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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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33 Week Update

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7 weeks to go!

The end really is starting to feel in sight now and I’m in a good place.

I’m feeling really happy and positive, I’m not too tired, not feeling too fat, am only being sick on average once or twice a day and I’m sleeping pretty well generally – life is good!

I’ve had a fab couple of weeks with Ted who is completely crazy  check him out here in Next today!! I’m loving all the fun we have so much.

I finally managed to get hold of my midwife who agreed she should see me again to check growth, I was just on the border of the 3cm’s they’re happy with but I’d grown a fair amount and everything else was good so she was satisfied all was OK to be left until my appointment this week.

Peanut has been wriggling and digging my hips and ribs plenty so I’m pretty confident all is well too plus we have a scan in 10 days anyway as part of the Vitamin D trial I am part of, can’t wait!

Since my last update we completed our Natal Hypnotherapy course which was brilliant and something I highly recommend – a full post on that is on the way. I’m now swotting up and practicing.

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Things I’ve loved this fortnight…

– Following on from above, my Natal Hypnotherapy CD. I loved using the Birth Prep CD last time and was surprised how much my subconscious remembered. I have eased straight back in to it and have loved treating myself to an hour lying down each lunchtime while Ted is napping, to relax and prepare myself. I’m also convinced it has helped my sleeping too as I pop it on at night if I’m struggling and drift back off.

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Pampering myself, this week I have had my hair cut, my eyebrows threaded and my toes gelled – I love how spoilt a good pamper has made me feel. I’ve also had a big splurge in Origins that my skin is thanking me for.

Nesting, my house has never been cleaner or more organised and I love it!

– These gorgeous Milestone Cards from Landmark Moments…we can’t wait to find out when we’ll get to use this one!

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I was lucky enough to be sent them for review but loved them so much that I’ve already purchased a couple of packs for expectant friends. They’re large, bright and have unusual yet attractive illilustrations on them, I really like that they contain a mixture of week/month and developmental milestones. They’re a bargain present idea at less than £10 too.

I’ll see you for the next update at 35 weeks…hopefully I’ll be feeling just as sunny then too!

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Preparing to become a Big Brother

With Peanut’s arrival becoming ever more imminent now I started thinking more seriously about making sure Ted is as prepared as possible for the arrival of his new sibling.

So far we have…

– Been talking about the baby lots.

– Ted has been to all my midwife appointments with me – although generally he’s been trying to stop the lady touching me and then concentrating on eating the snack I’ve distracted him with rather than taking a great interest in what’s happening but as he’s only 19 months I don’t think that’s too much of a concern!

Including bump, in the morning when we snuggle up and slowly come round he now will lift my top up and kiss/blow raspberries on bump, we always use this as an opportunity to talk about the baby and how lovely he is being.

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– A new game called ‘Dinner, Dinner, Baby!’ This started with Ted lifting up both his top and mine and me telling him his tummy was full of dinner and mine full of baby…Daddy has since been added in and it has given us many laughs!

Including Ted in the preparations, letting him help unpack deliveries and talking to him about what everything is for. This has proved entertaining for everyone if nothing else!

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Helping! I am pretty obsessive about moisturising and in the morning as soon as Ted sees the pot of Bump Cream he heads straight on over with demands of “Ted, cream, help!” And then proceeds to rub cream on my bump…and then generally all over himself too!!

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Stories, We have been regularly reading:
There’s a House inside my Mummy for about the past 10 weeks and as well as being a lovely story that we all enjoy the illustrations are simple and easy to relate to our family so I definitely think they’ve helped make a few connections. We have also just added I’m a New Big Brother to our book collection on the recommendation of Emma at Our Fairytale Adventure, this is another lovely book to help understanding and the giggling noise button has given us some giggles of our own too. Ted instantly related to the story and pointed to my tummy during the first time we shared it and has asked to read it many times since.

Preparation, We decided rather than getting Ted a specific present from the baby that I would make a ‘feeding box’ a selection of old and new toys, stories and activities that I’ve put away in a large box that will be from the baby, dragged out at each feed time and packed away after. This will hopefully keep him happy and occupied (alongside a drink and snack) and allow me to feed the baby without an irate toddler protesting or any jealously ensuing! So far we have some building blocks, a few new and a few old favourite books, toy cars, dinosaurs and animals, aqua doodle mini and a dustpan and brush (Ted loves to clean!!). We also plan to let him have some chill out time in front of the TV during one feed and hope he’ll nap during another…all sounds so simple in theory!!

Is there anything else you think we could do to make things easier on the little guy?

The Twinkle Diaries
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31 Week Update – signs I really am having a(nother) baby!

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I think I’ve been slightly in denial but this week and the arrival into the 30’s has been a reality check…it has dawned on me that I really am having another baby and pretty soon!

Aside from the obvious bump, the fact I’m now being forcefully kicked a quite frankly unreasonable amount of the time and that flopping down on the sofa in the evening doesn’t include a glass of wine currently the big eye openers for me this week were…

– The pram top arrived for the new buggy…

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– The birthing pool being delivered and sitting in the corner of the room staring at me…

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– Hypnotherapy classes beginning and starting my own lunchtime relaxation time. I will do full post on these in the near future.

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– Essential DIY work has been completed – out with the horrible old carpet…

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And in with the lovely new laminate! Much more practical for a house that is going to have even more food and bodily fluids flying around it in a few weeks!

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Sickness, aahhh just like their big brother was this little one is cramped and refuses to share space with my meals, so is kicking them straight back out again. It’s exhausting.

– Nesting has commenced…Lots of organising, cleaning and purchasing of very boring things like new mops, brushes and dustpans – what’s happened to me?!

Oh that’s right…I really am having a(nother) baby!

On a more positive note, things I’ve loved this week:

Naps – any excuse to crawl back into bed when Ted does is taken!

My little helper – everybody needs a personal moisturiser!!

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Feeling organised – although I’m hoping this little one isn’t planning on springing a surprise early arrival on us I’m organised enough (or almost) that we’d be OK!

Pregnant Friends – I have a handful of friends with due dates four weeks either side of mine and it’s great having people to share the highs and lows with who are in the same position/ level of discomfort!

See you at 33 Weeks.

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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!

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27 Week Update

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The approach to 27 weeks has been a really busy one!

We have spent time away in Cornwall, staying at the fab Cornwall Hotel and Spa (details here), had a great day out at the Eden Project (see Ted’s photo diary here!).

I returned from our break to a full week of old school nanny work – It’s been over 19 months since I’ve done any and it was lovely but so tiring, I was extremely grateful for the 8.30am starts Ted gifted me with over the weekend!

I have been really surprised this week at different reactions to my bump, it depends on clothing a lot but I seem able to make myself look very pregnant or just a little bit rounder than normal with ease at the moment…give me another couple of weeks though and I’m sure it’ll be all change!

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Looking quite 'bumpy' here!

Movements have increased quite a lot over the past few days and although this baby is a lot quieter than Ted I am really aware of their presence now and am beginning to notice a definite pattern to the squirming which is reassuring. This time I am really noticing how low the baby is though and often feel like he/she is trying to escape feet first!!

On Tuesday I finally have another Midwife appointment – I’ve been really disappointed with the care this time, with Ted I felt so looked after and supported by my midwife but this time I’ve hardly seen anyone and when I have it has always been a different person so I’ve just felt like I’m repeating myself…fingers crossed on Tuesday I’ll get to see the lady I actually booked the appointment with.

This week I’m loving…

Tiba and Marl bags 💕 Check them out!! I only discovered them this week but I signed up to the waiting list for a Lime Green Mabel Bag straight away – bright, fun, practical and stylish…I need this bag in my life!

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The Lime Mabel isn’t available until January (I’m not sure I can wait that long!!) However, the rest of the range releases next month but be quick as I’m sure they won’t be around for long! The ladies behind the company are real #mumboss(es) so not only can you grab yourself an awesome piece but you can support some fellow yummy mummies trying to make it without returning to the 9-5 grind too!

My new Pregnancy Pillow...the lovely people at http://www.pregnancypillow.net sent me one of their amazing U – shaped Pillows and WOW, it is awesome!

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Ted was impressed as soon as we collected it and had his very own soft play session on the front lawn!

I was amazed when I opened it and saw how big it was and quickly decided that fate was telling me I should have a lunchtime nap when Ted did – I sent Rich this selfie (excuse the quality!) with the caption “I may never have been happier”

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See my full review here!

And finally…EBay!
It has been quite the revelation for me – I appreciate I’m just a few years behind here!
I have managed to grab some real bargains, maternity dresses and jeans that still have tags on for a fraction of their original cost plus larger items I’ve been coverting that I’ve made great savings on.

This week was my best find yet, I knew I wanted an Armadillo Flip XT from Mamas and Papas as soon as I saw it – stylish, light and compact it ticked all the boxes for us and will be easy to travel with.

I was obviously just planning to take a trip to M&P to purchase and then I popped the description into the eBay search bar! It is a new model that has been out less than a year so I was surprised to see them pop up reasonably regularly and really pleased to find most were being offered brand new.

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I purchased a brand new Navy and Tan one for an almost £200 saving – this was an unwanted gift and had never been pushed outside, amazing!

A full XT review will follow…just as soon as I have the accessories, oh and a baby to put in it!

I’ll see you again at 29 weeks for another update…lots of love x

MaternityMondays
The Twinkle Diaries