Sunday, 19 May 2013
So the last couple of weeks have been a bit of a nightmare, truth be told! On Wednesday I'll be 38 weeks and I am suffering!
After the disastrous consultant visit (I wrote about it here, and also wanted to express my thanks to those who commented and tweeted after that post) I then went further into anxious mode, until my MW appointment last Wednesday. As ever she was completely supportive, horrified that the consultant hadn't listened to what I had explained and brushed me off as a 'first time worrier', she got right on the phone to the hospital to make me another appointment with a different consultant, who I met last Monday, and who agreed (yay!) but said that it had to be signed off by a second doctor (he then helpfully gave me a prescription for some iron tablets with someone else's name on, cheers doc!) BUT I am seeing the 2nd consultant tomorrow morning, so hopefully my months of not knowing will be over!
And as for symptoms...
We went through some new symptoms (itchy body, including feet and some slight swelling in uncomfortable places) and my general tiredness levels, my MW took some blood and advised me to call the next day at 5pm, however by 10am the next morning I had already had a call from the hospital asking me to call back to discuss my results, worrying, but super quick service! SO it turns out my iron levels had dropped lower than they were last time they were checked (30 weeks, I think) even though I have been taking Feroglobin iron supplements and eating well, and the blood test that measures liver function was also low, (as recognised by the itchiness, which is very scientifically clever!) so that needs some tablets, but I said I already had consultant appointment on Monday, and could I wait and sort it all out then, the answer was yes, as long as the baby is still moving as normal (which it is, phew!) although I had been experiencing some really painful twinges all that morning.
She said it was probably just the braxton hicks getting a bit more powerful, or that I was just doing too much, or the baby was getting more confined as it grew, or a combination of all of these things. It was a pretty stressful day at work too (stupidly I was on my hands and knees scrubbing things and checking under beds ready for a butt-load of visiting VIPs) but after a 2 hour nap the pain seemed to have eased off by that night (last thurs!) and has since reduced to bearable levels and pretty much remained that way.
I've also developed some skin tags and changes to a couple of moles, mainly around my neck, a few google searches tell me this is normal and that they will go after the baby arrives, but the moles changing I am going to get checked at the Drs just in case!
Other than that, my symptoms have more or less remained the same (frequent piddling!!) but the aches have got worse, especially first thing in the morning! If it didn't take me so long to wash and dry my hair I'd move bath times to the morning but I think a warm bath before bed helps me unwind, so I'm not really willing to change my routine! I look like a decrepit old lady until at least mid day when things have eased up a little!
I am due to finish work on 23rd May (this Thursday ) and have more or less finished the handover to the person who will be managing the hotel for me in my absence, but it's going to be so strange not having to be on call 24/7 and not knowing what the hell is happening, but I'm sure I'll get over it pretty quickly!
I have been told I am having a leaving party on Tuesday too, hurrah! I'm meant to be going to a meeting (with dinner and a stay over) in Bournemouth on my last day, it'd mean I get to see all the people from the hotels in my region before being off for so long, and have a proper catch up, BUT I am inordinately worried I'll go into labour and Sam won't be there and I'll have to make someone drive me home in the middle of the night or something... I'll see how I feel the day before and decide then!
Anyway, I will keep you all posted on the yay/nay C-section meeting! Also, I'm moving about 7 weeks after the baby arrives, (blog post here on my other blog) any tips?
Tuesday, 14 May 2013
I’ve just realised I've not really written about what I've been wearing during my pregnancy on this blog, and only on occasion on my other blog.
I’ve found it really hard to find nice maternity clothes if I'm being honest, partly because I didn’t want to spend much money on new clothes, but mainly because I genuinely didn't like much available out there! I bought three dresses from the New Look maternity range in the Christmas sales, which was long before I needed them but was a sensible thing to do on reflection! I also bought 2 dresses from ASOS in the sales, but then when I tried them on when I had a noticeable bump decided that they didn’t look right (the tulip style skirt on one just made me look like a hippo!) and sold them on eBay for a profit (hurrah!) I do still have a nice cream lace dress with the tags still on, which I couldn't resist, but have had nowhere nice enough to wear it to, so if a situation doesn't arise I'll sell that too!
My first bit of advice is to think about what you’ve already got that will work (dresses with full skirts, things that are really elasticated, flowy tops etc, and you’d be surprised at what will still fit quite far along! I’m still wearing 2 ‘normal’ skirts to work, admittedly they are ‘bodycon’ style so are stretchy, but just get worn below the bump now. Secondly, USE EBAY! consider that most of the maternity clothes that are being sold have probably only been worn for around 3 months, before their owner decides to sell them for more money for nappies…
Here's a lowdown of what I’ve bought:
- leggings x 3 (New look, Matalan (both good quality) and H&M too long and a little bit thin for £14.99!)
- vest tops: Topshop (I do not rate these AT ALL, the strappy one is too low cut and the barely cover the bump, even though I bought them in a size up from normal!)
- T shirts: a 3 pack and a single one from New look. Great quality and still fit perfectly over a 36 week bump, with room to spare! (I bought a 12 and normally wear 10/12 in Newlook sizing) I bought a long-line stripy (of course, being maternity!) top from asos which was fine in my normal size and still fits well now too.
- Maxi-Skirt: H&M via eBay. PERFECT, this is the best thing I've purchased in terms of comfort, and go-with-everything top-wise!
- Jeans: Top-shop Leigh maternity jeans (denim with little dots on, with a stretchy band and no zip) cute, comfy till about 7 months then they just got too tight to wear for long periods of time. Green jeans from New look maternity, (Stretchy side panels with a zip) same as the above jeans. I’m not sure why I even bought jeans, I never wore them pre pregnancy but somehow it seemed like a good idea! To be honest I was glad of the extra thickness when I went to Prague though! tights wouldn't have cut it in –14 temp!
- Tights: as I wear dresses or skirts to work maternity tights were vital, all mine came from H&M (in black, they don't seem to do skin toned & are still selling woolly ones!) but are VERY comfy, I bought with and without feet in packs of either 2 or 3.
- Dresses: mainly New look, a couple from topshop (naff quality again!) and midi-length tunic from Matalan.
- eBay: a few dresses, and a bundle of 4 maternity tops from various places (for about £6 inc postage!)
- Loungewear/underwear: I went to Primark, go a couple of sizes up (I am normally a 10-12, and went for 16-18 sized T shirt/PJ bottom sets in stretchy material and change into them the moment I get in the door, as the waist bands are perfect for not cutting in/pressing on my bladder! I also bought a few packs of cheapy ‘big’ pants as my old pants were getting a bit too tight for comfort, and once I'm back to my normal size (haha!) I can fling them out without guilt!
Topshop (sale) / Newlook T shirt & H&M Skirt / Topshop dress via EBay for £6!
Pearl Lowe at Peacocks (not maternity but stretchy!) / H&M top and skirt (top not maternity, just bigger!) / New look dress (maternity, xmas sale, and has been a work staple!)
And because I love the surroundings so much I'm not cropping this one… (Mevagissey in Cornwall)
Primark Jumper (not maternity, just big!) and Matalan leggings (rolled up because I am a short-ass) over a regular vest top from H&M that used to be longer than that but over the bump it rides up…
Where did you shop for maternity clothes? any more tips to add?
Monday, 6 May 2013
I want a C section. It is something that I have been thinking about and considering since about 5 months of bumpishness. Surprisingly my mum then suggested it before I had told her I was thinking of it a few weeks later, as it turns out she had a pretty nasty experience with me, and was kept in for for a week post birth with various complications (And a surgery) even though I weighed just under 6lbs. She’s as petite as me and she said if there was an option for me to not have to go through what she did (potentially) she thinks I should take it.
MY other reasons in brief are:
- husband was almost 11’7 at birth, was two weeks overdue and after almost a 2 day labour just wouldn't come out, so was an emergency c section.
- his sister was then a c section 3 weeks early as she was over 9 lbs
- his older brother was born with a brain defect that meant he effectively lived like a 4 month old till he sadly died at 18, and although this is not genetic it still fills me with fear
- I am SO anxious that if I attempt to do it naturally I will end up having to have a C section anyway
- I do not want to go overdue, the baby is already measuring 2 weeks ahead with legs at almost full term. The consultant I saw on Friday reckons ‘7lbs’ at birth but I just do not believe him.
I am still waiting for an appointment with the ‘wellbeing’ clinic to discuss my anxieties, but have been waiting for this for 6 weeks now (good one, NHS) and the consultant basically shot me down and said ‘all first timers are anxious’ but I know most people are not to the extent that I am, and so for that reason I am going to (I think…) call him back on Tuesday to tell him I definitely want a C-section. I know it is my right to ask for one, and I also know that the Brighton hospital was told to get their rates of C sections down, hence his unwillingness to book it in when I saw him.
The few people I have mentioned it to have actually been a lot more supportive than I thought they would be, apart from one person saying ‘oh, well its okay if you don’t feel that maternal yet’ which I took to be a stupid statement and ended the conversation quick sharp. If anything, I personally feel that I will probably have more of a connection with the baby if I haven't gone through potentially 2 days of hard labour to get it out.
I have weighed up the pros and cons, I know it is ‘major surgery’ but people have them every day and survive. I have a network of people to support me afterwards and know that I can cope with the pain, as I've had my appendix out in the past (Admittedly I wasn't carting a baby/pram around right after, but I have a chunky husband to do that for me now!)
What are your thoughts on elective C sections?
Friday, 3 May 2013
D is just getting to the age where he's enjoying being read to. Before, he'd be pretty indifferent, but now he's becoming interested in the pictures as well. One of the best things about having him around is I can indulge my love of children's books and buy the ones that I remember so well from my own childhood. I thought I'd share a list of current favourites- please feel free to add your own in the comments!
Anything by Julia Donaldson
|Image: The Telegraph|
|Image: The Examiner|
|Image: Books for Keeps|
|Image: Bay Arts|
Monday, 29 April 2013
[for previous bump updates click here]
34 weeks and a couple of days
So here’s an update of symptoms/happenings etc… (with some holiday snaps flung in just because I can!)
Itchiness & Skin: Still no stretch marks as yet, but more itchiness like I got back in the first trimester on my hands and feet mainly, which is very odd, but the cream I was prescribed back then has helped! Where I had my belly button pierced twice, and a small scar from when I had my appendix out have been a bit sore where the skin is stretching ever tighter over the bump, but not painful really, just enough to notice (I took both belly rings out when I knew I was pregnant, Sam hated them anyway and I didn't want them to pop out or anything gross!) I’ve been lathering on various creams and things on an almost daily basis, not forgetting my back/thighs/bum too!
Headaches: I’ve had a couple, after not having any for a good few months, but nothing a good sleep and a couple of paracetomol didn't fix, apart from one that needed co-codamol and a darkened room to get rid of, but I'd driven for about 4 hours and then endured 2 small boys screaming when we went to see Sam's cousins.
Sleeping/Energy Levels – Still not brilliant, but I have started taking Feroglobin liquid x3 a day which is meant to help your iron levels, and have been eating lots of green veggies when I can. I think carting around a huge belly would take its toll on my energy levels whether I’m anaemic or not, plus the fact that I have been hurtling around Cornwall visiting castles on hills/islands/caves etc hasn't helped much! I still appreciate a good nap when I can get one of course! As for sleeping I am having broken nights sleep (piddling) and also still getting pretty bad nightmares a lot of the the time but am napping when I can!
[gratuitous holiday snap of St Michaels Mount, which was all cobbled slopes, not ideal but pretty!]
Position: Baby is head down and facing towards my back, or so MW says, all good with me, hope it stays there till it has to come out!
Peeing – My Midwife says my constant urge to pee is because sprogs head is pressing on my bladder, and I agree with her completely. Literally I can pee immediately after leaving the toilet having done a pee… Its really irritating and my 3 trips a night to the toilet are killing me. There was ONE glorious night a couple of weeks ago where I didn't go during the night, but it was a one off apparently (and no, I didn't pee in the bed!) Often when the sprog stretches (i.e. it’s little rump sticks upwards and it’s head presses downwards at the same time) I am thankful I started doing kegel exercises a few weeks back as there have been a few near misses!
Acid reflux/heartburn – Much worse in the last 4 weeks, I’m attempting to eat smaller portions and not as close to bed time, and sleeping with more pillows so I am raised a but higher in bed seems to help a little.
Back/Hip Pain – Not horrific, although a little old lady came up to me in Asda the other day to specifically tell me ‘you never forget the feel of back pain in pregnancy you know’ THANKS LADY. In all honesty it isn’t that bad, I think I have fairly good posture anyway from all the dancing I did, which hopefully has helped. I get achy when I wake up, but after I've been up for a little bit it fades. Hot baths help at the end of a long day to. I did overdo the walking in holiday and got achier than normal but that’s my own fault really! I’m not wearing any kind of bump support or anything either…
Cramps / Braxton Hicks – Still getting bloody painful leg cramps, and have had a few Braxton Hicks fake contraction things, which are not pleasant and quite alarming at first (although husband once called them ‘branston hocks’, which was amusing) but they’re not painful, just surprising.
Movement – Still squirming at pretty much every waking moment, sticking its bum up under my ribs when I am driving and generally making most positions uncomfortable in the evenings when I am trying to sit still and it is having a whale of a time wriggling. The last week has been particularly difficult as bump has grown, as it is so hard to get comfortable sitting/lounging/in bed, and I can only see this getting worse until the bump becomes a baby!
Size – My last midwife appointment (at 33 weeks) was the first time the bump measured more than the number of weeks I am, and even then by only a cm, so it’s still not ‘big’, which is a good thing in my mind! I have an appointment with a obstetrician this week and I am hoping he/she offers me a growth scan then, so we’ll have a better idea of its size, and the size of the head more importantly! Needless to say bending down is nigh on impossible and rolling out of bed sometimes requires a push from Sam! I am also lots and lots slower, and run out of breath quicker than a 90 year old with a 60 a day smoking habit.
And as for my size, in the last couple of weeks I have felt distinctly frumpy and flabby. My midwife said she definitely didn't think I had anything to worry about weight-gain wise, and I haven't weighed myself for a few weeks so not sure if I’ve put that much more on, but I think my thighs and upper arms are bigger than they were, but to be frank I like food, and have spent the last week devouring cream teas and various other unhealthy things whilst on holiday so ce la vie! Oh, and my boobs STILL haven't gone up by more than a cupsize and have put on exactly 2 stone since I got impregnanted!
Cravings – none. SO annoying, I wanted to crave something awesome and hard for Sam to get hold of when I got demanding, but no such luck!
Swelling – none, apart from ankles slightly at the end of very long days!
Mood – Still anxious about many things, and with a lower tolerance level then ever before (it was pretty low to begin with!) but no tears!
Maternity Leave – remember I talked in this post about not knowing who I was going to be handing my huge and complex hotel over to whilst I am on mat leave? well I know now and am happy with who it is, so have finally made the decision as to when I will stop work, which in my 39th week. However if I do have to stop before I know that I won’t be leaving anyone in the crap so to speak! I am also lucky in the sense that I can work to my own schedule and cut days shorter if needs be. Work is also only a 10 minute waddle from home and 5 minutes in a cab to the hospital should anything drastic happen…
Things I need to do: Pack a hospital bag! dun dun dunnnnnnnn!
I’ve also been to 2 out of 3 ante-natal classes that are run by the local NHS, the first one was about the stages of labour, and breathing etc, which I didn't find that helpful as I've been reading all sorts of books etc but Sam did, he he claims he’ll know what to expect now, so that’s a bonus! We also did an exercise where the mums and dads had to split into two groups and write down what we thought the qualities of a good birthing partner would be, and actually the 2 lists weren't that different! Basically we had “do everything I ask you to and don't get upset when I shout at you” and theirs was “do everything she says!” There was a creepy looking baby in a fabric womb though, along with a knitted boob (which acted as a bladder!)
Class 2 was about ‘when things don’t go to plan’ and I went to this on my own as Sam couldn't get out of work. It covered pain relief including epidurals/forceps/other types of deliveries and C-sections, and I must say was pretty helpful as the Midwife went through everything in detail and answered all our questions thoroughly. The next class is about breast feeding and the first few days at home, and we have to bring a dolly/teddy to practise with, which will be difficult as I own neither!
Another sweet and reassuring phenomenon is that we’ve spent the week with some close friends and their 10 month old on holiday, and Sam has taken a huge interest in how things work, including feeding times/methods (he fed her himself a few times with great glee!) and ‘nipple’ size (he meant teats on bottles but we’ll let him off!)
That’s about it for now, I've just got back home from our week away, so am desperate for a long hot bath and my own bed but it’s okay… only 3 weeks left until mat leave!
[underground caves and steps at Tintagel Castle!]
Friday, 19 April 2013
Wednesday, 17 April 2013
|Yes, those are my feet you can see!|
I spend a lot of time in the kitchen- my sewing machine is in there, I bake, make lots of cups of tea and now D is eating proper food, I'm often making things for him. One of the challenges we've had since he's become more aware of his surroundings is how to make the kitchen more child-friendly and interesting.
One way I've done this is by decorating the cupboards with the postcards I've received as part of the Postcrossing project. By doing this, I've made a brightly coloured, fun and ever-changing mini-art gallery that seems to be perfect for capturing a five-month old's attention. I like to spend time chatting to D and pointing out pictures. Although he can't yet understand what I'm saying, I like to think I'm helping him learn something interesting.
When D is in the kitchen with me, he tends to be in his high chair. He loves his food and he also loves being able to see what's going on, so it gives him the best of both worlds! It's also good for him to sit with me and his dad at dinnertime, watching us eat and learning about mealtimes. It also means he's constantly eyeing up our food...
What I'm really looking forward to, though, is when D is big enough to get involved in more activities- I'm dying to buy him an apron so we can get into the really fun (and messy!) stuff like painting and baking, which will drive Benn mad, but it'll be lovely to have a partner in crime for that sort of thing. After all, no-one tuts when a toddler has cookie dough in their hair.
Now, though, the challenge is to make the kitchen a fun yet safe place. I've no doubt that D will be crawling soon and, as he's my son, he's very nosy. This could be interesting/dangerous (delete as appropriate) to say the least. So far, my strategy involves moving a playmat and his favourite robot toy into a spot as far away from harm as possible and buying up the world's supply of child locks. What could possibly go wrong?
Any advice on childproofing welcome!
*This is a sponsored post*