Saturday, 31 August 2013

Get involved! by Katrina

September is approaching and we are making plans for our second 9k walk. There are so many wonderful places to walk, it's difficult to decide where to go next. So we've decided since you're all supporting us with our ninemonthsof challenge, through reading and sharing our blogs and also by sponsoring us, that it would be great for you all to become involved. So if anyone has any suggestions or recommendations for where we could visit for our 9k walks then please comment below with the details.

Some of the locals that we met on our last walk at Haworth Moor

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Holidays... with and without HG by Susie

We have just returned from two fabulous weeks in France.  The sun shone, the wine flowed and the children were so exhausted from playing in the swimming pool and on the waterslides that they slept well.  Perhaps the French shutters hiding the early morning sun contributed to this. Food was an important part of the holiday (well it was France after all); breakfasts were late, lazy and outdoors and lunches were typically long and French. Bliss!


It made me think of our holidays three years ago: a very different affair. In May, we went to Devon for a long weekend.  I had just found out I was pregnant but I felt fine.  For a brief time, I dared to hope that maybe I had escaped this time.  But no, sadly I was wrong. Shortly after returning home, it hit me and I was soon in the depths of HG again only this time it was worse.  

Our next holiday was supposed to be a week by the beach in Cornwall at the end of June (booked pre-pregnancy, of course). What I would have given for a change of scene.  A different toilet to be sick in and a different bed to lie in would have been a welcome relief after weeks of being housebound, staring at the same four walls. But I was too ill to leave the house, let alone manage a four hour car journey and so the holiday had to be cancelled.

Along with Christmas, holidays are perhaps the only time of the year when we are able to spend uninterrupted, precious time with our families without distractions from school or work.   They are times to be cherished.  Having missed two entire summers while in bed suffering from HG, I have come to appreciate holidays even more.  


But thoughts of holidays will have to wait a while as I now have to return to my Nine Months Of challenge to raise awareness.  It's only a few days since we returned home but already there have been interesting and positive developments on this front.  So watch this space ...

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Friday, 30 August 2013

Week 3 - Lemon Cake and Baby Massage by Sophie


This time last year I was also about 3 weeks into a much longed-for pregnancy, but thoughts of having a baby or getting pregnant had been put to the back of my mind for a while as I was in the middle of revising for a major post graduate exam and thought that it "might happen" once the exam was out the way! At the time I was staying at my parents where my Mum always has a cake in the oven and they suddenly became a bit unappealing, I put the waves of nausea down to exam stress and nerves and thought very little more about it. At this point I never would have imagined that a year later I would be baking a lemon cake to raise money for PSS and selling it at my baby massage class with little Merryn!


I chose Lemon cake with lemon sugar topping as it is one of Mum's classics and thought it was quite fitting as it was probably the cake that I turned down last year and could now happily eat a very big piece! The cake-making this week took a bit longer than planned due to a number of calls to Mum (aka "Super Gran") to check the recipe - and Merryn taking a dislike to the food mixer!



Everyone at baby massage was very generous with their donations and their support was gratefully received! Thank you x


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Week 3: In which not much progress happens by Marilisa

I had great plans for this week, but we were overtaken by illness. First the toddler, then me. I'd even taken some time off work to relax and get in some good training, but it didn't quite work out that way.

Looking at the blogs of my comrades in this mad adventure I see it's not been a good week health wise for many of us. This morning I was able to chat to my fellow Pregnancy Sickness Support volunteers about how ill I've been feeling (nausea, for me, as for many women who have been through HG, can trigger some pretty awful memories) and I found it hugely reassuring to know that they understand. I didn't find PSS until long after I'd had the baby, but I can imagine how incredibly helpful it would have been to have had that support then. This is one of the big reasons for getting involved in this campaign - I want Pregnancy Sickness Support to be able to continue to offer this valuable support and reach out to even more women going through what can be a very isolating experience.

In the days between illnesses I did manage to fit in some training, above and beyond the normal business of running after a very busy small boy.

Training hard for the 100m pushchair dash.
I had some determined words with my nemesis and actually found the cycle easier this week - though still a very long way to go. My one swim was glorious in that I had the whole lane to myself for most of the session. I got some more opportunity to practise my front crawl, and found, somewhat to my surprise, that my arms and legs can actually go faster than my breathing and stamina can keep up with! I was seriously gasping for breath at the end of lengths. I'm pretty sure I still look like a floundering fish, but at least I'm moving in a forward direction, so I must be doing something right.

I also had the slightly misguided idea of walking home from the swimming pool on a Sunday night through a very poorly lit and rather deserted area... maybe the adrenaline made me move faster, though!

And of course there's the best part of training: what we call "refuelling" in the trade.  Otherwise known as "what a good excuse for some tasty snacks!"

Not pictured: ginormous chocolate brownie.
The boring numbers...

Week 3:

Swim - 1 session, 400m, 18mins.
Bike - 1 session, 1.1km, 12 mins.
Walk - 2 sessions, 6.02km total, 1h 6mins


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Thursday, 29 August 2013

Crochet with wire and beads - now there's an idea! by Amanda


Before falling pregnant with Oscar (and therefore long before I knew the hell of HG) I had to give up full-time employment due to a different health issue. In order to keep myself sane during the many long hours spent recovering, I took up jewellery making and set myself up as a "mini business" so I could sell items on and fund more materials.

It was never going to be a major enterprise, it was far more about having something to occupy my hands and mind and it brought about some lovely unexpected projects. In fact the very month before falling pregnant I spent a wonderful afternoon teaching kids how to create beaded tree decorations as part of the annual Christmas "Family Day" held in our local pub.

It was something I truly enjoyed doing and I found that my most popular and well-loved items were those which had been crocheted with wire and beads. I'd use a silver-plated copper wire which was strong enough to cope with a fair amount of working but delicate enough to create pretty little items. I played around with lots of different bead combinations including some rather beautiful semi-precious stones. And it was a real joy to create necklaces and bracelets in this way.

Which is why crocheted jewellery has been at the back of my mind ever since I started this Nine Months Of challenge. Crochet doesn't have to be all about blankets, bags and hats. You don't have to limit yourself to items for baby, you can make beautiful gifts for the new mum too! Some of my favourite memories of the early days of motherhood were being presented with something just for me, to remind me that although I was now somebody's mother (and that this would be the most important aspect of my life from now on) I still had an identity of my own. Yes, I might be wearing a pair of milk-stained pyjamas at 3 o'clock in the afternoon when the visitors arrived but at least I had a pretty necklace to wear to make me feel a little less "under-dressed".

With this in mind I decided on a delicate colour scheme for my first necklace. I've never really crocheted with seed beads before, preferring larger beads for their ability to stand out from the wire, but it seemed right to work with these tiny beads this time. I've also generally crocheted items with more than two strings of wire to make them a little bulkier, but this time I wanted to keep it plain and simple. And I'm glad I did as the end result is so very dainty and pretty. In fact I am calling this necklace "Pretty in Pink" and I do hope that when it goes up for sale in the auction next May someone will find it as pretty as I do!


This, like all other items I create, will be going up for auction on eBay in May 2014 to raise funds for Pregnancy Sickness Support. In the meantime, if you'd like to sponsor me during my challenge (to crochet as many items as possible over nine months) you can do so by visiting my BT Donate page. Thank you.


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Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Breakfast Pancakes by Muma Dean

Because we live down in sunny Cornwall we quite often have a house full of guests. We love having people to stay and I love cooking en masse. Credit for these must go to my friend Lee Saunby who recently cooked them for us and got me hooked!

These pancakes are fab for lots of people to dive into and are a bit special for the kids.

These quantities made enough for 4 adults and 4 hungry children. It's about the only things that I actually weigh and measure for.


Ingredients:

405g plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp salt
6 tbsp caster sugar
390 mls milk
3 large eggs
6 tbsp melted butter, plus more for cooking
250g tub of cottage cheese

Method:

Put the flour, baking powder, salt and caster sugar in a bowl (sift if you can be bothered – it's better if you do).
In another bowl or jug put the milk and eggs and beat them together then add the melted butter.
Mix the milk/egg mixture into the flour mixture and beat well until the batter is smooth. Then stir in the cottage cheese. It seems like a really thick mixture which is how it should be.
Turn the oven on really low so you can keep pancakes warm as you cook them.
Heat a non-stick frying pan up and add a bit of melted butter (or a solid knob to melt). Use a ladle to add some mixture to the pan, and swirl a little with the ladle bottom.
Let it cook until it's bubbling on the top then turn over with a spatula and cook for a little longer (the second side doesn't take as long).
Put on a plate and keep warm in the oven while you cook more. I used two pans at once to speed the process up.

Serve warm with bacon and maple syrup or bananas and nuttella, strawberries and cream or whatever you fancy!

Don't forget, if you like the dish and use the recipe then please make a donation via my BT MyDonate page



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Small steps by Katrina

After our first walk at Haworth Moor I realised just how seriously unfit I have become since pregnancy. I owe a huge thank you to my husband Scott for keeping me motivated during the walk; I really couldn't have done it without him. Since then I've tried to walk around the village where we live every day.  We have a lot of hills around here so I am hoping this will help me to increase my fitness between the 9k walks each month.

Whilst we are on the walking subject I am pleased to announce that Griffin has finally started walking during the last week, currently managing nine steps! For the first time this weekend I have looked at Griffin and seen a little boy not a baby. I'm sure there are plenty of mothers out there that can understand the heartbreak I felt when I realised how quickly he is growing up! Griffin couldn't have achieved this walking milestone without the support and encouragement of myself, his Daddy, family and friends. This is the same for Scott, Griffin and me completing our Nine Months Of challenge as we couldn't achieve this without your support and encouragement by reading and sharing our blogs on Facebook, Twitter & Google + and also by sponsoring us here




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Monday, 26 August 2013

Bunny Bumpkin by Crysta

We are almost three weeks into our nine months of campaign and we have got off to a flying start. Our kids lunch bags are proving very popular in preparation for back to school.

Butterfly Swirl Bag with Drinks Bottle

Vintage Football Bag with Drinks Bottle


In just under three weeks we have sold thirty vintage football lunch bags and forty six butterfly swirl lunch bags making a total of seventy six lunch bags. As we donate 10% of the sales price for every item sold this means we have donated £76 to PSS in this period. Thank you to our customers, we hope your children will love them! Your donations are going to such a good cause.

As it’s still the holiday period I can’t help but think back to the time of my first pregnancy and my very first experience of hyperemesis. We had travelled to the South of France for what was meant to be a week of sunshine, relaxation and a glass (or two!) of the local wines. 


Bayonne and Birarritz

I had found out I was pregnant just before the trip (so the wine idea went straight out of the window!). Within a couple of days of arriving at the site, the sickness arrived like a tidal wave. So much for “morning sickness”. My sickness started with a vengeance every day from about 2 o’clock in the afternoon; I spent every afternoon lying on the sofa or with my head in a sick bowl. The neighbours must have thought that there was a holidaymaker who just couldn’t handle their drink in the caravan next door. I worried how I would make it home on a plane and spent the end of the holiday fretting (in between throwing up) as to just how I was going to make it home. Luckily we had an early morning flight back. Within a week or so of being home I was admitted to hospital for intravenous fluids, medication and bed rest and so the long journey of hyperemesis began.

We are now starting to think about which product we should launch next month for PSS. Perhaps something for new born babies and a practical item for Mum? Watch this space and spread the word!!!


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Week 3 - "Just an orange juice please"... by Helen

Nine months of 9k Week 3 – Location: London Calling!

Anna and I took the day off new-house-based hard labour and headed into London for this week’s 9k effort. After twiddling our thumbs in Waterloo station’s Costa for over an hour waiting for the rain to ease, we set off to see some sights! As you can see, Anna had the time of her life.

The London Eye - Enthralled.

Big Ben - Amazed. 

Downing Street - Astounded.  

Trafalgar Square - Thrilled. 

Woke up for the main event; lunch. 

Nine months of HG Week 3 – Free wine!? Just an orange juice, please.

After week 2’s outstanding performance, I lay sheepishly low in week 3. I read my books in the shade, had early nights and swapped wine for water whilst everyone else lounged in the gorgeous Caribbean sun and stayed up late drinking wine. Despite the spectacular dash to the restaurant toilet,  sensitivity to heat and the inability to get into my new shorts (too many rum punches!?) I wasn’t entirely convinced I was pregnant. However, when I was offered a glass of wine one evening, the very thought of it turned my stomach and I knew something was very wrong! This is how good I looked in week 3… rough.


We flew home to London during week 3 and I just could not get comfortable in my spacious, upper deck, leather premium economy seat with free alcohol on tap. Ridiculous! I vowed to take a pregnancy test as soon as we got home!


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