Hyperemesis Gravidarum or HG is a little known pregnancy complication. A sufferer (and it is a suffering) has severe nausea, and vomiting, which can lead to weight loss and dehydration. It is more than just morning sickness. It can sometimes last the entire pregnancy (for me until 30 weeks) and affects less than 2% of women. There is no known cause.
I am one of the lucky ones. I only lost weight in the first trimester and suffered severe dehydration once. Some women require hospitalisation a few times throughout their pregnancies and can vomit 30+ times a day. My personal best was 19.
This is a really difficult post for me to write. I don’t want to say it out loud as I am ashamed. In a world in which this Baby is the most hoped, wished, loved and longed for being, there were a few times I found myself wishing that I wasn’t pregnant, wishing it would all just stop.
Whilst I had my head in the toilet for the 20th time, violently vomiting up my stomach lining (i’d not eaten for 48 hours), listening to yet another opinionated, interfering, arsehole ask if I had tried eating a ginger biscuit (ffs!), I can appreciate how persuasive that thought can be. Fortunately for me, HG didn’t become a serious illness. I was a lucky one. For some Mother’s, a decision has to be made for her own physical and mental wellbeing.
I can only touch on my own experience and it’s really challenging to put down in words how much it affected me mentally as well as physically. Instead, I’m going to direct you to a couple of links that helped me during my pregnancy.
It’s been more than 12 months since my last blog post. It turns out that the withdrawal symptoms of a sugar free diet are also the same as early pregnancy symptoms!
In fact, pretty much all of my ‘sugar free’ symptoms are the same as what I experienced whilst pregnant with BV. I was so sure in fact that I took a pregnancy test. It was negative. However, the idea was in my head, I was so sure I was pregnant. I knew the test was wrong. I waited until the following day and I took another test (again negative), in fact I took a test a further 3 more times (all negative!) before the 5th one gave me a very faint positive. I knew it. I was knocked up with no.2.
Mr Intrepid and I were ecstatic. I was ready for it. I was hoping to blog my way through this pregnancy with cute, accuracy of what it is to be pregnant, a week by week growth of this little one. However, the little bean had other ideas. She (yes this one is a girl!) was determined to make me suffer more than BV ever did. I felt like hell.
I fainted all over the place, I had nosebleeds, headaches, sore limbs, and my god I was tired.
I had no energy and I was fucking exhausted. Pregnancy is hard and I had a toddler now this time. 6 weeks in I began to get really unwell. The nausea had kicked in, only this time there was vomiting too. All day and all night long. I was throwing up in carrier bags on my daily commute, in nappy bags whilst changing my son’s nappies, in the shower and once actually in the street. I couldn’t catch a break. I could barely get through the day, there was no way I was blogging about it.
1 year later, on maternity leave, the baby naps are back. Despite popular advice I can’t nap when baby naps (who would hang up the washing?), I am ready to get back on the blogging band wagon. First up, I want to spread awareness of a little know pregnancy condition, Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG).
It’s been a while since BV found a new favourite book. We picked up this beauty recently on a friends recommendation.
Thanks to childrens movies and The Elf on the Shelf company, a lot of children believe their toys come to life at night. I have to admit, I was never one of those children. Too much of a cynic I guess? Or maybe the result of having older siblings determined to always have the upper hand? I hope that my son grows into his childhood with this ability to just believe. Who knew that the buck did not just stop at toys though? Who the hell knew that fruit comes to life too?! Wowzers.
Written by Clare Foges and Al Murphy, Kitchen Disco is a silly story about what happens when the sun goes down and the fruit bowl comes alive. Clare Foges’ eccentric tale begins, when most days are ending, as the family go to bed.
As soon as the house is quiet and the occupants are asleep, the fruit wake up and get their groove on. The Pineapple high fives his friends, the lemons break dance and the melon dances with a grape (obvs!). You just can’t help but bop along too.
Of course this is made even more silly by the colourful illustrations. Thank you Al Murphy.
The pages are themselves, alive with colour as the fruit throw shapes across the pages. The beautiful holographic illustrations pop right out of the book. They really do bring the fruit alive.
My toddler has a fondness for the absurd, and this really brings out the fun side of storytelling. Its perfect for our pre-bed rap. Yes, we do that.
Kitchen Disco brings a smile to both our faces and a bit more personality to BV’s bookshelf. Clearly one of the funniest and most colourful books we have discovered in a while, and it’s now a firm favourite.
So listen closely as you go to sleep tonight and you might just hear your fruits answer to Fatboy Slim (Fatboy skin?) as they get up and then get down….
Dear Judgy McJudgyson, if that’s even your real name…?
Why do you do it? Silently judging parents and how they parent, particularly if they parent differently from you. Does it come from your own insecurity? Are other parents’ methods making you question your own methods? No one wants to think they’re not doing right by their child. You are having doubts. In this competitive sport that parenting has become, your way is the only way.
However, your silent judging isn’t so silent anymore. I can hear you.
You’re staring at me. You’re pointing and whispering-“I can’t believe she’s doing that” saying that/allowing that” Well listen up Judgy McJudgyson, so what if I am?!
Somehow every parenting decision I have ever made is fair game for criticism: Did I find out the sex? What kind of birth did I have?, Does my child have his own room? Am I going to breastfeed?, Why am I still breastfeeding? Do I allow my child to watch TV?, Is he still in nappies? Oh.My.Effing.God!, Are you going out? Without him?
“Oh” you say, “I’m not doing that” (eye roll). Why do you care whether or not my child watches CBeebies 12 hours a day, eats ice cream for dinner or spends most of the night cuddled up in my bed instead of his own?
Do you know what’s really helpful? I am cramming my heart and soul into raising my son, struggling with a myriad of everyday, normal woes, financial, health, work -whatever – when I am judged by you. Super mum, who arrogantly knows just what to do. It’s amazing. And oh so welcome. Because that’s what I need: a kick in the teeth by someone who’s got this mothering thing in the bag.
Your judging has sadly become part of my mum culture. I try to keep my opinions to myself, my own mum taught me if I’ve nothing nice to say then I shouldn’t say anything at all. And this is (mostly) how I live. I remove myself from the situation. I do not need your opinions and I do not need you.
I know I’m never going to stop noticing how other mums do their thing and wondering how my own choices stack up. I think it’s fine to notice. It’s fine to discuss our differences. Whatever works-right? I know I’m not like you. I hope I’m not like you. I never want to make any mum or parent feel the way you make me feel.
We are supposed to share our war stories with each other. Offer a hand, an ear or a cup of tea. I’m on an island and I can’t swim, for fucks sake pass me a fucking life belt!
It’s become the norm to mercilessly judge our fellow parents, yet behind closed doors we share the same worries and angst. We should be mindful of each other’s feelings. Somewhere along the way we have forgotten, that we’re all on the same team. What’s that African proverb….? Oh yes, It takes an entire village to raise a child.
Well listen up Judgy McJudgyson, you can roll your eyes at me and point your finger all you like but you and I are the same. We are mums and we need each other, so Mum the fuck up and join this village!
As a child I’d cry if anyone came to the house, and not just strangers; I remember sitting at the top of the stairs at Bromley Cres. crying my eyes out because my Grandparents whom I loved, had come to visit. The cheek of it!
Fortunately, I am no longer shy in my every day life. I enjoy meeting new people and I am confident in one-to-one situations. I’ve got several close best friends, including some that go as far back as school days; and I have a phone book full of mums whom I see pretty much every week. Cram them all in to my flat for a sober, toddler birthday party and I am sick with nerves.
I love to have guests, but I’m not much of an inviter, self-consciousness creeps in and overwhelms my good intentions.
Growing up, I don’t recall ever having a birthday party although I attended many. I always assumed it was because of the expense (5 kids, 5 birthday parties) but now I have realised it is just too stressful. When I was 11 and in my first year of secondary school, myself and my two younger siblings begged to have a party, and eventually we wore our folks down and convinced them in to agreeing to letting us have a Christmas Party. One condition. I had to share it with my little brother. Easy.
He invited his entire class and I invited a select number of my own classmates. I was too embarrassed to invite boys, so I invited girls only, including some of the “cool” girls. I was painfully shy and hitting puberty- can’t imagine why I thought this would be a great idea. The “cool” girls obviously didn’t attend (No boys – duh!) and that was it for me.
I was picked on and bullied after this for not being “cool”. Do you remember when you were at school and there was always the one kid in the class that really smelt? Or, everyone saidreally smelt, and you went along with it just grateful that you weren’t the smelly kid? Well, I was the smelly kid. Or at least, I was the kid everyone called the smelly kid. I think it was because (despite the fact I was showering 2-3 times a day in attempts to just not be the smelly kid) once in PE I didn’t use deodorant (for fucks sake, how many 11 year old’s use deodorant?). Anyway I am digressing, these days I try to avoid hosting.
For my sons birthday I teamed up with a lovely, sociable mum (whom also had a birthday tot), my wing woman, (safety in numbers and all that) and planned an outdoor party in the park (neutral ground). I don’t know what I was thinking to be honest, I am a rubbish hostess. Hosting is most definitely not my forte. Anyway, of course my leading lady got sick and the rains came, oh and Sainsbury’s didn’t deliver my grocery’s due to a “technical error”…I needed a Plan B. Let’s have the party here in my home! You know, the one where I avoid hosting coffee mornings or playdates at? Great idea stupid ass. Rarely does anyone get an invite to my flat, I dislike it so much. We are fortunate enough to live in a very affluent area with pretty river views and lovely neighbours. However, I live above a pub in an old flat. On the upside, the windows and ceilings are high and magnificent, and the flat is spacious and light, and the downside? the kitchen looks like it belongs in a 1980’s youth hostel, and the bathroom grows more mould than Alexander Flemming. Hardly yummy mummy territory.
I want to invite, I really do. I know how loved I feel when I’m invited. I watch friends do it with ease and grace and admire them for their ability to fold people into their lives. I can’t concentrate once the anxiety sets in. The promise of forced interaction in the name of good parenting instills a panic. What if no one shows up?, or worse, what if they do? Oh god, what if they notice my washing drying in the bedroom, or that my bathroom towels don’t match?
Sweat trickles down my back and my lips are dry. I am talking. I am not sure what about, I am talking non stop. I am acutely aware of the awkwardness I’m desperately trying to hide. I can’t tell if my guests are startled by my deliberate effervescence or if they think I am witty and charming (I did make them wear moustaches!) I am 20% having an ok time, and 80% racking my brain for something to say and wondering when they can all go home? I am at my most uncomfortable as I do my best to ensure everyone is having a nice time. My surface level housekeeping, eclectic furniture, fear of saying the wrong thing, and decidedly awkward inability to offer anyone a drink, stops me, if I even have a minute to think about being a hostess.
I am lucky enough to have an amazing husband with a level head. Mr Intrepid works in hospitality which we all know is technically hosting for a living. He is charming and he iswitty and despite the fact that this party is for a 2 year old, his emergency trip to Waitrose brings us booze. Hurrah.
Oh and there were cakes!
Happy 2 year old? Tick #ParentingWin
Parents plied with booze mid afternoon with no offer of an alternative, whilst being ordered to wear moustaches?
#Hostingwin? – jury’s still out on that one!
This week, Mr Intrepid and I celebrated our wedding anniversary. 2 Years since we said ‘I do’, 732 days since I married my best friend.
The day has brought back happy memories of the most beautiful day we ever had together. Friends, Family, Art, Cake, Love, Skulls, Pineapples, Cacti, Tweed, Street Art, Bow, Yellow, Rockabilly, Pimms, London, Mexican, Tequila, Cake, Blue, Flip Flops, Dancing, Buttons, Rain, Sun, Red bus, Shoreditch, Oasis, Day of the Dead, Face paint, More cake…
In these 2 years we have been married, I have learnt a few things. Marriage brings out who you truly are, and often it is not pretty or smooth. It is transitional. Together we are growing, improving and striving. We are a team (Woohoo Go Team Lamb!). We have changed as individuals. For a start, we have become parents. We have added a whole new dimension to our 2. We are now 3.
No amount of preparation can make you ready for parenthood, nor can any amount of assumption predict how your spouse will actually be, during those stormy days (trust me, the days are not always calm). However Mr Intrepid, my love, has remained my constant. He is my rock. We support one another, and we trust one another. He keeps me grounded and he keeps me high, and we tackle all stormy moments head on, together. He is my witness, and I , his. This is why Marriage exists. Life is not all about the individual, it’s not about me, it is about someone else too. It is about us together. I am a happy wife with a happy life.
Together, we pay the bills, take care of our son, fight battles, make decisions and laugh and laugh and laugh. We adore and endure each other, and life is sweeter.
All photo credits are by talented photographer Sassy from Assassynation
As Santorini is our first proper overseas family holiday (we did go to France for a long weekend last year whilst BV was still dinky) we booked the trip with Thomson, primarily to keep logistics simple (free hotel transfers) and the expenses low (Santorini is notorious for being costly). This is my first (and last) ever package deal. I’m a lover not a hater, and I am not here to write a shoddy review. However I must stress if you do wish to book with Thomson then please do your research and read customer reviews on line beforehand.
After waking the rest of Fam-A-Lamb at 2.45am to catch the 6am flight, you can only imagine how horrendous the first day on Santorini was. Let me elaborate. The hour sat on the runway waiting for plane to take off was a bit tricky, but nothing RaRa the lion and an IPad couldn’t fix. The flight was an easy snooze fest for all of us (we were in a cab by 3am). However the shit really hits the fan when we check into our hotel…30+ degrees, tired, hungry screaming child who just wants to run into traffic and across the beach. Something I have to mention. Black Volcanic Sand, we packed beach shoes as knew it would be hot but something that no one bothered to report anywhere…it’s too fucking hot even for shoes. It’s like walking the path to fiery hell. So, 30+ degrees, no beach, no pool (as no shade) and on an Island which isn’t usually frequented by holidaying tots left us literally weeping and googling flights back home again! Day 1 #holidayfail
However it did get much better with day 2.
Turns out all BV needed to chill out and have fun was steps (of course!) and ice cream. Which was great as that’s something Santorini has an abundance of…
At some point in my life (a few years ago) I held an aspiration to write a travel blog.
I have travelled extensively over the years. I hoped to someday visit every single country. (Pfff I can but dream). I’ve great memories (and great pics) to remind me how breathtaking and beautiful the world is. I am fortunate that I’ve been able to experience it’s diversity.
Motherhood meant putting my plans for world domination to one side. My priorities changed, however now that BV’s practically fending for himself (22 months), Mr Intrepid and I are thinking about further travels.
In the interim (and to start us off gently) we’ve chosen a simple family holiday (well it’s primarily for a friends wedding so it’s kind of chosen us!) to Santorini.
I know what you’re thinking, “taking a toddler to the island of love and honeymooners…?” You must be mad! Well, my friends indeed we are.
After a bit of research, and finding blogs and articles that advise against taking toddlers to Santorini (especially in July-gulp) I’ve decided to (panic!) ignore it and hope nothing’s as bad as it seems 😳Watch this space for my follow up.
My 5 essentials to pack for a toddler in Santorini:
Aeroplane distraction toys and snacks for the flight (standard)
UV pop up tent and sun screen. Because obvs.
Baby carrier (all them bastard steps!)
Beach shoes. Hello! Hot Black Sand.
Baby powder (rub it in and the sand brushes straight over. Genius)
It’s taken me 2 days to even make a bit of a dint in the packing and I’ve realised two things:
1) BV needs so much more crap then anyone else, and 2) he doesn’t get his own hold luggage so somehow I’ve got to squeeze it all in with mine.
I am proud too of labels I am known by: wife, daughter, sister, friend, weird tattooed girl with the metal in her face (true story!) and yes, a mother.
However, I am also proud to be that mother. I have judged, and I have been judged.
I am a ‘helicopter’ mum. I need to stay close to my boy, how else can I really know for sure that he is ok? I will smother him with love if that means he will grow up never doubting it.
I am a ‘sanctimummy’. Of course my way is the best way. It has to be like this. What kind of mum would this make me, if I had no idea what I’m doing? I may not be tutting, but I am judging. Myself though, obviously. If you think I have my shit together then I am winning at something. Woohoo.
I am a Tiger Mum. I am demanding. I want my child to grow up compassionate and smart, kind and strong. I want him to be all the things I strive to be, and I will push him until he knows he can be everything and more.
All of these labels are ways to judge and criticise but I am proud to have them all.
Mothering is hard and I’m winging it working at it…everyday. I am not a designer handbag, but I am in every sub category of mother, I am all of the mothers, and I am the mother, and I am fricking awesome.
Please follow Jenna’s posts here, and if you’re in need of some fellow mummy support or amazing pregnancy and birth hippy love, then here’s where you can find it! ❤️ www.doulanatal.co.uk