Pregnancy update 40 weeks

40-weeksSo I am officially overdue! I’ve been expecting this all along so it’s not that much of a surprise to me. Since my last update last week, I have finished all the items I wanted to make for the babies room, attended the hospital for monitoring 3 times, had my mum visit for the day, been on plenty of short walks and spent the weekend with my husband trying to keep busy.

I finally saw a consultant yesterday who seemed to disagree with the registrars I had previously seen in terms of how I should be cared for. He feels I have some signs of mild pregnancy induce hypertension (sometimes the results are even in the normal range) with the risk of development in to pre-eclampsia (which he explained could even happen at the birth or up to 6 weeks postnatal) but my blood results are saying the pregnancy is going well and showing no signs of pre-eclampsia. He feels it is better to leave me alone but he made sure I was aware of the symptoms of pre-eclampsia and that if any develop or I have any problems to ring the labour ward. No induction date was planned as it is better for the baby to come naturally if possible as this reduces the risks of further interventions. So no more monitoring appointments, just the standard 41 week midwife appointment next week and no medications required now or after the birth (just further blood tests and blood pressure checks after the birth to ensure everything goes back to normal).

Every midwife I have seen over these last 2 weeks has said, based on the tightenings they can see on the monitors or feel when examining my bump (but they are rarely painful), I will be having the baby soon. When this all started at 38 weeks I was told I would be back in labour before 39 weeks so you can understand why I am not getting my hopes up and preparing to still be overdue next week. I am trying to stay positive though. I had been putting off starting projects but to be honest with all the hospital visits I haven’t really needed to anyway. When I got home yesterday I started a new crochet project for the baby and also a new book. Either these things will keep me busy and occupied for a while or baby will decide to come along and interrupt them. I’m also going to keep writing some draft blog posts. I have a few written already and more planned including more in The Great Outdoors series and some UK handmade spotlight posts. Here’s hoping my next update is a welcome to the world baby post! We are more than ready and excited to meet this little one.

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The great outdoors – The National Trust

I don’t know about where you are but the weather here today is lovely and spring like and makes me want to go out walking in the country. At 39 weeks pregnant though the best I can manage right now is a slow ‘waddle’ round the neighbourhood. Things won’t be like this for ever though and I am very much looking forward to family days out from this summer onwards.

We are lucky in Great Britain to be surrounded by so many beautiful landscapes to explore. I am based in the North West and here in Cheshire we have great places to visit but we are also on the doorstep of the Peak District. We are also regular visitors to Yorkshire, Anglesey and North Wales and the Lake District. I can not wait to continue to explore these places with our little one.

I am a firm believer in the importance of children spending time outdoors and it seems I am not alone as I have discovered several projects/websites promoting the importance of kids getting back to nature recently. This has inspired me to start a series of posts showcasing these projects/websites/places which I hope you enjoy and find useful.  Please get in touch if you know any locations, projects, websites or events aimed at getting families outside that you think I should include.

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First up is The National Trust with their 50 things to do before you are 11 3/4, which is a virtual explorer site to encourage kids to have fun outside. The national trust has come up with 50 fun activities that they believe all children should experience which include sledging, camping in the wild, catch a crab, climb a huge hill and plant it, grow it, eat it. For each activity the site has top tips and suggestions of National Trust sites where you can complete it. When a task is complete the child can complete the task my writing about it and uploading a photo of them completing the activity on the website (only the parent and child can see the photo so it is not going public) and they will receive a virtual badge and reward (online games and clothes to personalise their virtual explorer). There is also a parents area with tips and safety advice for each activity.

Whilst we are talking about The National Trust it is worth mentioning that this weekend they are granting free admission to over 200 locations. For details of participating locations and to download your voucher visit their website here.

Below are a few photos I have taken at National Trust sites.

Tatton park, Cheshire

Tatton park, Cheshire

Marsden moor, West Yorkshire

Marsden moor, West Yorkshire

Pod camping at Low Wray, National Trust campsite, the Lake District

Pod camping at Low Wray, National Trust campsite, the Lake District

Low Wray National Trust campsite, The Lake District

Low Wray National Trust campsite, The Lake District

Hardwick hall, Derbyshire

Hardwick hall, Derbyshire

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Alderley Edge, Cheshire

Pregnancy update – 39 weeks

39weeksI’m sure you’re as surprised as I am that I am writing an update only 2 weeks after the last. Since my last update it was discovered at my 38 week midwife appointment that my blood pressure had gone up a bit. This led to me spending the afternoon on the maternity ward having bloods taken, blood pressure monitoring every 5 minutes for 1 hour and the baby’s heart rate being monitored too. My blood pressure came down, baby was showing no signs of distress and my blood results were ok so thankfully I was discharged after a couple of hours. I had to return yesterday to have my blood pressure re-checked. It was meant to be a quick appointment as it was assumed that the initial high reading at the midwife appointment was not a true reflection of my normal blood pressure. Unfortunately though my readings started high again and so the process of bloods and monitoring me and baby started all over again. I was seen by a doctor who diagnosed me with pregnancy induced high blood pressure but as it is only mild/my bloods are again ok/baby not distressed I was sent home with no need for medication but I have been informed of the signs of pre-eclampsia and told to phone if I feel unwell or think baby is not moving as much. I also have to go back on monday for more blood pressure monitoring (in case it goes any higher). It’s good that they are keeping a close eye on me and on the positive side my blood pressure could have gone up a lot earlier but I do feel that it is making me anxious for my baby to arrive safely. I feel like I am constantly focusing on how much it is moving etc.

I have been having more Braxton hicks contractions, they were on and off all day yesterday and I have had some today but not as many by a long way. Hopefully this is a good sign that things are moving in the right direction but I’m still trying to prepare myself for going overdue. Before the high blood pressure was picked up they had said they would let me go 12 days overdue before inducing but perhaps now they won’t let me go as long. My family constantly keep asking if I have any signs and I’m not sure that I will be able to keep calm and not snap at them if it continues daily for the next 2 and a bit weeks! I know they are just excited to meet the baby and also as concerned as I am about my blood pressure etc but it does get a bit annoying when I am trying to stay positive and calm. Last weekend my friend who was due a few days before me had her beautiful baby boy so I think this has only increased everyone’s excitement for our baby to makes it appearance too. I keep telling them babies come when they are ready!

This post is starting to sound a bit too much like I am fed up but I’m not (most of the time). I’m just excited to meet my little one and start my new life as a mum. My husband is a fantastic support when I do get fed up or worried and our families are great too. Last week my mum and sister came down for the day, helped me with a few jobs, my sister (a beauty therapist) gave me a pedicure and they took me out for lunch. This week my sister-in-law came down for the day with my 3 year old nephew and we had a lovely day just relaxing and visiting the local park.

I still enjoy feeling the baby kick me (although sometimes it is a bit uncomfortable now it is running out of room). It has what my husband has named ‘a mad half hour’ every night without fail (it gets very active and we can see a little foot moving across my bump or pushing outwards). It is usually just as I am about to head off to bed, I don’t mind so much (although I have told my husband once it’s here if it’s as nocturnal as he is I will feed it and then head off to bed leaving it with him until the next feed or he comes to bed). I enjoy the time each night feeling it being active and watching my husband talk to it and feel it move for himself. I think this is the bit of pregnancy I will miss but I am sure having a baby will more than make up for it.

I’ve also been doing some more crafting for the nursery these last few weeks. I’ve almost finished a hot air balloon mobile and a couple of embroidery hoop pictures. I’ve also crocheted a stuffed bear. I hope to finish these all in the next few days and then I will share pictures with you. The only other thing left to do in the nursery is order some stickers to make the magnolia walls more interesting and finish these last few crafts. If the baby arrives before these last few bits are done though it is not the end of the world as it will be in our room at first anyway. So the nursery is almost finished, the baby clothes are washed, my hospital bag is packed and I am more than ready to meet this little one. Let’s hope this baby arrives soon.

The Lullaby Trust

21973117-F24A-4FB6-AB56-05B52D5F091F-8647-00000ADE3CC12458_zps47e8c51fOne of my intentions when starting the blog was to showcase what is available for families in the UK. I wanted to showcase UK hand made artists, photographers, products and locations aimed at families. Today I would like to highlight a charity that has been supporting families in the UK for 40 years. The charity was formally none as The Foundation for Study of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (FSID) and yesterday it relaunched as The Lullaby Trust. One of the reasons they have changed their name is to ensure that sudden infant death is not ignored and considered an issue of the past.

Each year over 600 apparently healthy babies die suddenly and unexpectedly in the UK. The lullaby trust not only funds research in to reducing the risk of sudden infant death, they provide advice on how to reduce the risk of sudden infant death (find their advice here), they help to support bereaved families through this devastating time and they work within the NHS to support bereaved parents through their programme Care Of the Next Infant (CONI), both before and after the birth of future children. To find out more about The Lullaby Trust, please visit their website.

The hope is that by changing their name to The Lullaby Trust, they will be able to reach out to even more parents as they believe their new name communicates warmth, trust and compassion. It is also a simpler name to remember and illustrates their commitment to promote safer sleep for babies to all families.

The Lullaby Trust have been working closely with one UK parent blogger, Jennie from Edspire, who tragically lost her baby Matilda Mae to SIDS just nine weeks ago, to help spread the news of the relaunch. Jeannie has asked bloggers to share the news and link up blog posts on the theme of lullabies. If you would like to read more of these posts, please visit this page on Edspire to see all the bloggers who have linked up.

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Here is my contribution on the theme of lullabies.

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Both me and my husband are book lovers and have already bought a few books for our baby who is due in a few weeks. I love children’s books, both the classics I remember from my own childhood and discovering some of the new ones. I always planned to share some of my favorites on the blog and a post on the theme of lullabies seems the perfect time to share this collection of nursery rhymes and lullabies. This is a board book so perfect for little hands and includes 16 nursery rhymes and lullabies. Most of them I remember well from my own childhood and don’t need the book for the words but I fell in love with this book, as each double page spread includes beautiful illustrations based on the lullaby. I cannot wait to snuggle up with our little one at bedtime, looking at the pictures and reading or singing the words.

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Packing my hospital bag

With less than 3 weeks until my due date my hospital bag is packed so I thought I would share what I have packed for us. As a first time mum please let me know if I have missed anything essential!

What I have packed for me014

  • My maternity notes
  • TENS machine
  • Ipod, magazine, pen and paper
  • Some isotonic sports drinks as well as straws for sipping water
  • Energy sweets
  • Raw jelly (my midwife mentioned this was a good high energy snack and I loved raw jelly as a child more so than once it is made up).
  • Jaffa cakes
  • Lip balm
  • Socks
  • Flannel
  • Camera
  • Dark coloured nightie for labour
  • Hand held fan
  • 2 nighties with front opening for after labour
  • Underwear
  • Nursing bras (ok these aren’t even bought yet let alone packed but that’s tomorrows job!)
  • Slippers
  • Dressing gown
  • Change of t-shirt for my husband
  • Maternity pads
  • Breast pads and lansinoh nipple cream
  • Deodorant, shower gel, shampoo and conditioner (all miniatures)
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Facial wipes
  • Hand held mirror
  • Hair brush
  • Few bits of make up
  • I will add a going home outfit and my mobile phone before we leave for the hospital (yes I have left a small list at the top of the bag, which is left open with list visible, to remind me)

For baby011

  • Newborn size 1 nappies
  • Cotton wool
  • Nappy bags
  • Couple of muslin squares
  • 4 vests and 4 sleepsuits
  • Cotton hat
  • Mittens
  • Little cardigan knitted by my grandma
  • Jacket for coming home in (we’re supposed to be having a spring baby, a friend of my sisters has kindly lent us a couple of newborn snowsuits so if it’s still this cold my husband can bring one of these and a blanket in when he comes to bring us home).
  • Car seat

I also have a bag in the babies room with extras that we may need if we stay in longer such as more maternity pads, nappies etc to help my husband out a bit.

Pregnancy update 37 weeks

008I’ve been off work now over a month yet this is my only update since 30 weeks (at the rate I am writing these updates it could well be my last pregnancy update). I’m 37 weeks pregnant so realistically baby could come any time now however I suspect I will go overdue. Since my 30 week update I have finished work, attended NHS antenatal classes, almost finished the nursery and set about spring cleaning the house.

During my first week off work I struggled with a virus and almost completely lost my voice. Morning sickness seems to have returned along with the occasional attack of dizziness and the indigestion has worsened.So although I finished work early (32 weeks) and worried I would be bored, I am glad I saved some annual leave and finished this early. My energy most of the time is still good (bad days are usually down to the occasional bad nights sleep). I feel for 37 weeks I am coping pretty well and as such have been keeping busy spring cleaning the house. I think my body is now starting to tell me to slow down though. After a particularly busy day on Saturday, late afternoon I struggled to be able to put weight on one leg due to pain in my hip which made walking around the house difficult (I have had no problem with hip or pelvis pain up until now). Thankfully this only lasted the one evening but then yesterday I started with stomach cramps. I knew they were not contractions as they did not peak and whilst I was doing housework the cramp was constant. I had a lie down and this almost instantly relieved the cramps. I spent the rest of the day sat down crafting more bits for the nursery and have been doing the same today and the cramps have not returned.

Talking of crafting for the baby, since my last update I have made a cushion for the chair which you can see below along with a few other pictures of my favorite bits of the nursery so far.nursery so far022

I have visited the midwife a few times since my last update. Everything is going to plan so the appointments go without much to report but it is always nice to hear the heart beat and ask about anything that might be worrying me. My bump always measures a couple of weeks behind what it should but the midwife is not concerned by this and says that my bump is pretty much all baby. I attended 3 NHS antenatal classes including a tour of the hospital which my husband came along to. Although they were useful I was surprised at the lack of information on labour positions and breathing. My yoga classes have taught me a lot about keeping moving and allowing gravity to help in labour as well as breathing and trying to keep calm. We attended a couples yoga for labour session that my teacher held a couple of weeks back which showed our birth partners the postures/movements we had been practicing and how they could help to support and encourage us through labour as well as teaching us breathing techniques and massage techniques that we may or may not find useful in labour. I may be a naive first time mum but I am hopeful that my yoga classes will be helpful in labour or perhaps I am naive and in a few months time I will be writing a birth story involving lying flat on my back ignoring all the yoga teaching. We’ll see and so long as both myself and the baby are safe and healthy that is all that matters. For this reason I have put off writing a birth plan to date. I feel the midwives are the experts and I will go with whatever gets my baby here safest and I also know as a first time mum I have no idea how I will cope with labour and what I will want. So I feel keeping my options open is the best way forward (although I think I would like a water birth, I don’t want to set my heart on it as I know for various reasons it might not happen and equally on the day I may be able to have one but simply change my mind!).

So this may or may not be my last pregnancy update before baby arrives but I will try my best to write another. I have also started a post on packing my hospital bag and hopefully there will be a post on the final crafting I am doing a full reveal of the finished nursery if it is complete in time.