Wednesday, November 24, 2010

It's Good to Be Home

I am now 32 weeks along with this pregnancy and I have to say the last couple of weeks have proven to be exhausting. I remember being tired when I was pregnant with Annabelle but of course I didn't have another child at home to look after - plus I have been working 3 days a week and my commute is 4 hours each day.

By mid last week I was really starting to feel awful, and the fact that I've had a head cold for more than 3 weeks, with no sign of it budging, isn't helping. I woke up Friday and I couldn't put my finger on it but I just didn't feel 'right' so I rang and left a message with work to say I wouldn't be in.

Annabelle goes to day care on a Friday so I got her ready and waved her off and then it happened, a very strange sensation that started with my vision. All of a sudden I could see flashing lights, mostly pink and silver, in my right eye making it very difficult to see.

I googled 'blurred vision during pregnancy' and I came across several articles that said to seek medical attention as it was probably pre-eclampsia. I rang the birthing unit of my local hospital to get advice and I have to say I was disappointed in their attitude as they told me in no uncertain terms not to go there. I then rang my OBs office and the ladies there were fantastic and told me to come in immediately.

As I don't drive I decided to ring a taxi as my symptoms were worsening and by the time I got to the OBs office my right arm was numb and the right side of my face was paralysed, thankfully only temporarily.  I suddenly realised it might have been more serious than I suspected when my Doctor mentioned the word stroke! Before I could blink I was on my way to hospital, yes, the same hospital that turned me away and the same hospital that is walking distance from my house!

Thankfully they took me into emergency fairly quickly and hooked me up to machines and started all sorts of tests... the hardest bit was answering their questions as I was having difficulty reading - everything looked like hieroglyphics - and forming proper sentences. It was a strange feeling knowing I wasn't saying the right thing but being unable to form the right word.

About 4 years ago I experienced two migraines quite close together that involved blurred spots in my vision and a tingle in my right arm but nothing as scary as this! Thankfully I could remember the name of the neurologist that treated me so the hospital was able to obtain my records from him and it saved me having to undergo specific tests again! 

I spent just over 24 hours in the high dependency unit - my first ever night away from Annabelle so there were a few tears in the morning - and then I was transferred onto the ward sharing a room with 3 men all over the age of 70; now that was an experience!

After 3 days and a barrage of tests I was finally allowed to go home with the diagnosis of a Sporadic Hemiplegic Migraine! As you can imagine I was relieved that I hadn't had a major stroke but Hemiplegic Migraines come with their own issues as they are rare but severe, and can also lead to strokes - in fact sufferers are twice as likely to have a stroke as non migraine sufferers - and the more frequent the attack the more likely to cause brain damage .

While I am pregnant there isn't much they can do for me in the way of treatment but after this baby is born, which now looks like it might be brought forward, the Docs will sort out a treatment plan for me.

So for now I am resting up, I've had to finish up with work 4 weeks earlier than planned, and I am hoping that the weeks until our new family member joins us are uneventful.

One can always hope!

Wordless Wednesday - Just 'Cos

More Aussie Wordless Wednesday and also over at My Little Drummer Boys

Friday, November 12, 2010

Once More Unto the Breach

When I was pregnant with Annabelle I developed high blood pressure, which meant a stay in hospital on bed rest and leaving work earlier than I'd hoped. It was good at the time but it actually meant I had less time at home with her after she was born as I had exhausted all my leave and had to return to work when she was only 6 months old, thankfully only part time.

This pregnancy has been completely different to Annabelle's, which is why I've been convinced from day one that I am having a boy. The morning sickness was far worse, and still pays me the occasional visit, the heartburn has kicked in a lot earlier (Gaviscon and Mylanta are my new best friends) and the exhaustion doesn't seem to want to leave me - regardless of how much sleep I have (the fact that we have a 14 month old probably has something to do with the last bit).

The upside to all this is that I've actually lost weight, 6 kilos to be exact. I'm not exactly sure where the loss has come from as it certainly hasn't left my butt - it's a shame we can't choose these things isn't it! I have to add that I haven't been trying to lose weight, however I'm putting it down to two bouts of gastro and horrendous morning sickness.

Of course the most important thing is the health of the baby, who is measuring correctly and appears healthy on all the scans. This time around I am hoping for a nice healthy sized baby as Annabelle was induced two weeks early and weighed 2700 grams (5.9 pounds). ). Even 0000 outfits were too big for her so I had to go and buy premmie clothes for her to wear, although technically she was considered full term. I have since been told that high blood pressure affects the placenta, which in turn affects the size of the baby!

So, despite the weight loss, tiredness and everything else I had been travelling along quite well and I’d been feeling pretty pleased with myself that my blood pressure had remained stable – until I reached my 29th week and then everything went pear shaped!

I’ve already had a trip to hospital to be monitored, poked, prodded and scanned and now I am the owner of my very own blood pressure machine as I have to take readings several times a day and then email them to my Obstetrician – what fun!

Although this bubba isn’t due until the 14th January I’ve been told I will probably have a December baby – please let bubba hang on until after 25th December! The realisation that I only have about 7 weeks to go is both exciting and a little scary as we’re neither mentally nor physically prepared.

I guess it’s time to stop procrastinating and start getting organised – looks like we’ll be buying a cot this weekend!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

My Creative Space - 11.11.10

This week I am taking part of My Creative Space so I thought it was a good time to point out that I have started a craft blog called Annabelle and Fred, which is charting my journey making handmade baby rattles, mobiles and soft toys - and where I have posted a picture for My Creative Space.

I am hoping to eventually have enough stock to take to a market - but with a 14 month old and another on the way my plans may be too ambitious - we'll just have to see what happens!

In the meantime you can pop over to The Homespun World of Annabelle and Fred, which is my business Facebook page, to see what I have completed so far!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Frittata Fingers

I don't often post recipes but this one has been such a success with my 14 month old I thought I'd share it!

Frittata Fingers
1 medium zucchini grated (about half a cup)
1 medium carrot grated (about half a cup)
1 small tin creamed corn - 135g
1 small onion chopped finely
1-2 small broccoli florets finely chopped (just the tops, no stems)
4 eggs lightly whisked
grated cheese - 1/3 cup
1 Tablespoon sifted plain flour
2 teaspoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease and line a square cake pan, ( I actually use a rectangular lamington pan as I prefer the frittata a bit thinner as it is easy for little fingers to hold).

Heat oil in a frypan over medium heat and add zucchini, carrot, broccoli and onions. Cook mixture for about 5 minutes until veggies are softer. remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Whisk eggs in a large bowl and add cheese, sifted flour and vegetable mix Stir until well combined.

Pour mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until set. Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes before placing on a plate to cool completely

Cut into fingers.

I have previously substituted the creamed corn for shredded chicken - I used a small 85g tin, or sweet potato, both of which were successful (it just depends on what I have in the cupboard and fridge!)

I freeze the fingers in packets of two and they make good day care food as Annabelle will eat them cold and she can actually feed herself. If I serve them to her for dinner I heat them up and serve them with cheesy mashed potato and pumpkin.

The frittata can also become an adult dish with the addition of seasoning, parsley, garlic (which is cooked with the onion), omitting the brocolli and replacing the corn with some bacon.

Serve warm in squares with a lovely crisp green salad - and a glass of wine if you wish!