41 weeks pregnant

Ok so this is a week late… I started drafting it but then went into labour! Thought I’d still publish it so that the full story is blogged… But no bump photo to go with it! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

I don’t know why but I never thought I’d get to a week overdue… Everyone tells you that your second usually comes early. It’s a weird feeling going overdue… I’m bored but too tired to do anything, now been off for 4 weeks already! I also think my anxieties seem to go up… I just want him out and to know he’s ok!!

Since the last update I’ve spent about 12 hours in hospital… Every appointment seems to cause us new drama!

Thursday (40+2) – went to the consultant clinic. I had to wait over an hour and a half before they even did my BP/urine check… And the WIFI was broken so I couldn’t even watch the Wales vs England football game! 

So it wasn’t any surprise that my BP was through the roof (160/110) by the time I got in there! Cue getting sent straight upstairs to the assessment unit and a fair chance that I’d get induced that night..

But by the time I was settled in there my BP was ok and after waiting a few hours to see the doctor, she asked my thoughts on induction and I said I’d rather try a sweep which is what they did. 6 hours after arriving and I was home!

Friday I thought I’d try all the old wives tales… Went for a lovely curry at Chai street, drank some raspberry leaf tea (bit late I know) and started bouncing on the exercise ball!

asty thali at chai street cardiff
asty thali at chai street cardiff

Over the weekend I started to have cramps/period pain-like symptoms but spread over hours. 
On Sunday I had a 930 hospital appointment just to check my BP and have a second sweep. The midwife put me on the monitor (no idea why – my BP was fine) and measured Bean with her tape measure and wasn’t happy with his size so wanted me to see the doctor in the assessment unit.

Cue a 4 hour wait!!! I love the NHS and I was trying really hard not to but couldn’t help but feel frustrated and pissed off sat in a waiting room for so long while my OH and toddler W celebrated Father’s Day without me!

I guess it was worth the weight… I got ANOTHER scan and not only was the sonographer totally happy with his size (and said we might be looking at an 8lb-er) but actually took ages over it as she said he was the most photogenic scan she’d done at this late stage! (I think it’s cos I’m very slim). She could also see some vernix on him which was an indication that he still had a few days of cooking to do in there!

Top tip: if you have any form of hospital appointment, even if you think you’re just popping in… Take books/mags/phone charger!!

Monday I had the laziest day apart from having to nip out to replace a front tyre…. Never had such speedy service after telling them I was 6 days overdue ๐Ÿ˜‚

Tuesday morning I had my third and final stretch and sweep. As with the previous two, I was 2-3 cms dilated (normal for a second baby) and the cervix was still quite high up. I had the odd cramp throughout the day… And they ramped up late afternoon/early evening and I went into labour that night… Finally!

Stay tuned for my birth story! Xx

Making memories with W at Cardiff Bay and Forest Farm

A couple of weekends ago, I made some lovely memories with W, half thinking it might be our last weekend pre-baby. (It wasn’t!)

On the Friday morning we headed to Cardiff Bay, and as it was half term my sister (a teacher) was able to join us…

As we were there nice and early (9? 10?) it was lovely and quiet, felt like we had the place to ourselves in the sunny weather…

As soon as we got there W found an abandoned balloon, which created lots of fun for him chasing it and losing it (it didn’t have a stick/string) so was a challenge to keep hold of ๐Ÿ˜‰ 


We walked towards the play area on the Cardiff Bay barrage…. 

W enjoyed trying to climb over the fence at the Captain Scott memorial (PS when did they put a fence around this?! And why?!)

We stopped for a coffee at the very cool ‘Coffi co’ which has an outdoor seating area which is pretty much enclosed and full of benches and deckchairs. This was lovely…. Sis and I got to catch up over a nice coffee in the sun while W could safely play with his cars and transport them from one deckchair to the other… This is the life!

As it was taking us ages to walk anywhere with me being heavily pregnant, and W trying to carry his balloon, we gave up on the plan to walk down the barrage and took him to the little play area behind the Norwegian Church instead. 

We had fun playing with him, but the funniest bit was when he hid behind a bin. Sis thought he was playing hide and seek but I knew…. He was having a poo! 
(He’s not potty/toilet trained yet but for a while now he leaves the room/hides if we’re out when he needs a poo!)


On the way back meandering through the bay, he took lots of opportunities to climb up onto the railings (one of his fave sayings at the mo is ‘climbing trees’ whenever he’s climbing up/across something… No idea where he’s picked up that saying from!) 

He was as chuffed as always to see some ‘quack quacks’ on the water’s edge, so much so that he fed them all of his crisps bless him!

Then it was lunchtime, and we decided to try Bill’s as I’d heard it was child-friendly… As it was sunny we sat outside and luckily there was a water feature nearby that he could play in while we waited for the food. He was mostly well-behaved, ate some of his macaroni cheese and our sweet potato fries (must make these at home for him!) and enjoyed playing with the crayons/colouring in book they lent him ๐Ÿ™‚

Then it was most definitely home/nap time (we won’t write about the tantrum he had ;)) 

That night, my OH was out at the cricket (sis and I watched ‘train wreck’.. V good!) so Saturday morning I gave his delicate head a lie-in and took W to a wildlife day at Forest farm

We were a teeny bit early for the event and so were busy throwing stones into the pond….


…then the event organisers (inc RSPB and Cardiff council park rangers) came to do some pond dipping (at which point I was worried that W had scared everything away with his stone throwing!!) 

This was cool, we saw lots of tadpoles which W called ‘fishies’ (I don’t think he understood the concept of them being baby frogs!) and watched a couple of those tadpoles get killed by insects! 


We then had a walk around the meadow looking at all the ‘yellow flowers’ and ‘daisies’ 


It was a lovely little event and I’d definitely take him again. From here we drove a couple of minutes up the road to see ‘quack quacks’ and kingfishers at the old Glamorgan canal but by then he was grouchy so we headed home.

It was nice to have some quality time with him. Since then I’ve had less energy as bump has grown, and the weather has been more naff!

He’ll always me my special, first-born, gorgeous, adventurous, fun-loving son. I love you W! Xxx 

40 weeks pregnant: Due date!ย 

Today’s my due date… And no sign of baby bean! It’s a strange feeling, I was always half expecting to be induced by now, and everyone kept saying your second usually comes early… Yet nothing!

40 weeks pregnant
40 weeks pregnant

Symptoms/health 

Over the weekend I started having a few cramps here and there but nothing serious! The last couple of days I’ve felt exhausted… Not sure of that is a sign of my body getting ready?! *Clutching at straws!* I’m so exhausted I’m wondering how on earth I will find the energy for labour but it must be my body resting before the big event!

I’ve got a consultant appointment Thursday, if my blood pressure is high I suspect they might keep me in and induce me that night.

Just today I’ve booked to see the community midwife tomorrow… I’m hoping she might be able to see whether I’m dilated at all. (Whereas I’m not sure I would ordinarily get to see a midwife on Thursday in hospital)

What I’ve been up to

Since the last update I’ve had a lovely time… W was with the childminder for his usual days (mon-thurs) so:

Wednesday – can’t remember!

Thursday I had a fab mum-to-be massage at Ener-Chi in Radyr which my sister had treated me to, really nice! And I followed it up with lunch in a nice local cafe (orchards ) 

Friday my aunt came to visit and to help out with W in my heavily pregnant state… We had lots of house and garden fun including painting! She babysat while he napped so I could meet an old friend for lunch at the lovely Fino lounge 


Saturday – I took W over to my friend’s for a playdate in the morning, and we watched the football in the afternoon (go Wales!) My OH finally put together our Snuzpod (co-sleeping cot) ๐Ÿ™‚

Sunday – had started feeling exhausted by this point but dragged myself out to chase meerkats (prairie dogs!) at Warren mill farm again (W’s favourite activity) followed by Wagamamas in Cardiff bay ๐Ÿ™‚

Yesterday – apart from getting the car serviced and doing a food shop, I managed to chill out a bit! While the car was in the garage, I found a lovely cafe that’s not long opened – Caffi cwtch – I plan to take baby there ๐Ÿ™‚

Today – as it was D-day my friend suggested meeting for lunch and a browse around our lovely local garden centre, Pugh’s. It was a lovely few hours and a welcome distraction despite my exhaustion! 

It’s been nice having a bit of ‘me time’ knowing that I might not have it again for a while!

And now here I am….  

Feelings/fears

I still don’t feel ready… But I’m not sure if I ever will. I’m hoping he makes an appearance this weekend… Father’s Day would be nice!

I think they let you go 2 weeks over before inducing/sweeping you… 2 weeks seems like a very long time. If he’s not here by the weekend I think I’ll be trying all the methods to try and get him out ๐Ÿ™‚

I was reading my old blog posts earlier from when I was expecting W. I was worried about labour, but also whether I’d bond with baby and know what to do. This time around I’m worried about labour, but also whether he’s ok. I’m guessing it’s because this pregnancy has come with a lot more stress, but also as it’s our second, we know what’s at stake!

I’ll keep you posted on developments – wish me luck! Xx

EU referendum: Why I won’t vote to leave the EU

With just over a week to go til the EU referendum I’m so worried about some of the stuff spouted by the ‘leave’ campaign that I feel compelled to write about it….

#mbloggersremain
#mbloggersremain

I’m voting ‘remain’ but I’m not particularly pro-remain just so anti-the-leave campaign for the reasons below that are used by them and their supporters….

‘I’m worried about immigration. I’m voting leave so that we can control our borders, build an Australian-style points system etc etc’

I’m generally pro-immigration. I see a NHS that wouldn’t survive without immigration because we don’t train enough doctors and nurses. I work for a company that has a French CEO, in a marketing department where at least 10% are ‘immigrants’ (3x Irish, 1xGreek, 1xCypriot, 1xGerman).. All were the best people for those roles. I live in a city (Cardiff) that was at its most prosperous when immigrants (many Somalians) were working on our docks… The biggest docks in the world at the time!

Still, I get it that some people worry about losing our Britishness or whatever…

But here’s what I’m really confused about. Most of our immigrants come from outside of the EU whether they be Pakistani doctors, Australian bar staff or South American footballers… And we already have control over that… It’s nothing to do with the EU!?? So that points system, we have the power to do that already!

Most of the EU immigrants (just 5% of our population by the way) work here and pay into our economy since the recent change that they can’t claim benefits without working here first. 

Which then leaves illegal immigrants and refugees. Personally I think every country should be obliged to take in refugees who are fleeing war (especially when we are the ones bombing them!) but the UK takes a very small number so I don’t think this is a game-changer for deciding on what to vote. 


Illegal immigrants and controlling our borders… Personally I think we’d do better at this staying in the EU sharing resources and police intelligence, unless we were to invest heavily in this area.

So what is it about immigrants that you want to escape… Is it their ‘drain on NHS and schools‘? This brings me to my next point…

‘We can invest the money saved into the NHS (education, arts, defence, security etc)’

The Vote leave campaign have been told numerous times not to use the ‘we would save ยฃ350m a week’ message as its untrue and numerous studies show that the money that comes in more than makes up for the money going out.

So how much do we spend on the EU? Just 2% of our overall budget! So if you’re worried about the other 98%…. The NHS, education, pensions, benefits, defence etc then vote based on that in the general election! 

The NHS is not on its’ arse because it’s over-run by immigrants, it’s on its’ arse because Britain voted for the Tories and their cost-cutting plan instead of the more left-wing parties who invest in public services. 

Net migration is about 300k a year… Do you really think that a 0.4% increase in population (70 million) can stretch public services to breaking point?! 

One of the things that has wound me up most about the ‘vote leave’ campaign is that they have NO PLAN!!! Who will run the country with David Cameron having to step down as he promised he would…. Boris Johnson? Ian Duncan Smith? George Osborne? I’m sure they would have different ideas on how to spend the ‘money saved’ but nowhere have I seen what those different scenarios would look like!

Or are you hoping Nigel Farage would be in charge? Well he’s not even an MP so it’s impossible! So despite being an MEP who’s encouraging us all to leave, he will have NO POWER to make any decisions on what happens if we do leave!!

So, so far we have a leave campaign that:

  • Has no proper plan of what happens after
  • Promises the earth on what money could be invested in… Despite the lack of plan and relatively small amount of money that won’t stretch very far
  • Promises things that can already be done in the UK and aren’t EU responsibility (immigration from outside the EU)

There are 2 other claims I hear that also piss me off….

‘We’ll no longer be controlled by a group of unelected people’

Ummm we vote for MEP’s that represent our needs in the European Union. (Nigel Farage is one of them!) They vote for the leader/commissioner…. Ok the European Comission above the EU seems to be a bit like our House of Lords but let’s sort our own mess out before worrying about the EC?? 

The EU is all democratic in the same way our British MPs represent everyone from rural mid Wales to affluent parts of the South East and deprived inner cities. 

So from now on just take an interest in the European elections and vote!

And don’t forget that we already have control over some of they key things that matter… The taxes we pay, pensions and benefits, the NHS and education system…

‘Let’s make Britain Great again’

Britain was at its ‘greatest’ when it invaded half the world. I don’t think we’re planning to do that again (she hopes!) 

We were also ‘great’ when we were manufacturing everything… But now we live in a globalised world where it’s cheaper for us to get our steel imported from China than to make it ourselves, we import lamb from New Zealand cheaper than we pay our British farmers for it. 

So how are we going to be ‘Great’ again? Stop importing everything? Re-open all the coal mines? Sounds unrealistic to me, we’re always going to need to import and in doing so I’d rather have the negotiation power of 28 nations behind me rather than one little island!

I’m left decided that I’m voting ‘remain’ next week…

  • The vote leave campaign is non-sensical, poorly thought out and has given me no assurance that we will be better off outside the EU… There is no plan!! 
  • I’m not a gambler… our economy is doing well, we live in peace… I don’t want to rock the boat 
  • I think there are many ways we’d be worse off outside the EU eg what if the 2 million British pensioners living in Spain have to move back? They will put a bigger strain on our NHS than any threat of immigration growth.
  • Coming from mid Wales originally, my home county (Ceredigion) and the South Wales valleys are classed as some of the poorest parts of Europe and have benefitted hugely from EU funding and projects. Again, in the absence of any plan, I haven’t seen any assurances that Wales would get any additional money from the UK govt to make up for the ยฃ20Billion shortfall that’s already been allocated to Wales from the EU by 2020.
  • I feel like I’ve benefited from improved workers rights (hours worked, holiday rights etc) and maternity rights that were all improved under the EU. With the right-wing Tories/UKIP in charge I fear that these rights would be eroded over time

What do you think? What will you be voting? I would genuinely love to hear from you ๐Ÿ™‚

Further reading:

Independent article about a recent poll, stats and myths: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/eu-referendum-british-public-wrong-about-nearly-everything-survey-shows-a7074311.htm

Impartial website full of facts: https://fullfact.org

Other parenting blogs about it:

http://www.beingtillysmummy.co.uk/2016/06/why-i-am-voting-to-stay-in-eu.html?m=1

http://www.fraunaish.co.uk/eu-referendum-eu-citizen/

http://thefamilytreasures.com/2016/04/15/how-the-brexit-would-affect-our-family/

http://www.anniebobs.com/eu-referendum-remain-leave/

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39 weeks pregnantย 

Today I’m 39+1 so just 6 days to go til due date! 

39 weeks pregnant
39 weeks pregnant

So last week I was supposed to spend the week with W as the childminder was on holiday. But as per my last update I was busy getting my blood pressure (BP) checked every other day…

Health

Thursday I had another scan and consultant appointment and good news, this time I had a laid-back doctor who didn’t think my BP was an issue and the growth curves were looking fine.

So good news as they don’t want to see me again til past my due date now… And hopefully Bean might be here by then! 

I was quite surprised, I assumed on Thursday that they’d be booking me in to induce me, as happened last time. I know that could still happen, but there’s a greater chance I will go into labour naturally at home or whatever which is a weird feeling! 

Preparation and nesting

I STILL don’t feel ready for his arrival!! I feel a bit in denial, still haven’t done much (any!?) labour preparation, no breathing exercises etc!

Instead I’ve been very busy nesting, which I’m enjoying… Lots of sorting out, throwing out, creating space, re-arranging etc! 

Any other updates?

  • I’m feeling ok apart from not sleeping well due to the heat (and bump!)
  • I’ve gone over the 2 stone weight gain mark now!
  • My lovely sister bought me a voucher for a maternity massage which I’m hoping I can use tomorrow
  • I finally packed the hospital bags 
  • Had a lovely weekend with W which I’ll blog about soon
  • Had a lovely day yesterday lunching and shopping with besties and a 4 week old baby ๐Ÿ˜

So that’s it for now… A short and sweet update, the next few days promise more nesting and resting… No signs that Bean will be here any time soon but watch this space! 

Hospital bags for labour are packed: checklist and tipsย 

With just over a week to go I’ve finally finished packing my hospital bags. Now last time around I packed a lot of stuff, got taken in and induced early (without my bags) so I didn’t really end up using much that I’d packed… I also didn’t shower there so didn’t use any of the toiletries!

My top essentials for labour last time were:

  • Drinking straws (makes it so much easier to drink, whatever position you’re in!)
  • Lavender oil on a hankie… Smelling this kept me relaxed 
  • Face sprays/mists 

This time around I’ve packed a bit lighter and assumed an overnight stay. I’ve also split the bags into one for mum, one for baby. (Last time I tried labour and post-labour)

hospital bags packed!
hospital bags packed!
Let’s start with mummy’s bag… The good old faithful Cath Kidston that a bestie bought me ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve packed:

  • A bag of energy snacks (brunch bars), 2 bottles of lucozade, 2 bottles of water
  • Drinking straws 
  • A bag of toiletries….

toiletries for my hospital bag
toiletries for my hospital bag
The right-hand side is for labour:

  • Elemis lavender toner spray and Body Shop vitamin E face mist… Both blissful!
  • Lavender oil and a hanky to sniff it from (helps me relax)
  • Plain massage oil – doubt I will use it but just in case I demand a back rub from my OH!
  • Sanctuary foot and leg gel – another blissful treat for aching legs and cankles!
  • Lip balm for the gas-and-air dry mouth/lips

On the left-hand side is stuff I might use post-labour:

  • Shampoo, conditioner and shower gel – just small samples I’ve gotten free with stuff 
  • Deodorant
  • Face cream
  • BB foundation (the thing I’m most unlikely to use but you never know!)
  • Just realised I need to pack my toothpaste and toothbrush too! And a hairbrush!

Also in mummy’s bag the not-very-glamorous but essential:

  • Pants
  • Nursing Bra
  • Sanitary towels 
  • Breast pads 
  • Clothes to go home in – lounging bottoms and a t-shirt!
  • Paracetamol – a friend gave me this tip last time around, they can come in handy post-labour as you could literally be waiting hours for your prescription to come through!

But on the more exciting side I’ve packed a brand new nighty and pyjamas that I bought in the M&S sale for a total of ยฃ15… Lovely bird print, been saving them to wear for the big event or just after as I was in totally scruffy old stuff last time!

M&S maternity bird print nighty and pyjamas
M&S maternity bird print nighty and pyjamas
Now for baby’s bag. This is a brand new bag we were given by toTs by Smartrike, I’ll do a proper review once we start using it properly but in the meantime I must tell you I’m really impressed with it… High quality/finish and bags of space!

baby's hospital bag by tots  by smartrike
baby’s hospital bag by tots by smartrike
Inside I’ve packed:

  • A selection of newborn clothes – couple of vests, couple of sleepsuits, couple of outfits… Should cover all weather eventualities! The sleepsuits were worn by W as a baby, the other items are brand new and featured in our recent haul post if you fancy a closer look!

first clothes for our newborn
first clothes for our newborn
 
Then we have:

  • About 8 nappies – we are kindly sent a big pack of Asda’s new nappies to try out – their nappies sound upgraded since we last used them when W was a baby – they now have newborn nappies with ‘Dreamskin’ technology which helps keep their skin moisturised and temperature regulated which sound great 
  • Wet wipes – A travel pack of water wipes – we were also sent these to try which I’m really looking forward to trying, should be less faff than water and cotton wool!
  • Cotton wool just in case!
  • Little samples of nappy cream
  • A blanket (crocheted by my aunt!)

some of baby's hospital bag essentials
some of baby’s hospital bag essentials

And I think that’s it!

  • My hospital notes are currently living on top of the bags so we remember those too
  • Must remember my phone charger, also the TENS machine if I’m not already using it as we’re en route 

If I end up being induced again I’ll take another bag packed with books, magazines, my iPad and lots of snacks!

Anything I’ve missed? What was in your hospital bags?!

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