Friday, December 28, 2012

McCarthy 2012 Christmas Wrap

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas, it is sad to think it is all over for another year.

We love celebrating Christmas and we're so blessed to have been able to spend time with all of our family this year over the course of a few days. Hubby's family arrived Sunday evening and stayed through to Christmas Day evening and my family arrived Christmas Day lunch and stayed until Boxing Day evening. We all had lunch together and the extra time either side with each family was a great opportunity to catch up with everyone.
I was just so thankful that I was able to stay out of hospital and spend the time at home :-)

Once everyone left I confess I have been rather exhausted mentally and emotionally, finding that I am getting very teary and upset easily. So I have been catching up on sleep and just pottering along cleaning and preparing for bub. 

I have finally bought a car seat and pram online (yesterday) as well as picked up the bassinet from my mum's house (today), fortunately God has been so faithful and our little boy has stayed put for so much longer than expected. 

Next Monday we hit another milestone and if I go into labour the Dr's won't do anything to stop it and the good news is that I can deliver here in Orange, provided bub has no complications we can stay here as Orange Hospital has a special care unit that can take babies from 34 weeks gestation.

It has been quite a journey and an eventful year for us. I doubt I will be back prior to the New Year so I wish you all the best! 

See you in 2013!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

32 Weeks Pregnant

I am so excited to have made it this far in the pregnancy. I am still feeling great (probably as a result of all of the bed rest) and I'm sleeping well, I have no discomfort and I'm not huge yet. The great thing about having a big belly is it makes my thighs and arms look smaller ;-)

We had a little set back last week when I went for my routine ultrasound and discovered that my cervix length had reduced from 20mm to 14mm. I was sent straight up to the maternity ward to consult with the Doctors. At one stage it didn't look like I was going back home, it sounded like the only decision to be made was whether I would need to be sent back to Sydney or whether I would be admitted to the hospital here in Orange. I was rather disappointed to hear that :-(

Having a incompetent cervix is rather scary as you don't feel anything happening, the cervix can shorten and dilate without you having any knowledge of it so it makes it very hard to monitor how you are doing, there is often no warning signs reminding you to take it easy and given that I feel so well, bed rest can be very frustrating.

Anyway, while I was kicking back in the hospital bed yet again, the Doctors decided that I would be given steroid shots and they would run some tests. One test that they did was similar to a pap smear and the sample taken indicates whether or not you are likely to go into labour in the next week. The result only takes 10 minutes and fortunately for me it came back negative :-)

In the end I was allowed to come back home with instructions to put my feet up and move even less. I just need to make it another 2 weeks and then bub can be delivered in Orange and I won't need to go to Sydney. 

I had the first steroid shot on Thursday before I left and then went back 24 hours later for the second one. They are not overly pleasant but who administers it and how makes a big difference.

So I tried very hard to behave and move as little as possible over the weekend and this morning when I went in for my ultrasound I had the best news, my cervix length had increased to 21mm :-)

I am so thrilled, bub is doing well too. I didn't get a growth scan done today but they checked his vitals as well as fluid levels. Next week we'll check how big he is getting .

The good news is that with my need to stay put more I finally finished another 2 of my cross stitch kits and hung them on the tree. It is nice to accomplish something and when we get them out each year we can remember this stage of our lives and I'll probably be wishing that I was back on bed rest.

I hope you all a wonderful week and I hope you are enjoying the festive season, we looooove Christmas and even though this year is so much quieter for me than normal I am still enjoying it and one big bonus is that I have none of the stress that can often come with the business of the season :-)

PS. Thank you for all of the wonderful support for my shop, it has been lovely to see sales pick up and nice to be moving some stock so I can have a shopping spree in the New Year xx

Friday, December 14, 2012

Last minute Christmas Buys

I have some gorgeous new goodies in store for some last minute Christmas Shopping.

You can find them all here.

I also have 30% off store wide right up until Christmas Eve.

Monday, December 10, 2012

31 Weeks Pregnant

The last week has flown past since I have been home, yes that's right just in case you didn't know I am home :-) Yay!!!!!!

My last ultrasound in hospital was Wednesday week ago and the Professor came in to see how it was all going and gave me permission to head home. 

Bub and I are both doing really well and I have had another ultrasound here at Orange hospital last Thursday, confirming that the stitch is still holding up well and that bub is growing well. Last approximate weight was 1.85kgs or just over 4 pounds with big feet and long legs (measuring in the 95th percentile). 

 31 weeks

It's not not just big feet over here, my belly is pretty big too. It expanded quite rapidly and noticeably, thanks to all of those people who mentioned it ;-) Unfortunately with all the bed rest my belly isn't the only thing that has expanded so looks like I will have to hit the pavement once bub arrives, to not only get back my fitness back but to fit into my normal clothes again.

30 +3 weeks

My first week back home was fantastic, hubby had already decorated the house for Christmas but when we had news that I was coming home he set the tree up but waited till we were all together to decorate it. we've had carols playing all week and I am feeling super organised with all the presents wrapped and already under the tree. Hospital bed rest does give one lots of time to shop on line and it is so convenient to have it all shipped straight to your house. 

Speaking of online shopping, just in case you missed it I have a big 30% off store wide sale happening over at my store - 

grab a cuppa or a glass of wine (have one for me too) then sit back and finish off your Christmas shopping, my couriers are fantastic and they will get your goodies to you asap, unfortunately they're not miracle workers so don't leave it to the last minute ;-)

Hope you are all having a great festive season, I confess this year is the quietest lead up to Christmas ever for us but I am enjoying it and I am sure we will make up for it next year.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Christmas in Store at McCarthy Designs & Occasions

Because  I am stuck in hospital this year I cancelled my big Christmas orders and only bought a few new things for the store this year :-(

I am also so disappointed that I am not at home to arrange them and take some pretty photos for you, however I am sure that you will be able to think of lots of wonderful ways to use my goodies in your own home or you know someone that will.

These gorgeous Christmas baubles come in a hexagonal box, each box contains 14 pieces measuring 7.5cm and they are $26.95 each

Find them here and here 

I love these mercury vases in two sizes

18 x 30 cm for $21.95, find it here

or 14 x 26cm for $14.95, find it here

Add a lovely glow to your home using these hurricane vases, just add some candles, the vases are available in silver or red, measure 9 x 11 cm and are only $9.95 each

Red here

Silver here

Place a few of these sparkly pretties around you home for only $4.50 each. These candle holders measure 7 x 8 cm and are available in red or silver

Red here

Silver here

What do you think, I think they are just gorgeous.


PS. I reached 29 weeks pregnant yesterday and am still in hospital, all is still going well with bub and my cervix is still closed and  holding at 2 cm. Still hoping to be home for Christmas :-)

Monday, November 19, 2012

28 Weeks Pregnant

I have been in hospital for over two weeks now and life has settled into a routine, rather boring but comforting at the same time.

Each day we have shift change at 6am, breakfast at 8am, doctors rounds at 8.30 - 9.30am, morning tea at 10.30am, obs and fetal hearts or CTG's also get completed at some stage during the morning rounds.

Lunch arrives at 12.30pm, shift change at 2pm, afternoon tea at 3.30pm, dinner at 6pm, shift change at 10pm and then it all starts again in the morning.

I have found that the days are passing by much quicker than expected, I have read lots and have now ordered some cross stitch as well to give me something a little different to do. I have been able to work on my laptop and play games or complete crosswords etc. My sister in law has provided me with a dvd player, some dvds and also a cute snail cushion kit. I am going to start on my cushion today so hopefully I can share my completed cushion with you soon :-)

Today I have reached 28 weeks, yay! another milestone in pregnancy with the risk associated with premature birth reducing and the survival rate increasing to between 80 - 90%

28 weeks 

If bub was born now the average hospital stay for a baby born at 28 weeks gestation in Australia is 10 weeks 4 days. 

26 + 3 weeks

Taking belly shots has proven a little difficult in hospital, first I have to find a mirror that is big enough then try and get an angle that hides the toilet, emergency buttons, urine collection devices etc. Such a glamorous life ;-)

27 + 5 weeks

Each week I get to have a little excursion across the road to the clinic to have my ultrasound and I get to bring back cute little 3D photos of bub. The one below is from my 26 week scan because last week (27 weeks) he was rather uncooperative and kept waving his hands around in front of his face so the pictures are not great :-(

Every second week the ultrasound is a growth scan where they measure bub to check that all is developing as it should be. Last week he weighed 1151 g or 2 pounds 9 ounces and my cervix is still measuring 2 cm closed.

I have a room of my own at the moment that I'm really enjoying. I like having my own space to rest and relax without feeling rude if I don't want to talk to the person next to me. I can close my door and forget that I am in hospital most of the time. My boys came to visit me yesterday and I was allowed out on a gate pass for 4 hours. While we were out hubby bought me some of my favourite flowers, they are now sitting on my table helping create a more homely feel.

At this stage provided all goes well I may go home sometime between 30 - 34 weeks. We're praying that it will be at 32 - 33 weeks so I can be home for Christmas. 

Thank you again for all of the lovely comments, emails, msgs etc. Reading them all really does help boost my mood and encourages me greatly. 

Hope you have a great week.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Yuppy Bubby - Bits & Bobs for Bubs

This is my first purchase for this baby and it is extra special because my bloggy friend Michelle made it.

Michelle is also expecting and is due one day before me, we both found out we were pregnant at the same time and have shared our pregnancy journey together. It has been so wonderful to have a friend pregnant at the same time and so close together. We are both expecting boys too! 

Michelle blogs over at Home, Love & Life As I Live It

Michelle is far more talented than I though and she has put her talent to good use and has been sewing up a storm, I can't sew well at all so I was more than happy to take advantage of her skill and purchase on of the first sets she had for sale.

My package arrive yesterday and my wonderful hubby took some photos and emailed it to me. Unfortunately I haven't seen bub's new set in person but Nick assures me that the bib and hat look great.

I am so excited for Michelle and her new venture, I would love for you to pop over to her blog for more info on the items she can make and then pop over to her etsy store for gorgeous hand made baby goods at great prices. Michelle's goodie's would make great gifts for any new or expectant mums.

Michelle's new etsy store has a great name

As for me I am still taking it easy and hanging out in bed all day at the hospital. I do get to get up and go for some short walks and I can go and sit out in the cafe's courtyard to enjoy some fresh air, so not all my time is in bed.

Yesterday I was granted a gate pass which entitles me to a trip out of the hospital for 4 hours :-)

The Dr has to give permission and the midwives check my obs and bub's heart rate before I go and when I return to make sure all is well.

My sister came to visit and took me out for a while. I didn't venture far and made sure I took it easy so we only went to the local Koorong Book Store. 

It was the perfect outing, I was able to grab some new books and then when I was feeling a little weary we sat down in the cafe (all air conditioned) and chatted over drinks and snacks, just lovely!

Thank you for all of the lovely encouragement you are leaving me, it really makes my day you all all make me feel so special.


PS. 26 + 1 weeks today, yay! 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Hospital Bed Rest

I haven't had a great deal to blog about these last couple of weeks while I was on modified bed rest at home. I spent a lot of time researching incompetent cervix, reading many stories from ladies who have suffered from this condition and not doing much else. Now that I have progressed to hospital bed rest I am not sure that you will be hearing from me much at all over the next few weeks :-) 

 I had my full assessment at the clinic yesterday in Penrith and was admitted to the Nepean Hospital that afternoon. Bub and I are both doing well and my cervix length is holding up at 2cm yesterday so I am here as a precaution. Unfortunately Orange Hospital is not equipped to deal with premature babies born prior to 34 weeks gestation so it is routine to send women here for bed rest at least until past the critical stage of 28 weeks. At 28 weeks a baby is developed a bit more and at a better stage to cope with the travel to the nearest NICU after birth. 

I am by no means the only one here on bed rest and I share my room with 3 other ladies who have been here for varying lengths of time, the longest being 6 weeks already with another 5 to go if her bub stays put.

I am being monitored and will be assessed on a daily/weekly basis. At this stage I am definitely here until I reach 28 weeks (currently 25 + 4). I am not on any medication, I am being monitored for infections will only have antibiotics if required and at this stage I won't have any steroids unless I have signs of labour, contractions, shortening cervix, bleeding etc.

I am actually a really boring patient, I just have my blood pressure, temperature, pulse and baby's heartbeat checked regularly. 

I will have an ultrasound weekly, this will be a little outing for me, I will get wheeled across the road for this one so I am sure I will be looking forward to it, not just so I can see bub but it will be the furthest I get to venture all week :-)

This is my little corner for the next few weeks

and my excitement today consisted of new stockings to wear ALL the time (apart from showering)

a hot lunch

and these gorgeous flowers and yummy chocolates from my wonderful in laws

So no promises that I will blog often, I will try and update regularly but I don't want to bore you all with my exciting life :-) 

However I might surprise you all (as well as myself) and find interesting things to share, you just never know what can happen. 

Have a great weekend


Thursday, October 25, 2012

24 weeks pregnant

I am so pleased to be at this stage in pregnancy, the last few weeks have been more than a little exciting and filled with lots and lots of prayer from us as well as many of our friends and family.

This is the second week that I have been on modified bed rest and over the last week and a half that I have been home we have had 5 hospital/doctors visits including 2 ultrasounds and a few calls back and forth to the doctors and midwives.

This week the ultrasound showed that the stitch is still doing it's job and my cervix still has a closed portion of 24mm (26mm last week and 13mm prior to the stitch)

I have what they call funnelling of the cervix as per the diagram below, the funnelling is on the baby's side of the cervix.

This week the funnelling has widened which is not alarming but not great either, so I am putting my feet up as much as possible :-)

We have been very blessed with the team of doctors and specialists that have been working with us throughout this pregnancy and have only praise for all of the staff that we have encountered both through this pregnancy and our previous ones.

Unfortunately our local hospital is not equipped to look after premature babies and therefore it is likely that I will be heading off in the next week or two, to the Nepean Hospital in Sydney to stay there on bed rest until the baby is born as they have a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. 

At this stage it is a matter of when. I have just spoken to the Nepean Clinic and now have an appointment with the Specialist next week for an assessment and I say that we will know more then. 

It really is a waiting game for us now and we are thankful for every extra day that bub stays put and when the days add up to a week we are thrilled, hopefully the weeks will continue to add up so we can give our precious baby the best start possible.

At baby born at 24 weeks is considered viable and has a 40 -50% chance of survival however the average hospital stay for babies this premature seems to be around 23.5 weeks. 

I am feeling great physically which I find slightly ironic since I have to spend most of my time lying around. I have no unpleasant pregnancy symptoms, no heartburn, no continuous aches or pains and I am still sleeping comfortably. 

I have started wearing maternity clothes and I have found new ways to wear my existing clothes, luckily I have a few baby doll tops and dresses as well as stretchy clothes that still work well.

I don't have any bleeding, increased discharge or cramping at this stage but find that I am always looking for any unusual signs and have to keep myself from overreacting.

Thanks for your continued support and prayers, I will aim to keep my pregnancy story updated regularly as I have found reading the stories of other people who have been in this situation really helpful, sometimes sad and other times very encouraging but all of them have been empowering me with knowledge and that is a great thing.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A letter to my teenager

Happy 13th Birthday Nicholas

I am just amazed at how quickly 13 years have flown by, it feels like just yesterday that I was holding my newborn son in my arms wondering what kind of person you would become and how I could be the best mother for you.

I am so honoured to be your Mum and so proud of the young man that you have grown into. We had bumpy  times along the way but we had lots and lots of fabulous times together and created so many happy memories.

You have been blessed with so many gifts and I pray that you use them all to the best of your ability. I love how you enjoy solving maths problems and I love how you laugh as your reading your latest book. I love that you share the funny stuff with me and that you are able to talk to me about so many things.
I love how you are willing to participate in so many things and don't need to be the best at those things in order to give them a go. 

At first I didn't like the idea of you getting taller than me and yes I tried to fight it for a while and made sure my heels got higher in order to stay that little bit ahead but now I love that you have grown so tall and so capable. It is wonderful to have your help with daily things and I am so thankful that you are so willing to help without complaint. 

Your are 13 years old and you are 6 foot tall, I am so pleased you enjoy your height and don't slouch or hunch your shoulders. I do however hope you slow down a bit because if your size 12 feet continue to grow so quickly you will struggle to find shoes that fit you :-)

I can continue to say so many more wonderful things that I love about you but I prefer to tall you in person and I will make sure that I continue to do that every day. 

You are an amazing son and I am a very proud mother and I look forward to watching you grow into an awesome man.

Love Mum