Merry Christmas everyone!
Wednesday, 25 December 2013
Tuesday, 17 December 2013
Saturday, 14 December 2013
Apologies for the lack of posts but baby Melton has arrived a little earlier than expected. He arrived on 10 Dec 2013, 6 days early, following 24hrs labour.
Due to some issues (to be shared & discussed in another post) baby M was delivered by C Section. Due to the fact I've been unwell in hospital & now home trying to figure our little bundle of joy out I haven't had a chance to post.
I may still be quiet whilst we work things out but I shall be back!!!
Sunday, 8 December 2013
Thursday, 5 December 2013
So where to start our wishlist?!? There is definitely a great choice of items to choose from you can easily spend hours pondering what to buy (if you're like me!!)
Firstly I would choose Original Poodle Pod - Night owls which is £29.99. I have only recently discovered Poodle Pod and think they are a great idea. Baby looks so comfortable but also well supported. You know that baby is safe (although you would never leave the baby alone). I love the owl print, I think it is something a little different and something I think bump would enjoy.
Next on our wish life is the Parent Kneeling Mat, which costs £13.99. We rent our house and the bathroom floor is not very pretty and it's tile. In the middle of the floor there is a mosaic (don't ask!). I can see it is going to be very uncomfortable kneeling on the floor to give bump a bath. This kneeling mat would help solve that whilst also giving us a little height to be able to reach bump easier. I love the multi-coloured look too, makes it a little more exciting
I love the Koo-di Sleep Sack (small), which is priced at £21.99. I love the bright colours. Having read alot of information about where/how to sleep baby I think this would be a great investment. A Sleep Sack means he won't be able to kick of the covers and get himself tangled up. 2.5 tog is a good all year round tog meaning baby won't need any other layers. As he will be born in the winter he will get good use of it.
We have been looking into letters for the nursery. Our favourite name for bump is quite unusual and we won't be able to walk into a shop and buy things with his name on. We want the first letter of his name for the wall, the Decorative Letter in Funky is just what we are looking for!! For £10 I think it is well worth it!
Although bump won't be going into his cot initially (we have a moses basket) when he does we want it to be an area in which he can relax and sleep but also where he can entertain himself if need be. The Caterpillar crib and cot toy costing £12.99 fits the bill. Bump will be able to see himself and play with the toy but it isn't too big or stimulating that it will disturb his sleep.
Christmas bauble (£4.99). The great thing about this bauble is that even if bump is late we can use it next year. I really want to buy him an outfit but that will have to wait until he is here. We can keep the bauble as a memento and will have it on the tree every year. My parents still have my first Christmas bauble on their tree!!
Why not check out Beebie Baby Store yourself and see what you would like, why not create your own #AVeryBeebiesChristmas wish list
As usual the appointment started off with her checking my urine (all fine) and doing my blood pressure. At first she used the machine, which I don't trust. I've had too many odd readings throughout my career that I always do it manually. When my BP came up on the machine as 130/70 I was a little concerned, thats high for me! I then explained my distrust of the machines and she did it manually, which came back as 90/50, much more like it.
I explained all my niggles - the feelings of pressure and pain between my legs, my swelling feet, etc. I also voiced my concerns that although I have had some braxton hicks I haven't had many and those I have seem to be during the night. My midwife reassured me that this is all normal at my stage of pregnancy (phew!). She then felt bump and commented on the fact he seems to be all on my left side. She then stated that maybe due to the pressure and weight on my left side I am compensating with my right leg and this is why my right foot is swelling. My midwife checked to see whether bump was engaged - NO!!! He's still sitting on the brim of the pelvis. I honestly could have burst into tears at that moment. She tried to reassure me that once contractions start he could move down or as soon as he moved down contractions will start. I was still disappointed. Bump didn't like what she'd done to see if he was engaged as he then wouldn't stop wriggling, it took her a while to find his heartbeat but once she did she assured us he sounded fine.
We then discussed my next appointment and a sweep. There were no appointments left for 2 weeks time so she asked whether I would come at the end of the clinic for a sweep. I asked whether it would be possible for me to have one earlier in the week as I will already be 4 days over by that point. At first she appeared reluctant but then after probably seeing the begging look in my eyes and after checking her diary she stated she could come and see me at home on 17th Dec then discuss with me then about going again after the clinic on the 19th. I could have given her a hug!!! I agreed that sounds like a good idea. She will phone me before hand to check a suitable time with me.
I'm glad that everything is ok with bump and hes obviously very comfy where he is. Hopefully I won't need the sweeps but its peace of mind that I know when they will happen.
Wednesday, 4 December 2013
There are sooo many to choose from!! And such a difference in price as well from about £9 to over £30 and that's for one bra! Do I want to spend that much when I don't know if breastfeeding will work??
During my student days I worked in a well known lingerie store so have been trained in measuring bras. It is definitely worth going to get yourself measured for your nursing bra as your breasts will get heavy and sore and you need to make sure you are well supported by a well fitting bra. It is recommended that you get fitted for your nursing bra between weeks 36-37 as this is apparently when your ribs are at their widest.
You need a bra that you can unfasten easily and isn't too fiddly. You need to make sure that your breast is easily accessible once you have unfastened the bra. As with maternity bras it is recommended that you get an non-wired bra as underwired bras can cause your milk ducts to get blocked. I also thought about getting bras I can wear during the day as well as sleeping bras for the night.
I scoured the internet looking into all the different bras there are available and decided that I didn't want to spend too much money due to the fact I wasn't sure if breastfeeding would be a success. I decided to buy 2 day bras (one black and one white) and I bought a sleeping bra (nude). I also won a bra which is more of a sleeping bra so will use that too. If breastfeeding is a success then I will definitely be investing in good quality nursing bras.
I have put one of my nursing bras in my hospital bag ready to be used after birth. The dilemma of nursing tops has also caused me to spend hours scouring the internet but I have decided to buy some vest tops in big sizes to wear under tops I already have and my mum has given me some shirts of hers to borrow. Again, if breastfeeding is a success I will invest in some tops that I can wear for breastfeeding as I am normally a dress girl and don't really own anything suitable. Money is tight and I don't want to be buying things I don't end up using.
Tuesday, 3 December 2013
The nurse brought along a breastfeeding doll and asked me what my main worries or questions were. I explained my main worry was whether he would latch on and what position I am supposed to hold him. We discussed the first hour after birth and how this is important to get baby feeding. We discussed the kind of birth I am hoping for. We then went on to discuss skin to skin contact and what ques bump will give that he is hungry. Apparently baby can swallow mucus during labour and this can fill their belly, as it tastes horrid them might not want to eat. When I notice bump nodding his head this is a cue he is trying to find the breast (like a bird pecking at the ground for worms). I was shown how to move baby onto my breast and to ensure he is firmly attached.
We then discussed massaging the breast and what to do if I have have any lumps, this sounds painful!!
I then got my feeding pillow out and we talked about other positions that can be helpful, using the doll.
Some of the advice given to me:
- if you don't feel comfortable being topless after the birth wear a baggy tshirt or very loose nighty so you can put the baby on your skin whilst maintaining dignity.
- whilst you are in the shower get your partner to have skin to skin contact. Again if he doesn't feel comfortable being topless make sure he has a baggy tshirt or shirt
- when in hospital if baby stirs try and put them on the breast - don't ssshh them to sleep
- don't hold the baby as you would if you were bottle feeding, have them facing you and make sure their nose is level with your nipple and they tilt back their head with a wide open mouth
- if you use a feeding pillow make sure it doesn't put the baby to high on your breast, push the pillow away from you a little if it does
- if you need to express use the heat of a bath or shower to get the milk flowing. Heat compress also works
- as soon as you notice any redness or lumps massage these out of your breast, the longer you leave it the more painful it gets
I was then given a website with videos on to have a look at. There is a group on a Friday morning which is for mums to get together, talk about breastfeeding but they also have people to come and talk about various topics. It sounds really interesting and a great way for me and baby to get out and meet other people
I felt that the hour flew by and I learned loads and feel reassured that there is support available for me. I am going to give it my best shot and see what happens
Monday, 2 December 2013
I think that my bump has definitely grown over the past week!! This was reinforced when I met 2 different friends who both commented that my bump was much bigger. I also think it is rounder and fuller at the bottom, hopefully this means bump is making his way downwards.
I have been experiencing more Braxton Hicks, these seem to be more in the evening and night than any other time of the day. I have also been experiencing a swollen right foot, this seems to ease when I have it elevated so I'm trying to keep mobile to get blood flowing but when I am sitting down put my foot up. I am also drinking lots of water. I am trying to use my exercise ball when I can to tilt my pelvis to help bump engage.
My sleep is still pretty rubbish, I now have to sleep upright in bed which isn't the best. I can feel bump moving around but his movements have changed from forceful kicks to wriggles, probably due to the fact he has much less space to move about.
We have the midwife on Thursday so I am hoping she will tell us he is more engaged and I had a visit from the breastfeeding support nurse today (see tomorrow's post). Things are definitely moving along, I just want him here!
Sunday, 1 December 2013
Some of my so called friends have vanished off the face of the planet since I told them I was pregnant, their choice not mine, I have tried contacting them with no luck, its sad that something as exciting as a new person coming into the world can make people decide they don't want any contact with you anymore. Most of our friends have been super excited, some even more than family members!!
One of my friends lives nearby and has been great support with relation to what is available in our local area once bump has arrived, she is even going to go to some of the groups with me when she can with her little girl. She has also been great for advice and support with things we might need and things we haven't thought of.
My friend who is overdue has also been a great sounding board, with us both going through pregnancy at the same time there have been many messages and conversations about how we are both feeling and giving each other reassurance.
My friends are also aware of my worry about getting to the hospital if my mum isn't here as Mr M can't drive and many have offered their services to take us if needs be (although I'm still not convinced people will appreciate a 2am phone call!!)
I have my midwife appointment this week so will mention it to her. I feel so lucky and grateful that I have such a great network of friends and I can't wait for bump to meet them all!!!
Thursday, 28 November 2013
Each award is split into Gold, Silver and Bronze.
In the best sleep product category The Gro Company won gold for their GroBag, having heard so many positive things from friends I think we will definitely buy some of these for bump. Best Bouncy chair, rocker or seat category, gold was given to BabaBling for their RockOut chair, to be honest I hadn't heard of this so will be looking into this in more detail. In the Innovation of the Year category Boots received gold for their non-contact thermometer, what a great idea!! You don't have to wake baby if they are sleeping and if baby isn't feeling well they probably won't be very cooperative, again worth a further look into this I think.
We have purchased the Britax Affinity Travel System for bump, we did A LOT of research when we were looking into travel systems but you still worry could you have got a different one, was there something you missed. Britax Affinity won gold for both their travel system and their pushchair so I feel very reassured we made the right choice. Joie stages car seat won gold in best mutistage car seat, another brand I don't know that much about so will be looking into them further when we need to be thinking of our next car seat.
I have a Pink Lining changing bag, I fell in love with them even before I found out I was pregnant! They received Silver in the changing bag category, gold was given to Rosebud. Rosebud also seem to be half the price of Pink Lining so great if you don't want to spend too much money on a bag! Gold in the best baby carrier, sling or back carrier category was given to BabyBjorn, again I have heard nothing but praise for this brand.
We have bought the Fisher Price Kick and Play Piano gym for bump, it was a really good deal on Amazon. It was awarded silver in the best baby toy under 12 months category. Gold was given to Sophie La Girafe teether, I've seen a few people mention this on social media so think I will look into it further. Gold for best product for a newborn was given to Ewan the dream sheep, I really need to get one of these for bump!
Gold in the best reusable nappy category went to TotsBots Easyfit whilst gold in the best disposable nappy category went to Aldi Mamia range. Best Breastfeeding top/bra gold award went to Frugi for their Pointelle top, if I am successful at breastfeeding I may invest in one of these. Gold in the best product for breastfeeding went to Lactaline for their double electronic breast pump whilst gold in the best product for bottle feeding went to MAM for their milk powder box.
The awards have definitely given me lots to think about and I will definitely be looking into some of these products in more detail. I am also really happy with products we have purchased already.
Check out all the winners yourself! These still plenty of categories I haven't covered.
Measure out 225g butter - this is nearly a whole block, use what you have left to grease your tray. Next measure 200g peanut butter. Place the butter and peanut butter in a bowl and put in microwave on high for 2 minutes. Whilst this is melting measure 450g icing sugar. After the 2 minutes stir your butter/peanut butter mixture then put in microwave on high for another 2 minutes.
Wednesday, 27 November 2013
Inside the bin there is a bucket with grips, this makes it easy to remove the bucket and change the bin, no more struggling to get the bin bag and bucket out like with previous bins.
Brabantia new collection. It retails at £125, which in my opinion is a lot of money for a bin. It is a very good quality bin and does everything that it promises to do but I still feel the price is a little much. The bin bags that go with the bin are £51 for 240 liners which works out at 21p per bin bag which again might seem a little pricey but you are guaranteed that the liner fits your bin perfectly and you won't have any accidents. The bin bags are thick too and I haven't had one rip, yet.
I would definitely recommend this bin, the price is the only off putting part about it
Disclosure: I won the bin through a competition, at no point was there an expectation I would review product. My views are my own.
Tuesday, 26 November 2013
This app is run by Bounty, the same company who provide mum-to-be bags and are in hospitals to give you benefit forms and can offer to take baby photos. The Bounty website has loads of helpful advice for mums-to-be as well as information on baby, toddler and family health. You can register either through the app or on the website, it asks you for your due date or date of last period to calculate how many weeks pregnant you are. Each week there is a main "find out more" area which tells you about the week in general. The week is also split into 6 days, each day with a different topic - for example contractions, nursery know how and breech baby. Each of these days gives you specific information about the topic. There are also links which take you to the Bounty website for even more information. The app also has a journal where you can record things such as baby movement and cravings, although to be honest I haven't used this part that much. There is also a gallery for you to store photos.
Emma's Diary is another great app linked with a website. Emma's Diary also provide mum-to-be packs. The website has loads of information from trying to conceive to baby at 18 months, they also have an online shop, family zone and FAQs. Again with this app you can register with the website and once you log onto the app it remembers the information you used to register. You have a "My Status" bar which will take you to your specific week of pregnancy and gives you information on what to expect during that week. There is also a "Medical Information" section which is broken into preconception, pregnancy, giving birth and baby ages in months from 0-6 to 7-18 months. In these further sections you are given more specific information. There is also a photo journal and an option to read Emma's Diary. To be honest I just use this app for the weekly information. I have utilised the Medical Information section but I read most of the parts that interested me in a oner rather than as things cropped up, although its good to know the information is there should I need a refresher and I don't have to trawl through the weeks like you would have to with the Bounty App.
The BabyBump app isn't linked with any website. This is probably one of the apps I use the most, I check it every day. Once you download the app you register your details. Each day you are told how many weeks pregnant you are and how many days you have left. You get a daily tip and also weekly information about the pregnancy. At the bottom of the app you can store weekly bump photos, I like this part of the app as the photos slide from one to the other so you can see any developments in bumps growth. At the top of the app is the option to join groups and a store button - the store button however only works in USA. The main downside of this app is that it is American so sometimes the information doesn't happen here (for example Strep B testing). I still enjoy using it though
This is another app I use on a daily basis. The app is linked with BabyCentre website which you can register with. Again the website has loads of information from getting pregnant to toddlers and also has a blog and shop section. The app tells you how many weeks pregnant you are and gives you different information each day. At the start of each week the information is about your baby and you, often there is a video and a picture to show the developing baby, which I like. Each week has "Feel Good Activity" for you to carry out, this can be going to the cinema or getting your hair done. There is a box for you to tick once you've done the activity. There is also information each week about what is safe for you to do, eating well and health. At the top of the app you can go to the checklist which is where the activities are recorded as well as the option to join your birth club. I really enjoy this app as it gives you lots of information daily and is UK based.
I only recently discovered this app when it came up on my Facebook timeline as a recommendation. Mr M thinks the name is hilarious as how else would you be pregnant other than totally (men!). There is a Totally Pregnant website that gives you more information on the app and blogs but it isn't as detailed as the others above. I have the free version, you can pay for more in depth information if you want and to watch the videos. You do get a limited amount of time to try the app for free and you can watch the 4D videos, which I find interesting. The app is based around a coloured wheel, you have the My Week option which tells you about your week. There is a shop and an opportunity to ask experts a question, or see what people in your week have asked. There is the video section which covers a different topic each week and My Album where you can store photos.
As I have already said these are the apps I have found the most useful, other people might have found others that they liked. The best thing to do is have a look and see what is available and what you want out of an app I only downloaded free apps but there may be great apps out there you have to pay for.
At the start of the pregnancy my worries before my 12 week scan were centred around the fact that when we went for the scan, would the baby be healthy and growing as it should. One of my good friends and also a work colleague had miscarriages so this was always at the back of my mind.
Following the 12 week scan and finding out everything was ok (phew!) I was then bombarded by people telling me what I should or shouldn't eat, what I should or shouldn't do, even what shampoo I should or shouldn't use. It was an overwhelming minefield of information!! I had a few issues at my work as well which didn't help matters as my boss (a man) didn't understand when I told him there were some roles and some clients I wouldn't be able to undertake or see.
I then felt like everything settled down and I began to enjoy my pregnancy, especially feeling bump kick and wriggle about, that is definitely my favorite part about being pregnant!! Especially when I poke him and he pushes back at me, I have in my head he's giving me imaginary high five's (although it's more likely he's telling me to leave him alone!)
A friend of mine is 3 weeks further into her pregnancy than me and its been great having her to talk through things with. She is now at her due date and has been for a sweep (which sounds utterly delightful). She has also been tested for Strep B due to having to go into hospital at one point in her pregnancy and was found to be positive, my midwife just brushes off my concerns when I ask her about this, which is a worry. What if I am positive and no-one (including me) knows!!
We bought a fetal heart monitor near the beginning of the pregnancy, we used it quite a lot at the start and recorded bump's heartbeat to send to family and close friends who don't live close by. We haven't used it for months though, but now I find myself thinking about getting it out just to check bump is ok.
I'm hoping these are normal worries for a first time mum, I know I am being daft most of the time but I can't stop the thoughts from coming into my head. Maybe its the fact that this is all unknown and I have no control over anything that happens that makes it worse.
I must remember to enjoy these last few weeks and BREATHE!!!
Monday, 25 November 2013
We had our date day on Saturday. Each time we have a date day or date night we do something different, it isn't something extravagant and other people might think "what's special about that" but it's what feels special to us.
We then both got dressed up for a lovely meal. We always both make an effort and I did my nails and put on a dress I could fit into. Mr M looked dapper in his shirt and jeans. We cooked a lovely meal together and enjoyed the fruits of our labour. We then retired to cosy on the sofa watching Dr Who with a glass of Schloer for me and a beer for Mr M.
It was a lovely way to spend the day together. As I get bigger I'm not as mobile so we chose to have a relaxing day but also do something that gets us out of the house for a bit. We hope to fit in another date day/night before bump arrives but that depends on when he comes as we have a few things on for the next few weekends with friends and family.
I haven't slept well the past 2 nights, I used to be able to get comfy lying on my left side but the past 2 nights whenever I do that I have felt cramps and feelings of pressure down below. Last night even lying on my side for a matter of seconds the feeling of pressure was too much. I have had to prop myself upright with a mountain of pillows (or my throne as Mr M calls it) and sleep in a sitting position. I thought this morning when I woke up and looked in the mirror that my bump had lowered but after my shower I looked again and I wasn't so sure it had. It is also quite uncomfortable for me to move around. I have been trying to walk about as that is supposed to help bump engage but I've been having to sit down to ease the pressure feelings.
I have also been doing the cat/cow exercise to see if that helps him engage and tonight Mr M is going to blow up my exercise ball as its become a little flat and I'm going to do figure of 8 exercises on that.
Friday, 22 November 2013
Unfortunately the website had sold out of the pink Tangle Teezer but I also liked the blue one so purchased that. I was very excited to try it when it arrived.
Following my morning shower I used my Tangle Teezer on my wet hair, there was no tugging! I brushed my hair a few times to allow the little teeth the run through my hair. On the first few occasions I wasn't sure whether it was brushing my hair but then it glided smoothly through my hair. There was no hair in the brush either which doesn't happen with my normal brush as there are usually clumps of hair. I then dried my hair with the hairdryer. Usually after I dry my hair it is knotty again following been blown about. Again after a few runs through my hair the Tangle Teeer had brushed out the knots with no pain and without pulling out my hair. My hair felt so smooth and soft!
There are different Tangle Teezer products on the market, I bought the Original Tangle Teezer. You can also get Salon Elite which has a concave design, Aqua Splash which you can use in water and Compact Styler which is great for keeping in your bag. The Compact Styler has a removable cover which means the teeth are protected from fluff and dirt.
I love my Original Tangle Teezer, my hair feels so soft and smooth, I would also consider buying the Compact Styler as when I am out and about my hair sometimes looks like I've gone through a hedge backwards.
Disclosure: I won the voucher through a competition, at no point was there an expectation I would review products I bought with this voucher. I purchased this products because I liked it and thought I would benefit from its use. No review was expected from the seller. My views are my own.
Everyone said they felt that having a baby shower was an excuse to get people to buy you presents. Everyone felt that they didn't want friends and family to feel like they have to buy the baby a present and you are having a party for this purpose. My married friends stated they felt that having invited people to their wedding and had presents bought for them for this occasion that it would be rude to have a baby shower and expect more gifts. My unmarried friends were also not keen on baby showers due to the expectation of gifts despite not having a wedding or occasion where people had bought them and their partner gifts.
We then discussed whether everyone thought a wish list was a good idea. We talked about this from the view of new parents and friends and family. Most stated that they want to get people gifts that they want or need rather than wasting their money on something they already have or don't want. From the view of a new parent though everyone stated they felt a little anxious about sending wish lists as they weren't sure how they would be received by others and they didn't want to appear pushy.
Mr M & I have created a wish list on Amazon. Our reason for doing this was that we have been really organised and bought bump items throughout the pregnancy, we have also bought things when we have seen them on sale to save us some money. Friends and family have been asking us what we need and whilst we have told them they don't have to buy him a gift we thought a gift list would be a good way of showing people the things we like and give them a wide choice of gifts. We also said in the email we distributed that people don't have to buy anything off the list.
It is a difficult decision to make and everyone is different and do what makes you feel comfortable.
Thursday, 21 November 2013
My blood pressure continues to be low and I have felt a little bit dizzy today when standing up but I just have to take my time and make sure I rest. Bump is definitely lying in the right direction with his head down which is great news. His heart beat was really strong, we always love listening to his heart beat as its the next best thing to seeing him.
The midwife felt around my pubic bone to check whether bump is engaged, my god it was painful!! I don't think I have the best pain threshold and labour worries me because of this but she was having a fair poke and wiggle! As I have been experiencing feelings of pressure down below I thought that bump might be on his way to being engaged however his head is apparently lying on the pelvic brim. I was a little disappointed when she told us this. Any other time of year I wouldn't care when he arrived as long as he was healthy but I do not want him to be born on Christmas day!! I don't care if I go over or if he comes early but that one day I don't want him to be born. I want his birthday to be special and I know that we would make it like that no matter what day he arrived but I don't think anyone else will. I don't want him missing out on a birthday and Christmas like everyone else.
Unfortunately we didn't plan when we got pregnant, I had been on the pill for so long it took us a while to get pregnant and we were just so happy that it happened. At the end of the day I know that we will do our best to make sure he has a wonderful birthday whenever he is born but I just don't want him to miss out. I know I need to focus on the fact that we will have a happy and healthy baby but this worry is always at the back of my mind
Wednesday, 20 November 2013
Check out the results for yourself, you never know what you might find and you might be surprised by some of the results too
Not being from the area we weren't really sure what was on offer or where to start looking. Did we want bump to go to nursery or childminder? After talking to friends we found out the nursery places in the local area go quickly, there are nurseries further a field but we needed something close by as Mr M can't drive. We also signed up to Childcare.co.uk to look into local childminders. Mr M works Monday to Friday 9-5 but my job includes weekend cover, nurseries aren't that keen on shift workers, would we be able to find a nursery who could accommodate us? Following further investigations some childminders were as inflexible so we decided that we would not put bump into childcare on a Monday and we would alternate taking a Monday off each. Both of our workplaces operate family friendly hours and flexible working so we could do this without losing hours and without using leave - great!!
One of my friends was having issues with her nursery, the first had been closed down and the current one she was using she wasn't happy with, something just didn't feel right for her. She discovered that the best nursery in the area was opening a sister nursery and having an open day. Mr M & I went along with her to check it out. We were really impressed, not only by the nursery but the staff. They took us on a tour and had a really good conversation with us. They told us not to decide after seeing their nursery but to go and see all the nurseries in the area. They also said not to book an appointment but to turn up, they stated this is a good way of seeing the nursery during its day to day running. If the nursery tell you they can't show you round then they obviously don't have enough staff, would you want your child there? Also it means they can't tidy or hide things in preparation of your visit. Really good advice for any parents out there!!
We picked a day and went to see all the nurseries in the area, which was 5. There was one that we were really impressed with, the original nursery of the one we had gone to see for the open day. It was the only nursery in the area that has received an outstanding Ofsted report and the manager was an Ofsted inspector. The staff were lovely and the children seemed really happy. Bump could also stay there until he goes to school. We also spoke about the new nursery that was opening, they were planning on taking the same prinicpals to the new nursery and all staff would be trained at the original nursery so they knew the standards and philosophy, all sounded great.
We went to see the childminders we had made appointments with, they were all lovely people but neither Mr M or I got the same feeling we did when we went to the nursery. Each childminder had fewer children than the nursery so bump would get more intimate working and they all went to Baby and Toddler groups and fed home cooked meals. Childminders were cheaper than nursery by £5 a day, which adds up, but our gut instinct was telling us we preferred the nursery. We decided to go back to the nursery and have another look around
Both of our employers are part of a childcare voucher scheme, these vouchers were accepted by both the childminders we saw and the nurseries. Basically these are a salary sacrifice scheme, the money for childcare goes from your wage to the childcare provider before tax, meaning you will get taxed less. According to the HMRC website this would save us over £1000 each year, which is a lot of money!! There is lots of information on the website about tax credits as well as voucher schemes, definitely worth looking at, you might be surprised how much money you could save!
I would recommend parents to go and have a look around as many places as you can. Whether you choose a childminder or a nursery you will get a gut feeling about somewhere or someone and just go with that instinct. You know what you are looking for for your child and you have to be happy to leave them.
Tuesday, 19 November 2013
We were both quite anxious and neither of us really knew what to expect. I think we had built an image in our head of screaming women and people rushing around in panic. This wasn't the case!
Our tour began at the delivery suite. I think we both expected a ward layout with beds in bays but there were 14 individual rooms. Some rooms had a bed and a normal bathroom, whilst there were 2 rooms which contained a bed and birthing pools. These birthing pools were like longer and deeper versions of a bath. In the delivery suite are the doctors so should you experience any complications they are available. If you are signposted for consultant led care you will automatically go to the delivery suite.
Each room had a bed, chair and resus table where they carry out the checks on baby once they are born. There were also CD players and tea/coffee facilities. Whilst the rooms were quite clinical we both felt at ease. There were doors to rooms shut meaning they were occupied and we didn't hear any screaming (thankfully!).
We were then taken into the midwife led unit, this only contained 4 rooms, which was a little concerning to me and obviously other mums-to-be as someone asked why there were so few rooms and what would happen if they were all full. The midwife reassured us stating that since it's opening in August it had yet to be full and that the delivery suite had more pressure on beds. If the unit was full we would be transferred to the delivery suite.
The midwife led unit contained 2 rooms with beds and 2 rooms with birthing pools. These pools were much bigger than in the delivery suite and were a clover shape. In the rooms with the pools there were also birthing chairs, balls and other bizarrely shaped things which you can use through labour. The gas and air was located next to the pool. I was a little surprised there wasn't a bed but there were plenty of big chairs. The rooms with the beds were quite like the delivery suite however better decorated and less clinical. There was one couple in the midwife led unit whilst we were there and again no screaming was heard!
I have been signposted for midwife led care which means all being well I will hopefully give birth in the midwife led unit. Prior to the tour I had been sure I wanted to give birth on a bed however I have now put on my birth plan that I would like to try having a water birth. The rooms on both the delivery suite and midwife led unit were quite big so there was plenty of room for you to walk about and keep mobile, this is also supposed to help with labour and help baby move downwards rather than staying lying down.
Taking the tour also helped us see how long it might take to get to the hospital, where we can park and the different entrances to the unit, there is a main entrance and an out of hours.
We both felt reassured after the visit and it helped to alleviate some our worries. As with most things the image you build up in your head is always worse than the actual event, although I'm still convinced the pain of labour will be as bad as I am imagining!!
I didn't really know what to expect, you see in films people sitting around on the floor huffing and puffing. I don't know what other people's experience of parentcraft classes are but ours wasn't like that in the slightest. The classes were held in a nearby children's centre, we all sat around a big table like we were back at school. I've read stories of people making friends during their classes, noone at ours really spoke - each couple pretty much kept themselves to themselves.
Our second class covered active labour, this class was mainly about the different kinds of pain relief that can be used alongside the pros and cons of each. The midwife also discussed where things might take a diversion from the norm and what will happen in those circumstances.
Our third class was held at the hospital and included the delivery suite tour. Prior to the tour we sat around another big table and the midwife told us about the third stage of labour where the placenta is delivered. We also discussed skin to skin contact with baby. Our trust actively delivers the placenta, this involves mum getting an injection in her leg and the midwife "helping" the placenta be delivered. Again all the men were squirming in the their seats!
Our final class covered breastfeeding. Out of the 9 couples that started the classes only 1 didn't come to this class. This class was given by a STAR buddy rather than a midwife. She was really knowledgeable and we left the class feeling empowered and informed.
One of the downsides of our parentcraft classes was that the midwife who gave our first class unfortunately took sick leave so every week we had a different midwife giving the class. We spent the first 20 minutes or so telling the new midwife what we had covered the week before. We did find the classes useful though and I would encourage any first time parents to go
Monday, 18 November 2013
When we found out we were pregnant I had just been offered a new job, luckily in the same trust I was already working for so my maternity leave allowance wasn't effected. I have to say I was dreading telling my new boss I was pregnant. We then had to think about how much time I was going to take off work, after a long hard think we decided it would be best if I took 9 months, as much as I would have loved to have taken a year we just couldn't afford it.
We have also been looking around on how we can save money on our household bills. Sky have reduced our bill for 9 months after we said we were going to leave. Our electricity and gas is the best deal we could find anyway so we haven't changed that. We now do our weekly shop at Aldi, we have halved our weekly shopping bill!! Whilst I have often been a bit of a food snob you can't tell the difference from the other main brands and its such a good price!
My biggest expense in my car, although I am planning on walking as many places as I can with bump once he arrives so this will cut down on my petrol use. We have also told friends and family who live in Scotland and those down south that we won't be visiting them for a while and have asked that they come to us instead. Again everyone has been understanding. Not only will this save us petrol money but the thought of a 5 hour journey with a newborn fills me with dread!
I receive Martin Lewis emails every week so check them for ways we can save money. We put the heating on at the last possible moment (we layered up on jumpers for a while). When we were thinking about getting pregnant we both started saving in an ISA each so we have some savings should we need to use them but we also have to think about childcare costs, etc. We are also going to start putting money in a savings account for bump but this will have to wait until I am back to work earning a full time wage again.
People manage every day and we will manage however having a newborn baby can be a stressful time, we don't want to have to worry about paying our bills on top of that, we want to spend our time and energy on enjoying our time with bump.
Apparently bump is gaining 28g a day and is now 2.7kg in weight and 47 cm long. Apparently this is the same length as a romaine lettuce. The good news is that at the end of this week bump will be considered to be full term so if he comes after Sunday he won't be considered as premature. Whilst part of me is hoping he comes early I don't think he will appear in the next week.
Last night I definitely experienced Braxton Hicks, wow it was weird!! I have had niggles and period like cramps a few times but not been sure if they were Braxton Hicks or not. Last night I had a bath as my hip and back were really sore after lots of walking around the day before. My mum had come to visit for the weekend and we had gone into town for a bit of retail therapy then taken the dog for a walk on the beach. It was lovely but I paid for it yesterday. When I got out of the bath my stomach felt odd, it felt like someone was shrinking my stomach or had wrapped it in clingfilm and was pulling it tight, a very odd sensation. Then later as I was getting into bed it happened again. Each time this sensation only lasted for a matter of seconds, maybe 10-20 seconds each time, and happened about 4 hours apart. Thankfully they weren't painful either.
The feeling of Braxton Hicks made me excited that my body is practicing for labour but also a little anxious. My mum and dad live about 2 hours away just over the border in Scotland, my mum has the week I am due bump off work (just by coincidence) but this sensation made me think about what will happen if I go into labour before or after she comes down. Mr M is my primary birthing partner obviously but he doesn't drive and this constantly plays on my mind with regards to getting to and from hospital.
With only 4 weeks to go the end is in sight, I just hope our little man doesn't leave us waiting too long
Friday, 15 November 2013
Before I got pregnant I wasn't a heavy drinker but I could drink quite a bit depending on whose company I was in. We had a busy social calendar either meeting friends in the pub or going to friends houses. This has only decreased in the past 2 months or so due to the fact we need to save money.
A friend introduced me to an alcohol free wine at her daughters 1st birthday party, I have no idea what the brand was but it tasted horrid. I also tried Alcohol Free Pear Kopparberg, again horrid, it was far too sweet for my taste. I had resigned myself to the fact that I would drink lemonade when we were out and Schloer in the house or at other people's houses. I was happy with this as I enjoy both.
I then discovered Eisberg Alcohol Free wine at the Baby and Toddler Show at MediaCity. I have to say I was a little skeptical after my previous encounter with alcohol free wine, however Eisberg state that their wine is made in the same way as normal wine but the final process is the remove the alcohol.
I bought 2 bottles of Rose at the show and they lasted me about a month. I found that my local Morrison's sell it (£3.49 a bottle) so I bought a bottle of Rose and a Chardonnay. The Chardonnay again tasted like normal white wine, I was again impressed. These bottles again last me about a month.
To be honest I haven't missed alcohol whilst I have been pregnant and with my plans being to breast feed I have no idea when the next time I will have an alcoholic drink will be, to be honest I'm not that bothered. I enjoy Eisberg Wine and still have lemonade and Schloer to mix it up, I get bored having the same thing all the time. It's good to know there are options available.
Disclosure: When I attended the Baby and Toddler Show was not writing my blog, I purchased this product because I liked them and wanted to try it. No review was expected from the seller. My views are my own.
Thursday, 14 November 2013
It loosely follows the seven Bs:
- Birth bonding
- Baby wearing
- Bed sharing
- Belief in the language of your baby’s cry
- Beware of baby trainers
We are planning on both having skin to skin contact with bump after the birth. I am going to try and breast feed but we also want Mr M to have that skin to skin time, we will continue that at home too. We have also been trying to bond with him prior to birth by speaking to him and rubbing my belly.
Mr M is very keen to babywear, its not that I'm not keen but I have issues with my back and am not sure whether I will be able to babywear. I am going to give it a try though but I think Mr M will probably do this more than me.
Bed sharing scares me!! I won't lie. The thought of the baby in bed and I roll onto him is all I can think about when I consider bed sharing. Our midwife told us that there are ways to safely bed share but I honestly don't think I will be able to sleep if we did this for fear of hurting him. I have seen bednests which open up at the side so baby is next to you but separate, these really appeal to me but are expensive.
We have already discussed how we are going to deal with bump crying. Everyone has their own approach but we want to respond to his crying in a timely manner. I know that people say you are spoiling them but a newborn baby has no idea what manipulation is, if he is crying there will be a reason and we want to respond to that. As he gets older we will get to know him and his cries.
I am going to seek support whenever I need it, friends and my mum have already been a great help and I know that will continue once bump is born. I will also be telling people when to back off as well, I am quite strong minded and I also fester on things, I need to be straight but pleasant with people otherwise I can see myself exploding at them if whatever it is continues.
Balance is very important I think. We have discussed that we are going to try and do this as a team, obviously when Mr M goes back to work I will be on my own but he says he will help when he is back home. I can't really ask for more than that. I have also spoken with friends and plan to go to baby groups so I am meeting other people and not going mad within the 4 walls of the house. I think that baby groups are great for bump too, anything to help stimulate him.
Attachment parenting isn't for everyone but I do like some of their ideas and principles
In my bag:-
For Me -
- 2 pairs PJs
- 1 vest top (incase I have a water birth)
- 5 pairs Primark big pants
- 4 x 2 packs of breast pads
- toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, shower gel, deodorant, moisturiser)
- hairbrush & 3 bobbles
- pack of 10 maternity pads
- 2 flannels
I still need to put in my coming home outfit and my nursing bras, I ordered the bras yesterday so hopefully they should be here in the next few days. I also need to remember a camera and my notes. My notes are in my handbag which I doubt I will take to hospital with me, we might need to put a sign at the front door saying "don't forget notes" as a prompt
For Bump -
- 3 x vests
- 4 x sleepsuits
- 1 sleepsuit for coming home
- pram suit
- 2 x mittens
- 2 x hats
- 8 nappies
- muslin square
If there's anything that I've forgotten please let me know!!