Sleep oh precious sleep

I miss my university days when I couldn’t be bothered to go to morning lectures and instead spent the best part of the day in bed asleep. Oh for the days I could easily sleep until 1pm without even stirring beforehand. Nowadays a lie in is anytime past 7am and even if I can sleep without getting up for the Boy, I inevitably wake at 7am wide awake wondering who on earth is attending to his calls.

And as if things weren’t sleep deprived enough, pregnancy has decided to have its go and rob me of some more. I can cope with the general uncomfortableness of having a little being attached to my front but what I cannot understand is why my body insists on waking me from a deep slumber with agonising cramp? To make things worse when I shake the Man and plead with him to “push my leg, my leg” he stirs in slow motion and huffs at me for disturbing his sleep – I tell you, we had words.

Why is it that turning over in bed during pregnancy becomes a three stage process for which you need to be conscious to perform it – 1) turn onto your back taking bump with your hands as you go; 2) heave your legs over to one side one at a time and; 3) turn bump onto side ensuring it is not squashed by the rest of you. I can only imagine that mother nature knows we are going to be sleep deprived once Poppy arrives and is therefore teaching us to survive such conditions, forgetting I already have an unreliable toddler to do that for her.

To end on a positive note, my sleep has been vastly improved since delivery of my Theraline maternity pillow. Its like a large, oddly shaped sausage at about 6 foot long and fits perfectly between my legs. It takes the pressure off the bump whilst also leaving enough for me to cuddle as a replacement husband (he likes to cuddle for 2 minutes then throws me off as he is “too hot” before scooting over to his own side). It comes with a really pretty removable cover which is a very nice material and doesn’t get too hot or stuffy in bed, this is great as body temperature regulation in pregnancy is non-existant! The cover is antiallergenic, warm, breathable and can be washed at 140° – not so important now I am using it as a maternity pillow but when Poppy is born and I use it as nursing pillow this will be really useful, especially if Poppy regurgitates as much of my precious milk as the Boy did!

The filling is microbeads which mould really well to your body although the pillow does occasionally need reshuffling to ensure the beads are in the right place but its very easy to do. I use it in lots of different positions, sometimes putting it under my back if I lie on it for a bit and need some extra support. I love the versatility of this pillow. I got a really bad back when pregnant with the Boy but I didn’t have a maternity pillow then so I hope the Theraline maternity pillow will reduce my bad back pain this time, its certainly improving my sleep.

I cannot recommend this pillow enough for pregnant women or even non-pregnant people with a bad back, it is comfortable, versatile and moulds well to support problem areas. It isn’t cheap at £45 (including cover) but I think it is well worth it.

I was not paid for this review but was provided with the product free of charge. All opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way.

 

20 week scan

The Man and I went to the hospital on Monday morning for my 20 week scan (I was actually 21+3 but we had missed it at 20 weeks as we were on holiday), we were both fairly relaxed as I had been feeling Poppy kick for a couple of weeks so we knew it was definitely there but of course there was a little worry that everything wouldn’t be perfect. The sonographer said the usual “I will scan you first and take a look and then let you see” during which time your heart beats like a drum and you think you’ve imagined every movement, but luckily this only lasted for about 10 seconds and we quickly saw our babys heart beating like a drum on the screen. It was awesome.

Apparently it has arms, legs, hands, feet, a heart with 4 chambers with blood going in and out, a head with a brain, no cleft lip, kidneys and thanks to a close up of its face we even know it has a tongue! Poppy is alive and well and as far as they can tell to date, perfectly formed. I decided I want a surprise version so we didn’t find out the sex, the Man wanted to find out but readily agreed to my decision when I glared at him with evil pregnancy hormoned eyes. I cannot wait to find out, but for now I am enjoying guessing using the old wives tales.

It was a lovely time for us and we came away with big grin and excitement at what the future holds. So here Poppy is (its the head and chest in case you can’t figure it out!)

 

Poppy at 21+3

Listography – Decisions

I haven’t done a Listography for a while but I couldn’t resist this one. I really believe in this Sliding Doors concept and sometimes wish I had a crystal ball to see what might have happened if I took the other path. Luckily I am very happy with my life so no regrets about anything but I can’t help but wonder sometimes, what if.

From Kate – This week Listography is inspired by the amazing Christine Mosler at Thinly Spread. If you have been living under a rock with an eye patch on each eye and bananas in your ears you may not have heard about the Save the Children ‘No Child Born To Die’ campaign. If this is the case please click this link immediately to sign the petition before coming back here to read on.

So here are mine:

Going to Bradford University

When I was younger, I wanted to be a childrens TV presenter or a newsreader, I always was a show off! I got a place on a Broadcast Journalism course at Falmouth College but when I went to visit I wasn’t convinced that it was the right place for me and I was a bit concerned that the course would be fun to do but not lead anywhere. So I decided to see what else was out there and eventually decided on the Business and Management, course for people who don’t know what they want to do with their life, at Bradford. And it was fab – new friends, drinking, boys, drinking, currys, drinking, you get the idea. But most importantly it set the path for my whole life today, I met my husband there and got myself onto a Banks graduate programme which has led me to my current career. If it weren’t for Bradford University who knows where I would be – CBeebies I guess!

Having the Boy

He was not a planned baby so when we found out I was pregnant we were shocked. We had only been married 9 months but we have a nice, if a bit small, house and good jobs each, so although we were in a good position to have children we just hadn’t considered it happening yet. I think, of all the decisions the Man and have made in our life together, this one was was the quickest and the quietest – it was a look, a holy hell what’s happened here look, what are we going to do and then a nod in agreement – it took all of about 5 seconds. Hands down, best decision EVER!

Charting my fertility

I am a control freak and if I am going to do something I like to get it done and I research things a lot. So when the Man and I agreed to have Baby number 2 I went to find out how to get pregnant – honestly there are ways and means! Charting is monitoring various aspects of your body to predict when you will ovulate so you can time SWI (sex with intent for those non-Mumsnetters!) Lets face it, we’ve been married 4 years and have a toddler who wakes in the night occasionally, every day was just not going to happen! I loved charting, partly because it made me feel a bit more in control of the process but mainly because I learnt some fascinating new things about how our bodies work. For example, did you know that after ovulation your body temperature goes up by 0.1-0.3 degrees and then drops back down when you get your period. I am in awe of how clever our bodies are and feel enlightened for having learnt it. Oh and it helped me get pregnant so was also successful.

Joining a Tennis Club

I am useless at exercise, it bores me, but I have always enjoyed sports. Since the Boy was born I haven’t been able to play much as it would require a babysitter and we don’t have many local friends so last Summer I took the plunge and turned up to the local tennis club and asked to join. It was a bit scary but I am really pleased I did it, I am not very good  (although improving thanks to my 21 year old cute instructor) but I can see myself getting better which gives me Wimbledon hopes yet. The pregnancy is going to stop me playing at some point but I hope it will only be a 6 month break or so.

Writing this post

If I hadn’t, you might not be reading and I will have missed out on your lovely comments below! 😉

The Baby Show

So I finally made it to a Baby Show on Friday, despite having tickets for shows for the last two years thanks to the Boy and his various chest infections (a long story), we missed out. In hindsight maybe fate was telling me to hold on until I was actually pregnant (I am, did I tell you already?) so I could justifiably spend money on cute things.

It was a mammoth journey from leafy Surrey via two trains, one tube, various escalators and a 3 mile hike from the train station to the exhibition hall at the NEC in Birmingham. I met my hired hand for the day at the station (my sister) and off we went to explore the delights on offer.My main goal for the day was to check out the Stokke Xplory, the pram I wanted to get for the Boy but didn’t as it is very expensive and now every time I see a cute little baby sitting up high having a nice chat with Mummy or Daddy in one I am overcome with envy and regret. So as soon as I found out I was pregnant I told Hubby that this was what I was going to get and the sensible streak in him knows when not to argue with a hormonal pregnant woman.

The Boy was my wonderful guinea pig for the Xplory and really loved it and although it is a mammoth item which will dominate our small dining room and boot space, I think most pram systems do this and so overall it’s worth it.

The Boy had a lovely time in the Fisher Price crèche – usually I don’t put him in crèches as on my day off I like to make the most of my time with him but he wanted to go in and I wanted to shop so it was a win win situation.

There was a Twitter / Facebook meet up in the afternoon and it was really nice to put faces to names of @petitmew, @mummymatters, @cafebebe, @mammamcann, @theBabyShow and to meet a new Tweeter @geekmummy.

I was very pleased with myself for being sensible but still coming away with some great buys so here is a quick rundown of what I got:

All in all spending a grand total of £241 (oops, it sounds like a lot when you count it all up!)

Pregnancy Etiquette Guide

Talking with some lovely ladies on Twitter today got me thinking about how discussing pregnancy is a political and emotional minefield but of course you don’t realise this until you have actually been pregnant and had to deal with the seemingly innocent comments which incur a new kind of wrath within thanks to a barrage of sometimes irrational hormones.

So for every man out there and ladies who have never been or are not yet pregnant I give you your guide to Pregnancy Etiquette:

DON’T

  • comment on bump size, for example please do not say “its not very big is it” or “wow you’re big already” or “are you sure there is only one in there” – this kind of comment will leave the mother to be fretting about her precious unborn child not growing properly or being so huge she will be torn to pieces on its exit.
  • give any negative reaction to finding out the sex of the Baby – it cannot be changed and despite having half a dozen boys at home it does not mean that another one is a disappointment. Think about it this way when you say “its a shame you’re having another boy/girl” said mother to be will be mortally offended as you are basically saying “oh you don’t want another one like the one you’ve already got” or if they did actually want to branch out of pink/blue clothing you are reminding them that they can’t.
  • compare bump size with other pregnant ladies you know – we all grow differently and we do not want to hear about your sodding friend who hasn’t put on any weight and has a “neat little bump”.
  • touch the bump, why on earth do people think this is ok? If someone touched you on your body you would have the right to sue for sexual harassment. It is not a touchy feely free for all. A lot of pregnant women don’t mind the bump being touched but for gods sake ask first please.
  • make assumptions for us, this may be an area where we use pregnancy to our advantage, particularly when it comes to heavy lifting and cleaning out pets but do not assume a pregnant women is handicapped in anyway because we are still the same woman we were before we were pregnant. Losing the ability to eat and drink and do whatever you want is very frustrating. So rather than miss us out when you pour wine or dish out pate ask nicely “would you like some”.
  • upon finding out the sex do not ask “does that mean you will go for another after this one” because this one of the same sex is just a blip and we surely need to rectify the mistake with another one. Insulting to say the least.
  • try to think of more interesting questions than “when’s it due” and “do you know what you’re having”, or at least don’t ask them first – we hear them a hundred times a day.
  • regale first time mothers with horrific birth stories or educate them on perineal massage and episiotomys, they will learn in their own good time.
DO’S
  • give up your seat on public transport / park bench / couch.
  • offer a back rub although this is probably best reserved for close friends / family.
  • expand your horizons when entertaining and buy nice non-alcoholic drinks, I’m not talking about water, squash and coke but sparkling grape, elderflower, non-alcoholic lager.
  • congratulate them when they announce the sex of the baby (see above)
Many thanks go to @mummylimited, @snafflesmummy, @tmntanning@VannaBeAViking, @JordanFleet, @Kellyfairy, @icod and @LisaGCreates for their contributions to this piece.
Please comment with any of your biggest Pregnancy Faux Pas I have forgotten.

Baby Best Buys

So I am pregnant again (15 weeks tomorrow!) and I am very excited at the prospect of going shopping again and it got me thinking about the best buys (or presents) we had for the Boy. There are so many products out there and so many different brands that its a minefield for any soon to be parents and even second/third timers who have forgotten, much like the agonising pain of labour and sleep deprivation which would cause us all to stop with one.

So here are my Best Buys with the Boy that I will be buying / fetching out of the cellar / claiming back from friends for this one:

  • This Swaddle calmed the Boy right down (after we fought him to get it on) and helped him sleep much better. It worked until about 12 weeks old when he could fight his way out. In hindsight I will probably buy one with a zip next time as it means they can’t escape so easily! Calms and soothes baby.
  • Mamas and Papas bath was a fantastic baby bath which enabled me to bath the Boy on my own when the Man wasn’t there and still have my hands free to wash him / play row row with him rather than holding him so he didn’t slip under the water. Perfect if you are bathing a baby alone.
  • You may have read this post about me wanting to save the environment but in the early days I could barely get myself dressed and fed so putting nappies in the equation would have been a nightmare. Instead we used a great local Nappy Laundry Service which would drop off 40 nappies a week and pick up the dirty ones. We paid £8 a week in 2008 so slightly more than the same amount of disposables but still a reasonable price. For an easier introduction to reusable nappies.
  • Nursing chairs can be expensive but for me it was worth every penny to have a really comfy place to breastfeed / bottle feed the Boy, especially after still suffering with a bad back from pregnancy. At 3am the last thing you want is somewhere uncomfortable. We got a second hand Cosatto one which cost £300 new including a footstall for £120! Check out eBay or Gumtree for really good second hand ones.
  • This Baby Gym was given to us by a friend but it was worth its weight in gold.
    The Boy would happily spend hours under it (from about 3 weeks old) until he was about 6 months old and a bit more active. Gives you some time with two hands to yourself!
  • We bought this Baby Bjorn bouncer after reading great reviews on it, I think it must be the most expensive bouncer out there but we managed another bargain eBay purchase for it. Its great for carrying around the house to different rooms (much easier than the gym) so the Boy would sit in it if I needed to cook or when I was in the bath. A really good portable entertainment device.
  • Once the Boy was born it was clear he wasn’t going to follow the instructions manual and sleep when and where I wanted him to. Instead when he was a few days old I spent hours scouring the internet for a sling. We ended up buying this Kari Me sling which is a really long piece of material that wraps around you and baby pops inside. It was a lifesaver, especially when he also refused to go in his pram, so I would wear it for nap times (the only thing that ever made him sleep instantly) and walk to the shops or tidy up or sometimes just sit in the nursing chair and snooze. Sometimes I breastfed the Boy in it too as you can do it hands free. In case they want to be rocked to sleep and you want to use your hands
  • The Morrck Baby Hoodie is very very clever, rather than wrestling your baby into a snowsuit or struggling to get them out of it when they are asleep and you come indoors this wraps around them to create a lovely warm environment but can be easily unwrapped without disturbing them. Don’t bother buying a snowsuit, get one of these. 

>I’m so excited and I just can’t hide it

>I would like to continue the words to the Crunchie advert here but I have completely gone off chocolate since finding out I am PREGNANT. Yay yay yay. If you remember one of my first blog posts was about having a miscarriage on Christmas Day 2010 so you can imagine how over the moon I was this morning at our 12 week scan to see a beautiful, if slightly alien looking, baby with a really real live heartbeat.

I am due on the 4th of November as I know when I conceived (I was charting, which is a whole other post) but the hospital keep dating me at the 2nd because of my period dates, which is quite funny as that is the day DS was due 3 years ago. The Man is already taking about “birthday party economies of scale”. My nuchal scan risk is 1 in 8092, not quite as low as the Boy’s (1 in 24,515) but I still wouldn’t bet on that horse!

I already have quite a bump thanks to the Boy who all but ruined my stomach muscles but more than makes up for it in cuddles and kisses. The Boy is quite excited about Poppy, so named because it was the size of a poppy seed when I found out I was pregnant (the Boy was called Peanut), and tells us he wants a brother called Sister or a sister called Brother. I am not entirely sure he gets the concept as he told me the other day that he has a Poppy in his belly button. I assured him that his was merely from eating so much ice cream!

So now my blog becomes a parenting and a pregnancy one. I am very excited to be able to use this medium to keep updated on my pregnancy. Coming up next, Bump Watch!