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Big Baby

I think it’s quite normal for a second pregnancy bump to be huge. I am huge. I feel huge. I think I look huge. In comparison to when I was expecting Bambina, I swear it looks like I’m carrying a football team!

A few weeks back I had to see my consultant about making a decision between a natural (give me drugs!) vaginal birth or another c-section.

Bambina was twelve days late so I was induced. Three times. It didn’t work. Eventually my waters were broken and although I had been having contractions, nothing else happened. The Italian almost electrocuted me from playing with the knobs on the TENS machine but nothing else happened. After twenty hours, I had dilated two centimetres. After a further six hours I had dilated an extra centimetre and retracted to two again.  I also had an allergic reaction to the epidural.

I was insistent I didn’t want an epidural, or pethadine, or a c-section. I had all of it. I was exhausted. I don’t recall the c-section that well, except for my legs convulsing so much that they had to strapped to the table. I don’t recall seeing Bambina that well for the first time. I just remember a blurry image of white, whether that was the towel she was wrapped in or her still covered in mucus, I don’t know.

I don’t want that experience this time around. Bambina was stuck in the birth canal as she was so huge, 10lb 4oz. The consultant thinks that this baby could be bigger given the size of me now at 29 weeks.

So, I was offered a helping hand or the chance to go it alone. If your hand is willing to help me, I’m ready to bite it off! C-section it is.

I’ve just had a GTT (Glucose Tolerance Test) to measure the amount of sugar in the blood.  This is not just for determining pregnancy related diabetes but can also be a guide as to why some mothers deliver whopping babies.  My gut feeling is that my glucose is absolutely dandy.  If you saw the Italian and his father, they’re not exactly small framed people so I think that any baby that I have will be on the large-boned side of big.  Nevertheless, I did the test and we’ll see what happens.

As I’m now on countdown with only 10 weeks to go, I’m actually looking forward to the c-section this time. I know the date, I know the plan, I know I won’t be in pain (ish).

I know that my big baby will arrive in to the world, happy, healthy and huge!

The countdown begins… !

Was your baby a whoppa? Tell me everything!

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Posted by on October 19, 2012 in London

 

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The Big “C”…. Again!

I’ve been having a semi break from blogging recently, just too much important stuff going on.

I mentioned a while ago in a post for Clic Sargent that my mother in law had beaten the odds and recovered from Colon cancer fifteen years ago. Two years ago, the day before our wedding, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and after a two-year haul through chemo and radiotherapy, she beat that too!

However, the demon that is the “Big C” is determined for her to lose the fight as it has reared its ugly head once more. Three times?! How unlucky can one woman be?!

After a well deserved trip to Liguria a few weeks ago, my in-laws returned home with my mother in law complaining of headaches. The man of the house surely sent her off to bed with an aspirin and a hot water bottle thinking it was the change of weather having an effect.

The next morning my mother in law couldn’t stand. She had lost the use of her legs and all sense of balance. The headaches had worsened.

Numerous tests and cat scans at the hospital ensued and then the phone rang. My father in law, through choked back tears, told the Italian that the doctors had found three, not one, but three tumours on his mothers brain. We were stunned! Again? All this, again?!

As soon as you hear the words cancer and brain in the same sentence you automatically think negatively. The Italian, in his panic, wanted to get on a flight straight away but what could he do?

He is in the fifth week of a new job, I’m seven months pregnant and we live in another country. The feeling of uselessness is incredible.

I can’t begin to imagine what my husband is going through right now. I can’t imagine what my mother in law is going through right now. She’s sorry for the grand children, she said. Sorry for the grand child that I hope and pray she gets to meet in a few months time.

But that’s it isn’t it, time. Time. Far more precious than we give credit for.

I pray for time to stand still while the doctors do their tests. I pray for the time to hurry up while the doctors get the results and do something . I pray for time so that my mother in law meets her newest grandchild and that Bambina gets to kiss her Nonna again. I pray for time that my husband gets to say goodbye to his mother properly, if that’s what it comes to.

I pray that time will heal her… Again.

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Posted by on October 18, 2012 in Italia

 

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Finding “Our” Place

When the Italian and I decided to get married, it was an automatic decision that the wedding was to be held in Italy.  Other than the obvious Italian luxuries like food, good wine, prosecco and extremely picturesque locations, the Italians Nonna, who was 90 at the time, had breast cancer and couldn’t travel.  So, we wanted to bring our wedding to her.

The location choice was really hard as the town where the Italian is from is literally forty minutes drive from everywhere, in every direction: mountains, sea and city.  I knew I wanted to try to aim for an English rose garden affair, but in Italy.  That wasnt going to be an easy feat.

We started scanning the internet for ideas and locations and when we found various places we liked the look of, the Italian called and enquired about prices, menus, catering etc.  however, the huge problem with wedding planning in Italy that we came across was that the Italians just don’t use the internet.  Websites are old and pictures are ancient.  You don’t get a good feel of how a place would look in reality.  It’s still very much a case of recommendation and word of mouth, which isn’t easy when you’re trying to arrange a wedding from another country.

We had a few trips to italy to view venues and after various trips back and forth I was in love with three places.  All were very different and offered us different things but we had a strict list of considerations to stick to.  Some  our guests were coming from England so we had to consider distance from the airport, local bars, transport from the hotel and transport from the wedding venue.  So, my (I say my, because the Italian really didn’t have a choice in this one!) first choice was out because it was too far from everywhere and a nightmare to transport everyone to and from.  I was heartbroken! Let me introduce your to Castle Brando:

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I think I actually shed a tear when we realised that this place was out of our reach.  I had never imagined getting married in a castle before.  I’m much more a jeans and flip-flops kind of girl so I was quite surprised at myself that I was so upset.  Alas, there was a plan B.

One one of our trips I had convinced the Italian to visit a place that I had found on the internet.  Their website was ancient and photographs were terrible so he was really reluctant.  However, when we got there it was amazing! It was a Venetion country palazzo adorned with old furniture and regal looking decor.  The gardens were breath-taking and again, I was in love. Let me introduce you to Villa Luppis:

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We were treated to a fabulous dinner at Villa Luppis and even today, I still remember how good the food was.  It was definitely the best food were tasted from all the venues we visited.  I loved everything about Villa Luppis but the only thing that we had an issue with was space for the children.  We had a handful of children at our wedding and this villa, although stunning, is a very grown up, very sophisticated kind of place.  That was the only thing that we stumbled on.  So, cue more tears and side step to plan C.

A neighbour of the Italian’s parents told us about a venue that their daughter had recently got married at and suggested that we definitely take a look.  I wasnt convinced.  Knowing his parents neighbours and their daughter, I wasnt sure her taste of venue was exactly and true match for my taste.  Nevertheless, we made a trip for a viewing.  How surprised we were!

We drove through a small town and followed the directions up a meandering hill, into and above the prosecco vineyards of Conegliano and then, there it was.  Let me introduce you to Casteletto.

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Turning the corner through the vineyards to discover the iron gates that led to a gravelled driveway was a surprise.  As we approached the top and walked forward we were totally blown away by the view.  It was stunning!. There it was, a tiny little castle with a chapel, on the hill, hidden amongst the trees.  From the outside it was perfect.

Was this really a castle fit for a princess?

Did you have the in love feeling when you found your venue?

X-O-X

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2012 in Italia

 

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Bonding

Now that scare of Down Syndrome screening is behind us, it has finally dawned on me that in exactly twelve weeks time we will have a new-born in the house.

Until now it has all felt a bit surreal. Despite my ever-expanding stomach, I don’t think that I had actually accepted that I was pregnant. So, I have been making conscious efforts to try to bond with our new addition.  My last pregnancy with Bambina was such a different experience and in comparison I was carefree.  Now, have to work full time, keep house and look after a 15month old – she’s just a baby herself.  My time is completely full now compared to when I was expecting Bambina so I really have to make an effort to have some “me & you” time with the new one.  Its important.

When I was expecting Bambina I used to sing to her. She was quite partial to il Divo and would kick away frantically. I find that ironic really, what with her being half Italian. It was in her genes even in the womb! I danced with her, moving my stomach about. I listened to calming, birthing relaxation downloads on my iPod (that didn’t calm or relax me one iota) and let her listen via daddies headphones resting on my stomach. Even now, Bambina LOVES music!

Now I have to find out what stimulates this little’un. Music? Reading? Talking? I’ve started the bonding process by familiarising myself with what’s going on on the inside. Whats the little’un up to? How is she or he growing? Whats happening this week? My Pregnancy Week by Week book has been a God send, again.

What bonding tricks did you come up with when you were expecting? Do tell!

X-O-X

* Fotos mine, courtesy of http://www.jameslarkinphotography.com/

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2012 in London

 

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A Decade

On Saturday we finally sold our stamp sized apartment!

It got me thinking what a difference a decade makes.

When I bought my little slice of heaven just over nine years ago, my requirements for a home were so different than what they are today. I wasn’t interested in parks or supermarkets, in coffee shops or quaint high streets. In fact, I distinctly remember that the cost of a black cab at 3am strongly determined the location in which I made the purchase.

My stamp sized apartment has served me well and as much as I am excited to be moving on, I will miss it a little. We’ve had fun together!

We’ve held parties at Christmas & served traditional dinner to friends. We’ve gotten drunk on Absinth and held dances in the living room. We’ve had hangovers from hell.  We’ve enjoyed fancy dress parties and Moroccan sisha nights. We’ve had sleep overs and SATC pyjama parties. We’ve had boyfriends come and go. We’ve had flings.  We’ve had arguments with neighbours. We’ve made friends with others

The best things that my little apartment and me have had is a marriage and a daughter! We made our second child in this home but we might already be gone by the time our new addition arrives.

Almost a decade later, my homely requirements have changed. I’m no longer concerned about black cab fairs.  I dont even remember the last time I was in one, let alone at 3am!

My new house and I won’t have raucous drunken, half forgotten, parties, we’ll have a family. We’ll have family dinners and picnics in the garden.  We’ll have BBQ’s and bouncy castles.  We’ll have birthday parties and egg hunts at Easter.  We’ll have first steps and tooth fairies.  We’ll have a guest room and down stairs loo.  We’ll have a dining table! We’ll have a parking space. We’ll be near good schools and parks.  We’ll have a home.

Our home.

What a difference a decade makes!

Does your house hold an array of memories for you?

X-O-X

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2012 in London

 

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The Name Game

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When the Italian and I were choosing a name for Bambina, it was easy. I had always loved her name and luckily it was a perfect match for an English / Italian mix. We have an unusual Italian surname so finding a first name to match that could also have proven a task.

Now that the new addition is on the way, we are faced with the same challenge – what do we call it?? Will il Nonni be able to pronounce it if it’s an English name? How will it sound spoken with a Liverpudlian accent if it’s an Italian name?

I started in my quest a few evenings ago by googling the most popular Italian baby names of 2011 and 2012. The problem with Italian names is, well, they’re Italian and some of them sound completely ridiculous in English.  I just can’t imagine myself screaming across a busy playground, ‘Giuseppe, come on, we’re going home for our dinner now, get off that swing!”.

If you’re English and you’re male, with an Italian sounding name, it can tend to sound a bit cheesy.  I mean, there’s Gianni which conjures up images of a teenage, grease-backed hair Lothario that chats up anything in a skirt. Then, there’s Enzo, he could work in the local pizzeria – it makes me think of red and white checked table clothes.  What about Adolfo? No? Ok, me neither.

Whilst there are a few obvious Italian sounding choices, the ladies names aren’t much better to be frank.  The Italian likes the name Elisabetta (Elizabeth) which, said with an Italian accent sounds beautiful.  However, said in a Liverpudlian accent… sounds wrong! Then there’s Donnatella which conjures up female ninja turtle.

As you can see we are at a loss for both camps.  So this is where I urge you to provide advice! Do you know any European sounding names for a girl or a boy who might be a consideration? Think of your family and friends, celebrities etc, do they have Italian names that I may not think hideous? C’mon, the child’s life and school yard taunts depend on it!

X-O-X

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2012 in London

 

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The Gift

So, yesterday, D-Day, I met with the consultant from Kings College to discuss the options of non-Down Syndrome screening.

I didn’t really know what to expect from her. I probably expected her to try to fob me off with rubbish or excuses. She didn’t.

The Dr was extremely frank, woman to woman. She thought I was a drama queen. I probably have been. She thought I was right to create a fuss. I know I was. She said my odds of having a Down Syndrome child, without having any screening tests at all, were extremely low. Lower than with Bambina. Based, purely on my age group and the overall healthy growth of the new addition!

After a few shed tears of relief, I hugged the life almost out of her and said my thank you’s. She said “now go home, have a cuppa and a huge slice if cake because you’re going to be very busy after that…bonding with your new son or daughter”. As she reached out to hold one hand, she looked me in the eye reassuringly, “just like your first one, this child truly is a gift!”.

Let the bonding commence…

I would also like to end this post by saying a massive thank you to everyone who showed concern, offered support and gave truly kind words. I really do appreciate it from the bottom of my heart! Mwwah!

*Foto my own.

X-O-X

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Posted by on September 21, 2012 in London

 

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