Sunday, 15 March 2015

"Sunday" Morning Tatoes

Super yummy and quick, one tray/dish Sunday morning breakfast potatoes - that I cooked on a Monday. ...
1/2 bag new potatoes
1 table spoon melted butter (measure first then melt)
12 rashers bacon or 8 extra thick rashers
1/4 block of cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
If your feeling really really lazy, you can swap the new potatoes for a bag of frozen potato cubes, usually available in supermarket near the frozen chip section. I prefer new potatoes myself as more flavour.
Preheat oven gas mark 200.
1. If using new potatoes, soak in warm water and scrub off the skins using a clean scourer sponge, if being lazy and using prepared potato cubes, cook as directed on the packet, but to start with, only cook HALF the suggested time.
2. Cut the new potatoes in half and part boil for about 10 minutes.
(*part boiled potatoes*)
3. Whilst the potatoes are boiling, remove and keep aside 2 rashers of bacon from you packet and dice the rest. Grate your cheese and sprinkle a bit in the bottom of an ovenproof dish. I like to use cheddar, it give sit more strong flavour.

4. Chop up the remaining bacon from the packet and also add a small amount to the cheese in the bottom of the dish. Smoked bacon tastes best, lot more flavour.

(*Chopped bacon*)

5. Drain the part boiled potatoes and transfer to the dish, on top of part of the cheese and bacon. Spoon part of the butter over the potatoes, then add the remaining cheese and bacon, before giving a good mix, adding salt and pepper to taste. I use onion salt as it crisps the potatoes nicer and gives it a bit more flavour.
(*added cheese*)
(*sprinkled bacon*)
(*mix it all together. ..*)

6. Place the remaining 2 rashers of bacon on top of the potato mix, and place into the oven for15mins. You will notice the top rashers of bacon will turn crispy, but the fat and juices will drip onto the potato's underneath giving more flavour. After 15mins remove from oven and give a mix again, otherwise the cheese burns on the bottom, then cook for a further 15mins 

Remove from the oven and serve! I usually cook with sausages, extra bacon and beans. I also made some bubble and squeak disks from Sundays Mothers Day vegetable leftovers. Yummmmmmmmmmy!!

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

CheekyBots Nappies

So, I phoned the Mr last night on his way home from work to see if he could stop off and grab a can of formula and some nappies for Aiden from the supermarket.

I've a preference to Tescos own brand nappies - the "Loves Baby" range. They are super soft, thick and absorbant, so we usually just buy those in bulk.

However, last night he arrived home with these:

196 nappies - a months supply of a brand we've never used before, that usually retail at £30 a box (which work out cheaper than 196 Pampers nappies...)

 My first instinct was to grab him by the collar and shake him whilst screaming "AAAAAARGH!! You idiot!! You don't bulk buy an item if you've never used it or know nothing about it, it might be total and utter crap!" But he saw the not-so-happy-or-convinced look in my eyes and before I had a chance to say anything, he told me they were a "bargain" at £12 (were half price at £15 but we also had £3 worth of club card vouchers to use.) 

So it was £12 for 196 nappies. That's good. Thats pretty bloody good... Considering we usually spend £5 for 50 of the Loves Baby nappies, and Aiden goes through so many a day!

Still a bit hesitant I decided to take a look. The nappies were separated into 4 packs of 49 nappies. Why 49? Why not add a extra 1 and round up to 50? Give a total of 200 nappies? (My OCD kicking in there. I'm the same with volumes on TV etc, has to be a even number or rounded up)

Each nappy has this weird kinda creepy frog? crocodile? lizard? (Ive no idea, so i'm going with frog) - It has this frogs big ol eyes on the front, and a bug of some sort for the design. 

Each nappy is totally plain white, which is good for wearing under light clothing. It also has a different coloured band too, with 7 different colours and the creepy eyes combined with 7 different types of bug (My favourite is the pink strip with the itsy teeny weeny lasybird, but im a girl and I like girly things...). 

Although I have a son, I think these are quite boyish, I dont think they are very nice for a girl - practicality yeah, they are just a nappy, but surely you want you little petals petal covered in something a bit more prettier than bulbus frog eyes and bugs...? Sounding very gender stereotypical here admittedly. But I did have a  look incase they sold boxes of these seperate for boys and girls but they dont. So this design is neutral, aparantly... *Its boyish. AHEM*

 The actual nappies themselves feel really quite thin. Not what im used to at all, the ones we usually use are thicker and more padded, and if im honest, during the night, a total pain in the arse to get my son into, especially when he does his monkey frog legs to the chest type movements. I had a quick feel, as Baby Boy started to stir, and needed changing, and surprisingly they are very soft, soft and squidgy. I thought they looked a bit thin and cheap, but they did surprise me with how soft they were. Upon having a quick look i noticed they have the double frill layer around the leg band, so brilliant for holding in any nasty poo explosions (and it actually worked, it did hold in a nasty poo explosion!)

My boy (whos 9 weeks) wore one of these over night after his bottle before bed and for the first time EVER last he slept from 8.30pm-4am not waking for a bottle or due to the fact his nappy was full. When I did change him at 4am and do the early feed, his nappy was wet , but i reckon if he hadn't woken when he did and wanted another feed, and had slept through till say 7am, the nappy would probably have been ok and not leaked.

Ill continue to use these nappies until they are all gone, all 196 of them (providing he doesnt suffer from a reaction to them, ive read online about nappies causing rashes etc, so hence my hesitation to use a different type to what im used to.) but so far so good. Any changes, and ill post on here....

Friday, 6 March 2015

Mother & Baby Magazine Reviews

Eeek!! Eeeek!! EEEEEEEEEK!!!

In case y'all hadn't noticed, in like pretty much new to all this reviewing and blogging stuff. It seems a majority prefer to Vlog, but if I'm honest, that's my idea of hell - mumbling pointless crap whilst looking akward on camera....

Anyway! I applied to review some car seats after I saw an advert on Facebook asking for testers to try out 0+ carseats, and send over what we look for when purchasing a carseat. Originally I had no Idea. A car seat is a car seat, right? We brought one before our son was born and it adapted to our travel system frame, and thought that was all we really needed, as well as obviously fitting into the car and being safe. However, after testing the 6 new seats, what we actually need in a  car seat is vastly different to what I thought we needed...

For starters, a car seat needs to be practical. I prefer the infant carrier style car seats, especially those that work on a travel system frame – its quick and convenient for local trips to town and popping to the shops without having to unbuckle and transfer a snug sleeping baby, which results in an awake, alert and usually crying from being rudely awoken from his sleep.
We are a two car family, and so do swap the car seat that we currently have from one vehicle to the other, as well as the isofix base which when the seat is placed on becomes and extra piece of security. Therefore the seat, for me, needs to be lightweight and easy to install and remove from the car without feeling like your breaking your back. Also preferable to fit onto a general isofix base.

It also needs to be comfortable for my son to, as s we often travel on long journeys to visit family in Wales. I get leg cramp and back ache myself, so I cant imagine how uncomfortable it must be for a baby to be squished in a car seat for the best part of 6+ hours (although we do stop at service stations to stretch our legs).
I've been asked to specifically test 6 of the best up and coming car seats, suitable from birth - 1.5 years, including the UK's first fully reclineable carseat that works whilst on a journey - which really appeals to me, as having a 8 week old baby who adores his moses basket and sleeping in it. Combined with family based in Wales - for those long distance trips it would and could be perfect.

So far it's been narrowed down to the following 6:

* The Cosatto Hold

* Cybex Cloud Q Aton

* Jane Matrix Light 2

* Maxi Cosi Pebble Plus

Image result for maxi cosi pebble plus

* The Concord

* The Casualplay SONO

All have been tried and tested by myself and my son in our MPV and also in our small KA. Due to publishing rights of the magazine, i cant post my own reviews until they have been published in the magazine, so watch this space for my Good, Bad & The Ugly reviews of the above, of which snippets will be included in June's edition of Mother & Baby Magazine. 

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Naming Your Child

Did anyone else REALLY struggle choosing names when the time came to it? Or have lots of names, but none for the sex of your child?!

In my head I had several names that I adored, and had always liked - but then I also had names I hated, just through association of others. I guess its harder when you work with children too, as you hear a name and instantly associate it to a child, usually for the worst reasons.

I found girl names SO much easier, but I don't know if that was psychological as I knew I was having a boy, therefore girl names just seemed nicer. I couldn't exactly have a son and call him "Sarah". That would just be odd, although unique, it would be odd.

The topic of naming our future child became a bit of an argument between myself and my partner. Traditionally on his side of the family, the eldest son or first born son's middle name is "John". Where as on my side of the family it was "Robert". I really wanted to include the name Robert in somewhere, as my dad didn't have any sons, only daughters, and so the tradition of carrying on the name pretty much died there.

I adored the name Bobby, and considered calling my son it. This was in homage to my late granddad who I was extremely close to, and adored. My partner wasn't too keen on the name. He liked the sentimental value, but the name was a iffy one, it wasn't a name he said "NO!" to, but it wasn't one he jumped at either. He did also point out that his initials would be "BJ" and coming from a girl who went to school with a "BJ" I could sympathise with the future taunting. I wanted to call him Robert instead of Bobby tho, as its more traditional and "proper". It would look better on a Qualification certificate when he gradated University as a Doctor (high expectations here!!), but we wernt too keen on the name Robert John, as we both had uncles who had this name, and it was as if we were naming him after them... Robert and Bobby were out of the equasion as a first name, and we were not very fond of double barrelled middle names - our son having 3 names in total...

I also liked the name Thomas. This was actually influenced by my time working at a nursery. There was an adorable child named Thomas who I had a real soft spot for. I just associated the name with the cute little lamb I used to look after. My partner disliked Thomas. He said something about it was his dads nickname at school - how this is/was possible ill never know as his dad's name is Stephen.... Anyway, I thought he was just being difficult, and so Thomas then ceased to exist.

I also liked the name "Jack" which too was a name we both liked, and also was in relation to my cousin who sadly passed away a few years ago. One problem tho. We had a dog called Jack. Not our choice of naming - hes a working dog and the name was given to him before we were given him. I couldn't exactly shout "JACK GET OFF THE SOFA OR ILL GIVE YOU A KICK UP THE BUM!!" The neighbours would think I was a horrid mum! And so Jack was swiftly knocked off the menu.

By now my 3 main names were all pretty much void, and every name my partner came up with I just wanted to beat him up over, or rip his head off with. He started suggestion names (no offence here) which I HATED - Leo, Leon and Levi being the 3 main ones.

I liked traditional strong names and so threw a few of those into the mix - Harry, William, George (George being scribbled off due to William & Kates son being named George earlier that year). I liked Teddy, but it was now too common. Where as Adam liked modern and different names - Zac, Chase, Henley, Hunter... All again which I just shook my head no to.

Why was this so difficult?! I scoured name books, googled baby boy names, downloaded apps on my phone (I must have spent a fortune!) and found nothing.

One evening, Adam arrived home from work, a few weeks away from my due date and as per usual over dinner I nagged him again for names. We weren't going to call our child a name yet, I wanted to see and meet him to decide what he would be called, but I at least wanted a few names in the lineup. That's when he dropped the "A" bombshell. Aiden. Aiden?. Aiden.

It was the only name he suggested that I didn't instantly poo-poo and say no to. I ran it through my head a few times, before through a mouthful of pizza, tell him it was a possible name.

Over the next few weeks that name stuck in my head, along with Bobby and Thomas. Although we had said no to them, they crept back in and stayed in the line up, along with the name Aiden. Once evening I were laying on the sofa watching TV when he began to kick. I placed my Doppler on and had a listen to him having a whoosh about before falling quiet again, I used to talk to him quite a bit, and told him of a few names we were considering, and repeated them over and over.... Thomas, Thomas, Thomas, Thomas. Nothing. Bobby, Bobby, Bobby, Bobby. Nothing. Aiden. Aiden. Aiden. Aiden. He let out a mighty kick. I tried it again, Thomas. Nothing. Bobby. Nothing. Aiden. Kick. Each time I said Aiden, I received a little kick. Had he personally chosen his name?!

I told my partner that night, and he just laughed. There was no way our unborn child had chosen his name already. We had several names lined up - Thomas, Bobby and Aiden. It was a waiting game to see which one would suit him best once he arrived.

I cant see how people pick names for their children before they are born, I think you need to see and get to know your little person before you decide on a name which will be set in stone for their future. Now that our son is born, and we have called him Aiden, when I look at him, I cant vision him being called anything else. He doesn't have a look of "Thomas" or "Robert/Bobby" to him. He really is an Aiden.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Welcome to the world, little one!

The evening of 30th December, i felt ill. I had stomach cramps and generally felt crappy. I ended up getting out of bed, going and making a cuppa (my new weakness) and watching rubbish TV - shopping channels - until my partner came down around 9am. I told him i felt a bit iffy and his instant reaction was "We need to go to the hospital!" I told him he was being silly, i wasnt in pain, i just felt a bit run down and rubbish. He pleaded with me to ring a midwife, and to reassure him, i did. They called me down for an examination, but it colllided with my partners hospital appointment at Broomfield with his neurologist. They said if i still felt rubbish to visit the Day Assessment Unit (DAU) and get checked out over there.

I kept poo-pooing my partner, saying he was making mountains out of mole hills, and that i was perfectly fine (although in some slight discomfort). We went along for his appointment and whilst in the waiting room i came across all hot and queasy. I put it down to being the middle of winder, in a warm waiting room and me wearing a super thick winter maternity jumper.

Adam had his appointment as normal, and we went to leave the hospital. We had planned to his the post Christmas sales, and visit my mum who was working in town. Adam asked me if i wanted to go to the DAU and i was adamant i wasn't going, i just wanted to go shopping! (Bloody typical woman i hear most of you saying!). Adam then pleaded with me to get checked out, for our unborn sons safety - what if something was wrong? I felt selfish and agreed to get checked out for peace of mind.

We went up to the DAU at 11am, and was greeted by a jolly midwife. We explained i had some mild aches and felt a bit poo-pooy and she sent me to a small consultant room to be checked over. She asked me the usual health questions regarding me and baby, then hooked me up to a machine known as a ECG. It monitored my heart, babys heart and babys movements.

There were wires and sticky pads galore. She tied several bands around my waist and tummy, then told me she would check on me every 15minutes over the course of an hour. I were to push a buzzer each time i felt baby move, which was seriously hard considering i was 37 weeks pregnant and there wasnt much room for him to  to move about!

As i were hooked up to the machine, a consultant entered the room to remove the sonographer scanner. He was a happy, smiley man, who put me at ease as he quickly examined me and whilst he was there he did a quick scan to see "Peanut" was still breech and back to back. He jokingly told me that if i were to be having my son today, it would be him performing the surgery. Me and Adam laughed nervously, "Peanut" wasnt due for another 2 weeks, and he wasnt booked in for another week!

The midwife entered around 20 minutes later. She glanced at the printout reading from the ECG and did a double take. She hurried out the room and re entered with some paperwork and the consultant. By now me and Adam were panicing - was something wrong? Was asked what was going on and they didnt reply, they just checked the print out and spoke in hushed voices. We asked again what was going on before the midwife turnt around and said to me:

"Honey, those mild pains you were getting, you know, those small cramps, they are contractions sweetie. Your in labour. You get to meet your son today!"

I kid you not, the world momentarily stopped. I looked at Adam and he looked at me, we looked at each other in total silence. There was no time to panic. Lituraly everything that followed went in a instantaneous flash. The midwife passed me a hospital gown and told me to undress. I just did as I was told, in silence, the words she just told me still sinking in. My baby was on his way. I was having my son today. She did an "examination" to find that i was already 7cms dialated, to which she looked flustered and shocked, followed by telling me that you begin pushing at 10. He was well and truely ready to make his debut appearance in the world. I asked if I could try for a natural birth, without a C-section, and they advised against it. It would be a very long and painful process, and chances were my son would become distressed due to the position he was in (he was breech and back to back, more on that is mentioned below). The advised me to go ahead with my elective C-section that had been booked, however they would now class it as an emergency due to being admitted and brought in 2 weeks earlier than my due date.

I had no hospital bag with me, or items for baby! I did not expect ot be having my child today of all days - New Years Eve! Bloody typical i thought and muttered under my breath. I usually took that bag everywhere. The one day i needed it, i didnt have it.

I was gowned up, laying on the bed wondering what was going on, people just kept popping in and appearing from no where - consultant doctors, juniors, nurses, midwives - you name it, they arrived. In between speaking to every consultant and nurse going, getting mixed messages from various hospital staff, Adam was frantically trying to find signal in the poorest signal area of the hospital, trying to ring our nearest and dearest explaining what was going on - i guess i partially got my mad rush of telling everyone our son was on his way! My mum working in Chelmsford at the time recieved the call and panicked. Big time. She was an absolute god send throughout everything - the pregnancy and after he was born. She left work early and traveled to Braintree to collect mine and "Peanuts" hospital bag. Its a good job we gave her a spare key as an emergency! Little did she know that by the time she would arrive, her Grandson would be born.

I were wheeled into the operating theatre at 12.28. I remember seeing the big digital clock above the door, it just changed from 12.27 to 12.28. Adam was waiting outside the theatre whilst i was given an epidural. Was told this was protocol. I really wanted him there with me as ill admit, im a huge wuss with regards to hospitals, and medical treatment. This was when things really began to kick in. Reality hit again. I were having my son today. Within the next hour, our lives would be changing. We would be going from a couple, to a family. No more "me time". No more selfishness of doing things for myself - someone else would be taking priority now. I had someone who would need me 24/7, a little person.
Nothing can describe the sheer nervousness and loneliness and fear you experience in that moment. You are surrounded by surgeons, consultants, nurses, midwives etc, all busily preparing the theatre for your childs arrival. It feels like a very cold environment, everything is white, clean and sterile. Its a scary place to be, but at the same time, the best and right place. I remember entering to eerie silence and I panicked. Thinking now, the room wasn't silent. The radio was being played, but I didn't hear it. I think I went into some sort of blocked out trance.

Everyone slowly, one-by-one introduced themselves, with their names and their roles - what they would be doing, what part or role the would be playing in the safe virthing of my son. The names and faces all just become one huge blur. I do however remember 2 of the nurses that helped deliver my baby - one was a lady called Sue. She was a beautiful person, she talked to me through out the procedure, joking and clipping my hair from my face. She very much reminded me of a "mummy figure". She was short and plump with rosy cheeks and a lovely smile. She was very reassuring and her mannerisms and general self really reassured me. The other was a much younger nurse, id say not much older than me - her name was Sarah. She too was lovely. She spoke to me whilst i was being given my epidural, by reassuring me, and trying to distract me from the sting of the injection. Surprisingly we had a lot in common - musicians we liked, films we had seen on the TV. She kept singing during the procedure to songs on the radio and moving around the ward in floaty dance like movements.
Sarah had not long herself had her baby girl, Freya, 6months ago, and said she sympathized with me as she too had to have an "emergancy c-section". Although she did the nurse side to the surgery on a daily basis, she said its vastly different when your the one being operated on. She kept me calm whilst I was in there on my own, waiting for the anasetic to kick in, and for my partner to be allowed in. We chatted throughout the whole proecdure, she often took the mickey out of my partner, and the 3 of us chatted away as if i wasnt going under some major surgery and my son wasn't about to be born! I even managed to laugh through the scaredness, even if it were nervous laughs!

The epidural was what i paniced the most about. I got a glimpse on the tray of the size of the needle, and surprisingly it wasnt as big as i thought it would be.  I remember him telling me to sit on the edge of the surgical bed, bring my knees to my chest and curl up into a ball. I just remember rolling  sideways on the bed several timed, due to a tremendous case of the shakes due to nerves. I concentrated on songs being played on the radio than the idea I were about to be stabbed with a needle. It was a hot sharp scratch and that was it. The numbingness kicked in almost instantly, and relief flooded through me, it wasn't as bad as I had expected. The ensure I was totally and completely numb, they sprayed a freeze spray all along the side of my body. I felt nothing from my underarms down. It is such a strange feeling, a warm fuzzy tingle moves from under your arms to your toes, you try and move our legs but you cant. You physically cant. Adam was then brought into the room to find me laying on the operating table, my lower half covered by a blue sheet.
The Consultant asked me if I wished to know what was going on - a step by step procedure so to speak. I was nervous, so I kindly told him no, and that I just wanted him to do what was necessary as quickly as possible. I was also asked if I wanted to see my son being born - as in the removal from my womb, as they would drop the curtain down as they lifted him out, again, felling scared, nervous and quite frankly, sick at the thought of the surgery, I declined.

My brave face
The anaesthetist began the tests to ensure I was totally and utterly numb. He sprayed Ethyl Chloride along the side of my body - I couldn't feel a thing. I tried to move my legs, and my consultant laughed. He said he could tell what I was doing, and that everyone practically tries to do it too.  
By 12.57 i was ready and the procedure started. I was shaking like a leaf, Sarah the nurse told me it was a mixture of the drugs, nerves and also my body reacting to the surgery. I tried to compose myself but i couldnt. I did let out a little nervous sob, to which Sue the nurse rushed over and wiped my tears away. Sarah kept telling me to grow a pair (in a joking way) and told me everything would be worth it, as my son was on his way, which made my emotions rocket once again, within minutes, my son would be in my arms.
I honestly cant describe the procedure. It is such an odd experience. They only way I can describe it, is as though you have your handbag on your lap, and your trying to reach your phone at the bottom of it, but the bag is full of crap - tissues, several lipsticks, your purse, keys, flyers, train tickets from a year ago, and finally your phone. Its like a rummaging feeling - your aware something is happening, but you cant physically feel it. You know what they are doing, and how, but you don't think about it. I felt it went very quickly. I just layed there staring at the celing, grasping Adams hand and stifling a nervous laugh every now and then.
At 1.19pm, on December 31st 2014, a little cry came from behind the blue screen. It was a sign our son was born.

Nothing can describe that moment you hear and see your child for the first time. There really is nothing like it. Every emotion sweeps through your body, happiness, sadness, panic, worry, nerves. You literally cant help it. I cried tears of joy, tears or nervousness as one life ended and another one began for me.

We named our son Aiden-John. He weighed 6lb 11oz. He was tiny, perfect and our absolute world. I was besotted. He was finally here, in all his tiny wrinkly skinned glory. He was beautiful, and he was ours. Our baby boy, our Son.
I recieved first cuddle, but it was an akward one at that. Laying completely flat, with slightly numb arms, they placed Aiden straight to my chest. I couldn't grasp him properly, and so he was immediately placed to Adam, for the first proper cuddle. Rolling my head over to the side to see Adam and Aiden together was an extremely emotional time. Daddy and Son together for the first time ever. I cried. I was proud. Proud of myself for delivering my son, and Proud of Adam for becoming a Daddy. I was proud of us - we were a family at last. I was also slightly upset, that my labour wasn't of my real own choice. I was admitted for a elective C-section due to Aiden being breech and back to back. I were given several options to birth him, but realistically I had only one choice.
In my head from day one, I always pictured me giving birth naturally, I had my heart set on a waterbirth with no medical intervention apart from gas & air. I also wanted immediate skin to skin contact, and having had a natural birth I would pick up my baby myself after delivery and be able to have that first initial bonding cuddle. I also wanted delayed cord cutting/clamping, as I had read about several health benefits for baby - but my whole labour choice and idea was taken away from me the day I was booked for my elective ceserian. I cried myself to sleep for two whole weeks solid over that. The fact I hated hospitals and surgery at the best of times didn't help, and then to be faced with a impending hospitalisation and surgery, that I knew I simply could not avoid, well, quite frankly, that scared me. 
At 1.46pm i was wheeled into the recovery room, where got to hold my precious baby boy for the first time ever. That moment is something special, its a once in a lifetime moment, where both your eyes meet for the first time. You cant help but stare at their tiny eyes, nose, fingers - them in general. They are just so small and innocent. Its crazy to think they grew inside you, from something so microscopic to the bundle you hold in your arms. Its madness how your tiny person is made of 50% you and 50% the one you love.

"Hello Mummy"

After a hour on the recovery ward, i were wheeled down to the labour ward, where a curtained section had been cautioned off for myself and Aiden. My mum was waiting outside for the visiting hours, but as i had no items for myself of Aiden, she was alowed to come in earlier than others and bring our bags.

Her initial reaction was happy tears, I remember she let out a tiny sob as she looked into his cot. She was meeting her grandson for the first time. She hugged me and Adam and kissed us all. That too was a magical moment, Aiden meeting his nanny, and seeing my mum gaze adoringly onto her first grandchild. Precious moments ill treasure forever.

Aiden was finally here. After what felt like forever, and the most panic stricken day of my life, he was finally here. It may not have been according to plan, but he decided to give us the best possible start to 2015, by arriving on New Years Even.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Restricted labour options...

Throughout my entire pregnancy, my due date had been ever-changing - 28th January, 18th January, 10th January - it was never constant. "Peanut" had some growth issues in the beginning, and needed frequent scans to ensure he was on par with where he should be. At my 20 week scan i was informed "Peanut" was breech and back to back (stubborn git!) which ultimately if he didn't turn, i would have to take some different procedures of ways of giving birth into place.

My next inital scan was at 32 weeks, where once again we were represented with a breech and back-to-back baby. My consultant gave me 3 options, but realistically there was only one we could choose. 1 was being a procedure called an ECV, where doctors and nurses manually turn your baby for you. This, i was told, was slightly risky and often caused distress to the baby, and sometimes resulted in an emergency c-section. He also only gave me a 23% chance of "Peanut" actually turning and a 6% chance of "him" staying in the head down position after the ECV. Option 2 was to give birth naturally, and as my consultant gave me this option he kept shaking his head no. He said based on the size of "Peanut" and my small frame, that it would be EXTREMELY painful (i mean, labour is going to be, isn't it?!) and could result in "Peanut" becoming stressed and again resulting in a c-section. Or option 3 - an Elective C-Section, meaning i choose to be cut open and my baby removed from my womb.

Now i wont lie. I in-visioned my labour and birth to my child to be all rainbows and glitter, with a waterbirth and scented candles with relaxing music. Yeah. Im naieve. And that idea preeeety much went out the window at this appointment. I didn't know what to do. My basic only choice was to have a c-section. That or a ECV which could result in a c-section, but with extremely slim chances of "Peanut" staying in that position. The consultant paused and myself and partner looked at each other - he could see that by then i was totally and utterly scared stiff-less. Would it be worth trying the ECV? We went to thank the Consultant and leave the room, go for a coffee and decide what to do, what was best for our child, when he asked us where we were going. He needed an answer there and then as if i were going to a c-section, they needed to book me in. Today.

Again, i wont lie, my heart skipped a few beats and sheer panic ran through my body. My partner could see me becoming distressed and asked for a few minutes alone. I've NEVER been admitted to hospital. Ive never been ill and needed to go to hospital, this would be my first ever major hospital appointment/stay of my life. I hated hospitals with a passion. The thought of being operated on terrified me, and the fact it was  a major surgery and my child's entry to the world was riding on it was even more scary. I was petrified. I felt claustrophobic in that room suddenly, i was working myself into such a state. Realistically i had no choice - it was a c-section.

The consultant came back into the room and asked what my decision was, i hastily and nervously told him it was a c-section and he pulled out a pile of paperwork for me to read through and sign - agreement to abdominal surgery and declaration that i was fit and healthy etc. It just scared me even more. He left me to it and disappeared from the room. 10 minutes later he came back in, handed me all my paper work and told me the appointment where i would be meeting my son for the first time ever, was January 7th.

Theres something not so nice about being told your child will be born on *blah* day. I wanted that initial "OH MY GOD IM IN LABOUR" moment. I wanted the panic and the not knowing what to do. I wanted to be able to call people and say "OUR SON HAS JUST BEEN BORN!!" But knowing he was due to make an appearance on a specific date, i felt, selfishly, that it ruined my pregnancy for me. That all my hard work of baking this baby was for "nothing". Not that i ment nothing, i was going to be getting a beautiful baby from it all at the end, but that i wouldn't get to experience a real proper labour, and physically have to work hard to bring my son into the world. I kept beating myself up over it all, and cried myself to sleep for 2 whole weeks solid over being so scared of the impending surgery i would be going under. The unknown was what was killing me inside - the not knowing what to expect. It was horrid.