Friday, 5 February 2016

BumpDate - 38 Weeks

I had my second growth scan this week, and baby is still on the small side for gestational age, it's below the 5th percentile, so they've booked me in for another scan, and a sweep at 39 weeks, and an induction on my due date if I haven't gone into labour by then.

It feels so weird to only have two weeks left to go.

My midwife agrees that this is the best plan of action. The baby is most likely fine, but I've been advised that SGA (small for gestational age) babies should be induced if not already delivered by 40 weeks because there is evidence to suggest that they're more likely to have tissue and organ damage if left over 40 weeks and may not be strong enough for delivery, which increases the chance of being stillborn.

She's advised me to get it on the breast, and to feed it up as much as I can, as soon as it's delivered.

I'm a little gutted that, if I am induced, a water birth won't be an option for me - but at this stage of the game, I'm happy to just go along with what I'm being advised. I'm trying to use everything my hypnobirthing has taught me to keep clam and positive about it all. I'm not going to deny myself any form of pain relief I deem necessary though - no epidural guilt for me this time!

I gave birth to Ernie at a midwife led birth centre. It was as low tech as being at home, no access to doctors, or epidurals, we were pretty much left alone for the majority of the time and I found the whole experience excruciatingly painful and ended up giving birth on my back on a bed anyway, and tearing really badly - so surely it can't be much worse than that this time - induction or not.

How far along: almost 38 weeks

Total weight gain: 22lb I'm around a stone and a 1/2 up from my pre-pregnancy weight - which isn't too shabby even if I do feel a bit blobby, and I've most definitely got a moon face. Most of the weight seems to have settled on my thighs, and chin!

Cravings: I eating loads now, simply because I know that I need to get it in while I still can. As soon as I'm back home with a toddler and newborn, there's not going to be much time for snacking.

Miss Anything?: The ignorant bliss of my last run up to birth.

Symptoms: A good night's sleep has long gone out the window. I struggle to get to sleep, and then I wake up around three every morning, finally fall asleep again at seven, only to be dragged out of bed by my son. At a certain point in the afternoon my lower back seizes up - my manic nesting is most likely to blame for this! No lie, I've stripped wallpaper, re-painted an entire floor of my house, and have been using my new handheld steam cleaner on everything and anything I can.

I get the nesting bug bad.

Mood: I feel like I'm on a rollercoaster of emotions, I feel differently about everything from one hour to the next.

On My Mind: I'm just focusing on a vision in my head of a happy healthy me and my new baby, and being able to share that with all of you.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

BumpDate - 35 weeks

My bump has been measuring smaller than it 'should be' for the last couple of months. It's currently reading 32 weeks on the measuring tape, instead of 36 - so I was sent for a scan, that confirmed the baby is smaller than average, with not as much stomach fat as they would like to see at this stage, but the placenta, cord and fluid all looked good and the results from the machine I was hooked up to for an hour were fine - so I'm hoping that it's just a petite baby, and nothing to worry about.

I'll be re-scanned in two weeks time, and we'll go from there.

For now, it's time to start thinking about packing some bags, and making sure that I've got all my sh*t together - in case this kid has to come sooner than I hoped for.

How far along: 35 + 5

Total weight gain: 21lb

Cravings: Ever since I found out that there may be an issue with my baby's growth, I've felt like I need to eat more to make up for it. I've been eating plenty, and I know it's not really anything to do with that, but you can't help but blame yourself.

Miss Anything?: Not really. I actually think I'm going to miss my bump when it's gone. I love having my baby all to myself, safe inside of me.

Symptoms: Things have thankfully settled on the symptom front. No more feeling ill all the time, just tired. It's getting harder to do the house work, and pick up after my son. Caring for a toddler while carrying another baby in my womb has been really challenging - there may have to be a dedicated post on that!

Mood: I feel fine, a little anxious about the baby's measurements, and what that might mean, but I can't worry about things that may never happen - like being induced or having to have a c-section.

On My Mind: Birth. I think the trouble with my last labour, was that I wanted a 'hypo birth' experience, but I didn't do any preparation to help myself achieve it. I've put a lot of time and effort into working out why things went downhill for me so that I can hopefully have a more positive one this time. I've been going to my local The Positive Birth Movement group - I love, and will miss it. I'm also practicing Maggie Howell's Natal Hypnotherapy which has been really life changing in terms of coping with my anxiety, so if it helps in labour too, it will be a nice bonus! I certainly won't feel like I wasted my time if it doesn't. Both have led me to believe that birth doesn't have to be traumatic.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

A little pre-baby holiday

We had lots of outdoor fun during our stay at Portmeirion - for Ernie, nothing beats jumping in muddy puddles, and there were plenty to enjoy.

If your toddler is anything like mine, just be sure to pack plenty of puddle suits, and a spare pair of wellies - Ernie managed to soak his through, and some back ups would have been really handy!

We found Portmeirion to be really child friendly, and a great place for little explorers. 

Sunday, 27 December 2015

BumpDate - 32 Weeks

I've struggled to enjoy anything for the last eight months - since the first trimester of this pregnancy I've felt deathly ill.

I didn't experience ANY pregnancy sickness with my son - but this time I've become a pregnancy nausea expert. I've tried everything (except the drugs) to cure this curse - all the old wives tales - nothing's worked for me. NOTHING!

I hate even calling it 'morning' sickness, 24/7 complete yuckness is more like it - and it's not just nausea - the best way to describe mine is like a hangover from hell.

I must admit though, the first 3 months were the worst, my agony seemed endless, and I did start to feel a little better between months 4 and 6, but it all went downhill again entering my third trimester.

I've not got too long left, and I'm by no means wishing this pregnancy away, I love having a bump, and I haven't taken nearly enough pictures!

I was measuring a little small at my last midwife appointment, I'm sure everything's fine, but it does remind you to not take a healthy pregnancy for granted, and if this is the way it has to be, then so be it. I'll take feeling like this anyway, for everything to be OK.

How far along: 32 Weeks.

Total weight gain: 16lbs.

Cravings: I've shifted from sweet to salty - salt & vinegar crisps taste like heaven to me.

Miss Anything?: Not feeling ill all the time, not much else, maybe enjoying a drink or two
- especially with NYE coming up!

Symptoms: Besides feeling ill all the time, I've had a really dodgy tummy for at least two weeks now. The baby's movements are much more pronounced. Every so often I get a trapped nerve in my back, but nothing major.

Mood: I'm pretty hormonal, it doesn't take much to upset me, but I always feel better about things in the morning.

Looking Forward To: Meeting my baby, and seeing what it looks like - I can only imagine my son's face. He looks a lot like his father, so I'm curious to see if this baby looks more like me.

On My Mind: I'm wondering if I should start packing a back and buying all the postpartum toiletries I'm going to need, or if I should save myself something to do nearer the time.

I've also been slacking on my Hypnobirthing CD - so I really must get back into the habit of listening to it daily - or else it won't be much use to me!

Saturday, 26 December 2015

Christmas 2015

We really enjoyed our last Christmas as a family of three. Ernie didn't quite get the whole 'Santa's coming' thing, but he's loving all his new toys - and my snowman pancake was a success too!

So all in all a very merry Christmas :)

Meeting Father Christmas for the first time at Penshurst Place.

Monday, 7 December 2015

Toddler Friendly Gingerbread

This gingerbread was so fun to make with Ernie!
It's quick and easy, and your toddler can really get their hands involved - it's like the ultimate edible play-doh experience - and it will make your house smell amazing and Christmassy :)

350 g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground ginger
100 g butter 
175 g light muscovado sugar 
4 tbsp golden syrup
1 large egg, beaten
Currants, to decorate

Preparation method

1. Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas mark 5. Line 3 baking trays with greaseproof paper/baking parchment.

2.Add the flour, bicarb and ginger into a bowl and give it a mix. Rub in the butter with your fingers until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

3. Stir in the sugar. Add the golden syrup and beat egg to form a smooth dough. Knead lightly with your hands.

4. Divide the dough in half and roll out the first half on a lightly floured surface. Ideally, you want the thickness of the dough to be about 5mm (1/4 in). 

5. Cut out the gingerbread shapes using a cutter and place them the prepared baking trays. Repeat with the remaining dough.

6. Decorate accordingly!

7. Bake in the oven (top-shelf, one tray at a time) for about 10-12 mins until they become a slightly darker shade. Allow to cool in the tin for about a minute, then place on a wire rack to finish off.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

BumpDate - 28 Weeks

My last pregnancy update was at 21 weeks, to say that time feels like it's flying is an understatement!

I've not had the easiest ride since then, both Ernie and I have been plagued by a nasty flu-like thing. His has developed into Croup, and although I feel a lot better now, I still feel pretty rough.

I've reached the stage where I'm beginning to feel the physical strains of carrying this very active extra load, but I'm really trying to soak it all up and enjoy what, in my opinion, is one of the most amazing things to ever get to experience in life :)

How far along: 28 Weeks - I'm officially entering the third and last trimester.

Total weight gain: 13lb - I've upped the anti on my stretch mark oil application, nothing fancy just good old coconut oil.

Cravings: I'm battling a sweet tooth with this pregnancy, I was definitely more into savoury snacks last time. I'm pretty much always hungry at the moment, and loving all the festive food on offer.

Miss Anything?: I've forgotten what it feels like to not be pregnant (if that makes sense) I'm looking forward to having my strength and stamina back, but at the same time I love the sensation of my baby wriggling inside of me. I think it's more that I miss being able to keep up with my toddler, and having the energy to wear him out properly everyday.

Symptoms: This week I experienced my first braxton hicks, lots of shooting pains in my cervix, my back's starting to get sore, and I'm feeling lots of pressure.

Mood: I've been so distracted with feeling physically ill, that I haven't suffered from any anxiety for a while - which is a bonus. I'm still practicing my Natal Hypnotherapy, and it's really helping me keep a handle on all my mixed up emotions.

Looking Forward To: I'm getting the flu, and whooping cough vaccinations this week and checking in with my midwife, so I'm looking forward to hearing the heart beat, and finding out if everything is measuring fine.

On My Mind: I hope these posts are helpful for other mothers out there, I always feel a little self conscious putting myself out there like this, but if not for anything else, they force me to take photos and record a very special moment in time, that I otherwise probably wouldn't.

If anyone's got any advice, or tips, about going from one child to two - I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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