Sunday, 27 February 2011
Thursday, 24 February 2011
I met Sasha through a mutual girlfriend and ever since I met her I have been in awe of how much this lovely mummy packs into her life! She is one of those gorgeous mummy's who you'd love to hate but her warmth and generosity makes it hard to do so. I am really proud to have her write for the 'glammy mamami' blog.
Sasha lives in Istanbul with her husband and two children. An LSE graduate, she went on to work in the film and music industry developing programs for both MTV and the Discovery Channel while working on a development deal with Columbia records in New York as a recording artist. For the last 5 years she's been busy as a marketing exec for one of the UKs largest online directories and also having babies! She is currently working on her own business to be launched in June this year.
We moved to Istanbul from London last July. It was an incredibly exciting time. My husband had been offered an awesome job with a great package and we were all excited at a new life in a vast city that is both dramatic and romantic and at same time chaotic and a bit medieval - the opposite of London in everyway. My husband found us our dream house after months of looking and I organized the move. With two small children it was probably the most exhausting thing I’ve ever had to do and that summer while waiting for our possessions to arrive I thought the reason I felt utterly “spent” was because the move had knocked me sideways. I should mention I noticed my periods were getting heavier and heavier and the need to pee became more and more frequent but still I didn’t go see my gynecologist. Feeling nauseous and dizzy were also a daily occurrence that I managed to put at the back of my mind.
We spent Christmas in London with my family and I was bad tempered with everyone including the children because I couldn’t lift this feeling of utter exhaustion. So unlike me, I’m a hyper kind of girl and always had boundless energy for everything but I still didn’t think that perhaps I should consult someone with some medical knowledge. The start to the New Year was great fun with a big dinner party and a romantic get away weekend with my husband. It all went wrong on our return. Our 5 year old had picked up a crazy virus that had her temperature soaring over 40 degrees every 2 hrs. , her 3 year old brother caught the same thing a couple of days later and so did I. I spent a whole week calling paramedics, going to hospitals and showering them in luke warm water and waking them up every 3 hrs. in to give them a never-ending rotation of calpol , then nurofen and antibiotics to keep their fevers down while simultaneously trying to hold off collapsing from the virus that had taken hold of me too. Luckily the children got better but I just seemed to get worse.
On day 10 of feeling ill I got excruciating abdominal pains and had to be rushed to hospital. After an x ray and blood test the dr came back and said I was seriously anemic with very low hemoglobin levels and should start iron pills immediately. They sent me home and I booked myself in for full check up at the hospital a week later including a gynecological check On the Saturday I said goodbye to my husband and children as they went off to watch a Pinocchio pantomime only to be called back 30 mins later by our housekeeper. I had been sitting down at the table eating my breakfast and was searching online about “anemia” and the causes and then I came to “fibroids” and “heavy periods” when the screen went slowly black; I found myself playing with the children in the garden only to wake up to the screams of our housekeeper and the nanny as they picked me up off the floor and carried me onto the bed. I’ve never fainted before in my life and I really thought at that moment maybe I was dying. My husband rushed back, an ambulance was called and after finding my blood pressure was much lower than normal they gave me a drip and a sedative. At this point I knew something was really wrong with me. I’d made 2 appointments with 2 separate gynecologists that day because not knowing any of these doctors, I didn’t want to put all “my eggs in one basket “
The first gynecologist I saw spoke English extremely well and as the image of my uterus came on the screen from the scan he inhaled a sharp intake of breath and said “ohhhh” . To me all I could see was a big black empty space, which I thought, must be good – it turns out that empty space was actually a huge fibroid. I sat shocked as he told me I had a 10 cm fibroid that had taken up the whole of my uterus and I would need surgery immediately.
I left the hospital in shock. I knew I had fibroids. They were present when I was pregnant with my first child and had grown and then shrunk through my second pregnancy but never caused any problem. At my last gynecological scan I’d had one that had been 3cm, which my obstetrician had said, we should keep an eye on but nothing to worry about. Such a throw away comment I hadn’t even thought about it and that was 2 1/2 years ago.
The visit to the second gynecologist in Istanbul was even more traumatic. She asked me not to tell her what the first gynecologist had said and started doing a scan. A look of confusion swamped her face as she scowled at the image of my uterus on the screen. In a heavily German accented English she told me that she would have to remove the whole uterus surgically as she couldn’t see how it was possible to remove the fibroid and keep the uterus intact. As I sobbed uncontrollably in her office she questioned why I was so upset at the prospect of a hysterectomy after all I already had two healthy children! Who in their mid thirties expects to hear they need a hysterectomy, something only women in their 60’s or 70’s have to endure and the prospect of having my fertility taken away forever filled me with despair as I realized how much I wanted a third baby. Having had a termination when my youngest was only 12 months old because it was not “the right time” to have yet another baby with such a small age gap, I now felt the bitter sweet irony of what a mistake that had been.
In hysterics I called my husband and we made plans to get to London as soon as possible to visit my own gynecologist. I saw him on the Monday and he removed this “alien monster” as I like to think of it the very next day! It was indeed the size of a grapefruit and at the time of the operation much bigger than the scan had showed. He needed to call a colleague into the theatre to assist him as this was a “four hand job, not two” and inside it they found out it had it’s own blood supply and was leeching blood off me daily. It was so bad that my gynecologist said had I left it another couple of months I would have been so severely anemic I could have died. They gave me 3 units of blood to build up my hemoglobin levels and lots of painkillers. Best of all my uterus is intact and still there. Thank you God, thank you!
Now back in Istanbul a week later I have only 3 small incision wounds with dissolvable stitches to show for this. It is incredible what they can do and I’m so grateful I got sick when I did and fainted which prompted me to get a full check up otherwise I would have left this another couple of months and who knows what would have happened then. No longer a stiff upper lip person, my headaches worry me (brain tumor?) I worry about our diet here, Turkish farmers injecting their produce with hormones is prevalent and the organic sections of supermarkets slimmer than a supermodels waist. Estrogen grows fibroids and I’m convinced something in my diet or the creams I am using must have contributed to the fibroids rapid growth
So I’ll be regularly having myself checked up from now on and will never murmur “wuss” under my breath when my husband moans about man flu. Seriously those of you, who were like me putting your own health last on the list, too busy caring for the little ones and citing lack of time, don’t do it or they may not be more time. That saying “only the paranoid survive” comes to mind and now I really think that’s a true statement.
|Information related to fibroids|
Sunday, 20 February 2011
Tuesday, 15 February 2011
My recent post baby weight gain, plus Christmas scoffing & a food filled, booze filled trip to Miami, left me literally ‘fatter’ than I’ve ever been (except for when pregnant!).
Before you all say ‘well what do you expect you’ve just had a baby’ I’d like to point out that 10lbs of weight was gained AFTER she was born!
No excuse really other than I love food. I was clearly eating too much & living in the hope that breastfeeding alone would miraculously use up all the excess calories I was consuming.
The extra weight gain meant many of my jeans & trousers would not fit! Half my wardrobe felt tight & uncomfortable, you know when you start bulging out over the top of your jeans (gross I know) that it's time to take back control. The eating & drinking had to STOP!
So this was when I decided that drastic action had to be taken. I wanted to lose weight and lose it FAST! I’ll be the first to admit that I am not the most patient person in the world.
So this is when I decided that I was going to start with the infamous Lemon Detox (apparently Beyonce did this to lose weight for the movie Dreamgirls). This detox is not for the faint hearted. I knew what I was letting myself in for as I had previously completed this detox for the full 9 days (it was bloody hard work and I really missed eating). I lost most of my weight in the first 5 days so this time around I decided to do it for 4 days only.
Call me crazy (more like desperate!) I then followed this with Detox number two. A detox recommended by a friend called the Clean 9 detox a 9-day cleansing programme that is designed to cleanse your body of unnatural chemicals (that would be the booze then!) the upside of this is weight loss.
What do you need to get started?
Madal Bal Natural Tree Syrup, Lemons, Water, Cayenne Pepper, Sea Salt, Lax Tea and Bee Pollen tablets.
What can you eat?
Nothing, Nada, Zilch, Zero instead you drink a concoction of maple syrup (not any old syrup but Madal Bal Syrup) with water, lemons and pinch of Cayenne pepper. This taken together with lax tea and sea salt will thoroughly clean you out (if you know what I mean)
What should you know?
Make sure you do this when you are at home and near a loo! You may need the loo a lot, especially for the first few days!
How did I feel?
This time around I had quite bad stomach pains for the first 48 hours, these eased after a while. I suffered from a headache day one as the detox process started to happen. I wasn’t hungry the maple syrup concoction kept the hunger pangs at bay; however I did miss the whole process of eating. The rapid weight lose kept me more than motivated.
How much weight did I lose?
Over a period of 4 days I lost 7½ lbs YIPPEE!!!
Would I recommend it?
Yes if you have willpower oh and a Loo! I’ve not been put off and would do it again although for no more than 5 days!
Clean 9 Detox
What do you need to get started?
You need the Clean 9 Programme box and this contains:
3 litres of Aloe Vera Gel, Vanilla or Chocolate Forever Lite ~ 525g/21 servings, Garcinia Plus ~ 70 softgels, Bee Pollen ~ 100 tablets, Shaker & Tape Measure, Easy-to-follow Instructions & Recipe Booklet
What can you eat?
Day 1 & 2 you can’t eat anything but you do drink lots of Aloe Vera gel and get to have 1 shake at lunchtime. Day 3-9 you can have 2 shakes and a 600 kcal meal; in addition to this you drink the Aloe Vera gel. The booklet in the pack details what you take and drink at what meal-part making it easy to follow.
What should you know?
This detox felt a lot gentler than the first, Mr P did this detox with me and suffered from a massive headache which lasted for a couple of days. I thought that the Aloe Vera gel tasted disgusting whilst Mr P thought it tasted like an isotonic sports drink and didn’t mind it. I didn’t like the Lite shakes (but then again I’m not into milkshakes), Mr P loved them. How we are ever compatible I don't know!
How did I feel?
I felt fine, however after the Lemon Detox this didn’t seem to be working as well for me. I hated the drinks and kept missing the Lite Shakes. It all felt a bit too regimented. The calorie counting brought to life just how much we were over eating prior to the detox (in particular in the evening).
How much weight did I lose?
Over a period of 9 days I lost 2lbs this was whilst doing more than the obligatory 20 min exercise a day. Mr P lost 6lbs over a 9 day period whilst doing no exercises whatsoever! Go figure! He would do this again and it worked for him.
Would I recommend it?
Yes if you like food and need an easier, gentler way to detox. I did feel healthier.
So after my crazy 13 days of detoxing do I feel better? YES YES YES. I’m 9½ lbs lighter and more determined than ever to get back into pre-baby shape. I plan to continue the healthy eating using a combination of slimming world, calorie counting and exercise. The personal trainer has been booked and in anticipation of the pain he is going to cause me I have started running and power walking.
So wish me luck on my journey to a slimmer, firmer me.......it may prove to be an uphill battle but I have a skimpy bikini and a girls weekend in Marbella as a goal!
Monday, 14 February 2011
I was introduced to this by the lovely Sian at mummytips. This post was for Tara Cain's This is Me Meme and in keeping with the official rules I'm tagging the following lovely people.
Rules are as follows:
- No shirking. You are tagged and that means you have to join in or else.
- Ask your child to draw a picture of you. It doesn't matter how old they are...age is not an excuse for not joining in.
- Post the picture on your blog.
- Call it the 'This is Me Meme'.
- Come back here and post your meme url into the comments so we can all have a good laugh at your expense.
- Then pop over to Tara's post to add it to her linky too.
- Tag some further victims.
- That's it.
- Erm... good luck!
Sunday, 13 February 2011
Sunday, 6 February 2011
I can now safely say we have survived our first holiday as a family of four. I say survived because at times it felt more stressful than relaxing.
We were never worried or daunted by travelling with child (and now children). Shivali (3 years old) has been travelling since she was 3 months old. We started with a short haul trip to Cannes followed by a long haul trip to Jamaica when she was 6 months old (since then she has done numerous short and long haul trips and has always been the perfect child to travel with).
This time it was different. Not because Suri (4 months old) was hard work but because we now had to handle two children and not one. Previously there were 2 adults vs.1 child, we were able to take turns in watching Shivali whilst the other one went airport shopping (ok that was me!) or went to look at luggage shops (that was Mr P, he has a bizarre obsession with luggage I kid you not!).
With two children that became harder to do. Between feeding Shivali and Suri, loo stops and nappy changes we had just enough time to grab a magazine (which I didn’t read) and some food (which we did eat) for the flight!
This was the theme for the holiday, with 2 kids we were on duty 24/7, something we hadn’t really thought about prior to the trip or encountered previously. All plans to use the spa and gym went out the window, there always seemed to be something to do!
That said Mr P and I did manage to get out and party on several nights, however coming back to the hotel at 1am and then back on night time duty with Suri and early morning duty with both left us feeling more tired than relaxed.
The whole trip made us realise that until Suri is a little older, in a better routine and eating proper food we are going to have to juggle her needs first, followed by Shivali’s then finally ours!
Looks like it could be some time before Mr P and I get to truly chill out and relax by the pool with a nice book and our iPod!
So has this put us off holidays NO however in future we would STRONGLY consider taking the nanny with us to free up some downtime!
Finally those of you that travel with three or more young children I applaud you!
Holiday Low Lights
- Shivali turning into devil child, having melt down moments and annoying both parents to the point where only a LARGE glass of wine could ease the pain! We put this down to it begin her first holiday where she wasn’t the only child, knowing that still didn’t make it any easier to deal with her brat like behaviour!
- Suri’s night time waking, left us all feeling tired and ratty
- Weather not being quite as hot as we’d hoped meant little time at the pool and beach, not great when all your 3 year old wants to do is play in water!
Holiday High Lights
- The Four Seasons Miami was fantastic; the service, attitude and child friendly nature of the hotel was a big plus. We’ve stayed with them previously in Sharm El Sheik and Vancouver; you get 5 star luxuries with baby friendly service. Sharm El Sheik Four Seasons was my personal favourite!
Our concierge team in the UK managed to book us into some fantastic restaurants;
- Restaurants we went to with Shivali and Suri for lunch
- ZUMA Miami – Japanese Restaurant. Fantastic service, warm friendly staff, great with children and amazing food. We will definitely try ZUMA London after this.
- Rosa Mexicano – Mexican Restaurant. Average food, was a disappointment
- Nikki Beach - for Sunday brunch, great service, wonderful food and full of gorgeous people, great for people watching.
- Il Gabbiano – Italian Restaurant. Beautiful bayfront whilst eating lunch we were able to see dolphins in the bay. Shivali’s pasta (cooked by the owner) was delicious; the rest of the food we found was average.
- Perricone’s – Italian Restaurant. We went twice for lunch it was so great. Loved their Tiramisu, it was to die for. Staff were warm and friendly; I would go back time and time again.
- Cheesecake Factory – American Style Food – Food was great, big portions at a great price. Did not have enough room for a cheesecake despite only ordering mains!
- Restaurants we went to without the Children
- Azul – Asian Fusion Restaurant, good food, great service, atmosphere felt very businesslike & formal despite it being a Saturday night.
- Philippe – Chinese Restaurant, lovely service, great for people watching, food was average but the live DJ and party atmosphere made it an experience to remember.
- Hakkasan – Asian Fusion Restaurant, great atmosphere, bar was very narrow (even more so than the UK one), food was great as always. Music and live dj were fantastic, we bought the CD!
- Outings with the Children
- Shopping, so many places to shop however the three we chose were as follows and
- South Beach – Lincoln Road (pedestrianised pavements, cafe culture, designer boutiques) and Collins Avenue (busier, more mainstream shops such as Banana Republic, Guess, Gap. Great atmosphere, good lively vibe and brilliant for people watching!
- The Village of Merrick Park – considered Miami’s hottest mall, shops included Jimmy Choo, Gucci, Fendi, and Chanel. Only downside is that a quick price comparison on a couple of items meant that UK actually offered a better deal. Brilliant for wandering around in the sunshine. Be sure to dress up – nobody does relaxed around here.
- Aventura Mall – 300 plus shops including a Macy’s, Bloomingdales and Nordstrom.
- Bayside Marketplace– Boutique shops, great for all round family fun. Walking distance from the hotel, Shivali loved the Carousel and the bay with all its hustle and bustle.