TTC series: Our TTC Journey

When we first started trying to conceive our second child, master monster, we had no idea of the emotional and mental roller coaster ride we were in for. Miss Monkey had been what you might call a surprise pregnancy. 
I had been on the Depo Provera injection for several months to avoid getting pregnant, one because I was only 22 when I first met hubby and two because I was studying for my diploma in business administration at the time. I came off the injection for a lot of personal reasons but the main one was that I had started putting on weight and I wanted to try to get my body back to normal before trying something else. 5 months after coming off the injection I finally got my first period. I had plans to see the doctor to arrange something else the following month after I had gotten my second period and I was sure that my cycles were back to normal. However, my second period never turned up. Instead 3 days after it was due I took a home pregnancy test and found myself holding a positive.
Because it had been that easy to get pregnant with her, when we finally decided to start trying for child number 2, we fell into a pit fall. I came off the Mirena IUD and the following month got my first period. As you do when you first start trying we had a lot of fun in the bedroom and succeeded with a positive home pregnancy test by the time the second period was due. Easy as, right?
What we hadn’t expected was that because the Mirena had only been out for 2 months at the time of the positive home pregnancy test I still had the hormones that prevent pregnancy running throughout my body. Just as I was coming up to my 6 weeks mark I started spot bleeding. Being worried I went to my doctor and he arranged for me to have an emergency scan. The scan showed that it was too late. My egg had already started to make it’s way out and there was no heart beat. I had already begun to miscarry our baby. Needless to say, my husband and I were pretty devastated.
It took a couple of months after our miscarriage for my period to return to a form of normal. By this time I had joined a TTC (trying to conceive) group and started learning about things like charting my cycles, testing my temperature and checking my cervical mucus for fertility. I did some research and decided for the health of my baby and to help get pregnant I needed to lose some weight. This is also about when I started my blog.
9 months after first starting our TTC journey we finally got our positive and our second child. 
This will be the first of several posts in a series describing what we did to get our positive and hopefully, the information that I put in them will help other couples out there about to start or already in the process of trying to conceive their baby.
Stay tuned!

Six questions about myself

My blog has been active for just over two years now and while I do write a lot about my life, I haven’t really done a get to know me post much. I think the last one was in a blog tag post during the UBC July 2012 challenge and before that was when I first started blogging. So for today’s post, I am going to answer six “questions” about myself to help you to get to know me better.
Feel free to copy and paste the questions and answer them for yourself if you wish.
Blogger’s name and why you chose it?
A Mummy’s Life. I chose it because being a mother is something I identify strongly about in my life. It is mostly what I blog about and so it was fitting. I used to blog under the name History’s Missing Lady when I first started blogging on here as I enjoy historical romances and let’s face it, they are always about the aristocracy and not the average plain Jane. I think my current name fits me and my blog better though, don’t you?
Why did you start blogging and what is your blog about now?
I initially starting blogging when I was trying to lose weight to conceive our second child. We had already been trying for six months by this stage and had suffered a miscarriage. The act of trying to conceive a child can be such a mind game on a woman that I needed other avenues to keep myself occupied to prevent myself getting depressed from every negative pregnancy test. One of the ways to take my mind off of the trying part was to lose the weight I had put on with our daughter and to blog about my journey.
Once we did succeed in getting pregnant with our son, the blog evolved into my pregnancy journey and after our son was born it switched back into losing weight again. During this time, I started posting about other things than just my losing weight. I joined the UBC July 2012 challenge and some photo a day challenges and really started to get into posting about other stuff. Then I got pregnant again with our current pregnancy and so the blog took on the pregnancy journey again but with a lot more other stuff in it.
 
I would consider my blog to be a little bit about everything these days. My family, myself, my weight loss or pregnancy journey, the projects I fill my days with, my views on things happening around me. A bit like a fruit salad really.
Introduce your family.
My family is what you would call the core of my little life. There is my husband, a man who traveled over from South Africa to start a new life in New Zealand. We met when he’d been here for three years, have been together for seven years and married for three and a half years.
 
We have two beautiful children and another on the way. Our oldest is always known as miss monkey on here. It is her nickname in real life as well. She’s five years old, funny, smart (when she wants to be), cheeky, sensitive and of cause, temperamental! She can be very stubborn and sometimes only hears what she wants to hear instead of what has actually been said. She loves drawing and writing her letters and can even kind of write her name, though she tends to get the letters in the wrong order. She constantly asks how to spell a word so she can write it down. Monkey also loves taking photos with the camera as well as posing in front of it.
 
Our one year old son is usually known as master monster on here. He’s also been known as master terrorist and master chubba bubba. Monster gets into everything. He loves to explore and often pulls a Houdini stunt to do so. Often I will find him on his way to Nana’s Cottage or to the tomato plants to eat the tomatoes. Drawers have a huge fascination to him. He constantly pulls them open to see what’s inside and to pull everything out.
 
Our current pregnancy is a little girl currently known as miss leprechaun as she was originally due on St Patrick’s Day. Even though the dating scan changed the dates to a week later, she still gets referred to as leprechaun since as you all know, most children don’t arrive on their due date. She will probably suffer a change in nicknames as she grows into her own personality.
 
Also living with us, though in her own cottage, is my mother, or Nana to the kids. She shares her cottage with the two dogs, Bones. and Jazz. Bones is actually our dog but because it is easier for the dogs to be fed in the one place and is both walked mostly by Mum, they tend to stay down there. They always come up for visits though and Bones will usually do so on his own for cuddles and snacks. Jazz mostly just follows Mum around as he has a bit of a nervous tension and can’t bare to let her out of his sight.
 
Other animals or pets on the property include our two turtles, Monkey and Porky, and pleco, Spike in the tank in the house and three nameless sheep in our paddock. Monkey was named so because he was constantly climbing when we first bought him. Porky, like her name suggests, loves to eat and often steals Monkey’s food at dinner time. Both love to eat the random insect that can be caught throughout the day. Spike likes to lie quietly out of the way of the two turtles and swims around the tank occasionally giving them fair warning when they try to steal his food on top of their own. The sheep, well, they’re nameless because technically two of them are food. We plan to send those two to the butcher to fill up the freezer. The third will be breeding future food and will eventually gain a name once we’ve decided who’s staying and who’s going. 
 
What are your hobbies?
My hobbies mostly include sewing, baking, blogging, and playing games on my phone. I also enjoy doing Zumba.
 
Where do you see your blog next year, 2 years from now, 5 years from now? 
It’s hard to know where I see my blog going in the future as I had no idea where it would go when I first started it. I would like to see it gain more followers (doesn’t every blogger?) and to start making some reasonable money through the Google adsense program that I belong to. It would be really nice to  reach the kind of followers that the likes of Scary Mummy, Filing Jointly… Finally and The Bloggess do but that would probably be a long time coming for me.
 
What are your aims and inspirations for your blog?
My aim is to make my blog a versatile, friendly place for visitors to stop in, have a read and enjoy. I would like to hope I am reasonably thought provoking sometimes and at other times someone that other mothers can go, “she gets it, she’s been there, I’m not alone.”
 
As for my inspirations, there are a lot of blogs out there that I enjoy reading and would like to emulate with my own. 
I hope you enjoyed learning about me. If you do decide to copy the questions to answer for yourself don’t forget to comment below with a link to your post so I can read it too!

Read a more up-to-date version here!

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amummyslifenz

Pavlova

"amummyslifenz" "recipe" "pavlola"
Every now and then I like to do a little baking. One thing I have never really succeeded at making is a good old fashioned pavlova. Part of the reason for that is I didn’t have a mixer before. I’ve always tried beating the egg whites by hand and I don’t have the strength or endurance enough to keep up a good mixing pace to get my eggs really stiff. Then the recipe I was using in the Edmonds Cookbook never worked properly for me either. It always came out too soft.

Continue reading “Pavlova”

Disney’s Brave

Can I just say that the new Disney princess movie Brave is the best one ever?
Don’t get me wrong. I love Snow White and Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty too. But I get so tired of Disney Princesses just ended up needing a man to save them and ending up married. I want something better for my daughter. 
I don’t mean not getting married. Sure I want that in time, when she’s experienced enough of life to know her own mind. I mean the needing a man to save her. Because in today’s world, Prince Charming just does not exist. There are good men. There are even men who would save us little women from the big bad witch. But do we really want our little girls thinking that they need a man to save them from everything? 
No, I want my daughter to know her own mind. I want her to be able to think things through, do her own research, not just accept the word of someone else. Like any mother out there, I want her to be a successful person in her own right, not a trophy wife hanging on a man’s arm.
So I was really glad when I took my daughter to see Brave that Disney’s new Princess wanted anything but that life and tried to do what she could to prevent it, even defying her mother’s idea of what her life should be. Sure she made a wrong choice, went down the wrong path for a while. But you know what? She fixed it. By herself. She even got her mother to see things from her way. That’s the kind of morals I want my daughter to see. Not that she needs a man to fix her troubles, but that she is strong enough, woman enough, BRAVE enough to do it herself.

amummyslifenz


Now that my movie review is out of the way, time to get yesterday’s and today’s photo a day July for 21 and 22 done.
Day 21: music – Miss monkey is dancing to the music that Daddy had playing last night.

Day 22: high key – yeah I couldn’t resist…

Blake’s Birth Story

Remember that crazy day I just posted about earlier this week? It turned into an even crazier week! (TMI warning again)
So after my last post, that same Sunday night, guess what starts again? The leakage. This time I go through about five maternity pads between 7 pm and 4 am before it starts to ease off. Text my midwife again in the morning. Back to the hospital, this time with one of the soaked pads in hand. Ruptured membrane aka broken waters now confirmed.
So now because my waters have been confirmed as broken, the midwife starts the induction procedures with some prostaglandin gel at 9 am that day (being Monday). Hubby and Nana arrive not long after this to spend the day waiting with me and hubby picks up Miss Monkey after kindy and brings her back to visit for the afternoon. Minor contractions start about 10 am and continue erratically until evening with a second insert of gel at around 7 pm. I am monitored every 6 hours or so on the CTG monitor for an hour and at each check Master Terrorist’s heart rate and movements are perfect and show no signs of distress. Hubby, Nana and Miss Monkey leave about 5 pm for dinner and to get Miss Monkey to bed and hubby comes back alone and stays until about 9 pm.While the contractions don’t get any more intense or regular, the gel helps my cervix get to 1 cm dilation and  about 80% effaced by 9 pm at which point they decide to insert a catheter balloon into my cervix and fill it with water to try and further open my cervix by morning. I spend a fairy comfortable night in the pre-natal room since the contractions pretty much stopped by about 10 pm. The balloon catheter falls out at 4 am.
9 am Tuesday morning I am transferred to a delivery suite by my midwife and hooked back up to a CTG monitor for Master Terrorist’s heart rate and movements and my contractions which have not yet restarted. My cervix shows that I am now 2-3 cm dilated. hubby and Nana arrive after dropping Miss Monkey off at kindy for the morning. I also get an IV line inserted into my left hand and start receiving a re-hydration fluid and a hormone drip. Contractions that are more intense than the day before start at 9:30 am and I struggle to even sty lying on the bed. at this stage they are still only 20 minutes apart. Now I’ve been through labour before (obviously since we have Miss Monkey) but these hormone drip forced contractions were so much more intense. By midday I was receiving contractions every 5 minutes and was 7-8 cm dilated. By this time, it was too much. I was surviving only with gas and barely even with that. I made the decision that I have always stated that I will never do (have you ever noticed that the minute you say “never” something always comes back to bite you in the butt and you have to do just that?), get an epidural. The epidural was inserted and dulled the pain right down but still required the gas for an intense ovulation type pain. By 1:30 pm, I had dilated to the full 10 cm but Master Terrorist still had not come down far enough. I was feeling the urge to push with each contraction but the midwife asked me to try to hold off on actually doing so to give him time to ease down by himself. I started feeling a sensation in my butt area about 2 pm that felt like I had pooped myself and (TMI) I had. Not the nicest thing in the world and really disgusting but my midwife just took it in stride saying that it is a good sign that my body is clearing itself out to make more room for baby to come down.
By 2:20 pm my midwife decided to top up my epidural and get a doctor in to check me over because she was worried that I hadn’t started crowning without actually checking me herself. They were in for a surprise! The doctor came in putting on her gloves and lifted the blanket only to find the top of Master Terrorist’s head sitting there waiting to come out. The doctor left laughing and my midwife prepared herself to start delivery. One tiny push to get Master Terrorist’s head out and then I had to wait to let the midwife remove the cord from around his neck. One more push brought out the rest of his body and he was quickly placed on my chest for skin-to-skin time with a good set of lungs going! Unfortunately I also managed to split open the scar from the stitches I received from Miss Monkey’s birth so having to deal with stitches again this time. At least there were no forceps used this time to incur a uterus infection like I had last time.
So at 2:25 pm on Tuesday 6 December 2011, Master Terrorist at just 36.3 weeks gestation was born, technically as a premature baby (babies are considered full term only from 37 weeks onwards), weighing 3.584 kg or 7 lb 14 oz and measuring 54 cm in length. My little prem baby is a not so little baby, lol.
The next few days happened quite fast. Master Terrorist had to have a foot prick every 4 hours to check his sugar levels and make sure there wasn’t a diabetes risk due to me having gestational diabetes. I had to continue to check my own levels before meals and two hours after wards for the next couple of days for the same reason. Both our levels tested fine and we have both been cleared of diabetes risks. I still have to do another glucose tolerance test 6 weeks after birth just to make sure and will continue to have to do so at 6 months and 12 months etc to make sure it doesn’t come back.
We were meant to stay in hospital for 48 hours but ended up being allowed to leave the next day (Wednesday) before Master Terrorist was even 24 hours old!
Thursday, my midwife came for her first home check and is happy with how Master Terrorist is going. In true terrorist fashion, he had woken up that morning with two little teeth that disappeared by the afternoon, leaving me to question if I had even saw them or felt them. There are still little bumps under his gum so it looks like I maybe in for an interesting first couple of months. the only thing I have to watch is that I make sure he gets a small amount of indirect sunlight on him each day to prevent the slight jaundice getting worse.
Proud big sister
Mummy and baby

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