Our Family in 2015

So the end of the year is approaching and I am not going to do a full look back at the past year… but I thought it was a good opportunity instead to have a look at all the me and mine shots of our little foursome taken over the past year, to see how much we have all grown and changed.family 2015

Some shots are better than others (ahem June!) and the only shot I have of the four of us for December is a pretty rubbish selfie on the bed on Christmas morning… but it is a shot of all of us and you can see how different the kiddies look compared to January, with LM obviously changing the most throughout the course of the year.

There is much to come in 2016, birthdays, a wonderful holiday with my parents, hopefully house sitting for friends in Dorset again, Monkey starting school in September (eek) and generally enjoying our children grow and change every day. I know people say life with children doesn’t get easier it just changes. .. but I have to disagree. Yes there are always challenges, that’s life, but the challenges are different as the children grow and I personally find that things do get easier as the little onesgrow out of the baby stage.

This time next year LM will probably be talking… she may not be napping anymore and at 2 may even be on her way to being toilet trained. Monkey will be at school and hopefully doing well. It will be a very different Christmas and our lives will be different. I can’t help but be excited to see what else 2016 has in store for us and I plan (or hope) to enjoy every minute as much as I can.

Happy New Year to you and all the best for 2016. Thanks for reading!

Run Jump Scrap!


There has been a few stories in the media recently that have really made me stop and think about parenting, and therefore what I want for Monkey and baba as they grow up.

The first was an article about a mum who gives her 2 and 4 year old daughters spray tans, pierced ears, manicures and hair pieces. I’m pretty big on the whole live and let live mindset. We all have to parent our kids in our own way and I try really hard not to criticise others, but… the article made me feel uncomfortable. Largely because I worry about how the girls are going to feel about themselves growing up. If they are so focussed on their appearance now, how will they ever feel happy in their own skin. Will they always feel that they aren’t good about themselves unless they have spray tans, fake hair and make-up on? It just feels like a symptom of a much bigger problem that does worry me as the kids grow up.
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Looking to the future..

I have been thinking about the future a lot this week. I have now hit my 2nd trimester and thankfully seem to have got a bit more energy back. I still have very tired patches and my pelvis problems sadly haven’t magically evaporated, but I definitely have a bit more of my usual energy. Thank goodness! Hopefully this sticks around, or even improves over the next couple of months!

This has meant that I have started thinking a lot about things to come. I am trying to decide what to do about a buggy when baby no.2 comes along. I actually thought I had made decision and started a post about it…. then realised something I am not 100% happy with and am now up in the air again about what to do! A post for another day it seems!

We’ve also had Monkey accepted into the local playgroup we want him to go too when he is 2 1/2 in November, which is very cool. Only for a few hours a week but hopefully to get him ready for pre-school, and then school as I know it comes around so quickly. It also has links to the local school we hope he will go too and it would be lovely for him to make friends at playgroup that he then starts school with in a couple of years time.

I’ve also been thinking about the future in a totally different way. I haven’t blogged about it before as it wasn’t my story to tell and we didn’t know what the outcome was going to be, but one of my best friends has been really quite poorly lately. I won’t go into details about it but it got a bit scary and she was very very badly messed around, and, I feel, neglected, by the NHS. It’s taken about 6 weeks of being messed around, with a lot of worry for her, her family, and us as her friends. She has finally had some good news this week which has revealed that she doesn’t have the brain tumour she had been warned she may have. Phew.

She does however have a very serious condition affecting her brain and her vision, but now that a tumour has been ruled out they have started some medication and she can look to the future and to hopefully getting her life back to normal. It may not be the easiest of journeys ahead but it is not the worst case scenario and we are all immensely grateful for that and as ever, once you have a diagnosis you can at least work out a solution. All of the hanging around and being passed from pillar to post, while also being told how bad it could be, was very stressful and worrying, as I am sure you can imagine.

It’s worth saying (as I know she reads this sometimes) that she has handled the whole situation remarkably well and I really admire her for not letting the situation get her down and for not thinking too hard about worst case scenarios. She has a 3yr old so some terrible things must have crossed her mind, but she has not allowed them to drown her. And she’s taken the news this week with such a positive and practical attitude and, well, I love her to bits.

It hasn’t been the most perfect of weeks, in fact the weather has been downright cold and miserable for the most part, but, there has been some positive changes. Changes that give a bit of hope for the future.

My word for the week, is future.

The Reading Residence

Remembering my first pregnancy and struggling with SPD


Approx. 8 months pregnant

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, we are starting to think about having another baby. This has got me thinking about pregnancy and taken me on a little trip down memory lane to what my first pregnancy was like. Before I got pregnant I have to admit that I was a bit judgemental about women who had difficult pregnancies and thought seriously how hard can it be? One of my best friends had such a smooth pregnancy and I naively thought that every pregnancy was the same and that it was a lovely happy healthy time where women bloom.

Then I got pregnant, and oh how wrong I was and how I regretted being so judgemental in the past!

It was difficult from the off as I had really terrible morning sickness (more like all day, every day sickness) and just crippling exhaustion that made me feel like the living dead. I was useless at work (not great when you have just been promoted) and had so much time off sick. I also had to stop driving after a while as  this zombie-ness really made me feel unsafe on the roads, and after a few too-near misses I eventually stopped driving (and I love driving so I just wasn’t myself at all). This led to me feeling very depressed and in the end I was signed off work until my maternity leave began. I was already planning to leave at the very earliest point you can take maternity leave, but I finished a few weeks before that in the end as I was seriously struggling to cope.

As I started to feel a little less exhausted and sick, the slight nagging pain in my pelvis that I had ignored started to get steadily worse. I was diagnosed with SPD (Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction), which is due to the pregnancy hormone Relaxin. This is supposed to help your bones and ligaments make room for the baby, but unfortunately in some of us, this hormone causes our pelvis to relax too much, causing a lot of pain as the join at the front of your pelvis (the symphysis pubis) pulls too far apart. I saw a physio who told me to keep my knees together at all times during my pregnancy, and she even suggested I tie my knees together overnight so they didn’t come apart while I slept. Climbing stairs was a nightmare and soon just walking was agony, even at snail speed so I ended up on crutches. I wasn’t even allowed to go swimming as my pelvis was too unstable.


Monkey trying to get out the wrong way! Two days before birth

The other issue we had is that apparently I have a bicornuate uterus, which basically means I have a sort of heart shaped uterus and makes a breech birth much more likely. We didn’t know this at the time and did all sorts to try and turn Monkey (including the doctors trying to forcibly turn him, which we couldn’t possibly know would never work as he was stuck in one side of my uterus). So all plans of a nice water birth went out the window and we had a caesarean, which is how they saw that I have a bicornuate uterus.

Of course I know that in many ways we were very lucky, Monkey had no problems at all, and there was no scary risk factors in terms of either his life or mine and of course I would rather feel some discomfort than have any more serious problems. But from start to finish, it wasn’t great. I can truly say I never got the pregnancy glow that people talk about and I’m not looking forward to going through it again. Hopefully the nausea and exhaustion won’t be as bad next time. I won’t be working silly hours in a stressful job so I definitely have an advantage there. Plus that kind of thing can vary a lot from pregnancy to pregnancy so fingers crossed I won’t feel so bad second time round. Because of my strange uterus I have a 50/50 chance of another breech baby, which would definitely mean another caesarean, so we will just have to wait and see with that one and I guess what will be will be.

On crutches at a wedding - look at the size of me!

On crutches at a wedding – look at the size of me – approx 8 months pregnant.

But the SPD, by all accounts is likely to reappear. I have heard that not everyone gets it again, but in most cases if you have had it once you are apparently likely to get it again, with the symptoms appearing sooner and progressing faster, so I have that to look forward to! I still get the odd twinge every month before my period so I have to prepare myself for the worst I think (then I may get pleasantly surprised, who knows?), but  I am doing everything I can to try and prepare for it though. I was a bit overweight before I even got pregnant last time, which can’t have helped, so I have been steadily trying to get healthy before we start trying again. I am quite a bit lighter than I was last time so hopefully that will help by putting less pressure on my pelvis.


My exercises, stuck on the wardrobe to make sure I do them!

I also know the exercises I need to do to strengthen the muscles supporting my pelvis (the transverse abdominus and pelvic floor) and my new year’s resolution is to start doing these exercises every day so that I am in the best shape possible before I even get pregnant to at least try and limit the damage! I will also know what it is next time, so unlike last time where I ignored it for a while, and then tried to push through the pain and carry on as normal (apparently completely the wrong thing to do!) I will listen to my body and take it easy when I need to. Even though I will hate to do it!

I am worried about what all this will mean for Monkey, as he is such an active child and loves going for walks or running about, and I love doing those things with him. My best Christmas present is a nice pair of winter boots to keep my feet warm as we spend so much time outdoors! How is that going to work if I end up on crutches again? How will I keep him safe if I can’t run after him should he make a dash near a road? He is pretty good but you can never be too careful. If I have to stop driving again because I don’t feel safe how will we get to baby groups and go on play-dates?

Both sets of grandparents have already offered their assistance and I know will help out as much as they can. Hubby has also said that he will work from home more if he needs to so that he can help out. But I know that no matter how much help I get, I will struggle with the fact that I am not able to be the mummy I want to be, even if only for a few short months.

But needs must, and it was worth all of the hardships last time to have such a gorgeous little man at the end of it, and I’m sure it will be worth it to have another gorgeous little baba in my arms one day. Fingers crossed that all goes as well as can be hoped for!


mummy mishaps

Starting to think about baby number 2…. yipes!

My brothers and I

My brothers and I

Yep, we think it is time to think about maybe trying for a second baby. We’ve always known that we would like more than one child, but have had lots of discussions over the years about exactly how many kids we would like, and how close we would like them to be in age. Hubby has always been clear that he would like 3 children (we were both middle children in families with 3 children) whereas I am a bit more unsure of whether 2 or 3 is the right number. I’ve always thought 3 children just made things a bit more complicated, holidays, car size etc… but loved being one of 3 kids too so just really unsure whether to go with heart or head.

Hubby and his brothers

Hubby and his brothers

Age wise, we initially thought 2 years apart was about the right age gap… but after a difficult first pregnancy we realised we would need Monkey to be a little older, perhaps 2 1/2 – 3 when a sibling is born, just as he needs to be a bit more self sufficient. If my next pregnancy is anything like my first, I am unlikely to be able to do anywhere near as much with him as I do now. How difficult I find the next pregnancy will also potentially decide whether we stop at 2 children or have any more, as it depends how much I am willing to put my body through.

So what made my first pregnancy so hard? Well I have been writing about it but I think it deserves a post all to itself so there will be more of that to follow!!

Learning to be a mummy

Learning to be a mummy

The other thing to think about is how hard will it be with two? Monkey is at such a lovely age now, he is a lot more independent and very much a toddler rather than a baby. We are still waiting for words but he is a lot more communicative so hopefully it won’t be too long now. So the thought of going back to baby days scares me I have to admit. I am hoping that it is a little easier second time round, as you have done it once. There should be less of the rabbit in the headlights look that you get the first time, right? There will also be Monkey there for the baby to be entertained by and me to have fun with which I am hoping will make it less lonely than the first time round?

Sleepless nights

Sleepless nights



But going back to sleepless nights, breast feeding (and the lovely changes to your body that come with it) or maybe formula feeding, possibly sleep training again, then weaning….. It was hard enough the first time round, particularly the first 3 months I found, but maybe that’s just because Monkey had colic?


Am I ready to do it all again? Well, I have realised that I am as ready as I will ever be and that’s the key thing. I am certainly more ready than I was with Monkey as at least I know what to expect next time and have some experience. But I survived it before, and came out with a gorgeous, happy healthy little boy, a marriage intact and a happy smile on my face so I am sure I can do it again as I so want Monkey to have a sibling.

It’s funny to think about our family changing, our happy little unit of 3 will hopefully become a 4. How will the next baby’s personality evolve our family dynamic. It’s quite exciting to think about actually. Hubby was looking at some pre-monkey photos today and said he can’t remember the days when it was just us two. Will we feel like that about the days before baby 2 in a few years? Only time will tell I guess!


Our little family

This is of course assuming that we will be able to get pregnant easily again, when there is no telling really. It happened much faster than we thought it would last time so this time we need to be prepared for that, but also prepared for it to take some time as you never know and we don’t want to stress about it… so I guess watch this space! We will have to wait and see what 2014 brings.

How did you find the change going from one child to two? Was it harder or easier than you thought?