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Sparkling Snaps #3 

Skiing, baking and vaccinations sums up this week quite nicely! It has been a quiet week but here is a…

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HELLP, I am in Labour

HELLP, I am in Labour

Panic, pain and a realisation that this was happening. There was no going back.  I knew that I had to push two babies out of me, I had no idea how I was going to do it.

After my waters broke, the nurse hooked me up to a monitor to review my contractions.  I sat for what felt like days, it was actually only an hour.  I was uncomfortable and grumpy.

Am I in labour?

When the nurse came back she looked at the results and said: “I think you should call your husband”.

I called him. He asked if he had time to have a shower.  I asked the midwife and she said “tell him to come now”. She seemed annoyed at this suggestion.

If I had known that he would spend the next 5 days worrying that I would die.  I would have let him have that shower.

If I had known what lay ahead, I would have let him have that shower.

If I could go back and have a strong, harsh word with my former self.  I would do so.

But I didn’t know that.  He didn’t have his shower.

I am in labour but still smiling.

Still smiling, I assume this was taken after the Epidural!

Over the next few hours there was pain, tiredness and all normal things related to labour.  The midwife and hubby said that I hardly spoke when I had my contractions. I had watched One Born Every Minute many times and I often assumed that I would be screaming, swearing and telling my husband off for getting me into this mess.  But, I didn’t.  I just took little breaths and said nothing.  My hubby still does impressions of me to this day.  He got off pretty lightly I think.

Pain Relief

When I found out I was pregnant, I wanted a water birth.  I thought it seemed calm, natural and a great way to welcome babies into this world.  Having twins meant I didn’t have this option.  I was high-risk and had to give birth under observation.

It was recommended that I had an epidural.  This is due to the high possibility of an emergency C-section.  An epidural being in place makes this process quicker. I didn’t argue.

I worried for months about it though, having a huge needle plunged into my back didn’t appeal.  Actually, it wasn’t bad at all.  The worst was trying to curve my back forward so they could insert the needle.  I had a mahoosive bump and it was very hard to lean forward. Thankfully, the epidural was put in first time.  It made a huge difference to the pain.

Blood pressure

My blood pressure caused huge problems when I was in labour.  It made me anxious.  My blood pressure was up and down throughout the whole day.  Sky high one minute, the nurse would administer medication and then it would plunge dangerously low.  They couldn’t control it.  Blood pressure continued to be a problem for me over the next few days.


If someone asks me what I remember about being in labour, the first thing that springs to mind is not the pain, it is the CONSTANT playing of bagpipes outside the hospital window.

I was in a London hospital, right next to Waterloo Bridge and the London Eye.  There are always plenty of street-acts here to entertain tourists, including a Piper.  Which is entertaining…..unless you are in hospital.  If you are already a women on the edge, in labour and not feeling at your most chirpy, then you can quickly come to HATE this sound.

I spent hours complaining about it, begging my husband and the midwives to ‘go downstairs to sort him out’.  I really didn’t care what ‘sort it out’ meant.   To my dissappointment they didn’t.

I have never been able to appreciate bagpipes again, which is sad.  I am Scottish and it is part of my heritage.

House Sale

When all this fun stuff was happening, my husband received a call to put an offer in on our small London home.  We had been trying to sell it for 9 months, it is ironic that it all kicked off on the day I went into labour.  A few phone calls later and we had sold our house.  High five to my hubby for staying calm under immense pressure.


Early evening came.  The midwife said she didn’t think it would be today. However, around 10pm, the midwife checked and realised things had moved on significantly.  It was time to PUSH!

I pushed and pushed and pushed…. for 2 hours.  Nothing happened.  I was in a great deal of pain, even with the epidural.  The room filled with people.  They looked concerned; I was quickly getting used to people looking concerned around me.  A consultant was called.  A scanning machine was demanded.

The scan showed both boys heads were stuck in the birth canal.   They were fighting to get out first – competitive with each other even at this very early age.

I needed to be taken to theatre now, the Consultant explained.  They needed to assist the delivery.  C-section risk was even higher at this point.

The consent forms were signed.  My husband was put into scrubs and we were rushed into the theatre.

I am going to find the next few posts very hard to write.  I feel panicky thinking about it.


Liebster Award!


Last week I was thrilled to be nominated for the Liebster Award by Bonny at Bonny’s Soulfood.  Please check out her blog, she writes about fashion, beauty, food, wine and lifestyle.

I have to confess, I had not heard of a Leibster Award a few days ago.  I have since found out it is a chain type of nominating and awarding.   It is aimed at new bloggers, mainly to welcome them to the world of blogging.

The Rules:

  1. You have to nominate 11 bloggers
  2. You answer 11 questions that have been asked from your nominator and then you ask your nominees 11 questions of your choice.
  3. On your new post, make sure you give credit to your nominator .  This is how we all get connected.
  4. This is for new bloggers so have fun and enjoy!

So without further ado, here are my questions from Bonny:

1. Why did you decide to start blogging?
I decided that I wanted to share my story.  I had a relatively rare illness, HELLP Syndrome, when I gave birth to my twin boys and I wanted to raise awareness.  Over the few weeks since I started my blog, I have enjoyed doing other types of posts as well.  It is good to mix it up a bit, keeps life interesting.
2. What are your 3 favourite blogs?
Although I have found it hard to pick just three.  There are so many great blogs out there.  I have discovered some amazing bloggers since I started my journey.
3. What is you weekly blogging routine?
Ha ha, well this is something I really need to get to grips with.  At the moment I don’t feel like I have a routine.  I plan to figure something out soon…
4. Have you ever been judged for blogging?
No not at all, I have only ever had good, positive vibes about blogging.
5. What kind of blogs do you prefer/what kind of blogs annoys you?
I am a parent, so parenting blogs are my favourite.   I love Instagram inspired posts, hence why I started to do Sparkling Snaps, I thought I would give it a go!  I also love posts on blog improvement, that is a big thing for me right now.
I don’t think I have blogs that annoy me as such.  I don’t tend to read anything that is too technical though, as that goes a little bit over my head.
6. Do you like to travel; where have you been?
I love to travel, don’t do so much of it now I have little ones.  I have seen some amazing places, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, New York, Colorado, Rome, Venice, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, Barcelona & Madrid.  There is more than that I am sure, I just can’t think of any others right now.
7.What is your favorite song to dance to?
This changes daily but the last few days we have been dancing around the living room to Fast Car by Tracy Chapman.
8. Favourite season?
Doing these questions makes me think I must be really indecisive.  I like all seasons, apart from winter.  Here is why:
Spring: Full of hope.  Love the evenings getting lighter.  Everything is getting warmer.  Birds are starting to sing.
Summer: The sun…well sometimes ha ha!  BBQ’s.  Lots of outdoor activities.  Dinner outside every evening.
Autumn: Love the colours and the leaves changing.  I like the nights getting darker – I know, I know…that contradicts when I said above but it does feel cosy and comforting.
9. Favourite colour for blog design?
I am loving bold colours at the moment, a bright blog always catches my eye.
10. What were the best apps/sites for promoting your blog?
I love Linkys’, there are so many of them and I find it hard to choose which ones to do each week.  I can’t decide whether to do the same ones regularly or try and alternate.  What do other people do?  I have grown quite attached to the bloggers on the ones I go to regularly though and I don’t want to miss anything!
Facebook groups are great for blog promotion.  I have found some great ones that I use regularly.   Blogger Club UK, UK Awesome Bloggers and Bloggers United are my current favourites.
11. Did you enjoy this experience?
Yes I have.


So in order for me to collect this award, I have to nominate 11 other bloggers:

  1. And 1 More Makes 3
  2. Heart Written Words
  3. Shit Life of Nicole Palmer
  4. 42 Small Things
  5. The Flex Routine
  6. Salon Sites
  7. My Anomaly
  8. The Penarchist
  9. Raye Social
  10. Marina Writes Life
  11. Techrod


My questions for you are:

  1. When did you start blogging?
  2. Why did you start blogging?
  3. What are your favourite bloggers ?
  4. What are your favourite platforms for promoting your blog?
  5. What is your blogging routine?
  6. How often do you blog?
  7. What do you blog about?
  8. What would you like to do with your blog in 2016?
  9. What are your favourite hobbies?
  10. Do you have a free blog or do you self-host?
  11. Why have you decided to have a free or self-hosted blog?



Sparkling Snaps #2

Sparkling Snaps #2

Welcome to week two of Sparkling Snaps!

We have had a great week, with some of the nasty bugs from recent weeks behind us.  We started off at Soft Play, played lots of games, went to a party and hung out with friends.

Here are some of my favourite Instagram snaps from the week:


I have a slight addiction to ‘Grabby Machines’, as per my blog post on Soft Play.  Does anyone know what these machines are actually called?


Soft Play was definitely a treat for the boys on Sunday, they had a great time!


This is an image of sunlight.  Some may not have heard of this, it is so rare.  Some may have forgotten about its existence.  I caught sight of this unusual being on Saturday last week and decided to catch it on camera.  Good job too, it hasn’t returned since then and I am in danger of forgetting what it looks like once more.


Sunday was St Valentine’s day – for those that didn’t notice.  I gave the boys these bears and they were thrilled.


Last Sunday we had snow, unfortunately not enough for the boys to try out their new sledges.  Very pretty though.


May I introduce you to happy little G car, A.K.A Lightening McQueen.  He got lost at nursery for a while, there were tears and sadness. Then last week….Bob D came skipping out of nursery with him in his hand. He couldn’t tell me where he found him but he was delighted.


The boys love hide and seek. Here they are hiding from Daddy.  Unfortunately, he was still at work and not due home for another two hours.  Luckily for them, I sent this photo to him.  He face-timed two minutes later so they were not disappointed.  Boys are very lucky to have such a thoughtful Daddy.


It has been really cold lately, so outdoor activities have been at a minimum.  After work/nursery on Thursday we got the jigsaws out. The boys love doing them and it is one of my favourite things to do with them, as it is relaxing and you can chat to them about the various pieces.


On Friday, our day off, we went to a Carnival party. It was so much fun and the boys saw a magician for the first time. Bob L was especially fascinated – once he got over his initial shyness.


On Friday we met up with our neighbour and her two lovely girls.  We went to the park and then back to our house to play. It was lovely to catch up and the boys loved the ‘dinosaur land’ which was set up by the girls before they left. I think this is a permanent fixture in our house now.  It has been played with constantly.

For more Sparkling Snaps follow Double the Monkey Business on Instagram.

Let me know in the comments section, some of the fun things you have been up to this week.



HELLP, I am in hospital

HELLP, I am in hospital

I waited over an hour to be seen at the hospital.

I called my husband on the way to the hospital to ask what he was wanting for dinner.  By this I meant ‘what are you going to cook me’.  I don’t do much cooking.  I am lucky to have married a Masterchef winner in the making though. He said he could finish early and come to the hospital with me. I said “nah; don’t bother, I am sure it is just routine and I will be home this evening to annoy you”.

Thankfully he ignored me – it isn’t the first time and won’t be the last!

I was eventually seen.

Then poked and prodded, which I had come to expect. By this stage in pregnancy all dignity had well and truly left the building!

I had blood tests, which I found a little unusual.  This was not the first time I had been to the hospital.  I had taken myself there a few weeks prior as I was worried about my blood pressure.  The other times, I had to do the obligatory peeing in a cup, let the nurse take my blood pressure and then I was sent on my merry, waddling way.  Not this time.

The nurses looked more serious.

Then, I was hooked up to monitors to check heartbeats. I wondered what was going on.  Normally they just use the hand-held Doppler.  Not this time, I had permanent bands (yes times two) on my tummy to take a proper reading of the heartbeats.

This was very tricky with twins.

Particularly my two who were very close together.

After waiting for hours, they eventually came in to tell me I had pre-eclampsia.  I needed to be induced as a matter of urgency.

They also suspected I had Obstetric cholestasis (OC), a potentially serious liver disorder.  The rash on my stomach, but in particular the severe itching, is a typical symptom of this disorder.

A doctors hospital notes, pen and stethoscope -

I would not be induced straight away though.

There was a waiting list for ’emergency’ inducees.  So, I was stuck in a ward with all the other emergency patients, waiting in line for what seemed like an eternity.  It certainly didn’t feel like there was any urgency.  There was a sense of irony about the situation.

As I had no idea that I would be staying in the hospital, I had not brought my bag with me.  Actually bag isn’t quite right, it was a suitcase.  It was filled with incredibly important things, which I had packed due to reading many articles on what I might need.

I had the following essential items:

  1. Make Up – which is laughable but did come in useful at one point, which you will see in a future post.
  2. My ‘In Labour’ bag – full of things like lip balm and magazines (!), none of which were used because I was too tired and in too much pain!  Apart from the hair band, that was the only thing I remember using.
  3. Going home outfits – essential!
  4. The wrong sized nappies – not my fault.  The boys were not premature, but they were a lot smaller than we had been told in the scans. I didn’t expect them to need premature nappies.
  5. The wrong sized clothes (for the babies).
  6. Some lovely new PJs – far to uncomfortable to wear as it turned out.  I ended up wearing my maternity night dress.

Suffice to say I made some terrible choices about what to pack.  24 hours after the birth I sent my hubby home to pick up the stuff we actually needed.  Like clothes that fitted, which would have been a good start.

By the time I was told I was staying overnight, it was very late.

I needed to get my bag quickly as ‘visiting hours’ were over on the ward and most of the ladies were asleep.  So, the hubby made a call to our friend, Gus.  We have known Gus since university and although we could go months without seeing him, he really came through for us in our hour of need.  He picked the hubby up, took him home, collected the bag and brought him back to the hospital.  All the while landing himself with a charge for going into the congestion zone.

J arrived with my suitcase.  However, he was not allowed to stay. Any mum to be can appreciate how that felt.

I was scared, worried and felt very alone.

I wanted to fast forward time. It was not a pleasant feeling.

I was in a room with ladies who were equally unwell, if not more so.  This included Mum A – as I am going to call her as I can’t remember her name now – who looked dreadful.  She constantly groaned and didn’t move out of her bed.  I worried for her.  I said goodbye when it was her turn to go to the delivery suite. At this stage I didn’t think I would be seeing her again in the High Dependancy Unit a few days later.

The next day came and went.

I waited. I became more nervous. Trying not to panic.  The doctor came to see me; it’s not going to be today, they said. I had worked this out for myself seeing as they said I would be taken in before 5pm. This was now 6pm. My hubby had to leave, again. I was left alone with my thoughts once more, feeling very alone.

Then: I wake in the middle of the night.

The hospital food was playing havoc with me, I had terrible cramps.  I tossed and turned for hours.

Then, as I went to the toilets my waters broke, twice.

Surprised and shocked. Of course I knew that the sacs would both have to break, but for some reason when the first one went, I assumed that was both of them.  I wasn’t thinking logically at this point.

I was hooked up to a machine to monitor my contractions.

Yes, that was what the stomach cramps were.  I should have realised.

The real fun and games were beginning.

Follow my journey through HELLP Syndrome here.

Follow my pregnancy and childbirth story.  I am admitted into hospital and I am waiting to be induced, but what is wrong with me?