Friday, July 6, 2012

Memories from the past two weeks...

As a little tribute to Olivia and to help facilitate some well needed healing, I thought it would be nice to compile some of my good memories and photos taken over the past two weeks.
 31 weeks

This is my last Pregnancy Week by Week photo, taken at 31 weeks. My husband took it in Lanzarote. I had a blog post drafted but never got to push it live since I was admitted to hospital a few hours after I arrived home. In the post I mentioned I had noticed Pre-ecplamsia signs and that I was starting to feel concerned.

 Eve in the garden at the Rotunda Hospital, Dublin.

This was taken the night before I found out Olivia's heart had stopped beating. I felt a little unwell. I had cramps up my side and across my lower back, like in early labour.  I also had a temperature - which was put down to the fact that I had been given a steroid injection to help develop the baby's lungs in case she needed to be delivered. I also had a headache that paracetamol couldn't lift and yet I have such lovely memories of this evening. I sat in the beautiful gardens in the Rotunda with my husband, mam and Eve. Eve ran around the grass barefoot and we sat in the sun. This was the last time I felt Olivia move in my tummy. I'm comforted by the fact that she could hear our voices and we were all together at the time of her passing.

My last bump picture before I delivered. The bump is very tiny for 32 and a half weeks. The labour developed very quickly. This was taken moments before I called the midwife to tell her I was contracting. Within a few hours Olivia arrived. I will treasure this photo since it's the last one of her in my belly.

Labour & Birth

Giving birth was amazing, regardless of the outcome. I was in labour after induction with Eve but my labour didn't progress and it ended in a C-section. I have only gorgeous memories of Eve's birth - I spent the night epiduraled up the hilts, crocheting her a hat. I wasn't afraid and the entire experience was serene. My labour on Olivia involved pain, both labour and from a broken heart, and yet it was magical. There was  no time for an epidural, there was leg cramping between pushes and it was still amazing. I feel proud that I delivered her myself and despite knowing her fate I desperately wanted to meet and hold her. I was initially told that by labour would take days as they needed to induce me slowly because I'd had a c-section previously. I wasn't offered a repeat section because of the risk of rupture. The idea terrified me beyond belief but it felt so right when it actually happened. I don't know how, but in the midst of this devastating event, positivity has reigned. My labour, delivery and the days I could go and hold her made it as amazing as giving birth to Eve.

This is coinín. Eve has the larger version, she adores it. We were planning to buy the mini version for the arrival of our second baby before I reached 40 weeks. Instead we picked up two, the first stayed with Olivia after she was born and the second stayed with me for those few days. When the time came to say goodbye, we swapped. That way she would have something of mine and I of hers.

Olivia's service -We used the phrase 'Codail a Síogín, go ciúin is go sámh' for Olivia. Its Irish for Sleep Peacefully, little fairy.

My husband had trouble finding premature clothes at short notice. This came from Mothercare and is made for babies who weigh 3 pounds. It's absolutely tiny (the bear is the size of my thumb). There is a velcro closing, designed for babies in incubators.  I never would have imagined I would be buying baby clothes that small.

After I delivered Olivia the lovely midwife gave us this beautiful memory box from Féileacáin (Stillbirth & Neonatal Death Association of Ireland). It reads Always loved Never Forgotten. The box had a camera, a crocheted blanket, 2 tiny bears, a small memory box and a kit for taking hand and foot prints. It's such a gorgeous idea and it provided us with so much comfort.

 We have found ourselves using the phrase 'thank heavens for small mercies' a lot over the past few days - The sun shining the day of Olivia's ceremony, the bird that chirped happily on the windowsill throughout the service, the fact that our angel wasn't born living into the world only to suffer and accept the same fate anyway.

The staff at the Rotunda Hospital, Dublin, were amazing. I want to thank them for their efforts in making this traumatic time as manageable as possible. They are phenomenal, each a every one of them. I look forward to being back in their care again under happier circumstances. I would also like to send my love to Sinead and Grainne, two lovely girls I met in hospital. Both are awaiting the safe arrival of their babies. I had many a good chat and giggle with them in the first few days and they were there after the worst happened. I look forward to hearing their good news soon and want to thank them for lending me an ear.

This is the lovely piece of music we chose to have played at Olivia's ceremony. We used to play it into the bump and feel her wriggle. It's also called Transformation (by The Cinamatic Orhcestra), which is very fitting I think. It's such an uplifting piece. It was perfect. 

I also want thank you all so much for your support. You have no idea the comfort I get in reading your comments and messages here and on Facebook and Twitter. I can't believe almost 11,000 people saw that post. It feels good that so many of you know about my Olivia. For those of you who have been through this and are still living and smiling - you are an inspiration.

Take care,

Amy x

Beautiful Poetry...

A precious angel slipped away, no one heard a cry.
No time for Dad and Mummy to sing me lullabies.
My time with you was much too short. I had to leave too soon,
But love had joined us as I grew inside my Mummy's womb.
It wove it's way within our hearts, in all our hopes and dreams,
Until the very purest love became my tiny wings.
Although I could not stay with you, I knew right from the start,
That once you felt your angel's love, you'd keep me in your hearts.
I'm just a little angel but my time was not in vain.
As dark clouds that surround you give way unto the sun,
My precious parents you will see that any heart will sing,
If only for a moment it is brushed by angel wings. 

By Jean Rozon

*Thanks to Eileen Larkin who kindly sent me this poem.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Some very sad news....

On Saturday the 30th of June I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Unfortunately our little angel was stillborn. We named her Olivia. She weighed only 3 pounds 1.5 ounces at 32+3 weeks.

Needless to say my husband and I are devastated. It has been a very difficult few days and I'm sure there are darker ones ahead. I know that through it all Eve's cheeky little smile will get me through. With that in mind, I plan to keep posting on this blog. I feel the need to share the joy of my two daughters. No doubt there will be more bumps in my future, and plenty of babes and I plan to share that with those who will have me.

I feel so proud that we made her. So proud of the fight she must have had. It was an honour to have given birth to her and she has changed me, irrevocably, for the better. 

Codail, a síogín, go ciúin is go sámh
Olivia Dillon Doyle 30.06.2012

*Translation - Sleep peacefully little fairy

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

30 Weeks Pregnant & Bump Pic

Time for a bump pic :) Here I am at 30 Weeks pregnant...

This was taken a few days ago (in Lanzarote!)and believe it or not my bump has grown considerably since then. I'm working on my 31 weeks post tomorrow!

I have to say, being pregnant on holiday is easier than I thought. Here is a little pregnancy update.

Maternity Clothes - Hell no! My shorts are from last Summer (topshop). I borrowed the top from my mum, I raided her Summer wardrobe before I left. She loves empire line tops and they suit here, she's a ruler shape so it works out well for me bump wise. I didn't bring any maternity clothes with me. Think I'm  still in denial :)

Sunshine/Heat - Does wonders for the soul doesn't it. I haven't been too warm or anything. Thought I would be dying with the heat. I have been lounging around the beach and drinking tonnes of water.

Appetite/weight- Useless. I was starving in my third trimester last time round. Struggling a little this time. Nausea has become a normal part of life these days. My weight hasn't changed too much in the last few weeks. I have been walking a lot here though so that accompanied by evening nausea and lack of appetite are making it difficult.

Movement - This bus is less wriggly than Eve was :) She moved none stop and was very strong. She is the exact same now at 14 months. This baba is a little more chilled I think.

Health Issues - I was sent away with a pack of protein test samples to check for protein in urine and also a blood pressure monitor since I had pre-eclampsia last time round. I wasn't expecting any action but low and behold 4 days ago protein started to climb. There was +3 yesterday, not so good. Bp was also pre-high (120/89) yesterday. Legs swell up like balloons, right to me knee by evening and face was swollen this morning but has since gone down. I'm thinking a visit to the doc might be in order. Really don't want to.

How is everyone??

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

28 Weeks Pregnant

* Update - I scheduled this post to go live about 9 days ago and nothing happened! Forgot to check, oopsies. I am working on this weeks on now with photos. 

I'm 28 weeks pregnant - holy moly that feels a little bit shocking! How times flies when you have no time to think about being pregnant.

Apppointments I had a scan on Monday followed by a three hour glucose screening test, always a joy. I'm off the hook for another 4 weeks now, woo hoo!

Baby Position Baby is head down. Eve was head down at 28 weeks and stayed there until she was born. All good so far.

Scan I had another wee look at nugget on the big screen. What a looker! :)

Bump Is so different this time. High and compact, last time I was low and more like a sprawl.  I'm finding it very easy to dress this time round.

Shopping I did a spot of holiday shopping and just plain refused to buy maternity clothes. I hope to Jesus I don't go through a major spurt on holiday - I can hear you all now, serves ya right!

Leg cramps I would rather labour any day to leg cramps. Is it just me or is it the most unbearable pain ever?? I tried the excercises the physio recommended in the hospital. The only way I can keep them away is to go for a walk - they never happen on the day I get my legs pumping.

Braxton Hicks Barely noticeable in my first pregnancy, this time round they're more pronounced. I have found myself sitting down in the supermarket on occasion. 

Bathroom Breaks I feel like I should just move into the loo. The bladder punching is out of control. This baby seems to be facing inwards all of the time. I feel kicks to my organs more than kicks to my tummy.

All in all I have had one hell of a week. Eve has an ear infection

Saturday, May 26, 2012

27 Weeks Pregnant

Sorry this weeks post is a little late!

Yes, I am definitely pregnant! I say this because up until now I haven't had the feeling of being big and  pregnant. Yet when I see the photo below I think my bump is much smaller than this stage in my first pregnancy.

 27 weeks pregnant

Weight  I mentioned in last weeks post that I hadn't put on enough weight. Well this week it caught up - I haven't changed my diet or activity levels but mt weight gain this week makes the last month average one pound a week. I feel a lot happier about my weight now.

Food All milk smells gone-off to my nose at the moment. On my last pregnancy I kept throwing out sausages because they smelled sour so I assumed they were off. I did this about twenty times before Mr Amy commented that it was statistically impossible for that number of sausage packs be gone-off when they were bought on different dates and from different butchers :) Now I obsessively smell the milk - which always smells sour to me! I have eating a lot of scrambled eggs with fresh tomato for the past few months but over the past few days the thought of digging in to my once favourite meal makes me gag.

Morning sickness & nausea Back with a vengeance. I get it in the evenings now. I had to change my dinner time so that I could keep it down, Fortunately, I don't have time to dwell on it. 

Check-ups  My last checkup was at 24 weeks with my gp - I have  shared care. There was a little protein in my urine sample which has been on my mind ever since. My next appointment is next Monday (I'll be 28 weeks) and hopefully no protein shows this time. I also have a glucose intolerance test on that day to check for gestational diabetes - I'm automatically tested thanks to PCOS. On my first pregnancy this involved 3 blood tests and a lot of lucozade - which I hate! I also have to fast from the night before. I'll wake like a bear that day :) I'll also get to see baby again which I'm excited about.

Maternity clothes Still in my own clothes this week.

Swelling The swelling in my legs has starter to stick around. Up until last week my legs swelled in the evening but was gone by morning. This morning when I woke I couldn't feel my shin bone. This is how it happened on my first pregnancy. I  just kept swelling and swelling with no let up. Eventually it moved to my face and neck. I'm hoping it doesn't mean pre-eclampsia this time. 

What to pack I'm heading to the Canaries in two weeks for 18 days and I have no idea what to pack. I was thinking maxi dresses are the way forward in case my legs swell more, particularly after the flight. I raided my wardrobe the other day and found that my shorts still fit, good. I will need to pick up a few tops though. I really haven't a clue what to bring. I have been busy sorting Eve's wardrobe out, I haven't given myself much thought.

Travel Insurance for Pregnancy & Letters to fly It's hard to find travel insurance that will cover me as I will be 29 weeks flying out and two days under the 32 weeks limit coming home.  I eventually found one! I'll have to ring and get a quote, surely it will be expensive. I also need a form signed by my doctor to say I can fly after 28 weeks. If I had have known all of this I might have travelled earlier.

YouTube Bump Channel I started a new channel for bump and baby related videos. My first video is up :) Link!

Ok enough about me.. How are you? :)

Amy x

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Maternity Swimwear?

I have moaned quite bit about maternity underwear lately. Why did I expect anything more from maternity swimwear!

Before I get started, a question - why are so many maternity clothes black?? Do they think we're concerned with appearing slimmer? I'm pregnant not 10 stone overweight. Pregnancy is a beautiful time, where your body flourishes, why hide it away in a black shroud?! What happened to floral dresses, barefoot in the kitchen? It's actually quite difficult to find swimwear that isn't dark either.

I found two tankini's - these to me the least hideous thing on the market here.

Both from Mothercare £26 -  They're on special, buy one get one half off. I don't like the idea of a tankini. Should I be hiding the bump though?

I managed to find one bikini from Mamalicious for €29.99 at New Look...

  This so isn't me but I would bear it if it weren't for the bum picture - those stripes make the maniquins bum look huge, what will it do for humans??

I'm starting to wonder if I even need a maternity version. What's stopping my buying an ordinary bikini that fits? Am I missing something?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What are you reading?

Ok, so this is a little off the bump and baby topic but ever since my Omega supplement cured my baby brain I can't stop reading. At least I'm using my new powers for good!

I ordered four books from The Book Depository (I never use book shops anymore, so much cheaper and free worldwide delivery). Before I placed my order I spent an entire night reading reviews on GoodReads. I love using that site for reviews as I can check in with others who like the same type of books as me.

I'm a big fan of the urban fantasy genre... werewolves, fairies, witches, vampires but set in modern times. There are certain authors within this genre who write smutty, romance type novels and then call then Urban Fanstasy. I don't really like those. I like a good story. I also like the Young Adult genre. I'm not really into serious, thought provoking reads at the moment. Reading for me is an escape so I don't want to cry, worry, feel stressed or sad when I read.

With all of that in mind I chose four. All of which are the first in series. I do love a series!!

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead - Loved this! It's a young adults series, well written, fast-paced with intriguing, likeable characters. I ordered the next three in the series to read by the beach next month.

Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampire Series) by Chloe Neill - I actually liked this one even more. The  main character is funny and strong. It's a lighthearted read and I couldn't stop turning pages. I also ordered the next three of these for the beach - I'm clearly planning an exciting holiday :)

The Huger Games by Suzanne Collins - I feel like I'm the last person to catch on to this trilogy! I haven't seen the film, I wanted to read the books first. I'm about half way through and I was enthralled from the first page. The tone is much more serious than the other three books but the pace makes it read like a movie. I can see why it was adapted for the big screen.

First Grave on the Right by Daryna Jones - There is a recommendation on the front of the book from JR Ward who couldn't put it down. Now, if you're a fan of JR Wards books you will probably like this. Unfortunately,  I'm not her biggest fan. This is the absolute worst cover for a book of this genre I have ever seen! It looks like an holiday novel. I found the lead character contrived and the humour forced. It felt like the funny lines were written separately and then spread around through the book. There were also sections of dialogue that were so choppy that I lost interest. Admittedly, I did enjoy the second half significantly more than the first but this book really didn't do it for me.

When I'm finished the Hunger Games I will order the last two books from the trilogy and then I'll see where I go from there.

What types of books do you like and what are you reading?

Amy x

Ps My 27 Week Pregnant post will be up tomorrow!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Changing Bags - Decisions, Decisions

I'm sitting here on this fine Sunday morning trying to decide between these two baby changing bags. This is where being a bloggere really comes in handy! I am so indecisive, help me!!

1.  Babymel Ella Bag - Multi dot

Here is in in a different colour - to give you an idea of scale...

I came across the image below and this is putting me off a little. It looks quite different here...

But it does hold a lot of stuff!

 Image above from

* This one costs €55 (reduced from €77) on Mamas & Papas website plus €8 postage to Ireland.
* Dimensions: H 40cm W 31cm D 15cm

Features & Benefits
- An insulated bottle holder included
- Matching changing mat made from the same outer material
- Four outer pockets for additional storage
- Two inner pockets and also a zipped pocket to keep valuables secure
- Wipe clean lining and outer
- Includes signature Babymel heart key charm

2. Babymel Satchel Bag Navy Stripe

* This one costs €51 plus €8 postage from Mamas & Papas.
* Dimensions: H: 33 x W: 44 x D: 15cm approx

Features & Benefits
- An insulated bottle holder included
- Foldable changing mat
- Large outer pocket for additional storage space
- Two inner pockets and also a zipped pocket to keep valuables secure
- Wipe clean lining
- Includes signature Babymel heart key charm 

What do you think? I have both open here on my screen and I can't decide! I'm leaning towards the navy.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

An essential for Baby Sign Language

I recently posted about baby sign language. I mentioned how effective it has been for my 12 month old - she can communicate simple things instead of getting frustrated at me for not understanding. I was contacted about a brilliant little book called SuperHands to see if I would like a copy to help at home. I had to share it, it's fantastic!

As you can see from the photos I took, it's an illustrated dictionary. There are 40 of the most commonly used signs included. I love the illustrations, as does Eve. The pages are thick so she happily sits there perusing the images.

I read through the book and had an initial practice in about 10 minutes. I looked at it again the following day and realised I remembered them all. I think this is down to not only the illustrations but the short description of the actions. It helped me make associations and therefore made it much easier than an of the other articles I have read on baby signing.

At the back of the book there is a poem and a song with the signs - Eve LOVED these. She kept tapping the book for me to do it again (she has yet to master the sign for 'again'). There rare also tips and information bubbles throughout the book which are very useful and informative.

So far she knows:

Thank you

This is making our day to day life so much easier. To be honest, it will be a godsend when the new baby arrives. Eve has been getting frustrated for the past few months since she only know a few words but yet she knows what she wants. This book is perfect for people with babies and parents in a similar situation. I was expecting to have to put in a bit of slog to learn it myself, but this certainly was not the case. As I said, it took ten minutes.

I introduce one sign at a time so it's not over-whelming. Eve seems to pick up the association immediately but it can take her a few days to use the sign herself. For example, when I taught her milk and used the sign, she ran over to me and pointed at the fridge if that is what she wanted. If she didn't want it she put her hand up at me and walked off. After three days she started to use the sign herself.

I highly recommend!

For more information on Superhands Baby Sign Language check out their website link!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A spot of baby shopping...

Poor bump has no new clothes yet but Eve has been shopping like a mad little woman :)

The first dress is from Next. It was a birthday gift and I love it! I think it  might be sold as a top but on Eve it's a dress...for now.  The white one is hand embroidered and was a pressie from Mexico. It's beautiful on!

I went rooting for sun hats that tie on. There were oddles of choices for newborns but not a whole lot for toddlers. The red strawberry one, which is reversible was €9 from Debenhams. The beige safari and pink hat are from H&M €2.95 each.

I can't remember the name for the style of these - a dress which has legs :) I got so much use out of these last year on holiday, they are so light and airy. My sister picked this gorgeous one up for Eve for her birthday. It is adorable one.

Eve has is walking and running at this stage so on days when she's at home mucking around I tend to leave her in leggings - dresses got caught when she's trying to climb. It's a monkey I have, not a baby :) This top is so simple but really pretty and elegant on. The material is really nice. The leggings are navy and white fine stripes. Both are from Next.

These were so cheap - both from H&M. Each item was about €3!

Top is from H&M €4.95

This dress was €6.95 from H&M - yes, that's the full price. Adorable on.

Socks €1.75 per pack of three from Dunnes

Romper is from Dunnes (€10 for a set of two) and Next €11

I can't believe how cheap the clothes are in H&M. So much cheaper than Dunnes and yet miles nicer. My local Dunnes has awful tacky stuff lately and they are a rip-off when you consider the quality of what you're buying.

In other news H&M in the Pavillions, Swords, now sells maternity Woo Hoo!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

26 Weeks Pregnant & Bump Photos

 Before I get started GIVEAWAY TIME!! :) To celebrate the launch of Snow White & The Huntsman Universal Pictures Ireland have given me goody bags & exclusive tickets to the premier to giveaway. It's super easy to enter!

Back to business :)

Here I am at 26 weeks pregnant:

Weight Gain - So far I have gained 10 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight. I think this is a little behind and am a little concerned. My doctor has reassured me that every person and pregnancy is different. The baby is growing fine and is on target for my frame - by this, I think her was referring to the fact that the baby measured about 6 days smaller than average at my 20 weeks anomaly scan. The sonographer assured me this was perfectly normal for my build and height. Meanwhile, I'm eating up a storm with a focus on the quality and variety of the food I choose.

Baby Brain - You may have read my previous post on the end of my baby brain thanks to a supplement. If not, scroll down. It's gone! Woo Hoooooooooo!!!

Maternity Clothes - Still in my own clothes for now. I have no desire to purchase maternity clothes. I'm already thinking about buying stuff after baby arrives :) I was very excited about maternity clothes on my first pregnancy though, think the novelty wore off as my pregnancies were so close together.

Maternity/Nursing Bra's - Two words, ugly and expensive. I hate them with a passion. I also detest the fact that once you go above a D cup, the straps get thicker and even uglier. I have yet to find one that gives me a nice shape under my clothes. Any recommendations welcome! So far I have been disappointed by bras from Debenhams, Marks and Spencers, Mariella Fostrop and Mothercare.

Braxton Hicks Contractions - yay, practice contractions have arrived. I tend not to notice them at home because I can stop and sit but they are a tad more annoying when I'm in the supermarket with bags and babies attached to me.

Niggly Pains - Sciatic pinch, the occasional leg cramp and a niggly ache under my right rib (need to keep an eye on that one!) It's all fun. Isn't it mad that you take all this stuff in your stride when pregnant! Men really would die if they were the baby growers ha ha.

Maternity Swimwear - I'm heading away to the sun next month so I'm starting to think of my wardrobe. I'm not going to shop until the week I travel - you never know when rapid growth, weight gain and swelling can land on your door step! I'm thinking maxi- dresses for evening for one reason only. Swelling. I don't want puffy ankles on show and they'll be almost guaranteed after a flight during the third trimester.

Insurance - I've just learned that my annual multi-trip insurance doesn't cover maternity. It covers me to fly but not if I need care of intervention. Anybody any ideas?

Nausea - It has returned this week. In my first pregnancy I had a few rough weeks in the beginning but at ten weeks pregnant it all disappeared. This time I had nausea and occasional vomiting until about 20 weeks. It went away but seems to have returned - this is the 7th day of it, so I doubt it's anything to do with food. It doesn't bother me that much though, I'm too busy.

All in all, a good week. Swelling is on the rise though which I hate! Can't believe I will soon have another baby. It feels like brand new information :)

How is everyone?

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Supplement to End Baby Brain!!

You may have read my post on my recent 'baby brain'. I could barely think clearly besides string a sentence together. Well, no more!

I feel like screaming from the roof tops with delight. I CAN THINK AGAIN!!!!

Unfortunately baby brain didn't pass by itself. I had to take matters into my own hands. I was chatting to a nurse about how bad my memory and concentration had gotten and she told me that the secret was Omega. Apparently the nugget takes most of the omega from my body and I'm left with nothing. Now I know Pregnacare Plus and Max have an Omega supplement suitable for pregnancy but the levels are not high enough for some. I was taking Pregnacare Max and noticed no difference, it also makes me feel nauseous.

Another thing I should point out is that most Omega supplements are not suitable for pregnancy. They contain dangerous levels of Vitamin A - which is something to do with the part of the fish the oil is extracted from...ick. Let's not get into that, I'm already feeling queezy today. 

Enter my savior!

I picked up this box of Prenatal MorDHA in my local pharmacy. It has 80% Omega-3, the highest DHA formula. It's designed with pregnancy and breastfeeding in mind but they sell different varieties. I can't believe the difference in my concentration and memory. I'm done with Seven Sees and Pregnacare. I bought my box for €30 in McCabes for a two month supply. It is worth every penny in my books.  

The manufacurer is Minami Nutrition or those hunting for it. In the interest of convenience I googled the product to see where it was available internationally. US -  iHerb for $25.20. UK - I would say go to your pharmacy first (£27.95 on

I also bought the baby version for Eve - it's strawberry flavour but judging by her face it still tastes gross. I snip the capsule and add it into her drink/yoghurt. I only give it to her every other day as I'm confident she has a balanced diet. I'm still on the fence as to whether I would repurchase the baby one.

I'm using my new found brain power to read like a mad woman (post coming tomorrow).

I feel like Supergirl!

How is everyone?

Amy x

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

25 Weeks Pregnant & Bump Pic

I am now 25 weeks pregnant and to be honest when I published last weeks post I was wondering if enough would change between then and today to write another. How much can change is seven days? A lot as it turns out.

So here's me at 25 weeks....

No maternity clothes for me today. Top is from Zara, Cardigan is from Mango and khaki skinny jeans  are from Topshop (can't believe they closed, it felt like a miracle)

Issues and delights this week

Movement The kicks are now hoofs and shoves. I love it. Except when there is a little foot on my bladder. There have been a few near emergencies as a result of those little feet this week. I love that my grandmother refers to these kicks as 'feeling life'. Her generation always ask me that. Lovely really.

Size The bump is now a shelf. It has become useful not only to grow humans but also as a book rest in bed, magazine rest in the bath and a 12 month old's seat. So far all of the bump is round and in the front. According to my pregnancy app my uterus is now the size of a basketball, the top of which is two inches above my belly button (which still hasn't popped). Well this week, I really feel like I'm smuggling a basket ball under my t-shirt.

Pain I had an awful time with tailbone pain between 20 and 28 weeks during my first pregnancy. I thought I had gotten off lightly this time round when I reached 20 weeks and was still pain free. As I always say, smugness is the devil. Five days ago it started. I saw a physiotherapist on my first pregnancy about the issue which is apparently due to a small fracture and the weight of my uterus pressing on it. Fun. The good news is that it goes away, well at least it did the last time, once the baby grew and changed position.

Dizziness I woke this morning feeling so dizzy that the floor felt like it was parallel to my ear. I elevated my legs, had a snack and a glass of juice. Nothing. It lasted six hours. I had plenty of light headedness at the beginning of my pregnancy but this was different. It was so severe that it made it hard to function. It reminded me of when I had pre-eclampsia. I am keeping my fingers crossed that it doesn't happen this time round. At the moment I have a one in two chance. Boo! I have an appointment with my doctor tomorrow so I'm praying there is no protein in my urine and my blood pressure is normal. Otherwise, prepare for the return of swollen Amy.

Excitement I mentioned last week that I had a freaker moment about having two babies under two. Well this week I feel overwhelmingly delighted about a newborn.

Breastfeeding I'm going to do a full post on my experiences here as there is so much to share but let me say for now that I can't wait to nurse again!

Need for change At 18 weeks pregnant on Eve I felt this overwhelming need to change stuff. I got my hair cut. I cried. A lot. This week this urge to change and move things has hit again. I made my mum swear that if I ever got pregnant again she was never to cut my hair, no matter how convincing I sounded. I'm thinking that if I have my extensions removed and a trim that might do it. I am also feeling the need to re-decorate, clear out and basically wreck the house.

Blogging It is my sanctuary! I have been blogging daily on my beauty blog and trying to update here as much as possible. I have also got the bug to record videos. I was feeling a little flat about it for a while but seem to have renewed excitement.

Thanks for listening to all my waffling :) Tis' good to talk!

How are all of you doing?

Amy x

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Missing wine...

I came across an interesting article online called Can you really enjoy non-alcolic wine? I have never even heard of such a wonderous thing. Non-alcoholic beer, sure, but I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole.

Now, you may be wondering why a pregnant woman in concerning herself with such beverages. Well, I have been known to enjoy a cool glass of dry white wine on occasion - especially if I have access to fresh bread and basil. It's also coming into juicy tomato season and well, wine is a necessary companion. I don't actually drink that much at all, I'm a complete light weight, but I love wine with food.

I'm not ashamed to admit that I did miss it during my first pregnancy. I remember sitting in a restaurant eyeing up a ladies chilled glass and I practically drooled. I planned to have a glass of savignon blanc in my hand to celebrate the baby's arrival but after an induction, labour and then the emergency c-section after she wouldn't come out I was delighted to see tea and toast. And then came the breastfeeding so I didn't bother drinking (I chanced my arm one night after expressing and died of a hang over for 2 days. End of that.) I had great  plans to explore wine after I weaned Eve but low and behold I'm preggers again.

Back to non-alcoholic wine. I'm in.

I bought this bottle of Carl Jung in my local Superquinn for €6. They also had a sweet white, a medium white and a red. I'm a divil for a bit of sparkle though so it had to be this one! It's medium dry which will do as I hate sweet wine. Off to taste...

30 minutes later...

Grape juice. That's all it is. Bleh!

For me, wine is all about bringing out the flavour in food so this is pretty useless. It's more like something you would drink with a Sunday brunch.

I stayed at the Station House Hotel in Meath a few weeks ago. They have an award winning restaurant so I was dying for dinner. It felt wrong to embark on a three course meal sans wine so I ordered a bottle of non-alcolohic white wine called Ariel. Grape juice again, just not fizzy this time. Dinner was fabulous though and their afternoon tea is divine. I met a lovely girl who worked there that approached me to say she reads my Bump Blog - what a small world! She is also expecting a baby - Congratulations Joanne!

You may be wondering about the ingredients - Dealcoholised wine, sugar, carbon dioxide, preservatives, ascorbic acid, sulphur dioxide. Now, this means nothing to me but you may be wiser.

Any recommendations?? Do you miss a tipple?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Baby Books - Useful or the Devil?

I'll just dive right in. I have a ridiculous amount of pregnancy and baby books. I have a problem.

Some of these have been given to me from friends and family as gifts but the vast majority I have picked up since Eve was born. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with baby books, hence the blog post.

I plan to review these books and discuss their merits in a more detailed blog post later this week. But before I do so I felt the need to have a little rant about my attitude and experience with these books. I would also love to know what your thoughts are on the matter.

Useful or the devil?

The use of the word 'devil' might seem extreme but I have found myself cursing some of these books on occasion - I have also thrown one off the bed in a huff (take a guess which one that was!).

Have they been useful to me? Without a doubt, yes. There have been times that I've found myself at my wits end, confused, unsure of where to go next etc and I have always found solace in one of these, if not an answer. Last week for example, Eve woke three nights in a row at 3am (unheard of for Eve), not hungry but wide awake. I knew it was probably something simple so I picked up two of my books and went the appropriate section - both authors spoke about this being a common issue for babies at Eve's age and after walking starts. They recommended I cut back her morning nap by a few minutes. It took me 5 minutes to consult my books and problem solved.

Unfortunately it's not always that simple. Actually, it usually isn't. There is far too much information. It's overwhelming. Before I had Eve a friend gave me The Contented Little Baby Book  by Gina Ford. I have since come to understand that Gina is highly controversial. I can see why. When I read the book, I was terrified - routines timed down to the minute, babies who nap in only complete darkness, not going out around naps, feedings etc, breastfeeding timetables. Terrifying. I will talk about this book more in my follow-up review post but for now know that this book is the devil, but it's also useful. It's good for problem solving and dipping into. It has saved me on a few occasions. That being said hubby has wanted to burn it on a number of occasions. It makes me feel inadequate and on one or two occasions, like a bad mother. I read recently on a mummy forum about a woman who's husband grabbed this book off her while she sobbed over her inadequacies and he put it on the barbecue. I suspect this is a common  occurrence. It's not really the information in the book, it's the condescending, know-it-all tone of the author that makes you feel like poo.

So the book you own isn't doing it for you. You start to wonder if there is an author out there who shares your views on nursing, gut instinct, routines etc Low and behold, you purchase another book. This is  where The Baby Whisperer came in from me. Great advice, more relaxed, but then it's just another set of ideals to take on board. Again, too much information. I read the bits relevant to me and took a few things on board but again, felt over-whelmed.

Then I found The No Cry Sleep Solution and thought to myself, you need that! I didn't. It was a nice book to read and suits my parenting style but it wasn't practical for me and I ended up ignoring everything I read.

What I learned from reading all of these books was that there is extremely useful advice inside. There is also too much advice. Dip in where you need and let it go. I have picked up quite a few tips and tricks but then the book is sent to the shelf until the next issue arises. I refuse to be controlled by another baby book!

Do you love or hate parenting books? Have a lovely evening everyone!

* Just updated my beauty blog with a review on Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser - 2 people have commented on my glowing skin today, it's all in the make-up baby! Link

Amy x

Monday, April 30, 2012

24 Week Pregnant & Bump Pic

It occurred to me this morning that I'm over half way through my pregnancy. It feels like I have no time to actually feel pregnant. No time to think about kicks or baby planning. My world revolves my little madam at the moment, which I am entirely content with. That being said I feel a little guilty for the bump! So to honour the bump I thought I would blog.

Here are some things on my mind at 24 weeks: (bump pic below)

Exercise: I'm a very active person by nature. I find walking boring and so prefer to run. I once loved the gym but despise it now and am happier outdoors - Eve is most content outdoors too. Actually, my whole family are the outdoorsie-sort (and we all hate team sports - a trait that extends to past generations!) I love running though. It makes me feel most like me. I didn't realise I was pregnant for a while so I was jogging most days in early pregnancy. Then came morning sickness - I couldn't keep anything down for about 5 weeks. I stuck to walking during this time with intermittent spurts of jogging (no running). The doctors guidelines are that you can continue to do what you did before you were pregnant once you're comfortable but that you shouldn't take up a new exercise regimen. I'm loving it and feel great. Admittedly,  I have walked only for the past few days - the bump grew significantly and I feel a little tired. I'm sure I'll bounce back in a few days.

Eating: I'm finding it harder to make time for myself for obvious reasons this pregnancy. On my last one I could plan dietary requirements - have I had enough calcium today? I have come to learn that Eve really doesn't care if I've had enough calcium :) These days I need to set an alarm on my phone to remind me to eat something!

Cravings: I had no cravings at all with my first pregnancy. So far I have none on this one either. Any weird cravings?

Two babies!! I'm quite a laid back sort of a mother. I believe in instinct and intuition. Most of the time I know I can manage 2 babies just fine. It will be hard but I will get through it and try my best. I am quite sure of this. I haven't been frightened at all. Until yesterday. I had a brief "oh my God" moment. Then it passed and I went back to knowing it will all be fine. That being said, anyone with advice on raising two babies so close in age will be listened to intently :) I also read a comment from one of my readers who has a young baby and is expecting twins. She's not even the tiniest bit daunted about having three babies under three. Now that's just inspirational.

Maternity Clothes (see below) I'm still managing my usual clothes for the time being. The button on my skinny jeans wouldn't close the other day so I wore a bump-band over them - I highly recommend Bump Bands. H&M have something similar in lots of colours and they're €4.95. You won't find them in the maternity section as they're sold as jersey skirts but they are identical to the Bump Bands I own and much cheaper.

Heartburn EVIL!!!I eat small and often and avoid the main heartburn culprits. Yet the heart burn is getting worse. It's there when I'm hungry, full or eating. It's there regardless of how often I eat and regardless of portion. Rennie anyone? I won't touch Galviscon!

Baby clothes I'm dying to prepare clothes etc but it's way too early. I left this right til the end of my pregnancy last time round. I'm not superstitious in any way but I do know that many things can go wrong with pregnancy and birth. I'll just wait patiently and hope for the safe arrival of my baby.

And here is the growing bump at 24 weeks:

Definitely smaller than my last pregnancy at this stage. I bought my trousers from Red Herring Maternity in Debenhams (reduced from €45 to €12!!) They turned out to be a mistake today - I'm not ready for maternity clothes yet, I spent the entire day pulling them  up! Love the colour and the turn-up though. Back to my own jeans for a few more weeks I think. I probably shouldn't be moaning! 

Any issues on your mind?? G'wan, share with the group :)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Shopping for a Double Buggy!

I can't believe I'm thinking about double buggies so soon after buying a single one. Life has a way of keeping us on our toes doesn't it! Well, I do love a bit of research. Particularly baby product related research.

I read what felt like a million reviews on every double buggy and pram on the market. I also stopped numerous Mums on the street who were wheeling the buggies in question to ask them would they recommend their pram. Most said no - that really is the best way to research. I spoke to a woman a few months ago who loved her Phil & Teds Double. She had two toddlers with her and she insisted on taking me through the pros and cons (with a demo)! She was so kind. This led to further exploration into Phil & Teds. Another friend of mine, who has a new baby and a toddler, said she couldn't live without hers. She also told me that some of the models were better than others - issues with brakes on one, no car seat adaptor on another etc.

I had no intention of buying anything until closer to my due date but I found myself in Tony Kealey's today (perusing the changing bag section, as usual). When I was leaving a Phil & Teds Explorer caught my eye as it was on special. I had a little walk around the shop with it and had a play to see how it worked. Damn it was heavy. But after wheeling around every other double buggy/pram in there I concluded that I loved it.

I would hate anything wide. I even find the Quinny gets stuck in doorways (it fits fine but back wheels are chunky). I know many of the doubles are only a tiny bit wider but that just isn't for me. I'm also used to a three-wheeler now. I hated the Gracco one - where one seat is on front of the other - it felt like pushing a bus. It occurred to me that choosing a buggy really is a personal thing.

What finally made me settle on the Explorer was the fact that the care seat can attach to it. For as long as Eve has been in her first size car seat (she still is) I just bring the Quinny base and pop the seat out of the car and into it when I'm in the shops. If I was going for a walk or something I would bring the proper top. Then the sales woman showed me the carry-cot that goes behind the toddler seat. Love this idea. The third thing that made it a done deal was that the seats can be switched around depending on the age of your babies.

According to the website...

  • Proven off-road dependability in an all new package
  • One hand fast fold
  • Globally safety certified
  • Seat Performance System™
  • Takes a double kit (2nd seat) and a car seat all at once!
  • Removable seat liner: easy to wash & supreme comfort!
  • Foot break (instead of the handle-bar break so many of you warned me about)

I decided to put my Quinny Buzz 3 up for sale on Adverts and put the money towards the double. How sensible am I!

Delighted with myself.

Any experience with double buggies?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Pregnancy Cardio & Pilates for Free

If you're like me and you like keeping fit but have neither the time or the inclination to join an class then I highly recommend YouTube. I mentioned before that I walk every day with a little jogging (I have been reducing the intervals gradually as I'm getting bigger) but on days like this where it's lashing rain, there isn't a chance in hell I'm going out there.

Here are two videos I found this morning. I did both whilst Eve played on the floor with her books (I did get the odd questionable glance from her and at one stage she stood up and danced along!) The cardio is gentle but gets your heart rate up - not too much though as you want to take it easy. The pilates was also fun. I have always preferred a fast paced pilates routine (no yoga for me!). The pilates isn't relaxing, it's a work out. I had no hand weights (they're on the balcony soaking wet) so I used two small water bottles.

Pregnancy Pilates:

Cardio Suitable for Pregnancy:

The weather is supposed to stay crappy for a few days so I might try these videos again tomorrow and then search for some more.

On  my last pregnancy I bought a few pre-natal exercise dvd's. I found then both boring after 3 days so gave them to a friend. I prefer the idea of YouTub-ing different videos each day. It probably challenges your body more as you're not repeating the same routines.

Any thoughts?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Addiction! Pregnancy & Baby Mags

Thanks for all your lovely wishes for Eve's first birthday. It went so well! I will post more about it later on! Still trying to decide if I should show a picture of her or not.

I have been addicted to glossy magazines for as long as I can remember. When I'm pregnant I find that my usual favs don't do it for me. For example, picking up In Style is no good when your choice of clothing is limited to maternity wear. Cosmo feels like it's aimed at nine-to-fivers rather than a stay at home mammy with a bump. Reading the usuals makes me feel left out.

Hence my new addiction, pregnancy and baby mags. It's the one place I feel right at home. A place where your woes of puffy ankles, worries about giving birth to a ten pounder and how to chase your toddler down the supermarket isles are all common place.

Here are three of my favourites:
  • Maternity & Infant - I LOVE this magazine. All of the info applies to Ireland and everything can be bought here. People from outside of Ireland might find it odd that this is such a luxury for us but for the longest time British mags were the only bump/baby type on the market here. I still read magazines from the UK but it's nice to have everything in euro. A lot of the advice in it comes from midwives, nurses, doctors and childcare professionals who all work in the Irish system. I can detect a slight difference in attitude towards common issues. They reflect Irish ideals.
  • Mother & Baby - Love he fashion pieces. I actually kept the Mother & Baby's I bought on my first pregnancy for reference and I still dip into them as issues arise. I find it more helpful than parenting books. Many of my mags have post-its on the front cover or have pages marked.
  • Prima Baby & Pregnancy -Always has good freebies and enjoyable articles.

I'm off to put my feet up for a half hour with a hot cuppa and have a read. Any magazine recommendations?

Have a lovely Tuesday everyone!

Amy x

PS. I just finished a new post on VOYA Cast Away Facial Wash on Make Up & Beauty if you're bored! It's organic and made with hand-harvested Irish seaweed - thought it might be something those of you with pregnancy skin might be interested in!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Early Morning Wake Up Call & Sleeping Through the Night...

If you're a Mammy than you are probably familiar with the following scenario: Mama finally closes her eyes after a long day. Baby has napped well, she has eaten all her food, met her milk quota, ironing is completed, bath is emptied and baby toys have been returned to the toy box. You feel smug at how your text-book baby is so predictable.

Smugness is the devil :)

Anyway, you are rudely awoken by the shouts of your dear one who has decided that she's hungry. No amount of tucking in, bobbing or rocking is going to send her back to the land of nod. I had such a lovely wake-up call this morning. Eve started walking a few days ago so she's probably burning more calories. The only time she ever wakes during the night/early morning is when she is sick, teething or in the earlier months - going through a growth spurt.

I'm definitely not complaining. It got me thinking about Mums who have to this on a regular basis. How do you cope?

Sleeping through the night 

A few of you asked me how I got Eve to sleep through the night. I know it's on every mammy's mind in the early days. The answer is that I didn't really do anything, Eve did. Sure, I made sure she was in a position to sleep though when she was ready but I never felt pressure. It's one of the first questions everyone asks you when you have a young baby - does she sleep through the night yet? I think it's important not to fixate on it. All baby's are different, all mothers. It's definitely no the be all and end all.

With that being said I do think we can do things to facilitate the transition into sleeping right through. I am no expert (most days I just roll with it and hope for the best) but here's a little bit of info about how it worked for my baby.

Eve was quite young when she started sleeping from the 10.30pm feed to 7am - I can't remember exactly when (roughly 10-12 weeks). I was breastfeeding full time and found her very content. I started handing an expressed feed to daddy at this stage for the 10.30pm feed and it was then that she started sleeping longer.

Dream Feeding

By 4 months I decided not to wake her to feed her and instead to give her a 'dream feed'. Basically, we popped a bottle of expressed milk in her mouth and didn't lift her. In the months that I continued the 10.30 dream feed she never woke.

During this time I put her down between 7pm and 8pm after a bath, massage and with a full tummy. Now I should admit that to get her asleep she needed to be bobbed (more on that later - it was completely my own doing and I don't recommend!) I put her in her moses basket and went back downstairs, at 10.30 one of us would give her a dream feed and that was end of it until 7am the following morning.

At 5 month we decided to give Eve formula for her dream feed. All of her other feeds were breast milk. The reasoning behind this decision was that she seemed a little unsettled during the day and was fighting her naps. The addition of one formula feed at this age seemed to do the trick. I should point out that most mother's wouldn't need to do this but I had gone back to eating my pre-pregnancy food and I didn't feel Eve was as satisfied by my milk (I learned from this and won't cut back on my snacks next time!).

I dropped the dream feed and about 7 months, reducing it gradually. No problems.

To stop pre-7am waking I took a midwifes advice and never fed her before this time if she woke (after she was sleeping through). With the exception of growth-spurts in the early few months that never happened. Now she sleeps til 8am. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't let a baby go hungry. I just made sure she had the calories she needed from 7am to 7pm.

I know I was lucky. But I hope to have the same relaxed attitude when my next baby arrives. If he/she is fed, winded, warm and ready for sleep it might work. If it doesn't then the baby might not be ready. So I will patiently (I hope) wait for the cue.

Over-stimulation / Over-tiredness

I should point out is that Eve was always prone to over-stimulation. Now I know all babies can get over-stimulated but Eve took the biscuit. To this day if she is over-tired or over-stimulated there isn't a hope is hell of her sleeping through. She is one of those babes that needs down time before naps. At about 7 months old she started waking an hour after we put her down for the night - like she was waking from a nap. I couldn't put my finger on what it was for days. Then I lengthened her wind-down time before bed and she went back to normal. She was just over-stimulated.

Another thing that effects her sleep is napping. If her daytime naps are too short, too late or too few it affects her bedtime and how well she sleeps. 


We have had a few wakeful nights over the past few months thanks to Eve's lovely 6 teeth - the seventh is on its way up. On those nights I don't fight her. There's no point. I facilitate the good sleep but if it's not happening it's not happening. I  have learned how to choose my battles. In the beginning I was taking advice from baby books telling me not not do this and that but in the end my own logic prevailed and that works for both Eve and I.

I also firmly believe that the vibes you exude affect your baby. For example on nights where I'm very tired, I find myself wishing Eve to sleep. I don't have a calmness about me on those nights and this definitely affects my baby. If I'm relaxed and in no hurry, neither is she and she nods right off. 

I think what I have been trying to say in my own waffley way is that you need to trust your instinct. If something stopped working for me I observed for a few days before reacting - sometimes it would correct itself, other times my intervention was necessary. Definitely don't panic or feel pressured by how well other babies sleep. The answer for me was to be a facilitator - give my baby every possible reason to go asleep. Also making sure she had most of her calories between 7am and 7pm did the rest (obviously not in the early days when they're on a 3/4 hour feed routine). Relax, go with the flow and let your intuition guide you - it took me many months to figure that one out.

Any thoughts? I would love to hear what worked for you. Any advice for exhausted Mums?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Baby brain

The term 'baby brain' covers a multitude of sins - all of which apply to me. I'm sure many of you can relate - at least I hope you do or I'm just going batty!

 I am blaming baby brain on the following:

  1. That I re-read the same page of my book each night yet it's like it's brand new information every time.
  2. That I can't remember ANYTHING!
  3. That I start sentences and then just trail off into a mumble because I've lost my train of thought (and nowadays, it doesn't come back to me later).
  4. That I point to everyday inanimate objects and can't think of the word for it. For example 'The bulb is gone from the, the, the, the, thing-ma-bob' *she says as she frantically points at the microwave*
  5. That I never get any jokes anymore. I'm now that eejit who laughs at the wrong part or takes 10 minutes to catch on... and on occasion it will have to be explained. Oh the humanity. 
  6. That I now change vowels for no apparent reason. For example, "I'll meet you at Soaperquinn" and "Put that in the boat" - the first being Superquinn, the second being boot, unfortunately I don't own a boat. Both of these comments made me a source of ridicule amongst my family, ahem, sister!
  7. That sometimes I'm driving somewhere and have a momentary lapse where I can't remember where I'm going. On one occasion at the beginning of my pregnancy I had to pull over.
  8. That I occasionally stop half way on the stairs, forget where I'm going or have a "Am I going up the stairs or am I going down the stairs" moment.
  9. That I once could well under pressure and now I just crumble and cry.
  10. That I can't hold a conversation where... I just got distracted mid sentence when asked a question and now I can't remember. How appropriate. Will update when I remember, if I remember.

The two things baby brain is good for is 1. list making and 2.  making me be a better mama because there is literally nothing else on my mind.The list thing is weird - I struggle to string a sentence together and get sit there making lists like a mad woman. Maybe I am a mad woman. Who knows.

I have heard that women's IQ drops when they are expecting. Now, I don't know how true that is but it sure would explain a lot.

I remember thinking that my brain would go back to normal after I gave birth. Not a chance Amy. A friend of mine told me it took her a year for her to get back to her articulate self. I unfortunately didn't even give myself a year before getting pregnant again. I feel extra stupid this time round.

To come to think of it, this might be why I blog... because I can't articulate myself in person anymore! Ha. 

Tell me it's not just me?!

Free Pregnancy & Baby Fair tickets...

I managed to secure myself a free ticket for the Pregnancy & Baby Fair this month. I thought I would share in case some of you hadn't heard where to get them for free. 

All I did was sign up to They emailed me a code which I then used on Ticketmasters wesbite to redeem my free ticket or you can pick it up on the day at the box office.

The fair is on in the RDS on the 14th and 15th of April. I hear it's a great event and apparently there are lots of testers and freebies :) The tickets are only €10 but if you go with your partner, Mammy or friend that's €20 you could spend on tea and cake! (Yes, that's how I think. Tea and cake and tea and cake.)

Here's a link to the Pregnancy & Baby page if you would like more info on the event. Link!

I best leave my credit card at home!

Have any of you been before?