Hugo turns 1!!!

To my darling Hugo, my snuffle truffle, my cheeky puff and my beautiful boy.

Today you are one!!!

I can hardly say it without crying!

It seems like only yesterday I gave birth to you, time’s gone so fast with you here, you have grown up into a beautiful, cheeky little boy in the blink of an eye.

We love and care for you so much, probably too much sometime, maybe because you are the first born, maybe because you are just so precious to us.

We waited for nearly 3 long years for you to come along but when you were ready you didn’t keep us waiting, arriving in 5 hours on your due date!! This just sums up how perfect you truly are.

You have kept us on our toes in the last year, rolling over by 2 months, crawling at 6 months and then taking your first steps at 10 months old. Now you are walking you are turning into a adventurous little boy, you love to play with all your toys however you are equally happy with the remote and a piece of paper. You love to dance to music and I have to say your moves are better than Daddy’s!!! Your favourite movie is Moana and we listen to the soundtrack everyday!

You are growing and learning so fast, everyday you seem to have learnt something new. I wish I could keep you small forever but that’s me being selfish, what I really wish and know, is that you will grow up into a handsome young man and enjoy your life to the fullest.

I am proud to be your Mum and I thank you everyday for making me a Mummy.

We love you more than you will every know. Happy 1st Birthday! Xxxxxxx

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Bringing my son into the world.

Here is my birth story, the reason for writing this is that you hear so many bad stories, that things go wrong and how painful it all is. I’m not going to lie, it is painful but you can get through it, it’s empowering and such an achievement to get through labour which ever way it happens. I was lucky as my labour was straight forward and I remained pretty calm through it all.

I hadn’t long been in bed when I heard a pop followed by instate pain, the pain then subsided. 10 minutes later there was another, then another.  The time between was shortening quicker than I thought it would and within an hour they were less then 5 minutes apart.

Elliot phoned the maternity ward, they said not to come in until they were 3 minutes apart for at least half an hour! When he came off the phone, he asked me if I could feel baby moving and probably because that’s not what I was concentrating on, I just didn’t know. I then told Elliot I just really needed to go to hospital. He phoned the maternity ward back and told them we were on our way in.

After the most horrendous car journey we arrived at the hospital, my contractions were now 2-3 minutes apart. On the maternity ward they put me in a waiting room, being 1am I was the only person in there. The pain was getting very intense now, it felt like I was waiting in that room for eternity.

I was then taken through to another room to be checked, by this point my mum had arrived too. I had a midwife who wanted to do my blood pressure and temperature, she done my blood pressure without a problem but every time she tried to take my temperature I had a contraction so she gave up. The other midwife wanted me up on the bed to check everything, the pain was in my back so to lay down was so uncomfortable, after jumping of the bed a couple of times  she managed to check me over. My waters had gone and I was 7 centimetres dilated!!!!!!! Wooooo! I really expected to be told I was only 1 or 2 centimetres, I’d already thought if that was the case, I was having an epidural!

I was then taken round to delivery, I remember being so hot and I asked for a fan but there was none available for at least another 2 hours, I was completely unaware that the midwife thought I would have given birth by then!!!

The midwife then offered me gas and air, which I tried but instantly felt sick so I threw it over the bed and said I didn’t want it. After a couple more contractions I reluctantly tried the gas and air again, I got past the sickness and it started working, it didn’t get rid of the pain just took the edge off (a bit). A clip was then attached to the babies head to monitor his heart rate as with the band round my waist they couldn’t monitor it properly.  At this point I got on the bed and that was where I stayed for the duration of the labour.

At around 4am I was getting the urge to push and although it was painful, it was the most empowering feeling. Then at 4:34 I pushed our son into the world, he had one arm up like superman, which meant I needed a few stitches due to him scratching me (honestly the stitches were the worst part!!!). 5 or so minutes after giving birth, the placenta came away with no problems, it really was the weirdest sensation when the placenta came out. The midwife then weighed him, he was a very healthy weight of 8lb13oz.

I had skin to skin with our baby, after being stitched up I gave him to Elliot for his first cuddles. I had tea and toast, then a shower. I was then ready to go home with our baby, fortunately as there was no problems, me and baby were fit and healthy, we were home before 11am!!

No one can prepare you for the rush of emotions you get the second your baby is placed on you, the love I instantly felt for this little baby was overwhelming. The amazement that I grew this baby then bought him into the world. The relief he was finally, after all these years here, safely and healthy.

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Welcome to the world our gorgeous son, Hugo Mervyn Whitaker. You will never know how precious you are to us and how much we truly love you. You are perfect in every single way.  Love you millions and billions xxxxx

 

Second Trimester to Labour

I would like to start by saying a massive thank you to everyone who read “My Infertility Journey………,” (If you haven’t read it, give it a read) I had nothing but good response. Loads of people have said how strong I am and I do like to think of myself as a very strong person tackling anything that comes my way. I am so very proud of what I’ve already achieved in my life so far, and of what I continue to work hard for in the future.

As I mentioned before in “My infertility journey…….” it wasn’t easy for us to conceive. We went through a lot of heartache but now we were pregnant and out of the first trimester.
I had a relatively smooth pregnancy but it was filled with appointments with consultants and a lot of scans, that’s never a bad thing though.Baby Scan 12 Weeks - Edited

At 16 weeks we went for an early sexing scan privately. It was a beautiful experience and something I would recommend everyone to do. We didn’t care what sex the baby was as long as it was healthy but I just couldn’t wait. We were having a little baby boy, we were so happy. They also checked he was growing as he should be, and everything was working like it should. Everything was perfect. Even though I’d now seen our baby twice and knew the sex, I still couldn’t believe I was pregnant, it wasn’t until he was placed on me after giving birth that I believed it (even now I still have to pinch myself).IMG_20161130_104505 - Edited

17-18 weeks was when I started to feel him move around, it truly was a beautiful feeling. A few weeks later Elliot got to feel him move, to see his little face light up feeling our little miracle baby move just absolutely melted my heart.

Then at 20 weeks I had the anomaly scan, this wasn’t the best experience. The lady who done the scan was very heavy handed and my stomach felt bruised for days after. She was a very hard faced lady and I really didn’t take to her (luckily I never saw her again). She didn’t talk to us while doing the checks and at one point we were worried there was something wrong with our babies heart as she was over it for a long time, she made me go and empty my bladder then was checking again. This went on for 15 minutes or so, then she moved onto the next part. She still hadn’t said anything so I asked if everything was okay, “yep, all’s fine” was all I got back. This was the only time I was happy to get out of a scan!

Around 20 weeks I was getting a lot of pain in my pelvis, finding it very difficult at times to even walk. I saw my midwife and I had Symphysis Pubic Dysfunction (SPD). Unfortunately there isn’t an awful lot that can be done. As I was told the only cue was delivery!

At around 28-29 weeks we went for another private scan, this time a 4d scan!!!! I was so excited for this one. My mum, as well as Elliot was here for this one, it was simply amazing. Laid on the bed and seeing his perfect little face just took my breath away. Seeing who he looked like (Elliot), seeing that he had hair!!! But he was camera shy and kept turning away, smushing his face into the placenta. I was then given tea, biscuits and made to go for a walk to get him moving. I went back in and sure enough that had done the job, he was looking our way, yawning, sticking his tongue out and smiling. Such a magical moment.201702281103160117OB - Edited

We had numerous consultant appointments because of the problems we’d had. They thought he was measuring a few weeks ahead so I had 3 extra growth scans. They also thought  I would have a not too nice labour, so I wasn’t allowed a water birth like I’d planned (they thought I’d bleed lots and they wouldn’t be able to measure in water), and that I would need help either forceps, ventouse or even a C-section. They had told me as and when I did go into labour, there would be consultant team on standby to help if necessary. Lucky I didn’t worry to much about any of these things, I was still determined I was going to have a nice natural birth, even if I couldn’t have exactly what I had planned and as long as he arrived safely and healthy.

At the first and second growth scans, they still believe he was measuring big. Then when I went for the third one he was measuring only slightly on the larger size but the man who done the scan, wasn’t concerned at all. When we saw the last consultant (she was my favourite), she also wasn’t concerned at all, and said all the things I’d been told before was only what could happen, and the consultant team on standby was just for extra precautions. I was feeling so much happier.

I’d gone on maternity leave early at 34 weeks as of the pain with SPD, I was finding the moving and handling at work just to much and also the long hours.

So now it was a waiting game. I managed to get so much done in this time though. Everything for the baby was washed, ironed and put away. The babies nursery was all sorted, even though he would be in our room for the first months. Every room was cleaned throughout. Then I binged watch lots of TV, sat on my birthing ball as I found this the most comfortable place to be.IMG_20170430_155652

At 39 weeks I went to see my midwife. I told her everything was feeling very heavy, erm, you know, down there! This was normal and meant everything was getting ready! She then said she didn’t want to see me until 41 weeks, I told her that I would prefer to see her at 40 weeks just to be checked over.

So that was it 1 week until due date! How quick had it all gone? That last week goes so slow though, every little twinge I thought I was in labour. I double checked that I had everything for baby, double checked our hospital bags had everything we would need. I remember watching birth videos on YouTube and scaring myself, ahh this was real, I had to do that!

The day before my due date I felt just odd all day. Felt a bit achy, had little pains but nothing regular and definitely nothing to indicate I was having this baby anytime soon. I rung my mum in the evening and being me, when she answered I said “I’m in labour!!” I wasn’t at all but I like to have a laugh. I then made dinner and sat on my birthing ball all evening. It got to 11pm and I was so tired so we decided it was time for bed. We got into bed, put the TV on, laid on my side for about 20 minutes………………then pop!!!! Instant pain!!!! OMG I was in labour!!!!

Pregnancy was an unbelievably amazing experience, even though we had a few hiccups along the way I enjoyed every minute. My whole experience on conceiving and pregnancy I would never change because if I did, I wouldn’t be who I am now (cheesy I know) and I wouldn’t have my gorgeous baby boy. Good things are worth waiting for!!!  Instasize_0429181733 - Edited

My Infertility Journey…

 

I’ve finally decided to tell my story about infertility. I’ve swayed back and fourth about whether I should or not but then I thought why shouldn’t I? Everyone shares their happy moments, why not their struggles? Maybe it’s because it makes you vulnerable, to be stripped back, to know no one has the perfect life, everyone has struggles no matter how big or small.

There is such a stigma with infertility and people are afraid to talk about it. People feel ashamed, they don’t feel like a woman anymore. Why should they feel this way? It’s something beyond their power just like any other illness.

I never thought I would have any issues conceiving. For as long as I can remember all I’ve ever wanted to do is be a wife and have children…………lots and lots of children.

Back in 2013 I fell pregnant but soon miscarried. This was after one missed pill, so I would never have thought I would have any problems conceiving when my husband and I were ready to start trying. After all, infertility doesn’t affect a young, relatively healthy couple…….how very wrong and naive I was back then.IMG_20160626_165936

So in 2014 we decided it would be the right time for me to stop taking my contraceptive pill and to start trying for our first baby, straight after our wedding in June. Wooo hopefully a honeymoon baby……

After months of trying, I began to get disheartened and I knew there was something not right but being busy with work, I put it to the back of my mind and thought it’ll happen soon enough.

Fast forward a year there was still no sign of me being pregnant, I had also started bleeding heavily and for a few weeks (sorry TMI).  I finally decided I needed to go to the doctors, she thought I had a hormone imbalance from coming off the pill (it can take a looonng time to come out your system), so she run some routine bloods, I would have the results in 2 weeks. She also gave me tablets to stop the bleeding.

Two weeks went past and I had a phone call from the doctor saying she would need to see me for the results of my blood test, again, being naive I didn’t think too much of it.

A few days later after finishing a 11 hour shift I went to see her. I still remember sitting in the doctors office, I remember thinking “she going to say that I’m pregnant.”  I don’t think anything could have prepared me for the words she said next, “I’m sorry but you will never conceive naturally”. For some reason I smiled and said “Oh, okay then.” No it wasn’t okay and I sure as hell wasn’t happy about it. She went on to say about hormone imbalance, I don’t deal with sugars properly and PCOS. I stopped listening after this. Inside I had a hundred question and I didn’t ask one of them. I walked back to the car and rung my husband, that’s when it hit me and I broke down.

What was I going to do now? A life without children just didn’t seem right, after all, that’s what I’d always wanted. I done a lot of research, I wrote down all the foods that could help you to conceive, how to make myself really healthy, what treatment I could have and the cost of these treatments.

I went back to the doctors to discuss what happens next. More bloods! Then more bloods every Friday to see if and when I ovulate (I wasn’t ovulating). They also got me in for scans on my ovaries (one of my ovaries wasn’t working). She put a referral in to a specialist but this could be weeks or even months before we actually got to see anyone, even after seeing a specialist there is no guarantee I would get the treatment, as unfortunately, as much as I love the NHS, it is a bit of a postcode lottery.  We thought about going private but the cost was just far to high, so we waited…….

This did however give me a chance to get healthy, sugar was cut completely out of my diet, all our meals were homemade and no white pasta, rice or bread. In just a few months I had shed 3 stone. I continued to be healthy, as did my husband, he really was amazing through the whole thing. He done the no sugar thing at home (if he had sweets or a chippy it was at work!!), he also had to under go tests himself to make sure all his ermm….little swimmers shall we call them, were working as they should be, yes they were fine. I was so happy they were, this just meant that it was my ‘fault’ he couldn’t have children. I had really down days, days I couldn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel, days when I just wanted to give up. It is only because of Elliot I didn’t give up, he reminded me of all the things we have, a roof over our heads, food in our tummies and many family and friends that love us. I truly was and am grateful for all these things.

Well, at the beginning of 2016 we got the letter to see the specialist. I was excited but super nervous, I kept thinking the worst. As I sat in the waiting room with Elliot by my side, my leg was uncontrollably jigging up and down (nervous thing apparently). My name was then called, they weighed me, checked my height (they made me shorter by 4 inches!!!), they then looked over the results of the numerous blood tests and scans. The specialist was a really lovely lady and made me feel at ease straight away, we had a general chat and it was decided as I was still young, we had time to try all avenues. So that meant starting with taking Metformin in quite high doses, this would help with my sugar levels (even though I’d taken sugar out my diet and lost weight it hadn’t helped), which in turn would hopeful level out my hormones, something they are continuing to try for women with PCOS. I went away from there feeling much more positive than I had done in months.

It sounds silly but I just had a whole new out look on the whole situation, I still had down days but not as often. I’d also been going through some stressful situations at work but in May/June time in 2016, that all got sorted out. I was much calmer and stress free after this. So much so that I fell pregnant in July!!! I was so excited and couldn’t actually believe it!

Again, this was short lived, very early August I started bleeding and it was clear to see that I was having another miscarriage. I was shattered, heartbroken and inconsolable…………

I’d hit rock bottom, throughout August I was angry, emotional and a ticking time bomb to be around. The smallest thing I would flip, screaming and shouting, mainly at my poor husband who was only trying to comfort me. I’d let him down again. I’d failed as women.

In September we went to London for a short break, to clear our heads and have a good time. We had a lovely time, we acted like real tourists. Through the whole time in London, I wasn’t well, I just felt worn out. We put it down to what we’d been through and the fact it was so hot in London.IMG_20160907_100537

At the end of September I still felt just generally rubbish. Out of the blue one day, after finishing work and just before we were going to a party, I decided to do a pregnancy test. It was positive!!! IMG_20160924_061847

I was once again excited but so so scared, I rung Elliot at work and told him. He was happy but reserved, due to our previous experiences. I then rung my doctor, and got booked in to see a midwife the following week.

I saw the midwife, and yes it was confirmed we were pregnant. She thought I was around 8 weeks pregnant, but this then placed conception early/mid August. How could this be?? I was going through a miscarriage at this time. Apparently it has been known to happen, just very rare.

I only told a handful of people until after the first trimester, still not believing it to be real myself. We had a scan booked in, I had told myself there was no baby, it wasn’t true and that’s what I thought the sonographer was going to say.  I went in the room, laid on the bed, yes my leg was jigging. Cold jelly on my belly, then on the screen I saw this tiny little baby, moving about. It’s heart was beating, it’s bladder was working, it had tiny little hands and feet. Such a emotional and magical moment that Elliot and I will cherish forever. It really was our little miracle. baby-scan-12-weeks.jpg

I continued to take Metformin through the first half of my pregnancy as this reduces the risk of miscarriage and it worked.

I had a relatively smooth pregnancy, only a few little hiccups. My next blog will be all about my pregnancy and birth.

This was my struggle, my story and I hope to God I don’t have to go through it again. To those that are still going through infertility, it’s a waiting game, every single month, you wait, you hope and you pray. It’s a pain like no other, the days are dark and it truly is a cruel world. On those impossible days, try to remember all the things you DO have, life is so precious so don’t let time just past you by.

If you know someone going through infertility, just give them your love, wherever you can. Be mindful to what you say but remember, nothing can hurt them anymore than what they are already going through.

So much love guys xxxxxx

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So I’ve decided to blog……….

So on a dreary November evening, with a screaming, teething 6 month old baby, who’s finally gone down for a nap. I have made the decision that I would like to start a blog. Why? Not for any particular reason, to keep me busy (not that I’m not already), to document my journey (believe me,there’s been one) and maybe, just maybe, on those days, bedtime just isn’t in sight, it’ll give me a bit of sanity……………………well I can but hope.

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A bit about me, my names Crystal, I’m 26 years old. Mum to my beautiful, gorgeous baby boy Hugo (yes the screaming, teething 6 month old). I’ve been happily married to Elliot, my husband for 3 years, we’ve been together for 8 years. We have got many wonderful memories together, the birth of our son being the absolute best. Unfortunately it’s not all been rosy, we battled for years with infertility (I will do a whole blog on this). If you’ve ever had trouble conceiving, you will know that it is the single most devastating  thing to go through, I just hope that when we decide to have baby number 2, we don’t have the same trouble, although at least we now know what we are up against.

I am currently on maternity leave from my job as a personal carer, due to go back in February but I have recently found out I don’t have a job to go back to as there is no clients near me anymore. Job hunt here I come……………….lets get Christmas and new year out the way first.

Over the next coming weeks/months/years I will be blogging the past, present and future of my life. Stay tuned…………much love guys xxxx

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