He’s here! HE! I can’t believe we finally know that there was a little boy in there all along (although we were totally convinced it was a boy from the start; he was a troublemaker from day one!).

If you’ve read my last pregnancy update you’ll know that I was having some problems with elevated blood pressure. After six visits to the hospital maternity unit to be monitored, a plan was finally put in place to induce me on Wednesday 4th July, two days before my due date – I can’t tell you how happy I was to know that I wouldn’t be going potentially two weeks overdue!

At 4pm on the 4th I was given a propess pessary in the hope it would bring on labour. I didn’t want to pin too much on it as it isn’t guaranteed to work, but by 11pm I was having regular contractions and at midnight my waters broke, half way through watching Jaws may I add; maybe it was all the scenic ocean shots?!

After getting to labour ward, the monitor showed that the baby’s heart rate kept dropping with my contractions and the staff weren’t happy with how slowly it was returning to normal. I was examined by Dr Smirnoff (yes, really!) who throughout the next few hours had to take some blood samples from the baby’s head, to test the oxygen levels. After the first examination (which was pretty rough) he recommended me having an epidural for the pain.

Unfortunately, the epidural wasn’t fully effective and I still had feeling in my right hand side. I was dilating at a good speed though and after a few hours was up to eight centimetres. After another examination, Dr Smirnoff advised us that the baby wasn’t fully in position which was going to make delivery difficult. He left the room to speak with a consultant and within minutes the room was chaotic.

Up to this point, we had been extremely well informed of everything that was going on and the staff were really chilled out. This probably added to the panic that we then felt, as there seemed to be a real emergency to get me to theatre for a section. My midwife Kara, said “things are going to go a bit quick now” and boy did they. Jon was thrown a set of scrubs and I was wheeled from the room, leaving my poor mother sat thinking the worst.

Even though you’d do anything to ensure your baby is safe and well, I was so scared in that moment. The thought of an emergency section terrified me. Add to that the urgency from the staff and the fact that I had laboured to eight centimetres for what felt like no reason now, I was a blubbering mess by the time we got to theatre.

Jon was bundled into a recovery room while I was given a spinal and examined again (don’t go looking for dignity around here guys!). Legs in stirrups and my knees pushed up so close to my face, I’m fairly sure I hadn’t been this flexible since I was in the womb myself. My esteemed Russian friend now popped his head up an announced “fully dilated!” which was met with cheers from around the room; I didn’t need the section after all.

Jon was dragged back into the room and with three pushes (and an episiotomy and ventouse) Zachary Taylor Lewis was born. Weighing 7lbs 10.5oz, he was lighter than his sister and lighter than the growth scans had predicted. He has long limbs, dark hair and lots of peach fuzz over his back; truly a little monkey already!Zac has slipped seamlessly into family life and we honestly can’t imagine life without him now. Daisy introduces her “little brother, Zac” to anyone who’ll listen and is proving to be the best big sister already. It honestly feels like yesterday that she was this small, so we’re trying to soak up these blurry newborn days as much as we can. We feel so lucky to have such a beautiful little family and can’t wait to start having adventures as a four.

Emma x

Who needs sleep anyway huh? After a week of disrupted sleep thanks to an ear infection, it kindly cleared up… and moved to the other ear?! Thankfully, it’s starting to get a little better and I’m not second guessing as many conversations from lack of hearing. There are only so many times you can ask people to repeat themselves, before politely nodding instead and giving it a “mmm hmm”. My blood pressure was a little higher than normal this week at antenatal (it’s normally quite low) so combined with the swelling to my feet, the midwives wanted to keep an eye on it. My mother (who’s also a nurse) checked it later in the day and it was higher again, so we spent the evening at the maternity ward getting checked over. My bloods came back fine, baby’s movements were all okay and my blood pressure came back down eventually so I was okay to go home. Unfortunately, this continued all weekend with me back and forth the hospital numerous times, but as long as baby is doing ok and my bloods are good, there’s nothing more to be done.Aside from that, everything else is going good. Baby is super low down and apparently engaged, still wriggling lots and giving me some awesome ‘lightening crotch’ pains. I’m having so many baths to relax I’ll be donning a tail and a shell bra soon; just call me Ariel! Fingers crossed we won’t be waiting much longer now though, especially seeing as this weather (lovely yes I know) is turning me into a melting pool of emotions. All I want to do do is lie on the bathroom floor with an ice lolly!

Emma x

All hail maternity leave! I’m finally off work and couldn’t be happier. I’ve been struggling for a few weeks now and sitting at a desk all day certainly hasn’t helped. Add to that the hotter weather and my feet have swollen to Kim K in those plastic shoes levels – what was she thinking?! I’ve had my blood pressure checked regularly and have been keeping an eye out for any signs of preeclampsia but so far, all is okay.I’ve had a nasty ear infection for the last week which has disrupted my sleep (even more!) but with some antibiotic spray from the doctor, it’s starting to feel a little better thankfully. I’ve pulled a muscle in my stomach too, probably from only being able to lie on one side because of my ear; honestly feel like I’m falling apart! My midwife gave me a check over this week though and confirmed that the baby is low down and engaged!I’ve felt a few twinges with some low down cramps but nothing constant just yet, so for the foreseeable you’ll be able to find me bouncing on a gym ball, whilst eating curry and copious amounts of pineapple. I’ve got a growth scan tomorrow, so we’ll know a little more about whether I’ll be induced or left naturally for now. Whatever happens, we’re in the home stretch now! Emma x

I haven’t posted an update for a while now. To be honest, I haven’t felt like writing anything over the past few weeks. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know we’ve had a tough time lately as a family.

A few weeks back, we lost my lovely Nana Mary. She had advanced dementia and in the end it was honestly a blessing. Sadly just the morning after her funeral, her husband Grandpa Colin passed away peacefully in his sleep.

He was 88 and hadn’t been well lately himself, but it was such a shock to come so quickly and while we were all still emotionally raw following Nan’s funeral. The past few weeks have been some of the toughest.

It’s no surprise that I feel emotionally drained at the moment, but I haven’t felt great physically either. At my antenatal appointments, my bump has measured over where it should be. I’ve had a glucose test to check for gestational diabetes, which came back normal and we’re now waiting for a growth scan.I’ve had the worst nausea ever and some swelling ‘down there’ (no real life over here guys, it’s all the glamour!) which is really disrupting my sleep. My bump feels super tight all the time and my energy is a thing of the past. For the next few weeks, I’ll be having as much rest as possible and trying to relax my body as there’s still a way to go yet!Apart from all the crappiness, this little babe is still so active and is constantly letting me know how good the party is in there. Some of the movements are so strong, I feel like this little one could come out crawling and babbling away already!

Another weird side effect I’ve had is melasma; a skin discolouration that’s common in pregnancy. I’ve actually had it for a few years now, which may have been caused by the pill, but it’s spread a little more the past few weeks. It’s now faintly lining my top lip, as well as extra patches along my forehead, cheekbones and nose. It doesn’t bother me, in fact I quite like it. It’s a kind of sun kissed look without sitting in the sun!I’m starting my maternity leave on Monday and I’m determined to enjoy these last few weeks as much as possible. We’re going to get ourselves in gear and sort all the essentials out over the next couple of days, starting with giving Daisy’s cot a well needed lick of paint. Not long left now!

Emma x

So, my last pregnancy update was just prior to us going to Krakow for the weekend (more on that little trip here). You may know that I’ve been having some pelvic/stomach pain for a few weeks now. It’s uncomfortable, but all part and parcel of growing a little person. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m carrying totally different to Daisy, and with much more weight on the front of my bump, everything seems heavier and a little more off balance.

Before going to Krakow, I was slightly apprehensive about how much walking we would be doing, as this tends to worsen any pains I have. Well, despite us having a lovely time I was bang on in being nervous. I was a broken woman by the Monday! Lots of walking around the (very beautiful) city in pretty cold temperatures did my poor pelvis no good. I couldn’t even talk it down with the promise of lots of cake and coffee. After a morning of sightseeing on the Saturday, we found a lovely bar to watch the Six Nations Final and stayed there well into the evening. By the time we got back to the hotel, I was in tears and in a lot of pain; the third floor of the hotel with no lift didn’t help! Thankfully, I felt better by the morning for our trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau. I managed to hobble around for the full tour and honestly just made it back to the minibus. It was touch and go on Jon finding me a wheelchair there for a minute!img_2764Since coming home, I’ve been straight back to work and we’re decorating Daisy’s room, so not much time for rest. It’s a bit of a juggling act trying to keep the pain to a minimum as too much movement aggravates it, just as much as too much sitting still. I’ve also started getting a lot of pelvic pressure, which my mother had throughout her pregnancies with my brothers. I mentioned it at my 24 week antenatal appointment and the midwives advised much of the same advice I’ve already had, but to let them know if it gets any worse. If it hasn’t subsided by my 28 week appointment, they can look at possibly referring me for physiotherapy if needed. With my bump growing though, I can’t see this getting better until our little one is in our arms, rather than dancing around in my belly.facetune_28-03-2018-18-32-10Still lots of movements and my belly has been some very odd shapes this past week. I have no idea what he or she is doing in there, but one minute I’ll feel kicks near my ribs and within half an hour lots of moves along my bikini line. Who knows what’s going on, but it seems like a pretty energetic party!

Emma  x