Thursday, 23 February 2012

Christening Cupcakes

These cupcakes were ordered by a couple for their sons christening, they were a mix of Summers Day (Lemon Cupcake with lemon icing filled with lemon curd), Chocoholic (Chocolate Cupcake with Chocolate icing filled with Chocolate spread) and Raspberry Sundae (Vanilla Cupcake with Vanilla icing filled with raspberry jam, topped with raspberry ice-cream sauce and sprinkles). These cupcakes were in two sizes Muffin Size and then bite size minis. I then decorated 3 cupcakes to spell out the little boys name to put on top of the cupcake stand, (which they also hired from me.)

Baby Shower Cupcakes

One of my BFFs (the Yummy Mummies, as we call ourselves!) gave birth to Boy/Girl twins last year and being the fabulous friends that we are the yummy mummies threw her a baby shower. I of course was in charge of bringing the cupcakes.

I also received an order for a lady who was having a baby shower but didn't know the sex of her baby so did a mix of pink & blue swirls (camera was playing up so colours are rubbish)

My oldest BFF (friends since the age of 5, 23 years!! God that makes me feel old!) had her first baby in November last year. In the midst of my traumatic pregnancy i decided to throw my self into planning her baby shower. As she didn't know the sex of her baby I chose to go with the colour theme she chose for her nursery. I also did some baby themed cookies in matching colours but forgot to take photos. 

Not only did I make baked goods for her shower but created a Nursery rhyme quiz which I have uploaded for you. You can find it here if you want to use it for an upcoming baby shower or just to test your knowledge.

Giant Cupcakes

Some of the giant cupcakes i have done this year....

Engagement Party

This Giant Cupcake & coordinating cupcakes were ordered my a friends sister for her engagement party. They were a range of different flavours including, Chocolate, Vanilla & Lemon. There is 96 muffin size cupcakes in total and a giant cupcake.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Xbox Birthday Cakes

Xbox Birthday Cupcakes

These Xbox themed cupcakes were ordered by one of my bestests for her hubbie. Half were Terrys Chocolate Orange and half were Crunchie flavour.

21st Giant Cupcake

21st Giant Cupcake

This Giant Cupcake with coordinating cupcakes was a surprise present for a customers sister. They were Vanilla cakes filled with raspberry jam and topped with Vanilla buttercream.

50th Birthday Cupcakes

As I have spent most of the last year in and out of hospitals I haven't taken many orders, however let me update you with a few of the ones i did.

50th Birthday Party.

These Cupcakes were ordered by a Daughter for her Mum's 50th birthday party as a surprise.

Sick Children's Trust

During our time at Newcastle RVI (read our story here...part 1 & part 2) we were given a room at Crawford House, a home form home for parents of sick children in the hospital. The house on the hospital grounds and is run by a wonderful charity called "The Sick Children's Trust". Having a room at Crawford house was amazingly helpful for us as it meant we could spend as much time as possible with Olly while he was in the hospital. And we didn't have to drive backwards and forwards from Darlington every day (a 2hr journey there & back).

The Sick Childrens Trust work with the hospitals, supporting them in their role and providing complementary support to families. They help to alleviate some of the emotional and financial strains at a very stressful time, providing an essential service free of charge for up to 108 families every night, 365 days a year. Whilst staying at one of the ‘Homes from Home’ is free of charge, the charity incurs a total cost of £27 per bedroom per night. They are not funded by the Government and in times when resources are scarce, they depend even more on their supporters to help them to provide this essential service.

Please take a few minutes to look at their website and if possible donate, even a small amount, to their cause. Remember "Every Little Helps!"

During April 2012, The Sick Children's Trust will be having a Big Chocolate Tea Party which we will of course be taking part in! The Big Chocolate Tea Party is about getting together with friends, family, work colleagues and neighbours over a cuppa and your favourite chocolate treat to help raise money for sick children and their families in their time of need. In this economic climate we need your help more than ever! All you need to do is host a tea party filled with chocolate treats during April 2012 and send in any money you raise, no matter how big or small, to The Sick Children’s Trust. They suggest you charge people a minimum of £1 to come to your Big Chocolate Tea Party and maybe just £1 for each chocolatey treat or cup of tea you sell. This way, if you only have 10 guests you can still raise £20 from the party, and if all supporters raised that, they would be well on their way to reaching their fundraising goal and helping more families!

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Birth & Beyond!

The Birth....

I woke up on 8th Jan 2012 at 36 weeks & 3days pregnant, expecting to enjoy a nice family day with our daughter, our last Sunday as a family of 3! We planned to go to the soft play area and to the park to feed the ducks, then to Nana's for sunday tea. HOWEVER, when i woke up i was getting slight stomach cramps, they were coming every hour and lasting a few minutes at a time. I had been having braxton hicks contractions a lot this week so passed them off as nothing. We got ready and went to the soft play, my daughter Megan and her daddy went to go play and i sat close by watching. As they played my cramps began to get stronger and closer together, every 30mins now. They were starting to take my breath away now and i realised they were probably real contractions. I rang the RVI and was told to take paracetemol and get in the car for the 1 hour drive to the hospital. We loaded the bags into the car, dropped Megan off with her Nana and set off. During the drive my contractions started getting closer, every 10mins now. 

When we arrived at the RVI I was hooked up to the monitors and examined by the midwife. I was 3cm dilated and contractions coming every 5 mins now. They were starting to get very painful and i was given Gas & Air. The consultant came to see me and told me was my labour was quite quick last time (5hrs) they wanted to give me something to slow down my contractions so that they could get all the team in for C-section. I was admitted to the delivery suite and hooked up to a drip to slow my contractions which were now 3 mins apart. The medicine didn't work. They had booked the theatre for 7.30pm (it was 7pm now) my partner, Adam, was taken away to get dressed in his scrubs for surgery. They started to wheel me round to theatre at 7.30pm, i was very scared now. They stopped just outside theatre and warned me that there would be a lot of people in the room waiting for baby. I was later told there was 21 people in theatre, outside I could hear them all talking and felt sick. The next hour is a bit of a blur, I remember feeling very strange after having my spinal. They asked if we wanted any music on, we weren't bothered, so they put on Spandau Ballet's Greatest Hits on and began my C-Section. I remember feeling very anxious now and crying because i was supposed to have 4 more days to prepare for this. At about 7.50pm I heard the sound I had so desperately been waiting for, my little baby's cry, which oddly resembled a duck!! I was so relieved. After a bit more pulling and tugging Oliver Cole F was born. He was taken to a table to be assessed by the doctors then put in an incubator and covered over. They wheeled him to us, so we could see his face then they took him away to surgery. I was stitched up and they explained to us his condition. 

Oliver (Olly or Ollypop) was born with his bowels outside as expected however it was not Gastroschisis it was a ruptured Exompholas. Exompholas is defect where the bowels develop outside of the abdomen but in a covered sac. This condition usually comes with chromosomal problems, such as downs syndrome. We were told they were sure Olly didn't have downs and looked like a normal baby. The tissue mass was not attached to Olly at all and turned out to be a twin that had not developed properly (no heart or brain) and died early in the pregnancy. It was attached to Olly's placenta by its own umbilical cord and was still receiving nutrients causing it to grow. The twins bowels had also developed outside of its body and had tangled up with Olly's bowels and umbilical cord. Because of this Olly, his twin and the placenta were born at the exact same time and for this reason they had to make my C-section incision larger like an upside down T. I was told i would never be able to have a normal birth again. I was taken round to recovery and awaited the outcome of Olly's Surgery. At 3am Olly's surgeon, Mr Hosie, came to see us and told us once they had removed his twin, its bowels and the placenta they had been able to put all his bowels back inside and stitch him up. They were very pleased with this, although he had lost a lot of blood during birth and his surgery so he had 2 blood transfusions and they expected him to be quite poorly over the next few days. They had also discovered Olly was born with a condition called hypospadias which means his wee hole isn't in the right place on his penis and a he also didn't have an exit hole on his bottom (imperforate anus). As he didn't have an exit hole they had given him a stoma which meant he would need to wear a colostomy bag until he is 4months old, when he would have surgery to fix his bum. Also when they were putting his urinary catheter in during surgery they noticed traces of meconium (baby poop) in his bladder. This meant he had a connection somewhere between his bladder and bowels. They were not concerned with any of these problems as they are apparently quite common and easily fixed, but does mean he has another 3 surgeries to go. Olly had been taken to paediatric ICU to recover and Adam was allowed to see him a few hours later.


I was allowed to see Olly the day after he was born once i could manage to get into a wheel chair and get to ICU. The first time i saw him he was very swollen from his surgery and he had all sorts of wires sticking out of him and on a ventilator to help him breathe. They had finally been able to weigh him after having his twin and placenta removed and he weighed 5lb 8oz (2.5kg). He was quite jaundice so needed to be on the phototherapy lights a lot. Over the next few days Olly did very well and was taken off the ventilator at 1 week old and we got our first cuddles. They even talked about sending him onto a normal ward, but he didn't like this! As he had been weaned off his painkillers (morphine) he started to show signs of withdrawal, his heart rate became very fast, his breathing rapid and he was very jittery. This was concerning to the doctors and they did lots of tests to see what was wrong. He had blood & urine tests done, an ultrasound on his brain, ultrasound on his heart and a test done to monitor his brain activity. All came back normal, although the ultrasound on his heart picked up he has a small hole they aren't concerned with it. Over the next week he began to improve and his doctors put his symptoms down to withdrawal.

At 1 week 5 days old Olly was started on breast milk, he was fed 2ml every 2hrs down a feeding tube in his nose. He was taken out of the incubator, dressed and placed in a cot. Then at 2 weeks old he was discharged from ICU and admitted to ward 9 the surgical paediatric ward, for children who were recovering from surgery. On this ward i was able to stay with him all the time and shown how to look after him. Pretty soon i was bathing him, emptying his colostomy bag and giving him his feeds down his feeding tube. He was tolerating his milk very well and it was increased every 12hrs by 2ml, by Tuesday 31st Jan he was on full feeds every 3hrs but still fed through his nose tube. We decided to try breastfeeding which he took to quite well and started feeding every 3-4hrs. On Thursday 2nd Feb all his tubes and wires were removed, it was so nice to see his little face at last. On Saturday 4th Feb at 3 weeks 6 days old we were given the news we had so desperately been waiting for... he could go home!! After being told during my pregnancy to expect at least a 3month stay in hospital this was amazing news. 

I am so proud of my brave baby boy he has done so well. He has to go back every few weeks for check-ups and will have his next surgery at 4months old. Now we are home and getting into a routine again he is doing great, weighs 6lb 3oz now and at this moment is asleep on my lap. On his first check up at the hospital i made some cupcakes as a thank you for all the staff on ward 9 and PICU....

What a year!

After a much needed break I'm back and ready to bake. Let me tell you this last year has been an awful one. As some of you may know I have recently had a baby and my pregnancy was a tough one. I'm going to share with you our story, be prepared its a long one!

The Pregnancy...

June 2011 we found out we were expecting our second baby, and although apprehensive at doing the baby thing again we were excited to be adding to our little family. For the first few weeks I suffered with severe morning sickness then in July at 11wks pregnant I began having stomach cramps and bleeding. After an agonising night in A&E wondering, we were sent away to "see what happens!" My scan was 2days later, sitting in the waiting room felt like hours when actually only minutes, we we found out the baby was still there but poorly. The baby was believed to have a condition called gastroschisis, and we were referred to a consultant. This is a rare birth defect that affects 1 in 7000 pregnancies, and is when a babies bowels develop outside the abdomen. We were very worried on hearing this news although relieved that the baby was still alive!

Our scan with the consultant was 1 week later, during this scan they confirmed suspected gastroschisis. However they also discovered a large blood clot in my uterus, which may explain the bleeding. I was put on bed rest for the next 5 weeks and told to come back each wk for another scan to check on baby. My next few scans went well, baby was growing well and the blood clot reducing in size. At my 20wk scan the blood clot had gone completely however they then discovered a solid tissue mass behind baby. They were unsure what this was, a few possibilities they gave us were a cyst, a tumour or a twin that had died early in the pregnancy. We were referred to the Fetal medicine department at Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.

My first appointment at RVI was Sept 29th. This was one of the worst days of my entire life. We arrived at the hosp and were taken into a scan room, the consultant proceeded to scan me in silence for what felt like hours but was actually only about 30 mins. We were then escorted into a private room by a midwife to wait for the consultant to come and discuss his findings. The consultant arrived and told us he was shocked to be talking to us about this so late in my pregnancy (I was 23wks at this point). He told us I had very low fluid levels and baby had a very short umbilical cord so views on ultrasound were very difficult, but he had managed to do most of checks he needed to. He told us the tissue mass looked like it was a growth connected to the babys face and that he had been unable to see the baby's bladder. He was concerned it may have not developed properly (inside-out and outside abdomen, bladder exstrophy), if so the baby would need to be born and cared for at Great Ormond St Hospital in London!! He also advised that we consider terminating the pregnancy!! We were told to come back a week later so that he could discuss with another consultant.

At our next appointment I was scanned by two consultants, and told as my fluid levels were so low they wanted to inject more fluid in so they could get better views of what was going on. We were told the procedure carries a risk of miscarriage but they needed to do it. After having a huge needle jabbed into my lower abdomen (not a pleasant experience) they injected 300ml of extra fluid into me and got better views of baby. Once again we were taken into a private room, when the consultants came in they confirmed the previous findings from wk earlier. They also told us the hole in baby's tummy where the bowels where coming out seemed quite large and may involve baby's genitalia as they were unable to see baby's sex. One good thing being they think they saw a bladder, and on the inside.

We were told to come back every few wks for scans to check baby's growth. The next few scans were pretty much the same, they confirmed the presence of baby's bladder as such this meant the baby could be born at RVI. We met various members of the paediatric team, from doctors to surgeons, and it was decided I should have an MRI to confirm if the mass was attached to baby or not. My MRI was scheduled for early Dec and being claustrophobic this was not something i was looking forward too. We arrived at the hospital and sat in the waiting area, everytime a nurse walked towards us i felt like throwing up scared that they would call my name. Then the time came, i was called in, i took a deep breath n was taken into the scan room. They explained the procedure and laid me down on the table, strapped lots of things to me gave me some headphones to block out the noise and a panic button to press. I shut my eyes tight shut and was moved into the machine, once inside i made the mistake of opening my eyes. The roof of the machine was literally inches from my face, i started crying, having a panic attack and felt like throwing up. They moved me back out of the machine and tried to calm me down, in the end my partner came in to sit by my head while having the scan. They eventually moved me back in to the machine and proceeded with the scan, the scan lasted 20mins in total, but i still cried/panicked the whole time. (Big wuss, I know!)

My next ultrasound was just before christmas and we got the results from my MRI, they were pretty sure the mass was attached to baby's neck and shoulder. We were told they didn't think the mass was blocking any airways but they couldn't be sure until baby was born. We decided it would be best for baby to be delivered by c-section as we were still unsure what to expect. My C-section was booked for 12th Jan 2012.
My last appointment at fetal medicine was 5th Jan 2012 and we were shown around the maternity ward, theatre and the special care baby unit. I was measured for my surgical socks, given tablets to take the night before my C-Secition and sent home. Only 1 week to go..... or so we thought!!