Monday, 25 March 2013

A Week of Firsts

Today C is 13 months old. Tomorrow it will be 1 year since her due date. Yesterday she got her 1st tooth and today she got her 1st pair of shoes! 

C has been getting more and more confident with her walking over the past week so we decided to get her feet measured in the hope of getting her some shoes before the Easter holiday rush.

We took her to the shop where I got my first pair of shoes, The Golden Boot in Maidstone, Kent.  The Golden Boot has the advantage of being an independent retailer and therefore stocking a variety of brands, including Clarks and Start-rite, and thus offering a greater choice than a single brand shop.  

The assistant was very patient and C was reasonably amenable to having her feet measured.  She measured a 3G. Wide feet!  We were informed that as she was confidently walking then she should go straight to “walkers” rather than an intermediate pair of “cruisers”. Unfortunately most of the “walker” styles start in a 4 therefore we were warned the choice might be limited. 
The assistant came back with 6 pairs of shoes: 1 start-rite, 2 Clarks, 2 Pediped and 1 other brand. I was asked if I had a preference out of the styles.   My only preference was ideally not Pink. Being a girl, C has lots of pink things. I therefore was hoping to break away from that in shoes. 

Both the navy Start-rite and the white Clarks styles came up slightly tight therefore we were advised to try an H width fitting. An H!!!! Wow!!!! 

There was only one style available in the shop in a 3H….. ClarksAlana Star first shoe….. in bright pink!

To be fair, once on they looked very cute, and most importantly they fitted well!

As part of The Golden Boot’s “My First Shoe Club”. C then had her photo taken in her first pair of shoes :-)

Since we have been home I have let C have an hour in her new shoes to get used to them. I am conscious not to keep her little feet cooped up for too long.  I am impressed how quickly she has taken to them and she is now able to walk around easily. Equally impressive, if you ask her where her shoes are, she now points to her feet :-) 

I can’t believe my baby is now a toddler! This does not fill me with the sadness that I know it would some. I am so excited for the future and everything it will bring.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Inguinal Hernia Surgery

As mentioned previously, C had a large lump on her groin that kept coming and going.  I suspected it was probably a hernia. In January we took her to see our GP and although the lump was not visible for the Dr to examine, the photo I had managed to take a few days before was convincing enough for him to refer us to a Consultant Paediatrician at our local hospital. Unfortunately he was spread across all the hospitals in our region and only available in our local hospital once a month. We were therefore warned that it may be a couple of months until we got to see him. 

We eventually received an appointment date of 22nd March.  In the meantime I was noticing C’s suspected hernia more and more frequently. In seemed most visible in early afternoon after a bowel movement however didn’t appear to be causing her any distress.  

A couple of weeks ago, a week after her 1st birthday, C was being grumpier than normal.  This soon deteriorated into howls of pain.  Nothing I could do would soothe her, it was quite distressing.  I should stress again that at no point until now had her hernia caused her any noticeable distress, therefore it was just a passing thought to check her groin at this point. I was shocked to see a lump swollen to the size of a golf ball and rock solid.  I ran into DH’s room where he was on a conference call and gesticulated wildly at him. After making his excuses to his colleagues and taking one look at C, we are in the car on the way to A&E.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Blog History

All the posts prior to this point are "historic". They were written before this blog was set up either for my now extinct "PCOS and Pregnant" facebook page or as a personal record for myself. They chart from the beginning of my pregnancy in July 2011 to the birth of my daughter in February 2012, and a stand alone update in February 2013 to coincide with her 1st birthday.  They are posted in chronological order therefore if you ignore the posting date they should make sense.  I hope my ramblings are interesting and informative and I look forward to adding to them in the near future x

Friday, 15 March 2013

My first year a as a Mummy

This post has been an extremely difficult to write. I contains a lot of emotion and I am aware that it does come across negative. On the other hand, writing it down is helping me move forward therefore please do not judge me for it.

35 Weeks Pregnant

24th-25th February 2012 
Read from Bottom To Top

Group B Strep

To Take The Test or Not?

Further information on Group B Strep visit

25% of women carry to Group B Strep bacteria in their bodies however only 0.5% of these women pass the infection on to their babies.

In the UK, we do not test for Group B Strep routinely in pregnancy.
Instead antiobiotics are offered to woman as standard if they fall into one of the following high risk categories:
  • Mothers who have previously had a baby infected with GBS– risk is increased 10 fold
  • Mothers who have been shown to carry GBS in this pregnancy or GBS has been found in the urine at any time during this pregnancy– risk is increased 4 fold
  • Labour starts or membranes rupture before 37 weeks of pregnancy is completed (i.e. preterm) – risk is increased 3 fold
  • Where there is prolonged rupture of the membranes – more than 18 hours before delivery – risk is increased 3 fold
  • Where the mother has a raised temperature* during labour of 37.8°C or higher – risk is increased 3 fold
If you fall outside of these factors then no testing or antibiotics are offered as standard.


You can pay and have a test done privately.
The question is would you want to?
Their is a 25% chance the test will come back positive but even then the risk to your baby is still low (0.5%).
Anyone returning a postive test result will have to give birth in hospital rather than at home or a midwife led unit and will be offerered intra-venus antibiotics throughout their labour.
It is commonly accepted that one the best ways to help labour progress is to keep moving and not lie on a bed for hours.  This is in direct contrast to having to lie on the bed receiving antibiotics.
I am also very keen to have a water birth, which i would not be able to do if the test was positve as their are no birthing pools in my local hospital, only in the midwife led unit.

I feel this puts me in an impossible position.
I do not have any of the risk factors highlighted above.
Do I take the test and risk it coming back positive and then not get the birth I want - when there is only a 0.5% of actually passing the infection to baby
Do I not take the test, hopefully get the less stressful birth but potentially risk passing on an infection that I may/may not have to my baby.

What I would like is to take the test, find out the result, and then make an informed decision about what I want to do, however it sounds like once the test results are back, the decision will be taken out of my hands.

This sums my feelings up perfectly:
"Not every pregnant Mum who finds out she carries GBS will want to have intravenous antibiotics in labour.  You may decide not to have them unless there are other additional risk factors - after all, only a small percentage of babies born to Mums carrying GBS at delivery will develop GBS infection. However, if you do decide against antibiotics in labour, it would be prudent for the baby to be observed by trained staff for at least 24 hours (and ideally for 48 hours). If the positive test was from the urine, this means that the GBS was more invasive, and so antibiotics will be recommended even if a vaginal swab is subsequently negative." (

Decisions, Decisions...

28 Weeks Pregnant

Can't believe it's been 5 weeks since my last post... time is definately passing.
Last week (28 weeks pregnant) was my most comprehensive antenatal appointment so far.
Firstly I had routine bloods taken (I should get the results at next antenatal appointment).
Then I had my Anti D injection - as I have Rh -ve blood (
They will test the baby's umbilical cord once she is born. If she is Rh +ve then I will get another Anti D injection.

Finally I had my standard pregnancy checkup.
My urine was tested - that was all normal.
Blood Pressure  - normal
Fetal Heartrate checked - 150bpm (same as last time)
Bump measured - on target!
Baby's position checked (quite an uncomfortable process) - She's head down already apparently!

All this equals happy midwife which means reassured me! :-)

Midwife asked if I was feeling well in myself. Generally I am doing really good. My biggest problem is pelvic pain.
I'm getting stabbing pains down my legs and sometimes they feel really weak.  This is all normal as far as I can tell but slightly disconcerting when your legs feel like they are going to give way underneath you!  I've restricted myself to just doing front crawl when swimming as have read that breast stroke can exacerbate pelvc pain.
My hands are also hyper-sensitive at the moment and seem to get irritated really easily.  From what I have read, the cause is probably soap and the answer is to wash them less, however when you are trying to keep extra sanitised for baby's sake then that is not as easy as it sounds!
My next antinatal checkup is at 32 weeks. Hopefully that should come around quite quickly.
I then get checkups every 2 weeks until baby arrives!!!

23 Weeks Pregnant

A Difficult Week

Waist: 35 inches (that's a 7 inch increase from pre-pregnancy)

By the end of week 22 I was feeling more confident about things than I have in a while.  This was helped mostly by the significant increase in baby movement which could put my mind at rest.  Sunday morning I had a lie in and just lay there feeling the baby bopping around. It was amazing :-)
Since then however, I have felt a significant change/decrease in fetal movement.
All the medical information I have read suggested to drink a glass of cold water, lay on your side (both of which are meant to stimulate fetal movement) and count the number of movements in the next hour.  Anything in excess of 10 movements in this hour is considered to suggest everything is fine.
For the past 2 days I have done this and I HAVE felt more the 10 movements therefore theoretically everything should be fine however the change from last week is disconcerting.  Further online reading has suggested this may be caused by the baby having moved position and kicking into my back rather than kicking forward. I suspect this is highly probable however obviously can not be confirmed without a scan.
Speaking to my twitter buddies has indicated that a quiet couple of days is comon however I think it is safe to assume that I will never relax until my little girl arrives safe and well.... and even then I will probably be worrying for the next 18 years :-)

PCOS, Pregnancy and Diet

First of all - THE FACTS
  • Women with PCOS are at an increased of getting Gestational Diabetes whilst Pregnant
  • No-one official has actually suggested I make any changes to my diet as a result of being pregnant and having PCOS
  • No-one official has actually suggested I test by blood sugar on a regular basis
  • I am not a health professional and can only speak about my own experiences
These points aside, it is reasonably well documented that PCOS (and to the same extent Gestational Diabetes) can be managed through diet.
I have therefore adopted a low carb/low GI diet throughout the pregnancy in an attempt to keep Gestational Diabetes at bay, and have bought myself a blood sugar monitor to help me monitor my progress.
However things are more complex than they first appeared.  Often it is the combination of foods within your meal that affect how much your blood sugar increases.
e.g. A plain jacket potato is bad, a jacket potato smothered in cheese and salad cream is bizarrely actually much better (although higher in fat).
This whole concept has taken me a good 3 months to get my head round, and I am still learning.
The more I learn the braver I am with what I will eat. At first I stuck to salads and high protein foods, and basically avoided any carbs at all. Now I will have the odd McDonalds or Indian takeaway as I know what to pick off the menu.
The Indian takeaway example is an interesting one.....
I went for an Indian a couple of months ago and had a chicken curry dish, avoided rice and just had naan bread instead.  I tested my blood sugar 2 hours later and it was HIGH, bordering on too high.
I thought this ruled Indian food out for me but I had another go last weekend and ordered vegetable curry, saag paneer (a spinach and cheese curry dish) and a small amount of biriani rice. 2 hours later my blood sugar was really low. Amazing... although reassuringly supported the conclusions I was coming to!
  1. Cheese is good! - I have read on many websites that foods high in fat can offset the carbs in a meal. This definately seems to be the case for me. Obviously you need to be careful though as too much fat can lead to weight gain.
  2. Portion size is important - This might be an obvious one but the bigger the meal I eat (whatever I eat) then more my blood sugar is affected. Eating little and often definately seems to be the way forward.
I will continue to update this post as my knowledge increases.
In the meantime I have found the following link really helpful:

22 Weeks Pregnant

Probably my most productive midwife visit to date (ok, i've only had 3).
FINALLY got my NT blood results taken at my 13 week scan.
The risk of the baby having Down Syndrome is 1:19711 - I think I would consider that low risk ;-)
She prodded my (now expanding) bump and measured the fetal heartrate. Both were fine.
My blood pressure and urine analysis were also fine.
So in summary ALL FINE :-)
I was booked in to have my Anti D (as have Rhesus -ve blood) and next midwife appointment on 3rd January.

I've passed half way now but March still feels like an eternity away. Not entirely sure how I am going to get through the next 4 months.
We picked up a load of baby bits from hubby's cousin last week but I have hidden them in the (soon to be) baby room and shut the door. I am not ready to start properly planning yet, I still feel like I would be tempting fate.
Eventually (some time after Christmas) I will have to take the plunge and sort out the nursury etc. but not just yet...

Anatomy scan

Even though I had had a scan only a few days earlier, I was told to keep my NHS scan to make sure all results were official and were recorded in my notes correctly.
The sonographer basically confirmed everything I already knew. Baby was fine!!!
She also confirmed that baby was most probaby a girl.

20 Weeks Pregnant

Unfortunately hubby was not going to be able to get the time off work to come to my NHS anatomy scan therefore we booked a private scan for the weekend before so we could be there together and hopefully find out the sex of the baby.
By now I could feel the baby moving and this plus the doppler had kept be in the knowledge that he/she was alive and kicking (litterally) however this scan would check every detail to make sure all was ok.
First of all we were through all the organs, everything was fine.  Then the head, leg measurements (which were also fine) and finally into the gender.  At this point baby decided he/she had had enough and clamped his/her legs tightly shut and refused to co-oporate any more :-)
Will a bit of pushing and poking, the sonographer made a tentative guess that baby was a girl.

13-19 Weeks Pregnant

Another black hole period where I was left to my own paranoia.
To help I bought myself a doppler (fetal heartrate monitor) which, although took me a little bit of time to perfect, proved so reassuring!!!
At 16 weeks I had a midwife's appointment. This was a bit of a non event. They check baby's heartbeat (which I obviously knew was ok) and went through my blood results from the NT scan. All the standard bloods were fine however they have managed to lose my crucial NT blood results therefore could not give me my Downs risk ratio.  I consoled myself with the reassurance that the lab would have rung me if there was an issue.
I asked about getting a flu jab as was under the impression this was to be given to all pregnant women. The response I got back was surprising. Instead of saying it was a good idea, the midwife instead suggested I went away and did my own research on the internet first.
This was obviously a stupid suggestion as within 5 minutes on the internet when I can home I found loads of information linking the vacination to miscarriage and stillbirth.  I now felt out in an impossible position. Did I risk the baby by not having the flu jab or did I risk the baby by having the flu jab?????
Some reassuring words from my twitter followers encouraged my to get it done, however I waited until I was 19 weeks so that I would be reassured at my 20 week scan that all was ok.

13 Weeks Pregnant

19th September 2011

The wait between my 10 week and 13 week scans was definately easier. Yes I was still paranoid but there was a little voice of reality inside reminding me that the chances of something going wrong now were statistically much less.
I was therefore able to lie back and enjoy this scan a lot more.  Baby definately looked like a baby now and was very active, darting all over the screen. Looking at him/her then I was convinced it was a boy. No girl could possibly want to be that active I told myself.
The sonographer took dating measurements, which tied in about right, and measured baby's nuchal fold which was 1.4mm.
I then went and had the supporting bloods taken and was told we would hear the results in a couple of weeks, sooner if there was an obvious problem.
Again I left reassured that maybe, just maybe, this might all have a positive ending.

10 Week Scan

2nd September 2011

The fertility clinic were running about an hour late and the wait to go in for the scan was excruciating!
Hubby was with me and seemed to be coping with the whole thing a lot better. He was much more confident that everything was going to be ok.
When I finally went in for the scan I couldn't see the screen so I was trying to read the consultants face for an indication of what he could see. He was impossible to read (obviously well trained in such situations).
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, he said "well, you have a very active baby in there, i'm having trouble keeping him/her on the screen".
I will never forget that moment, the rush of relief that there was really something there and that it appeared be be ok!
We were given a blurry photo to take away and told that that the clinic did not need to see us again.
We would be handed over to normal NHS care and would get another scan at 12 weeks.

6-10 Weeks Pregnant

August 2011

Officially the most stressful 4 weeks of my life.
The initial euphoria of finding out I was pregnant and the joy of seeing that 6 week heartbeat on screen decended into a terrifying wait to see what would happen.
Every morning and at regular intervals throughout the day I would prod my boobs to see if they were still sore.
Some days the symptoms were milder, sometime barely there at all, sending me into a paranoid frenzy.
The chemical pregnancy of the year before still weighed heavily on my mind. I had woken up one morning and my symptoms were gone. I knew something was wrong and a pregnancy test that morning proved me right. I knew in the blink of an eye things could change and that lack of control scared me to death.
The Metformin and progesterone pessaries provided me with some reassurance that my body was getting some support to do what it was supposed to be doing!
I was due a scan at my feritility clinic at 10wk5d and as the likelyhood of miscarriage lessoned as time went on, my fear of arriving at the scan to find I had had a missed miscarriage only increased. In my eyes this pregnancy was too good to be true, something was obviously going to go wrong, it was just a matter of when.

The Day We Found Out We Were Pregnant

5th August 2011

Hubby and I arrived at the fertility clinic to discuss our second attempt at frozen embryo transfer (FET).
Our first attempt in the Spring had been abandoned due to the lining of my womb considered not thick enough to support implantation of the embryo.
I was fustrated at the lack of progress and my bodies reluctance to do what it was supposed to be doing. Even my "period" the week before had been a little odd. I usually bleed for about 3-4 days but this time I had bled for a day, stopped, then bled again for a day before finally stopping.
Now at this point I must admit it had vauely crossed my mind that I could be pregnant. My boobs were surprisingly still sore and I had been extremely tired for the past couple of days. I had however pushed the thought to the back of my mind as it "was not possible".
The consultant decided to scan me to see what was going on.
"Prepare yourselves for a shock" he said.
At this point I expected him to say I was pregnant but had miscarried.
"You are pregnant" he said "and I can see a healthy heartbeat".
A huge range of emotions flooded me.
Yes joy... but also fear. The chances of this natural pregnancy resulting in a sucessful baby were slim, we had been told that before.
A consultant was really helpful and positive though. He gave me instructions to continue taking metformin and prescribed me progesterone pessaries to take as well to hopefully stop the bleeding.  He would scan me again at 10/11 weeks.