1 month old; crying, co-sleeping, formula feeding, not sleeping through the night, and I don’t care!

I was so proud of you for bottle feeding” – how often do you hear those words? I was told this the other day and for the first time, I felt proud of myself. I wasn’t made to feel ashamed of the choices I made, I felt confident. The pressure as a mum to breastfeed is unbelievable, and the guilt for not doing so is almost unbearable. So much so, that I felt the need to lie to people, or to explain my way out of why I wasn’t exclusively breastfeeding. Some people simply don’t have a choice. Others have a choice, and still choose not to. We are all doing what is best for us. So long as mum and baby are happy – so long as baby is fed and healthy – why does it matter? There is so much to feel scared, guilty, or unsure about as a new mum, why add to these feelings, and make someone feel even more guilty over the way that they are feeding?

Stanley was diagnosed with a cleft at our 20 week scan, so we knew prior to his arrival that breastfeeding may simply be impossible. As such, I hand expressed colostrum antenatally so that if he couldn’t latch on when born, at least he could have this via a syringe. As we anticipated, he really struggled to latch on, but we had a jolly good go at it over his first few weeks. Life pretty much revolved around feeding when he arrived – it could sometimes take a good couple of hours to feed him with his special squeezy bottles, and if he wasn’t being fed via the bottle, I would be expressing, or attempting to breastfeed. We had so much wonderful help with breastfeeding, and expressing, but it was so difficult, and Stanley would get so frustrated. We used a combination of pretty much everything during this time – he was syringe fed, cup fed, bottle fed, breastfed, and fed with formula! But eventually, after a few weeks we accepted the fact that formula feeding with his squeezy bottles were the way forward. Everything else was just too much. Formula feeding was less stressful on everybody. I felt so incredibly guilty making this decision, and prolonged making the decision because of the guilt, but when I finally did, I also felt a sense of relief. Things suddenly became easier, mostly because I was more relaxed and Stanley was spending less time frustrated! At this point, I told myself that if I was ever in a similar position again, and breastfeeding wasn’t working out (for whatever reason), I wouldn’t put us through that stress again – at least not for as long as I did with Stanley. 

I also expressed antenatally before Nora arrived (as a result of being diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes, and colostrum helping with blood sugars)… and I also hoped that I would exclusively breastfeed. However, with the rush of her arrival, we forgot to take the expressed colostrum to hospital with us, and as such, when she failed her second blood sugars, a midwife asked us if she could give Nora some formula. My response? Of course! This poor midwife appeared almost reluctant to ask us about formula feeding, as though we would have been offended by her suggestion to do such a thing! If it is going to help her blood sugars… why the hell wouldn’t we want what’s best for her? Yes, in an ideal world we would have remembered to bring the colostrum to hospital… but that’s life. Here started the guilt again (I am learning that feeling guilty is a permanent feeling when you’re a mum)! Both me and Carl (hubby), were feeling incredibly guilty about forgetting the colostrum… perhaps her blood sugars would have been okay if only we had remembered to bring it. As a result of this, I was combination feeding from the offset with Nora – breast, bottle, syringe, cup, formula, expressing… doing all that I could! I did this for the first couple of weeks, but breastfeeding just wasn’t going as I had hoped. Nora was struggling… I was struggling… it was painful… and so I made the same decision to stop. I expressed what I could manage, but since then, she has been purely formula fed. 

Despite what we went through with Stanley, and telling myself that I wouldn’t put us through the stress again, I still did (albeit for not quite so long). I still felt incredibly guilty about making the decision to stop expressing… to stop trying to breastfeed… guilty for giving up on her and not providing her with “the best”. It’s tough, especially with the pressure from other people. I was repeatedly questioned on my choice of feeding Nora (by one midwife in particular) whilst in hospital… it felt as though I was doing the wrong thing. After giving birth, with hormones all over the place, and already feeling guilty over a number of different things… you simply don’t need the added pressure from others.

What a relief it was when I finally met a community midwife that, in response to telling her how Nora is being fed, told me: “stop! I don’t need to know anymore! I don’t care what you’re doing, so long as you’re happy and baby is ok“! Funnily enough, this midwife had a grandson with a cleft, so perhaps she had more awareness of the struggles of feeding and what we had to go through. But, why don’t more people have this outlook? If a new mum can’t, or simply chooses not to, breastfeed… make her feel proud too! Whatever you do, whether you have a choice or not, you are doing the best for your little one… and so long as they are happy, who cares! 

Sleeping. “Is she good for you?” A question that I, along with all other parents of newborns, are repeatedly asked. This question usually translates to: “is she sleeping for you?”. I have also had (in Nora’s mere 3 weeks of life!): “Is she sleeping through yet?”! She is 3 weeks old, and I am glad that she isn’t sleeping through… she needs her food! It scares me to hear people proudly announce that their baby slept through the night from birth. Newborn babies need feeding regularly, and particularly in their first few nights. People thought we were crazy when Stanley was born… we set our alarm during the night to ensure that he wasn’t going too long between feeds (not that we needed an alarm!)

Co-sleeping. Before Stanley arrived into the world, I was convinced that we wouldn’t co-sleep. The thought of it petrified me because I thought that this was one of the most unsafe things that we could do. How my outlook changed when Stanley arrived! I now know that it can be safe to co-sleep, so long as you follow the advice, and as such, we spent much of Stanley’s first year co-sleeping. He simply wouldn’t settle elsewhere (possibly because of the amount of skin-to-skin we had). Stanley pretty much became another limb during the day, and so how could we expect this to change at night?! When Stanley transitioned to his big bed, we started to lay with him until he falls asleep. The time it takes for him to fall asleep (and us being in his bed) has gradually reduced… and the time at which he wakes up and runs through to our bed has gradually got later. To start with, he would sometimes wake up before midnight and end up in our bed, but now… he sleeps through usually until 5 or 6am. With Nora, we knew of the likelihood of co-sleeping again, but wanted to make it a bit easier (and possibly safer) on us all this time. As such, we bought the Snuggle Nest. We are in love with the Snuggle Nest! It fits nicely between us in bed, and is easy to carry around the house, or take out with us. We even manage to squeeze the four of us in bed with the Snuggle Nest (admittedly it’s a bit of squeeze!), and Stanley loves it! Stanley loves climbing in with Nora, and he loves to press the button for the music when Nora starts to cry!

Crying. (Not!) surprisingly… Nora cries. Mostly, this is when she struggles with wind and reflux (or if we’re not quite quick enough with milk!) – but this doesn’t make her a “bad” or “difficult” baby. Yes, it can be hard, especially when you can clearly see that she is in pain, but this is not her fault. This doesn’t make Nora difficult – this means it is difficult for her, and difficult for us to see and not be able to help. She is a new baby, getting to grips with lots of new things, and this isn’t easy. The sensations that she feels are all new to her, and as our GP said, some babies just make more of a meal out of things than others: “oh look at me everyone… I’m having a poo now, and I want you all to know about it!” So yes, she cries, and sometimes a lot(!), but this is just part of being a newborn baby… not that she is “bad”. 

What do we do in response to Nora (and Stanley) crying? We cuddle them, and make sure that they know we are there for them. No matter what the reason… whether Nora is crying for food, or attention… or Stanley is crying because he’s been told no, or is scared… I want them to know that we will always be there for them. So, I am always there for a cuddle, no matter what, we love them all the same.

Welcome to the world Nora Beau; her first 5 days

Thursday 16th February 2017: Nora Beau’s Birthday

Nora’s due date, and Granny’s Birthday! This was the last chance for her to arrive, before having to face induction – which was booked for Friday 17th. I had been trying out all the old wives tales over the previous few days, to try and bring labour on naturally, as I didn’t fancy being induced – mostly because I didn’t want the possibility of being away from Stanley for quite some time.

On the morning of the 16th, I woke at 02:30 feeling some twinges, but expecting it to be nothing since I had been having these feelings on and off the last few days – so I went back to sleep. By 05:00, I was awake with what felt more like contractions, and by 06:00 I thought I had better start timing them to see what was going on! Contractions were every 5 minutes, so we got ready, and dropped Stanley off with his Granny. I gave the hospital a call, and given the diagnosis of Gestational Diabetes (GD), they said I should pop up. We arrived at the hospital at 08:30, with contractions still every 5 minutes.

I was put on the monitor to keep an eye on baby, and everything seemed to look fine. Around an hour later our midwife, Gemma, examined me so that we could see what was going on, and it turned out my cervix wasn’t open – I wasn’t even 1cm dilated! But, they wanted to keep me on the monitor a little while longer, since it looked like baby’s heartbeat was dropping with each contraction. 

At around 11:00 the consultant came, and she was happy with the recordings on the monitor – I had changed positions which seemed to be helping. The consultant suggested attempting to break my waters, but Gemma said this would be impossible since I wasn’t even 1cm dilated. So, they kept me on the monitor some more, and said that I could be taken off soon so that I could get moving around, to try and speed things up. At this point, they were contemplating sending me home. We discussed what would happen regarding GD, which meant the need to monitor my blood glucose levels every 2 hours when I went into labour, the possibility of needing a sliding scale (IV drip with insulin and glucose to help stabilise blood sugars), and the need to test baby once she arrived.

Turns out it was a rather hectic morning on the labour ward, so Gemma pretty much left us to it. She kept popping in to check the monitor, and offer some paracetamol. I seemed to be coping ok with the contractions at this point, and the midwife kept commenting on how cool and calm we both were (certainly didn’t feel this way on the inside!), and even joked that she could imagine walking in and a baby just “suddenly popping out”! By 11:15, I gave in to Gemma’s offers of paracetamol – as by this time, the contractions were starting to get a tad more painful! After giving me the paracetamol, she then went to find the consultant to see what the plan was… could I come off the monitor and start moving around, or could I go home?!

Little did I realise… just 10 minutes later, at 11:25, I officially went into labour… and as quick as 11:50, I suddenly felt the need to push! Hubby went to find Gemma, and she casually strolled in, taking her time… most definitely not expecting a baby to actually be entering the world! However, she soon realised that little one was most definitely on her way, so she grabbed a second midwife, and at 11:58 baby Nora entered the world! Good job I didn’t get sent home! From the minute we arrived on the ward, Gemma was fantastic – although she was clearly busy, she remained so calm throughout the morning, which clearly helped in how I felt, she made everything feel so comfortable and stress free!

In the end, there was no time to monitor blood sugar… no time for a sliding scale… no time for pretty much anything! It was so much quicker than I ever anticipated… and it happened naturally. It was calm, there was little intervention, and only two midwives in the room… it was everything I had hoped it would be – and so so different from my experience with Stanley (highlights of which include: induction by oxytocin, failed epidural, emergency alarm being pulled, room packed full of people, and a consultant firmly warning me: “if he doesn’t come with the next push I’m going to cut you“)!

So, since I was diagnosed with GD, this meant that Nora also had to be checked when she was born. She had to have her blood sugars monitored every 3 hours, and needed to pass 3 consecutive tests before she was allowed home. Her first test was at 15:00, which she passed. The following test was at 18:00… and unfortunately she failed this one (she didn’t feed well prior to this). This meant that the 3 of us had to stay in hospital for the night… whilst Stanley was with his Granny celebrating her birthday, and having a sleepover with his cousins! The whole time we were away, Stanley had no idea what had happened – everybody kept it a secret from him so that we could be the ones to tell him the news that he had a baby sister.

Nora’s following 3 blood tests were taken throughout the night, and thankfully she passed all 3. It was a little tough during this first night, since once she had been fed after her test, we weren’t allowed to feed her again for 3 hours – as she had to be tested again before her next feed. She was starting to get a little peckish after 2 hours… but, we got through it!

Day 2: Nora meets her big brother, Stanley

We spent most of the second day in hospital, waiting to be discharged (despite being told we were ready for discharge at 10:30!). In the morning, Nora had all of her checks done (paediatrician, hearing etc.), which were all fine. We were just so desperate to get home to see Stanley, and to introduce him to Nora!

We finally arrived home around 4pm. We got Nora settled in her Snuggle Nest, and daddy went to collect Stanley. We wanted to make sure that neither of us were holding Nora when Stanley met her for the first time, it was important to us that the attention was on Stanley being a big brother, and not on the arrival of Nora. When Stanley first walked in, he was a little grumpy (as he had just woken up!), and so he came straight to mummy for lots of cuddles “I just wanted you mummy“! He then gave Nora the taggy he bought her, we gave Stanley the presents from Nora… and things so far seem to be going well. Stanley calls her “my Nora” or “my baby”! He has said the sweetest of things, such as… “I think baby likes me“! 

One of the strangest feelings in seeing Stanley again after spending a couple of days with Nora, was the realisation of how grown up he seems. When he walked through the door, it felt as though he had instantly grown up… and put on some weight (he now seems so heavy to pick up!)

Day 3: Our first family dinner!

Our first full day at home as a family of four… and not the best of starts! I was feeding Nora in our bed at 05:00, when Stanley woke up. He came running through to our bedroom… looked at Nora… started crying, and ran out. Daddy went after him and Stanley said “there’s no room for me anywhere“! We soon showed him that there was plenty(!) of room for the four of us, and so he settled down, and came for snuggles in bed with Nora.

I remember when Stanley was born, we barely ate, went out, or did pretty much anything! Not only was it tough because it was our first, but he had his cleft too, which meant feeding him took so so long. We had constant appointments, or people visiting our house – we were lucky to have the most amazing support with Stanley, we just seemed to have so little time for anything else! Second time around, things are so far, much different – we have time! Nora is guzzling her milk down… faster than I don’t know what! Apparently this is pretty normal… it’s just that our “normal” is based on what we know from Stanley, in which case it could have taken an hour to give him a bottle. With Nora, you could blink and you could have missed it!

Our community midwife, Luretta, visited us for the first time this morning, and she couldn’t have been more lovely. She was really pleased with how Nora was doing, which was great. She also suggested coconut oil for Nora’s skin – she has some particularly dry hands and feet, and I think this has been the best thing we have bought! Going to try this for Stanley too, since he has always suffered from dry skin.

Given the freedom we seem to have… we actually managed to cook a (relatively!) decent family meal on our first day at home! The four of us sat at the dining table… couldn’t have been more perfect. I’m even enjoying the odd sneaky treat (including a Mary Berry brownie for pudding!), now that I don’t have to monitor my blood sugars anymore. Though, sticking to the GD diet will reduce my chances of getting Type 2 (which is now already increased because of having GD)… so, I hope I can continue this as much as possible.

Day 5: A lazy Sunday

We spent Sunday at home, firstly with a visit from Luretta in the morning. She weighed Nora, and her weight had gone down to 7lb 2oz – considering they can lose up to 10% of their birth weight, Luretta was really pleased with this, since Nora has hardly lost any of hers! She was very reassuring “keep doing what you’re doing“! The rest of the day consisted of chilling at home, with visits from both sets of Grandparents.

Day 5: Our first trip out

Today, Stanley said he would like to take Nora to the park… and so, that’s what we did. He also said “we can slide her down!” …but we decided against that one!! First thing we learnt by taking a trip to the park? Turns out, getting out the house now takes us a little while longer! The amount of trips we made back to the house because we forgot something… and then still ended up leaving the house forgetting something! Then, just as we think we can finally set off, we start driving… hubby looks in the mirror… and realises little Nora’s hat has fallen down and is covering her eyes! Eventually, after what felt like hours, we made it to the park. Stanley had so much fun, whilst Nora enjoyed a nice peaceful nap!

We came home, snuggled up on the sofa in front of the fire, watching Spiderman, and eating cake! Before I knew it, they were both fast asleep ❤️ I could have sat and watched them sleep all night… I don’t want days like this to end. On the other hand, I am so excited for all that lies ahead.

A morning with gestational diabetes

Testing, cuppa, and nuts!

This time next week I’ll be getting induced, and the days of testing will be almost over. The last 26 weeks have been a bit of a rollercoaster, I never anticipated getting this diagnosis, especially so early, and it was scary. But, to be honest, I am probably even more scared now that I am in the final few days. There is always the chance that something could go wrong, and I am always reminded that it can get tougher towards the end. Yesterday, my midwife reminded me “we’ve got you this far… we don’t want things to go pear-shaped at the last hurdle”. I want this little lady to arrive before next Friday (will be eating plenty of curries and doing lots of walking!), not only because I don’t want to have to face induction (potentially days spent in hospital waiting, which means days spent away from Stanley)… but, every day that she is in my belly, it feels like another day of worrying right now. I know I am most definitely overthinking and questioning every movement!

Finally, I have found a dentist I can trust

Huge thanks to Oasis Dental Care! Gabriel Magirescu has been a total life saver this week. I hadn’t seen a dentist in 3 years due to fear, the mere thought of going sent me into a panic. On Monday this week, I was left with little choice because of the agony I was in and being 37 weeks pregnant, with gestational diabetes, the situation wasn’t doing my little lady any good. So on Monday morning – I had an emergency appointment with Gabriel – resulting in lots of work with no pain relief. He was calming, reassuring, understanding, and talked me through everything. I even went back again yesterday for more! Of course, I am still incredibly nervous, but knowing that I have someone like this, that I trust, makes it a whole lot easier – and I certainly won’t leave it so long next time!

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On another note, I’ve known that I need to sort my fear of the dentist out pretty soon. Stanley is under the care of an orthodontist and as a result of his cleft, he will have alveolar bone graft surgery when he’s around 7-9 years old. He has a gap in his gum, where his tooth has come through sideways, and hopefully the surgery will allow for his adult teeth to come through properly. So, considering what he may have to go through in his life – I need to buck my ideas up!

Anyway, today is the first day since Saturday that I am feeling pretty much back to normal, and I only have Gabriel to thank for this. Next up… I just have the pain of labour to endure (which I’m hoping will seem a breeze, in comparison)!

“…at least everything’s normal” – cleft vs. gestational diabetes

“Everything’s ok this time” … “oh I am so pleased for you that it’s all ok” *mention of Gestational Diabetes* “yeah…but you’ve not got the worry of that” … “at least everything’s normal”. It wasn’t just the words that made me want to scream back at her, but it was that look, that awful, patronising, look that someone gives you… when they have absolutely no idea. These comments refer to the fact that our little boy, Stanley, was born with a cleft, and that as far as we know from the scans, our second (who I am am currently pregnant with), doesn’t appear to have a cleft. This is my second pregnancy, and first time being diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes.

I think these comments stem from a cross between the myth that a cleft lip and palate is “purely cosmetic”, and that gestational diabetes simply causes “bigger babies”. In my first pregnancy, we found out at the 20 week scan that Stanley had a cleft lip (at some point I will write a post on what we went through at diagnosis), and from that day forward, we have been on a rollercoaster of a journey. We were lucky to have amazing support from our cleft team (Trent Regional Cleft Network), and in particular our Specialist Cleft Nurse, Caroline (a wonder woman!). We also have the invaluable support of Big Smiles, a local support group where Stanley has the opportunity to get to know other children that are on the same journey.

During pregnancy with Stanley, all we could do was prepare ourselves. Prepare for what his cleft would look like, prepare to find out the extent of his cleft lip and palate (though we had a pretty good idea from the scans we were provided). We prepared for the many possible outcomes, including problems with feeding, surgery, and all that the future may hold.

There was nothing that I could do that would change the fact that Stanley would be born with a cleft. Nothing I could do to change that fact that he may have associated hearing or speech and language difficulties. Nothing I could do that would change his future cleft journey. All we could do was equip ourselves with the knowledge of the many different outcomes that we could be faced with. Regardless of what I did during pregnancy, the same outcome would remain.

For Stanley, his cleft journey will continue, perhaps well into his adulthood, as he will continue to remain under the care of the cleft team, and have regular clinics to attend. He was born with a cleft of the lip, alveolus (gum), a split (bifid) uvula (dangly bit at the back of your throat), as well as a submucous cleft palate. His uvula and palate cause him no problems, but his cleft alveolus (also known as a “gum notch”, literally a gap in his gum), has meant that he will remain under the care of an Orthodontist. He has a tooth that has come through in his gap, but this has come through sideways, and when he is a little older (approx. 7-9 years), he will have more surgery  – an Alveolar Bone Graft, that will hopefully enable his adult teeth to come through properly.

So, to most people that see Stanley, they see that his cleft lip has been “fixed”, and automatically assume that everything is now ok. They either aren’t aware, or tend to forget, about things such as his speech and language therapy, or the future surgery he will have to undergo. They forget about the lifelong journey that he is on.

One thing that I remember Caroline (our cleft nurse) clearly telling us, was to take pictures. Take plenty of pictures (because some people don’t). So above is a selection of the many many pictures that we took before his first surgery, and before he got his second smile. I am so glad that we have so many pictures of his first smile, a smile that we will always cherish, and that I hope he will proud of when he grows up. The photos below are from his surgery at three months old, and of the moments that he came back from theatre. This was by far the toughest time that we have been through as a family.

But, this post isn’t aimed at Stanley’s cleft journey (I’ll have many more to come that focus on this!), rather the struggles that you face during pregnancy. The reality is that most people expect everything to be “normal” (there is no such thing), for everything to be ok when you go for a scan, for there to be no complications. People expect to find out if they are having a boy or a girl at their 20 week scan, they rarely prepare for the prospect that this may become secondary to something a little more serious.

Fast forward a couple of years and we have a little lady on the way. This time, I was more than prepared for a cleft diagnosis (and although her lip doesn’t appear to be effected, the prospect of a cleft palate remains in the back of my mind for her arrival). I was even prepared for something else to crop up at the 20 week scan. But, I hadn’t been prepared for a diagnosis of Gestational Diabetes (GD) at just 13 weeks (I am now 36+4, and so ready for her to arrive!)

When I’ve mentioned GD to others, I couldn’t tell you the amount of times I’ve received a comment about having a big baby (and often accompanied with a little chuckle). Most of time I shrug it off, and inform them that actually, this is just one of the many myths of GD, but sometimes I just don’t have the energy to explain it yet again. People have also assumed that I have a poor diet – “eating too many cakes”, or they have made comments about my size – “I thought you get diabetes when you’re overweight” or, “I thought only big people get diabetes”. Similar to how people assumed with Stanley’s cleft that it was “just” cosmetic, I have found that people tend to assume that GD “just” causes bigger babies.

In comparison to my first pregnancy with Stanley, I think the pregnancy in itself has been a whole lot more worrying. There isn’t a day that goes by that I haven’t got GD on my mind, there is no shutting it off or blocking it out. The difference is, there can’t be a moment that I let it slip my mind, because of the potential consequences. With GD (unlike having a cleft), there is something that I can be doing every single day that will hopefully help this little lady that’s growing inside me. I monitor my bloods at least four times per day, I take metformin, and I follow the 8 golden rules to eating (low carb, low sugar, plenty of water, “pairing” foods etc.). I have the support of two wonderful Specialist Diabetes Nurses (Sarah and Janet), who are just a phone call away, I attend regular clinics and scans to monitor the fluid around baby and to monitor her growth. Because, GD isn’t just about big babies!

There are so many scary complications to GD, that every day I remind myself that the more I try to control and manage it, the more I am lowering our chances of experiencing any of these. Baby and I will now always have a higher risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. Up to 50% of woman diagnosed with GD develop Type 2 within 5 years of the birth (NICE). That’s a scary statistic! As a side note, if you have been diagnosed with GD then I would highly recommend the Gestational Diabetes UK Mums Facebook Group, you can learn so so much from the admins of this group, and receive so much support from others that are going through the same. They also have an incredible website, where you can become a member (so worth it, even just for the GD friendly brownies – they have saved me!)

So, whilst some may see GD as the “better” alternative to having a baby with a cleft, perhaps because of the outward facing nature of having a cleft lip and the superficial society that we unfortunately live in, I beg to differ. There really is no comparison between a diagnosis of a cleft, or GD. Each have been equally tough in there own rights. GD, I hope, will mostly stay refined to pregnancy and birth, whereas the consequences of having a cleft will be with us for a little longer.

Either way, I would not change anything for a single second. We fell in love with Stanley’s first smile, and fell in love all over again when we saw his second. Similarly, reaching the end of this pregnancy, and little lady arriving into the world as safely as possible and being ok, will be a huge relief. I hope that through both of these journeys we can help our little ones grow into confident, and compassionate, people.

And, if we are lucky enough to have baby number 3 one day… I will be prepared for just about anything, and know that whatever happens, there is always someone out there that cares, and is willing to offer support. No matter what you are faced with, you will no doubt come across that one person who makes one of those comments. The ones that hit you hard. But, always keep in mind that this may not be out of malice, but rather them being unaware. The more we can educate, inform and raise awareness (of things such as cleft or GD), the less likely others are to be at the receiving end of those difficult comments.

35 week update; Gestational Diabetes and PhD struggles

35 week scan + clinic today. I’ve had some high blood glucose readings over the last week that can’t be explained by diet. My plan for the weekend? 48hr full BG profile + food diary. That means testing my bloods a minimum of 7x per day + more if my readings are high. My fingers are already sore! On Monday they will make a decision as to whether I need to commence insulin. Next scan + clinic in 2 weeks, when plans for induction may be put in place! eek! 

Photo is a throwback to our 12 week scan; I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes at 13 weeks and never did I imagine that I would get through the last 23 weeks without insulin… here’s hoping I can make it the final few! 

What has happened to the PhD? I am really struggling to keep up with PhD life right now. GD is constantly on my mind, it can literally take over my day, and finding the space and time to just write (or do some analysis) seems totally inexistent right now. I can’t switch off. To top it off… we have had a poorly toddler (and now poorly me) + the arrival of heartburn, and what happened to being able to sleep at night?!