Why “The Gutsy Mummy”?

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Hey hey,

Im Laura a 27yr old mum of two cheeky babies Jasper (2) and Ivy (1) and here is a little about a new journey I’m about to embark on, thanks for joining me✌🏻️

ON March 11 this year I sat in a pokey white room with my mum by my side and two little Rugrats making a mess as usual and waited for the councillor to tell me some good news.

Much to my surprise the news wasn’t so good I tested positive for a genetic mutation known as Cdh1!

(So whatΒ is Cdh1? Cdh1Β is a genetic mutation, if your mother or father have the gene then your individual chance of inheriting it are 50/50. It is a very rare gene mutation that has effected only 100 families worldwide)

I thought that if I found out I was positive I would break down as I had earlier last year when my mum tested positive, but in some strange way I felt a sense of relief.

Not exactly the emotion I imagined I would feel. But it just dawned on me that “okay unlike many relatives before me (who sadly passed because of this gene, unknowingly) I nowΒ have the knowledge to be tested and have an opportunity to take all the preventions possible to ensure this gene mutation doesn’t cut my life short”!

Sort of a blessing in disguise hey.

What does it mean? Basically your chances of gastric cancer and breast cancer shoot through the roof. The real kicker is that this specific cancer (gastric) is in most cases undetectable until it’s to late.

So now a decision needs to be made and this is where my journey begins!

Doctors warn the only way to ensure this cancer doesn’t take your life is to remove your stomach. Not just a portion the WHOLE thing!

Hence “The Gutsy Mummy”

I know exactly what your thinking,Β “How in the world do you live without a stomach?” Well I can tell you apparently it’s possible!

SOΒ what on earth do I do next?

MYΒ train of thought since the day I found out I was positive was that I would finish my family, and once all the kiddies where in school I would have a Total Gastrectomy (my stomach removed), that was until I met with the surgeon who had a different plan for me. He was very pushy to the fact that this is an urgent course of action not to be pushed back, certainly not for years. WHAT am I going to do?

SOΒ now that you have the reason behind the name I would love for you all to follow me as I make some big life decisions!

My blog won’t be all about my health, it will contain some everyday gossip and a lot of mum squad talk πŸ’ƒπŸ»

Thank you for reading and I look forward to getting to know you all 😘

Signing off for now

The Gutsy Mummy

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The weeks that were!Β 


We packed up the car, dropped off the kids and drove away with a million emotions flooding us all at once!

How would the next few weeks or even months play out?

No one could tell us, we couldn’t predict, but we sure could hope. HOPE for the best possible outcome from a decision that weighed solely on our shoulders.

The one hour drive was a long silent one, like both of us were to scared to even imagine or say out loud what if this were to go all wrong?

Before we knew it, it was D day nΓΊmero 1.

Before the crack of dawn we walked our way to the Royal Women’s with EXCITMENT just oozing from us both. Who was this little bump, what will we call bump? So much to be happy about!

In we go ready for this sweet little miracle to be born. Then we heard HIM, it’s a boy and most importantly he is SCREAMING, what a relief! 

Baby “Alfie Phillip Alford” brought into the world way to soon!

I didn’t get to touch or even see him before he was wheeled away in his incubator.

While I recovered on the ward Cam sat by Alfie’s side relaying back to me everything he was told by doctors. Alfie was doing well πŸ™ŒπŸ»  what a relief our little dude taking his early arrival all in his stride.

10 hours later cam wheeled me around to NIcU so I could FINALLY met my little man. Only I was way to high on pain killers to even see straight (I have a very very low threshold for pain killers πŸ˜‚) as much as I wanted to see Alfie I just needed to be in bed.

So the next morning I was up and at them ready to met him.

He was amazing so so tiny (for me, apparently a “big baby” for NICU) with a head full of hair and the cutest little button nose.


His first day was a little rough with a pneumothorax (collapsed lung) which ment he needed to be intubated! But he recovered so amazingly well and within the week he was off all oxygen!

The first week is much of a blur filled with pumping, pumping and more pumping! Ohh the sound of that machine in the middle of the night is not fun when there is no cute baby by your side.

My time split between Alfie and the kids! It was a full on time I worried the kids felt left out, I worried I wasn’t dividing myself equally.


Before I knew it, it was my big day. People kept asking me how I was feeling, was I nervous, scared? And I found my self just agreeing because honestly I felt nothing but I knew that I should. It really wasn’t bothering me in the slightest. Maybe because I just knew it had to be done, there was no way around it! I’m not sure but I just wasn’t concerned at all.

In I went breast pump in hand 😜 with not the slightest nerve just calmness! 

12 hours later I laid eyes on mum and Cam I gave them a big wave just to let them know I’m ok! 

And within 30minutes I’m back to being mum and pumping for my beautiful little Alfie cause I be damned if surgery is going to get in the way of me giving him the best start I can!

Now two weeks post Total Gastrectomy and 3 weeks Post Csection, a few new battle scars and over 10 litres of pure gold breastmilk in storage for my little man I am feeling great ( minus the tiredness but what mum of three isn’t tired)πŸ‘πŸ» I’m not sure how but MUM POWER is my guess!


Don’t get me wrong I have had many a moments over the last few weeks were the tears well up right there ready to burst out (I keep them there mostly because I’m scared that if I have a good old belly cry it may still hurt a little haha) , I have no doubt one day they will come but for now I’m just to distracted and busy! 

As I sit next to Alfie in his Special Care Crib and stare at him I can’t help but think of that day I was told “it’s you or your baby”! How very different this day could be, but today I am feeding you, bathing you, cuddling you and thanking my lucky stars we are both here to enjoy these things together!

It wasn’t the start I wanted for you little man but it is a start with a happy ending😘

Sisterhood

I looked up and I seen a sea of amazing, beautiful WOMEN! A sisterhood big and strong.

With my Mum, Nana and 2 amazing aunties front and centre, my mother in law and my 3 best friends in the world just behind I felt the nervousness and anxiety I had about the day lift off my shoulders. 

What was I nervous about?

No one cared if I had sweat patches 

No one cared if I rashed up

No one cared if I stumbled on my words

All they cared about was me and my message. They were here to support me and help me raise awareness! ( And to met the gorgeous Sophie Cachia πŸ˜‚ probably mostly to met her haha) but they were there none the less !


I did, by complete shock, turn into a blabbering mess before I could get a little message out 😝 so here it is:

I know it sounds SUPER cliche but please everyone live your life to the fullest!

 I always thought I was doing just this but that day I was told I had cancer I realised really quickly that there was so much I still wanted to experience! And I’m really glad to have had this realisation now before I spend the rest of my life just getting on with it. 

So, go for late night dessert, go to a day time movie by yourself, spend a whole day nude, ride a camel, give the kids ice cream for dinner and for god sakes please build yourself a burger at Maccas πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ‘ŒπŸ»

What ever it is no mater how big or how small just do it and do it now. Don’t wait until next pay day just close your eyes and dive in!

LIVE (ironically I have a tattoo on my ribs VIVERE which means LIVE) πŸ’ƒπŸ»

πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ™ŒπŸ»

Yesterday was honestly one of the most incredible days of my life no one and nothing is going to wipe this smile of my face for a long time.

So to my new Sisterhood THANK YOU from the very pit of my heart your love and support and most importantly your sincere passion for wanting to help really means a million times more then you will ever know.

Oh and did I mention I made it through the day with minimal sweat patches πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚. I have a legit fear of sweat patches 

Lastly I’m sure you all do already but if you don’t give Sophie aka The Young Mummy a follow she really is an inspirational young mum just telling it like it is πŸ’ƒπŸ»

Love and hugs to you all 

The Gutsy Mummy 

Dear Baby BIRDΒ 


Dear Baby Bird,

Only 4 short weeks until you make your Grand Entrance!

8 weeks earlier, 8 weeks tinier, 8 weeks longer we have to love and hold you.

I am ever so sorry that this journey has not been what we both wanted and needed. Filled with worry and stress, Not exactly the Joy and Excitement I had invisioned for my last pregnancy.

I’m devastated for you that your first few months of life will be so different to what they should have been. I’m frightened that you will be ripped out before your ready. I’m heartbroken that mummy can’t keep you safe for longer. I’m saddened by the fact that I will have to leave you at the hospital. I’m terrified that I may not see you for a week. I’m scared that I won’t be there when you need me the most. I can’t comprehend the fact someone else will be watching over you 24/7 when it should be me. I’m confused as to why this is happening now. I am worried that my decisions will impact you forever.

My heart aches for you baby bird.

I’m sorry for so many things and I hope that you can forgive me one day.

But above all my fears I am most of all OVERJOYED that you will be a part of our beautiful family.

I have to do this to make sure I am here to see you and your brother and sister live a bright and happy future.

I dream about you every night, your little fingers, your tiny toes, your chubby cheeks, your button nose, I even see some fuzzy hairs on your noggin’. You are strong and healthy and come home just in time for Easter!

Baby bird you reassure me daily that you are strong (you pack a mean kick), strong enough to overcome anything thrown your way.

You are ready.

Mummy and daddy are ready.

Bro and sissy are ready.

We love you baby bird and can’t wait to love and hold you tight

See you in 4 weeks

Love Your Gutsy Mummy xxx

It’s a DateΒ 


What a month January has been!
We have attended appointment after appointment after appointment. Transferred my pregnancy to Royal Woman’s, made the tricky decision of which surgeon to go with, pushed for a later delivery day for bubs and locked in the all important DATES.

It’s really funny to me because I was handling this all so well and just taking it in my stride, but once we locked in all the details I felt heavy!

HEAVY in my stomach, in my heart, in my head. It all just became REAL.

Don’t get me wrong I’m still super confident that we have the support and positivity to smash the next few months but something inside is just bubbling over. I find myself close to tears all through the day, stressing about how the kids will react to mum not being mum for a while, explaining to the kids especially Jasper that his little baby can’t come home for a little while (he asks every day if we are going to pick up the baby), but mostly I stress that bubs will not like being brought into the world so early and then I have to leave my baby for my surgery, I fear it all! 

So many questions that just can’t be answered. 

But the fact is that this has to happen and it’s happening.

C section is booked for March 6th at 31+6 (far better then the 26 that was mentioned at my first appπŸ™ŒπŸ») I’ll have a week to recover from my C section and bond with bubs as much as possible before my surgery on March 14th. I’m hopeful to be out of hospital in less then a week after my stomachs removed and it may be possible for me to sneak across to the baby during the days before I’m discharged (fingers crossed!)

With only 5 short weeks until bubs is delivered and 6 weeks until my Total Gastrectomy the count down is on. And the nerves are buzzing.

SO here’s to February a month of good food, a full stomach πŸ˜‰and loads of family timeπŸ’ƒπŸ»

Love The Gutsy Mummy πŸ’•

*Please note* 

I am talking to the right people about all my anxiety and fears I am not trying to tackle these by myself, I am not afraid to seek the help I need at this time πŸ™ŒπŸ»

Hard followed by HARDER!

Just when you think you’ve had the hardest week of your life the next is HARDER!

The week started amazingly when we had our 20 weeks scan and seen our precious Bub 10 fingers, 10 toes and a little button nose.  A few hours later the doctors rang “Baby has cysts on the brain!” 😭 REALLY, really not what I needed to hear after last week. So up to Royal women’s Hospital 9am the following morning for scans and blood tests. All test come back low risk baby is perfect πŸ™ŒπŸ» best news!

Tuesday rolls in and I have an appointment with Prof Macrae at Royal Melbourne. Hoping for some good news and possibly buy some time after baby is born before I need to go ahead with my own surgery. Well I got the complete opposite of that. When he called in my most recent Gastroscopy results it was not good news with more Adenocarcinoma found! 

With these new results the medical advice I was given was a massive shock! To them the main priority is me, so in saying that they were very keen for me to dismiss baby and go ahead with my own surgery immediately. Obviously as a mother and having a bond with my baby, feeling it kick and turn this was not an option for me. So they suggested baby has a good chance if delivered at 26 weeks.

Neither of these options feel right for me.

I booked an emergency appointment with a Geelong Obstetrician the following morning to get information on what is best for baby and its survival! He said anywhere from 28-33 weeks is viable and with steroid injections before delivery baby would have a good chance. He referred me to Royal Women’s for the remainder of my pregnancy.

I have many appointments coming up after Christmas with Peter Mac Callum, Royal Melbourne, Royal women’s and of course Geelong hospitals.

This decision weighs completely on my shoulders and its beginning to get really tough to stay positive. 

I want to give my baby the best chance but I also need to make sure that I am looked after for my two babies at home and of course Cam! 

All I know is that I will be waiting until my baby is atleast 28 weeks ATLEAST! 

And that is were my head is at right now. Hopefully after all my up coming appointments it will be easier to make a clear decision.

What ever the decision, it is dawning on me that it’s going to be a very difficult time and I am just so so blessed to have so many supportive people around to help us in every way and a massive thank you to all those who have dug deep for our “Go Fund Me” page we appreciate every single one of you more then you know πŸ™ŒπŸ»

We are heading away after Christmas for a week of relaxation so this will be my final post for 2016. Phew what a year!

I wish you all a super magical and Merry Christmas filled with laughs and good food! 

Stay safe and healthy and hug your loved ones extra tight πŸŽ…πŸΌπŸŽ„

The Gutsy Mummy xxx

Photo by @_stephbrown_ 

Did he really just say the C word?Β 

On Thursday Dec 8th 2016 with both rug rats in toe I headed to my out patients appointment to get my Gastroscopy results from August.

After an hour and 40 wait the surgeon called my name “LAURA”!

Into another pokey white room we go.

He opens with “I’m glad your sitting down”  Then he shows a picture of my stomach it looks perfect completely different from what I expected a stomach to look like it was so smooth and empty haha. But before I could even blink he drops a bomb. “Your stomach looked great until we got to the exit of the stomach, that’s where we found Early Stages of Gastric CANCER!”

With both kids running around this small room making a racket I just couldn’t digest what he was telling me, before I knew he was filling out some forms for me to have a repeat Gastroscopy the next day to make sure the cancer hadn’t changed in anyway!

When he left the room to find a bookings nurse I played happily with Ivy like nothing had happened. I think I was just a numb.

Abut I had a million questions to ask, they have told us from the start how aggressive this cancer is and that once it’s to late there is NOTHING that can be done.

I’m 19 weeks pregnant! 

Are you sure I have time to wait?

If you picked it up on a test that you say is impossible to pick it up on has it developed to far?

But he just seemed to not have the time to answer them.

He gave me a quick run down on what’s next and sent me on my way!

10 minutes later I leave the hospital with the following scenario:

I had a repeat Gastroscopy the next day (Friday 9th)

Now I am booked in at Peter Mac to have my stomach removed in 18 weeks (given that there are no changes to the cancer in my most rescent Gastroscopy) and that’s if the obstetrician is happy to go ahead with a c section at 37 weeks  (yep a newborn via c-section and a total Gastroscopy in the same weekπŸ˜–)

I held it together until I got the kids in the car, then I broke down

“What Just Happened?”

“Did he really just say the C word?”

AS I drove to my mums I had all the worst case scenarios running around my head!

And Cam how was I going to tell Cam? I mean how do you tell the man who loves you more then anything that you have Cancer? I just didn’t want to break his heart

Once I got to Mums and had another cry I calmed down and started to think logically!

This is going to work out fine it’s all abit faster then I would have liked but it was always the plan! I have always been good at finding the positives so why should I make this situation any different! As scared as I am I need to be positive for my babies, for Cam, for myself and for the sake of my precious bump.

Now we just need to plan ahead because having two toddlers, a newborn via a c section and total Gastrectomy all in a week is going to be a handful! 

But we are so so lucky to be blessed with the most amazing families who will here to help and support us through the next year 

I had my Gastroscopy yesterday and have a 2-3 weeks wait for results in the meantime I have my 20 week scan on Wednesday and obs app the following Tuesday! 

The next 18 weeks are going to be a very scary time but you know how it is as a mum you put it aside and you get on with it and just pray every minute that it all works out πŸ™ŒπŸ»

Hug those you love tight

The Gutsy Mummy xx

Baby makes 5

Wow!Β image.jpeg

So we ended my last entry with me heading to the fertility specialist, turns out my uterus was already occupied πŸ™ˆ

To see those two pink lines was jaw dropping! I yelled to Cam “look look we did it, I can’t believe we did it” πŸ˜‚

Fast forward 2 weeks, low and behold my two best friends also find out they are expecting!

WEΒ had said after our last babies “next round let’s do it together”. Never did we think it would actually happen, all due within 5 days of each other CRAZY EXCITING!

NOW 15 weeks along and boy plz tell me I’ll get my energy back soon. I am soooo tired. Baking a babe and running around after two toddlers is exhausting, but those mummy super powers some how always kick in and get the job doneπŸ˜… Β I have never looked so forward to the kids bedtime as I do now.

My belly and belly button has popped already, should have worked harder on closing myΒ recti diastasis (abdominal separation) before I fell pregnant again πŸ™ˆ But hey who caresΒ right, as long as this baby makes its grand entrance happy and healthy

So far my biggest dilemma is do we find out the sex?? We had surprises with both Jasper and Ivy so naturally I can’t imagine doing it different however with both my besties finding out my will power is weak. πŸ€”

I feel like it would be handy to be organised given its the third and I may not have as much time to organise once bubs is here with 3 crazy littlies under my watch, but I’m scared it will ruin my excitement on D day.

I have 4 more weeks to decide!

What did you do? And what were the Pros and Cons?

HELP! 😝

The Gutsy Mummy xx