Who would have thought that a diaphragm could cause so many problems?
Well little madam Smiths certainly has! When we were first diagnosed with CHD back at 2o weeks the cardiologist thought she saw a ‘Diaphragmatic hernia’ that was causing babies heart to be pushed to the right and stomach in the left side of the chest. The end result with this and severe CHD was a baby that would not survive past birth…we were sent straight to fetal medicine for more scans and it was then said the diaphragm looked fine. PHEW!

Fast forward 4 weeks and we presented again with the news “we think your baby has a diaphragmatic hernia” – WHAT THE HECK! I’m telling you this journey is such a roller coaster. I can see why pregnant women should not ride them, its stressful! I was hesitant until she drew us  a picture, it was identical to that of the original the cardiologist had previously drawn and we thought then it couldn’t be a coincidence.

To answer it once and for all I was sent last Monday for an MRI. That was awkward; being naked in a hospital gown and answering questions from the male radiographer – eeek

Today we finally got an answer – No she doesn’t have a hernia BUT after having a specialist look at the images from Sheffield she diagnosed ‘Eventration of the Diaphragm’. We still do not know much about this, just that it means its abnormally high and isn’t muscle but has formed from  fibroelastic tissue, So it doesn’t contract (is paralyzed). It seems she will need another surgery along with the 3 she faces with her heart. Her lungs also are smaller as a result. The extent will not be known until birth.

So how do we feel? Relieved to finally know the diaphragm sitch but apart from that I am pretty numb to other emotion. Were 29 weeks now and keep having stuff thrown at us that we don’t know what to think / feel!

Days like this I just want to give life the V's and not have to think about it all!

Days like this I just want to give life the V’s and not have to think about it all!

 

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This November is the big ‘3-0’ for me!I love birthdays…for me they should be ‘birth-weeks’ because I really do try to stretch it out for at least a week of celebrating! But this one does make me slightly nervous, I don’t know why, probs because im getting old!!! But with today being the 30th I am reminded that it is fast approaching.

On my 29th I had this mad panic that I’d lived almost 30 years and barley accomplished much and so after some searching on Pinterest (of course) I came across the idea of “30 before 30” – a bucket list to complete before hitting your 30’s. Along with the goals I set myself to accomplish this year I also decided to list 29 things id done before 29..i’m so glad I did because I realized all the amazing things I had done with my life so far and it really was a boost (try it), things like falling in love, getting married and having 2 kids, flying planes in the RAF (I was a cadet not it the air force), shot Army rifles, Traveling (Some of Europe, Mexico, USA),Mountain climbing, overcoming depression, Festivals and concerts, various qualifications and a few more personal things, but overall I felt life had so many adventures that I had already experienced and many more to come.

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So.. 30 BEFORE 30:

  •  Finish my Hairdressing course
  • Be debt free
  • Host a posh dinner party
  • Watch a classic series of films
  • Start a blog
  • Learn the art of Indian cooking
  • Take a new dance / exercise class (for a term)
  • See a west end production
  • Eat an Animal ive never eaten before
  • Sleep under the stars
  • Visit the Natural history & British museum (Hello London trip)
  • Visit a new country
  • Milk a cow
  • Get Legs waxed
  • Have a spray Tan
  • Breakfast on the beach / sunrise with Nath
  • Camping with the Kids
  • Start a collection – Christmas plates
  • Watch 5 films from 1984
  • Take a make up class
  • See Auschwitz
  • Start a business
  • Start Personal History / project life
  • Swim in 2 different seas in the same day
  • Organize an activity for church
  • Be preggers or have had #3
  • 30 Acts of random kindness
  • Complete the National 3 peaks
  • Do something embarrassing
  • (Spiritual goal)

 

I was so excited about these goals and felt i’d finally be a ‘real woman’ haha as each one had purpose – help me better myself, help others, see some more of this amazing world , do a couple of random things and learn some domestic goddess skills, overall have a crazy fun last year of my twenties!! As you can see ive already accomplished a few (whooop check me – its been fun).
However what I didn’t expect was that this year of life would also throw at me probably one of the hardest challenges yet – expecting a baby with CHD and uncertainty from birth. Obviously this has also taught us to live and try to enjoy life to the full but I have found it hard that what I was hoping to experience this year probably cannot happen. My time in which to accomplish these is less as from September we are likely to be in hospital for AGES and I obviously cannot travel as far as I hoped in case I go into preterm labour and are not near a hospital equipped to deal with her problems. So rather than feeling like a failure I look at it as a temporary sacrifice, ive moved some onto my life ‘bucket list’ (I will do them one day) and instead combined some of them into a “Summer bucket List” that we can all enjoy, we are determined this summer to do so many fun things, have so many new adventures and laugh and have a generally mint time as a family as we know that as the summer ends we all have a big mountain to climb and our lives will be a challenge and we will have to be apart at times. So as we hit July tomorrow we look forward to a mint couple of months together, fingers crossed for lots of sunshine…

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Camping – Alton towers – “Windy Castle” – Beach trips – Boat ride (To name a few)

 What can you do to live life to the full this summer? Make it count! 

 

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Nathan and I were blessed this week with 2 new beautiful twin nieces; ‘Eila and Ava’. Not for the first time mind you, as just last year his sister too had identical twin girls…2 sets in less than a year…how fabulous!

Today we headed to Lancashire to pay them all a visit. Unfortunately they were STILL waiting to be discharged and so after dropping the kids with my parents at the house we headed up for a quick visit.
A few ‘Uturns’, hospital detours and getting stuck on the antenatal ward we finally found them:

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Kirsty (that’s my youngest sister) was so pleased to have some visitors and I was going nuts over them all and their ‘midgetness’! Such a pair of scrummy babies! I always find it so amazing how much love you can feel for someone you’ve just met. I wondered how I would be around new babies with the circumstances that surround our impending birth but how can you be sad when you hold 2 perfect little pea sized head babies?! It made me feel so happy!

 Hours later we welcomed them all home and Ethan and Megan met their new cousins.. Ethan was in awe and so excited, Megan had to be restrained from twisting fingers, prizing eyes open and squishing heads.  But both were a pair of giddy kippers that couldn’t stop staring at them and touching them.

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Twin time has been the best time and brought us all joy (just as every new baby does for a family), it has made us a little bit more excited to meet our baby girl and given us a great day!

Here I am with ‘Ava’ and my mum with ‘Eila’ having baby snuggles. Whatever we are experiencing in life the time spent with new life really does bring joy to us all and reminds us of the miracles along the way!

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If i’m being honest I would say I was NOT looking forward to this week at all. It was Jam packed with hospital visits to various departments. This is how my week looked:

  • MONDAY AM – GTT (Again, id already had it at 18weeks) Dewsbury Hospital
  • MONDAY PM -MRI , ST James’ Hospital (looking for CDH)
  • WEDS AM – Cardiac scan, LGI
  • THURS AM – 28 week check with midwife

I find it hard to ask for help and with Nathan working now for the summer since Uni ended there was no way I could handle Ethan and Megan at hospital with all of this. Not only that but every time I go to hospital it is reminder of whats ahead and the problems our baby has.

Monday actually went SO smoothly, 2 friends from church took the kids and said how brill they were (are these the same kids?) and being at hospital didn’t leave me feeling naff either..Score!

Cousins at the farm

Cousins at the farm

We had a wonderful day out on Tuesday to Swithens Farm in Rothwell. I love it because its free, a bit rough around the edges and a chilled place to be. What was great about this visit was that Nathans mum and sisters came with their kids too. We get on fantastically and I love being with them all, it was great to see the kids playing and exploring (and at times fighting). I love the joy on Ethan and Megans faces as they are around their cousins!
The outing really took my mind off the impending MRI results and visit weds to fetal cardiology.

Yesterday we received a tiny piece of good news..her left ventricle is slowly growing..HOORAY! What this means is there is still hope of a double ventricle repair and less surgeries. Hope is a wonderful thing.

As Naths Parents had come across to help with the kids we made the most of the day and went to Crows nest park in Dewsbury (a diamond in the rough) its a fab park and the kids loved it. Mother Smith and I even got a couple of poppy pods to seed the gardens later in the year.

All in all a week I was dreading has turned out to have been fun and adventures. Thank goodness for friends and fam!

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