Sunday, 25 November 2012

Peanut's birth story

Welcome to the world sleepy head
On Tuesday 13 November at 12.19pm Peanut finally joined us.

It wasn't the birth that we'd hoped for, it wasn't the birth that we'd planned for and it wasn't without incident.

Here's our story...

We travelled to the hospital full of excitement early on Tuesday morning. Even though we'd been hoping for the chance to have a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After C-Section), Peanut had other ideas and was stubbornly breech from about 34 weeks, but we knew that day we'd meet out little boy. Just as we were going out the front door Curly Girl woke up and called out 'Muuummyyyy!' It pulled at my heart to leave her without saying goodbye but we knew she'd be more upset seeing us leave so we left her in Nana's capable hands and set off. We arrived at 7am and were told that we'd probably have to wait until 10.30 for the birth. I was too excited and nervous to read. Time passed slowly. We retold my medical history to everyone that asked for it (I could probably manage to tweet it now, it's that concise) and sat in my gown while the hospital came to life around us.

At 11am we were told to be ready, OH changed into a fetching set of scrubs with a rather natty hat and we walked down to theatre. That seemed odd for some reason, I thought I'd be wheeled down on a bed or in a wheelchair. Of course I was perfectly capable of walking, it just seemed less ER and more supermarket shopping.

So there I was in theatre, sitting on the operating bed, waiting for the bit that scared me most about the c-section - the spinal block. When Curly Girl was born in China the anaesthetist had 5 attempts at getting my epidural sited. Five, y'all. And it still didn't work completely. I felt almost everything our OBGYN was doing during that operation and had to be knocked out on morphine as soon as she was out. As such I missed the first two hours of her life and her first feed had to be formula in a bottle. So much for a birth plan. So this time around I was nervous that the same thing would happen again.

I needn't have worried. A lovely nurse stood in front of me and talked me through everything that was happening as the anaesthetist stood behind me and prepped the needle. I was reassured the whole way through the procedure and they checked constantly that I wasn't in any pain. Before I knew it I was lying on the bed being prepped for surgery. At this point OH joined me and we held hands and chatted as Peanut was hoisted into the world. They lowered the curtain so I could see him being born and OH even took some photos.

While Peanut was cleaned and checked over the anaesthetist chatted away to me and told me what the surgeon was doing. Peanut even joined me for a cuddle for a while before OH took him to the recovery ward to wait for me. If an operation can be called pleasant, this one actually was. I can't fault the care I had in theatre or afterwards in recovery or on the post op ward. There was even a chance that I'd be home the next day.

Except that my body had other ideas.

Apparently I lost the normal amount of blood in theatre, it was afterwards, when that bleeding didn't stop that things started to go pear shaped. On one trip to the bathroom I couldn't make it back on my own. Leaning against the wall outside the room, the room started to spin and waves of nausea broke over me. The paediatrician spotted me and put me bodily into a wheelchair and thankfully got me back to bed. Once I was lying down I felt ten times worse. I was sweating all over and I couldn't move my arms. Then my hearing started to go, replaced by a whistling sound. I shut my eyes and felt my body shutting down around me. I've never been so terrified in my life.

Again thanks to the midwives I was swiftly put on a drip and given iron tablets to try and replace the blood I'd lost while they booked a blood transfusion. The chief anaesthetist explained the risks and rewards and basically it was a no-brainer. Apparently a normal blood level is around 14 and I had dropped to 7.5. I needed the blood.

At midnight they woke me from a drowsy nap, Peanut glued to my chest and wheeled me to the labour ward where there were enough staff to monitor me continuously in case I had an allergic reaction to the transfusion. I had three units pumped into me overnight and by Thursday lunchtime I was a new woman. I don't know who donated the blood I received but I'm so grateful they did. Thanks to them we were able to bring Peanut home that evening.

I donated blood before I became pregnant with Curly Girl and I will again when we finish breastfeeding. Please, if you can, give blood. It takes less then an hour and you could save someone's life.

Silent Sunday

Love All Blogs

Monday, 19 November 2012

And the Annabel Karmel giveaway winner is...

Thanks to everyone who read the of Annabel Karmel's new Fuss Pots range and her new Fussy Eater's Recipe Book and entered the giveaway. 

Unfortunately there can only be one winner so 
congratulations goes to...

Pippa A

...who was randomly selected by Rafflecopter.

Pippa's prize of a copy of Annabel Karmel's new recipe book and vouchers to sample the Fuss Pots range will be on their way to you very soon - enjoy!

Didn't win? Don't worry, you can still buy the Fuss Pots range for yourself at Sainsburys and the  is available at

Monday, 12 November 2012

Bumplog: The day before you come

In the morning we drop your big sister off at school
She's happy to go there, as a rule
Today she clings a little more
Knowing perhaps what is in store
On the day before you come

Back home to clean the house from top to bottom
Before all that is completely forgotten
Birth registration booked and planned
Making sure everything is in hand
On the day before you come

Last minute checks now to make sure we're ready
Watermelon like, moving slow and steady
Hospital bag full of things I won't need
The 'just in case' mantra every five minutes decreed
On the day before you come

Enjoying the silence in the day
Knowing all that's going away
Not sad for the loss but excited it'll pass
For tomorrow is the day we'll meet you at last
On the day before you come

Image courtesy of Maya Picture /

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Fuss Pots and the recipes that might just work

At three and a half years old, Curly Girl is still a fussy eater. I thought she might have grown out of it by now but I was wrong. Sure, she's increased her repertoire of foods and she'll even try new things from time to time but it's still a limited menu and she's still not eating the same meals that we do.

Her favourites? Fish goujons/fingers, Chicken pops, McCain Smiley faces, banana pancakes and her Mummy's homemade rosti with cheese, sweet potato and carrot. Yep, apart from the rosti I pretty much suck at getting her to eat healthy meals.

So when one of Annabel Karmel's team contacted me and asked if we wanted to try out her new Fuss Pots meals for fussy eaters I was delighted and tempted but frankly not expecting much luck.

The Fuss Pots are available in Sainsbury’s and are suitable for c.4-10 year olds. The new range of dishes have been designed to tempt the taste buds of even the fussiest eaters. The recipes, based on Annabel’s bestselling books, in easy to use microwaveable pots include Chicken Korma, Chicken ‘N’ Rice Nasi Goreng, Spaghetti Bolognese with Hidden Veg and Kickin’ Chicken Chow Mein.

We were sent two vouchers to try the meals and we were also sent Karmel's new recipe book - . We popped to Sainsbury's to pick up the meals and the ingredients for some of the recipes. Then I said a little prayer and we got started.

As the Fuss Pots meals are quite different from anything Curly Girl will happily eat at the moment I thought I'd first try a recipe that would be familiar to her - home made fish fingers with Atlantic cod and breadcrumbs (I used honey panko breadcrumbs as I'd already bought them for the next recipe). The process was actually very easy, just cut the cod fillet into strips, coat them in flour then beaten egg then the breadcrumbs and fry lightly on all sides until golden. And wow they were delicious! Super crunchy, succulent in the middle and utterly scrumptious. Heck, I'd eat them for my dinner. I cut them into chunks and held my breath as Curly Girl sat down to her lunch. She looked at them. Frowned. And then tucked in. HURRAH!!!

Next came home made chicken nuggets. I'd defrosted some chicken breasts the night before for OH and I and there was one left in the fridge so I cut it into 1 inch chunks and soaked it a mixture of buttermilk, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, paprika and lemon juice for a couple of hours. Then just like the previous recipe I dipped them in flour, beaten egg and panko breadcrumbs and fried them gently until they were golden on all sides (you can also oven cook them but time wasn't on my side that day). They passed the taste test on all fronts, juicy and crunchy, but the chicken was still quite solid for Curly Girl and she needed the pieces cut up fairly small before she'd actually finish chewing and swallow. But you know what? She ate almost all of them. Her first positive experience of chicken breast that hadn't been messed with in a factory. WOOP DE DOOP!

So now we were on a roll. Next we tried the Anzac biscuits. Curly Girl helped me measure out the ingredients and she stirred them all together for me (with only a small amount of spillage) and this was the result. We added some chocolate chips to the recipe for some extra yumminess. Deeeelicious. In fact so good that OH ate most of them! Curly Girl had a taste while they were warm and seemed to like them but then went off them when they were cold. I think perhaps they were a bit too crunchy for her.

And last but not least, so far, is simple recipe for french toast. I'd made eggy bread for Curly Girl a hundred times but for some reason I hadn't made french toast. They're pretty similar to be honest, fully of eggy goodness but with sugar and cinnamon thrown in for good measure. What's not to love eh? Curly Girl had a few mouthfulls before turning her nose up which is good going for her with something new. Of course I had to polish off the rest - would have been rude not too *ahem*. Definitely going to try this recipe again, I reckon it could become a weekend tradition along with my banana pancakes. Well, if you can't have a blow-out breakfast at the weekend, when can you?

All in all  gets a big thumbs up from me. I'd definitely recommend it to parents of fussy eaters and non-fussy eaters too! Just getting Curly Girl to try eating something new is a feat in itself and these recipes are simple to make and taste delicious. We'll be trying out some of the more adventurous meals over time.

As for the Fuss Pots? Well as tasty as I thought they were, Curly Girl decided they were a step too far for now. *Sigh* Small steps, small steps...

I'm delighted that Annabel Karmel has offered one of you lovely lot a copy of along with some vouchers to try her new Fuss Pots range at Sainsbury's. All you have to do is enter using the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the simple instructions. Winners will be drawn at random next week. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer and the all-important small print: Annabel Karmel has offered me one copy of her new Recipes For Fussy Eaters book and some vouchers for her new Fuss Pots range to be used as a giveaway prize. I received no other compensation. This giveaway is open to UK residents aged 18 or over, one entry per household. There is no cash alternative. The winner will be chosen at random via Rafflecopter. The winner will have 48 hours to claim the prize or another winner will be chosen, again at random using Rafflecopter. You DO NOT have to subscribe to Bod for tea or like my or follow me on as part of your entry.

ThePrizeFinder - UK Competitions

Reader Appreciation Award

Yep, I used to own one of these *sigh*
Oh how lovely! I've been tagged for the extremely prestigious and incredibly important Reader Appreciation Award *ahem* by the lovely Bibsey Mama. I can't imagine why she has bestowed this on me but I'm very grateful for all and any awards that plop into my inbox. (Ok, so this is the first one.)

Instead of an acceptance speech awardees must answer these questions and then pay the award forward to readers who they themselves appreciate. Spiffing eh? So here goes with my answers:

Where do you do most of your writing/blogging?
On my laptop. Oh I see, you mean geographically? At home, in the kitchen, with Radio 2 in the background and one eye on the clock so I don't miss picking Curly Girl up from nursery. Of course this may all change in the next week when Peanut joins us...

What books were your childhood favourites?
The Mallory Towers Series by Enid Blyton. I longed to be Darrell Rivers. (Yep I'm that old.)

Who is your favourite fictional character?
Winnie the Pooh. His attitude on the sweeter things in life is spot on.

What is your favourite time of day and why?
Can I have two? Bed time with Curly Girl; when she snuggles up in my arms, sleepy and warm from the bath, I breathe in her gorgeous scent and melt with love. And once she's in bed sitting down with OH, hand in hand, savouring a glass of wine and frankly just vegging. (Urmmm... this is going to change very soon isn't it...)

Have you ever Googled yourself and been surprised at what you’ve found?
Nope. But I do find it strangely interesting to see who has the same name as me and what they're up to. (Stalker? Moi?)

Who would play me in a movie of my life?
In the unlikely event that such a dull movie would be made, I'd have to say Meg Ryan, pre-troutpout. Just because I love her and she has curly hair too (although she tends not to look like she's been dragged through a hedge backwards...).

One material possession I could not live without.

Have you ever been naked in public?
Almost. Read our for the gory details.

What is your dream car?
My old Honda RVF400 nc35 motorbike. It was sacrificed in the name of motherhood and I still miss it *sniff*.

What/who/where was your first proper kiss?
Well it was more of a quick snog really, by the bike sheds with my future boyfriend's best friend. *Blush*

And now the same questions to…
Team Lloyd, , , Honest Mum, Daddacool and Circus Mum. I always love their comments here on Bod for tea and I love their blogs too. If you don't follow them, go and do it. Now. (I'm waiting.)

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Bumplog - 7 days and counting

Dear blog,

I've been neglecting you this past week and I'm sorry. Half term got in the way a bit if truth be told and I struggle to post when Curly Girl's about.

But I do have another excuse too.

You see in seven days time everything changes. Everything and nothing.

We'll no longer be a family of three, but a family of four.

Curly Girl will no longer be an only child, but an older sister.

I'll no longer be pregnant, but a Mother of two.

After the chaos of our first c-section, we were hoping SO hard for a natural birth this time around but Peanut is stubbornly breech still so next Tuesday we'll be driving to the hospital for another c-section. Am I disappointed? Yes, of course. I even shed a tear or two when the booking was first made *sniff* but I'm philosophical about it now and to be honest a happy, healthy baby is all that matters (that and shifting some weight off my poor rib muscles which are seriously painful after a month-long cough and cold virus!).

The longer recovery period is a pain but at least we're at home this time, with family and friends around us, and that is something I'm so grateful for.

Plus I've got loads of fab product reviews lined up for Peanut's arrival, thanks to some lovely brands that I'm delighted to be working with. So there will be lots to keep you busy very soon. Just be a little patient with me for the next couple of weeks, ok?

Thanks muchly,

Me x

Image courtesy of digitalart /
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