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! 

We have no will power! 

Time has been zooming by since we announced our happy news!  We are over half way through and will be welcoming our rainbow baby before we know it! 

The pregnancy is going well and I am keeping very healthy. There’s been no major issues and I have been feeling very well. Apart from the normal pregnancy symptoms…that lower back pain is soo much fun at work! 

I am now starting to feel the baby kick but they’re not strong enough for Neil to feel yet! But they get stronger every day! FYI for anyone whose been told it feels like butterfly’s the first few times….it’s lies! Mine started like a flick from inside and have got progressively stronger! It’s a lovely feeling but they can catch you unawares! Still, it’s a feeling I would never trade!

I love to watch our bump grow and try to take a picture every week! I think this will be something nice to look back on in later years! 

Just this week we had our anomaly scan. It was lovely to see Baby Lewis again! It feels such a long time between your first scan and the following midwifery appointment, so it’s reassuring to see them!  A lot of people refer to this as the gender scan but it’s actually to check everything is how it should be. They checked the whole body for any signs of abnormalities and we are happy to report baby is fit and well! Just like last time they were not facing in the right direction and needed some poking and prodding to move! They managed to get us a lovely clear image this time too! It was amazing to see they’re little heart beating and you could see the spine perfectly!

We was very adamant we was not going to find out what we was having, but we have really been struggling to stay gender neutral. 

We decided the night before, if baby was willing to share and the sonographer was 100% certain we would find out what we was having!   We had been on the fence for some time and are both people who NEEDS to be organised! 

Our sonographer said, without a hint of doubt, that our baby was clearly a boy! He may have been laying the wrong way at first for the sonographer to see his brain and heart but he was certainly happy and proud to show of his male anatomy! 

We was going to try and keep it a secret but it’s just too hard! It’s team blue all the way now! 


The blog has been as still as calm waters for some time now and it’s about time we updated you…! 

We’ve had a long and emotional journey to get to the point where we can share good news. Two long years of bitter disappointment, awful gynae appointments, our huge loss and failed fertility treatments, and not forgetting all those negative pregnancy tests. 

But today we get to announce our rainbow baby is finally on their way!

We are not sure how, but the baby fairy sprinkled her baby dust and this august we shall be welcoming another Lewis into our family! We have known for some time (since before Christmas in fact!) and although a select few already know we are very happy to be able to share our news! 

My big sister told me once that she knew she was pregnant with my youngest nephew before she even tested, and I sat there and thought but how? How can you tell? But crazily enough, I had the same feeling! I guess this journey has made me more in tune with my body and I was certain I felt implantation cramping, but I’d had no spotting. It kept going round in my head and I repeatedly was trying to work out when I could test. It was obsessive. Then the conflict of ‘no don’t do this to yourself, in case you are not!’ sprung up too. My head gets a very noisy place at times! So I tried to get on with our daily life. Our first anniversary was days away and I was looking forward to what we had planned. 

So there I am, trying not to think about the possibility of our rainbow baby, when Neil suggests I should take a test as we may be drinking on our anniversary so I had to tell him what I thought was going on in my uterus! Unfortunately it was still too early to test! 

Two days later, not having much hope, I caved and tested early! When I saw those two lines I did not have the reaction I thought I’d have. It was about 0600am on a Wednesday morning and as I saw those lines I said ‘huh…’ and then had to wait a long forty five minutes for Neil to wake up and he had a similar reaction. I put it down to shock, worry and fear. Which is normally following a miscarriage I guess. To rest our minds I took a second test the day the dreaded crimson warrior was due! Low and behold it was still positive…crazy right?! 

We told our closest family and I had to tell work and we continued on to Christmas and new year. We had tried to keep it on needs to know basis at work but that’s impossible when there has been a lot I’ve not been allowed to do! Plus in family tradition of babies not wanting to stay hidden, this baby is no exception! Feeling a mixed bag of happiness, excitement, apprehension and fear we started 2017 counting down to today! Yesterday we had our scan and it feels like a huge weight has been lifted.  Baby is a wriggling, thumb sucking beauty!  Everything looks healthy and I am feeling as good as one can in their first trimester…my jeans still fit, so that’s a win! 

Still astounded how this happened, but my midwife thinks there may have been some Clomid left in my system which helped things along. I wonder if it’s something to do with the time of the year; we conceived a similar time as we did with Shortround and had been told a long time ago that I was probably only ovulating once or twice a year. So potentially when I was told I’d never conceive naturally, they’d just tested in the wrong month…maybe. Or maybe it’s a miracle/medical marvel. Or they were wrong. Who knows! All we know is we are going to be parents and that is equally amazing, exciting and ever so scary! 

This pregnancy feels totally different, it feels healthier, my pregnancy symptoms are stronger and the complete opposite to last time! I am classed as a high risk pregnancy due to my BMI still and PCOS but we take each day as it comes, I rest when I need to and make the most of energy bursts in between nausea and food aversions! Work are being very supportive too which is a huge relief! 

So, there you have it! The news we’ve been dying to tell you all since December 7th!
P.S mum, you can start knitting now! 😘

Christmas is coming…and the goose is looking a little slimmer

It’s been a little while since I have written a post and I have actually been missing it. 

I was at a loss as to what I should be writing about. After all, our fertility journey is on a break and that was the main focus of our blog. 

It’s two months into our break from actively trying and I can honestly say it has been much needed. It’s exhausting, all those OPK kits, the two week wait, the crushing reality every month of those BFN’s and convincing yourself next month will be the month all while the crimson warrior kicks your arse with pain, tiredness and emotions. 

So yeah it’s been a nice two months so far. I couple of times we have both been guilty of breaking it, neither of us are good with out a plan! But it is only until march. 

I have myself some time to just relax the first few weeks. We went away glamping in a shepherd hut (it had a log burner and a hot tub!), we went out for dinner, enjoyed good food, good wine and even better company. I even got a puppy…she’s called Ariel, she is a cavachon, she is beautiful and terribly spoilt! 

Three weeks ago (tomorrow) I restarted slimming world. I have lost 7lbs already and I am feeling much better for it. Looking forward to seeing how much I lost this week tomorrow! Lots of dog walks and running around at work are helping my losses? Would love to join the gym but I have no will power where that is concerned. 

We are in full swing prepping for Christmas. We are both off for the first time ever and are planning a big family Christmas! Very exciting. 

I am painfully aware that the festive period will bring some strong emotions as the first anniversary of our loss of Shortround nears ever closer    But we are a strong couple, I’m sure we can deal with it. 

Another cycle bites the dust

We’ve been quite for a while. Life has been busy with weddings to attend and weekends away, not to mention just general life keeping us busy. 

I figured people may wrongly interpret our silence on the last round of clomid incorrectly which could make for some uncomfortable and awkward conversations. 

We completed our last round of clomid, my body went through lots of side effects and these started much earlier this time. Which was fun…! My birthday saw me celebrating a very special ladies hen do not drinking and feeling so sick; was the biggest party popper ever! Luckily I made it though their beautiful wedding relatively symptom free! 

I had my scans as before and this did cause a little stress; it appreared at first I was not responding and the clinic were not being very flexible with times for me to come in for additional scans. 

Eventually my body did respond and I was informed that it can take women with PCOS longer to respond. This is information that would have been much more helpful months ago. 

Out two week wait ticked by and the Cronus on warrior did not appear. We were son confused as to when to test due to my unreliable cycle so we decided to wait until the app said I was due on, which was a few days after our two week wait was officially up. 

As ever, we got a big fat negative. 

There’s been lots of tears and heart to hearts this week as we feel we have to face the facts. 

The facts are plain and simple. I’m not doing great on clomid and barely responding. I feel tired, drained and bloated due to the drug and don’t feel as healthy as I did before, even after the miscarriage. I can’t face IVF, it is such a gamble , so much money and it may not even work. But I am at peace with the fact I don’t want IVF, it is okay. I don’t feel right putting my body through it when there is such a huge chance it won’t work. 

This is not defeat. This is us giving my body a break, our minds a break and taking some time to enjoy being married. We’ve been married almost a year and that whole time has been consumed with a miscarriage and fertility treatments. 

The next few months will see an end to me trying things I’ve read because it worked for someone else, and a real focus on getting healthier. If anything happens while we’re not tracking hormone levels and popping fertility drugs then that would be amazing, if not then it doesn’t. 

In six months time we will see where we are and make another plan. 

It just wasn’t our cycle

As you all know we were recently waiting for the endless two week wait to end to find out if our first cycle of Clomid had been successful. It is with a heavy heart we can confirm the first round was not successful. In fact, for the first time in months the Crimson warrior (AKA Aunt Flo) arrived early. The optimist in me hoped it was just spotting or maybe even implantation bleeding but alas it was not to be; a pregnancy test confirmed we still did not have our big fat positive! 

It was crushing to say the least. You try and tell your self that it is ok, everything is fine and what will be will be, but you know deep down you are just filling your head with cliches to make your heart ache a little less. FYI it doesn’t work. We both felt like we had been kicked down again and those awful feelings from when we lost shortround came back in an instant. It did not help that the day we ovulated was the day we should have been welcoming our first child. We had hoped it was a sign of good things to come but it was purely a coincidence. The hardest thing I have found is that I felt different, I felt pregnant, or at least my body lead me to believe this. 

It is very hard to convey how it feels to go through an infertility journey but to put it in perspective we have been actively trying for nineteen months. That’s eighteen negative pregnancy tests, one miscarriage and now our first failed Clomid cycle. But on top of this I have known for over sixteen years this would be an issue. That is a lot of negative experiences to continually be positive about. Yet we persevere and we carry on because we have to, because it’s what we want to be parents. We joke that a puppy would’ve been far cheaper! It is too easy to whine and question why not us, to wonder when it will be our turn. Instead we have to keep hoping that next cycle will be our time. 

Going forward, we will be trying another cycle of Clomid. The timing is actually perfect as it should be due to start just as my summer annual leave starts which means in those two weeks I should be able to get in my scans before heading back to work! So that is something to be positive about. Plus it is summer here and for England it’s been pretty sunny lately! We were told by our fertility consultant that if Clomid is going to work it is usually within three cycles so we still have two more tries before we need to start thinking about our next steps.