normal to feel terrified, anxious or even overwhelmed.

The first couple weeks after Harrison was born blurred into one time span of feeding, changing nappies and rocking him to sleep while staring at this beautiful boy we managed to create and grow. We would occasionally sleep in between. Caffeine has become my very best friend.

This is the period you will get offered lots of advice. I will be honest…it’s not always helpful! It is a case of taking on board what people offer you and deciding if that would work for you. Because what works for one family won’t work for the next.

For instance, when we first came home I was constantly told to ‘nap when the baby does’ and this is actually a solid piece of advice; however I am one of those weird people who can not nap during the day. If I nap during the day it usually means I’m unwell!

There have been times since our little man arrived that a midday siesta would have been amazing but my mind is never on the same page as my day time nap needs! It can’t switch off if it’s daylight outside. But this is an example of good advice if you can switch off long enough; specially when your baby wakes regularly through the night, or is maybe up for several hours inconsolable with colic or reflux.

Becoming a new parent, we have discovered, is just a huge learning curve. Because babies are fickle little things, what worked yesterday may not apply today!

But for all the times I’ve felt overwhelmed and anxious or all the times I’ve googled to see if something is ‘normal’, for all the sleepless nights, the poonami’s and the crying fits where I can’t figure out what is wrong…I would not change it for the world. Neither of us would.

If your baby is fed, warm, clean and loved with a roof over their head then you’re doing a great job!

Where to now?

I have really reflected recently on what to do with this blog…we reached the end of our fertility journey and that’s what it was supposed to be about. But I didn’t want to end it there.

Ive rambled all the way though our journey from the start to end. I waffled through our awkward appointments, my crazy dietary changes to ‘help’ us fall pregnant right through to our pregnancy announcement, my whole pregnancy and Harrison’s birth announcement/story.

So what now…?

Now I join the herds of other ‘mummy bloggers’ and instead of waffling about our infertility journey, I’ll waffle about the adventure of being a first time mum and where ever that takes us!

Sunroof Exits

It has been a long while since I posted and lots has happened.

Most who read this blog will know that our baby boy has arrived into the world, safe and sound, a couple weeks ago and has been stealing hearts ever since! He weighed a healthy 8lb 4 and we named him Harrison.

This blog does include my birth story so this is a pre-warning for those who do not want to read this! It is said sharing your birth story can be very therapeutic and you all know I’m all for that! I’ll give another warning as it is coming up!

The end of my pregnancy saw Neil’s stress levels go through the roof! In between gestational diabetes (GD) and having to start insulin, the monthly growth scans and consultant appointments, the issues with SPD (which weirdly just disappeared at 31 weeks gestation) and reduced foetal movements on more than one occasion nobody was more ready for me to birth our boy than Neil’s stress levels!

Our first two trimesters were a dream, other than the SPD but I’ve learned that it is actually really common and compared to some woman I got off pretty lightly (however when waddling through a 13.5 hour shift I begged to differ!)

Our third trimester saw my GD become fairly unstable and my blood sugars were a total nightmare to control. I had started to feel unwell and even started to display sign of preeclampsia, which was very worrying! After investigations cleared me of that it was discovered that I needed insulin to control the GD. So that was fun, four times a day testing my blood sugars and daily jabs of insulin! I felt so rock and roll…!

The weeks started to tick by and I eventually started to feel human again, but a weeks sick leave, three weeks annual leave and maternity leave starting (meaning no 0500 starts or long shifts on my feet) probably contributed to that!

During this time i did all the usual pregnant mum to be things…obsess over my bump size, my swollen hands and ankles and organise everything to an inch of its life! Oh and pee a lot…the peeing issue is real…!

We got to 37 weeks and I was so ready to birth the boy! He was head down and in the right position, he felt engaged for what felt like an eternity and well…I had waited 16 years to prove doctors wrong, and two years of which were spent struggling to actually conceive him; I wanted to thrust my baby is a doctors face and shout ‘Ha! You were wrong! You were all wrong!’

For the record…I did not do this…but the urge was strong!

I planned my birth in a beautifully written birth plan that was all about calming water births, hypno birthing techniques and no epidurals. It included plans b and c as well, but I was going to be a natural birthing goddess so in my little head they were there to appease the midwives! Our bags were all packed, nursery and bedroom prepared, we just had to wait.

In total through out the pregnancy we had three separated occasions of reduced movement that saw me hooked up for monitoring. The first time, in hindsight, was me not knowing his routine; mainly because he didn’t seem to have much of one but apparently he did! The second two times were bonafide reduced movements and having the monitoring helped reassure as both.

The final time we attended for monitoring due to reduced movements, at 37+6 weeks, we had just been discharged from the consultant, they were happy with Baby’s growth and just gently reminded me I would not have a small baby and agreed I could safely have a water birth. No mention of an sliding scale (insulin) during birth. However, when we were being monitored the unit staff were not happy with the growth as it looked like he had dropped off a little…at this point we were majorly confused! Was he big or not?! Who should we be listening too?!

Well, why questioning it all a decision was made, pretty swiftly, that I had to be induced by the end of that week! Head was spinning at this point, I suddenly wanted to wait to get to 40 weeks! We wasn’t ready…was we?! But there was concerns for Harrison; potentially my placenta may not be working to full effect which could have caused the drop in (predicted) weight – although the drop was minimal.

Fast forward a few days, more monitoring, and extra stress we booked in to the delivery suite and proceedings were started nice and early on a sunny Sunday morning. Initially we were to be induced Friday but when we got there they could not safely do it due to the staff to patient ratio. I was gutted, but working in the NHS I understood.

By this point my beautifully written birth plan had been ripped up when I realised I wasn’t getting my water birth. Hey ho, we was getting to meet our boy soon enough! Who needs to be a birthing goddess right?!

I had Neil and my mum as birthing partners and luckily mum packed a snacks bag as we were in for the long haul with this one!

(Birth story with the gory bits incoming…!)

So, for anyone who doesn’t know what happens when your baby is induced, they start of gentle. With a pessary designed to jump start your labour. Your then hooked up to the CTG monitor and then you wait…for six hours…for something to happen. And nothing did. The monitor was picking up some contractions but these were so mild I barely noticed the majority of these. I was allowed to go for a walk and told to grab some lunch and to go for a walk.

Birthing in the hospital you work in can be awkward, but luckily at this point the only person we bumped into was one of my lovely colleagues!

The next step was to have my waters broken. This sounded painless…mum said it would be painless…it was not! The only way I can describe it is a slightly more scratchy version of a smear test and is done with what looks like a giant crochet hook! Smears are necessity in us females lives and so was the breaking of my membrane as clearly my body sucked at labour!

After a moment of being amazed of the level of amniotic fluid one can possibly be holding on to (there is more to this story…but I think we shall leave that there! We are still traumatised by this event!) and told to go for another walk and grab some (more!) food my contractions finally started. A mere eleven hours after we arrived!

We headed back and I started to use my TENS machine. I may not have got to be a water birthing goddess but I didn’t need pain relief…right?! Hahahahahhaha! You fool Jayne!

Fast forward a bit further along; I’m hooked up to the hormone drip, a sliding scale (insulin) and intravenous fluid as well as being connected to the CTG machine again. My contractions were picking up and I finally opted for some gas and air. I didn’t like it at first but when those contractions start coming thick and fast, and intensified by the hormone drip, you need it! In the end, when offered an epidural and spinal block I couldn’t say yes quick enough!

Looking back this is when I should have been embarrassed when I’m sat there almost starkers and I recognised the anaesthetist! There’s no dignity in labour is there?

It became evident that my body REALLY doesn’t like hormones or giving birth as I was not progressing (was still only 5cm dilated) and Harrison was in distress; he kept dropping of on the monitor and had moved back to back. There was a real concern that he had the cord around his neck! When they suggested an emergency c-sect it was a no brainier for us.

Within the hour of that decision being made, Harrison came bursting into the world via the sunroof and into our hearts.

I remember very little of the actual procedure on account of the amount of drugs they gave me. I just vaguely remember having the serious shakes (might as well of been doing jazz hands!), was really itchy (caused by the fentanyl) and a weird sensation in my abdomen!

We was taken into recovery where my mum was waiting. It was very emotional and the drugs they’d given me made me feel very weird.

By the time they were happy with us both in recovery myself, Neil and mum had been up and in the hospital almost 24 hours! Everyone was tired but I could not stop staring at our beautiful boy!

We had some amazing midwives looking after us as well as several midwifery students and the theatre team!

Once on the ward I remember just staring at my baby for what felt like hours until I got the feeling back in my legs and I waited for Neil to come back! I was desperate to get moving and really wanted a shower! We had to stay in a few days due to Harrison developing jaundice.

It’s true what they say, nurses do make the worse patients! I hated being in hospital and just wanted to take our baby home and start enjoying being a mum. By the time we left I think Harrison was the oldest baby! It made me very emotional being in hospital, couples with all those postpartum hormones, that I’d be crying over silly things! Which is very odd for me…I don’t do crying!

But all is well that ends well. We are home, getting into the swing of things and loving being parents!

It was a long journey, not as long as some others granted, but it has been a hard road for us to get here. But every minute was worth it.

Welcome to the world Harrison!

Baby Prepping at The Baby Show

I am really conscious that this blog has focused on the health side of our fertility journey. I’m in a place with it that I want to continue it, but where do we go from here, once Baby Lewis has arrived?

I currently feel a bit of a statistic. We was the 1 in 4 who lost their first pregnancy. We was the 1 in 4 to experience fertility issues. I’m the 1 in 5 to experience SPD (according to my physiotherapist!) and as predicted by obs and gynae consultant I have gestational diabetes. But none of that matters, because being pregnant with PCOS does not mean your are any less pregnant. It means you over come all the statistics, the warnings of infertility and you are growing a baby. 

Granted, as women there are parts of pregnancy we wish we could side step (morning sickness, the back ache, the constipation….need I go on?) but for anyone who has struggled to conceive they would welcome those with widely flung open arms. 

There are fun sides to pregnancy too which over shine the fact you can’t see your feet whilst standing up for a while! Such as baby prepping! 

I can honestly say I am not a fan of shopping…I hate it.  It’s boring, it’s frustrating when you can’t find what you want or your size plus other shoppers really get on my nerves. I will go out with my mum and she is famous for dragging you round the shopping centre only to end up back at the first shop. The best bit of being dragged around is that there will always be a little stop for a decent cup of tea…my saving grace!

I have found though, that I love shopping for this baby! It’s kinda fun, everything is new and exciting, tiny and oh so cute! I had heard about the Baby Show through a friends blog, The Newhouse Family Blog (well worth a read!), Facebook and instsgram posts and I was very intrigued! I had really wanted to go to the one in March, held at the Excel in London but it was Neil’s birthday weekend. So when I saw another one was being held in Birmingham I jumped at the chance to go and get my own back on my mum and drag her around shopping! 

It was a first for me, never having been to anything like it before, except maybe a couple of wedding shows locally when we were wedding planning. But it was amazing! The Baby Show is basically a one stop shop for everything you could need for your new baby, or even ones already growing too fast! 

Had I known how good the deals would be I think I would of held off getting some of our bigger items! As I realised when we got there that you can order things like prams, nursery equipment and furniture and car seats and they can be delivered! So this is something to bear in mind should you find yourself heading there whilst expecting. 

One tip I will give if you go to the one in Birmingham – if you are travelling by train, check out the NEC website as you can heavily discounted trains straight there! 

I didn’t really know what to expect from the show to be honest. It seems that it is generally held over a three day period and you can pick which day you want to go. We went on the second day and I wonder if the deals are any better on the last day? 

I had a few items in mind I wanted to get whilst there and there was some stands I wanted to visit specifically due to on hand experts but I was so overwhelmed when I got there that I don’t think I did everything I wanted too! 

We did, however, utilise the freebies! When we booked our tickets you had the option to buy a made for mums goodie bag for £5; contents being worth £35! So we paid for two of those! But as you work your way around the show there are so many stands handing out freebies of various value and use you won’t know what to do with them all! I came away with baby aveno samples, baby wipes and a pack of nappies from Tesco, moisturising cream for me, an SMA bib and a Nestle bowl and spoon, child’s farm baby wash and shampoo trial size samples, a total of two bottles and around three dummies and a johnsons newborn baby head to toe wash trial size sample. I also got a full sized bottle of Stur liquid water enhancer just for entering a competition! The £5 goodie bag included stretch mark oil spray, a Chico and a NUK bottle, infacare baby bath, pregnacare liquid vitamins and minerals and a sebamed set with baby bathing products in as well as a CBebbies magazine for any little ones! It was great to take my mum as it meant she was able to pick up some of these too to build her own stock up for when she looks after Baby Lewis when I eventually go back to work! 

Shopping wise, we did really well. It would be easy to max out your credit card because you will want to buy everything! We was very/kind of restrained though! I wanted to come away with at least a breast pump and I managed to do so, with a a great breast feeding starter set from MAM which included a manual pump, breast pads and some bottles/milk storage pots. I fell in love with the bibs of the Funky Giraffe stand and came away with about seven brightly coloured bandana bibs! I found a bargain for a breast feeding and baby support pillow which was only £12 and there was so many lovely baby clothes that had to essentially close my eyes to them! We picked up a few bits but with being monitored for baby’s size each month due to the GD I’m not wanting to buy too many clothes until we know how big he is going to be.  

I did splurge on a baby towel from the Original Cuddledry stand – they were on Dragons Den with their hands free bamboo baby towel – these towels are fab but not essential! It has a strap that goes around your neck whilst bathing baby.  The towel is double lined so as you are wearing it you are warming it up and it keeps your hands free to bath baby and not drop them in the water (see the benefit here!). They are made of bamboo too so have antiseptic properties and are so soft! So…yeah…an unnecessary buy but I feel it will be invaluable to these two first time parents! 

My other splurge was on some reusable wipes from cheeky wipes. I have recently received around six non-disposable nappies from various companies; I had been stocking up on Mamia nappies from Aldi but I am now on the fence on which would be best. Neil is not convinced,  but I can certainly see the benefit of less nappies in the landfill and less chemicals next to babies skin (specially with my track record of sensitive eczema prone skin!). I have enough to give them a go if I can figure out how it all works that is!  But as for the wipes, these seem such a fab idea! The starter kit includes a clean and dirty system for indoors and on the go and it is all colour coded, they come with essential oils which smell amazing and seem a really easy system to use. The bonus is the money it saves too. There’s no need for fancy washing cycles. Just pop them in with your normal wash! Neil, as with the nappies, is not convinced but once he sees the savings I’m sure he will come around…hopefully! 

There was lots more deals on the day, such as half price baby feeding equipment and there was something for everyone depending on what you were looking for. There was also fashion shows, expert talks and if you were more organised then I was you couple have booked in for baby first aid taster sessions and one to one talks with experts, such as a lactation consultant (really kicked myself for not booking that!). Additionally, the organisers thought of everything from a crèche, baby changing area with free nappies, a feeding area which included free baby food and an area to test prams and ride along toys. 

I would highly recommend this show to anyone. There was lots of people on hand for advise on products and general information which I found great, specially as a first time mum. On the whole most stands were not pushy which made me more willing to part with my hard earned cash! 

* please note I am not affiliated with any of these companies but I have included links for information *

What’s 5ft 5 and waddles like a penguin? 

Life’s been ticking along nicely as I have slowly waddled towards the beginning of the third trimester. 


As with a lot of pregnancies I have unfortunately hit a couple of hitches. I was doing so well and felt great but I am now dealing with two pregnancy nasties in the form of SPD and gestational diabetes. Oh joy! I feel well in myself but the SPD is bringing lots of aches and pains plus affects how easy it is to move about. 
SPD, or Symphysis pubis dysfunction, affects your pelvis and is now more commonly known as Pelvic Girdle Pain. The symphysis pubis is where your pubic bone meets in the middle at the front of your pelvis; SPD causes pain in this joint due to the extra swelling and weight experienced during pregnancy. Symptoms include back, hip and thigh pain, a grinding or clicking sensation in the pubic region, pain is the perineum as well as causing difficulty in widening legs, moving in bed, bending over and managing the stairs. For me I have experienced all of these. It started with a bit of lower back pain and hip pain and this then progressed to a pressure underneath. I had put it down to just being normal pregnancy aches and pains, really didn’t think much of it. But I did mention it to the midwife who advised me to self refer myself to the physiotherapist. 


It is thought to be caused by your bodies reaction to the hormone relaxin. Relaxin is a hormone that prepares the body for labour and makes our joints a little more flexible to allow safe passage for the baby on their way out into the big wide world. You are at a higher risk of developing this if you have had previous lower back or pelvic girdle pain, have experienced the condition in a previous pregnancy, a history of trauma to the area or are in a physically demanding job. Well, being a nurse in an emergency department I can safely say my job is very physically demanding and I did have trauma to my hip as a child. Being a clumsy accident prone child, the first day we moved to Milton Keynes, I managed to injure my hip running around the park with my older sisters and had to have it realigned. 
I will not go into treatment as I would hate to give the wrong information out but there are a few things that I have personally found helpful. I was advised to take the stairs differently. On my first trip to the physiotherapist I was assessed and they discovered my right side was worse than my left side. So when going up the stairs I was advised to take them one at a time using my left foot first; coming down the stairs I have to remember to reverse this and go right foot first. I was also advised to sleep with a pillow between my legs (classy!) but I am a fidgety sleeper so this does not work for me. Other tips I was given was to ensure I do my pelvic floor exercises and if the pain is very uncomfortable I will sit on my birthing ball for short periods of time. I also have a very ‘attractive’ support belt that I wear when I am at work or out and about. If you need one of these I recommend checking Amazon out as I paid less then £20 for mine and my physiotherapist informed me it was a very good one to use, here is the link to the one I purchased. 

So…onto Gestational Diabetes…!  I was under the impression that every expectant mother was tested for this but I learned that this is not the case. You are only tested if you are considered as an ‘at risk’ mother.  To be considered at risk you have to have a BMI of over 30, have a parent or sibling with diabetes (either type I or II), having a larger baby in a previous pregnancy (as in 10lb or more!) and/or be of south Asian, Black or middle eastern heritage. Additionally, it is thought women with PCOS are at a higher risk of gestational diabetes, amongst other complications such as pre-term labour and preeclampsia. 

The glucose tolerance test is organised through your midwife here in the U.K and is a fasting blood test. It’s a long wait around as well! I had to go to my local hospital nice and early one Saturday morning, and as it was fasting I’d had no morning cup of tea! Torture! I had my first sample of blood taken and made to drink a glucose drink, very similar to the lucozade sports pouch drinks but much sweeter, and told to go and wait for two hours. The worse thing about this was the drink was of a decent size, tasted grim and I was made to drink it in front of the phlebotomist!  I was still not allowed to drink/eat anything but was allowed to sip water. Luckily the unit had some recliners so I sat with my feet up for a couple of hours and had dragged my mum along for company. After the two hours were up I had to have a second sample of blood taken and was sent on my merry way! 

I was not overly concerned as I didn’t feel like I’d had any symptoms, I felt well and really didn’t think it’d happen to me if I’m truthfully honest! Ignorance is bliss isn’t it! But actually I was very high risk due to my BMI and the fact my Dad has type II diabetes, aside from the PCOS. 

I was less than impressed on how I was told though. I had attended my annual asthma review and there was a note on the screen for the asthma nurse to tell me my results were a little high and that the diabetes clinic would be in touch. Great! That told me nothing! Plus I didn’t hear for over a day from them so I was fretting for some time! Not good for baby Lewis! When I did eventually hear, I really didn’t like the nurses attitude. She assumed I was over weight, with a poor diet and spoke to me like I didn’t have a clue! But she did book me into the diabetes clinic for next week so I am hoping she will be less judgemental face to face!  This has also generated extra monitoring for me and baby. I am also booked in for regular consultant visits and foetal growth scans to monitor his size. 

Gestational Diabetes is a form of diabetes that only affects you during pregnancy. It is thought that it occurs when the hormones your body produces during this time make it harder for your body to deal with insulin and so results in an insulin resistance. It generally goes away after birth and if managed correctly it shouldn’t cause too many issues. If blood sugars are not controlled however, there are some associated risks, hence the extra monitoring. Well known risks include preeclampsia, large birth weight babies, or macrosomia, or at the other end of the scale it can cause polyhydramnios, which is when there is too much amniotic fluid and this can lead to pre-term labour and birth complications. Other issues include needing to be induced with or without a c-section, baby can be at risk of low blood sugars at birth and jaundice and in very rare cases still birth is a risk.  There is additionally a higher risk to you and your baby of developing type II diabetes in later life. 

It is managed through regular monitoring of your blood sugars, you may have to take oral medications or you may even have to inject insulin. As well as this diet and exercise play a huge role in controlling blood sugars too. My major issue is that my SPD prevents me from being too active. I have days where I barely feel anything, but if I over do it on these days I will pay for it the next day.  My diet is on the whole pretty good, I struggle when at work to eat as well as I do when at home due to shift patterns not always allowing me to eat a proper cooked meal like I would if I was at home but I try to manage these the best I can.  Luckily my long shifts have been reduced and I am in a period of using all my annual leave up before I go off on mater it’s so I am really just chilling out at home mostly these days other than the odd shift at work! 

I don’t recommend being ‘Doctor Google’ and you should always get things checked out with a registered health professional but I have found Diabetes UK, Baby Centre and the NHS very good sources of information!