Carry on Camping

Carry on Camping

Geepers. I keep telling myself I need to slow down. That next week will be less manic so there will be time to relax a little but I never quite get to that point. This week it was preparing for a mad busy chocka block weekend camping in the New Forest then jetting off to Scotland kid free for a wedding.

It was L’s birthday on Friday so as a surprise I booked a camping trip for us all. We used to camp loads pre-kids so this was going to be our first family trip and we were excited to see what the kids thought. Obviously in my head it was glorious sunshine and the kids running around laughing and playing and us sitting out late chatting, looking at the stars and melting marshmallows. Katy world. Instead it peed it down and we were pretty much confined to the 4 canvas walls.

I packed everything but the kitchen sink and we set off in the pouring rain heading for the New Forest. The kids were separated in the back with the tent and we were all stuffed with duvets and pillows (I needed a little luxury).

It was a military operation getting our tent set up. I hate this bit as it normally ends up with us falling out after telling each other they’re doing it wrong and one of us declaring the tent pole would be going where the sun didn’t shine but astonishingly we got on smashing, there were no crossed words and best of all the kids were so elated. They were running around all excited and giggling. It was so cute.

I’d baked some cupcakes for L’s birthday along with bringing along her presents all wrapped up from the girls and me. Within 10 minutes G dropped the cake tin upside down after letting it do a few rolls through her arms. I knew immediately the chocolate fudge frosting was knackered but I was still determined to take them out with us with some candles and matches to sing happy birthday while we were on our day out that I had planned with all of L’s favourite things.

Well the fact it was peeing it down from the moment we left the camp on the walk to the train station, while we were on the train, on the walk to the ferry, whilst on the ferry and when we walked along hengitsbury head, there was no hope of us getting the candles alight. We ended up taking a land train off the beach in the hope we would get dry quicker but we were now drenched right through. I revealed the cakes and they looked quite similar to the scene from a fortnight ago when the chaotic one squashed poo into my cream carpet which I was left to clean up as both kids were crying about it and L was standing in the corner gagging and being all pathetic.

I was really looking forward to getting back into the warmth and dry when we got back but no such luck. The heavens had still opened and inside the tent my bed was wet from a dripping roof. I seriously contemplated sleeping in the shower block. The kids were oblivious to all of this and still loving it but I decided that camping is way more fun when you drink alcohol oh and you have a dry tent!

Despite my grumbles L had a wonderful time and we got some lovely pictures from some special memories. We were back home by 9am the next morning and the tent was left at the campsite dumped in the bin but surprisingly the kids didn’t complain once. There was none of that monotone whinge. You know the type that makes your blood boil, your ears ring and no matter how diplomatic, calm and patient you are, it continues and it winds you up even more. Nope none of that. Not a drop. They were the most delightful tiny humans ever at the weekend. Long may it continue and not just when camping as I’m not sure I’m ready to experience that again this year.


Daddy? Doggy?

Daddy? Doggy?

Ah man the moment came we were probably both subconsciously worrying about – G cried because she didn’t have a daddy. It was heartbreaking. It was literally a few minutes after I’d opened my eyes and I thought my word I’m not ready for this conversation right now. Anyway I went about explaining that her bestfriend does have a daddy but he also only has one mummy where G has two mummies and that’s ok too. I don’t think she understood it but she was ok. By the time I got her to nursery she was upset again and I told them why. They offered to go through the ‘our story’ book we have which is all about how families are different and how her family is made that morning so I could follow it up in the evening (That is why the girls nursery is awesome because they genuinely care and work with you as parents to support your children’s development including the emotional side). When I picked her up from nursery she wasn’t interested in family stuff she just wanted her toast with ham. Ah right so that quick she was over it?? She has the attention of her Mammy(L)!!!

But she has brought it up loads since just questioning about a daddy and who has daddies and she has started saying she has two mummies and also naming everyone in our family (including the new baby which tipped my hormone level right over to tear level).

So it’s been a big discussion point in our house and with my friends but I’ve rationalised it and taken the adult element away from it. She doesn’t actually know what a daddy is. To her it’s just a word her friends use and she knows it’s something she doesn’t have so it could just as easy be a brother or a dog. She has no emotional tie to a daddy it’s just us worrying too much and overthinking it. Her nursery teacher said exactly the same so it made me feel heaps better. She knows her stuff.

Now all G is bothered about is watermelon and taking her minions lunch bag to nursery. Today when she brought up a daddy I said you don’t have one just like a doggy and her little eyes lit up and said “doggy doggy”! Erm no you’re not getting one of those either they’d both make way too much mess. Mind after today and all the questions G has been asking “Mummy” about all of her surroundings, and when I say all I literally mean from the gear box in my car to the nipples on my body, I’ve decided to change my name – to Daddy! Then I might get some peace.

Last week we had our 9 week scan at the clinic which was also our last appointment at the clinic EVER! That’s our 3 babies made and that’s definitely it.

We got to see little Bryo who is now a whopping 2.7 cm long. So super tiny. But so relieved to see something which now resembles a baby. And it was so active. Which concurs what the acupuncturist said to me when they said the baby is very yang. Supposedly that means warm and full of energy so I think we have got ourselves another ducklips. Basically it’s all or nothing with her. There is no in between, no downtime and no reasoning. But it’s great to have girls like this with loads of energy.

We’ve totally splashed out and invested in a new high chair so at least the 3rd born won’t be completely hand me downs. We won’t be buying them much else probably just some clothes once we know what colour it is. Only 29 weeks until we find out.

A lad at work told me I looked like shit. If you ever want someone’s honest opinion and you don’t want to sugarcoat it or fluff it then ask a firefighter. No messing around there. So I’ve taken some more time to rest and gone for an almighty chop on the hair to at least make me feel a bit better and more human. So far it seems to have done the trick. None of the lads at work noticed the haircut though!!!

The glitz and glamour of early pregnancy and the first scan.

The glitz and glamour of early pregnancy and the first scan.

I was hoping things would calm down a bit now the constant appointments were finished but since we are about halfway through the extension and L has landed herself a new job it’s unlikely that’s going to happen.

The extension has got to the point where it looks like very little is happening now the actual structure is in place. I’ve lost interest in picking out flooring and paint as I don’t have the headspace for it and I’m feeling like there’s too much left to do. Really hope it can be finished by August as we have visitors but it’s looking unlikely.

So happy for L – this new job is awesome for her and so well deserved as she totally rocks it at work but with big jobs comes big responsibility and that means long shifts and lots of stress for her. Here’s hoping things settle a little soon at least for her sake before she burns herself out and I need my partner in crime back, I miss her. When I’m at work she is with the kids and when she’s at work I’m with the kids. We are like passing ships until the weekends. We didn’t eat together for 4 nights and for us that’s pretty much unheard of.

Last week I was being a complete idiot and stressing about not feeling pregnant. Apart from being really zapped of energy I felt fine. I was worried I wasn’t pregnant anymore so I tested again. It said I was pregnant. L saw the test and asked why have I been testing. I told her I didn’t feel pregnant. Her response was “I know you are pregnant simply because you did that, you moron”. Ah ok. That’s that settled then.

And before I needed further clarification – BOOM – The sickness came over me like I was on a rubber dinghy in the middle of the Atlantic during a storm. Total urksville. Thank goodness now I feel like utter crap and so happy about it.

I was in charge of the mess at work (basically making the meals for the watch that week) and as I was walking round the supermarket I had watery mouth and wanted to puke. I didn’t fancy anything to eat at all. They’re lucky they ended up with a meal as I was tempted to just shout them takeout. One shift I had to lie down for a few minutes as I was really queasy and one of the lads brought me a white chocolate magnum. It was amazing and just what I needed. I felt better when I ate. That’s a modern day hero!

To add to my moaning my bum is causing me problems. I’m still having to shove those bum bullets up there twice a day as part of the treatment and to make it worse I’ve only got a ridiculous amount of piles. Pregnancy is far from glamourous. My body is breaking on me! Just when I thought I was feeling pretty crappy as I was I went a stubbed my toe and heard the unmistaking cracking sound of it breaking. There was a lot of swearing, then tears, as the warmth and the pain set in. This was on the afternoon I promised to take the kids to the park. So I strapped it up, popped a couple of paracetamol and soldiered on. Made it to the park and was just about getting by until G wanted me to join her on the see-saw. My cheeks were sore from the fake smile I had on my face. As I pushed up my toe throbbed and as I bounced down I literally had a pain in the bum. I was laughing on the inside really! L found it all quite amusing and so did my friend who I texted at the park. She thought I was so funny. Does she realise I wasn’t trying to be humorous and crack a joke – this is my actual life!

We’ve had our first scan. That was a nearly a 7 week scan. Apart from being sickly I haven’t given the pregnancy much thought (too busy) but everytime I get a quiet few minutes I have a little smile to myself. The night before the scan I woke up all worried about it and nervous that everything was ok for the recipient too.

On scan day I had to wait what felt like forever until the afternoon. I wanted to know there is a viable pregnancy going on and see the heart beat. That’s all you can see in these early scans. The heartbeat is a little flicker on the screen. There’s nothing that looks like an actually baby just a splodge. And after that is all ok (I hope) I’m thinking please let there just be one. Chances of twins are slim as only one embryo was put back in but you do still wonder. Not that it’s the end of the world or anything I just don’t know how we would cope. L might actually have to get up in the night. Imagine that?!

Once again I was grateful that we had the distraction of the girls at the scan. I’d packed them loads of snacks. Not the healthy ones. The totally rubbish ones that keep them quiet and happy. I don’t think I would cope if they told me that it wasn’t ok. But thankfully I didn’t need to worry about that. There was a little flickering heartbeat and the size was measuring well 7mm. That’s not even a cm! And it has a heartbeat. Nature is so amazing. Blows my mind. Recipient doing awesome too. I left that clinic beaming and all the crappy pregnancy associated rubbish was out of my mind (for a little while). L was so chuffed everything was ok but she said she knew it would be. How, I have no idea, but I like it when she says things like that. It makes me feel safe.


My IVF Journey: The Result.

My IVF Journey: The Result.

6 days until test day: Googled how quick people find out they are pregnant. Found some people found out early so that made me want to test then read a few that didn’t find out until late so I discarded all information. I’m feeling short tempered.

3 days until test day: I dont think i’m pregnant. L tells me I am pregnant. She says I’m showing all the signs. What does she know? I cried when I saw a 13 day old baby today. Ah you forget how small they are. I wanted to sniff it’s head but that’s just weird isn’t it. I’m not sure their parent would appreciate it.

2 day until test day: I dreamt I was at a hospital having a scan and they told me I was pregnant. Seems like the only time I can really think about things is in my dreams. I’ve also started feeling really sick. The watery mouth kind of sick. And hungry. Yes hungry too but can’t eat. Surely can’t be related. Must be coming down with some sort of illness the small people in our family like to share.

1 day until test day: Woke up feeling sick. Felt sick all day. Thought I was going to puke doing the nursery run. Held it together for the kids sake. G would say ‘yacky’ if I did that. L has read up on the testing kit. Seriously this woman. It’s the 5th time we have tested and the same type of test (testing has been her role since the very first one) all she has to do is drop the pee onto the plastic thing. It’s not rocket science. Not sure I will sleep much tonight. The tiny one wakes up at 4 usually so only 6 hours to go. In a way I don’t want to test as I want the hope to go on. It’s a nice feeling to have hope.

Test day: it’s 3:30am. The tiny ones are still asleep. It won’t be long until they wake up and ruin this rare quiet moment. I need to pee but I want to test. Wish L would wake up so we can do it. Maybe if I do a big shuffle it’ll wake her up. Yes. I can hear her stirring. She’s checking the time. Be still so she doesn’t blame me for waking her.

She checked if I was awake. Yes I’m awake and I need to pee!! So let’s do it.

L set her timer we had to wait 3 minutes. It went really quick. I don’t think we said anything to each other during those 3 minutes. Then she went into the bathroom to check the result. I was half looking, curled into a ball, half trying to protect myself against a bad result but as she popped her stupid little face round the door I knew there was no bad result. We were pregnant and she confirmed it to me when she handed me the test. Shit! Here we go again. Our world is about to grow.

Obviously we were both overjoyed to have been so lucky to get a positive but we laughed at just how nuts our life will become. As if it wasn’t crackers enough as it is!! I just kept staring at the test making sure it didn’t change. Bozo.

So I called the clinic to let them know the result but I was more nervous wondering if the recipient was pregnant but it turned out they hadn’t heard anything yet. No news is good news I hope.

About 10 minutes later my phone rang private number so must be the clinic. Please please please let it be good news.

It was. The recipient was now pregnant. That moment is like no moment I have ever felt. It is different to all of those amazing special days in my life which are the best days of my life but this moment was on par with those feelings. To be told that you’ve helped give someone the gift of life and to make their dreams come true is wonderful. I couldn’t stop crying.  I know how it feels to get the positive result, to be pregnant and to hold your baby for the very first time and now this woman was going to have this. What a fantastic feeling of pure joy for someone else’s happiness.

Now to enjoy these moments before the worry and the sickness kicks in!





The Christening Day

The Christening Day

Our girls were christened last week. Now if you’d asked me a little over a year ago if this day would happen i’d say absolutely not.

See I went to my local catholic church. I plucked up the courage to meet with the priest to ask him to baptise our girls knowing I would have to come out and explain our family to him but I braved it because I wanted the girls to be baptised. A few days later he called and said he could baptise the children and both of our names would appear on the baptism certificate but I wasn’t prepared for what came next. I was told I was no longer allowed to receive communion at mass. What?! I was being excommunicated. I asked why and was told it’s because they know the relationship I am living in and it’s not accepted by the church. What a blow! I was shaking with upset and anger and I also felt humiliated that I had been scorned by the church.

After sleeping on it I knew there was no way I could accept these terms. When my girls are older and say “Mummy why aren’t you getting communion?” and I have to respond with “I’m not allowed to as the church don’t believe that your Mummies relationship is right”. I couldn’t do it. This is telling them that our lives are wrong. We are not sinners we are just a couple in love who have children they love. Nothing else.

Utterly devastated I wrote to the priest and the bishop. I didn’t expect to achieve much but I needed to get it off my chest. They were not being very good Christians. Do you think God really cares if someone is dating Arthur or Martha? No! All God wants is for people to be happy and to treat people well. Simples.  My mum even said they give communion to those convicted in prison. So they can be forgiven enough to receive communion but me, the average person who likes to help people whenever I can, who teaches my children right from wrong, who lives in a loving and committed relationship can not. L was angry. She isn’t religious but she supports me with my faith and I knew she was hurting because I was hurting.

So I’d given up hope that the girls would be baptised until I started going to a toddler group based at the local Church of England hall. I came here with a friend and really enjoyed it. People here were nice (not too nice where they were annoying and in your face) but the nice where they were friendly and kind and they also lost it with their kids from time to time; so normal folk. As a bonus they also had the best cake ever and endless amounts of tea which was needed as it was a post-nightshift-with-the-kids event.

I liked it there and the kids liked it there. The vicar would arrive with his guitar and we would all gather round and do a sing song and usually a story or prayer and the girls really enjoyed it. It left me thinking maybe this group of people were more inclusive and maybe more accepting. I did a bit of research on C of E as I was brought up in the Catholic faith. I didn’t know what they accepted and didn’t. I was over the moon to read they accept people to receive communion from other faiths as long as you are confirmed. It sounded too good to be true and I was still too hurt to explore it any further until one day I thought sod it I’ve got nothing to lose.

So I met with the vicar and spoke about what had happened, what my concerns were and how did our family fit within this church. I was blown away with the response. He was very understanding and sympathetic to what I’d been through. He gave me the opportunity to come and try a few services to see if I thought it was for my family and I. It was great. I was welcomed right from the very first day with a lovely smiley face inviting us in for drinks and pastries (as if L and I needed much more encouragement after that!).

It’s surpassed any expectations I had and has literally changed my life. I feel elated and accepted and my life is even richer than before. The benefit is now I can share all of this with my family and even L likes to come along to some of the events. I really feel that we have made good friends here already which I can see blossoming over the years to come.

So seeing my beautiful girls being christened was a dream come true. The service was beautiful with fantastic music played by a local family really personalising it all. The girls looked stunning and were so well behaved, especially when they were at the font, so I’m wondering if that was God’s magic and their Nana working on them from above or if they were just thinking what on earth is going on!!!

Who knows if they will choose to continue in their faith as they get older but we’ve given them the opportunity to do so if they wish and we will cherish the memories from this day forever. Sometimes things are just meant to be but I am I glad I chose not to compromise our family values to please a religion which wouldn’t accept me.



My IVF Journey: The 2 Week Wait (week 1)

My IVF Journey: The 2 Week Wait (week 1)

Ahh so here it is we are now in the 2 week wait (2ww). That’s the time from transferring the embryo to when you will know if you are pregnant or not.

This is our 5th 2 week wait. So i’m well versed in what not to google, not testing early, and making sure I don’t have too much free time to think about it.

They managed to transfer one embryo on day 5. The embryologist did say that it was unlikely the other 3 were going to be suitable for freezing but they wouldn’t make that decision until the following day. I got upset as I would’ve liked a back up but let’s just hope this one works. They said it was really good and of course you only need one. The recipient also had an embryo transferred on the same day. Eek. How awesome is that?!

The transfer itself was really quick and done in the same room we had our insemination for the girls. We were so lucky to also have the same nurse (our magical baby making lucky charm) who was there when we were inseminated for G and the crazy youngest tiny human. Here’s hoping she brings as much luck this time too, oh and one that sleeps would also be smashing.

It’s really quick to transfer the embryo, a bit like having a smear test. Then that was that; I was now PUPO. Pregnant until proven otherwise. It takes about a day for the embryo to implant if successful and then it just needs to work it’s magic while I sit and countdown what feels like the longest two weeks of my life. Who am I kidding I don’t have the time to even sit and think about it that much. Thankfully.

I would’ve liked a relaxing afternoon but unfortunately L was called into work so I was left wrestling the kids at a birthday party. It was all going well until we ended up in A and E with G who I suspected had another pulled elbow. I was panicking on the way there knowing I wouldn’t be able to go in with her for an x-ray if it was needed. I could hear them saying “any chance you could be pregnant?” And me being all flustered and sounding like some deranged neurotic woman “erm actually there is since about 9am this morning”. Thankfully it was just a pulled elbow and it was popped back in and we were on our way within 45 minutes. The NHS rocks!

When I asked G if she wanted to go home she said “no party!” So we headed back to fill our faces with copious amounts of cake. Thank God for cake.

13 days until testing: Had a lovely family day planned at a festival and it was great to all be together. I’d had a weird dream last night and when I woke up I was panicking the treatment hadn’t worked. That lasted two minutes before one child jumped on my head so no more overthinking until I got the call from the embryologist. None of the embryos were going to be frozen and would be discarded. I felt myself choke up. I got upset. There were tears. L made it all better by bringing me back to reality, as always, talking about the options we do have and was adamant this little embryo was going to work. We’ve called it “Bryo”. You shouldn’t give things names should you? It gets you all attached and emotional.

11 days until testing: It’s the “am I Pregnant?” and “am I not pregnant?” which does your head in. In the space of an hour I’ve convinced myself both ways 3 times. Looking in the mirror constantly to see if my veins are becoming more prominent or my boobs are getting bigger. Please let them get bigger!

9 days until test: Not much to report. No symptoms. Tried not to Google or look on facebook groups about how quick people found out they were pregnant. I knew it would just confuse me. G is now potty trained (thank goodness) but she managed to do the worst poo in the potty which I had to clean out. I was heaving with the stench. I could be pregnant or it’s just that it’s absolutely vile and any human would be heaving! I googled about sense of smell being an early pregnancy sign. Idiot!

Thank God for the girls keeping me busy so I can’t sit there desperate to pee on a stick and get two lines. Hoping I don’t cave in and test early. 1 week to go.

Shit! I totally forgot to mention the picture is of Bryo just before they were put in. Isn’t science incredible.

My IVF Journey: Egg collection

My IVF Journey: Egg collection

After feeling hopeless things progressed pretty quick and my egg collection was scheduled. It looked as though I had about 7 follicles ready and there was hope some of the others would grow over the final 48 hours before the collection.

On egg collection day it was an early start as we had to be at the hospital for 7am. We got the girls sorted for the babysitter to drop them both at nursery and we made our way to the hospital feeling excited and a little bit nervous too.

You could see other hopeful couples in the reception area clearly here for collection with their little bag of IVF drugs. Now I felt really nervous.

After filling out all of the paperwork and going through the details I was taken down to theatre and under general anaesthetic they took the eggs out of my ovaries from the follicles I had grown. I was weirdly enjoying being knocked out and was hoping for a good sleep!! When I came round I felt pretty uncomfortable. I was in pain and I’ve learnt not to wait for it to settle. If there are drugs on offer I was taking them!

The main thing on my mind was how many eggs they collected and what the quality were like. Thankfully I didn’t have to wait long as the Doctor saw me in recovery, he knew I was anxious and told me they got 7 good quality eggs. I wanted 8 so it was an equal split so now I had to decide if I was happy to offer 3 of the eggs to the recipient, which of course I was, and there was a tense wait to hear if the recipient would take the 3 eggs or if they would rather wait for another opportunity from another donor who may be able to offèr more eggs.

In the meantime it was a case of recovery for me and I must eat and pee before being discharged. I was elated. It was the first time I’ve had breakfast in bed for ages. It was like heaven. I even milked it a bit as I’d ordered the food before theatre and didn’t fancy what I’d ordered so I pulled the “I’m the patient” card and L gladly handed over her sausage sandwich and brought me several hot chocolates.

Thankfully the recipient wanted to go ahead with the 3 eggs. I was really pleased. I felt like I had accomplished something important. That’s my work done for them; they take the eggs and add their own sperm and hopefully they fertilise.

Before we left the hospital the embryologist came to tell us about the quality of the sperm from when they defrosted it this morning. I think they actually said “thawed” as I don’t think they shoved it in the microwave on low!

So just when you’ve got your head around one hurdle and feel happy and start to relax, you realise you’re about to embark on a new rollercoaster. Now it was time to wait overnight and hope my eggs fertilise with our donor sperm. 

Next day I was feeling pretty lousy. Supposedly L has read up on it and I shouldn’t be feeling that bad. Seriously?! Just what I needed to hear after having a needle inserted through the wall of my uterus into both of my ovaries several times. Yes! I’m feeling champion. This abdominal and back pain must be in my head or I’m a complete wimp! Perhaps L should give it a go to check??

Early that day the phone rang to update me. I sat on the floor to brace myself for the news. 4 out of 4 had fertilised. I was crying with joy. Then when I found out all 3 of the recipients eggs had fertilised as well I was on cloud 9. The discomfort I was feeling was more than worth it. We both had a great chance of success.

The next call was the following day to update me and advise if they would transfer the embryo then or give it a few more days to select the best one. I was expecting their call but typically with two kids the timing wasn’t great. I was sitting on the toilet with our chaotic youngest sitting on my knee as she wouldn’t be put down whilst I was watching G try to pee on the potty. Multi tasking at it’s finest. But I figured if we are successful our whole life will be even more of a juggling act so I may as well go with it. Anyway from what I could make out my embryos were still doing good. 2 were doing the best and they would wait and do a 5 day blastocyst transfer. That’s a good thing I’m told.

So now the next step is the agonising wait (3 sleeps) until we hope a little embryo can be put back into me and then can try and implant.

IUI was a doddle compared to IVF.