Tag Archives: pregnancy

O Hai!

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Sorry I’ve been a but quiet…I had a baby!

8 days early baby D arrived in a bit of a hurry! On the whole it has been a really positive experience for which I am massively grateful. We are of course very shell-shocked as it really is something quite all encompassing and intense.

A brief rundown of the birth story:

9 am Monday 9 th Sept my waters went! I called Mr Bumpy back from work and called the hospital who told me to come in. They said I’d likely be sent home so not to bring all our stuff in but we already had much of it in the car so chucked the rest in anyway. Contractions started at ten am and by the time we got to the hospital at about midday, they were coming every 3 to 4 minutes but weren’t too strong and lasting about thirty seconds. The midwife got us into maternity triage, checked my waters and discussed  going home for a bit. I mentioned that I wasn’t too keen as genetics suggest that once I got going things might be quite quick.

We headed off to the canteen to grab lunch (slow going and someone gave us a wheelchair! ). I couldn’t eat and the contractions got worse and longer. When we got back to see the midwife she was quite shocked at how quickly things had progressed and on examination found that I was 7cm dilated at 1 pm.

I was hurried straight to the pool room (Yes!!) whilst Mr Bumpy grabbed all our things from the car. At 3.35 our gorgeous boy was born in the pool. It was magical and horrific and wonderful and crazy. The gas and air was brilliant and got me through it and also got me a little bit high! There was a point at which the midwives had to suggest gently that I moved the mask away from my face when I wasn’t having a contraction….

We were opting for a natural third stage but had some issues. Eventually they got me out of the pool and had to go for managed third stage with the injection and some massage/ pulling to try to get the placenta to deliver. This didn’t work either and I was losing blood and starting to feel very faint.  The next bit is hazy but there was a crash team of 14 staff in the room in the blink of an eye and they needed to get me to theatre for a spinal block to remove my retained placenta. I’d just like to say how amazing the NHS is. I really got my money’s worth! Must have been very stressful for Mr Bumpy- in a small, hot room, left holding the baby watching his wife being rushed out to theatre after bleeding out all over the room. To his credit, he got himself removed from the room when he wasn’t feeling very good to ensure he wasn’t a further casualty, and the head midwife even made him tea and toast!

By seven I was back with my husband and baby and by about ten we were moved onto a ward with 5 other beds. Husband had to go home so I spent my first ever night in hospital.

There’s obviously much more to tell, but I’m a little tired(!) So will try to keep this updated when I can.

The birth was every contradiction you can imagine, every emotion and every physical sensation you could dream of. It’s been described a million different ways by millions of people so I can’t compete with that. However, it was ours and he is ours!

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Batch cooking (kindof)

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One of the things that I was told to do on maternity leave was BATCH COOKING. The idea is that you cook extra meals and stick them in the freezer so you have something easy and ready when baby arrives and you’re too busy and tired to cook.

Our freezer is pretty full already (it’s only small), mostly full of Pies from Simon’s Pies Yum yum.

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However, rather than purposefully batch cooking, I’ve made a couple of extra big meals which I’ve frozen the leftovers of.

On top of that, my parents have an apple tree which overfloweth currently with appley goodness. In fact they are sick of apples and can’t get rid of them quick enough. I’m trading some with friends, but I spent the last couple of days stewing over 7kg of apples and some locally picked blackberries too!

First lot with blackberries
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Done! Lovely apples and blackberries stewed with about a pint or two of water and a bit of sugar.

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The second lot (with massive wooden spoon and hand for perspective).

Technically these were actually second and third lot as I did some last week too.

These apples are really yummy with some natural yoghurt, and I might also blend them with raspberries and fruit juice to make smoothies!

Maternity leave and cheeky Mortgage lenders

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Another day of maternity leave complete, and another few tasks done!

It’s been pretty warm today so I repotted a plant in the front garden (to replace the current dead plants- I am not green fingered) and strimmed the back jungle lawn. Took quite a long time and was very tiring so I had lots of breaks. Maltloaf and tea break was the best!

I’ve written a shopping list of things to buy for the not-quite-a-baby-shower tomorrow and cycled to the library to get some new books. I stopped at a supermarket on the way back to grab some cake making ingredients and spent part the afternoon listening to classic FM and making cupcakes.

I’m not much of a baker but these look pretty good. One set of chocolate and one set of orange and almond.

Husband got out of work early as they are moving to a new site over the weekend so he headed off into the sunshine on his mountain bike. Sadly the chain snapped when he’d almost finished the trails so he came home with a very sore knee. After a cuddle with the cat, he felt a bit better. We are now both hobbling about!

We are also (rockandroll) changing over to a new mortgage provider with the help of our brilliant Financial Advisor Jeff. Annoyingly the mortgage company wouldn’t accept the screen shot of online banking statement as proof of salary (which is weird as they also have our last 3 pay slips each) but did use it to deduce that I’m pregnant (three payments to Mothercare online) and wanted to know more.

The Citizens Advice Bureau say:

A mortgage lender doesn’t have to give you a mortgage. However, they must not refuse to lend you a mortgage, or treat you less favourably than other people, simply because you are pregnant.

If the mortgage lender has turned down your application because of your pregnancy, this is likely to be discrimination and could be unlawful. Get advice from an experienced adviser about what to do.

So we can but give them the information and hope that they abide by the law.

Having done some dull maths- when we first took out a mortgage at a very high rate, when we both earned less, we were paying 33% of our combined post-tax salaries into the mortgage. With the new rate (much lower) and taking into account JUST my husbands salary- we’ll be paying just 25% of his post-tax earnings towards the mortgage. So really they’d be idiots to turn us down!

Cheeky!

Lemons

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One thing that really frustrates me is the “elite club of being a parent”. It’s entirely possible that I will change my mind in a few weeks when baby D arrives, but I will be trying my hardest not to be come a bitter, scoffing I-know-best-because-I’m-a-mummy kind of person. I’m imagine you have to be a certain kind of person to start with to turn out like that, but there seems to be more of them in the parenting world than anywhere else.

To give an example that’s been getting on my nerves recently- I’ve been trying to write a list of things that I can possibly do when I’m on maternity leave. This is not me naively thinking that I’ve got 3 weeks at full energy and health to redesign the garden, move furniture and get a six-pack in 21 days…. it’s a list of ideas to keep me ticking over when I feel bored.

I get bored easily. I am an active person who enjoys fresh air, exercise, learning something new, photography, cooking, seeing friends and generally being busy.

A usual week pre pregnancy would have involved a full working week (37.5 ish hours, plus a lot of travel and commute time), cycling for between 1-6 hours for leisure/commute etc, walking for a couple of hours, a yoga class, dinner out with friends, a.n.other hobby etc etc. I’m not a “slouch in front of a DVD box set” kind of person, though I enjoy a bit of telly or a film at the weekends.

So it’s clear that my maternity leave is not going to involve me taking long leisurely showers and watching daytime tv!

It doesn’t matter how many times I insist that “doing nothing” is not for me, someone always tried to tell me that I should just spend my maternity leave watching telly and sleeping.

This only adds insult to injury because I’m not sleeping very well at all (as per my last post).

My maternity can do list currently looks like this:

1. Hypnobirthing CD
2. Library
3. Swim/walk/cycle/yoga
4. Paint touch up
5. Cook & Freeze post-baby-arrival food
6. Photography
7. Learn something
8. Art
9. Bump & Babies groups
10 .Pack second hospital bag (Extra clothes etc depending on how long I’m in)
11. Work out how to use Angelcare Monitor

Some other good suggestions have been to sort out paperwork and finances, pre-ordering online shopping, pre-planning birthday gifts and Christmas gifts.

These are all things that I can do if I fancy- but all the key pre-baby jobs are done. If I do fancy sleeping and watching telly… I don’t need to plan for that I’m sure it will just happen!

Catching up again

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The good news is that the car arrived in time for the wedding trip oop north (phew!). It arrived just over 24 hours before we needed it (and just 264 hours after we were promised it…..). We now have a baby car seat permanently in the back! Eek!

Another lovely wedding- during which pregnancy hormones (and genuine emotion) got the better of me again! Damn not having enough time to recover from first sighting of the beautiful bride before having to do a reading! We managed to do a lot of relaxing on our trip (people keep lecturing me about “slowing down”- though I fear most of them are judging me by their own standards rather than what my body is used to….)- including spending about 3 hours on Saturday afternoon in bed watching the athletics. It was great (and was after walking 3.5 miles to/from/around the lovely York)- guilt free relaxation!

I now have 1 week left at work *gulp* and it’s very scary!

Baby room is finished (hurrah!) and looks a little like this:

Basically very yellow and green and orange! All the good colours!

Managed to cycle to and from pregnancy yoga last night and still enjoying being on the bike at 35 weeks pregnant. I’ve not noticed any balance issues- and it’s only really fitness that holds me back.

Despite being pregnant, I’ve managed 179 hours of exercise so far this year (and we’re 266 days in according to day counter)- which means I’ve managed more than 30 minutes exercise a day on average 🙂

Still no babies from the September 2013 mumsnet thread- though I believe that may change by the end of today! My colleague has had a lovely little boy called Harry and one of my yoga friends had a little girl called Holly! Both lovely names, and I’m very excited for them!

That’s a bit of a random update- hope all my blog followers and readers are well!

Active week

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After a couple of very hot and very lazy feeling weeks (bear in mind that even putting socks on feels like a bit of a workout at the moment), I’ve finally had a good active week!

With my usual to-ing and fro-ing to the train station and back for work, I have had a low baseline of activity of 3-9 hours a week of exercise recently- mostly a little walking and cycling.

This week has ended up being very varied- with a trip to the swimming pool on wednesday night (which was lovely and quiet) where I managed 30 lengths.

Friday was a work social afternoon of off-road cycling around the lovely Swinley forest near where I live. I could have chickened out of taking part, but really wanted to join in, and my local knowledge was needed. So I cycled to the station to pick up the group and take them up to the forest. We then split in two, with one group going over to the new mountain biking trails and then I took a second group out for a slower, more relaxing ride around the less technical (but hillier!) firetracks which crisscross the forest for miles. All in all, our group did 16 plus miles including to and from the train station, and I was only defeated by one hill, which was a short sharp rise that came out of nowhere, with a very loose sandy soil.

Then Saturday was the last hen party of the year. I was organising it, with ideas from the hen- and the morning was to be outdoor watersport activities. I had been in contact with the lovely friendly Engage Watersports in Taplow for a few weeks to organise a bespoke morning and they couldn’t have set the tone and activity level better! With a mixed group including one pregnant lady and one over-65, they did a great job of keeping us entertained, looking after us on the water and providing a great structure for the day. Obviously it was key that I didn’t get injured etc so I had the pleasure of sharing a nice Stable Canadian Canoe with one of the instructors, and I was able to do some photography for the first part of the session and then do some paddling too later. The rest of the group took out kyaks and stand-up paddleboards on the lake to have a play. A few large splashes and fully wet people by the end of that session- but we were lucky with gorgeous hot sunny weather.

The next part of the day involved kyaking in tandem kyaks down the Jubilee River to a lovely pub for lunch and back. There were a few sore arms by the end of that! I was able to take part in the paddling for this bit, although I had to walk around the first part of the river as there was no easy place to get me into the canoe! After we’d carried the canoes and kyaks across the weir and road, I could get in and help out with some of the paddling. We did the samee in reverse on the way back.

I am unsurprisingly tired today, but was so grateful to have been able to take part in activities this week. It reminded me how much I love being outside, especially in good weather. I love trying new things, I love being active and being given the opportunity to do things this week has been great! So “only” a 36 mile week this week- with 24 on the bike, 7 walking, 3 in a canoe and a half mile swim!

Photos to follow……

Rollercoastering

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I think I’m finally reaching the point that (to be honest) I thought I’d spend all my pregnancy at. Things are feeling like a real rollercoaster right now- not withstanding my emotions!

After the car accident last week, the insurance company have taken it away for fixing. The chap who hit me turns out not to be insured so that’s fun too. Hopefully insurance plus police will sort that out for us.

It’s been hot, and I’ve been suffering. My nausea has felt much worse on hot days and I’ve struggled a bit to stay with it- especially as it’s hard to sleep. We’ve borrowed an airconditioning unit from a neighbour which means we can at least start the night with a cool ish bedroom (from 28 plus degrees down to 21-22), but it’s noisy to run so we shut it off after that. With an increasingly warm room over the course of the night, hayfever, a neighbours baby crying, thunderstorms and all kinds of other things to wake us up, we’re not getting many good night’s sleep. And so comes the contradictions from parents:

“Get used to it! You won’t get a full night’s sleep for the next 5 years!”

Alternated with:

“Get as much sleep as you can now…..”

The weekend was marginally cooler, so we got about to sorting the rest of the jobs in our new kitchen- painting a second coat on the kitchen, two coats of paint on the dining room (after prepping the flakey walls), putting up new light fittings and a blind and getting everything in place. We worked really hard at it, and by Sunday night it was all looking great.

Monday when I got home from a long hot day at work, I found our fridge-freezer wasn’t working. We spent most the evening consulting google and found our only real hope was leaving it off for a while, then trying again. Which we did. Looks like we might have put it back too close to the wall, meaning that it overheated a little. In the process it blew the bulb in the fridge part, which is very confusing! Thankfully friends came to the rescue, with delivering our old fridge back to us and another friend lending freezer space in their huge chest freezer. Much appreciated. Seems (tentatively) to be working now…. At the time I was not very impressed though, and feeling very emotionally drained.

Baby is still super-active! It’s half brilliant and half wearing and uncomfortable.

Everyone seems to think I look huge for 32 weeks, which is slightly worrying… but never mind.

There are two ladies from my Mumsnet thread (now FB group) who are already in early labour- at 32 and 34 ish weeks…. so I’ve been thinking a lot about them and what they’re going through right now! Must be a bit scary to be pre-term, but I know that the babies have great chances of survival if they do come now, and that drs can do a lot to try to keep the babies in for a bit longer! Good luck to you girls!

Tried to take a nice picture of the two (three?) of us last week, but it was getting a bit dark, I think the camera was at a dodgy angle and of course, the cat photobombed us. Standard really. This was the best!

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I’ve been trying to find time to update the hospital bag list, the “things wot we need” list and start to tidy up the baby room (which has been full of diningroom until we finished the decorating on Sunday). I think we’ve got all we need, once our chest of drawers (with changing top) arrives next week.

Royal baby vs NHS baby

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I know, I know, I know…. sorry.

Firstly, this article about the chances of Kate Middleton having a natural birth made me feel very sad for her.

Secondly, many people have been saying how sorry they feel for her in this heat. Well- lets be honest, I doubt she’s going anywhere that isn’t air conditioned. And it’s not like she’s at work (like me). Or going to appointments in 28 degrees in cars with no air-con, or trains with no air-con.

I have a lot of sympathy for the poor girl who is under such scrutiny in her new life as a Royal. However, as she’s not working 40 hour weeks in non-air conditioned offices up to 37 weeks pregnant like most ladies I know, in the hottest summer for a few years…. I’m not sure we need to be caring too much about that!

(brought to you from a 30 degree office on the third floor with just a desk fan to keep me sane…..)

We had our NHS Antenatal class at the weekend which was really good. There were definitely some gaps- the course was relatively organic in as much as it was shaped by the objectives of the attendees. So we didn’t actually speak much about certain things including pain relief.

What I did enjoy was talking through the “perfect” labour, and then looking at the flipside- quite literally. We were given lots of laminated cards with different options on each side- i.e “casearian” and “no casearian”/ “hospital birth” and “home birth”. We had to choose our ideals from each option and lay the cards out.

We were then made to turn over the cards to look at the reality of what might happen, and talked through it to make it all sound and feel less scary. For me this was an interesting exercise as I feel like I am well prepared for things not going to my “plan”. I appreciate that getting the baby out safely is the primary concern, and although the route we take might not be my “ideal” route, it’s ok.

What I hadn’t considered was “birth partner not present”. Even seeing those words feels quite chilling even now. I hadn’t for one tiny moment considered that Mr Bumpy would not be present at the birth for any reason.

In reality it is pretty unlikely. Our hospital is not far from home or work, and there’s only two days I plan to be much further away from home without my husband, and he will be a 1hour train journey or 90 minute drive away. So unless baby comes in a serious hurry, there’s little chance he won’t be there.

Either way, I’m really glad that the possibility was brought to my attention now.

Frimley Park (where I hope to have my baby) is also a teaching hospital, so there’s lots of opportunity to have someone with you- often a student- on top of your midwife care. Having said that, it’s also a consultant-led ward (which I didn’t really know anything about) and so there’s more chance of intervention by a consultant rather than the more passive midwife care you’d get at a midwife led unit.

This means that one definitely stays at home until the “right time” to come into hospital.

I was also pretty astounded that the average rate for casearian sections is 25% of all births (and Frimley Park is pretty average). Looking around the 5 women at the class on Saturday that meant that statistically it could be any one of us (or more).

I really appreciated the breast feeding part of the session. I know some people find the NHS stance too anti-bottle feeding, but it fits in relatively well with my own personal feelings. I found the session to be very balanced- in as much as we were told that we would find out WHY breast feeding is so important, and then if we decided for any reason that we did not want to that was fine and we were to be vocal and firm about it.

I also learnt a lot, especially about a 1-14 days old baby’s tummy size and how amazing colostrum is and how little of it they actually need per feed. In addition we talked a lot about positioning and how to get baby to latch on well. It was quite reassuring and made me feel more confident about breastfeeding.

No pictures to entertain you with, but here’s a mental picture….. they demonstrated for us with a knitted breast and an elmo puppet! 🙂

Crash bang and a late night

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This has not been my week.

Wednesday there were train troubles so I was almost very late to a meeting (luckily I always leave lots of time, so even though my journey took me 3.5 hours when it should have taken 2 hours, I was only a little late).

Wednesday evening I had an appointment to go to, but the person I was meeting never showed up due to running out of petrol and not having their phone on/running out of battery.

Thursday evening my aqua-natal teacher didn’t turn up until our class would have finished as she got stuck in awful traffic (though I did have a nice natter and a little swim with the other ladies which was pleasant).

Then Thursday night on the way home from my rescheduled appointment from Wednesday, a nice young chap forgot to stop at the traffic lights and rear-ended my in the car. Brilliant.

The good news is that both I and baby are fine, but due to a number of factors we ended up spending most of the night in hospital on Thursday and going to bed a full 24 hours after I’d got up.

The accident happened at some temporary roadworks. I was about the 4th car back from the lights and as they started to go green, I put the car into gear and just before I started to move I heard the car hit me from behind. Weirdly I seemed to hear it before realising what was happening. I was sure straight away that I was probably ok, but pulled the car over to the side (but had forgotten how to drive, not sure it was in gear) and got out to inspect the damage. Damage, not so bad- rear bumper, lights and wheel arches damaged. Boot door also damaged but we haven’t tried to open it yet in case it won’t open.

The other car didn’t look quite so good- with the bonnet crumpled about half way up, the numberplate pushed inside and as it turns out, the passenger door wouldn’t even open.

To cut a long story shorter (ish), I called the police as I didn’t know what else to do, and took some of the other drivers details (and gave him mine). The police took about 15 minutes to arrive, all the while we were blocking the lane before the traffic lights which made things a bit awkward for other drivers, hence the need to call the police (especially as the other car was certainly not driveable).

The police lady seemed quite keen to get rid of me so she helped me turn around back towards the hospital and I drove to the next safe stopping place to call the husband as he was on his way with my sister (thank you both!).

Got to A&E around 11pm, and it was packed. Got through to triage nurse in about 40 minutes or so and explained what had happened and that a)I’d like to get both me and baby checked out and b)that as I’m a Rhesus negative blood type, I probably needed an antibody injection. She (like the receptionist and police lady) didn’t really seem to know what I meant. I’m not sure where exactly I read or learnt about it, but if you have a negative blood type and encounter a potentially “sensitising event” (which can include abdominal trauma), you may need a top up of the “Anti-D” injection that “…neutralises the D antigen in foetal blood so maternal blood does not detect it and produce antibodies to fight it…”.

Afer a bit of time in A&E, a trip to Major Injuries to wait, be thoroughly checked over and have some blood taken (canula left in *faints*), then a trip up to the ante-natal ward for baby to be monitored and the anti-D to be ordered….. then for the anti-D to accidentally not be ordered properly and an extra wait (still with gross canula in) for the drugs to arrive…….

We were finally discharged from the hospital about 5:15am, and home in bed by 5:45am.

So this isn’t all dull text, have another photo. Not of my canula or me lying flat on my back with a baby monitor on, but of the sunrise we got to watch together. Silver linings guys…..

Edited to add:
Mr Bumpy is wonderful. He remembered to bring my maternity notes (which I needed and forgot to ask him to bring) and a thermos of tea and some cereal bars. What a hero.

Not much fun at all, but luckily all was well with us both and I’m not even suffering any whiplash or other ill effects. We were very lucky. Now for the fun and games or getting the car fixed.

Milestones and concessions

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I made it to 30 weeks! For some reason this feels like a huge milestone to me.
I think I need to start thinking about hospital bags and birth plans sometime very soon….

With the heat my hands and feet have started to swell up so sadly the wedding and engagement ring have had to come off (but I have a great placeholder thanks to lovely husband). I’d imagine shoes would be quite impossible to put on, but as it’s really sunny and hot, I’m only wearing sandals and flipflops. Not that they flip or flop any more- they are a bit wedged onto my feet!

I also made a big concession today. I got the bus from the train station to work rather than walking. Oxford, where I work, is glorious. In the sun it’s even more beautiful and I really enjoy my 1.7 mile walk each way a couple of times a week to and from the station. However it is getting more and more difficult as I get slower, plus the heat and the swollen feet mean that I have had to give it up at least during the hotter weather. I’m tempted to walk back to the station despite having a bus ticket, but really I think I should get the bus! I hate giving up my freedom and exercise!

In other news, have a photo of me and the cat!

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