Sunday, 13 February 2011

Goodbye & Hello

As I feel I am finally emerging from the 'mother to a newborn' fog I thought it was time to put pen to paper as it were and bring you up to date with all that has been happening here at geriatric towers.

First the very sad news that my much loved father passed away on 08 Jan 2011, aged just 64.  As many of you will be aware he was diagnosed with Frontal Temporal Dementia early in 2009 and he has now been released from his suffering, as have we, his family.  Unlike any of the more common dementias his was particularly cruel and to watch his rapid deterioration was torturous.  I always feared that there may have been an element of 'locked-in syndrome' to his disease, or that at the very least he may have had an awareness of the situation he found himself in. Knowing that he has now been released from his suffering and is resting in peace has come as something of a relief.  But still, I miss him terribly.

April 2010

On a lighter note, 17 January 2011 saw the safe arrival of my much longed for 2nd son, who shall be known here as Baby Moonbeam.  He was born at 9.07am weighing 8lb 7oz and has been the most chilled out chap ever since.  As his grandad used to say to his brother 'we don't do crying in this house' and both he and his brother took heed. The midwives at the hospital would all comment on how contented he was and I'm pleased to say his impeccable behaviour has continued.  Just need to drop the night feeds and he'll be the perfect baby ;-)   His brother adores him and takes every opportunity to cuddle him, stroke him, hold his hand and always tells him that he loves him when he says goodnight.  I have been truly blessed.

Looking very serious, 7hrs old

I'm sure you can imagine that this last few weeks has felt like quite a watershed in the life of Geriatric Mummy, and as such I have decided it is time to move on.  New leaf, clean sheet, call it what you will but it is time to say goodbye to Geriatric Mummy and hello to The Apprentice Housewife.

I hope you will join me in my lighter, brighter musings on my journey in search of domestic bliss.


Monday, 1 November 2010

The Trials and Tribulations of Gestational Diabetes - Part 1

As I am becoming an old hand at this gestational diabetes (GD) malarky I thought I would tell you a bit about it.  Part 1 will tell you all about how it effected my pregnancy with Star, and Part 2 will fill you in on how it is this time with some facts and figures and hints and tips I have picked up.

When I was expecting Star I was diagnosed at 28 weeks after glucose was found in a routine pee sample.  The diagnosis is confirmed by taking a Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT) whereby you drink a sugar solution and have a blood test 2 hours later to check your glucose levels.  To say I was in shock was an understatement.  I couldn't understand it.  I was not overweight (I had a BMI of 25 at 39 weeks!), I had no family history of diabetes (the two biggest risk factors), and  I ate a diet Gillian McKeith would be proud of .  I was a fit and healthy person.  This shouldn't happen to me.  I felt like a failure.  My body had let me down when I needed it most.

I was put on the GD care path at the antenatal clinic at the hopsital, and allocated the obs and gynae consultant specialising in GD.  She explained to me that I was one of the unlucky ones but that 'older mothers' are a risk factor in themselves and at 39 I fell into that group.  I was issued with a finger prick blood testing kit ( I am/was needle phobic) and told to test my blood four times a day, first thing in the morning, and 1.5 hours after breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Each test was to be recorded in a diary had a target figure that my blood shouldn't exceed.  I was also given dietary advice which I found most frustrating as I have studied nutrition myself, and already ate an exemplary diet.  There was no junk food, cakes and biscuits that I could cut out.  Thankfully, after a week of finger pricking induced trauma and near breakdown,  my knowledge and existing diet stood me in good stead as I was able to manage the GD with just a few tweeks here and there.

Monthly visits ensued for growth scans, blood tests, to have my diary of test results checked and to see the consultant.  Everything was fine until 36 weeks when a growth scan showed a slightly higher level of amniotic fluid than the norm.  I was then referred to the day assessment unit 3 times a week so that they could check Star's movements to confirm that he wasn't getting distressed.  He wasn't and therefore they were happy to leave him be until I was 39 weeks (by their dates but that's a whole other story- grr) when he was safely delivered by elective c-section.  He had no problems at all, had an agpar of 9 and required no special treatment.

I had a further GTT when Star was 3 months old which, thankfully, confirmed that it had indeed been GD and my blood levels were now within the normal range.  They did warn me however that I was almost certain to get it again should I become pregnant be continued in Part 2


Tuesday, 26 October 2010

The 'Smiling' 17 Weeks Foetus...and other news

OK, so I know I said I'd be back soon, and that was over 3 months ago but hey I'm here now ;-)

First of all, I feel I should explain that the main reason for my absence all these weeks has been due to the fact that this has not been an easy pregnancy.  I felt continually and horribly nauseous and was regularly sick for the first 14 weeks.  At 12 weeks an amniotic band was discovered, which had to be checked again at 17 weeks to ensure the baby wasn't getting tangled in it.  At 17 weeks I was also sent to A&E by my GP due to my extreme shortness of breath.  Thankfully nothing serious was found to be wrong, but the down side of this was that there was no treatment I could be given. Then at 20 weeks I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes.  This was not a total surprise as I also had this when expecting Star but this time I was diagnosed much earlier, and it was much more severe requiring me to take insulin injections 3 times a day as well as take great care over my diet.  Oh and throughout all this I have been so tired, I think exhausted is a better explanation.  But despite all this I am now almost 27 weeks and the baby at least is doing well.

In fact, he has been doing well throughout.  You may have seen articles in The Sunday Times and Daily Mail a few weeks ago about the 17 week old 'smiling' foetus, the youngest ever recorded.  Well, that 'foetus' is in my tummy...

As you can see, he appears to be quite enjoying life!  It has reignited the debate about the 24 week abortion law, and, smiling or not, I personally don't know how anyone could even consider it at 17 weeks, let alone 24.  Health issues aside I have to wonder how long some people need to know whether having a baby is something they want to do ?

Anyhoo, I will endeavour to post again before another 3 months has elapsed.  I am tempted to ring the changes a little with the content, posting what I want to post about rather than being concerned that I post content relevant to my readers.  So look out for recipes, comment on current affairs, recommendations, and generally anything at all that I find interesting.  Hopefully you will too :-)


Friday, 16 July 2010

I'm Back...Now Where To Start...

After three and a half months of abstaining from all things of a blogging/tweeting nature I am delighted to say I'm back :D Before I launch into a brief synopsis of what's been going on in my world in this time I feel I should begin with a little explanation.

In the early part of this year I felt myself slipping into a darker and darker place.  Having a history of depression I knew that this was not something that I could allow to happen.  I was finding that every time I sat down to write a blog post I was wanting to talk exclusively about how miserable I was feeling, how much I wasn't enjoying motherhood, how desperate I was feeling to escape it all.  I knew that my beloved readers don't read blogs to be depressed and dragged down and I knew I was in grave danger of doing just this and driving them all away.  And anyway, what do I have to be miserable about ?  I'm healthy, I have a glorious son, a wonderful husband, no money worries.  I feared that people reading all my woes would be thinking just this.  What's more, I was also becoming aware that I was using blogs and twitter to withdraw further from the real world as it was a less painful place to inhabit...escapism.  So, I decided to withdraw from my online world totally, go cold turkey, and force myself to re engage with my real life, and in particular with my son.  I'm pleased to say that whilst it was a struggle, and not an instantaneous solution it did work. I now feel strong enough to dip my toe back in... and here I am.

So, what's been going on?  I'll get the bad stuff out of the way first.  My dad has continued to deteriorate rapidly to the point where, in my opinion, he now needs full time care.  He has recently been into a residential home for two weeks respite care, but is now back at home with my mum who struggles on.  His stay in respite did demonstrate one thing, which was that he is now so poorly that he really needs a nursing home as a residential home is not sufficiently staffed to cope with his needs.  He turned 64 in April.

Wonderful husband and I have had a lovely few months.  We went to Marrakech in April for 5 days, we went to Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons for 2 nights in June to celebrate his 40th birthday, we went to The Waterside Inn for dinner (also for his 40th birthday celebrations) and we've been to the Amalfi Coast in Italy for a week in June.  All without Star, who was holidaying in Devon with my family and having a fabulous time.  I really have been living the high life and it's been wonderful.  Oh, and the sun has been shining ALOT which is almost better that all of it :D

If you were thinking that the news couldn't get any better I've got to tell you that you are mistaken as I've saved the best till last.  Today I am 12 weeks and 1 day pregnant :D  Earlier today we went up to Harley Street for a super duper 12 week scan with the famous, god like Professor Stuart Campbell.  At my ripe old age we walked into the room with a Down's risk of 1:64...scary, but after the prof had measured and monitored just about everything we came out with a risk of 1:1124, sufficiently low that we don't feel the need to risk an amnio.  Oh, and did I mention...IT'S A BOY!  I am SO happy as I desperately wanted another boy as Star has been an absolute angel and my main reason for wanting another baby is for a sibling, and playmate for him.  I think that a same sex sibling is just perfect for this and look forward to many years of cricket, football and rugby in the garden.

Well, apologies for such a long post but there was alot to say.  I will do further posts with more details on all of the above as I know it was a bit of a whistle stop tour but wanted to give you all the headlines.

So until next time...keep smiling :D


Wednesday, 31 March 2010

The Gallery - Outside My Front Door

I decided to take this literally so here are two photos, the first outside my front door, the second outside my front gate....

So, firstly, hands up, we are a pair of petrol heads here at geriatric towers.  I know it's not pc, but in my defence we don't do a high mileage in these cars (we have a golf for that), and the 4x4 is a necessity for a baby and two estate car doesn't cut it I'm afraid.  Enough of the excuses, we love them.  The 'little sporty number' belongs to The Daddy and is his pride and joy.  The Tank is mine, all 5 litres and V10's of it and I love it.  It's luxurious to drive, feels very safe and secure, but is a wolf in sheep's clothing when you put your foot down.  Fan-bloody-tastic it is :D  I can't tell you much about the Daddy's car as I've only driven it once round the block, and to tell you the truth I prefer mine.  I also don't like the thought of the assumptions some people make about people that drive cars like these.  We have been very fortunate to have had some very lucrative years of late, and we enjoy the spoils that it has afforded us.  It doesn't mean that we are any different in our attitudes and values, and as you all well know we have problems in our lives just like anyone else...

This is our front bank, and you can probably just make out some daffodils starting to flower.  You may also be able to make out that they seem to be more dense at the far end.  This makes me smile every time I see them.  Unusual for me with my OCD tendancies, but there is a reason for this.  These bulbs were planted by my lovely Dad just over two years ago.  It was before he had been diagnosed with early onset dementia.  But this is the evidence that his decline had already started.  As someone, like me, with perfectionistic tendancies, he would typically have made sure the bulbs were perfectly distributed across the length of the bank.  However his organisational skills were already letting him down, and what you see here was the result.  You may think it odd that to see it makes me smile, but it's the fact that it's a lasting memory, every spring, of my Dad being his old helpful self.  Always capable, always willing.  It was probably the last 'helpful'  thing he was able to do for me, so I am grateful to him, and smile in appreciation of his efforts... 

This post was written in response to Tara's Gallery prompt 'What's outside your front door?' Why not hop along to Sticky Fingers and take a look at the other entries?