Archive for June, 2010

Dispelling the Myths – Birth and Beyond!

June 27, 2010

Dispelling the myths. Birth and Beyond! By Nicki

When I fell pregnant we were overjoyed! I have PCOS and associated fertility problems, so a successful pregnancy didn’t happen overnight, like we assumed it would. From 14weeks when we started to feel “safe”, I was in those baby magazines, pregnancy books, read the NHS guide cover to cover- you name it. Well! I can tell you now that not everything is as it is written, from birth to the 101 “essentials” you need for baby!

The Birth! My birth was nothing like I expected, and like I said, being a good first time Mum I read the books and the forums and packed what now seems like a ridiculous amount of “birth” stuff i.e. lavender for the wrists, spritzer to keep me cool, little fan, cds, small snacks, books, the list goes on. My birth plan was neatly typed:  No pain relief apart from Gas and Air
Female attendants only if possible -No students Yeah right!

July 1st 06, 5.40am I got up, went to the loo and my waters broke with a bang! I was instantly on the floor with a massive contraction. Obviously something was wrong, it must have been… I was a week early- that couldn’t be right? And besides, my contractions were in my back? I crawled to the phone- they asked me to come in as my contractions were exactly nothing apart- just constant. Picture me, curly hair everywhere flying wildly dragging huge labour bag to the door whilst screaming “owww owww owww MOVE IT” to the poor husband! I rang Mum from the car (on all fours!) to tell her it was burning and to hurry and get to the hospital!

We got to the hospital (thank goodness for clear roads) and no joke I was running down the corridor dragging bag one of useless rubbish, hubby to the rear with another bag with baby stuff. We walked (hop, skip, jumped) into the labour room for a preliminary exam, I whipped my trousers and pants off and leant over the bed.
Midwife: Um what are you doing Dear?”
Me: I’m PUSHING!
Midwife, Oh bless (pats my hand- which she was lucky stayed intact), I take it this is your first? You said on the phone baby wasn’t engaged yesterday- shall we have a look?
Me: GRUNT
Midwife: OH! Ok, I can see the head- um can we get another midwife in and get Mrs C settled?
Me: EPIDURALLLLL
Midwife: Sorry sweetheart- no chance – would you like some gas and air?
Me: NOW!
You can see how labour turned a usually shy and retiring girl into a raving lunatic in a pretty short space of time! Not sure that was in the NHS guide?!

The labour went on pretty quick after that. Mum got there fairly quick, they took the Gas and Air off me “Mrs C, you are pushing with your throat dear”. Have to disagree with that one, my throat didn’t hurt at all lol! The team were actually fantastic and despite the fact the midwife who started off with me had finished her shift during the first half an hour, she stayed with me, with the other midwife. An hour in someone found my birth plan (like I cared lol!) which said no students- one student was present throughout and she was absolutely fabulous. On reading the birth plan, I was asked if I wanted her to leave, poor girl nearly lost her arm when I grabbed it and said “Noooo she’s loooovely!”.
The only time I really snapped was when my midwife said “One more pushhhh”, I pushed, “That it, one more push” I pushed, “One more push hun”. “ONE PLUS ONE PLUS ONE IS THREE, NOT ONE!!!”. Bad Nicki!
At 8.05am Kieran was born, 7lb 13oz. And for any first timers- the pain does just stop. I consider this a very positive birth story. I tore very badly and had to be stitched (by a MAN < seriously, you just don’t care!), and was a little disturbed when they gave me the gas and air BACK for stitches having taken it off me for labour!
That first cuddle was amazing, and I was SO tired but didn’t care! Mum cut Kieran’s cord as we’d planned and my fantastic husband did exactly what I need him to do, stood nearby, made slightly encouraging noises, and allowed me to glare at him with murder in my eyes every so often!
My one worry was that my placenta didn’t want to come out despite the injection and they were considering rolling me through to theatre. There was NO way they were putting me out etc after a natural birth lol, so they gave me a bed pan, catheterised me (just in and out to get rid of any wee build up!), I jumped up and down on the bed pan and placenta (intact), shot out! Don’t mess with me, I’m a Mum now don’t you know! The student and the midwife after I was stitched popped me into the ensuite and helped shower me down (they were angels, and a shower on the hottest day of the year was magical!).

So that is it, my much quicker than expected, but fairly amusing birth story. I do hope no2 is similar!

Just goes to show though, the real truths of giving birth etc are the ones you will hear from those that know – Mums! I have to say I do still chuckle when I think of my hospital bag/trunk/monster. This time (Yes, I’m doing this again in December lol!) I will leave out the lavender but might scour eBay and invest in a taser (ha ha ha here hubby, hubby, hubby!).

After Birth(As in after baby comes home, not the actual afterbirth!). I had some fantastic gadgets, every cream, powder, lotion and potion, this bathing aid, this special cushion, that ridiculously priced box of cables that I never quite worked out, and am sure is under our bed somewhere! Yup, being a first timer, bored and on maternity leave I bought everything every online advert told me I needed. I used 30% of them if that, but the things I did use were invaluable! Having learned my lesson after assuming that the books that described my labour would be spot on (lol!) I have decided this time I would ask the true experts what items on the market are really worth buying, really do what they say on the tin/box/bottle and am very happy to be someone who can now help other Mums, first time and otherwise by having become a BizzieBaby Tester! Those in the know, parents and their children test items on the market and report back with a REAL LIFE review. If you haven’t had a look at the site please do. And remember, don’t believe everything you read in books and magazines, believe in recommendations from real people, in real situations. (Oh and unless you have a good aim, a king-size bottle of lavender essence is NOT going to ease your labour – take it from someone who knows J )

Weekly Recipe from Di – Vanilla Cupcakes

June 27, 2010
VANILLA CUPCAKES (makes 12 muffin size)

  

110g Butter/Margarine (I use Stork) 

225g Caster Sugar 

2 Large Eggs 

150g Self Raising Flour sifted 

125g Plain Flour sifted 

120ml Milk at room temperature 

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract 

Preheat the oven to 160’Fan/180’C/350’F/Gas mark 4 and line a 12 muffin tray with cases. 

In a large bowl, mix together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. A hand mixer is ideal for this. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing for a few minutes after adding each one. Combine the 2 flours in a bowl. Put your milk and vanilla in a separate cup. Add about a third of the flours and mix well, then add about a third of the milk mixture and mix well. Repeat until everything is added. Spoon the mixture into the 12 muffin cases filling them to about 2/3 full. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until slightly raised and golden brown. To check they are cooked, insert a skewer or a sharp knife in the centre of one of the cakes-it should come out clean. Remove from the oven and leave in their tins for about 10 minutes, then put them on a wire rack to cool completely before icing them. 

VANILLA  BUTTERCREAM ICING 

110g Butter/Margarine 

60ml Milk at room temperature 

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract 

500g Icing Sugar sifted 

In a large mixing bowl, beat everything together until it’s really smooth. If you think it’s too sloppy, then add a little more icing sugar. If you wish to colour your icing, then you can add any food colouring, only use a drop at a time as it will be quite strong! 

Hope you enjoy them!! 

Love Di xxx 

Donnas’ Scrummy recipe of the Month

June 26, 2010
Chinese Style Sticky pork kebabs
2 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder
200g hoisin sauce
2tbsp light soy sauce
500g cubed pork fillet
2 tbsp runny honey
Selection of fresh vegetables suitable for bbq, cubed. (Mushrooms, onions, peppers, etc)

Make up your skewers by alternating pork and vegetables making sure they are all pretty even with each other until you have no ingredients left. Combine the 5 spice, hoisin sauce and soy sauce and marinate your skewers for a minimum of 1 hour but preferably over night. Grill or bbq for 15-25 minutes depending on heat, all the while brushing with the honey.

Serve with a simple
Jalapeño coleslaw
1 half raw cabbage thinly sliced
3 carrots grated
1 onion finely chopped or grated
1 Jalapeno finely chopped
4-5 tbsp Mayonnaise
Combine the ingredients in a bowl adding as much or as little mayonnaise as you like and as much Jalapeno as is suitable to your taste.
Enjoy Donna x

Donnas’ Blog – Cooking with Children

June 26, 2010
Cooking with Children.

Harrison and I made some jam tarts today. Most of the jam was spooned, by Harrison, around the tart cases but I managed to scoop most of it into a case without too much effort. What is most difficult is stopping him from eating the jam and, spooning more into one case than the others. I know how his mind works. As he deliberately over filled one particular case, adding so much it looked like a jam mountain, he was most likely thinking, “this one is for me!” When I attempted to scoop some of this excess jam out he protested so loudly and strongly I was sure his head was going to pop off his neck and land, plop, onto the jam tarts. There are some battles you should just let your opponent win, this was one of them. The jam tarts came out of the oven looking perfect. That is except one, the jam mountain, this one now resembled a sticky, gooey mess sitting on a token piece of pastry. It had erupted it’s inners like a volcano and covered most of the tray with it’s apricot lava. So whilst the tarts are cooling and Harrison is napping, I am preparing myself to use a chisel and hammer to remove the erupted jam mountain. Now I’m thinking this was one of the battles where I should have stood my ground.

I feel I should confess; I’m no genius in the kitchen, actually I cannot say I’m a genius at anything. Just the other day I burnt the Diane sauce that was to accompany the steak at dinner. I’m not going to blame the children, even though it was their fault, I’ll just say other things occupied me. Luckily I had enough ingredients to make some more before the rest of the dinner turned sour. Talking of this particular meal, I was chatting to my relative and she seemed most astonished that I would give Harrison steak (medium-well), vegetables, new potatoes and Diane sauce for his dinner. As it turned out she cooks different meals for her children and since speaking to her I found that lots of people do. Now to me that is astonishing. Isn’t our job as mothers hard enough without cooking several different meals to satisfy our children? A friend confessed to cooking anywhere up to four different meals a night for her family of five. I cook one meal and suddenly feel very blessed about that. I love the kitchen but not so much that I’d want to be chained to it all day!

I feel a bit cheeky talking about this home cooked food as I sit here and munch shop bought, cheese twists. You can’t be perfect all the time you know and I could have lied and said I made them, you’d never have known. Plus I couldn’t have made them at the price I bought them for and I’m clearly feeling guilty because I’m justifying myself and I never even had any need to mention them in the first place. They are really very nice though, I think this packet will not last much longer… gone.

For dinner tonight we have chicken and bacon pasta with crispy croutons and probably some crusty bread. Again I am cheating, the bread maker is making the bread. I might stretch myself and make some garlic butter but then again I might not, it is going to take long enough to make the pasta. Ok another confession, I’m not making the pasta. It sounded good though didn’t it? I can knock up a meal, from scratch, in next to no time. Pasta on the other hand takes me all day, how these chefs on the telly do it so quickly I’ll never know. I end up flouring the whole kitchen, myself and, the last time, I even managed to flour the dining room too and I didn’t have the excuse of children then.

Layla is in an absolutely foul mood since Harrison decided to wake her up. It was his parting shot on his way upstairs for his nap. That little cherub just has to make sure I do not get any me time till they both go to bed in the evening. I have come to the conclusion that I need more rooms downstairs. I need a room for me, one for Harrison, one for Layla and one for my dog, Zuki. That is the only way I’m going to get any peace at all during the day. If I put Layla and Harrison in the same room you can guarantee she will have had a toy car dropped on her head, pen all over her face or juice in her eyes, maybe even a combination of these things. Harrison is not malicious in the slightest, he genuinely believes he is helping, it is just a real shame he isn’t.

Breakfast this morning would have passed without issue had Harrison not decided to wear his cereal. My darling husband thought it would be a wise move to teach our dear son how to drink the left over milk straight from the bowl. Only this morning it wasn’t left over milk he tried to drink, it still had the Rice Crispies floating in it. Before I had chance to react Rice Crispies and milk littered his pyjamas and the floor and I watched as Zuki gleefully licked her lips at the crispy offerings that had fallen just feet away from her nose. Time to have a word with that husband of mine.

Will be back next month with more updates.  Donna x

Spiritualism My Story by Haylee

June 11, 2010
Since I was little I have followed spiritualism through my Nan. She attended Warrington Spiritualist church as often as she could and talked about the existence of ‘ghosts’ all the time. I remember one of the last times I saw my Nan in hospital she described an experience where the lady in the next bed had died and whilst the curtains on the next bed were drawn, my Nan saw a lady stood at the foot of the bed beckoning to her asking her to follow, which she declined to do. My Nan died not too many weeks later and as 15-year-old you can appreciate how this conversation left its mark.
 
I tried spiritualist churches and found that although I enjoyed the readings the religious side of the services was too strong for me. I wanted to concentrate more on life after death and less on the God. I know that the two are strongly linked but that was how I felt.
 
So instead of the church I looked to personal readings. My first experience was of a lady medium close to where I live. I was probably about 21. I went her house clutching my Nan’s ring in my pocket, which she did mention during the reading. throughout the reading I felt as though she was throwing random names at me trying to find something and there where times when she found a name and information was given. As the reading was ending and she was saying goodbye I asked if I could ask a question. I asked if I could pass a message through her to ‘the other side’. She suddenly glazed and said someone else had appeared to her. She went on to give me a message from a young man who had recently killed himself. His name, the circumstances of his passing and messages for named members of his family. I was shocked. A friend had recently taken his life and it was this person I wanted to pass a message to. Understandably I was hooked.
 
After this session I tried the Spiritualist churches again and then tried some Medium shows. I have to admit I prefered the shows. Not only where they a good girlie night out but when you were picked the feelings were amazing. Eventually after chatting to other people at the shows I hit upon the name David Traynor. You can google him although I feel I have  to apologise for his cheesy American site. Believe me when I first found out about him he was a Warringtonian hairdresser with a cheap site. I blame fame!!
 
Anyway, I started going to his shows. I was picked a couple of times but that was not what convinced me. If you read his books he talks about how he now focuses on people who have lost children because he understands how deep this pain is. At his shows he seemed to home in on people who had lost children either before birth or any time after. He gave them times, dates, names, anything that would convince. He even claimed that the children where touching the parents and some if not all of the people this happened to agreed they could feel the cold touch of their children. How could you not be convinced.
 
Some time after several of these shows I heard a competition on the radio to have a gallery reading for up to ten people with David. To cut a long story short we won and I gathered my friends. It was a fantastic experience. It couldn’t really fail to be. This man I had watched on stage was now in my living room, but I was disappointed. The people I had gathered were all in one way or another related or close to me. For example, my brother, his wife, her sister, my Mum, my other sister-in-law, my cousin and two of my friends. So we were all close.
 
When the gallery reading was over we all compared notes and although we had all had a great time there was nothing concrete. After the gallery we were invited to one of Davids shows in the week and three of us went. For what ever reason this was the first show I did not enjoy.
 
I have not been to another show, church or personal reading since then. I will, I can guarantee it, but I need a break. I want to believe in life after death so much. Even more so now I have my children, but I need more proof.
 
I live in a house that the last owner had from new and died in. Even my very sceptical husband has admitted that things go bump in the night. I have been awoken by bright orbs and figures in my room. Things appear that have moved when they shouldn’t have (bear in mind I have 3 kids!). Most convincingly of all is the strong scent of perfume I get now and then that we don’t wear.
 
My Mum believes and she says that if they were going to harm us they would have done so by now. I repeat this so often.
 
I don’t know if my belief now is any stronger now than it was when my Nan was here. All I can say is that I have had and will have some fun finding out and I would love it all to be true. Where’s the harm in that.