Thursday, 24 November 2016

Resolving (?) problems in the bedroom and The Blank Wall of Doom

You have seen my post back in April about Problems in the bedroom. I managed to paint 1 1/2 walls before Baby B made his appearance but that left us with the problem of three walls a different colour (and probably mouldy).

Luckily, SBB came to my rescue and set to work with his usual gusto and the walls were treated and painted with 3 layers of insulating paint and 2 top layers of Dulux.

Whilst we had the curtains down he also decided to remove the window trim to go in search of the awful draught around the window. As it happens, the cavity around the windows, which apparently should have been sealed/packed was just empty so he filled it with expanding foam and reattached the trim. Goodbye draught, hello slightly warmer room!

I'm not yet sure if the Thermalmix will do the job - I'll be keeping an eye out for any hint of mould! Temperature wise there seems to be a 6 degree difference between our video monitor next to the door and the Gro-egg in the far corner of the room (dropping to a chilly 15 degrees!). I'm not sure if it's really made a difference to maintaining room temperature as we didn't have the thermometers we have now, but with Baby B sleeping in with us, we've got an extra heater to try and keep it at a steady temperature.

Progress photos:
(Please excuse the mess!! We had to empty out the furniture before moving it)

Finished walls:

This does, however, leave me with a problem. Did you spot it?

I've come to think of it as The Blank Wall of Doom....

....Possibly a little over-dramatically, I'll admit.

I want to fill it with some pictures, but not sure how. I seem to be a persistent procrastinator when it comes to 'dressing' walls. I have a 'art wall' planned for the hallway which has over the last 5 years steamed ahead with the grand total of 1 picture.

So here are the options I'm thinking of (please excuse my terrible photo-shop skills):

The 'H' option

The 'M' option.

This is actually my preferred option, I quite like the idea of the pictures 'draping' across the wall, however I also know I'm a fan of straight lines so the 'H' option appeals to me too. One thing I'm really keen on is to have a mirror over the headboard - this is also partly why the 'M' option appeals because I think an oval mirror or other unusual shape would look really good here, particularly if it was a really old one with the stippling effect that old mirrors have.

Having discussed it with SBB, his preferred option is this: 

One large picture or mirror over the headboard. The simplicity - and minimum of effort - also appeals but I think it might look a little.... boring.
Perhaps it's just because I need another wall to procrastinate over.

Do you have any suggestions, or any favourite options? Let me know! I'm rather stuck... 

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Keeping busy with craft projects part 2

This project is a favourite of mine. I got the idea from Carrots 'n' Cake. I just saw the photos of the kitchen and thought:

I need a shelf next to my oven.

So I bought some wrought iron effect shelf supports from ebay to match the door handles and a length of wood from B&Q.
I then measured and cut the wood to length, levelled and drilled holes in the wall... Okay, I'm lying. I got my Dad to help do the technical stuff while SBB was at work.
But I did varnish the shelf and screw it into place via the pilot holes my Dad had drilled for me... That counts, right?

Ooh, pretty, right?

But what to put on it.....?

I had a selection of storage jars I bought a couple of years ago from Ikea. I'd planned to use them at the flat to 'dress' the kitchen.
I bought some 'blackboard' labels and a chalk pen from Amazon. I debated a little about what to put in the jars, but decided to use them for the three main pastas/rice we use (rather than lentils etc, which I have to sneak past SBB!)

Ta da! It's funny how such simple things can be so pleasing!

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Keeping busy with craft projects part 1

You would be forgiven - entirely - for thinking that our obsession for craft (well, mine) and DIY had waned with impending parenthood and in the bleary early months of babydom. Any mention of my craft projects has been sadly absent so I thought I'd take this opportunity to share some photos of what I've been up to.

Nursery lamp shade

The nursery is forest themed - I've yet to share the final photo of the mural, but it's rather fabulous if I do say so myself! 
Anyway, I searched for a forest themed shade for the ceiling light but the only one I could find was about £40 from John Lewis. A tad too expensive! So instead I bought a cheap uplighter from Dunelm Mill and covered the metal point with some paper leaves left over from our wedding. 
Simple, yet oh-so-satisfying.
Front door wreath

I do love a door wreath, but haven't ever shifted myself into gear to make one for Christmas - let alone a generic one. However, I have a thing about shoes indoors. Specifically, on my carpets. Call me a weirdo, call me a germaphobe... I don't care. Just don't walk shoes over my carpet.
The inspiration for this came from Hobbycraft - one of the newsletters they send out via email - the one in the photo was for Christmas, but it got me thinking.
I bought a polystyrene wreath, a ball of wool, decorative moss, twine ribbon and a slate sign. I used acrylic paint to paint the words.
It gives me warm fuzzies whenever I open the front door.

Nursery drawers

Eh.... So not really crafting, but a little piece of fun none-the-less. I'm not very good at measuring or cutting straight, so the liners are a little wonky, but they inject some fun into putting away/taking out the baby's clothes every day. 
And all for less than £1 from Card Factory!

Monday, 15 August 2016

Things you shouldn't say to a pregnant woman

I'm not sure what it is about pregnancy that kicks common sense out the window - and I'm not talking about the woman. I'm talking about other people.
If you search the internet you can find numerous blog posts and forum discussions about the ridiculous, and sometimes just plain rude, things pregnant women have had said to them.
So here, in no particular order, are some of things that I had said to me:

  • Has it not sunk in yet?
This was said to me a lot and throughout the pregnancy. Usually because when asked how I was I would say I was fine. It seemed to be the general opinion that just because I wasn't riding an emotional roller coaster or freaking out about A, B  or C that the reason was I simply hadn't come to terms with the fact that I was pregnant.
  • I think you'll find....
A favourite saying of my mother's and I had it from a few other people too. This was said to me rather imperiously about various things, one of which was during the argument I had with my mother about buying a baby bath.
"I think you'll find you'll need one," my mother intoned in Mama's & Papa's. Well, my son is 3 months old and I haven't needed one yet. (So there!)
  • You're getting big/your bump's grown etc
I spent many days suppressing sarcastic answers to this. People would always say it to me with such surprise. It was even worse when said to someone else about me. In fact I once had two people have an entire conversation about me, my pregnancy and what I was likely to experience as a parent and how I'd cope with it over the top of my head as though I weren't there.
  • It's scary (in reference to growing bump)
This wasn't said to me by a man, surprisingly, but by a woman. She would say it to me every. Single. Week.
Erm, no, actually I'm not spawning a harbinger of doom. I'm growing a beautiful baby and it's wonderful.
  • You've got all this to look forward to
A popular thing for people with older children to say, but considering it was said to me by a woman whose younger daughter and son that she had with her current husband hated her older son by her first marriage and she was telling me a story of how they'd hidden dog poo around his room when they went on holiday to Centre Parcs and poked holes in all his condoms oh, and that her younger son was too stupid not to take drugs...
Well, what are the chances?
  • Are you nervous [about labour]? I'd be petrified
Said to me by a man, so perhaps I can excuse his ignorance of the process, but I'm not sure about letting him off for saying it to a first-time mother.
  • Wow, you're organised/prepared
At 8 months pregnant should it really be that surprising that I'd bought all my cloth nappies and packed my hospital bag and set up the nursery etc etc...?
  • Was it planned?
Think about what you're actually asking me, here. I mean, really....
  • Oh, so you're keeping it a secret
We had this a few times when people asked the gender and we said we didn't know. This was immediately greeted, rather irritably, by the above statement. Erm, no, I'm not lying about this just to spite you - we have in fact elected to wait to find out the gender of our baby.
  • Oh bless her, she's nesting!
Again said about me to someone else. Honestly, as I'm just about to have a baby and will therefore have my hands rather full, my weekends will inevitably be filled with the household chores that won't get done again for a while. If you can't understand that, don't ask what I did at the weekend!
  • Your hair looks great, but wait until the baby starts pulling on it
Erm... thanks? Was that a compliment or something designed to make me feel badly about my hair cut? While we're at it, exactly what would be the ideal length of hair to stop baby pulling on it, because unless I shave it all off - it's going to get grabbed?

Friday, 1 July 2016

The duplicity of 'fine'

I'm writing this from the other side of the desperation, anxiety and, I have to say, misery, of the early newborn weeks.

I'm not saying that's all they were - interspersed were moments of great joy - but the strength of my 'low' feelings really caught me off guard. They took SBB by surprise too - particularly as I didn't have any hormonal moodswings during pregnancy. SBB frequently remarked that the only way he could tell I was pregnant was the growing bump!

Breastfeeding was tough during those early weeks - it's still not pain-free either - and I frequently broke down in tears and even sent SBB out to buy a tin of formula I was that set on throwing in the towel. I developed mastitis on one side and the baby went through a ridiculous period of cluster feeding, spending 19 hours on the boob one day. It was exhausting and demoralising.

I think I've come out the other side and I'm glad off it, I couldn't stand feeling so out of control whenever I disintegrated into an emotional mess and I hate crying, it makes me feel weak.

It was worse when SBB went back to work - especially the first morning after a night of little sleep and I was faced with a screaming baby and suddenly without my support. I'm ashamed now of how I behaved; I shouted at my son and put him down on the bed, but immediately scooped him up, guilty for losing my temper with my beautiful boy.
I also found it difficult being around other people - we couldn't go to the wedding at the end of May because the thought of being around so many people brought me to tears and I had a breakdown at my parents' house when we went over to introduce the baby to my brother, his wife and my grandmother. I couldn't stop crying and just wanted to be holed up at home, away from everyone.

Feeling at such a low emotional ebb therefore put me at a bit of a loss when friends and colleagues text me to ask how I was. How could I reply that actually I was feeling awful and that at one point had even asked my husband whether we'd made a mistake having a baby? I couldn't, of course, and so inevitably replied that I was 'fine'. Such a word covers a great number of emotional sins...

Friday, 24 June 2016

Gender prediction - Boy or Girl?

We elected not to find out the gender of our baby - perhaps it's the traditionalist in us, but we wanted to wait until the moment of birth to have the midwife announce:

"It's a [insert gender here]!"

However, just for fun I thought I'd go through a few old wives' tales and see if they swung one way or another.

Baking soda test

For this one you pee in one cup and put 3 tablespoons of baking soda in a separate cup. Pour your urine into the cup with the baking soda. If it fizzes, it’s a boy. If there’s no fizzle-it is a girl.

No pictures of this one because... well... urine... But no fizzle.

Result: Girl

Wedding ring test

This is probably one of the best known ones. Tie a string around your wedding ring and then lay back. Dangle the ring right above your belly. If the ring swings in a back and forth like a pendulum, it's a boy. If it swings in a noticeable circular motion, it's a girl.

Result: Girl

Chinese calendar

This test is based on the Chinese lunar calendar. You take the mother's age at conception and the month of conception and then look at them on the chart. 

Image from Yahoo images
Result: Boy

Acne test

The saying behind this is that: Girl's steal their mother's beauty, boy's enhance it. I haven't had any spots so...

Result: Boy

The Mayan calendar

If both the age at conception and the year the baby was conceived are either even or odd, those kicks are coming from a girl. If one number is even and the other is odd, it's a boy.

Result: Boy

Nausea/Morning sickness

If you have horrendous morning sickness in the first trimester, it's a girl. If it's not so bad, it's a boy. I didn't have any at all so maybe I should call this one a dud?

Another popular one is cravings: if you crave salty/savoury/meat you're having a boy. If you crave sweet/fruit you're having a girl. Again, I didn't have any cravings, so I don't have a result for this one.

The scores:

Girl: 2
Boy: 3

Old wives' tales prediction: Boy

We actually had......


Did you try out any old wives' tales? And were they accurate?

Thursday, 16 June 2016

A New Beginning

I have a friend - a very good friend, despite our opposing life views. To her, my life is tedious. Her opinion is that men who are happy to live on the Isle of Wight are boring, that she is too young to get married, that women who have children are gluttons for punishment (and crazy to be willing to give birth - the pain! The mess! The horror!) and that women who chose boring men from the Isle of Wight, who get married, get a mortgage and embark on family life have settled for less, have no ambition and have boring lives.

A flattering opinion, when you think about it. I'm not sure if it's occurred to her whilst she's sat on my sofa, large wine glass in hand, pouring scorn onto this way of life that she's actually talking about my life.
I ignore her opinion and smile politely whilst offering her another top up.

I've no qualms with the direction I've chosen for my life - after all, it's my life not hers and I'm the one that has to live it.

Then there are days that truly set us apart, that almost make me pity her life view and the things that it causes her to miss out on. Days that Bilbo Baggins springs to mind:

"Yes to others our ways seem quaint but today of all days it is brought home to me it is no bad thing to celebrate a simple life"

In fact this very quote rattled through my head on the evening of May 16th.

After 40 weeks of pregnancy and 14 hours of labour our son arrived at 19:03, 7lbs 10oz, with a full head of hair and his Daddy's dark brown eyes.

I'm struggling between the desire to show off my beautiful baby boy and the need to protect his privacy, so for now I'll leave you with this photo, taken in the hospital when he was almost 12 hours old. (The curtains were drawn, that's why we're blue!)

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

The Hospital Bag

The title says hospital 'bag' but it's more like 'bagS'. I'm slightly concerned that we're going to turn up at the hospital and they're going to think we've packed for a two week holiday.

So here's what I've packed:

Main bag

(From top left)
  • Maternity notes (top photo)
  • 2x packs maternity pads (from Boots and Superdrug)
  • SBB's swim shorts
  • Tankini
  • Towel
  • Dressing gown
  • Toiletry bag
  • Flip flops
  • Breastfeeding bra
  • Washable breast pads
  • Fluffy bed socks
  • 3x underwear
  • PJs
  • Nursing top and two t-shirts
  • 1 pair trainer socks 

(From top left)
  • 3 x newborn bodysuits
  • Hat
  • Baby blanket
  • Going home outfit
  • 4 x newborn sleepsuits
  • Cardigan

Toiletry bag

(From top left)

  • Ear plugs
  • Lip balm
  • Facewipes
  • Nivea In-shower moisturiser (from my month 8 Project B box)
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Antibacterial handwipes
  • Painkillers
  • Toothbrush (again from my month 8 Project B box)
  • Toothpaste
  • Dry shampoo
  • Sanex fragrance free shower gel (decanted into plain bottle)
  • Contact lenses
  • Hand cream
  • Comb
  • Deodrant
  • Disposable breast pads (freebies from Project B, Bounty and Emma's Diary and several pairs from pack I bought from Boots)

Nappy bag

(From top left)

  • 2x bamboo muslins (pre-folded)
  • Wetbag containing extra flip disposable inserts
  • Cotton wool balls
  • 2x Diddy diapers from Nature Babies
  • 2x newborn wraps
  • 2x newborn pocket nappies (in red and black) from Tiny Nippers
  • Mothercare smart nappy
  • Flip cover
  • Water wipes
  • Nail clipper
  • Shea butter balm
  • Nappy nippa

Extra stay/just in case bag

(From left to right)

  • 3x 0 - 3 month sleepsuits
  • 2 pairs trainer socks
  • 4x tops/t-shirts
  • Pack of disposable nappies
  • 6x underwear
  • Hat
  • 3x 0 - 3 month bodysuits
  • 2x packs maternity pads
  • Rest of pack of breast pads (from Boots)

Thursday, 12 May 2016

39 weeks pregnant - Plug watch

I have to admit I'm feeling super organised. I actually turn 40 weeks tomorrow so I'm writing this on time!

This week was my first official week on maternity leave. I've been doing Bodyrock Baby videos and my Tara Lee pregnancy yoga every day, but trying not to overdo it as the PGP is getting worse - last night was the worst it's been so far. Possibly because I jogged to the post box yesterday. Slightly inadvisable, I think.

The baby has apparently engaged and I've been feeling quite a lot of pressure. I've also been experiencing  false labour - cramping and some back pain almost every day. Possibly some Braxton Hicks - my stomach goes hard so I assume that's what it is, but they don't hurt at all and aren't uncomfortable.

The false labour has spurred us into finishing final preparations for hospital and we finally packed SBB's bag.

The weather has taken a turn for the warmer side and all my maternity clothes are suitable for the cooler side of things so I'm struggling a little to find clothes to wear in public - my stretchy workout shorts are fine for slobbing around the house but not for going out and about. The bonus of that, I suppose, is that it forces me to take it easy.

We've already been to Tamarind this week and I had some Beef Sagwala and Potato and Chicken Madras to see if it would start anything off. It didn't, but I enjoy any excuse to go to Tamarind! I think we're going back once my due date passes.

Speaking of starting off labour, in addition to keeping as active as possible I've been drinking pineapple juice and using my gym ball every night.

My mother has been putting the 'S' in 'mothering' - texting me every day to check how I am. If anyone has any suggestions for how I can - sensitively and politely - tell her to stop pestering me I will gratefully receive them!

I am currently on plug watch. I have a feeling that this baby will come when I'm least expecting it - much like it 'arrived' when we took a pregnancy test. But, as SBB pointed out, from this point I'll be expecting it every moment - so it won't be that much of a surprise!
Still, I'm equal parts excited to meet our baby and still enjoying pregnancy so all at once I'm looking forward to the 'end' (and the rest of our lives!) and a little bit sad that it's almost over.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

38 weeks pregnant - A swollen ankle

They say that women in late pregnancy can only handle smaller meals due to the size of the baby. Not so with me! In fact over the last couple of weeks I've turned into a Hobbit.

Hello, Second Breakfast!

My first breakfast is a bowl of bran flakes and the second is crumpets or toast - always with peanut butter. I've eaten more peanut butter over the last eight months than the last two years. I think it's because I've discovered natural peanut butter - just peanuts, no additives. Yummy.

I'm just so hungry all the time, which isn't helping with my constipation!

My right lower leg is swollen - from the knee down - but it's mainly the ankle. Just the right one, mind you, the left is fine. Everything seems to be happening on the right side, now that I think about it - the shooting pains from the PGP and now the swelling.

This week I had a night where I slept through from 21:30 to 4:30. 4:30! It felt like a serious luxury. I'm sort of wondering whether my body is allowing me to sleep more in preparation for impending labour.

People keep asking me if I feel like labour is on the way. The short answer is no. I have no inklings at all. I don't know if anyone ever does, but I find the subject interesting. I mean, at any other time the 'status' of the uterus changes - i.e. for periods or new pregnancy - there are symptoms, so I sort of think there should be some sort of hint... Unless the first hint is just supposed to be when you go into early labour. If you have any thoughts, please let me know.

We had our 38 week midwife appointment and she asked if I wanted a membrane sweep when I turn 40 weeks. The previous night SBB and I had read about membrane sweeps in our pregnancy book. They do not sound like fun. When the midwife asked, I said no.

I'm a little annoyed that I'm not even at 40 weeks and they're already talking about interventions to force labour to start. Despite the fact that 75% of women naturally go into labour any time between 37 - 42 weeks. There's still plenty of time. Plus, I only finished working the day after my midwife appointment so I wasn't exactly in the right frame of mind for labour to start and I believe that a woman's state of mind has a lot to do with it.

Maybe as time goes on I might get a little more antsy, but actually I'm not that uncomfortable and not particularly eager to get to the end of pregnancy so I'm quite happy for baby to choose it's moment.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

37 weeks pregnant - full term

So I'm full term! From this point baby could arrive at any time. I suppose, technically, there's always been that possibility but at least now there's less of a chance that baby would need to go into the NICU.

This week I had one of the best night's sleep I've had in months. I got up twice in the night but still felt incredibly rested in the morning. I've still been having shooting pains down my right leg, but I've been doing my best to take it easy.

The day I turned 37 weeks I experienced what I presume to be false labour. I had some clenching 'pain' similar to period cramps, quite a lot of watery discharge, some Braxton Hicks and some un-explained blood. Saying that sort of sounds like something was happening and I should have called my midwife, but suffice it to say - without going into icky detail - I monitored the situation and it wasn't anything to worry about.

Apparently the baby is now the size of a watermelon. When we saw the midwife on Tuesday she said it was partially engaged, but not to the point where it would stay that way. I'm still feeling lots of kicks and baby still like to shove its foot up under my ribs.

I can't believe how fast these last few weeks have gone. I'm equal parts reluctant for the pregnancy to end because I love having Monkey Nut inside me but I'm also really excited to meet them. I'm becoming more convinced it's a girl.

I find it hard to believe that I'll be going into labour - it just seems like the sort of thing that women do - like it's too grown up for me or something. Although, judging by some of the people on One Born Every Minute, even women without the slightest bit of maturity go through it, so perhaps it should be more believable.

Perineal massage is still very much hit and miss and I haven't been doing it nearly as much as I should. I just don't think I'm doing it right so find it hard to convince myself to schedule it regularly - particularly as my 'area' is feeling decidedly sore due to the PGP.

My belly button is so flat that it's almost - almost - popping out. It's weird - because it's almost turned inside out - the skin that would have been inside feels numb compared to the rest of my belly.

I haven't mentioned stretch marks at all in my previous weekly updates - because I haven't got any. I sort of thought that at least one or two would creep in at the end, but, here I am full term and stretch mark free. Instead, however, I have spider veins on my right lower leg. They're pretty ugly - it's like someone's taken a cricket bat to my calf and foot, I'm covered in purple splodges.

Friday, 6 May 2016

35 and 36 weeks pregnant - Hot Spots

I'm combining the two weeks because they were pretty similar.

Sleep is uncomfortable - my ear and hip hurt almost every night from constantly lying on my side (I'm feeling a little bit like a broken record saying that).

I have a hot spot on my left leg - on the front of my thigh. It's a bit weird. It feels like the sun is shining through the window and heating up one little patch. Except...I'm not sat in the sun and when I put my hand on my leg, it doesn't feel hot. Like I said, weird.

At the risk of sounding like I'm moaning I also have a headache that's lasted for two days - paracetamol hasn't put a dent in it so I haven't bothered to have more than one dose (no sense pumping myself full of drugs if it's not going to help), and some serious PGP which sends shooting pain through my right butt cheek and down my legs, but mainly down my right leg. I've also had heartburn a couple of nights so have had to sleep sitting up.

Baby has definitely dropped but hasn't engaged yet. From the emails I get from various 'baby companies' (Emma's  Diary, Baby2Body, Bounty etc) say that baby has less room so should be wriggling rather than kicking. Erm, no. That's not my child at all. The bony bum is sticking out on the left so the kicks are all on the right. Sometimes it feels like the baby's foot has got stuck in a tucked up position, then it strains to free it, before the foot pings free and kicks me in the side. Sometimes a little foot will get wedged up under my ribs but always gets removed after I rub my belly and ask baby not to shove their foot into mummy's ribs, thank you very much. I have such a well-behaved child!

On one final note - and I apologise for what for some might be TMI - I am horribly constipated. Bran flakes are now a regular appearance in my breakfast bowl.

I'm excited to finally meet baby but also feel these last few weeks are zipping by.

35 weeks

36 weeks

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Problems in the bedroom

I don't know what you're thinking that titles means, particularly after admitting about cheating recently but I'm talking about mould.

Yes folks, we have a mouldy bedroom. We noticed it the first winter after we moved in and I became very familiar with the use of Ronseal's Mould Remover. However, it always seemed to come back. We'd been thinking about redecorating with some bathroom anti-mould paint but never quite seemed to get round to it.

Then, after the success with the Thermalmix in the nursery we decided it would be a good idea to paint the walls with the insulation paint before doing a top coat of bathroom paint.

The job had been lingering on my 'to do' list for a while until one day I bought the Thermalmix on Amazon and trundled off to B&Q to buy paint, because what else do you really want to be doing when you're 35 weeks pregnant other than squeezing behind the bed to strip and paint the bedroom wall?

I practically soaked the wall with mould remover before setting to work with the insulating paint.

I'd painted almost all of the wall when I noticed a tiny little flake in the last unpainted corner. I picked at it.

So, yeah. I ended up peeling off quite a bit of the old paint I'd just painted over. I was a little afraid of what SBB would say, but he didn't seem to mind too much. The good thing about peeling off the old paint was that it showed that it was riddled with mould - which could have meant regrowth - but the plaster itself was mould-free. So it turned out to be a good thing!

I ended up doing three coats. The instructions call for two but I wanted to be sure the wall was completely covered and covered well.

When it came to choosing colour I was struck with a small problem. I wanted to buy the Dulux bathroom paint as it came with a 5 year anti-mould guarantee, but they didn't have any in a similar sunny shade of yellow that I'd painted the room previously. They did have a yellow in the B&Q 'every room' paint - suitable for kitchens and bathrooms - but I wasn't sure about the anti-mould properties. I went with 'magnolia' in the Dulux bathroom paint. On the walls it looks more peach than magnolia, but I don't really mind. The room feels lovely and bright, so I'd call it a success!

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

34 weeks pregnant - Pelvic Girdle Pain

This was the week that Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) made an appearance. Essentially it occurs because the spongey bits in the pelvis become too loose due to an excess of relaxin. Or, in my case, it's likely due to relaxin mixed with my hypermobility.

For me it tends to manifest first as heavy pain 'down below' - which gets sharper if I stand on one leg (to climb stairs, or put trousers on etc.) - and then progresses to shooting pain in my right buttocks and then on to shooting pains down my right leg. If I get to the shooting pain stage, I know I've been on my feet too much during the day and it continues through the night - making it difficult to  turn over in bed and get up to go to the bathroom.

It makes walking around a little awkward.

Baby has seemed to be mostly in position, although the bum sticks out to the left of the bump (as I'm looking at it). It seems to get hiccups at least once a day, although there isn't any particular time of day.

Have I mentioned the nicknames we have for baby? As we already call Cillian our baby, it was causing some confusion. So I started calling the baby 'Uby' - short for 'unborn baby' but it never really took on. Then I started to call it 'Monkey Nut' which SBB declared it was one he could 'really get behind'. So, there it is.

Baby likes to have fingers gently tapped over the belly and loves having the shower sprayed against my belly.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

33 weeks pregnant - Electronic Fetal Monitoring

Not a great week this week as Easter Monday we had to go to hospital. I hadn't felt baby move all Sunday night - usually it has a bit of a kick about whenever I get up to go to the bathroom or feed Cillian at 5:30am, but there was nothing.

By about 10am I was concerned. Nothing seemed to make baby move. I tried hunching down in positions that the baby had previously complained about, I poked it, I ate, I drank cold water and I asked SBB to talk to it. Nothing worked.

I was unloading the dishwasher, crying, afraid of what had happened to our baby. I managed to keep myself together enough to phone the hospital and they told me to come in. The lack of movement would have been scary enough but all SBB and I could think about was something that had happened the night before: his back was aching so he asked me to rub ibuprofen gel on his lower back before he headed out to football. I was massaging it in for about a minute before it struck me that it was ibuprofen. I washed my hands 4 times after I realised but by the next morning when the baby wasn't moving I began to get worried that I'd been affected by it.

We got onto the ward and were shown to a bed. I was asked to give a urine sample (not in the bed!) which thankfully was in a dish and not the teeny tube such as the one I was given at my first scan. The midwife got out the fetal heart monitor and there it was - baby's heartbeat. Doing well.
She suggested that it had probably turned and was kicking at my back, which was why I couldn't feel it. She also suggested it was a boy as it was being difficult. A flattering attitude towards men, yet again.

I was doing fine - holding myself together - until she said "it's okay to burst into tears now" - and I promptly did.

The next day I was uncomfortable - I felt something like stitch but it was in the side of my bump, not my side - so it was uncomfortable to move, or sit down, or walk. However baby was moving well - lots of movement throughout the rest of the week.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Confession time...

I cheated on my husband.


Actually I cheated on a promise I made him not to buy any more cloth nappies.

I bought more nappies.

And lied about it.

It stemmed from my sudden bout of nappy panic. After a bit of thinking I decided that to buy a Flip wrap with some disposable inserts would solve both the problems of needing more nappies and cutting down on washing. I'd read/seen a bit about Flip nappies and it was one of those brands I just wanted, so that worked out very nicely. I ended up getting them from The Changing Mat (which I've since learnt is closing down - sad face). They got sent with a free gift of refresher type sweets which I thought was a lovely touch. I don't eat them, but SBB happily gobbled sensibly ate them.

As I was looking around for the best deal for the Flip and inserts I was perusing The Nappy Stash website and came across the mystery bundles that they sell. I was intrigued. I was curious. I was clicking 'add to my basket'....

Then, I was hit with the guilt but couldn't quite face telling SBB the truth about caving in and buying more nappies. Of course, I rationalised it to myself by saying that 'other women' do it all the time with shoes or handbags. Then I compounded the problem by lying about it.

So, to those at The Nappy Stash; if my husband asks I won the mystery bundle as part of a competition, and very generous it was of you too!

(I also bought a couple of pots of CJ's Butter as The Nappy Stash has the best price - I didn't lie to SBB about buying these...)

32 weeks pregnant - Whooping Cough vaccine and nappy panic

Nappy panic is not unknown to me - I've experienced it before. Does it seem like a strange term? I'm not sure if mothers-to-be that are planning on using disposables suffer from this - or even if anyone else apart from me has experienced this, I may be utterly unique in my panic!

We're planning on using cloth nappies. I came across the concept before we even started trying for a baby, so I've had a good amount of time to research it. However. This week I had a sudden panic that I didn't have enough nappies suitable for a newborn. While I'm confident that we have enough nappies at home, I started to worry about how many we needed to take to hospital. There's surprisingly little official on the internet, or perhaps that's not so surprising as it's cloth. All the pages I read mentioned taking a pack of nappies - and quite a few of the forums were the same. Cloth nappy forums had varying answers. I began to become concerned about the washing factor - if I'm kept in for a  long time SBB would have to wash the nappies and I didn't want to have to make him worry about that. I'm sure he'll learn how to do it in time, but if I'm in hospital he'll have to worry about.

Anyway, the first time I packed the nappies I just packed muslins and boosters. I pre-folded the muslins to make my life easier, but with 10 of them in the bag they were REALLY bulky - which also contributed to my nappy panic.

I had my Whooping Cough vaccine this week. I had it in my left arm as I'm right handed but didn't realise until the next morning that, because I'm pregnant, what side do I sleep on? My left. So my shoulder's really been aching for the last couple of days. It really hurts to do anything with my arm - like lift it or drive.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

31 weeks pregnant - Hospital Bag

So, my hospital bag is packed. My 'extra stay' bag is also done and the nappy/baby bag is mostly packed, but I think I might have to move the  baby clothes into my bag as it's a bit of a squeeze with all the nappies.

I've bought some disposable breast pads - I'm fully intending to use re-usables at home but as I don't know how long I'll be in hospital I'm thinking 'convenience' as much as possible.

Finding somewhere that sold breast pads was a bit of a pain - I looked in Superdrug and Sainsburys but couldn't find any (although later I did find some in Sainsburys, just not where I expected) - so bought some from Boots. They were quite expensive, I thought at about £6. I'm hoping I haven't wasted my money. I also bought some maternity pads from there and then later from Superdrug online.

Baby is still loving the exercise and I managed to take a couple of long walks this week, although I was so hot by the end I needed to take my coat off.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

30 weeks pregnant - Braxton Hicks

So I felt the first Braxton Hicks this week. I was sat up in bed because I couldn't sleep due to my cold and felt an odd sensation. I put my hands on my belly and felt it again. I described it to SBB as it feeling like one of those storage bags that you suck the air out of. It didn't hurt and it wasn't uncomfortable. If I hadn't been awake I wouldn't have felt it and if I'd been otherwise occupied rather than just sitting in the dark, able to put my hands on my belly, I probably would have just assumed baby was head/bum butting me or having a big stretch.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

29 weeks pregnant - Feeling grotty

I took a swim in my new maternity swimsuit this week. It was a good swim apart from being joined in the lane by a woman who wasn't following the rules - i.e. going too fast (I was in the slow lane) and not swimming anti-clockwise like you're supposed to.
Anyway. I did forty minutes. No idea how many lengths that was, I was just pootling along just enjoying the swim - as much as I could with the 'medium' lane people splashing me in the face every so often.

I've managed to be very organised this week - getting and wrapping my mum's Mother's Day gift and a card for SBB's mum, and sorting my sister-in-law's birthday present two weeks early.

I also bought a bag to take to hospital. I'd been planning on buying a gym bag, although I've never found them useful - I'm more of a backpack person. SBB and I went into Sports Direct because I'd seen a couple on their website that I thought would be good, but as we were standing there looking at the bags SBB pointed out several things:

  • I don't get on with gym bags
  • Every gym bag he's ever bought has fallen apart within weeks
  • We're going to have enough to carry - with the baby and the birthing pool and the nappy bag - without having another bag to carry too
  • The only ones on the shelves that would actually be big enough to be useful were more money than I'd said I was willing to spend
He'd pointed out the suitcases, but I didn't really want to spend £20-£30 on a small cabin-sized case that I'd be unlikely to ever use again. He went off to have another look at the gym bags and that's when I spotted a small cabin-sized red Dunlop case for £13.99. Bargain. I also had a £5 voucher for having had an order delivered to the store previously, which technically meant the suitcase was only £9!

This week I came down with another cold - my second in two months - the second morning I had it I got out of bed after a restless night and promptly almost collapsed, my legs were so weak.
Obviously, I can't take anything because I'm pregnant so I've really been suffering and feeling quite sorry for myself.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Project B boxes - month 6 to 8

I've signed up to Project B - a company that sends out subscription boxes. (I pay for my subscription so this hasn't been commissioned by Project B in any way). I came a little late to the boxes, only subscribing in January, so didn't have any of the earlier ones. I've been quite happy with the ones I have had though and it's very exciting when they arrive.

Month 6 - The theme for this box was Energise. The only things I've tried so far are the Paws fruit snacks, the Nairns oatcakes (both of which are really tasty) and the Skin Therapy Oil - which is okay for an oil but I don't like it as much as the Palmers creams.

Month 7 - The theme for this month was Relax. It came with a book on hypnobirthing which I was quite excited about - and I found it refreshing to receive something with a positive outlook rather than the negativity I've experienced elsewhere. The other item I was excited about was the alcohol-free wine. As a non-drinker I've always struggled to find good quality alcohol-free drinks that aren't normal soft drinks. Enter Eisberg and wow. It's delicious. SBB even enjoyed it and he's never keen on rose. I put it together with some jerk chicken (recipe from The Hairy Bikers Eat for Life), coconut rice and green beans. I was very impressed and, as it turns out, they sell it at Morrisons so I'm going to head down there to try the white and the red too - and pick up a few more bottles of the rose!

Month 8 - The theme for this month was Prepare, which is useful because that's sort of my theme for the month too! This box only arrived today so I haven't tried anything yet but I was really impressed by how much was in the box. There are a few items I'm definitely planning on putting in my hospital bag - the Nivea in-shower moisturiser, breast pads, Gluco Juice, toothbrush, baby wipes and coconut oil. I'm also quite excited to try the bottle - not myself, obviously - although I'm planning on mainly breastfeeding. I'm not sure how useful the Sudocrem nappy rash cream will be as we'll be using cloth nappies and it's not recommended to use nappy rash cream with cloth.