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Conceiving with PCOS

To be told that you may struggle to conceive and that you “shouldn’t leave it too long” to have a baby isn’t something any woman wants to hear.

But to be told that you “shouldn’t leave it too long” to start trying when you’ve been in a relationship for just over 6 months is just plain awkward.

I’ll take you back to October 2011, I was 24 and my boyfriend (now husband) and I had just got back from our first holiday when a routine ultrasound scan of my bladder to try and solve the mystery of why I was suffering from so many UTIs (which to this day, remains unsolved) revealed I had polycystic ovary syndrome. The symptoms had always been there (I had, on average, three periods a year that lasted weeks and were insanely heavy) but I hadn’t even thought about trying to get to the bottom of it, at the time my constant UTIs were the more pressing issue.

The consultant then said I shouldn’t leave it much more than a couple of years to try to conceive as the condition would only get worse over time.

So no pressure then…

I then had to go and discuss with my boyfriend that his new girlfriend was “reproductively challenged” to quote Sex and the City, and let’s face it, having THAT conversation so early on could very easily produce a man-shaped hole in the door.

Luckily Now-Hubs was great about it and suggested I get a second opinion, and I’m so glad I did. At this point, all I knew of PCOS was that women who had it really struggled to get pregnant, so all I could envisage were bleak years ahead of us with an endless stream of negative pregnancy tests.

But the wonderful consultant at our nearby Park Hospital not only reassured me that there were plenty of options for women with PCOS, but that the original doctor was irresponsible and out of line for telling me  to hurry up and have a baby when I might not be ready.

We discussed my options and decided to try me on fertility drug Clomid, which I had to take on days 5 to 9 of my cycle and would essentially make me ovulate, when we were ready to start trying. We decided we were ready to try in July 2014 and after the second cycle of Clomid, I took a pregnancy test on Christmas Day that year and it was positive!

My point is that PCOS doesn’t necessarily mean infertility. It might not be easy to conceive, but there are so many treatment options out there now, it’s absolutely not hopeless. If it worked for me, it can work for anyone – although my husband is convinced he’s just got super strong swimmers!!

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Ladies, we need to stop the b*tching!

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Whatever happened to solidarity and sisterhood?

I recently found myself being, I suppose you could say ‘body shamed’ and I must confess, it’s really got to me. Like most mums, my post-baby figure has been a thorn in my side for months as I’ve really struggled to get my pre-Isla figure back. I’ve hated my wobbly bits and have been wearing lots of loose-fitting clothes and pairs of Spanx to conceal my ‘mummy tummy’ and for a long time, actually felt very shitty about myself.

In a bid to give myself a kick up the backside, I bought a gorgeous size 8 dress back in March for my step-brother’s wedding, which was this weekend, with the view to shedding a few extra pounds to fit into it comfortably. After much hard work, it fit and for the first time in years, I actually felt like my old self again. I’m a member of a Facebook group of mummy bloggers and I posted the above photo into the group to celebrate my achievement with a group of like-minded ladies, feeling pretty damn good about myself for once.

Yet less than 24 hours after the wedding, I was bought crashing back down to earth by one snide comment, which simply said: “Not an 8 though is it”.

I know I shouldn’t have let it get to me, but it has. Was this person implying that I was lying about being a size 8? Was she implying I was delusional? I have no idea, but it really upset me that a complete stranger felt it necessary to say something like that to me. The responses from other members of the group were lovely and they called this woman out big time, and she’s since been removed and blocked from the group by the admin team. My post, at the time of writing this, has had 457 ‘likes’ or ‘loves’ reactions and 28 lovely, supportive comments from fellow group members, yet that one bitchy comment is the one that’s stuck. I even felt the need to prove to this cow that the dress was in fact an 8 by posting a photo of the label.

Ladies, enough! Life is hard enough without tearing each other down, especially complete strangers. Even if I had been lying/delusional and my dress wasn’t an 8, the fact that I felt confident enough to wear it, and was happy with my body for the first time in years, was surely the important thing here? Why did this person feel the need to knock me down? What had I done to deserve it?

Being cat-called by a group of lads in a souped-up Peugot while I was out running (“hey fatty bum bum!” how original…) is one thing, but this from a fellow mummy? Not cool. We need to support each other, not kick each other, especially when we’re down. I heard a great expression recently: “Just be kind. You don’t know everyone’s story, be kind to them, you don’t know what they’re going through” and it’s exactly right. This woman had no idea what I may have been through in my life, so she had no right to comment.

So come on ladies, let’s play nice!

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The Law of Sod


The universe has a funny way of noticing when things seem to be going well. As soon as you feel as though your ducks are in a row and things are good, that’s when the Law of Sod kicks in.

Here are my most recognisable Sods Law rules….

  • As soon as you think “Ooh my child has been napping brilliantly lately” that’s when they’ll wake in the night and/or refuse to nap in the day. Similarly…
  • You dread someone asking you if child is a good sleeper/eater/is well behaved etc etc, because as soon as the word ‘yes’ comes out your mouth, child will refuse to eat/sleep etc
  • If you need to be somewhere at a set time and you try to time your little treasure’s naps around said schedule, that’s when child will choose to have a super long nap and wake up 5 minutes after you were supposed to be there
  • The day you decide to nip to the shop without the changing bag is the day child will projectile vomit/poo/pee all over themselves
  • Not to mention feeding child in a restaurant and realising you only have one wipe left, and child has food all over themselves, their clothes, the table and you
  • When you’ve been planning a day out, night out, date night etc etc for ages. You’ve been saving for weeks, got your outfit all planned, booked taxis, hired a babysitter, and you’re just about to walk out the door. You utter the words “bye bye, see you later!” to your little one…almost out the door…then child chooses that moment to projectile vomit and present a raging temperature.
  • That beautiful (and expensive!) little dress you wanted to save for “a special occasion”? The occasion finally arrives…and child has now grown out of it so said beautiful dress has never been worn.
  • You rush to get child home in time for their nap, only for child to nod off in the car for 10 minutes and now child won’t nap 
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Stop scaring us with birth horror stories!


“It’s the worst pain you’ll ever feel.” “Take all the drugs, everything you can, it’s the only way you’ll cope.” “It’s horrendous. There’s no getting around it.”

I had all of these comments and many more in the weeks leading up to the birth of my daughter, and they scared me half to death. I have a low pain threshold at the best of times and thanks to everyone’s horror stories about very long and painful childbirths, I was so nervous about giving birth. I heard no positive birthing stories at all so prepared myself for the worst.

So to say I was pleasantly surprised when it wasn’t all that bad is something of an understatement.

I started having contractions at 3.15am on Sunday 6th September and we went into hospital at 7am where we were admitted to the assessment ward as there wasn’t any room on the labour ward, and ended up staying there until 9pm until there was a side room available for me. My contractions were painful, but not unbearable, and came every 5 minutes for most of the day and night, during which all I could have was paracetamol.

We finally went up to the labour ward at 9am the next morning and I was induced at around 10.45am, where the contractions got much more intense, and after 2 hours of pushing and an episiotomy due to her head being in the wrong position, Isla was finally born at 7.57pm.

Yes, it was long (41 hours to be precise), yes, it bloody hurt towards the end and it wasn’t the most pleasant experience of my life, but it definitely wasn’t the pain-addled, gut wrenching scream-filled horror show I’d been lead to believe and at no point did I think “I can’t do this”. I’m not saying I’d do it again every day, but I’m definitely not dreading the idea of doing it again soon.

I’m not at all diminishing how tough, gruelling, painful and traumatic labour is, especially when things go wrong and we need to prepare for a rough couple of days, also I’m sure I was lucky. But it would be nice if we shared our positive childbirth experience too. A good friend of mine is expecting her first in April and said she’d been scared to death by horror stories too, but had felt better hearing mine. 

I’d love to hear some of your positive birth stories too!

* I’m thrilled that this piece has been published on The Motherload! You can read it here…

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A year in review

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This year has flown by in the blink of an eye! Our little monkey has grown so much, from a wriggling baby into a full grown, mischievous, loving little toddler who has such a personality!

Now she’s nearly 16 months, her appetite has increased threefold and she eats like a gannet! There’s very little she won’t eat, her favourite is still the tomato and butternut squash pasta I make for her, and she also loves sweet potato fries, Petit Filous and grapes. I can guarantee though, as soon as I publish this, she’ll go through a stage where she won’t want to eat, the contrary madam…

Her vocabulary is coming along nicely, as well as the usual ‘mama’, ‘dada’, ‘nana’ etc she also like to say ‘uh oh’, ‘this’ or ‘that’ while she’s pointing at something she wants, ‘ta’ when we give her anything (she’s learning her manners!) ‘hiya’ or ‘hello’ (which she prounounces ‘hewwo!’) ‘ratbag’ (Hubs called her ratbag as a joke twice and now she won’t stop saying it!) and bizarrely, ‘doctor’! Since we bought her back from the hospital last month, everyone she sees she calls doctor! She’s also said ‘kiss’ once but hasn’t said it since!

Isla is a big bookworm and loves to sit with her books, turn every page and point at everything on every page. She’s really placid and happy to play with her toys while I enjoy a hot cuppa every now and then. She’s such a little charmer as well and smiles and giggles at anyone who comes over and makes a fuss of her. She’s also brilliant at sharing her toys with other children, and offers the toy she’s playing with to her friends when they come over and join her. We’re so lucky, she sleeps brilliantly at night (7pm to 7am) with a good nap around mid morning. I’m really chuffed with how well her social skills are coming on.

My only concern is that she’s still not walking unaided yet. She’s brilliant at cruising around the furniture andpushing her walker round and round the living room and kitchen, but when we try to get her to walk holding our hands, she just sits down and crawls over instead. I’m fairly sure it’s mostly a mixture of laziness and the knowledge that she can get there quicker by crawling, but it does worry me slightly. I know babies do things in their own time and she’ll walk when she’s ready, but I can’t help but wait anxiously for those first steps.

Here’s hoping Isla will see in the new year by walking!

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The first time your child is “ill” ill


We’re sending your baby up to hospital.” The words I’d hoped I wouldn’t have to hear, the moment I had been dreading, happened on Wednesday.

I knew all along that babies and toddlers catch bugs and get ill, it’s just one of those things. And we’d been lucky to make it til Isla was nearly 15 months before we had to whisk her up to our local hospital lickity split, but none of this prepared me for how worried and scared I’d be when it actually happened.

Isla had had a cough and cold for a few days prior and it didn’t seem to be bothering her. I’d dropped her off at nursery on Tuesday as normal and she was perfectly fine in herself, giving the nursery staff a big cuddle when she arrived and launched herself straight into playing. But a couple of hours before I was due to pick her up, the nursery rang to say her cough was worse and she had a temperature. She slept well that night but the next day she wasn’t herself at all. She showed no interest in playing or reading and only wanted to cuddle me. I got her a doctors appointment and she was diagnosed with a chest infection and given antibiotics and an inhaler. But later her temperature went up to nearly 40degrees so we went back to the doctors, only to be told we were being referred to the paediatric ward at our local hospital that evening.

I was so scared. I’ve read far too many horror stories about children being misdiagnosed (damn you Daily Mail) and was terrified my little girl was seriously ill. Even worse, Hubs was down in London, half way back from a business trip to Belgium. Luckily our hospital was wonderful and we were really well looked after. Her blood oxygen levels, temperature and heart rate were monitored and weren’t quite satisfactory enough for us to go home after a few hours so she was monitored through the night too. None of us got any sleep on the noisy children’s ward, but luckily Isla improved massively through the night and by morning, was back to her usual cheeky self with all her vitals back to normal. We were back home by lunchtime with instructions to keep up the inhaler for 3 days.

Seeing Isla so unlike herself and lethargic has been horrible and while I’m not daft enough to think she’ll never get poorly again, I hope we’ll never have to see the inside of the children’s ward again.

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The Old Life vs The New Life

Me as a party girl back in 2012


This morning I was thinking back to my life BC (before child), and I wondered if I would trade this life for that? 
I have to admit, yes there are certain aspects of my life I’d like to have back. My figure for a start. I was a size 8 BC and I’d love to look like this in my LBD again. While I’m still a size 8 top, I haven’t been able to get rid of my mummy tummy due to my reluctance to stop eating chocolate and carbs so I’m a size 12 in jeans now.  I’d happily keep my bigger boobs though! While my boobs have gone from a pre-baby 32B to a 34DD (while I was pregnant and breastfeeding they were huge!) now they’ve settled into a reasonable 34B/C. I was also lucky enough to not get any stretchmarks.

As awful as this sounds, I also miss my freedom. Weekends back then either consisted of visits to  Hubs or my family, nights out with friends or date nights with Hubs. Now we very rarely have date nights out as we live so far away from our family who can babysit. Nights out are very rare because I frankly can’t afford it now I’m only working a few hours a week and also I can’t be doing with hangovers  when I’m chasing after Isla!

Also trips out, however brief, have to be planned with military organisation. Even for a quick trip to the shop I have to check the changing bag to make sure there’s enough nappies, wipes, a drink, snacks and a change of clothes for Isla just in case. Also as mentioned in a previous post, I have to try and schedule any sojourns out of the house around her naps. 

Sometimes, the amount of responsibility involved in raising Isla overwhelms me. There are times when I feel like I’m still a naive 22 year old, and how can I be responsible for bringing up and caring for a tiny child? I have to remind myself that I’m nearly 30, married with a baby and a mortgage. 

But all it takes is one look at my beautiful baby girl and I know I wouldn’t change it for the world!