Strawberry Picking at Lambert’s Fruit Farm

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On Saturday Kayla, Kenzie and I snook out for a couple of hours to go strawberry picking in Lamberts Fruit Farm just up in the Dublin mountains close to the DSPCA. I’ve always wanted to go strawberry picking or fruit picking in general but never knew such places existed in Dublin never mind Ireland until a friend told us about it whilst robbing snuggles from little K.

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One Babog, Two Babog, Three Babog… Four <3

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What a week it has been. Our beautiful little bundle arrived last Friday night, and she is perfect, all seven pounds two ounces of her. It’s like she’s always been here, and for everyone asking, yes, we made it to the hospital with plenty of time to spare. My poor mother was palpitating when I rang to tell her I was getting mild irregular contractions so much she left work in a panic and spent the next few hours hounding me to leave. (more…)

Pregnancy Update Week 37

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It’s been a long week. I’ve had five iron infusions, my last one was yesterday. And I must say even though I was stressed out looking for minders for the kids these little infusions have me feeling fabulous. Everything to my complexion, the colouring of my eyes and I have bundles of energy. I’ve never in all four pregnancies felt so good especially not at 37 weeks pregnant. (more…)

Pregnancy Update Week 36

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It was my birthday on Wednesday, and as much as I wasn’t in the humour of celebrating because I couldn’t see a thing I had a great day with the gremlins. They made me breakfast in bed and ate it too. They cleaned the playroom before school then wrecked it again just before we left. They sent me flowers and ate the accompanying chocolates. Joe even organised the family together for a cake that evening, I ate it with a fork (more…)

Pregnancy Update Week 34 (and a half)

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I use to blog when the kids napped, or when they were in bed. Now I’m napping with them or eating my body weight in crap. The blog is taking a noticeable landslide in the past week but bare with me, I’m sure I’ll have loads to be giving out about when we become a family of six in a short few weeks. (more…)

Thrombocytopenia and Me

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Due to a blood condition, I will never be allowed donate blood but I’m very supportive of the Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS). Today is World Blood Donor Day and this week also marks Blood For Life Week (13th-17th of June) and with this in mind, I’ve decided to put together a little post in hope that anyone in a position to donate will consider donating, or will help pass the message on that the IBTS needs your blood. (more…)

Bring Back The 90’s

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Yesterday I got so excited when my six-year-old came in looking for an empty jam jar, and with the day I was having anything aside from teething, heat and waddling would have put a smile on my face. I knew in an instant what she wanted it for. She wanted to catch bees. Remember when we were kids and we spent our summer months crawling the muc hills collecting bees and those sticky balls to torture the kids on the next road? Yep, her need for a jam jar brought me back and reminded me what summer was about. Oh man, the 90’s rocked. (more…)

Pregnancy Update Week 33

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I’m feeling very pregnant, up until this point I’ve pretty much winged it. Then this heatwave landed and it has knocked me for six. At 33 weeks pregnant I’m walking around the house half-naked, windows and doors open and spraying myself with mist every ten minutes. Did I mention I’m showering 3-4 times a day? I couldn’t care less what destruction the kids get up to while I’m in there. (more…)

Three Under Three – The Bond Will Be Unbreakable Won’t It?

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It’s amazing what a bit of sleep can do for you. I feel like a new woman now that we have a solid routine, a strict one that I’m abiding too because as selfish as it might sound to some I’m reeking the benefits. There have been slip-ups of course but my kids have all slept in their own bed for naps and throughout the night. I won’t lie, I miss the cuddles something terrible but at 32 weeks pregnant I need the rest. Putting Kadie into her own room has been one of the best decisions we’ve made as a family in a long time.
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Because We Just Need Some Sleep

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The past month has been awful here on the sleep front. I’ve broken down in tears too many time to count in recent weeks due to utter exhaustion. Yesterday Joe and I agreed without argument (for a change) that it was time to give Kadie her own room – in hope she would settle better at night. Wishful thinking but we are at the stage now that we just need some sleep… (more…)

Mammy Guilt

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Mammy guilt is well and truly alive, and it has really hit me in the past week. My first-born had me all to herself, and now she’s six and I’m pregnant for the third summer in a row. Last year I pushed myself, although a lot easier with just the one babog. We were up and out on mini adventures, exploring, now I’m overwhelmed with the constant needs and wants that come with parenting and small children.
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Toddlers Be Like

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My toddler is mad, fact. I really don’t know where I got him from. He’s a walking, non-talking mischievous little bugger. I keep saying kids will be kids to myself but my toddler has his own set own rules that he lives off. It’s his way or the highway… (more…)

How Not To Potty Train Your Toddler

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So the boy is two and there’s all this talk of potty training, big boys beds and getting rid of his bedtime boppy. Now if you were to ask me I’d have said he was grand. I’d rather leave him in his cage like bed for the moment, at least until the new baby arrives. I ain’t got the energy to be chasing him around upstairs cause let’s face it, he’s gonna run a muc when he gets his new bed. As for the boppy, he’s a sleeper. Why fix something that ain’t broken? (more…)

Pregnancy Update Week 28

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My dates have been confirmed, I’m still due on the 25th of July but my OBs would still like to induce me early. I’m gonna play it cool and just not gonna show up. Can you do that? Like can they section you to come into the hospital? I can only imagine two guards arriving at the door ‘I am arresting you on suspicion of not delivering your baby…‘.  (more…)

Pregnancy in E-cards

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Aside from the heartburn, nose bleeds and horrendous restlessness come evening time I’m pretty much ‘sailing’ my way into the third trimester. It feels pretty awesome to be growing a tiny person again. Twelve and a half weeks left and counting. Here’s some of the funniest and relatable pregnancy ecards I’ve come across on the net… (more…)

Sleep Regression

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We had a Public Health Nurse appointment this morning. Both babogs. I hymned and hawed about cancelling ’cause we had a really bad night. A nobody got any sleep night. My little babog is going through a sleep regression the past two nights and it’s taking it’s tole on everyone. (more…)

The Act Of Giving To Others Is The Art Of Following Your Heart

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Teddies have a special healing power in our home, no matter if your big or small Teddy always manages to comfort with a warm hug. Back in January Kayla’s six-year-old Teddy disappeared from our Hotel in Disneyland Paris as we frolicked about in the parks. Unfortunately this trip wasn’t what dreams were made of as I spent the last day comforting her and making empty promises. I was sure Teddy would show up. He didn’t, we left France and Teddy was never seen again. (more…)

One Of THOSE Days…

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It was grand this morning. No school run because the Big Kid was in her dads. Toddler had a lie in. Baby miraculously slept pretty well. Joe left a batch of minty chalk on the draining board. I had coffee, the real stuff, none of that decaf crap. (more…)

Pregnancy Craving Confessions

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I’ve always had cravings during pregnancy. On my first I craved chicken, and as a strict vegetarian of ten years I gave in and licked buckets of KFC, something I haven’t been able to look at since. On Frankie I craved rashers, I couldn’t get enough of the salty goodness and I still eat it to this day. I’m no longer a vegetarian, I eat fish, chicken and rashers. And on Frankie, Kadie and Bump I’ve craved chalk, as in the chalk you give the kids to draw on the ground and black boards with.  (more…)

My Little Babog Is Not A Sleeper

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We were blessed with Frankie. Naptime and bedtime he is an angel, excluding the clock change, that did throw him off but last night it was business as usual. I mention his bop-bop, num-nums or teddy and he’s thundering up the stairs – waving bye-bye, blowing kisses, the lot. We don’t see him till morning. Again, we are blessed.
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Free The Elephants

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Today the boy turned two. He hasn’t a clue what’s going on but one things for sure he thinks his mamma and sister are bat shit crazy. We’re bursting into song, acting all Larry and making it an extra special day for him. We were up and out by 10am collecting his cake and balloon. Followed by a stop off at his favourite park so he could get his hands and knee’s all mucky. It’s been a great day! (more…)

7 Things I Hate About Soft Play

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Nothing increases my blood pressure more than a visit to soft play, my stress levels literally go through the roof every single time. I don’t know why I do it to myself but we’ve lots of midterm days to fill and the big kid begged and begged and begged. Here’s 7 thing I hate about soft play: (more…)

If Toddlers Could Talk – A ‘How To’ Guide

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As much as I would like to think Frankie has calmed down, he’s still as wild as ever. He’s a ball of never-ending energy. As he approaches the big two he has become more independent but he’s also getting frustrated with the auld language barrier. He has a total of 40-50 words but they’re mostly food or Paw Patrol related, banana and Marshall being the two most widely used. If he could put sentences together I’m pretty sure this is what ‘advice’ he’s giving to his toddler friends. (more…)

Disneyland Paris Tips and Tricks

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I’m a Disneyland Paris fanatic. We have been to Disneyland Paris three times in the past three years, I’m a real kid at heart. I’ve also been to Disneyland in California, a whole other world but that’s another days tale. We’re not long back, just a few weeks and it was the best little holiday I ever had, just the two of us. I’m already day dreaming of our next visit. Here I’ve compiled a list of some Disneyland tips and tricks to help you save some pennys, beat the queues and make your stay a little more enjoyable! (more…)

Toddlers : The Stuff the Parenting Books Leave Out

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The boy or ‘The Terrorist’, as I like to call him is nineteen months old now, a fully fledged toddler. I’ve mentioned before on my blog that I save his life on a daily basis. He likes to climb, dive and leave destruction everywhere he goes. He’s a bundle of never-ending energy. The things he gets up to does not come in the parenting books. Raising toddler is serious work. (more…)

Pregnancy Update Week 38

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So there is absolutely no sign of anything happening. My Hicks, the niggly back cramps, and those mild contractions have disappeared off the face of the earth. It’s a really weird feeling especially at 38 weeks pregnant considering all my babies come early. I’m normally praying for the onset of labour, I even served Kadie her eviction notice this time last year, I dunno I feel like I’ve another week or so left in me. (more…)

Birth Story #13 | Rascals Entrance | Stuff and Nothing

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Here we are, week 13 of the birth story series, and who knows next week I could be sharing mine. Tonight Stuff and Nothing one of my favourite writers shares a rather daunting experience of a completely unnecessary induction…

Rascals’ Entrance

“You’re full term… we’ll just have this baby today!”, announced the consultant breezily, after a mere glance at the ultrasound report. The one that hadn’t seemed to reveal any particular problems. There was an awkward silence as we failed to respond positively to this unexpected news. It was two days before my due date. I had only been given an extra scan because one of the doctors that randomly examined my bump for a minute a couple of weeks ago thought it was a bit on the small side. I’d been hearing that for the whole pregnancy though, and everything had been fine. The baby was head down and engaged, but there was no sign that we were ready to go into labour anytime soon. This wasn’t surprising for a first pregnancy. I had plans for at least the next week of maternity leave. I was also aiming for zero to minimal intervention for the birth. This was not what I wanted to hear.

“You’re ready to go, one gel should do the trick!”, she continued, frantically filling out forms so we could be sent straight up to book in. Still trying to absorb this, I managed to explain that we lived five minutes away and would like to pick up my hospital bag first if this was going to happen. Absolutely not, I was told. We had to book in RIGHT NOW. We were ushered out the door before we’d really had any chance to take it all in.

With nothing more concrete than the implied sense of urgency, we walked (waddled) upstairs to get booked in. Had we been ‘given permission’ to go home for half an hour then I think we would have come back with a lot of questions. In hindsight, that was probably the real reason for the insistence that we book in straight away. But it was only when we were officially booked in and left waiting for ages that there was time to discuss amongst ourselves did I really need to be induced at all? If it hadn’t been our first experience of giving birth in an Irish hospital then I would have been a lot less trusting. But it was, and we assumed the hospital knew best even if the logic behind the decisions hadn’t been explained to us.

A while later I was hooked up to a machine for a trace. Little did I know that it wasn’t going to be a twenty-minute session. I was going to be left hooked up to this infernal machine indefinitely until I gave birth (apart from a couple of bathroom breaks). I was deposited in the labour recovery room. Still not sure why. Around midday I was given a gel – two hours after we’d been told I had to be immediately induced. Then we waited. Again. And waited some more. In fact, we waited all day. Very little was happening other than the blasted trace machine beeping every few minutes until a midwife was free to come look at the monitor and turn it off. I was told it was a good sign that the baby was regularly active. The constant racket of the alarm every few minutes wasn’t very reassuring though. And other than that, absolutely nothing was happening. I had extremely mild cramps and was mostly just terribly uncomfortable at being confined to a bed and hooked up to cables.

Brodie went home briefly to pack up a bag. We waited to see a doctor. Oh great. That guy who started all this with his measuring tape. He did another agonising internal examination. Nope. No progress. They decided to leave me overnight and do another gel in the morning if nothing happened. Brodie was told to leave. Practically pushed out the door. There I was in the recovery ward with nothing but a beeping monitor to amuse myself with. Periodically someone somewhere would have their baby. The heat in the room was cranked up to unbearable levels and my curtains were closed. Unseen people were wheeled in with crying babies and they loudly discussed the gory details of their birth while I tried to block out the possible descriptions of my not too distant future. Then off they went to another ward and the room was empty once more. A couple of the midwives kindly dropped in for a few minutes during the darkest hours of the night for a chat, but they had little spare time to give. So I sat in the bed, unable to sleep, alone apart from the wail of the trace monitor.

After an endless night I was not feeling in the best of shape when Brodie returned. The doctor on rotation that morning decided to apply another gel. A few hours later the second gel eventually got me as far as 2cm and I was wheeled straight down to a delivery room. It had been 28 hours of discomfort and no sleep just to get this far. And we were only really getting started. From the room next door came what sounded like the wails of a banshee. This was not an encouraging sound for what might lie ahead. No getting off this train now though. My waters were broken – a weird sensation. After that, I was experiencing some mild contractions but was told that I had to get hooked up to an IV and start labour in earnest now. Still on the trace, so still stuck immobile in the bed.

They cranked up the oxytocin drip and that’s when things really went downhill. It was the most agonising pain I’d ever experienced. It literally felt like I was being ripped apart internally. The medical student in the room went pale white and was instructed to leave. I’d been warned that you may not get any breaks between contractions if induced. No kidding. I could only tell if one had finished because my body would start involuntarily shaking as if it was going into shock. This went on and on. I couldn’t even feel what the TENs machine was doing anymore. I was told they couldn’t switch off the drip even for a short while to discuss what was happening. I tried the gas and air – the only effect was adding massive nausea and dizziness to the pain. It was flung aside just quickly enough to avoid losing what little hospital food was in my stomach. I struggled on through a few hours at which point I’d reached my limit. I just couldn’t take any more of this.

There was quite a delay while I tried, in the depths of agony, to get an answer about whether I was making any progress so I could make an informed call on how much more suffering I could possibly endure. They seemed reluctant to tell me that I was still at 2cm. Really? Then obviously this was not the way to go, thanks so much for leaving me in ignorance of my total lack of progress towards ending this torture. Eventually I had to leave it to Brodie to demand an epidural on my behalf. Thankfully we’d had a conversation or two about him being prepared to advocate for me during labour if necessary. I didn’t have to argue with them through the fog of pain that while I had specifically said I didn’t want to have an epidural, I now absolutely needed one. As in go get it right now.

Finally someone showed up and administered the epidural. What seemed like a long time later, the drugs took effect and I felt nothing below my chest anymore. Just relief. But now the heart monitor was causing consternation. Every time there was a contraction, the baby’s heart was dropping down too low, and for too long. They switched off the drip (apparently my distress wasn’t a good reason to do so, but no problem if the baby seemed bothered). The doctor from that morning came back in and did a PH test with a needle into the top of the baby’s head. It didn’t flag any issues. The baby seemed just fine with the drip turned off. Obviously neither of us were fans of this being induced business.

At this point I became a little more enamoured with the random doctor who was going to end up delivering my baby. She was the first doctor to take a few minutes to explain what their decision-making process was. She said that she would prefer to avoid a c-section because it would impact any future births, but that if they turned the drip back on and the baby went back into distress then we would have to deliver ASAP. Fair enough, at least she was trying to minimise intervention. They turned the drip back on, the heart monitor started wailing again. We all knew where this was headed. The drip was turned off for the last time. I was now resigned to my fate as they made preparations to head to theatre.

The doctor decided to do a second PH test before proceeding. It had been only 40 minutes since the last one, and they’d stopped trying to induce me for most of that time period. Judging by her startled reaction we could tell that she’d discovered something unexpected before she’d even started her test. “You’re 10 cm! I can see the baby’s head. We can push this one out!”, she exclaimed after she’d regained her balance. She said it would be a forceps delivery to get the baby out quickly. “Did you hear that?”, said my husband delightedly. “You don’t have to have a c-section!”. I quite unfairly glowered at him and informed him that this meant she was going to CUT me. Which obviously was an improvement on having a surgical operation, but still wasn’t a situation I was terribly overjoyed about.

So it was time to push. Great. Except for the whole no sensation below my chest part. How do you push when you can’t feel anything? I don’t know. I was told to just push anyway as there was no time to wait for the drugs to wear off. I grunted earnestly, unsure if anything was happening. No, I was told. Don’t do that. Do something else. So I tried a different grunting sound. Same difference to me. “That! Keep doing that!”, shouted the doctor. So I did, as hard as I could. There were going to be stitches involved no matter what. And only 6 minutes later she told me to stop.

The episiotomy was performed (painlessly thanks to the lingering epidural). The forceps were brandished, and before we knew it, a messy naked baby was being shown briefly to us. He had come out with the cord wrapped around his neck. This was the cause of his distress every time an intense artificial contraction happened. He was disappeared off for a checkup while the doctor got out her suture kit. “A nice job, even if I do say so myself!”, she pronounced on her stitching job, before heading off to whoever her next patient was. Never to be seen again.

The birth was finally over. We were brand new exhausted parents. Wheeled back off to the recovery ward again, but this time with a healthy baby tucked down my top. Both of us still alive. “Mum and baby doing well”, as the obligatory saying goes.
Over time the forceps marks faded from our son’s face. A few osteopath visits released the tension down that side of his head and body. My stitches slowly healed up. Our son grew and grew. My body slowly started to return to something closer to its pre-pregnancy state. Stretch marks faded a little. The physical scars were healing, and we settled into parenthood, putting thoughts of the birth firmly behind us.

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The experience of giving birth is an intense and overwhelming one that you never forget. No wonder there’s such a fascination with birth stories. Each one has its own deep emotional connection, whether positive or negative. There are little and larger mental cuts and scars which linger on so much longer than the physical reminders of birth. It’s an experience I’ve only recently taken time to process more fully – solely because my next one looms closer day by day. Also bringing us another brand new unique, but somewhat familiar, little face just like this one. We’re looking forward to meeting the presence already limbering up inside to make a grand entrance.

Follow Stuff and Nothing on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Kadie’s Unplanned Homebirth – (My Birth Story)
Charlie’s Birth Story – The Airing Cupboard
One Born Every Six Minutes – Love, Life, and Little Ones
My C-Section Story – BadMammy.com
Lyla’s Birth Story – Lyla & Co.
The Birth Story – Young & Hitched
My Emergency C-Section/Induction Story – Laura Begley (Reader)
Welcome To The World Little One – Mum I Am
My Birth Stories – It’s Me Ethan
My Undiagnosed Breech – Lady Nicci
Zachary’s Birth Story – Boy Geeks Girl
Disaster Strikes On Route For An Induction – Cathy O Brien (Reader)
My Silent Labour – Bumps and Roundabouts

Birth stories go live every Sunday at 9pm, and they come in all shapes and sizes. If you would like to feature your birth story drop me an email at mylittlebabog@gmail.com

SlumberSac Sleeping Bag with Feet Review

slumber sac review sleeping bag with feet 1-tog grobag

A couple of months back Slumbersac approached me and offered a Slumbersac sleeping bag of my choice for one of the babogs. And of course, being a huge fan of baby sleeping bags it was an offer I couldn’t refuse. I choose to review one of their new sleeping bags WITH FEET. Who knew such things even existed? (more…)