Hello baby

28 weeks been and gone and now was the time for the 3d ultrasound scan. No more blurry black and white image that you have to decipher. Instead we can get a lord voldemort looking image of our baby boy. Well so we thought.

Turns out our dainty little baby is quite the acrobat, and he really enjoys playing with his feet. No amount of jumping up and down or running up and down stairs made one tiny bit of difference. We had the whole crew there too. 6 people, squashed into a dark room looking at a large screen. Whilst I have my belly out and on display for all to see is my uterus, glowing yellow. We barely got a decent picture of him so the girls at Baby Scanning had me book back in just so they could try and get us some DVD footage. So off we went with this grand little image

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Nada on the movement front

From time to time during pregnancy you will have ups and downs, peaks and troughs on the movement train. Do not ever let it get you stressed or worked up. Instead call your midwife or triage at the hospital. It’s important to make sure that all is ok. Listen to your instincts and keep track of baby’s movements. Don’t let anyone tell you not to worry or that you’re over reacting. This is a website for the charity Count The Kicks which helps to give confidence to Mums in the UK about tracking baby’s movement and hopefully lower the rate of still births and neonatal deaths in the UK.

So since I first felt those tiny little flutterings in my stomach I had a week of not feeling anything, my goodness does the worry set in. By 25 weeks I had been feeling quite a considerable amount of movement from my little womb squatter so when all went quiet i just couldn’t ignore it. I was worried and starting to stress that he had been quiet for a couple of days. I called the hospital and they asked me to head over. My girl Lee went with me for a bit of support.

Luckily all was ok, the midwife used a Handheld Doppler and I heard his little heartbeat. Panic averted. All was good.

Myriads of Midwife appointments

The wait of pregnancy seems to be filled to the brim with midwife appointments. From your very first appointment when they don’t even do a pregnancy test to possibly 41 weeks where they’re booking you in for an induction.

At the first appointment when you tell your midwife or doctor you’re first pregnant, they asked me my diet, family hereditary diseases, if i’d ever had any pregnancies or any children. They gave me that big book I’ve spoke about before, Ready Steady Baby, which features suspect looking individuals as they go through the process of pregnancy. And my wee slip that allows me free dental care up until a year after my baby is born. They took my weight (it was 60kg as opposed to the wonderful 73kg it is now) and sent me on my way. It was very sudden, I thought. It was very, ok your pregnant, now go away and read up on what you’ve done.
At the 12 week appointment I felt a bit more pregnant. My midwife checked my blood pressure and booked me in for my 12 week scan and wrote in red pen ‘Red Path’ in my new maternity notes book which also housed all the phone numbers of ante natal classes but really, not much else. She didn’t talk to me about anything specific or discuss any aspects of my future care. I had my 16 week appointment at 18 weeks, I didn’t see my own midwife as she was on holiday and the clinic were running late so I was whisked in and back out again having just my blood pressure and urine checked. Before meeting with a consultant who was to talk to me about my allergy of anaesthetic. The consultant basically booked me to see an anaesthetist after the 30 week mark.

My 25 week appointment was horrific for me, due to moving house I was transferring my GP and midwife to the Moodiesburn practice. In the morning I had an appointment with my soon to be ex midwife at Bellshill. And in the afternoon, teamed with my notes I was heading over to Moodiesburn to see my new midwife. Since it was a bright day I decided to walk round to the surgery in Moodiesburn, this was a mistake, it was blowing a hoolie of ice cold wind and with about 5 minutes to spare for my 2.45pm appointment, I approached the reception and gave my details, the girl said, “oh the midwife isn’t here on a Wednesday afternoon, she’s at our Chryston Surgery (same practice, different location), she’s only here on a Wednesday”. “I’ve just transferred to this surgery, I didn’t know there was a Chryston practice, nobody told me this when I booked my appointment” I said. “Well you still have 5 minutes to get there, you should be fine”. She assumed I had a car and that I knew where I was going. “Can I walk there” I said. “Yes but not in time for your appointment, and the midwife finishes at 3pm”. I all about ran out the door, and I ran, actually sprinted back to the house. I had to hold my belly as I could feel it bouncing about, like the feeling you get in your boobs when you don’t wear a sports bra doing star jumps. By the time I arrived back to the house I was holding onto the wall, panting for air whilst trying to search for the address of the Chryston practice on my phone. Once I had it, I jumped into the car, punched it into my Sat Nav and sped off towards the midwife. As Murphy’s law would have it, it was the wrong postcode and no matter how much I tried calling them, it rang out. Chryston is not huge and I drove up and down, up and down the same road a few times, I was getting really upset by this point. I saw a kind of doctory looking building in an mini industrial estate so pulled in and parked, jumped out my car and ran about a few times in a circle. Nope not here, “Oh no”! I called out loudly before getting back in my car (I really don’t see what my big fuss was all about, I should’ve just cancelled). Driving back up and down the same road again, I saw a female jogger, I stopped the car, window down, and all but accosted her for the surgery location. She was raging, I’m guessing she was doing a timed run, and kept looking at her watch. She pointed where I’d came from and said “just off that mini round about”. Saved, I about turned the car and jetted toward the mini round about, finally noticing the surgery settled in off the main road. I parked up, walked into the reception, the midwife was sitting waiting on me, once she had me in her wee room, I burst into tears. I was shattered and stressed. She then said, oh we don’t anything to go over with you today. You need to see a GP here first.

My 28 and 31 week appointments were pretty un eventful, they took blood tests and the usual urine, tried to chase up my appointment with the anaesthetist to no success and told me to book with the nurse for my whooping cough jab.

I’ve had a bit of upsy down due to me moving house mid pregnancy but here is the rundown of the appointments you should have and what should happen during them with the NHS. Remember every pregnancy is different so don’t be panicked if these are different from what you have received, but if you think you’re missing out on an important aspect of you and your babies care, speak up.

First contact
They should go over this
– folic acid and vitamin D supplements
– nutrition, diet and food hygiene
– lifestyle factors, such as smoking, drinking and recreational drug use
– antenatal screening tests
– there were any complications or infections in a previous pregnancy or delivery, such as pre-eclampsia or premature birth
– you’re being treated for a chronic disease such as diabetes or high blood pressure
– you or anyone in your family has previously had a baby with an abnormality, for example, spina bifida
– there is a family history of an inherited disease, for example, sickle cell or cystic fibrosis

8 to 12 week appointment
Here is what your midwife should cover
– how the baby develops during pregnancy
– nutrition and diet
– exercise and pelvic floor exercises
– antenatal screening tests
– your antenatal care
– breastfeeding, including workshops
– antenatal education
– maternity benefits
– planning your labour
– your options for where to have your baby
Your midwife should:
– give you your hand-held notes and plan of care
– see if you may need additional care or support
– plan the care you will get throughout your pregnancy
– identify any potential risks associated with any work you may do
– measure your height and weight and calculate your body mass index (BMI)
– measure your blood pressure and test your urine for protein
– find out whether you are at increased risk of gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsia
– offer you screening tests and make sure you understand what is involved before you decide to have any of them
– offer you an ultrasound scan at eight to 14 weeks to estimate when your baby is due
– offer you an ultrasound scan at 18-20 weeks to check the physical development of your baby and screen for possible abnormalities

16 Week Midwife Appointment
What should happen
– Your midwife or doctor will give you information about the ultrasound scan you will be offered at 18-20 weeks. They will also help with any concerns or questions you have.
Your midwife should:
– review, discuss and record the results of any screening tests
– measure your blood pressure and test your urine for protein
– consider an iron supplement if you’re anaemic.

25 week appointment
– You will have an appointment at 25 weeks if this is your first baby.
Your midwife or doctor should
– check the size of your uterus
– measure your blood pressure and test your urine for protein

28 week appointment
Your midwife or doctor should:
– use a tape measure to measure the size of your uterus
– measure your blood pressure and test your urine for protein
– offer more screening tests
– offer your first anti-D treatment if you are rhesus negative

31 weeks
You will have an appointment at 31 weeks if this is your first baby.
Your midwife or doctor should:
– review, discuss and record the results of any screening tests from the last appointment
– use a tape measure to measure the size of your uterus
– measure your blood pressure and test your urine for protein

34 weeks
Your midwife or doctor should give you information about preparing for labour and birth, including how to recognise active labour, ways of coping with pain in labour and your birth plan.
Your midwife or doctor should:
– review, discuss and record the results of any screening tests from the last appointment
– use a tape measure to measure the size of your uterus
– measure your blood pressure and test your urine for protein
– offer your second anti-D treatment if you are rhesus negative

36 weeks
Your midwife or doctor should give you information about:
– feeding your baby
– caring for your newborn baby
– vitamin K and screening tests for your newborn baby
– your own health after your baby is born
– the ‘baby blues’ and postnatal depression
– Your midwife or doctor will also:
– use a tape measure to measure the size of your uterus
– check the position of your baby
– measure your blood pressure and test your urine for protein

38 weeks
Your midwife or doctor will discuss the options and choices about what happens if your pregnancy lasts longer than 41 weeks.
Your midwife or doctor should:
– use a tape measure to measure the size of your uterus
– measure your blood pressure and test your urine for protein

40 weeks
You will have an appointment at 40 weeks if this is your first baby.
Your midwife or doctor should give you more information about what happens if your pregnancy lasts longer than 41 weeks.
Your midwife or doctor should:
– use a tape measure to measure the size of your uterus
– measure your blood pressure and test your urine for protein

41 weeks
Your midwife or doctor should:
– use a tape measure to measure the size of your uterus
– measure your blood pressure and test your urine for protein
– offer a membrane sweep
– discuss the options and choices for induction of labour

Prepping for a baby

After the 20 week scan we felt that maybe, just maybe, we should start getting some baby items. But where do you start. Andrew’s Mum Yvonne had already bought a wee blue teddy. But as yet I hadn’t put my hand in my pocket for a single thing. I had no idea there was so much stuff to get. I had no clue as to what I needed or what was just a simple luxury.
We had decided on the colours of the baby room already and so the first purchase I ever made was something to work the colour scheme around. A set of Rainbow book ends.

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But in all seriousness. It’s not really a committed purchase. So I had to do some research. Get down to business if you like, and get prepared for baby coming. Now I know baby isn’t here yet but here are my thoughts on what I’ve bought that are necessities, and a wee list that I think are pure hope and luxury.

Natty Necessities:
Blankets – Yes apparently theses are required, and you need a few, so far though I’ve only bought two so that’s something I need to get a handle on.

Vests – Right ok, I’m willing to admit I was majorly stumped by this one. I thought that baby grows were the same thing as baby vests, apart from them obviously not having arms and legs. I’ve never been around babies, I’m and only child, and because I was told I would never have kids I avoided little babies as much as possible. So forgive my faux pa. I really didn’t know that vests went under baby grows, and using my own common sense I thought that maybe that would be uncomfortable for baby, so up until yesterday I had only bought 3 vests.

Baby Bath – Yes you can bath babies in the sink or the big bath (with a handy contraption) but I really want to handle bath time with care. I don’t want a slippery baby at the height of my sink, I would be terrified of dropping them. I also don’t want to run a massive bath for just a few inches of water. Control is the key, so a baby bath is a must for me. It’s also came in handy to fill it with all baby’s things before he’s here.

Steriliser – I haven’t got one yet, I couldn’t decide what to buy for ages, my microwave was too small, eventually when I decided on a Tommee Tippee microwave steriliser and decided to purchase it from the Argos baby event for £13.00, they sold out. Typical.

Bottles – Oh dear, this one is so difficult, there are millions to decide on, and everyone’s opinion is of the ones they tried, do you go for anti colic, or one that’s close to a breast shape. It really is a tough decision. I eventually went with Tommee Tippee, because Costco were doing 6 closer to nature bottles for £10. Also because they would be easy to pick up in your local supermarket at 2am if you needed any replacements.

Nursery Furniture – Most people need a cot, apart from my friend Ruth who is adamant her baby is going in a drawer. We got a cot bed from Mamas and Papas. What people don’t need is a baby wardrobe but when everything matches and its part of a set how can you not. The changing unit was debatable, some people say they’re useless and other people swear by them. After some careful consideration and lengthy discussions with Mummies, I decided we would benefit from one. So that was it, settled. We got the Oak Rialto range from Mamas and Papas.

Nappies – and lots of them. I was told to buy Nappies every time I went to the supermarket. I’ve bought 2 boxes of 80 so far so I’m doing not bad. I’m pretty sure though that those 190 will only last just over 2 weeks though, so I really should buy some every week.

Pure hope and luxury:
Breast Pump – I was originally going to just get a manual breast pump, they don’t make much noise and are cheap, however after considerable research I concluded an electric breast pump is most probably the answer. That is if I can breast feed to begin with. I got the Medela Swing breast pump, it’s got great reviews, has a let down feature and runs with battery and mains power.

Moses Basket – This will be good for baby to chillax in during the daytime whilst I’m getting 10 minutes to myself to maybe put a washing on. It will also be good for him to sleep next to our bed for the first wee while before he has to go next door to the big cot. They look lovely too, and proper babies fit in them, so cute.

Baby carrier – I love seeing babies in baby carriers, since early in pregnancy I’ve been saying to Andrew that there is nothing hotter than seeing a man with a baby carrier. We got one, and lets just keep our fingers crossed that the big yin will adopt that kangaroo dad look.

Thanks to all the generous people that helped us out with the majority of these items. Xx

Lazy Daisy Active Birthing Classes

I was quite frightened and excited all at the same time to go to my first lazy daisy class on the Thursday night, after my 20 week scan. I was glad Ruth was going though, it gave me the tiny thread of support that I needed. However, I far from needed any support, I couldn’t believe how easy this class was to just slot right into.

The Westerwood hotel in Cumbernauld is lovely, it sits up on a large hill, open to the elements. This is Scotland so those elements tend to be on the wild side, precipitation – high, temperature -low, windspeed – fast, wind direction – every blooming direction you can think of, up the way too which is interesting when it drags the rain with it, upward rain, only in Scotland. So I huddled round to the boot of my car to retrieve my yoga mat as I was assaulted by the severe weather. I then tackled my way across the car park, worrying that if my yoga mat caught the wind I’d be careered off like Dorothy to Oz. I finally reached the haven that is the porch area of the health club, and I breenged inside.

Sitting on a wee couch were some ladies with mats and pillows, I assumed they were the preggos, ready for the class. They looked like rabbits caught in the headlights, I looked very much like worzel gummage after my brief encounter with Scottish weather, och well. Everyone one was nice and we made small talk before the teacher, Julie, ushered us into the hall. Everyone chose their spot that would be theirs for the next 6 weeks, this unusual human fashion of claiming where you sit eludes me but in this case I feel slightly territorial of my mat spot in relation to Julie, just off left of center to the teacher. That’s my spot now. Ruth arrived and took to my right, a girl came an sat on my left, then the rest of the class filled up. The first week is free (always good) so it’s a great way to see if you like it. After about 2 minutes I knew I was coming back.

I had a wee feeling of comradeship with these ladies right away, there were two girls in the class the first week that had had children before, they didn’t make it back the following week but the rest of us that were left were all first timers. It was fun, like a little pregnant gang, mess if you dare. The girl that Sat on my left turned out to be Carrie, a outgoing, fun and terrified mum to be, just my cup of tea. We got on like a house on fire from that very first night after I insisted she come to Pilates on Saturday and she was enthusiastically up for it. Her bump, like mine, wasn’t showing when I met her, she was a week behind me and would use me from then on in to judge how long she had left. On the right of Ruth there was Diane, she was the furthest along out of us all at 29 weeks (41 weeks as I write this), then there was Nicola and Emma who are over the other side. The lazy daisy gang.

The class started with Julie introducing herself and letting us know of her experiences of labour, birthing and teaching the classes. She then put the spotlight on us and let us tell everyone, A. Our Name, B.How far along we were, C. How has our pregnancy been so far. This part was fun, everyone got a chance to tell their wee story. In the later classes this would be our opportunity to vent and get all the stresses of the week off our chest.

The class then covered the basics of labour, why active birthing is effective and some breathing and relaxation. In between each section, Julie would teach us a bit more about labour but in a way that didn’t feel like you were being taught. The class is very informal, it was so relaxing and Julie was just fab as a teacher. She has a way about her that you rarely find in people who deal with the public. She is genuinely interested in you as a person and I must commend her networking skills, this woman should run seminars. The classes are good, I love them, they’re informative without being lectures, they’re fun and cheeky, no holds or questions barred which can be carnage with a room full of pregnant women. There was a few moments of cheesiness on the first week that I thought ‘red neck’ but I now embrace them with gusto, that’s it, embrace the cheese, you have to, you’re going to be a Mum. Oh and the relaxation part at the end when you snuggle up on your left side with and pillow and a blanket is great. I’ve found myself let out a snore on a few occasions which woke me up.

You also get a great feeling when you vent to all these other women who are going through the same thing, I’d say that’s my favourite part, to know I’m not alone and that the invasion of the bodysnatchers film I was terrified of as a kid wasn’t happening inside me. Going to these classes have made me feel slightly in more control of my pregnancy and hopefully my labour and I’m excited rather than scared now………to an extent.