New exciting venture – Beanwear

How is everybody? Life is pretty crazy with a 15 month old, finishing my book and working, but I’ve got a new venture that I’m currently fully immersed in.

I’ve spoken to quite a few parents about kids’ clothes, and come up with the following observations:

1) There is SO MUCH pink and blue out there, and not much gender-neutral stuff.

2) There are lots of frills

3) It’s almost impossible to find ‘boys” stuff on pink clothes

4) It’s really difficult to find kiddie sports clothes like basketball vest and shorts

5) where are all the clothes that fit over cloth nappies?

This lead me to the natural conclusion that there’s a massive gap in the market for someone to provide all of this, and so ‘beanwear’ has been born (website in development but http://www.beanwear.co.uk). I’ve decided to start with a range of bodysuits (babygro’s) in neutral colours that fit over cloth nappies. After that I’m hoping to branch out into other clothes and t-shirts, finally bringing out a range of sports clothes for toddlers.

I’ve been doing an unbelievable amount of research and have found a British factory that can provide what I need so it’s going to be supporting local industry. I’ve got my design done and am hoping that the first batch will be ready the end of October, with the official launch at the start of November. I know it sounds a long time away but there is so much to do before then, including getting a kickstarter campaign launched.

I’m really, really excited about this venture and hope it’s a success and am interested in your thoughts – what do you want to see in baby and toddler clothes that you can’t find, or is too expensive?

Happy weekend everyone and here’s a little shot of my guy enjoying our weekly shop. 🙂

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Hello people!

This last year has been completely crazy busy. I promised myself I’d keep up with my blog but with 101 other things to do it kept getting pushed aside as I try to juggle too many things at once. In a nutshell this is what’s happened in the past year:

  1. I had a baby boy called Noah and he is wonderful. He’s turned one already! He’s funny, entertaining, cute and BALD! Wow motherhood really does change you.
  2. After having Noah I got DVT (deep vein thrombosis) aka a massive blood clot the whole way down my left leg. It was diagnosed when Noah was two weeks old and I spent a week in hospital, the doctors worried a bit might break off and lodge in my lung or brain. Thankfully all is OK and a year after six months of anti coagulants I’m relatively clot free and all I have to do is wear a compression stocking all the time unless I’m sleeping.
  3. 5 years after retiring from basketball I’m playing again in time for the Island Games in Jersey at the end of June (a big bi-annual sporting tournament). After two knee ops, another knee problem, pregnancy, birth and DVT I thought this unlikely at age 41 but here I am!
  4. Work. Work is busy. Argh
  5. MY BOOK! I’ve somehow managed to get my latest book ‘Jackboots & Jerrybags’ finished and launched yesterday, just in time for Guernsey’s 70th anniversary of liberation from occupation. This has taken a lot of research, time and planning and I really hope people like it. If you’re interested in finding out more about what happened in Guernsey during World War 2, this should fill in the blanks. Click on the link to find the first three chapters Jackboots & Jerrybags sample. The book is  currently available on Kindle, with the paperback to follow in a few weeks and I’m interested in whether you’ve heard of the phrases ‘Jackboots’ or ‘Jerrybags’. Neither particularly complimentary!

That’s about it – again I’m hoping I’ll now have more time to keep my blog up-to-date so think of it as a belated 2015 resolution.

Love and hugs to all and Happy Mothers’ day to all US & Aussie people.

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Abby, me and Noah at my sister's wedding

Abby, me and Noah at my sister’s wedding

Sneak Peek of new novel ‘Jackboots & Jerrybags’.

Things have been pretty crazy here for a while now and I owe a good update. In the meantime though, I’m working hard on my latest novel, Jackboots & Jerrybags. This novel is set in Guernsey in the Channel Islands during the German Occupation in World War 2. It follows the lives of Tomato grower Millie, Nurse Lou, school teacher Brenda and their friends. Read Chapter 1 here >>> Jackboots & Jerrybags chapter 1 <<<

I’ve spent an enormous time researching, and have thoroughly enjoyed every minute. All going well I’m hoping for a release date of September, although if I get time it may be earlier.

I hope you enjoy it, take care & stay warm

Liz

an eventful 2 weeks

After my secret trip to Denmark I came home to wait to see if the IVF had been successful. In the end 7 of my 13 follicles had fertilised, and I had managed to wait for a 5 day transfer rather than two, to increase the chance of it working. They transferred the two good blastocysts that remained after 5 days, hoping at least one of them took. We’d also happily reconciled ourselves to the possibility of twins.

It was my 40th birthday a few days before I was allowed to test, and I promised myself to just try to relax and enjoy the celebration without taking a pregnancy test which is easier said than done!

The wife and I had planned to go to France to see my parents for a couple of days and we met up in St Malo. Of course I couldn’t tell them anything about me maybe being pregnant so I had to try to invent an excuse as to why I wasn’t drinking to celebrate the big 4-0. My birthday slipped by fairly uneventfully but the day after I had a really upset stomach – not the best thing when you’re spending the day sightseeing and using public toilets!

After a couple of near misses toilet-wise, I managed to get back to the hotel early for the night having had a good reason for not drinking! I don’t mind feeling this way if I’m pregnant and it’s for a good reason but will not be happy if it’s just a bug I’ve caught.

When you go through the ‘two week wait’ it is a temptation to google every possible ‘symptom’ you may have. Upset stomach, sore scalp, cold… the list goes on. Google is great but NEVER use it when you have something wrong with you as it is scary!

We said farewell to my parents and came back home ready for my 40th celebrations on the Saturday night. What better place to have your 40th than in a castle? We’d booked out part of Castle Cornet and had hired caterers to do some food and drink. Because no one knew about my last trip the wife ordered some non-alcoholic wine and gave it to the waitresses with strict instructions to give it only to me so everyone thought I was on the booze – sneaky!

The morning of my party dawned, and tomorrow would be two weeks since I was implanted, and the day for testing. I had a sudden urge to take a pregnancy test, especially since a negative meant I could celebrate my birthday with champagne, and a positive test would mean our lives were about to change forever!

I went to the loo to test and brought it back to bed where we sat there nervously waiting, waiting, waiting.
‘Do you think it’ll be positive?’ I asked.
‘I do this time’ the response was and I prayed that it had worked this time and I wouldn’t need to wait another six months to go away again.
I think those three minutes were the longest of my life and I’d just looked away for a second when it flashed up

Pregnant!

It worked and I’m pregnant!!!!!!!!!! wow. Of course that doesn’t mean it’ll ‘stick’, but I’ve passed the first hurdle in my hope to have a child.

We spent the rest of the day on cloud nine, happy to have my party to distract us as we weren’t able to tell anyone else the exciting news yet, talking about the ‘baby’ and everything ahead of us, both exciting and scary. The night went by quickly and I have to say I’ve never been happier not to be allowed to drink alcohol!

I’M PREGNANT!!!!

Site of my 40th

 

 

deja vu IVF

We arrived home after our disappointment with the IVF to the inevitable questions ‘did it work’, ‘how did it go?’, ‘are you pregnant’?

Of course telling people that we didn’t even have a shot at getting pregnant because of a cracked syringe wasn’t the news we wanted to impart and it was difficult to have to share such frustrating news. Given my teaching commitments, the next time we could realistically plan to go to Denmark was likely to be in six months time which was also hard to cope with, given we weren’t sure if it was worth having a go at home in the meantime with all the faffing that is involved.

I still had a few more weeks before I had to be back at work, and resolved to enjoy the summer a bit, since there was some good weather for a change, and the week in Denmark had been a nice break away from life. Little did I know but the meds I had taken for my cycle were again to speed up the process, and I got my period after a 19 day cycle – a full 11 days less than my normal cycle, and 30 days less than my longest cycle!

I had a look at my calendar and got a jolt of hope when I realised I didn’t have to be at work for over a further month, and that there was nothing stopping me from having another attempt this cycle. I needed to start taking my meds straight away and book a last minute trip to Denmark, barely two weeks after I’d left, but it was possible! The other advantage this time is that no one expected us to go away so soon and I could keep this try a secret, the only downside when I looked at the calendar was that A didn’t have holiday, and would only be able to spend a few days with me, at the most.

We decided it was worth the hassle and possibility of Abs missing the insemination, and I immediately went about organising getting the medication, and booking the trip over to Denmark. Looking at dates, Abby could come over with me for the weekend and hopefully the egg retrieval, but had to go back home for Monday at work so would miss the implantation.

The next couple of weeks flew by as I took the meds to grow the follies, organised for the dogs to be minded and prayed this trip was more successful than the last. Thankfully we had sold a property we had which paid for all the travel, and IVF, otherwise we wouldn’t have the money to try again so soon.

The scan I had at day 8 of my cycle showed the eggs were growing well, but there were fewer than last time, and they weren’t as big. That didn’t matter in itself, but I inevitably worried they wouldn’t get enough to retrieve a sufficient number.

Day 13 rolled around, the day before we were due to leave for Denmark. The doctor at home counts each follicle and its size, and the clinic in Denmark then tells me the plan of action. Slightly unfortunately they didn’t think the follicles were quite big enough for retrieval yet, and wanted me to wait a few more days. We decided to still go to Denmark as I would be there when it was the right time, and be able to take the final injection in a more comfortable environment. It meant Abs might miss the whole process, but decided it was more important for her to be there for the rest of our potential baby’s life than the start of it.

 

We had a day or so to explore the city again, after having had a week wandering around a couple of weeks previously. Copenhagen in summer is wonderful. The weather was warm, the days long and sunny and the people friendly. We also brought Eric the bear over. He’s going to be the baby’s first toy and we wanted to take some pics of him where hopefully the baby begins his/her life and we can include in a photo album later.

Eric'the wife'canals of CopenhagenImageImageNyhavenEric getting himself in troubleme enjoying the sun and a day trip

Going back to the clinic barely two weeks after first going was a little strange, but at least we knew what to expect. We had a different doctor than the last time and I had another ultrasound to check out the growth of my follies.The news was promising in that there were at least 11 follicles (I had 16 last time) but they were now almost ready, and I could go in two days later for them to be extracted. We left the clinic more optimistic than last time, hoping this time it would mean a proper attempt at IVF.

The downside to having to travel to a different country for the procedure is that Abs had to leave the next day to go home while I stayed on an extra week or so, in a city where I didn’t know anyone, having far too much time to obsess over whether this effort would work. I was prepared with work to do but wasn’t sure realistically how much I would feel like doing. I caught the bus to the airport to say goodbye to my wife, going back to the hotel for a lonely day ahead, apprehensive about what was to come but also hopeful.

Two days later found me back in the chair, dignity on the floor with my clothes. One of the nurses came in and started chatting away to me which was slightly awkward since there was only one end she could see, and it wasn’t my face!

“Sorry we had to meet like this” she says, and I cringe, having to remind myself they are used to doing this day in, day out, and that her seeing that angle

This time I had a female doctor, as professional as all the others I’d had. I told them I wanted to try a 5 day transfer if possible as this means you get only the best embryos, kind of a ‘survival of the fittest’, and that I wanted two embies implanted to maximise my chances of success. Abs and I have discussed twins and even though we know it would be hard, that’s a price we’re willing to pay to get the family we want.

I once again have the local anaesthetic to try to numb some of the pain, before the doctor inserts a needle inside to locate the follicles. I am so nervous after what happened last time. Did the injection work? are the follicles big enough? Will the eggs fertilise? I hold my breath, trying to block out the pain of the procedure as one by one I see the follicles sucked out and put on a petri dish. It feels like someone is scraping my womb out and I don’t remember it being this painful last time, although knowing I only have to wait ten or so minutes makes it easier. In the end 13 follicles are retrieved, although the doctor immediately tells me two of them at least are probably too small and won’t fertilise. She cleans me up and I’m surprised at the amount of blood there is, not remembering nearly as much last time, and hoping that meant everything worked OK. I wait apprehensively while the doctor goes to check if the eggs are present, the vital bit that was missing last time.

‘Is everything OK?” I eventually ask, my eyes fixed on the doctor who is concentrating. She straightens and looks at me.
“Yes.” I release my breath, excited that now hopefully at least some of the eggs will fertilise, and we’ll finally get our first proper chance at IVF!

I go to lie down for half an hour or so before leaving to go back to the hotel, surprised at the amount of cramping I had, having none of it last time. I wanted to ring Abs earlier but unfortunately had dropped my phone in a pond the day before and it was now hardly working – what timing!!!!! I sent her an email telling her the good news and she nipped home at lunch for a skype so we could have a chat. 13 follicles and yes, there were eggs present! I have to ring the clinic in two days so they can determine how many eggs have fertilised, and whether I’m a candidate for the 5 day transfer and happier than I’ve been for weeks I catch the bus back to the hotel, lying down for the rest of the day as I dream about our ‘maybe baby’, praying with everything I am that this time it works.