an update on our blood….

It’s going to be a shit day. After experiencing my boy having to have a blood test its clear I don’t do well with hearing him in pain. His dad is definitely the stronger one so will be there on Monday holding my hand and being the amazing support we will both need.

Looking back through this process, it’s been long and arduous. Getting appointments, getting answers, understanding more about this condition, it’s all been a little stressful. But I truly believe that the world throws you things for a reason.

Through this process we have learnt that although my son has the all clear, I actually do have Von Willebrands Disease. I’m not a carrier, I actually have it.

It’s surprising to the Dr that through numerous surgeries I’ve had and through my labour, I never experienced a bleeding issue. I’ve had my tonsils, appendix and wisdom teeth out – all operations that do cause concern for people with VWD. Every time, I’ve been fine. I’m so thankful for this and it also gives me great hope for my little niece (who at 9 years of age, also has VWD to the same level that I do). She had a traumatic bleed after her tonsils were removed last year and the Dr has warned of issues surrounding her periods and surgeries moving forward. I have always had very light and easy to manage periods and no bleeds at all, so it makes me think, maybe she will be the same moving forward. I hope so.

So once again the universe has played its cards. Its provided me with a challenge and allowed me to come out the other side unscathed and with knowledge that I needed.

It’s a clever place this universe of ours….

Xx

A

our first family photo shoot

A couple of weekends ago, we had the pleasure of working with Sheena Cooke Photography to capture some pictures of our new little family. I am entirely un-photogenic and not very comfortable in front of the camera but Sheena managed to make us all feel completely at ease.

Archer didn’t need much help looking gorgeous but he was extremely sleepy so Sheena had her work cut out for her keeping him awake long enough to get some of the shots. She was amazing and I am so grateful for her being able to capture some truly lovely moments with my little family.

Here are some of my favourites…

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Thanks again Sheena… some of these are going straight to the pool room.

xx A

stupid blood

This week I’ve had to accept the fact that there is a chance that our little guy will need to go under general anaesthetic in the next 6 months.

Petrified doesn’t really seem like a strong enough word to explain how this makes me feel.

Archer’s tongue-tie was detected at birth but the seriousness of it wasn’t truly noted until he was about 6 days old. We were referred to a pediatric surgeon with the understanding that there would be a very simple procedure done in that one appointment to fix his tongue-tie and off we would go. Apparently not.

In filling out the pre appointment medical survey, I told the doctor of the history of Von Willebrands in my family (my niece has the condition). This in itself is not an overly serious diagnosis. If the disease is present, prior to any surgery, treatment is given to ensure the blood clots correctly to avoid excessive bleeding.

Prior to this appointment I hadn’t even considered that my son my have this disease. I certainly hadn’t considered the fact that the tongue-tie snip may be a procedure that could be dangerous if he did have Von Willebrands. I’m thankful for the cautious nature and thoroughness of our doctor in detecting this as a concern!

DNALong and short of it is, they can’t test Archer for the Von Willebrands until he is 6 months old. They wont cut his tongue-tie until they eliminate Von Willebrands. Once he is older than 12 weeks, they wont do the tongue-tie procedure unless he is under a general anesthetic. Catch fucking twenty two.

So, what we decided to do was to test N and I to see if we are carriers of the disease (highly unlikely N is, the gene is in my family – but better to be safe than sorry!). Essentially, if we aren’t carriers, Archer can’t have the disease and snip snip we go. About a litre of blood taken later and as expected, N’s results are negative. Mine are inconclusive. Fuck fuck fuck.

We now have a referral to a hematologist for me to see if we can eliminate me as the carrier. Its not looking good but I will be doing everything in my power to beat the clock in getting some sort of result.

So the countdown is on. 7 weeks to go and I need to – get an appointment with the hematologist, discount me as a carrier (fingers crossed), get an appointment back at the pediatric surgeon and get my little dudes tongue fixed.

Or its general anesthetic time in October.

It terrifies me to think that Archer would have to have any sort of procedure. But the thought of him having a general anesthetic in his tiny body makes me feel ill.

I know its not a definite yet and there is no point getting anxious over something that may not happen but I am allowing myself to mentally prepare for the just in case. In the meantime, a warning to the hematologist and pediatric surgeon – I will be stalking you for appointments daily until I can get this resolved – the clock is ticking!

Have any of you lovely readers had to face surgery for your little ones?

Xx A

Ps… you can learn more about Von Willebrands here

2 weeks in

This time 2 weeks ago, my son was born. My world was changed forever. I became Archer Flynn’s mum.

He arrived at 1.40pm. Much quicker than the doctors had expected. Much smaller than they had warned.  I had spent a few hours in a bathtub. Sucking on gas and air like a woman possessed, doing my best to work my way through contractions without needing to submit to stronger drugs. When it all became too much I listened to the advice of my amazing midwife and took the epidural that was on offer. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see a needle in my life.

I’m not going to go into graphic detail but the long and short of it was that it seems my son is as impatient as his mum and was ready to enter the world a lot quicker than the doctors were prepared for. After about 4 hours in labour, he was here.

Perfection.

photo3From his tiny toes to his dark blue eyes, to the intricate lines that mark each knuckle on every perfect tiny finger, he is perfect. And he is ours.

I still can’t believe that we made him.

The first few days in the hospital are somewhat of a blur. A haze of bad coffee, amazing friends and family visiting and hours lost staring at our son.

Coming home was a wonderful feeling. It’s true that the world looks like a very different place when you have your bundle in the car for the first time. Danger everywhere!

Now at day 14, we are getting into our groove. A few stumbles along the way have seen the occasional tear from both he and I. The pure joy I get from staring at him makes it worth it.

My favourite moments are early in the morning. Just my son and I, in the haze of a pre sunrise feed and the warmth of a dressing gown. The world outside doesn’t exist and I can sit with him in total peace.

photo6His dad is totally enamored. I secretly listen in as he talks to him during a midnight feed, chatting away in their own little world. I love that they have their own secrets already.

It feels as though we have had him forever. Although it’s only been 2 weeks, I can’t picture my life or heart without him in it. There are three of us now and we wouldn’t have it any other way. My two best men and me. Happiness. Pure and simple joy.

2 weeks in. Can’t wait for the rest of our lives.

xx A

that wasn’t in the brochure….

Before I got pregnant, I thought I knew a thing or two about the joys of being up the duff. I was by no means an expert but I had witnessed numerous friends and family go through the process, so I thought I was pretty up to speed on what to expect when expecting. And I was. Except for a few little things that people had magically left off of the list….

Here are some of the gems that I have learnt along the way.

  1. medium_6832566733You’ll miss your vagina. Seriously, I haven’t seen it in weeks, maybe months. I miss it. I’m pretty convinced it needs some “tending to” (mental note to book waxing appointment asap)
  2. You might want to consider buying a dog. Much easier to blame those stinky farts that will haunt you for 8 months on a dog than a partner who knows it wasn’t him.
  3. You’ll share things with people like never before. Something about having a pregnant belly makes you community property. Not only will everyone want to share their story with you, but also towards the end, you find yourself having no concerns at all sharing your bits with whoever will listen. In the last couple of weeks I’ve had in depth conversations with other women about the state of my vagina and what is/isn’t normal this far along in my pregnancy – conversations I never thought I’d have.
  4. The boobs you always wanted might just piss you off. This was a real disappointment for me. I had always looked forward to the perks of perky boobs during pregnancy. But when I found myself carrying around a set of double D’s, they were no where near as fun as I had imagined. Disappointing for N too… am sure he’s been dying to play with them the whole time. Poor bastard.
  5. medium_2685851866Heels WILL become the devil. As much as I thought I was going to be “different”, I’m not. I don’t care who you are, being 8 months pregnant and wearing heels to anything other than a super special occasion is insane. I look forward to welcoming stilettos back into my life in a few months time but for now, they are the devil.
  6. People will touch you. A lot. Not only doctors, family and friends (all of which are fine), total strangers will have a good old feel around too. Stranger Danger has been a pretty constant issue for me.
  7. You’ll miss the simple things. Putting on shoes with ease, bending over in general, eating ham. Oh how I miss thee.
  8. It is possible to want to vomit AND eat, at precisely the same time. I was very lucky in the early days of my pregnancy and didn’t suffer a lot from morning sickness. But, who knew that at precisely the same moment, you could have the strongest desire to scoff a bowl of carbs AND throw up. Lucky for me, the carbs usually won.
  9. You will learn the meaning of true patience…. From your partner. Those poor boys. Seriously, I have a newfound respect for the patience of my man. Putting up with me for the last 9 months is something I wouldn’t want to do. Must remember to thank him for that with afore mentioned waxed vagina in about 6 months time. 😉
  10. You’ll pretty much be petrified the entire time. From day dot, I’ve been scared about something. The first few days were pure terror from the realization Fearfulthat there was no way in the whole world that I was ready to be a mother. The next 12 weeks were full of fear about being able to hold onto the embryo that I didn’t realize I wanted so badly. The next 6 months have been a constant balance of irrational fears about eating the wrong food, my baby not moving enough or in the right way, an upcoming scan and basically everything and anything to do with the health of this little person I am carrying. Then there’s the birth bit – you can read about the fear associated with that here.

The most valuable thing people dont tell you is that you are stronger than you think. Through all of the panic and sometimes uber uncomfortable parts of pregnancy, you’ll be fine. You’re tougher and more resilient than you ever gave yourself credit for. Mentally AND physically. That’s why women get to do this bit. Men would crumble.

What surprised you about your pregnancy journey? I’d love to hear from you.

Xx A

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questions for my son….

What will you look like? What will you smell like? Will you have your daddy’s hair and my skin? I picture you with a mop of dark locks and big brown eyes. Handsome like your daddy and pale skinned like me. I think you will smell like pure joy and the occasional bit of vomit but that’s ok, we’ll take the good with the bad.

Will you be as big as you feel inside my belly right now? You feel strong and long limbed. You’ve been trying to break my ribs for weeks now I’m sure of it. The doctors think you’ll be a very healthy sized baby but looking at your daddy’s build, that’s no surprise. Long legged like me and broad-shouldered like dad.

What will you be like? Calm like your daddy, slightly eccentric like me? A night owl with him or an early riser with me? My sister insists you will be a night owl, based on the series of kicks you give me from 7pm every night. A sign of things to come she says – an active baby belly at nighttime means trouble for your sleeping pattern. I think I’m ready either way. You haven’t let me sleep properly in weeks now, so my body feels prepared for late nights, early mornings and catching a nap wherever I can.

What will we do? My days will be so different to those I have now. I’ll have you to look after and I’m not sure exactly how that’s supposed to go. I see us taking some time to figure each other out but slowing falling into a routine that’s just for us. I think we’ll take walks to the beach and I’ll watch you sleep and when daddy comes home you’ll make him smile like no one else can. I know I won’t do all of it right every day. I’ll mess up along the way. There will be tears from the both of us but I promise I’ll do my best. I’m new at this too, but we’ll figure it out.

Where will you go? I bought a picture for your bedroom the other day. It’s a quote by Dr Seuss. “Oh, the places you’ll go” Dr Seuss proclaims. I know you’ll go far. You’ll have the drive of your mummy and the travel bug like your daddy, I’m sure of it. I don’t see you being a wallflower. Not with our genes. You’ll be bold and brave and want to challenge yourself and the world. Go everywhere. Do everything. Just make sure I know where you are.

What will you be? Whatever you want is the answer! If poppy gets his way, you’ll be the captain of the Tottenham Hotspur’s. If daddy teaches you well enough, you may be a famous guitarist. I think you’ll be creative and smart. I think you’ll leave your mark on the world as well as our hearts. I think you’ll be amazing at whatever you choose. I think you’ll always be yourself and that is perfection to me.

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What will I be like? Being your mum is a pretty big deal. I still can’t quite believe that I get to meet you soon and that you chose us to be your family. I feel full of something I can’t quite describe. It’s a fear of the unknown mixed with an almighty sense of joy and excitement about what our future holds. I never knew that I wanted you so badly, but now you are on your way, I have never been so sure of anything in my life.

I don’t know what I’ll be like as your mum. I know that I’ll work harder at this than I have ever worked on anything in my life. I know I wont be perfect but that I will give you the best I possibly can. I know that I will make sure you never go without and that you know you are loved every single day. I know that I’ll kiss you too often and probably embarrass you along the way. I know one day you’ll be taller than me but that I’ll still call you my baby. I know that I’ll be proud of you no matter what and that whoever you become I will support you. I know that from now until forever, you will be my son and I will be your mum. I know that I love you to the moon and back and you’re not even here yet.

I can’t wait to meet you.

Love your mummy. x

xx A

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turning into a secret softie?

Those who read my blog often, know that I’m not the type of pregnant woman who gushes over her bump and finds the process of growing a baby to be some sort of divine experience. I’m more from the school of “can’t wait for the end product but could do without the being pregnant bit”.

I’m absolutely thrilled to be having a baby and cant wait to meet our little guy, but the whole being pregnant bit isn’t something I have really loved.

But I may have found one little part of it that I love.

It usually happens around 8.30pm each night.

I’ve usually had a busy day, running around for work and renovations and probably pushing myself harder than I should. I’ve usually just finished a quick dinner and finally sat down for the night to relax.

Within about 10 minutes or so, I feel it. It starts as a little nudge, usually on my right 5769573400_a7bdbf4f9f_zside. Then turns into an evening of rumble and tumble. My little dude trying to get comfy or find a way out through my belly button. Throughout the night he shifts and turns, occasionally kicking but mainly gently nudging, responding to the jingle of my harmony ball or the voice of his daddy through my belly.

Before I was pregnant, if another mother had spoken of being kicked in the belly by her unborn baby, I was a little grossed out. Even as my belly started to grow and I felt those first few kicks, I was a little freaked out by the soft flutters I would feel.  But soon, they became a part of my day; a lovely reassurance that my baby was doing well and getting strong. Going longer than a few hours without feeling a little nudge suddenly felt quite frightening.

Now, those moments at night when he rolls and rumbles inside my belly are some of my favourite moments of the day.

There’s something immensely connective about feeling your baby move, something that I didn’t quite understand before. It’s selfish, but also very warming to know that its something only you will ever feel. In a way, it’s the first real conversations you have with your child; a private moment that no one else can interrupt and take away.

So the hard woman in me may be softening. I wouldn’t say I’m going all “earth mother” on anyone anytime soon but I have definitely found one little aspect of pregnancy which turns me into a bit of a softie.

Sshhh… don’t tell anyone….

xx A