Wednesday, 11 February 2015

A Quick Delivery - Welcome to the world

Well I am back on my blog after 3 months away from it, my life has been busy busy settling a new baby into the fold.  I have now established a routine which means getting my evenings back and I can finish the post I started writing after my baby was born. I hope you enjoy reading it.

38 and a half weeks pregnant

The last few days of being pregnant were the most uncomfortable ever and I felt I could not go on much longer.

I could barely walk anywhere and could not relax as getting into a comfortable position was impossible. I had restless legs every night plus being awake visiting the bathroom  very couple of hours, I was shattered and this was without a newborn to nurse yet!

It was no surprise when I noticed the early signs of labour 8 days before my due date as I had my son 2 weeks early.

I woke up at 1.30am on the Saturday desperate for the toilet and struggled to make it. I noticed in the toilet my water had blood in it. I didn't wake my partner and went back to bed. At 2.30am the same happened but I didn't make it to the bathroom so was pretty sure my waters had broken which happened in  my first labour. Again my water was pink and so I decided to ring the main hospital to inform them and woke my partner in excitement. The hospital advised that I call them back if the water changed to a green or brown colour, or if I started having regular contractions.At this time I was having mild period type pains on and off so I was happy with this advice.

I couldn't go back to bed at this point as I was more comfortable moving around and I was excited as well as being anxious about the birth so I double checked my hospital bags and made sure I had everything I needed. The pains began to get more regular and slightly stronger so I decided to call the hospital again so I could find out how far away the midwife was. We live in an area where the main hospital is around 50 miles away so I had chosen to have the baby at the nearby midwife led birthing unit and depending on which midwife was on duty, they could be an hour away. The hospital got in touch with the midwife and she phoned me back straight away, I was relieved to find she was only 15 minutes away so decided to stay home a little longer and called my mum so she could come over to look after my little boy.

40 minutes later I had to phone the midwife back as the pains were regular and getting stronger, my mum arrived so we made our way to the birthing unit.It seemed a long drive being in pain even though it was only 20 minutes away.  Once we arrived , which was around 5am, I was examined and found I was 3 cm dilated, I was happy about that as it still meant I had a bit of time to prepare myself. I had requested the birth pool so the midwife started filling it up for me, the pains were uncomfortable but still not regular. The birth unit was ideal,  me and my partner were brought a cup of tea and left to it,which was lovely as it was more intimate and private with the midwife on call if need be.

I was still keeping mobile as found it more comfortable than sitting down, the pains were regular now but manageable. I  suddenly needed the toilet and there was one adjoining the birth room. After using the toilet I tried to stand up and experienced 2 large contractions, I couldn't get up because of them so was in the toilet for about 10 mins. Eventually my partner shouted, was I ok?? The answer was no, I need help! He came and helped me out of the bathroom and I staggered back into the delivery suite just as the midwife came in to check on me. I asked for pain relief and she brought me the gas, from then on was a bit of a blur as I suffered rolling contractions with no break in between, as one ended another one started and the gas didn't touch it.

The midwife asked if i could get into the birth pool and I just about managed to get myself in with help from my partner. I sank into the lovely warm water and felt instant relief, it was bliss, for all of 5 minutes! I then had the worst contractions I have ever felt, about 5 in a row. Meanwhile the midwife said she was phoning for backup and setting up the delivery pack, I screamed 'no, she is coming now!' The urge to push was overwhelming and I couldn't hold back. The midwife shouted 'wait, wait I need to see, don't push' and I stopped but the contractions were still going and the need to push again was overwhelming. The midwife told me to stand up out of the water and I could sense the urgency in her voice and knew something was wrong. She told me the cord was wrapped around the baby's neck and I had to stand up quickly so she could unravel it, I had no energy and was in so much pain I don't know how I stood up but with my partners help I managed to get up out of the water, the midwife unwrapped the cord and told me to dip back into the water and with one last push our baby girl was born at 6.29am.

How can you explain the rush of feelings you have when you meet your baby for the first time, it is overwhelming, the biggest high and rush of adrenalin you will ever get. Instant love there and then for something so small and perfect that you can't believe has been growing inside you for 9 months and is all yours. You can't beat it.

After a few minutes I got up out of the birth pool and sat on the couch with my baby girl and partner, we were brought refreshments and left to bond with baby. I managed to successfully feed her and just lay there gazing at her as my partner rang round our family and friends to deliver the good news - we were now a family of four and complete.

 We stayed like that for about 3 hours and it was so relaxing and so different to the labour and birth of my boy in a main hospital. I would recommend a birth centre or home birth to anybody that is able to. It was a lovely experience and I was able to take our daughter home to meet her proud brother 4 hours after she was born.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

38 Weeks Pregnant - The end is near!

I have not written a post now for ages as even though I have been on maternity leave I feel like I have not stopped. We have been decorating our hallway, stairs and landing and when I say decorating I mean re-plastering, stripping paintwork and starting from scratch. The end results are fantastic with the carpet having been laid a few days ago! There is still some paintwork in the hallway to be done which the other half is cracking on with while I blog.

I am relieved that it is nearly done but I do think is it necessary for there to be such an urgency when pregnant to nest and get everything perfect for when baby arrives?? Obviously we are not the only couple to be doing decorating in preparation for a new arrival, I know loads of couples all doing the same thing as if the arrival of the baby means that the rest of your life goes on hold. Its madness really!!

Here I am 38 weeks pregnant in one of the only pieces of  clothing I am comfortable in - my onesie! Yes I realise I look like I have stuffed a beachball up my top haha . .

I am carrying very low now and can feel a lot of pressure low down now which is getting really uncomfortable. I am already having sleepless nights as I am up to the toilet up to 6 times a night  and then get a lot of pelvic pain once I get back into bed so not much fun.

Any journey during the day has to be planned so I am not far from a toilet and walking very far is definitely a no no. Putting my shoes and socks on can be a bit of a mission and painting toenails impossible! I had my boy 2 weeks early so now I am over 38 weeks with this one I am in unknown territory, the days I can manage its the nights that are awful trying to get comfy and sleep.

I am feeling a bit anxious about the labour now too as even though its impossible to remember the  pain exactly, I know its a pain that is worse than anything else and me reaching the stage where I would do anything to take it away. That said I am also anxious to hold my baby so just want it over and done with. Its a mixture of fear and excitement. I remember the emotions you feel of holding your baby for the first time and nothing can beat it!

I am hoping that if all goes well I can have our baby in the local birth centre which will be a lot more relaxed and intimate than the general hospital. I have requested a water birth which I hope will help with the pelvic pain this time which was horrendous when I had K. The only downside is that I can only have Gas in the birth centre so if I do feel I want more pain relief it is not available.

My thoughts on this are that I would never request an epidural as the thought of a needle in my back to paralyse me would petrify me and I would want to be able to move around after the birth. I had diamorphine when in labour with K and did not like the feeling of not being in total control as I got confused on it as to what I was supposed to be doing when pushing. So actually a water birth and gas I hope will be enough.

The labour was quick with K - 5 hours so fingers crossed this one will be too though no labour is the same so will just have to wait and see. I have a feeling that this little madam is going to keep me waiting until my due date at least so watch this space for my 40 week post which will probably mostly consist of me moaning! Wish me luck . . . .

Thursday, 25 September 2014

31 Weeks Pregnant - girls are more trouble than boys!

Well I am now in the 3rd trimester of my pregnancy and don't I know it! The bump is huge and is on the move regularly and I know the patterns of her being awake and asleep. I heard the rumours that you carry girls all up front and didn't really know what it mean't but now I most definitely know what this means.

With K I always felt his movements down my right side but they were set back in my stomach, I am not saying I couldn't see his movements because I could but they did not feel too hard on the front of my stomach and I carried a lot of water with him and felt that this acted like a bit of a barrier.

This time I can feel every movement she makes to the point where it now feels painful, I thinks its her shoulders, back and elbows I can feel just to the left of my belly button and I can visibly see her shifting herself around. It feels like she is going to pop out of my stomach and I still have just under 9 weeks to go which is a bit of a scary thought. Even when she is not moving I can put my hand on my stomach and feel a part of her there.

Now for the real whinge -
  • Restless Legs - this is not the first time I have had this as I suffered this with K, every night when I sit down, about half hour later I have restless legs. Some people call it twitchy legs, its when you can not stop fidgeting with your legs as they will just not settle and constantly feel uncomfortable. The only way I can manage this is by sitting on the gym ball and having a little bounce while watching tv but if I get it in bed it keeps me awake for ages (and my partner unfortunately)
  • Cramps - I am getting cramps in my legs and feet, not too often but very painful. My partner thought there was something seriously wrong when I shouted out loud due to a leg cramp the one night!
  • Hormones - Yes I have days where I just want to ball my eyes out or just want to kill somebody (usually my partner)
  • Struggling to do my trainers up - to bend for anything is a huge task but trying to do my trainers I have to bend to the side as she is always in the way and I am sure I will be asking for help before long. To bend over to pick something up is embarrassing as I just look ridiculous with my legs apart trying to stretch down!
  • Getting comfortable to sleep is difficult, I need to position my V cushion under my bump now and turning over to sleep on my other side in the night wakes me up as I have to be careful and mindful of which side the baby is sleeping.
  • Needing to go for a wee up to 5 times during the night and feeling so hot and uncomfortable is a nightmare. I am sure this is good practice for when she is here but I am so uncomfortable I would just love to have the occasional full nights sleep.
  • Not being able to drink a bottle of wine! I miss a few glasses now and then and have been invited to more weddings,christenings and special occasions since being pregnant again than any other year.
Now for the good bits -
  • Waking up in the morning to feel her first movements of the days which can still be an elbow sticking out but its comforting to know she is there when I wake up she is warm and safe in my tummy.
  • Realising that the limb sticking out of my stomach feels like toes on her tiny feet - how cute.
  • Being able to eat loads. I must admit I am not pigging out too much, its mostly in the evening and its usually just a bowl of cereal extra to what I would eat, though its nice to have the odd bar of choccy as a treat being as I can't have a drink.
  • Decorating the nursery and buying all the things you need for baby. As I already have K I kept all of his things from when he was a baby which I have been able to re-use this time. eg, the cot, moses basket,cot mobile, baby moniters etc From experience I haven't spent much on a buggy as I know that you don't necessarily get the use out of them and they are all pretty similar. In fact I have gone for a second hand one which has not been used so looks brand new saving us a stack of money! It has a car seat, carry cot, foot muff, raincover and nappy bag so was amazing value.
  • Reading about how your baby is developing week by week. I love checking up on how big our baby is getting and what she is up to inside my tummy. The sites I read from also offer you good tips on what you should be eating and how you might be feeling as the weeks go by.
  • Knowing I am only a few weeks away from meeting our little princess. I keep recalling how I felt after having K and the emotions and love you immediately feel for your little bundle of joy. The first night I spent with K I couldn't sleep as I just kept looking at him, taking him all in and checking he was still there and breathing. I can;t wait to feel like that again plus I can't wait to see K meet his new little sister.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

First Day of School

Well the first day of school for my boy and I couldn't be prouder.

K has been going to the nursery in his school for 2 hours from 9am til 11am for the past year and he has loved it. He has a lovely circle of friends there that he also plays with out of nursery hours and they are all moving up to the reception class together, which is why I have no major worries about him being in school for a longer day.

I have all the usual worries I suppose, what if something happens to him and I am not there to comfort him? Will he eat all his dinner or refuse and end up being hungry all afternoon? Will he get picked on? The thing is that they can't be tied to their mom's apron strings and need their own independence to learn and grow. This is the age now where they can easily adapt to situations and they have that much energy and want to learn everything about the world around them. I feel that K is ready for full-time school and is going to really benefit from being there.

So the night before . . . 7am bedtime, school uniform ready, fruit ready to take for snack time!
Guess what Kieran has a lie in on his first morning of school til 7.20am, bear in mind his usual wake up time is 6.30am! Anyway I wake him up and he is all excited to be going to school to see his friends. I have a chat to him about school dinner and what he will be having today - the school give us a 4 week menu which is great for planning which days you want them to have dinner and which days you may want them to take a packed lunch. As K is a bit fussy there will be days where I know he will refuse to eat certain things so will push him a little but will let him take his own sandwich occasionally.

We left the house early and took lots of photo's on the way and met up with his friends and the mom's all waiting outside. What a great atmosphere outside the school gates, everyone excited, showing off their new shoes and bags etc all the mom's nervous about letting their little ones go for the whole day and thinking what are they going to do with all this spare time on their hands! Then the school bell goes and everyone heads for the door. Me and K join hands and we walk to his new class, find his coat peg and he races in to meet his friends - not even a kiss goodbye!! I look around feeling a bit dejected and see him playing happy with his mates and I feel so proud of him. Then off to work I go!

K is on my mind, I am wondering what he is doing and I find myself looking at the clock timing what he would be doing now. I can't wait to finish work to see how his day has gone. I pull up outside the gates at 3pm and wait outside, he appears 5 minutes later and runs out the door shouting mommy with a big smile on his face - my gorgeous little boy.  He tells me he has eaten all his dinner and been playing trains and that he enjoyed his day.

I am thankful that I picked him up with a smile on his face, he was all in one piece and had eaten his school dinner plus he had enjoyed being with his friends, what more could a mom want?

We have had a little meltdown this evening as he I took him out for a walk after his tea and probably finished him off! I just need to wait for him to adjust to his new routine and school is bound to tire him out more now.

I just can't wait now to have a day off work while K is at school so I can have some me time before all my time is occupied with my new baby girl. Happy Days!

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Breastfeeding - not as easy as it looks!

I am writing this post as I am now 26 weeks pregnant and so have to think about how I am going to feed my baby so I can get myself prepared. As this is my second child I have experience of breast feeding but despite my sheer determination it didn't go as successfully as I thought it would last time.

When I had my boy K he was born 2 weeks early and weighed 6lb 1oz. I was lucky to have a quick natural birth and enjoyed skin to skin contact and immediately breast fed my baby after the birth so all started off smoothly. I knew all the way through my pregnancy that I wanted to breastfeed as it is the most natural way which is good for the baby and good for the mother in many different ways:
  • It gives your baby all the nutrients he/she needs for the first 6 months of their life.
  • It helps to protect your baby from infection and other diseases such as chest infections,ear infections, constipation, upset stomach, being obese and developing eczema.
  • It helps reduce the mothers chances of getting illnesses in later life such as breast and ovarian cancer.
  • Breastfeeding helps the emotional and physical bond between mother and baby.
  • It saves money!
  • You use up to 5oo calories a day breastfeeding which will help shift that baby weight.
Sounds like a no brainer . . . . . 

I had to stay in hospital for 3 days after having K as I spotted jaundice just as I was checking out so he had to be treated on a 'billy bed' to help fight it. While in hospital I breast fed him and found it hard work but I felt he was latching on well and feeling satisfied after his feeds so I was doing o.k. I had been given a barrier cream which I was using called Lansinoh which seemed to help.

K in his Billy bed

When I got home K was feeding every 2 hours and I was finding it hard work, my nipples were starting to hurt in the most excruciating way and I was counting to 10 from when I would first put him on to feed to get through the pain. Not only that I was bursting with milk in the morning and in the afternoon I couldn't seem to satisfy him at all and he was constantly wanting to be on my breast. 

After a week or so of this I spoke to my midwife who advised and watched me breastfeed to ensure K was latching on ok, he had not put on much weight but I was advised to persist with the breastfeeding. Because I was still finding the process so painful I decided to buy some nipple shields, I read pro's and cons on using these but by now one of my nipples was so cracked that I thought it might drop off altogether so I was willing to give anything a try. Again I struggled with these. K was still not putting on any weight and trying to feed constantly and I was an emotional wreck and tired. I started expressing my milk and brought an electric pump.

K with a bit of baby fat on him
The pump helped me see that no matter what I did I ran out of milk in the afternoon, I don't know why but I did and I tried everything!! I then started expressing all my milk so I could make sure K had enough for his feeds and supplemented the afternoon feed with formula milk. K started gaining weight. I managed to keep this up for 3 months before changing over completely to formula milk. Expressing in this way was such hard work but I was so determined at the time. When I stopped giving K breast milk I found it a hard thing for me to give up because I felt such a failure not being able to breastfeed in the proper way and really beat myself up about it but it was taking such a toll on me that it was the right thing to do in the end.
Fun Times
After having a baby it is difficult in the first few months as your emotions and hormones are everywhere anyway and I did feel I had a case of the baby blues after K was born. With K being my first I was always trying to do everything by the book  & 'in the right way' and put so much pressure on myself. All the advice you receive points to breastfeeding and the midwives also encourage it. Breastfeeding was really important to me but I just couldn't do it with K.

This brings me to my decision now, do I put myself under the same pressure again? Will I be more relaxed about it all this time which may help me be more successful at it? I think the biggest lesson I learned with having K is to trust your mothering instinct as you are usually right, nobody knows your baby better than you and you just have to trust yourself. 

As I stand now I am going to try again as I still feel it is important and it is something I really want to be able to do for all the reasons I listed above BUT if I can't for any reason and it is affecting my baby's weight and making me unhappy in any way I will be switching to formula milk. Surely a happy baby and mum is more important than anything else?

I would really like to hear how other mum's have successfully or unsuccessfully breastfed and any tips that can be shared to help me next time. I will let you know how I get on!

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Thomas Land at Drayton Manor Park

Our boy is a Thomas the Tank fanatic, he has a Thomas bed and bedroom, tons of wooden track, Take n Play track and loads of the Thomas engines. He makes tracks and plays with his engines on a daily basis and I read him a Thomas story book practically every night. We have already taken him to A Day out with Thomas at Llangollen which was fantastic so for his 4th birthday we had to take him to Thomasland at Drayton Manor Park, Tamworth.

We were a little worried as his birthday is smack bang in the middle of the summer holidays so you automatically think the park is going to be packed full of people and you are going to be queuing for rides half the time you are there but after a look online I found there was a deal on for the summer so we decided to go for it! We paid £25 each adult and our boy was free as he was still 3 years old, then £3 for parking.

We arrived there on a Monday for about 10.30am and the rides open at 10am, when we booked online I didn't have a printer to print the tickets so had to leave them to be picked up on the day which in hindsight I would have tried to print them off somewhere else as we did have to queue to go in whilst others who had theirs printed walked more or less straight in. Not that we had to queue too long.


We walked through the gates and my boy walked through to Thomas Land practically shaking with excitement running around trying to take everything in, shouting out the names of all the characters he could see, we were thrilled to see his little face all lit up. We had a quick look around and quickly noted that all the rides were close together and there were plenty of shops, restaurants and amusements nearby.

The first ride we went on was Diesels Locomotion Mayhem which my boy loved, we were spun around past different locomotives on a small track, my boy was thrilled he got his first engine choice Mavis to ride! Next we jumped on Harold's Helicopter Tours for a spin round capturing views of the park.

We were pleasantly surprised to find that we were only queuing for between 10 to 20 minutes which was brilliant as a 4 year old does not want to wait long to go on a ride, as we all know you could quickly have a tantrum of some kind on your hands!

As we walked round the park to the next ride we heard some music coming from Knapford Station and sure enough the Fat controller was singing and performing a welcome song for us all  so we stopped to watch the show. Then to my son's delight Percy chuffed into the station to take passengers to Farmer McColls Farm. We decided to join the queue and Percy was closely followed by Thomas who we jumped aboard.

 It was a short trip to the farm and as we arrived we spotted some reindeer from the train and immediately thought how lovely it would be to spend a magical day here near Christmas. We stepped off Thomas and there were pens with different animals in, my boys favourite was the little field mice in a huge glass enclosure all scurrying around.

My boy then went running over to Terence's Driving School to have a go at driving his own tractor. We were really impressed that there was no extra cost because they could have easily put a slot machine on this ride. My boy loved being able to drive all by himself like a big boy!

We then had a look around the Thomas exhibition which was opposite Terence featuring a model railway with all the usual suspects that any Thomas fanatic would love.

There were lots of animals as we walked round, owls, eagles, meerkats, wildcats, a panther and lots of monkeys. We also took a look around the reptile house with snakes, turtles, lizards etc. It was good to have something different to do besides the rides. Not far from the reptile house was Spencers Outdoor Play Area which we managed to avoid as we wanted to go back on the rides but again a great idea and it was keeping lots of little ones happy.

My partner then wanted to try a couple of the bigger rides so he decided on the Shockwave, me and my boy stopped for an ice cream and stopped to see if we could spot him on the ride. Again I was pleasantly surprised to find he only queued for 10 minutes so it wasn't long before we saw him whizzing around on the stand up roller coaster. Next he went onto the Apocolaypse with again a short queue time, I had been on this before and vowed never to go on again - its not for the light hearted!!

Then back to Thomasland or a ride on Winston's Whistle Stop Tour which was a slow ride in the Fat Controllers car high up on a track with views across the park. We also noticed while waiting for this ride that they had a large indoor soft play area for the little one - another brilliant idea, especially for rainy days and parents who need a break!

After riding Winston a ride on the Troublesome Trucks coaster for my boy and his dad. I sat this one out as I was restricted on the kind of rides I could go on being as I was 24 weeks pregnant and this ride wasa bit fast and furious!

Of course we had to stop of at the Thomas Shop for a birthday gift before we went home and our boy had huge pleasure in picking a new engine to add to his selection - a battery operated Edward.

What a fantastic day to be had all round, lots of fun for the whole family grouped together so nobody had to walk far to each ride or attraction or queue for hours (which we have had to do before at other theme parks). There were plenty of shops and places to eat and the rides at Thomasland were such a good assortment for the kids. We were so impressed and would recommend Thomasland and Drayton Manor to everyone and will certainly be back to try out a few rides we couldn't fit in!

#Toptip - purchase the tickets online and print them off at home to avoid queuing on entry.

This is an honest review which I have not received any payment of any kind to write.

Monday, 28 July 2014

You Know Your 23 Weeks Pregnant when:

  • You can rest your cup of tea comfortably on your bump
  • Everybody around you tells you off for lifting anything heavier than a bag of sugar!
  • Your inny belly button starts to push out into an outy - eugh!
  • Your tummy becomes accessible to everyone rubbing and patting it even complete strangers
  • The repetition of your expected birth date, if you are having a boy or girl and if it's your first child or not gets slightly irritating

  • One Born Every Minute becomes top of your playback list and you need a box of tissues every time a baby is born
  • You crap yourself and wonder 'what the hell are you thinking????' every time a woman starts getting contractions on One Born Every Minute!
  • Bra's start getting tighter and if your really lucky you need to buy the next cup size - yippee!!!
  • Bending over to pick something up gets less graceful as you now have to spread your legs to bend and avoid squashing bump.
  • You go for a wee 20 times + a day.
  • When you do wee its a dribble and very disappointing.
  • Your mind starts going into overdrive over what you need to buy and the preparations you need to make - nesting will soon begin!
  • One day life is perfect and you have all the energy in the world and the next day you just want to stay in bed and sleep all day.

  • You have been warned funny pregnancy Shirt

  • The movements of the baby are in a regular pattern and you can't help but smile and rub your tummy throughout the day knowing your keeping your little one safe and happy inside you.