How to Start a Mummy Blog- Part 1- the first month

WordPress

I spent a lot of time planning my blog before I launched it. It wrote articles, threw around names, and researched the designs of other blogs. I considered the type of content I would be interested in, and checked out other blogs that offered similar topics. I wrote enough enough content to post everyday for a week so that once I launched I could always stay a week ahead of myself. Once I was ready I signed up for WordPress premium with my chosen name. I spent a good week designing it and uploaded 4-5 articles to start with. I previewed my blog on my laptop, phone, iPad and my husbands phone. I spent hours troubleshooting how to fix different design elements and reading about how to launch a blog. I made a conscious decision to not tell family and friends about the blog. I really wanted to have complete artistic freedom to write and try this without them knowing. However this meant that I had to get followers from scratch! My articles needed to have headings that made people want to click and read. I needed images, excerpts and subheadings. My early articles are not my greatest but with each article I wrote I got better. It also helped to read other peoples articles and focus on how they formatted them. I’ve chosen not to go back and edit my past articles instead I offer them there for you to see how I’ve grown and learnt along the way.

In the first week of launching I was glued to seeing my views and visitors. To be honest I was pretty stoked with 6 views on the first day considering no-one but me and my husband knew about it. Day 4 was awesome and Day 11 was a low. I quickly understood what people were talking about when they said not to read these stats on a daily basis. Let the blog be, let it live and grow on its own. Come back monthly instead and see which articles got the most hits. Analyse why people liked them, was it the heading? the imagery? was the writing style different? content? that way you can make informed changes to the direction of your blog in the future.

ViewsVisitors
Day 162
Day 2316
Day 32016
Day 47827
Day 5333
Day 64111
Day 73813
Day 83011
Day 93514
Day 103517
Day 11129
Day 122315
Day 132417
Day 145725
Day 154022
Day 162714
Day 174021
Day 183213
Day 193913
Day 202115
Day 21138
Day 221310
Day 233210
Day 24298
Day 252910
Day 263012
Day 27288
Day 284911

This is a breakdown of the first 3 weeks of my blog, as you can see it fluctuated greatly. I found a huge correlation between my Pinterest ads and views specifically 2-3 days after the ad was launched. I also found that people would like my articles without viewing them because of the tags I used so make sure you utilise this feature.

My goal for the next month is to get over 50 views a day.

Fiverr

I wanted my blog to look really unique. I’d seen a few mum blogs and all of their pictures on Instagram and Pinterest looked really similar. Plus I’m just not great at photography so illustrations was a great solution. I decided I would use illustrations all in the same style on my blog. The day before I launched my blog I hired an illustrator on Fiverr.com. I initially sent the concepts of the illustrations I wanted to three illustrators on fiver for quotes. One illustrator seemed to grasp what I wanted more so I paid for one illustration $5 as a trial. Luckily I loved it and had him design two more for me. About a week after launching after I was really happy with my decision to start a blog so I hired the same illustrator to design a logo for me. I sent him images of logos I liked and we discussed colours. He was fantastic and happy to make alterations. Once I had the logo I uploaded it to my Blog, Instagram and Pinterest profiles and posts. Its really important for getting your name out there. A week later I ordered 4 more illustrations. I wanted to make sure I had them ready for my Christmas articles and to maintain the style of my blog. All up I spent just under $100. I really saw this as an investment in my blog. It’s a long game and I intend to try it for an entire year, posting everyday on my Blog, Instagram and Pinterest.

Canva

I love Canva templates. I recommend scanning their homepage to see the latest trending designs and picking from their in the beginning. I use Canva to create Pinterest Pins linked to my articles and Instagram Posts of quotes and article links. I like to design a few in the same style just changing up the colour and save them so they’re ready to go in advance. If I can I include my logo on them too to raise awareness of my brand. Canva uses the same free imagery as WordPress Premium so it’s really simple to use the same pictures on you Blog Posts and Social posts. You can also do a 30 day free trial of Canva-Premium which gives you access to extra templates and images. This is awesome if you’re working in advance because you can design them and download them before your free trial ends.

Pinterest

My first Pinterest add ran for 3 days costing me $1.45. I started the add on Day 2 of my blog and you can really see how it increased my daily views by Day 4. In the early days I would put a maximum daily spend of 0.50c and just slowly built up my followers on Pinterest which in turn increased my views on the blog. Although Pinterest seems to be giving my blog hits I haven’t quite cracked how to get more Pinterest followers.

Instagram

After a week of having a blog I set up a Instagram account. I used Canva to create custom quotes, and previews of my blog articles. Here’s how to set one up without your private account followers knowing:

1 | Open the Instagram app

2 | Select your profile.

3 | Tap the 3 horizontal lines in the top right corner

4 | Select Settings

5 | Scroll to the bottom of the menu. Tap Add Account.

6 | DO NOT LOGIN! Select SIGN-UP

7 | It will give you the option sign-up with Facebook. Don’t use this option if you use Facebook privately! Instead choose Sign Up With Phone or Email.

8 | Enter an Email NOT used by your private account.

9 | Instagram will email you to confirm the email address, open you email and confirm it

11 | Next get to customise your blogs Instagram. Add your Profile Pic, Name, Bio and Password.

12 | Then create a unique username (this should be your blogs name)

13 | Start Posting your content- make sure the link to you blog is in the bio so people know where to read your posts!

14 | Gain followers by joining local ‘loops’ these are essentially groups of Instagramer’s who want to gain followers and do so by hosting events in which you share a loop image, like a bunch of people they’re following and tag people in the loop. I found the tagging part hard because I didn’t actually have any follower I knew, but I just randomly started tagging some of my followers and never got any complaints. By using loops I managed to get 800 followers in just one month. The next goal is to hit 100k!

I’d love to hear how you’re going setting up your blog, and any real life experience you have of making it work!

Mumma Z xxx

Loving my Postpartum Body- The Beginning

Before kids I was self conscious about my body. As a 5ft1 B cup female with PCOS any fluctuation in weight was so obvious on my body, especially since I store all my body weight on my belly. No matter how much I ate healthily, drank water and exercised everyday the belly pouch existed. So naturally when I was in the early stages of pregnancy it was so obvious, no amount of baggy clothing and layers could hide it. So many people commented that my body suited pregnancy- lol that’s because it has always been 8-12 weeks pregnant in shape its entire life.

For many reasons including planning to fall pregnant, I tried to eat low carb and sugar free. My weight was always up and down but it averaged somewhere between 54-57kg.

When I did get pregnant for the first time I lived on carbs, I craved them, dreamt of them and ate them as many times a day as possible. They also stopped me from feeling sick which was awesome. I put on 13kg overall and gave birth to a healthy 4kg baby boy.

My postpartum body was beautiful. Stretched, curvy and rounded off with a post baby bump. the baby weight

I’d put on slowly fell off – helped significantly by exclusively breastfeeding.

After the six week all clear I took it slowly, very slowly. Let’s be honest I was so bloody tired that eating healthy and exercising was furthest from my mind. I craved sweet foods, and survived on toasties and coffee from my local drive-thru cafe. it took me a while but I started to notice that the not eating health or exercising was affecting my mood. I mean I’d always know that but sometimes when you’re in the midst of newborn chaos its hard to remember. I started super slow walking on the treadmill every few days whilst watching my fav shows and on days I could not be bothered I do a quick 10 min Youtube blogilates workout. I reduced my sugar intake gradually and just gave myself time to adjust to postpartum life. By about 6 months postpartum I had lost the baby weight and strangely my tummy was flatter than ever! I felt healthy in mind and body and just felt so proud of my body.

Giving up breastfeeding made maintaining my weight really hard though. My PCOS crazy hormones went ballistic and the tummy pouch returned. It was a real kick to my mental health. I thought I’d got the balance right and now had to work harder. I cut back all carbs and sugar and really make sure I made time to exercise my body.

Then had another setback when I developed an umbilical hernia. The surgery and limited exercise combined made me look 12 weeks pregnant again. completely disheartened I enlisted professional help to get me feeling good again. Physio led reformers pilates was incredible- literally a God-send. I had so much fun exercising and it toned my body in a different way than I’d ever experienced before. It was a hourly gift to myself 1-2 times a week and I felt confident that the exercise was healing my tummy and making me stringer than ever before.

I’m now 6 weeks postpartum after my second pregnancy. I started heavier this time around, but still put on the same amount- 13kg and birthed a less chunky 3.6kg baby boy. 6 weeks later though I feel gross. I’ve just got the all clear from the doctor and I’m about to embark on my journey back. Please understand this is not about body shaming, this is about feeling like me again. My body is not bouncing back, I don’t want my probably body I just want to feel good. My body has done an incredible job growing and feeding my two boys I now need to show it some love back.

Every few month I’m going to update you on how I’m showing love to my postpartum body. Be kind to your bodies Mumma’s, trust the process, and take care of yourselves.

Mumma Z xxx

Stay at home Mumma seeking to work from home… how hard can it be?

Job Wanted: Must suit mum with small children, can work from home, flexible, doesn’t cost a fortune to set up, earns decent income.

I wouldn’t be the only mum who’s looking for more flexibility in their work. Coming from a full-time position with 8-hour days work life balance is a joke. When I went back to work after my first, I was lucky enough to have my mum care for my son every day, but I still found the mental load of mum-life, work-life and homelife extremely heavy and draining. I was missing out on so many firsts with my son and when I was home, I was so tired I barely had energy to play. Now with two sons I have spent countless nights restless trying to come up with ideas that will allow me to work from home and be there for school drop offs and pickups. I’m seeking a job that allows me to work the hours I want whilst earning the same amount I was whilst working full-time..how hard can it be?

Turns out there’s a reason so many mums have to go back to work after babies. Establishing a business or income from home that provides enough income is bloody hard. Not to mention the fact that even entertaining an idea is extremely expensive. Setting up blogs, buying inventory/materials, marketing all comes with quite a substantial initial investment which sometimes isn’t viable whilst you’re living on parental leave payments. 

 For example, I brainstormed the idea of having my own baby clothing website. I research suppliers who quickly pointed out how much in advance you have to buy stock, and that they wouldn’t even consider selling to you until you’ve set up a website. Enter in another cost factor, setting up proper websites with payment options, logos and hosting even on a budget is close to $1000 minimum. Then add the marketing needed and small business insurance, it’s quite the risk for a stay at home mum to take especially if money is tight. Even if you do take the plunge and invest in yourself the hours required initially take you away from your babies the very people you are fighting to spend more time with.

In the great quest to gain financial freedom and work for yourself you may find you’ve ended up spending money and time instead.

I’m not particularly crafty so making something to sell would be quite difficult for me, but again selling your own work may also require selling at markets on weekends again being away from your babies.

Alternatively you could study something that allow you to work from home such as Marketing or Design but again there’s a large financial and time commitment to make before any income is made, and you may need to return to work whilst studying again taking you away from your babies. 

As a teacher I could hope that my Principal offers me part-time work but it’s rare and still wouldn’t allow me to do school drops offs or pickups. I could tutor but this involves working hours when the kids are home, normally around dinner and again defeats the purpose of me wanting to spend more time with them.

I don’t mean to dishearten you or your ambitions to work from home. You have every chance of succeeding in whatever goal you set. Even I’m not giving up yet I’m still going to try for my family. I guess that shows the world just how great us Mum’s are. Even when we’re working as full time Mumma’s and managing the household we’re doing extra work on top, always trying to make life better for our families. We are the heroes of multitasking and through all the hard work we’re teaching our children vital skills for life. Not to settle, to work hard, chase your dreams, and that family is the most important thing.

Good luck in your endeavours Mumma’s, and if you do come up with a solution for me let me know!

Mumma Z xxx

TWELVE years teaching how to have a career vs ZERO years to be a mum

In Australia our kids spend a minimum of 12 years in education. They get taught English, Mathematics, Science, Arts, Humanities and Health. We give them opportunities to perform, compete, design, cook and experiment. We reward them for high grades and focus on teaching home how to have successful careers.

Just think about it…TWELVE years teaching how to have a career vs ZERO to be a mum!

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Many parents are lucky if they even receive a 1 hour parenting class after the birth of their first child. We don’t adequately invest in preparing people for one of the most important roles they will ever play, the one in raising the next generation of citizens.

I’ve heard the argument that its not the schools job to do this, its the families. Although I agree with this statement, when parents work 8-6 and kids are at school 8:30-3pm there leaves very little time for teaching about family and values. You may say we have all weekend long, but again these days those weekends are filled with extracurricular activities.

It’s just a thought, but maybe if society rethought what we wanted schools to achieve we might not have such a huge discrepancy in societies value of stay at home mums and career success. Just maybe they’d be less of a pay gap between men and women. Maybe the value of family time would override the expectation to answer late night work calls and working weekends.

We could equip people with a few more parenting skills instead of dumping us in the deep end and saying good luck. I know there’s not instructions for children or perfect ways of raising them. However, I personally would have loved a little more education on sleeping, feeding and coping skills for mid 2 year old toddler tantrums.

Parenting shouldn’t be learnt alone. It’s a role that goes on longer than most careers and there is so much wisdom to be learnt in a community that could help so many. Let’s place more value on being mums and dads because this life is all about family!

Mumma Z xxx

OMG IF I HEAR ONE MORE MUM COMPLAIN….

This really resonated with me this week because I have done a lot of complaining of late. But I think the fact that so many mums are thought to be ‘complainers’ highlights a much greater issue. Firstly, why is a mum sharing the reality of what she’s experiencing called ‘complaining’. Secondly, why does she have to complain online, where are her support networks?

Motherhood can be lonely and sharing the good, bad, humorous experiences of our day is important.

Here’s a thought- If you partner is ‘complaining’ think about this, she’s probably been inside all day with the kids and hasn’t had any adult company all day. This wonder woman has suppressed her emotions and not exploded at the kids and now needs an outlet to share what she’s coped with alone all day. Your partner has been amazing, she has loved spending the day with the kids but it hasn’t been a walk in the park. Listen to her vent, she needs you to be that person, support her. Do not silence her and make her and make her feel guilty for sharing.

We love being a mums. Personally if I could find a way to be a mum every day and not have to go to work I would in a heartbeat. But even people with their dream jobs need breaks. It doesn’t mean they don’t love the job. It also doesn’t mean that every day goes perfectly and they never complain about anything. Cut us some slack. Let us share our experiences and connect with other mums. When we build each other up we make the world of raising little people less lonely. It gives us power and energy, and sometimes the fuel we need to keep going without crying. So rant Mumma all you like, I love hearing other people are experiencing what I am. Your ‘complaining’ makes me laugh, cry and jump for joy that I’m not alone.

We got this motherhood thing ladies!

Mumma Z xxx

Mum’s NEED Cafes & Cafes NEED Mum’s! Please make them mum friendly

Cafe’s have been my soul food for many years. Not only do they sell my favourite beverage they make me feel human. Each cafe brings back memories of time well spent with friends, favourite dishes, or cold mornings waiting for a hot caffeine hit,

Recently my favourite drive thru cafe closed and it really got me thinking about just how important it was for to have a place like this when I was in the early newborn days.I couldn’t tell you how many times I loaded my eldest in the car and drove around the suburbs just to get him to sleep. That cafe was my sanctuary. I was so regular I could hand over my keep cup without having to speak my order. They’d let me know when my favourite mini carrot cakes were in stock and made the best breakfast toasties complete with gooey cheese . I could rely on them to make me nutritious food when I was sleep deprived and could have easily be lined up in the machos drive-thru instead. Now with my second son I regularly think of that cafe, there is no where close to home to get a good drive thru coffee and the thought of having to get two kids out of the car to meet my caffeine needs is exhausting. The only thing that could have made that place better is if they did drive thru milk and bread as well because I would be there daily.

Drive thru cafes are also amazing because they don’t make us mummas feel like unwanted and burdensome. So often when I do get to a cafe they have failed to consider young mums in their design. The staff want to hide you up the back, or outside if they can.

When my first son was a year old I stopped at a shopping mall cafe trolly loaded with groceries it had been a long morning and I just wanted a coffee and some morning tea. My son got hold of a spoon and started tapping it on his highchair, the lady on the phone at the table next to us shoosed me and rudely indicated to me to make my son be quiet. I know it must have been frustrating for her as she was on the phone but we were at a public place in a mall. She wasn’t entitled to make me feel small. I had every right to be there with my 1 year old. We need to support young mums. Getting out of the house can be hard and we should be supported when we actually do it. Forcing us to stay inside is not good for our mental health.

I recently went to a cafe with my two kids where I could barely get inside because of my pram. Once inside I felt in the way as they really wasn’t anyway to have the pram and highchair set up without blocking a walkway or someone else’s table. Later that week I went to another cafe to meet a friend again with the two kids in the pram. The waitress watched me struggling to find the highchairs and get the boys organised. When I asked her where they were she explained they were out the back of the restaurant making it pretty clear she want going to get it for me. I’m not sure how she expected me to get the highchair and carry it back whilst pushing the pram, or maybe she thought I’d leave my two boys unattended to go and self serve the highchair. I don’t know but both options made me feel uncomfortable and unwelcome. Instead I had to wait for my friend to arrive, then I went and got the highchair. The whole thing was awkward. Later on when ordering our coffees I also ordered my son eggs and toast from the kids menu. When his food arrived it came with adult cutlery..he’s 2. When I asked if they had kids cutlery I was told again it was self service at the back of the restaurant, once more making it pretty clear I was expected to go and get it. . Look I get it some places don’t want to be family friendly and I pay that for bars and fancy restaurants but cafes come on. My son wasn’t eating for free and it really made me feel like I was being treated as lesser because I had little kids. Sometimes us mum’s just need to be cut some slack. Most of the day these cafes their empty, and us mums are good business. We not only order coffees and food, but babyccinos and snacks! We’re desperate to get out of the house and it’s highly likely we will go for the second coffee in house and maybe even a takeaway too. Try to consider us in your cafe layouts and make us feel welcome when we enter your establishments. It means so much to us and makes our lives a hell of a lot easier!

To the cafes that are already family friendly and provide those kids corners, or colouring books and pencils THANKYOU! You will never know how much you do to make me feel human again and allow me to steal 10 minutes of peace to drink my coffee.

Mumma Z xxx

MY PCOS PREGNANCY JOURNEY: PART TWO

I always knew I wanted two or more kids and I loved the idea of having a small age gap between them. I asked around and decided that two years would be the perfect number. After doing some maths I worked out I needed to fall pregnant in the Sep/Oct to have baby number 2 around the time my first born turned 2. So off I went to my fertility doctor to start ovulation induction again. Slight problem though I had only just given up breastfeeding..so he sent me off. You see I needed to have stopped breastfeeding for at least 8 weeks before I could start treatment again.

Fast forward to November I returned to see him and Ovulation Induction began swiftly. Slightly more difficult to get a toddler to mums in the morning, get bloods done and get to work on time though but I managed because I knew all of the stress and sacrifice would be worth it.

Here’s how it went second time around:

Round 1

  • Blood Test 1: Start a course of Letrozole for 5 days , no unprotected sex, return in 7 days
  • Blood Test 2 : Estrogen still baseline, no unprotected sex, return in 3 days
  • Blood Test 3: Estrogen rising, no unprotected sex, return in 2 days
  • Blood Test 4: Estrogen rising, attend an internal ultrasound, no unprotected sex, return in 2 days
  • Blood Test 5 : Administer Ovidrel Pen tonight. Do booster injections of a reduced dose 3 more times this week. Start trying to conceive that night, the next day and the day after, return in 10 days
  • Blood Test 6 : Good levels, return in 9 days
  • PERIOD 😦

This time I was emotional. The toll of doing this treatment whilst raising a toddler and working was full on. What added to it was that my parents knew because I needed their help so I could get to bloods on time. For some reason I felt like I’d let them down not being pregnant which is so silly but its just how I felt.

Round 2

  • Blood Test 1: Commence Letrozole for 5 days, no unprotected sex, return in 7 days
  • Blood Test 2 : No estrogen rise yet, no unprotected sex, return in 4 days
  • Blood Test 3: Estrogen starting to rise, no unprotected sex, return in 2 days
  • Blood Test 4: Estrogen rising nicely, attend an internal ultrasound, no unprotected sex, return in 1 days.
  • Blood Test 5 : Administer Ovidrel Pen tonight. Do booster injections of a reduced dose 3 more times this week.Start trying to conceive that night, the next day and the day after. Commence progesterone TWICE daily, return in 8 days.
  • Blood Test 6 : Continue progesterone, return in 9 days.
  • Blood Test 7 : Good pregnancy levels, continue progesterone, return in 3 days.
  • Blood Test 8 : Good rise in levels, continue progesterone, return in 4 days.
  • Blood Test 9 : Good pregnancy levels, continue progesterone, return in 4 days.
  • Blood Test 10 : Good pregnancy levels, continue progesterone, return in 3 days.
  • Blood Test 11: : Good pregnancy levels, continue progesterone, NO MORE BLOODS!

Again it worked on the second month of treatment YAY! and 8 months later we welcomed our second baby boy.

Treatment isn’t a fun process and it wears you out emotionally and physically. But there is hope and it does happen so please hold onto that on the hardest of days.

Mumma Z xxx

MY PCOS PREGNANCY JOURNEY: PART ONE

I have PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). I was diagnosed at 15 after experiencing irregular periods. All I recall form the diagnosis was that the doctor did a blood test and quickly prescribed me the contraceptive pill which I remained on for the next decade. My story is not unique. Many women I speak too experienced that same thing. Just like them I didn’t understand my condition or how it was affecting my weight or mental health.

As I entered my mid 20s I had a growing underlying fear that I wouldn’t be able to have children and very little information to console me.

I stupidly went off the pill shortly after getting married thinking I could fix my PCOS on my own and my hormones went nuts. I’m talking cystic acne on my jawline the size of blueberries that needed steroid injections. Mood swings, weight gain it was terrible and made me feel like never leaving the house again. I went back on the pill and regained control of my skin and weight. As much as I’d dreamt of conceiving naturally I needed help. I saw my GP who referred me to a fertility doctor.

What a game changer that fertility doctor was. For the first time ever he explained PCOS in a way I understood. I remember him explaining it like this: He said your body makes eggs but my body doesn’t release the right hormones to make those eggs mature and release. So they get stuck like a string of pearls or cysts. The reason we put you on the pill is to ensure your uterus shed and renews. This prevents you from developing endometriosis. He said PCOS is a condition that doesn’t discriminate, it affects women of all shapes and sizes with varying severity.

Next he sent me for every test to assess me. I had literally so many bloods done I had to go over 3 days because the nurse refused to take so much in one sitting, I had a internal ultrasound (yep they’re a thing- think wand up you know where) to count the ‘pearls’ stuck in my ovaries. I had ink squirted up again you know where, this allows them to X-rays to check your Fallopian tubes are all good- this by far was the WORST test…. vomit!.

The fertility doctor started me on ovulation induction, This is like the first level treatment that they try before IVF. In brief it means they force your body to mature and release the eggs.

Round 1

It started with me doing a month of contraceptive- this is to work out when Day 1 of your cycle is. Following instructions on the first day of my period I rang the clinic. They told me to come in the next day for bloods- which would be day 2. Bloods opened at 7am at the hospital. When you arrived you signed in and nurses saw you in order of arrival. Needing to be at work by 8 the process alone of getting early enough was slightly stressful to say the least. Anyways enough complaining here’s what happened:

  • Blood Test 1: The bloods measured my Estrogen, Lutenizing Hormone and Progesterone. My results meant I needed to start a course of Letrozole for 5 days and have no unprotected sex. Well Letrzole is a interesting drug and the fertility doctor told me not to google it because the side affects can be scary. For me it was mood affecting and caused weight gain- not fun!
  • Blood Test 2 : Five days later I returned to be pricked again- result- waiting for oestrogen to rise, no unprotected sex, return in 3 days
  • Blood Test 3: Still waiting for estrogen to rise, no unprotected sex, return in 4 days
  • Blood Test 4: Still waiting for estrogen to rise, restart Letrozole at double dose, no unprotected sex, return in 7 days
  • Blood Test 5 : Waiting for estrogen to rise, no unprotected sex, return in 3 days
  • Blood Test 6 : Estrogen starting to rise, no unprotected sex, return in 2 days
  • Blood Test 7 : Getting close to ovulation, no unprotected sex, return in 2 days
  • Blood Test 8 : Administer Ovidrel Pen tonight. This is a injection you give yourself. You basically get this pen out of the fridge, attach the needle, turn the cap to the right dosage, pinch your stomach fat, insert needle and press down until the whole dosage has gone in. It sounds awful, but its really not that bad, and doesn’t really hurt at all. Following the injection instruction said to start trying to conceive that night, the next day and the day after. I also had to do booster injections of a reduced dose 3 more times that week.Then the waiting game began. I couldn’t do one of those over the counter pregnancy tests because the booster injections contain HCG, the same hormone a pregnancy produces. So a home pregnancy test would give a false positive.
  • Blood Test 9 : Not pregnant- ring us on the first day of your period.

I wasn’t overly disappointed to find the first month hadn’t worked. I’d already accepted that this could take a while and felt with the medication dose changes, that this month was more of them working out my body than anything else.

However the physical effects were noticeable. My arms were so bruised. I naturally have low blood pressure which meant sometimes only one arm would play the game and they’d have to use that same arm over multiple dates. It also didn’t help that the weather was warming up and I was having to wear long sleeve shirts to hide my arms. I found having hydrolyte each morning helped them find the veins quicker and really tried to up my water intake for round 2. I’d put on weight and was soo tired all the time but we persevered.

Round 2

  • Blood Test 1: Commence Letrozole at double dose for 7 days and have no unprotected sex, return in 8 days
  • Blood Test 2 : waiting for estrogen to rise, no unprotected sex, return in 4 days
  • Blood Test 3: Small estrogen rise, no unprotected sex, return in 2 days
  • Blood Test 4: Estrogen rising, attend an internal ultrasound, no unprotected sex, return in 2 days. The ultrasound is to count how many eggs your releasing to prevent you possible falling pregnant with 3+ babies! I only had 1 that on the scan- not gonna lie at this point I though twins would be awesome. I have since changed my mind.
  • Blood Test 5 : Administer Ovidrel Pen tonight. Do booster injections of a reduced dose 3 more times this week.Then the waiting game began. I couldn’t do one of those over the counter pregnancy tests because the booster injections Start trying to conceive that night, the next day and the day after. Commence progesterone, return in 8 days. *progesterone are pessaries that you have to put up your bum..wonderful
  • Blood Test 6 : Mid luteal (which means you are a week post ovulation) return in 9 days.
  • Blood Test 7 : Good levels, continue progesterone, return in 4 days.
  • Blood Test 8 : Pregnant!!!!!! continue progesterone, return in 3 days.
  • Blood Test 9 : Good pregnancy levels, continue progesterone, return in 3 days.
  • Blood Test 10 : Good pregnancy levels, continue progesterone, return in 3 days.
  • Blood Test 11: Nice rise in pregnancy levels, progesterone levels have dropped but remain at good level, attend ultrasound, continue progesterone, return in 4 days.
  • Blood Test 12 : Good pregnancy levels, continue progesterone, NO MORE BLOODS!

I was so lucky! I know this is not everyone’s experience but the treatment was really effective on my body. I continued to take the progesterone pessaries everyday for 14 weeks. It’s my understanding that sometimes people with PCOS don’t produce enough progesterone naturally which can cause miscarriage. I had a really healthy pregnancy resulting in a beautiful baby boy.

What I learnt the most though was that I didn’t need to fear my PCOS. I just needed to learn about my body. The fertility doctor took such good care of me and helped us to create a family of our own.

To all my PCOS girls and mumma’s out there I’m thinking of you, make sure you get all the help and support you need. It’s certainly not a easy journey but you will get through it I promise.

Mumma Z xxx

Ditching Dairy whilst Breastfeeding

Photo by Jan Koetsier on Pexels.com

My eldest son was the gassiest baby. Always fussy, hard to settle and he hated lying flat. He would squirm and cry in pain after feeds and did not sleep well at all.

After some investigation and trying lots of burping techniques my doctor suggested cutting dairy from my diet.

It turns out there are a small proportion of babies who are sensitive to dairy and its one of the only food groups proven by scientists to cause gassiness/fussiness in little ones. This is because the proteins from the cow’s milk transfer into the breast milk. However, I am no expert and there are many symptoms of sensitivity of food if you suspect diary is the problem its best to speak to your doctor before you do something drastic such as cutting dairy out of your life.

But dairy was our problem and the solution was waving it goodbye for the next year.

For me the worst thing about cutting dairy out of my diet was that it wasn’t a quick fix. You see it takes between 2-3 weeks for dairy to leave your system. Then once you’ve committed, you have to keep it up, there’s no days off until you stop breastfeeding all together, and the slightest slip up sees an instant return of a fussy baby and a 2-3 week wait for it to subside.

Then there’s the reality of actually giving it up. You see giving up a food group is bloody hard. You have to be hyper aware of what you’re eating all the time. Eating takes planning now and going out can be tricky. I also didn’t realise the extent of my love for dairy until I had to quit it for a year.

Now don’t get me wrong the sacrifice is worth it to stop your little one from being in pain. But I’m only human and when your sleep deprived having one more thing to think about is so stressful. Even though there are dairy alternatives some of them just don’t hit the mark. For example I always remember going to make a cup of tea and getting the milk out only to realise this daily ritual was no longer. I tried black tea, I tried tea with soy milk (YUCK!) I tried herbal teas but nothing cured my craving for just your standard cuppa. Other foods I just couldn’t satisfy my cravings for were cheese, chocolate, and milo.

However its not all bad, after I finished breastfeeding my eldest I didn’t go back to dairy in my coffee I am a permanent almond milk convert. Not being able to eat a lot of naughty foods such as cakes and biscuits also helped me loose my baby weight quicker. I discovered lots of new recipes and became more educated on the nutrition of my foods and drinks.

There are a few replacements I would recommend over others though to make the transition easier:

Almond Milk: I much preferred almond milk over soy milk. However I am a fussy almond milk consumer and only like MilkLab Almond Milk.

Coconut Yoghurt: This was a godsend for my smoothie ritual and when I needed convenient snacks in the fridge. Nakula Coconut Yoghurt Natural is by far my favourite and still a weekly staple for our family.

Vegan Chocolate Coated Blueberries: a workmate actually gave me a jar of these as a thank you and they changed my life. You can get them from your local bulk-food store or Dr Superfoods website.

Nuttelex: As a mad butter lover it I thought I’d have a hard time replacing it. Nuttelex is great, it tastes great and works fantastically in baking.

Weis Dark Chocolate Ice cream: Ice cream is my favourite dessert and sorbet never hits the spot for me. Weis Dark chocolate ice cream is to die for and you’d never know its dairy free!

Good luck dairy free mumma

Mumma Z xxx

Hell-ride: When the kids cry in the car!

My eldest son hated the car. This was not particularly helpful when we needed to drive in the car with him for 40 minutes minimum every single day. To this day the thought of getting in the car with him when he was a newborn fills me with dread. The gut wrenching screams from the back of the car. My anxiety levels rising with every minute of being trapped in there with him. The stress of repeating “its alright we’re almost there” even through we were no where close. The inability to do anything because I was stuck in traffic and couldn’t reach him to comfort him. The choice to turn up the music and try to ignore the cries so that I could focus on driving safely. It was the definition of hell!

Even now two years late we can have ‘hell-rides’ as I like to call them. The exception is that this time they’re caused by my son dropping a toy or book, and the crying is just his frustration that I can’t just magically pick them up whilst driving and give them back to him. To date my second son likes the car but only when it’s moving and he generally falls asleep which causes other problems but let’s not go there right now.

So here’s a list of things that have helped reduce our hell-rides that work… most of the time:

Check the car seat: Our sons first car seat was a capsule with a suede like lining. We think it made him too hot and uncomfortable. We replaced it with a Britax Safe N Sound Graphene Convertible which has bamboo fabric that keeps him cool. The change was instant, the crying stopped!

Check the car seat straps: I find when you pull the car seat straps tight they really dig into the shoulders. After pulling tight I pull on the leg straps which always gives a bit, then I move that give up to the shoulder area and pull tight again. This creates a more even firmness across the hold harness. My boys are more comfortable and more secure this way.

Time your car rides: For newborns make sure they’re fed, have clean nappies, and if you can do some tummy time beforehand so that they’re worn out and more likely to sleep. For toddlers tell them the night before that you’re going in the car the next day and where they’re going. This helps the next day because they’re prepared. When I had regular car rides to work I used to put my eldest straight in the car when he woke up pyjamas and all. That way he was still sleepy, then I’d dress and feed him at my mums house. This way we weren’t rushing activities at home or interrupting his play. Now days I’m at home so car rides are more casual. I always make sure he’s got a clean nappy and we pick a book or toy to take in the car with us.

Music: My toddler loves music in the car and has become quite picky! He now tells me when he doesn’t like a song, or when he wants to hear one on repeat. I got a much needed reminder this week when he commented the music was too loud. It wasn’t louder than usual but he found it too much. Remember you have little ears in the car, so maybe try changing the volume levels and see if it helps. Also try changing up the playlist and see if different styles make them more comfortable.

Avoid rewards in the car: Whether its food or technology try to avoid things in the car that you’re not willing to give them every single car ride. This may be hard because you want a quick fix but I promise its worth a few hell-rides sticking to a safe car routine then dealing with tantrums because they want rewards every time you need to go somewhere.

Good luck mumma, the crying in the car will pass!

Mumma Z xxx