Hello Again!

Sorry I was away for so long. Im back, at least for this post. I can’t really promise any more than that.

First things first, I had a baby, 11 weeks ago. On the 20th March to be exact.

This is Luna Belle. She was 5lb 7oz when she was born and oh so perfect.

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This photo was taken when Luna was 2 weeks old by Georgia at Happily Ever Captured who took Luna’s newborn photos.

This is her today.

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She is beautiful although I’m a little bias on that front. She is a really content baby, loves to be cuddled all day long and really doesn’t like being on her own. She loves to “talk” to us and is so close to managing a little giggle.

It was a big adjustment going from this little family that was all centred around Sofia, our first baby, to being this complete family of four. Its taken me a while to get my bearings really which is why I have been so quiet.

Anyways I just wanted to say hi again to anyone who reads these and check in really.

Danielle xx

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Photo again by Happily Ever Captured.

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Time out

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Ive decided to cut myself bit of slack at the moment and I think, unless the mood strikes me to write or post, I will only be updating my blog with the pregnancy updates until I’ve had this baby.

Im really struggling and this is one thing I do enjoy doing but I am just too tired to put any pressure on myself to pretty much do anything above what I have to do at the moment.

I have to look after Sofia and keep our little family life ticking over but above that I’ve decided to try not to worry. I have 3 weeks left til my due date, so this baby could come any time in the next 5 weeks and I need to stop trying to keep up with everything. I wasn’t doing a good job of it anyway.

Im finding even the small every day things hard to manage to get done. If I’m honest I think my depression may be creeping back, I spent 5 hours in the bath on Saturday, I do like a long bath but it was a bit ridiculous even for me. I just didn’t want to get out, when I’m in the bath is the only time my body isn’t hurting and I’m really struggling to deal with Sofia needing me so much. I think thats kind of why I was in the bath for so long, when my husband is looking after Sofia its where I retreat to so that I can’t physically be needed. Thankfully I have an amazing husband who understands and tries his best to help me out however he can, I know he’s getting pretty exhausted too having to do more than his fair share with Sofia.

I didn’t realise how easy it was in my first pregnancy, you have enough time to just look after yourself. This time round its just not like that and right now I really need to try my best to look after myself and thats going to mean different things on different days but I have to stop pressuring myself to do more.

I still want to have the pregnancy updates to look back on so I will be continuing them. Once our baby is born I am hoping to manage to do updates and I will just take it from there really, I will get back to posting as I do enjoy having this for myself, its like my little memory book/mental health journal. It does help me but right now its not.

Danielle xx

The photo up top is from May last year, before I got pregnant. Its just a photo I love of me and Sofia.

36 Weeks Pregnant

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Im 36 weeks and two days pregnant today.

I am so tired and today has been a good day so on the not so good days where Sofia didn’t sleep well and woke up early then was a nightmare all day I am just stripped of all energy. Its really hard.

At the start of the week I was still really hormonal but it seems to have trailed off a bit I think, either that or I’m just too tired to care about anything!

My stomach keeps feeling super tight for a few seconds, its strange, not sure if its just movements or maybe Braxton hicks. I never had them in my first pregnancy so I’m just not sure, I’m leaning more towards them being Braxton hicks though as most of her movements do feel very different. The movements are generally hurting like she’s stretching the skin of my bump whereas the tightness just feels odd.

She has started having hiccups a lot this week, Sofia had them all the time but this ones only just started. I wonder if it will continue, Sofia was still hiccuping all the time after she was born.

On Thursday evening I went to Maternity assessment unit due to having reduced movements all day. Things just didn’t feel right, I had barely felt her all day then when it got to the evening when she usually perks up she didn’t. I tried the whole lying on my side and drinking cold water and still she didn’t wake up so I called and went in.

Everything was fine, it took a while but she did eventually perk up and went back to movements that were hurting me again, never thought I would be wanting her to do it but it was so worrying when she wasn’t. They did seem to be concerned that the babies heart rate was high when she did move but eventually after a doctor looked over it they said everything seemed to be fine and I was able to go home.

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On Wednesday I got a call from the birth matters people, they weren’t able to fit me in for an appointment before my due date so the midwife spoke to me over the phone, I’ve been told they usually do these things towards the start of the pregnancy I think but its not been until this far along that I’m starting to worry about the birth and my midwife referred me at my last appointment.

She was really nice and she did manage to put me a little more at ease, she had my notes and explained to me that they didn’t really know why Sofia was small and I probably do just make small babies.

She said that there is nothing to suggest that if they hadn’t have picked up on the fact she had stopped growing and that my amniotic fluid was low that there would have been any bad effects on Sofia had we waited for me to go into labour naturally as she was healthy when she was born and she said when they checked my placenta it was fine, they can’t be certain if it had stopped working but theres nothing to suggest that it had either.

She said its a lot less likely I would need forceps again this time as even if I were to have an induction again things usually progress a lot faster the second time round.

I feel a lot better having spoken to a midwife who could answer my questions even though there were no real definitive answers its kind of stopped me thinking the worst which is what I do a lot when I don’t feel in control of a situation.

Just under 4 weeks left!

Danielle xx

Meal Plan – 21st February

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I actually went to Asda today in person to buy our weekly shop. I usually get it delivered.

I prefer getting it delivered, it reminded me of how much easier it is! But I had left it so late this week to think about what we were going to have which subsequently meant I hadn’t done an online shop.

So this morning I quickly threw together a meal plan, its nothing too ambitious. My main goal this week was to make my shop as light as I could as I don’t drive and it would all need to hang on Sofia’s pushchair.

Me and Sofia made the trek up to do the shop, more work on my part as she was in the chair. It was actually really nice to get out of the house. We also stopped for a hot chocolate while we were there. Im definitely getting better at pushing myself to do the every day little things when it comes to my anxiety.

So here is this weeks plan;

Tuesday
I had a huge lunch out with my mum, brother and niece so wasn’t hungry for tea, I ended up just nibbling on fruit. Chris had a Chicken Club Sandwich

Wednesday
Chicken salad

Thursday
Mango Laska Chicken Curry – This is a pot of sauce I had in the cupboard that needs using, never tried it before, hopefully it will be nice.

Friday
Meatballs in a tomato sauce with spaghetti

Saturday
Tumeric Chicken – This is basically a one pot rice dish thats spiced with tumeric and garlic, I add a load of orange/yellow veg with it, sweetcorn, carrots and a yellow pepper.

Sunday
Roast Dinner

Monday
Lasagna

Danielle xx

The photo up top was taken while me and Sofia were out for lunch at The Calverley Arms on Tuesday. They do really nice pub food.

35 Weeks Pregnant

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I am 35 weeks and 5 days pregnant today. So as usual, completely late on this update! I do keep notes throughout each week so I can remember how things were though.

I really am feeling huge at the moment, not exactly sure how I can get much bigger but I’m sure I will as there is still a few more weeks to go!

As usual tiredness is a big issue for me and I’ve had a headache all week. I think this is down to being tired as I do drink a lot of water so I don’t think its dehydration.

For some reason this week I’ve felt really cold all the time. I thought when your pregnant you were supposed to feel hot but its not the case for me. It could be that this week has been particularly cold weather wise I’m not sure but I’ve found that no matter how many layers I’ve been wearing I’ve been cold.

I get a lot of backache from this pregnancy and when I lie down my ribs and hips hurt a lot. I think my ribs may be a bit bruised if thats even possible?!

I have been extremely hormonal lately. I keep feeling overwhelming sadness and keep crying, not overly sure why.

I had a really bad night on Monday where I was just crying all night, couldn’t sleep, felt awful about myself etc. I was even awful with my husband which I’ve since apologised for.

There is something about these hormones that can really kick me. I don’t know if all pregnant women are like this or if its just because the hormones set my anxiety and depression into overdrive.

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I feel her so low down now, every so often I get these pains, all I can describe it as is that it feels like she wants out! I don’t remember getting this last time when I was pregnant with Sofia or maybe I did but much later on.

I know at my last scan she was head down and I think she has stayed that way. I also think she is laid with her back along the left of my stomach because I’m always getting kicks on the bottom right side of my ribs and pokes on the top right of my pelvis. I could be wrong but thats how it feels like she is from her movements.

Ive become really forgetful lately, I have to write everything I have to remember down else it just goes in one ear and out the other. I also keep overlooking little things that I would normally be aware of. Unfortunately I never wrote down any examples of these and true to form I seem to have forgotten what I have been forgetting!

less than 4 and half weeks to go!

Danielle xx

One step forward 10 steps back

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Im finding everything really hard right now.

I have 4 and half weeks till my due date, I’m huge, exhausted and my emotions really are all over the place.

Im really hoping a lot of this is down to the fact that I’m heavily pregnant and that its not just me.

Every so often I manage to have a good day where things go well and I manage to push myself to do something I’m happy about like the other day when me and Sofia went out for lunch by ourselves, something I had never done before, but then there are so many days where I struggle to even get the bare minimum of anything done.

And then there are days like Saturday.

It was my nieces first birthday party. They had booked a church hall and set up a bouncy castle and little soft play for the kids and done a spread of food. There were a lot of people there.

I really struggle with these type of events.

I knew my anxiety would be triggered but I wasn’t prepared for how badly. I thought I was past that point, I thought I was a bit better.

Better at coping with it but ultimately better at concealing it.

Now being pregnant didn’t help me here, as soon as my eyes started to prickle I couldn’t stop.

Ive been crying for absolutely no reason all the time lately so I guess its no wonder I couldn’t keep it in when I was freaking out there.

Thankfully it was a short walk to outside to where I could hide. My mum was helping Sofia get some food at the time so I knew she was ok.

I can’t pin point what it is about these type of events that makes me like this, in most situations I can internalise it all and everyone is none the wiser apart from the odd person who knows me well enough to know I’m not ok, but at things like this its obvious.

Maybe its the constant noise, or the fact that everywhere I look I can see people who vaguely know who I am but don’t really know me. I think its a combination of these coupled with my head which starts to panic because I feel trapped.

Once my head goes down that route my eyes start to burn and I fidget with whatever I’m holding, this time it was my bottle of Diet Coke, I could feel myself shaking as I opened it and closed it over and over again. This just made me more aware of everyone around me.

Just getting out of the building helped, I could try and calm down without so many people seeing me crying.

Chris quickly noticed I wasn’t there and I’m guessing he will have known where to find me from the last time this happened.

He was there by my side, not making me feel judged or guilty like most people do unintentionally but just there. He makes me feel so safe. I honestly don’t know how I would get by without him.

My side of the family have never actually witnessed this side of me, they knew about it but as far as I remember had never seen it. I think they handled it well, my brother came out and told me it was ok for me to go if I wanted, which was what I needed.

The problem with being a parent in these situations is that its not only about looking after myself and my sanity. Sofia was there at her cousins first birthday party having a great time and I didn’t want to take that from her or from Tahlia either.

Im a stay at home mum, I look after Sofia pretty much all the time, I find it so difficult to entrust that to anyone else. Especially when we were in a place I didn’t really know.

Me and Chris decided it would be best to leave her with my parents at the party so she could still have a good time.

Chris took me out for lunch so that I wasn’t sat at home worrying and waiting for them to get home. I really do have the best husband, I don’t have to explain to him these things, he just knows what I need.

Im worried for the future, I’m sure as my children grow up there will be more and more of these types of parties. Hopefully when I’m not heavily pregnant I will be able to get through it.

I really hope so, right now I don’t really feel like I’ve gotten anywhere with my anxiety. I thought I had but I guess it had never been tested like this.

I do believe its something I will always have to deal with, I just hope it gets easier at some point.

I hope no-one was upset by me leaving, its just kind of for the best when this happens, no-one wants a grown woman sat in some corner of a kids party crying. I wish I wasn’t like this.

Danielle xx

Not the best picture up top I know, I didn’t take any pictures of the party, I was a bit pre occupied while I was there. This picture was taken by my mum of Sofia and Tahlia.

Meal Plan -14th February

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We were really bad last week! We didn’t manage to stick to our meal plan for all the week. Oh well!

We ended up having a takeaway on Thursday, from East which is an Indian restaurant near us. I really enjoyed that, they do the best chicken korma I’ve ever tasted there, defiantly not healthy though!

Then I think another night we had some chicken Kievs that we had in the freezer with some slimming world friendly potato wedges and vegetables.

Basically I was just really bad at remembering to get things out of the freezer to defrost.

I find its not too hard to eat healthy meals when you have planned ahead but when its just a last minute thing its a lot more difficult.

Anyways, back to this week. I meant to do our weekly shop on Sunday evening as usual but as we were over at my brothers it didn’t happen and then I wasn’t able to book a delivery slot until Wednesday (today).

You’ll find that its a reoccurring theme with me that I mean to do something only to manage to get it done days later. Ive not always been this disorganised I promise!

But this is what we are having this week, we had the pork last night and I would really recommend it, it was so nice. The picture up top is of the pork meal we had last night (Tuesday).

Tuesday
Herb crusted pork with apple mash

Wednesday
Chicken Salad

Thursday
Herbed chicken skewers – page 148 of the “extra easy entertaining” slimming world book (I couldn’t find a link to the recipe)

Friday
Lasagna – not a healthy one but I love lasagna and you have to have balance!

Saturday
Sweet and spicy chickpea rice – page 194 of the “extra easy express” slimming world book (I couldn’t find a link to the recipe)

Sunday
Roast dinner

Monday
Sweet and sour chicken

Sorry a lot of the recipes I use I don’t have links. When I meal plan I sit and look though the recipe books I have to hand, I find it easier than searching the internet each time.

Danielle xx

This Weekend

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Its Monday morning and I am so so tired. I have a poorly toddler today, she is cuddled up on the sofa watching Team Umizoomi. It is so cold this morning.

We had a really nice weekend but to be honest this week I’m going to start this post on Thursday.

I went out of my comfort zone on Thursday, I’m really quite proud of myself for it. To most it won’t seem like a big deal but to anyone who has social anxiety as I do will know how hard these things are.

I had my midwife appointment in the morning and was having a good day, me and Sofia were both out of the house on and I wasn’t itching to get back home for once. I needed to go to the card shop on the way home but I thought that since we were already out we would walk up to M&S and get cards there and also look for some presents I needed to get.

It was midday by the time we got there and I knew it would be a while until we were home so I decided we would have lunch in the cafe. I have had lunch there many times but never just me and Sofia.

This was the first time we were going to be having lunch just the two of us. It was busier than I expected which I did struggle with but Sofia was such a good girl and ate her lunch nicely.

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It was nice spending the day just the two of us and I will do it again some time when I’m feeling brave enough again.

I know I’m a grown woman but I really struggle being on my own out of the house. I can push myself to do it so I do still function when it comes to things I need to do but its still really difficult.

Although I had a good day on Thursday it was the start of a few bad nights for us. Sofia has been waking up ALOT, we are all pretty tired. I feel like I have a cold and I think Sofia does too. Last night (Sunday night) she coughed so much she was sick all over her bed, I really hate seeing my baby poorly, I feel so helpless.

On Saturday we took Sofia to her dance class in the morning. She now has a little ballet outfit to wear for it and it is just about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen!

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She has only been going to class a few weeks but she has taken really well to it, she gets so excited to be going and to be seeing her Auntie Nia who teaches the class.

Its also really nice for me and Chris, we get to sit and have a drink together without Sofia there, I’m sure there will be a time that it feels normal but at the moment it feels really special to get 45 mins to just be the two of us.

We decided against going swimming after dance as both me and Sofia are full of cold. We went over to the white rose shopping centre to get Sofia’s feet measured at Clarks. Turns out she is still the same size at the moment but will probably need the next size up soon. So no new shoes for her just yet.

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We also went to Harvester for lunch on Saturday. I think its quite a nice place, Sofia loves their kids meals, its not super expensive and the food is nice and the staff at the one we go to are always lovely.

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On Sunday we needed to pretty much have a day inside as the bad nights have really taken their toll on me and Chris lately. So we didn’t do a huge amount, got some tidying done and Chris went for a run. Then in the evening we went over to my brothers house for a roast dinner.

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Its always nice to see Sofia and Tahlia playing together and the roast dinner Darcy (my brothers partner) made was really yummy.

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It was a nice weekend, just a shame me and Sofia aren’t too well. Sofia doesn’t seem too bothered by it during the day but its definitely affecting her on a night.

Danielle xx

34 Weeks Pregnant

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Im 34 weeks and 4 days pregnant today. Im a bit late with this post, I meant to write it on Thursday after my appointment but I had such a busy day and since then Sofia hasn’t really been herself, I think she is coming down with a cold and has been a handful!

Time really is starting to fly now. The closer it gets to my due date the more impatient I’m feeling but also the more terrified I am of the birth.

On Wednesday this week I had my visit from the health visitor, I was a little disappointed that it wasn’t the same lady who saw me when I had Sofia. It seems a few things have changed in my area but the lady was lovely, its just that the woman who came last time was really good with supporting with breastfeeding and helped me a lot.

Obviously with my mental health issues there were a lot of questions etc focused around that. She has put me on something called universal plus which she explained to me was that I would probably just have a few more visits which to be honest I’m fairly happy about. Its nice to know other people will be looking out for me too as I did have problems with my depression after I had Sofia, I think its down to hormones.

On Thursday I had my 34 week midwife appointment. All the usual tests went ok and I’m measuring 34 weeks which is along the curve from the last time she measured me so thats good.

She has referred me to speak to a midwife about my last labour, I think she could tell that I’m really starting to worry this time. I’m so scared of the things that happened last time happening again.

I have a growth scan at 36 weeks but I’m worried that they may leave it at that when last time it was the 39 week growth scan they decided to induce me early, it scares me to think about if I hadn’t had that growth scan as I just have no idea what would have happened and nothing was ever really explained to me.

The few days starting from the day before my induction (I had reduced movements and went into hospital) up until the day I came home from the hospital with Sofia are so hazy but I just went along with what people told me was best and really didn’t ask any questions, id do that again as I do trust that the professionals know best but now its getting close to me having to do this again I wish I knew why they made some of the decisions they did. Hopefully speaking to a midwife with access to my notes from Sofia’s birth will help to put my mind at ease a little and make me feel a little less out of control about the whole thing.

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I keep getting worried because I’m sure she has stopped moving quite so much but then every time I really start to worry she perks up again so I think she must just be finding it harder to move around so she’s not doing it all day long any more.

Her movements are getting more painful for me, she seems really strong in some of them. They are more like her rolling about than kicking me now.

I don’t know why and I’m not really sure if its even something pregnancy related but my ears are so so itchy and hot. Its driving me mad!

My pelvis hurts a lot on an evening still and moving from sitting to standing or standing to sitting seems to hurt, these only seem to be getting worse.

Still no stretch marks but my skin on the bottom part of my stomach has become itchy so I wouldn’t be surprised if they may appear in the future.

Danielle xx

My Sunday Photo

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The picture I’ve chosen for this week isn’t the nicest photo, its just a memory I wanted to remember.

This is Sofia in her “ice castle”! She is a big fan of Frozen like most little girls, it gets played by request most days in our house. She always wants to dress up as Anna and Elsa, Anna at the beginning of the film then as soon as Elsa starts singing Let it go she wants to switch immediately.

The other day she got upset that I wouldn’t let her play on the stairs as Elsa had just made her ice staircase, then Elsa made her ice castle and she got upset that she didn’t have an ice castle.

So we decided the chair would be Sofia’s ice castle complete with an apron draped over the back with stars on (leftover from Christmas bits and bobs that were missed when putting them away this year) and we pretended the tassels on the chairs throw were icicles. This was as “ice castle” themed as I could throw together in the couple of minutes the song is on.

She loved standing in her castle singing the Let it go song and doing all the actions she does to it. She tries to copy Elsa, its adorable!

Danielle xx

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