When a birth plan doesn’t quite go to plan….Raising awareness for group B strep…

Laura has kindly shared her birth story with us, sometimes birth doesn’t always go to plan and Laura would like to spread awareness about something very close to her.

When I finished work for maternity leave, I don’t think it had still sunk in that I was going to be having a baby. I’d had the most amazing, textbook pregnancy… plenty of nausea but no sickness, cravings for mini eggs (oh the hardship) a cute little bump… I had LOVED being pregnant. I had been doing hypnobirthing; I was planning on a home water birth with as few drugs as possible and I was so incredibly excited about it all. I felt really relaxed, and looking forward to giving birth. I had a birth plan, it didn’t even cross my mind that my birth would be anything other than what I had written down on that oh so black and white piece of paper.

I was convinced I was going to be early, I had the 19th June cemented in my mind, so on the morning of the 19th, when I started getting proper contractions, I KNEW he was coming! I was nearly 2 weeks early, and I’d been having light contractions for a couple of days so to be sure that I was actually in labour, I popped myself up to the hospital for them to check. They confirmed I was in active labour and 4cm dilated, so (very excited but also very calm and relaxed) I took myself home to make sure everything was ready for little mans arrival.

I called the husband and told him things had started but that he didn’t need to rush home, and I spent the rest of the day pottering about while still having contractions. By the time Matt got home from work, things had really progressed, and a couple of hours later we called the midwife. When she arrived, she told me that things were progressing really nicely, all was going well, I was still 4cm dilated but she was pretty sure we would have a baby by the morning. A few hours later I got in the pool… and a few hours later I was still there. After a while I got out and decided it wasn’t really doing all that much for me, it seemed to be slowing down and I was starting to get tired (I’d had no sleep since the Saturday!)

On the Tuesday afternoon, I was still in labour at home (two midwife shift changes later!) when we had a call from the hospital – I’d had some swabs done when I was there and they were back… I had Group B Strep. Because I was in active labour, I needed IV antibiotics every 4 hours; we decided the sensible thing to do was to move to the birthing unit in Jessops Hospital, so we packed up all the bits we would need for a brief hospital stint (I’d already got an emergency bag just in case, as I knew things might not go to plan!) and set off on our way.

I was put in a birthing room, given my first load of antibiotics and had all sorts of bloods taken. By Wednesday morning, I was still only 5cm dilated… nothing had progressed.

By late Wednesday evening, I had another visit, this time from a consultant who told me my bloods had come back and I had severe labour on-set pre-eclampsia. My blood pressure had shot through the roof, and my kidneys and liver were failing. I was told I would have to be admitted to the consultant led ward so they could monitor me, they were going to have to break my waters and induce my labour as it still wasn’t progressing; my body was shutting down, and baby was getting grumpy.

My relaxed, drug free hypnobirthing plan promptly flew out the window, I was advised to have an epidural to bring my blood pressure down and get some rest – which I did, desperate to avoid the ever looming threat of a c-section. I have to say though (probably thanks to hypnobirthing) I was still really calm and relaxed.

After 84 hours in active labour, at 1.43pm on Thursday the 22nd June, I finally got to meet my beautiful little boy Frank, having very narrowly missed a caesarean.

We were on cloud 9, it hadn’t been quite the straightforward labour I was expecting, but I still enjoyed every minute of it, and it had all been worth it.

After that glorious first hour, a paediatrician came into the room to look at Frank as they were concerned about his breathing. Next thing I knew, my husband was going one way with Frank to be “monitored” and I was going the other way to the high dependency unit, where they wanted to keep me until my kidneys and liver showed some signs of functioning normally after the pre-eclampsia. I declined the monitoring, all I was bothered about was going to find Frank.

I thought he was going for monitoring, so I wasn’t even a little bit prepared for walking into intensive care to see my little boy in an incubator. The next few hours passed in a blur. I woke up the next morning at 5am, my 30th birthday and I was alone in a hospital bed without my little boy, surrounded by wards of women who had just given birth and had their babies with them. I had a little (big) cry, then pulled myself together. What was the point in feeling sorry for myself, when I could go down to see Frank, sit by his incubator, and maybe be allowed to hold him for just a short while. I managed to track down the consultant covering the room he was in, who told me Frank actually had pneumonia which has been caused by the GBS I had been carrying.

The next few days were all a bit of a haze, spent mostly just sitting in intensive care by his incubator, holding him when we could and trying to avoid all the machines he was hooked up to.

It seemed like forever, but he was only actually in there for 4 days before being moved into special care on day 5, and then the day after he was allowed to come up to the ward with me until I was given the all clear and we were both discharged. My blood pressure still wasn’t normal, there was something wrong with my platelets, and my kidney or liver (I forget!?) wasn’t quite back in working order, but I didn’t care, I was going HOME.

The first few days/ weeks were all a bit of a blur (you can read all about them on my blog – https://www.wingingitinstyle.com/blog/my-intro-to-motherhood – if you want!)

For those wanting some more information about Group B Strep. It is carried by around 25% of women, and the bacteria can be passed from the mother to the baby as they pass through the birth canal. There is a lot of information about GBS here –https://www.cdc.gov/groupbstrep/about/newborns-pregnant.html – which is worth a read. The UK is one of few countries in Europe that does not screen for GBS routinely during pregnancy, and a woman who is carrying the bacteria usually has no symptoms at all so is completely unaware she has it.

There are a number of reasons that are given by the NHS for not testing as standard, I am not sure whether I agree with them or not… but I DO want to share this story in the hope of raising awareness. The NHS might not do the tests, but you can buy them online. They are available here – https://www.groupbstreptest.co.uk/ and at only £35 (the test is free, the lab fee is £35) they are worth every penny if you are expecting, if only for peace of mind.

We were some so lucky… if they hadn’t have found out about the GBS I probably wouldn’t have gone up to the hospital, or found out about the pre-eclampsia… we would never have realised “grumbling” in a new born baby was a sign of breathing problems, had it not been for the fact the staff were aware I was carrying GBS our story could have been completely different.

I will forever be grateful to the NHS and the amazing midwives, consultants and nurses in the maternity wards and neonatal unit in Jessops for their incredible work. I can’t thank them enough for the wonderful care they gave to me and Frank during that first week, and I will never forget how lucky we are to have our beautiful little boy.

You can find laura on Instagram at winging.it.in.style

Her page also links to her blog

Pop over and say Hi!

Thankyou laura!!!

The Instamum series… Haus_of_boys

Being a mother of a tribe! I LOVE speaking to other mum’s of large families. I love finding out how they do it? How do they find homelife? what works for them?

One of the reasons I love Instagram is because you can do this, you can find people just like you living the same life. They maybe thousands of miles away but you can relate, share problems, ask for advice, laugh and share joy in their journey. I find so much inspiration from some of the people I follow and with that in mind I decided to ask some very inspiring Insta Mumma’s if they could share their stories…..

First up we have Fiona aka  haus_of_boys

Fiona lives in the countryside in Australia she is a little camera shy herself but the boys are anything but! They work it and they are a gorgeous bunch of lads! Fiona is clearly a fantastic photographer and the boys have wardrobes to die for!

Tell me a bit about yourself?

We are a family of 6, sometimes 7! You see I have 4 boys with my current partner but the boys also have a half brother from my previous relationship. My boys are Zach 19yrs, Benny 8, Harley 6, Jack 4 and Noah 3.

Did you always want to have a big family?

I never planned on having a big family! I never actually thought about it growing up. I knew I wanted kids and I always wanted my first to be a boy (haha looks like I wished for that a little too much)…. that being said I think I remember someone once asking me one how many kids I -wanted and I said 4!

Do your boys fight? How do you deal with it?

Yes my boys do fight! They love each others company and are definetly a close team, but of course they are boys and they can come to blows over who’s turn it is on the PS4 or over toys. I tend to make them apologise to each other and talk it out but if tensions are high I separate them.

What is your favourite way to spend time with your family?

My all time favourite thing to do with the kids is to go to the beach! Its one place where EVERYONE is happy and content to be there. They rarely fight or argue and we are all happy to be there all day… literally! Its our happy place!

Do you think its important to give the children one on one time?

Definetly important to have one on one time though I find it hard to do this. My 3yr old gets a lot because two of the boys go to school and one goes to kinder a few times a week. I feel my relationships aren’t  as strong without one on one time and its something I’m trying to work on this year.

What is the most important to you when it comes to bringing up the boys?

The most important thing to me is to bring them up to be compassionate, empathetic and generous human beings. I would be happy to know my kids grow up being mindful of the other people we share the planet with no matter the colour of their skin or what sex they are.

Its also important that they grow up as a tight knit brotherhood. I can grow old happy if I know they have each others back.

How do you balance homelife? There’s a lot of washing involved! Are you super organised or do you just wing it?

The balance is hard but we have morning and evening routine charts to keep some system going. I like to think I’m organised and I am in some sense but theres a lot of winging it involved too. I think when the boys are at school I will have more time to consentrate on keeping the home organised.

Do you get much time to yourself and for you and your husband?

I don’t make enough time for me!! I work a little job one morning a week but because of my husband’s long and frequent working hours there’s not much time for me to plan me time. I have a few events coming up soon without the kids so I do have some girls nights to look forward to!

My partner and I don’t get much time together at all because he works a lot, I know this isn’t healthy for our relationship and it’s definitely something we want to work on.

Your Instagram photo’s are so gorgeous! Are they hard to take? Are the boys compliment? The photo’s come across very natural to me..

It’s not easy! Sometimes the boys don’t want to do it but we do a lot of collaborations with kids fashion labels so some weeks I do have to push them a little more 🙈 . I do have to “pay” them in a way! Ben collects little oshi toys, Harley collects grocery gang and Noah gets Thomas the tank engine mini’s 😂 I literally take about 20 snaps and hope I get one that reflects their personalities!

If you could give 3 tips to any mother/ father out there what would they be?

1. Follow tour own instincts, there’s so much expectation of what a good mother or father should be but at the end of the day this is tour parenthood journey and you need to make it comfortable and suitable for you.

2. Make sure you get plenty of time out from your kids, it will honestly make you love them more and therefor a happier parent.

3. Try and keep a hobby or routine that you did prior to children (or start a new one) just so you feel like you do something for yourself to not just for your kids.

Lastly… any more babies????

Oh god no!!! I’m 42 now my baby days are over!!!

I saw this today on Fiona’s stories, the boys having mud ball fights!!! Made a laugh!

Head over to Instagram and check out Haus_of_boys for more fun pictures of this lovely clan!

Are they all yours???

I don’t think I ever thought about being a parent much whilst growing up in fact I was never that keen on kids, I would never ever want to hold a baby that was far to scary! I certainly never dreamed that one day I would have 4 of my own and 2 step children!

Just shy of 21 I had Joe, I want to say my whole world changed but it didn’t hugely he was an absolute angel and he kind of just fitted in. Four years later we decided to have another and I got my little girl.

All was going well and I was learning to balance life with two then came the big shock! Anyone who know’s me well will know that when I found out I was pregnant with Stan I was shocked beyond belief…… I know I know we risked it for a chocolate biscuit and that’s what happens but was I so crazy to think we had at least one get out of jail free card? Yes Tash you were!!!!!

There I was with a 4yr old who had just started school and my baby girl just shy of 4 months old and then came the news… 5 tests later and i was 100% pregnant! I had a baby I was having a baby and I was totally freaked out. I know it’s crazy now but at the time I felt like I was greedy! Like how can I get pregnant so easily when so many struggle? What would people think? How will I cope?

There can definitely be a bit of a negative perception around having lots of children, some people just don’t get it, why would you want lots? You must be mad? Another one!? How can you afford it? You don’t have enough room! Wow are they all yours?

According to statistics only 14% of families in the uk with children have 3 or more so I can understand how we stick out like a sore thumb. We also get lots of smiles though and also nice comments “Wow aren’t you lucky to have brothers and sisters” “what a lovely bunch of children” Honestly it’s been said and these comments make my day.

Having 2 close together yes it was a shock, yes it took me about 6 Months to get my head round it, it was hard work and yes there were times I cried but…. It was incredible! The first year was fine, Stan was a good baby and Bella was a giant toddler so she was very self-sufficient, we made the best of it and they grew an amazing bond.

The second year when Bella was two and Stan was one well that was a bloody nightmare they were like the gruesome twosome into everything, partners in crime taking me down one day at a time. From ice skating in hand soap to emptying out tea and coffee over the kitchen if I turned my back for a minute I was screwed!

That being said it was the best thing ever having such a small age gap because they are so close, they wouldn’t take anything without taking one for the other. They overlapped at pre-school and had a blast! Although it was scary at first I would recommend it to anyone to have children so close in age.

Then came Frankie our little dream boat! He’s such a babe and his siblings love him! He doesn’t stand a chance with all the silly things they teach him already he’s definitely going to be a character!

What have I learnt…

Whats important, as much as it kills me I can never maintain a pristine house with 4 kid no matter how much I want to. It’s clean but with 4 kids comes a lot of stuff! In every crevice you will find lego or hairbands and I deffo hide stuff in drawers when we have guests. Please tell me I’m not the only one?

My memory has turnt to sludge literally gone my kids even remind me that I forget things! “Yeah remember that Mum because you forgot last time” . Kids are really great at remembering your failings! Yes darling! I’m yet to forget a school event but the finer details are in there somewhere floating around with shopping lists, appointments, ballet practise, doctors appointments, wine….. Calendars are the way forward if it’s not on the calendar it’s not happening. I deffo forgot frank once! I’m not proud to say it but when frank was tiny I parked outside our local hair salon and ran in with my daughter. I sat there for 5 minutes whilst she was having her hair cut and suddenly a cold chill came over me! I must have turnt white as a sheet I think i mumbles something about sleeping baby and slid out the door running like a loon f*#* f*#* f*#* That was not my finest moment!!! Sorry baby! He was asleep all was good.

Planning is key

Days out are expensive!!!

You can’t book one room in a hotel! (Without lying/accidentally missing a kid off)

A multipack of cereal bars or yoghurt’s lasts one day!

Everyone wants to play at your house because it look so fun! By fun I mean wild, crazy and loud!

The washing is insane I often wish I could just bin the lot and buy new!

After school activities exhausting

Four kids later would I have more? Hell yes! If I was rich and had a big house, had a bit of help and someone to do my washing! But I’m not and I don’t so we will stick with this little tribe forever feeling truly blessed to have 4 happy healthy kids! 6 including my step children! There’s a lot of stress a lot of moaning, definitely arguing and they annoy me daily but there’s a whole lot of love and laughter and they are all incredible little humans !!

So that’s us in a nutshell loud and proud!


I am going have some other mum’s guest blogging about there small tribes over the next few weeks so keep your eyes peeled!

Is it ok to not be ok?

These last few weeks have been hard! Like seriously hard. Whilst I sit here reflecting on them I’m struggling to actually remember what was hard and why it was hard? Because that’s what happens life gets shit we ride it out put on our big girl pants and crack on! You get over it and it soon becomes a distant memory you managed to survive!

A wild 5yr old running around the supermarket hitting his siblings and acting completely bloody deranged whilst everyone looks on you with discarace, now that one I haven’t forgotten just yet!

Now whilst in the thick of it I wasn’t keen on being a mum at all and definitely questioned my life choices a lot, I mean I certainly didn’t pick the easy option. Anxiety at an all time high inside I felt like running but you can’t and it’s truly suffocating at times. I definitely said I was going for a wee so I could just have 5 minutes peace ALOT! Also questioned if I was in fact losing the plot because I was so bloody stressed out. Telling your husband that you might get sectioned if the kids don’t sort their shit out! I definitely had a glass of wine in my hand when he was walking through the door most days!

So that right there that pretty much summed up our half term it may seem harsh but it’s true and I’m not sugar-coating it because what’s he point?

The point is that we get through it and live to tell the tale, we create star charts, implement punishments, question our parenting. We question the children’s diet, question if they have behavioural problems you have missed (yes I did), arrange meeting’s at school and confide in friends. You pretty much do everything you can to get back on track and you do that because of love!

Because you care about your child and the person you want them to be, it kills me to see them being horrible to each other or putting each other down or even themselves down.

I have spoken to so many people in the past week who have expressed exactly the same feeling’s as me and it has made me feel so much better, not because their going through it too because it’s a shit place to be but because it means that I’m not on my own and I’m normal, it’s normal and sometimes it’s ok to not be ok!

We’re in this together and speaking about it is the best medicine.

I also recommend

– Deep breathing

– regular bathroom breaks

– Wine

– more wine

Mum problem’s….

Brace yourself because this one is a bit of a moan…..

Do you know what really gets my back up? Really put’s me in a crappy mood, rile’s me, makes my blood boil?

Bloody places with staff that treat you like shite because you have children in tow!

Sod off!

I am so fed up of being made to feel like your not wanted in places, I get that we’re a bit of a tribe and we may not sit and whisper in the corner BUT we are paying customers and human beings who should be treated the same as the next!

Today I went to a cafe a big chain cafe which I won’t mention, the vibe was instantly cold from the manager serving me, not a smile, not a thankyou and even our drinks given to us in take away cups as a not so subtle hint!

It instantly got my back up and what did I do I bloody took it out on the kids and was ratty with them moaning every time they raised there voices, I felt so uncomfortable that I wanted them to be perfect angels but actually probably made them (one in particular) play up a bit because I was on his case.

Last year a few friends and I took our babies to a restaurant for lunch, my fave restaurant until that day. We turn up t the empty restaurant to be greeted by a mumbling waiter who immediately ummed and ahed about whether they had high chairs. He went off and came back to tell us that they were locked in a room they had no access to. We were there and the babies were small so we said we would keep them in buggies, there was plenty of room and they were good as gold. The manager served us throughout our meal with barely a word let alone a smile. We actually asked for things and got no reply and then them bought to us, “oh he did hear us?” we thought. Maybe he was having a bad day? Oh no every other person that walked through the door was welcomed with a smile and he completely changed.

It was nearly time to go and I decided I would change my little man’s nappy, as I went to change him in the disabled toilet and there they were 2 piles of high chairs stacked up! Not locked away at all, my heart sank and I felt absolutely gutted that a restaurant I had been to for years, recommended to friends and loved had treated me this way!

We left and I haven’t returned, I won’t return how we were made to feel was unacceptable and I hope no one else is made to feel like that by them again. We emailed a complaint to the head office to which they replied there was a mix up but it was just a cover up, at least they can be aware and hopefully stop it from happening again. I couldn’t believe it they didn’t want us there with our children, they had hoped that by not having high chairs we would have gone else where. Gutted doesn’t even come close to how I felt.

So that’s it I’m over it! next time I’m given an ice cold stare and made to feel unwelcome I won’t take it out on the kids I will try to relax and maybe I might just have the balls to tell them! Ok I probably won’t tell them but I won’t let my kids suffer and I will go somewhere else.

Screw you cafe lady!!!

I know not everywhere is like this and there’s a lot of fantastic welcoming places too and to them THANKYOU!!!!!!!!

Peace out!

Sharing the love…

This one is for big families, other like minded people that thought having multiple children was a great idea! Oh it is I wouldn’t change it for the world but…..

How do you share your time?

It’s so easy to get into a rut of the mundane Groundhog Day style life. You wake up rush around getting ready for school and drop them off. Then amuse toddler all day pray he naps so I can clean the house/ watch kuwtk and have a hot cuppa. Retrieve kids from school and go home or to an after school club, rush around making dinner and then starts the bedtime prep! No you calm down! I know the excitement is all too much but that’s a normal week for us.

I hear people talk of this spending time doing things after school but I’m not sure where this time comes from?

Admittedly without the clubs we would have more time but they love them and are good at them and well we’re in too deep there’s no turning back now!

If we’re lucky at the weekend we might get a free day a free day that starts after swimming lessons or football maybe a birthday party thrown in for good measure, a free afternoon then it’s a bloody free afternoon, Damn it!

You wonder how to spend the day???

Chill day/afternoon to recharge your batteries for the next weeks rat race? Kids love chill days don’t they? About once a year! Otherwise they are bored and want to get out the box of doom that is the arts and crafts which lets be honest is most parent’s nightmare! Creating big cardboard heaps to sit around the house looking pretty, pretty damn ugly! I don’t mean it kid’s your creations are all beautiful and I keep them all. I don’t I’m sorry I don’t but one day if you happen to read this you will understand that your models are massive eye sores that only a mother can love.

So we go for a walk or play a game or procrastinate the day away folding washing and de-cluttering lego models from every nook and cranny. It can all be a little repetitive I need inspiration and new things to do?

Amongst all this running around spending quality time with the schooly’s is really tricky. Off course I listen to them read and read to them but to be honest it doesn’t get much better than that in the week. We take the kids to the clubs and watch them which is nice, the husband is Joes coach so that means they get a lot of time together doing their thing. However this isn’t always enough and leaves me constantly asking how Can i put in more quality time?

I try to take them out individually every now and then as a treat just for them but I’ve lost track of who’s next so I’ve decided I need to get back in track and sort it out.

I’ve decided I’m going to go through my calendar and block out times where I will do something be it big or small but recognise that they are the only one doing it with me.

A great idea a friend has also given me is to choose one night a month for each child and they get to stay up for an extra half hour to do something with Mum or Dad. This could be tricky as joe being the oldest by 3yrs stays up later than the others but maybe on those night he can read in bed? There’s a lot of thought going into this as you can probably tell it’s gonna be a bit trial and error but I am determined to find a way that we can all share the love and all feel special.

– bake a cake

– draw a picture

– play a game

– pamper each other

– lego

– pyjama walk

Ideas welcome I’d love to know what you like doing for a little one on one time??

Stan threw out another cracker this week…. Whilst in Waitrose I asked him to go and grab a cucumber to which he replied very loudly “il get a cockcumber” “I think you’ll find it’s called a cucumber darling” I replied in my sensible Mum voice “I know but I’m gonna call them cockcumbers that’s my new name for them” whilst giggling to myself I saw a lady chuckling into the tangerine stand. Only my son!

Hope you’re all having a good weekend!


Yes I definitely remember..

I definitely remember I mean how could I have even forgot?

The destruction and determination of a toddling baby!

It’s fun guys, I mean it’s heart warming watching them take those first steps it brings tears to my eyes, for me it’s my favourite milestone and I remember them all taking their first steps so significantly. They toddle around like little drunk men for a few days and then that’s it they’re ready to hit the town, by hit the town I mean literally take out the town I mean left to his own devices I’m pretty sure he could destroy a whole village in a day!

But alas he settles for our house, opening drawers and throwing out the contents, getting into the bin (who knew veg peelings were so appealing), pulling down drinks and anything that he can stretch out his go go gadget arm to pull down, let him near the bathroom and well you know what happens in there I’m not gonna go into specifics.

After about 3 days of walking Frank realised he could climb! Yay! Now I’m all for encouraging gross motor skills but climbing into the window sill and planting slobbery kisses all of the window is not encouraged, using a ride on as a step ladder to climb on the toy kitchen is also not encouraged but this is what we are spending our days doing at present.


This is what happens when said child is removed from the window or anything he has mounted. He throws himself to the floor and does a very angry backwards crawl until he just sulks in a heap on the floor. He looks at me like I’m the meanest mummy in the world with his little chubby flushed face and his mop of hair all over the place.

So yeah that’s my update we’re living the dream clearing up one mess after the next and sipping prosecco like it’s going out of fashion!

It’s all good fun though right?


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