Friday, 22 August 2014

Martha Grace first few hours

She was delivered at 7:53pm. She came out screaming and was a beautiful colour. But 10 minutes later and she'd been taken away to NICU.

I had to shower, get dressed, be sick (I always vomit after giving birth) and organise my things to go back to the ward. I'd requested that I had a bed in the antenatal unit as the thought of being the only woman in a Maternity ward without her baby was far too upsetting.

After booking a Hotel for Mam and Mark for the night and  getting all our things together, we were taken across to NICU to see our baby. By this time it was 11:30pm.

She was in an incubator with ECG leads on her chest, a feeding tube down her nose and a peripheral line for the all important "Prostin! - the hormone/drug that would hopefully keep her alive until she had her Operation.

I wanted to reach in to the incubator to take her out and cuddle her, but the only way I could touch her was by putting my hands through the tiny doors at the side of the cot. I kept staring at her Monitor and watching her heart rate - which is silly because I didn't know what I was looking at (compared to what we know now) The machines were beeping and my baby was crying, I couldn't do anything about either of them. I couldn't cope. I asked Ivan if he would take me down to the ward as I was far too tired to handle not being able to hold my baby that night.

As we were leaving a Doctor came over and warned us not to be surprised if Martha would be on a ventilator when we came back in the morning, as babies on Prostin can forget to breathe for themselves.

My legs we're still weak from the epidural so had to be wheeled down to my bedspace, Mark and Ivan had to lift me from the wheelchair and on to my bed. Once I was in bed I was stuck in there all night or until my epidural wore off - no chance of sneaking a visit during the night to see my baby!

I drifted in and out of sleep all night - this was only the beginning!!!


You can read Martha's Labour and Delivery story too.

Induction, Labour and Delivery: Part 2

I was rather busy doing puzzles and tanking the gas and air this time last year to be blogging. But here's how we got on.

By 6am the twinges had become a tad more uncomfortable but bearable. We went down to the Hospital canteen and had some breakfast, walked around a little and then made our way back to my room ready for morning ward rounds.

We had the same midwife, Connie again that day. I was introduced to the consultant for that day who asked me if I had a birth plan. I told her that my plan was to do whatever it took to get my baby out safely - though I would like to avoid a forceps delivery as they look brutal. Her reply was "If you're telling me I can't use forceps, you're taking away one of my safest methods to help you!" So I revised my plan - told her to do whatever and use whatever it took to get my baby out safely.

We brought out the puzzle book and I moved from the bed to the chair, wandered around the room and kept as mobile as I could to help things along. By lunchtime the twinges had become quite painful so out came the gas and air. I wanted to keep on top of the pain right from the start. Connie offered to give me an examination around midday, but I wanted to give the pessary the benefit of a full 24hours. I had an inkling

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Induction, Labour and Delivery: Part 1

I didn't blog my account of what happened on this day last year...but I can remember it as if it was only yesterday.

I was woken up in the middle of the night by a midwife from UCLH asking me to make my way down to London as they had a bed and a cot ready for us. I remember phoning my Mam and telling her it was all systems go. Then I remember I couldn't go back to sleep; all I kept thinking was "this is it, it's happening - everything we've worried about for the past four months is happening now!"

We got up at 6am, made a panad and started putting the last few bits in our case. Then we woke the kids up and brought them to our bed, let them snuggle together as we got ready around them. We all lay on our bed for hugs and kisses, I cried so hard - how long until I get to hold them again? Will I be able to bring their baby sister home to them? Then it was time to say goodbye!!!

We caught the 7:22 Bangor to Euston. I had a KitKat and a panad - it tasted vile and I've not enjoyed a

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Another Martha Grace Update

Just as they did this time last year - the weeks are whizzing by. In a little over a week our Miracle Baby Girl will be One Years Old.

I spend every single day with her so I don't find it that easy to see how she's changing and growing, luckily I have the blog as a record of her development - I can't deny my baby is coming on in leaps and bounds as I skip back a few months in posts.

She doesn't crawl, she rolls around on the floor to get where she wants to be. She won't sit up by herself - she pushes herself back so she can lie back down and continue to roll about. However, she will sit for hours in her Bumbo or high chair and play with her toys and is more than happy to entertain herself for hours.

Monday, 4 August 2014

24hr ECG - The Results

I feel like I haven't posted about Martha Grace's progress in ages, I don't think I can blame the summer holidays as I've only ever blogged when the kids have gone to bed. Those of you who follow us on Facebook and Instagram will see regular pictures as she grows and of the new things she's learnt, but there hasn't been anything groundbreaking happen that I felt the need to blog about it. Then we received a letter in the post last week that I thought I'd share with you.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Heart Mammi is 1 years old

Today, Heart Mammi turns 1 years old.

After struggling since April to make sense of the millions of thoughts/scenarios that were constantly playing out in my head - I tried typing them out. I wondered if I'd felt differently (maybe more relaxed) after reading them back {I didn't, in case you were wondering} But I never thought I'd "publish" a post, let alone create a Facebook page etc so that family and friends could read my deepest and darkest thoughts.

As it turns out, creating the blog was the best decision I ever made. I've made some lovely friends, the support we've received as a family throughout our journey so far has been overwhelming. I hope I've educated you in Cardiothoracics, I hope I've brought to your attention how important the Fetal Anomaly Scan (20 weeks) is. I hope I've taught you not to be ignorant and that it can happen to anyone. I hope I've inspired a parent out there in the same position as us to have faith and hold on.

But above all, the most important thing about my blog is that I can look back to the first post and appreciate that I was right to be scared sh****ss about what was about to happen. Me and Mark said the other day that we were only worried about whether or not Martha Grace would survive the Operation...the recovery period hadn't entered our minds, we had no idea about Blood pressure, kidney's needing dialysis, ventilator pressures and peeps.

Martha Grace herself is One Years Old in a few weeks, something I would never have believed as I typed my first blog post this time last year.

To those of you who have followed our journey so far - thank you.


Ps. These are some photos of the kids over the week - I count myself lucky to be able to say that three beautiful human beings call me "Mammi"

Tuesday, 22 July 2014


It's taken until tonight for me to put this post together. In the last four days we've; travelled to Leicester, stayed at a hotel which meant packing for three kids, spent a day at a theme park in 30 degree heat, travelled home in the aforementioned heat, gotten up to be in the Next Sales at 5am, gotten up at 6am the following