Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Oh The Things We Do As Women...

I really thought it important to blog about our fertility issues, my P.C.O.S and on going tests I've been having this year so here is a round up about what has been happening.

In 2014 I had 3 miscarriages, I really struggled to come to terms with them and I received some basic tests at a hospital nearby which concluded I had P.C.O.S it came as a shock and we didn't know if we would be able to add to our family. I was, after a few tests put on Metformin tablets which are used for diabetes but also can regulate cycles and hormone levels. These tablets made me feel rotten and in this time M had also been diagnosed with M.S.

Dealing with a poorly husband was hard and not knowing what would happen in the coming years made me really doubt having treatment. We decided as a couple we would keep going as the regret of not having a bigger family would be worse than trying and failing this being said after going through the miscarriages I was unsure of if I could carry on.

In March 2015 M recieved some life changing treatment of Alemtuzumab, during this time we could not try for a baby as new treatment meant no knowledge of the impact on having children during treatment time.

In the time we waited (a year) it was a time of healing for me. We grew as a family in ways I never expected.

Our boys are always enough for us to always be content at two but at the same time we wanted more. Our boys were so brilliant they opened my eyes to how brilliant being a parent was that having more was only going to enhance the experience of being a Mum. Before I met M I never wanted to be a parent. I always felt like I didn't have anything to offer a child and neither did the world. I was rather selfish before I met M, immature and I wanted life my way. When I met M I had an awakening to how life could be enjoyed by putting someone else first, I mean I always always help friends out in need but with M it was a need of wanting to make him happy for the rest of our lives together.

When M asked if we could try for a child at the bottom of the Eiffel Tower one cold snowy day, I didn't instantly say yes.

I asked for time, to think about it and to research being a parent. It was a huge step for someone who never wanted children. It took 3 months of asking friends with children and looking at how much children cost and what they needed, being the youngest in my generation of family I really had no idea on babies. When we had B it wasn't an easy pregnancy and birth, but when he was placed on me I knew life wasn't going to be the same again. I fell instantly in love. Being a parent has been a rollercoster one which is amazing, I am so glad M offered me this opportunity, It's possibly the best thing we have done in life, which is why we would love to add to our tribe.

After M's treatment was over we got referred back to a local hospital but we asked to go to a different one, one which was we could have private treatment at. We decided because we could afford it and because we wanted it so badly we would have one big last attempt. Well its been nearly a year since changing hospitals and we are still in the process of eliminating problems.

I have had so much blood taken from my veins that it feels like they cant take no more. I've had my (non existing) cycles monitored and My womb lining has been measured more times than I care to mention.

In the spring I had a hysterosalpingogram scan. I wont sugar coat this, it was the most unpleasant scan I have even had, It hurt.

I was told it would be uncomfortable, but if no blockage then it should go without pain. My left tube was fine as was my uterus. My right side however hurt, it hurt so much I felt like I was about to pass out and the following few days were a complete blur of pain, to the point I was given oral morphine by my local hospital. I had lots of blood tests over the following weeks, no infection. I had scans, nothing to show. Finally it settled down and you know I would have that test again to find the outcome. So they found my right side seems blocked at certain point.

Since having my boys I have always had issues with my right side, pain on and off. It's where I have had cysts.

All this being said the hospital decided I needed an operation a Laparoscopy and repeat HSG scan whilst asleep.

My pre-operation check was last week. I expected to go in have bloods, urine and blood pressure checked and be home with in an hour. How ever this didn't go to plan. One of the questioned asked about family history, answer ended me up at the cardiology unit having a ECG. Amazingly they found my heart! and it was beating correctly, so not a thing to worry about and I was cleared for my operation.

Both the HSG scan and Laparoscopy aren't great things to experience but to have peace of mind that the blockage isn't anything to worry about will be worth it. The biggest bit about fertility is being health first and foremost, so I am healthy for my family.  I found whilst preparing for the HSG scan and the operation it was hard to find information about it all as people just don't speak about women's problems. They are real and happening in the world, so I thought I would share bits of my experience.  Don't ever give up if you want something, If one Doctor wont listen or treat you correctly, another will. Never give up on things you want.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

10 Things Our Tribe are loving at the moment.

This last week has been pretty hectic so here is a quick blog of the 10 things Our Tribe loves at the moment:

1. The Quayside.
We are so lucky to live so near to the Newcastle quayside which is on the banks of the river Tyne. On nice days we love to have a wander down and soak in the atmosphere from the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art to the quirky cafes on the Newcastle side, the quayside is definitely a hit for all the family. Here is our video of the Millennium Eye Bridge from our last walk down that way.

2. Ginger Pepsi   
My parents were recently on holiday and got given some free Ginger pepsi. We don't drink much pop but this was a hit that will be bought for a treat night.

3. Half and half .
This is small cod with Langoustine's and chips. 
It is amazing and cooked fresh to order. 

4.Warm summer nights. 
The ones in which you can relax in the garden with cold drink.
Our garden fence is still not completely up, it should be by the end of the summer. 
Best thing we did was to flatten the back garden which wasn't useful for anything.

5.Summer strolls along the beach at South Shields.
We are yet again so lucky to be a short drive from the beach. 
The North East of England really does have a lot to offer a young family.
Our Boys love a paddle in the Sea and love making sand angels.
It's somewhere they can relax after school and us after work.

6. Funny things our boys ask:

I drove my mum to the chemists after school pick up, it is a well known British chemists.
The conversation went like this:
B- where are you going grandma?
My mum- just into boots to pick something up...
My mum was gone 5 minutes getting what she needed.
B- grandma you know shoe where about is it?
My mum - shoe?
B- you know that place you've just been..
My mum - oh do you mean boots?
B- I am sure it is called shoe 

And now for my favourite.
B- Dad which day is pancake day?
M- Tuesday.
B- which Tuesday?
M- Shrove Tuesday.
B-  when's Shrove Tuesday?
M- Day before ash Wednesday.

7. Our New T-shirts from Little Miss B's Boutique.
We love Matching Clothes.
These T-shirts are our favourite at the moment.
You can read our blog here.

8. Penshaw Monument.
This is great for tiring our boys out.
Nice steepish hill to race up and down.
We really are lucky to live in the North East and have these things a short drive away.

9. Gardening.
We love our garden.
At the back is our sitting area and our side garden is our veg plot.
(The front needs a lot of work)
We are loving watching our garden grow lovely fresh veggies. 
(This picture is off about a month ago)

10. Kirkharle.
We love a walk around their Lake.
The boys love the bridges over the little streams. 
We always go on days where it is a bit chilly/windy it seems but we don't mind wrapping up.

Friday, 9 June 2017

A Tale of the Fuzzy Daddy.

A while back I asked my friend who runs her own Personalised gift and clothing business to come up with a set of appreciative t-shirts for father day for M. As you can see M has a MASSIVE beard. It is a mega thing that he keeps the beard. You see when he shaves he looks about 12 and much younger than me! As he has a few years on me I can't cope with people thinking we are the same age!

These tops were made by Sarah over at Little Miss B's Boutique.

From the moment I enquired about them to the moment I got them she could not be more helpful. I don't like the usual round necked T-shirt style, Sarah was quick to show me all the styles I could pick from and finally I settled on the V-neck which wasn't low cut. Next i wanted to find out which colours we could have, Sarah sent me colour charts and I decided to have classic black and white. The invoice came quickly so there was no doubt on the order getting done, Don't you just hate when people are all thank you for your order but I wont invoice you for ages, making you second guess if they still know you are ordering.

The tops were done quickly and ready to be picked up or sent out (I decided to pick them up as a catch up with the lovely Sarah was long over due)

I loved the tops so much I just could not keep them under wraps for another week, so i gave them to M as soon as he got home from work. They were good quality fabric and done with HTV vinyl. They seem hard wearing and not flimsy in the least they will last us years unless the boys grow out of them.

I really love that I was able to get a matching top to the boys. As a boy mama it is so hard to find matching family sets which aren't just daddy/son, I like to be included, anyone who knows our family know we love to match.

So Thank you Sarah we will be ordering again.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Trains, Planes and Automobiles. Our tips to make your life easier when travelling with smalls.

I thought as it was getting into summer and lots of people are off on holiday, I would do a blog on travelling with children.

We mostly travel by car with our boys but have gone by train and plane. I will share what works for us and if anyone has any tips please share.

Trains are always a fun way to travel. My boys are train mad, so that in itself is entertainment enough some times. here are my top tips :
  • Always give yourself more time than needed. If you are 20 mins early it's better than finding your platform and carrying luggage and a child who may not be cooperating with only seconds to spare to make your train.
  • Toilet before boarding the train in your spare time is much easier than trying to pee with two small boys running around you on a moving train.
  • Snacks!!! My boys love holidays and the nice snacks I take. If travelling by train it is much cheaper and easier to pack a sandwich and some healthy snacking, prices on trains can be pretty steep.
  • Note books for writing memories in are a lovely keep sake of your holiday. If a child is too young for this then colouring in or a worksheet can be amazing for keeping small hands busy.
  • Pack sensibly. Lugging lots of things around on a train with smalls is just a hassle.

Planes are a new sort of transport to my boys, we've always had fun road tripping but we have been introducing plane travel. 

  • Like the train always give yourself time to get to the airport, rushing is just a stress I am not willing to have.
  • Have all documentation in order. we have a carry wallet which zips up I have all our passports, EHIC cards, accommodation details and transfer papers.
  • Try to book sensible flight times. Think 'is it more hassle to get up early and arrive at a sensible time or will we be arriving in a new country late when children are tired and fed up of travelling?' We try to aim for lunch time flights so that we can have breakfast/ brunch in the airport, therefore we get no "I am hungry mammy" every few minutes.
  • Try to get a window seat in the airport. Nothing passes the two hour waiting time before a flight than excited children watching planes and trying to guess where they are going to. Newcastle airport is amazing for watching planes, they have huge floor to ceiling windows.
  • Backpacks full of chewitts (to stop ears popping), colouring in or a note book, a map or guide book on where you are holidaying (there is some nice child friendly ones around), change of clothes (in case your suitcase goes missing the other end or spills happen, they mostly certainly do with my two) and when you get through security it is always an idea to get a bottle of water to go in your child's bag as keeping hydrated on the plane is needed.
  • Have a plan for when you get to the other side. Where is your first stop?  Make sure there is no doubt in the adults you are travelling with minds as to where you are herding your children too. Arguing in a packed airport is not something I would like to do. M and I always have a clear plan with a few back up plans. It normally goes toilet, baggage and then find our form of transport.
  • Make sure you talk your child through what may happen during going through security. Our eldest is always stopped during checks, he loves it as he knows its keeping us safe and he rather likes the gadgets the security has.  This is how it should be, no child should be scared of people who are keeping them safe. 
  • A point we have from last year is if you are travelling and you need medication, (our eldest got an infection a week before travelling although he was cleared to fly he was on his last days of antibiotics, he got 10 days instead of the usual 7) make sure you have all information on the tablets/medicine from your doctor.  Keep it in your hand luggage in original boxes, inform your travel operator as they can mark it on your file to get quickly through the airport, always declare them and be ready to answer questions.
  • Make sure you pack well in advance and check weights and restrictions on your airline of choice, having to open cases at the airport is my idea of stress!

Now for our favourite form of transport. We love travelling by car. It feels easier to travel by car when you have smalls and we feel we have master easy travelling.

  • Have a plan of what you need over what you would like to include in packing up the car.
  • Always have a first aid kit in your car and spare bottle of at least 2 litres of water, we have once on a road trip ran out of windscreen wiper water. Which brings us on to our next point...
  • Always maintain your car. Make sure water, oil and petrol is topped up. check your car over including paint work and tyres.
  • Make a plan of action. Where are you going to stop for toilet breaks? Where will you drive to first? Where will you stop for food and which route will you take?
  • In between the boys chairs we put a basket full of snacks and some small activities (magazine, colouring, and a small amount of lego)
  • We have DVD players which we hook on to the back of the cars front seats. our boys can then watch a movie and it keeps them entertained. Although we have these our boys love looking out the window and doing a check list.  You can see amazing sights like the time an eagle took off from a tree at the roadside as we passed.
  • Break up your journey where you can. We will drive on a night time to our first stop and take our second day stopping at a few places if we have time before stopping over in our end location.
for stressful travel always have a plan of who, what, where, and when:

  • Who is going?
  • What is the reason behind the trip and what places do you need to be? What do you need to take?
  • Where are you going?
  • When are you going and when will you be in certain places?
The more you can be prepared the better and a little tip for in current events, always make sure people know where you are for safety issues, also so there is no unnecessary worry from loved ones. Make sure you have a fully charged phone where ever you may be going and most of all enjoy it and have fun! Happy holidaying!

Saturday, 3 June 2017

It's taken a year and a half but here we are!

We haven't blogged in so long, life has been super busy so let us fill you in.
In 2015 M was made redundant so we took the leap to set up our own business, it has taken time and hard work to sort out all the different bits but we are finally there.
M is doing amazing zero relapses and has only 34 blood test left. Doctors are happy how he is progressing and he has a MRI in a few weeks to make sure it is not just outward stability.
New to the boys and M is the return of the love and enjoyment of rugby in this house. M has started coaching at the club where we have joined the boys to play. Happy Sunday mornings of wearing two active boys out is much welcome! It also shows how well M is doing health wise.

Our boys are now 4 and 6. I do not know where time has gone and littlest Wardle is starting school in September. Our boys love in no particular order, mountain climbing, rugby, gardening, movies and dressing up. We have had many a trip to A & E with cut open heads, suspected broken bones and of course a swallowed coin (at 4 we thought mini Wardle wouldn't of declared late at night that he had found a 50p and had swallowed it, gladly it turned out to be a 5p!!!)
Our little guys are rough and tumble and full of life, we wouldn't want them any other way.

Life for me is busy I spend my time on school run and under a layer of paperwork.

We are still on our journey to figuring out why I miscarried and haven't succeeded in falling pregnant again. We, may I state, are very happy with our two boys, we are so very lucky to have them and have found out how much so since on the fertility route.

Me and M decided last year to replace our kitchen. What started out as replacing our kitchen, ended up with knocking out walls, changing windows in to doors, removing 50 ton of mud from our back garden, a pizza oven inserted into the garden and our living room and dining room swapped around. Not to mention all of the other things we updated here, but we will leave that to another blog to explain.

We have done a bit of travelling which included a trip to Dublin last summer and many more which we may blog about in the coming weeks.

Now I need to explain why we haven't blogged in so long and let me explain. When M was having his treatment we blogged most days, this kept us going through the hard weeks and it let us not have to explain his situation to friends and family. After his treatment we needed to come to terms with the whirlwind shock of hearing what his medical issue was. We took time to have fun as a family and build up his movements.

On Thursday I was out with a friend who also blogs. She asked why she hadn't seen any posts in so long from us and well I didn't know how to answer. There is no reason but now we are back and hope to carry on from where we left off.

So here we are back and ready to write again.