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36 Week Update – almost there now!

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Slightly late with this update but we’re nearly there now – 4 weeks and counting!

I have been so lucky this time and really haven’t had much to grumble about but this past fortnight has been a bit stressful, I’ve been to the midwife twice and the hospital three times to monitor baby’s growth as I am now measuring 7 cm under (how measuring the bumps of all women and expecting a similar result, regardless of their body size/shape can be accurate I have no idea?!)

Thankfully everything is fine.

However, little one is exactly that so the monitoring must continue. I have a week off but then at 37/38 Weeks we’re back in to another round of midwife and scan appointments.

Our new addition is definately going to be dinky but not super tiny, around the 5-6lb mark they’ve predicted. Everything is showing as perfectly healthy at the moment, there is enough fluid and the placenta function is fine but because now I haven’t grown at all for 8 weeks (that’s me – I know baby has as I’m soooo much more uncomfortable with every kick and squirm!) it has to be checked that all continues OK.

I’m really pleased everything is being taken seriously now after my earlier concerns and as I’m hoping for a home birth still it is great that so far everybody I’ve encountered has said there is no reason as things stand that we can’t proceed with those plans. In fact, after feeling my midwife was not concerned enough she now seems more so than my first and has been very thorough in going through with me the reasons why I or baby may need to be transferred either during or after delivery, one being if baby is under 2.5kg as they will want to monitor blood sugar levels.

I’m trying to block out a lot of the ‘what ifs’ as although I understand it’s necessary to touch upon things I don’t feel it’s very helpful to dwell. I’m going to plug in my Natal Hypnotherapy and drift off into my little bubble where I’m in control.

In other news…we have been continuing to turn the house upside down with reorganisation, part of this has been turning the ‘spare room’ into Ted’s new bedroom, complete with new big boy bed (and bed guard!) We had no idea how he’d take to moving to a bed and swapping his beloved sleeping bag for a proper duvet but he couldn’t have responded better – we’ve had no resistance or disturbances at all which at only 20 months I thought was pretty amazing. These little people really are awesome!

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How gorgeous is the Next Car Bedding??

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The baby’s room looks like a storage dumping ground at the moment but actually it’s just all the things we’ll need when they arrive complete with birthing pool and homebirth boxes and a lifetimes supply of towels! We are 100% ready now and have nothing left to buy…just the final bit of waiting to do!

Ted and I have been having a lovely time together recently and I am having twinges of sadness that we don’t have many more 1:1 days remaining. I have been encouraging him to concentrate on activities like painting, drawing and reading in the hope that these will help in the early days. He’s loving them all, we’ve always shared books but now he really listens and points out things in the pictures too and he loves climbing into the book box to pick the next story!

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As for making a mess and then getting to sit in the sink and help wash up after too…that’s been a massive hit! 🙂

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So, on to things I’ve loved over the past few weeks…

Omperazole – oh my do I love this stuff! When gaviscon just isn’t hitting the spot these little magic pills make all the difference. Without them, nothing stays down but one little yellow tablet and I can actually enjoy both my meals and sleep at night, bliss!

The Mokee Woolnest

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Wow, finally a stylish moses basket that isn’t covered in gross frilly covers! This is what we have been waiting for, well what I have been anyway and I can’t be alone, surely? My thoughts…
– They’re a great price,
– I love, love, love the coloured handles,
-The liners and sheets are gorgeous and ridiculously reasonable
-AND I can’t believe the stand is included too!

I think it’s fantastic that the brand has shunned the big stores to allow them to keep prices lower but they really need to up their advertising as people need to know about this cool, stylish alternative to the standard frill fest baskets! Mokee, take note – step 1, get with the times and start tweeting, your silence is madness!!

Finally…the Sunshine, it has made washing and drying all those final bits (that there are so many more of than I realised) a lot easier so thank you Mother Nature for that final burst of October sun!

Until Next time…38 weeks, eekk!

These opinions are purely my own and completely independent, no products or financial gain have been received from featured companies.

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29 Week Update

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29 weeks and I’ve been shopping! I’ve tried not to spend too much on maternity clothes as it feels like a waste for such a short amount of time but I have a few social things to go to over the next couple of weeks and wanted to feel nice, so a treat seemed in order.

There are virtually no shops you can buy maternity wear in, in Southampton so I decided to pop to a small local shopping village called Whiteley which I knew had both a Topshop and H&M that stocked an albeit small and limited selection.

Somebody was obviously smiling upon me, it is so difficult to find maternity clothes that don’t make you look frumpy and/or drowning in material when you are petite, Everything seems to sit at the wrong point, not accentuate the tiny bit of remaining waist I have and just hang until it meets the widest point of my calf!

I have seen a lot of talk of dungarees recently, I never thought I’d be swayed but I found a pair in Topshop that I loved so went back today hoping they’d have some – only to find them there and marked down to £20 in the sale, bingo! Then they went through the till for £10. £10! £10 in Topshop – day made, right there!!

Then we popped into H&M and I spotted the dress, I recognised it would hug my boobs and waist and then skim down and stop above my knee plus it was only £15 – SOLD! Imagine my excitement when that too went through the till reduced, £7! Thank you very much!!

A successful 20 minutes of shopping followed by brunch with Ted and my bestie…Pretty much a perfect Friday!

I’ve also had my latest midwife appointment since my last post and unfortunately I’m still left feeling pretty disappointed. My midwife is really nice but I don’t feel very cared for. She measured me at 3cm small (25cm at almost 28weeks) and said she was going to refer me for a scan, then changed her mind as I was 3 days away from 28 weeks, I’m fine with this and am pretty confident all is OK, I carried small with Ted and think that’s probably just normal for me but I do feel it should be monitored a bit as last time I stopped growing completely at 33 weeks. I thought I’d be offered an additional check but no, it will be 7 weeks between my last and next appointment! I know I can call and request one once she’s back and do intend to if I don’t think I’m growing but it is a massive contrast to the care and attention I received when I was carrying Ted and think it’s really sad that I feel like a nuisance rather than excited by my appointments.

Anyway, onto more positive things!This week I’m loving…

Spatone – with my iron levels being low and me being really loathed to get bunged up by iron tablets I wanted to try other routes first. I’m getting my fill of red meat, green veg and vitamin c rich foods plus cutting out tea and coffee most of the time but this and a (foul tasting) vegetable supplement seem to be helping too – I didn’t realise how exhausted I was until I stopped being! Anyone using/thinking of using Spatone, head to Amazon, it is half the price on there.

Gas and Air Blog – I stumbled across Clemmie (or Midwifey Hooper) a few months ago and have been very envious of her cool London life and love her approach to midwifery (I really wish she was mine!) She’s a massive advocate of empowering women, choices, home birth and the use of hypnobirthing and I’ve found reading her blog and the featured stories the perfect complement to my birth preparations.

Sleep! – It has returned and I couldnt be happier, after approx 3 months of only a few hours here and there I’ve now had three nights of more than eight hours, it’s blissful and I want to bottle this feeling for a few weeks time!

See you at 31 weeks…eekk, being in the thirties makes everything feel very real!!

MaternityMondays
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Increasing Iron – Pregnancy Fun!

After my 28 week midwife check up on Tuesday, I received a phone call to tell me that my HB levels were low.

Low. I don’t know how low or what this means as I didnt get a call from a medical professional who wanted to discuss this with me. I just had a message from a receptionist with the ‘update’ and notification that a doctor had left me a prescription for iron tablets (Ferrous Sulphate) at the surgery.

Is it me or is this really bad practice? I haven’t met this doctor before, she knows nothing about my pregnancy, any related ailments I have or my feelings on medication. She hasn’t explained my levels to me or what they mean but she has prescribed me tablets that by all accounts are likely to leave me with some horrible side effects and feeling generally yuk. She also feels it’s appropriate to do this and ask somebody with no medical training or ability to answer my queries to notify me, like it is a done deal and I should just do as I’m told.

As you can probably sense, I won’t just be doing as I’m told without research and consultation!

I am not against medication but I am against not being able to ask questions that enable me to weigh up the pros and con’s for myself. I am having a Whooping Cough jab on Monday so will be asking the nurse to provide me with more information about my levels then which will enable me to make a fully informed decision.

I have however in the meantime contacted my midwife plus two private midwifes I have done Natal Hypnotherapy with, all of whom have said my levels are very unlikely to be at a stage (especially as I’m suffering no symptoms) where I cannot try and control them through diet initially and then if necessary resort to medication later.

They also provided me with the following advice;

– It is normal and healthy for HB to go down as pregnancy progresses, especially once in the third trimester.

– You aren’t at any greater risk of having a big blood loss if your iron level is low, it is just that if you do, you won’t cope with it as well.

– Side effects of Iron tablets are common and can include abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhoea, heartburn and nausea.

– Taking spatone twice a day will improve your levels as will increasing iron rich foods in your diet. Red meat, poultry, leafy green veg, beans, pulses, dried fruit, eggs, fortified wholegrain cereals and bread plus include lots of vitamin C rich foods/drinks with meals as this helps iron absorption. 

– Avoid drinking tea around meal times as tannin blocks iron from being absorbed.

– Avoid high levels of caffeine, calcium, wholegrain cereals (although wholegrains are a good source of iron themselves, they contain phytic acid, which can stop your body absorbing iron if too much is consumed) and soya as all can prevent effective iron absorption.

– Vitamin B12 is also needed to absorb Iron, not in your gut at the same time like with Vitamin C but to make chemicals that are part of the Iron uptake process (i.e. you can have it anytime in the day). It’s in dairy, eggs and marmite or you can get vitamin pills.

– You need stomach acid to absorb B12 so make sure you’re not taking antacids/heart burn relief around the time you’re eating your source of B12.

I have also looked at natural supplements myself and today, in Sainsburys I found this…

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It isn’t cheap, this pack is normally £10 but was on offer at £7.50 today. I think it will be worth it though and should last me about 3 weeks as a 10g serving provides over 340% RDA of Iron and 1120% of B12.

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It is by a company called Bioglan Super foods and can be added to food easily, so I have ditched the morning coffee (probably already should have anyway!) and have started having a green smoothie instead.

Today’s Iron boosting breakfast smoothie contained:
1 banana
Handful of frozen berries
1/4 avocado
200ml Orange juice (fresh, not from concentrate)
Handful of spinach
1/4 Cucumber

This made two portions and I then added a heaped teaspoon (approx 5g)of green powder to each. I’m not going to lie, it tastes like pond water but I just drank it with a straw quickly! I’m going to play around with different ingredients and look at adding things like peanut butter and agarve nectar to make it slightly more appealing but I figure 30 seconds of enduring the drink is better than 11 weeks + of tablet side effects!

My plan now is to have one of these for breakfast everyday, to make sure I have red meat, chicken and/or eggs every day plus plenty of green veg and pulses and to swap caffeinated drinks for herbal teas. My midwife has said she can then retest me at 34 weeks which still leaves us time to take medicated action if completely necessary.

All of this info plus some personal stories have really helped me relax and feel confident I can take control of this without needing to medicate straightaway.

I know it probably seems as though I am over reacting but as I’m planning a second home birth I feel it especially important I’m in the best health possible and feel quite strongly that my medical care should be a discussion between myself and a professional not just an unexplained prescription left at a desk and if the NHS is struggling financially why are doctors offering prescriptions first if other options are available?

I’d love to hear your thoughts and any Iron boosting tips!