Welcome Baby Harry!

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So sorry I haven’t updated my blog in the last few weeks but I’m sure some of you have already guessed – Baby C has arrived! He decided to make his appearance at 38 weeks! So, all of those little niggles I was complaining about at 37 weeks (upset stomach, nauseousness, pelvic pressure etc) were obviously little signs that little Harry was definitely on his way.

I went into labour at around 5pm on Thursday 24th May. We arrived at the hospital at around 7pm and I was already 5cm dilated. The midwife said that it was looking to be a nice quick labour – brilliant! However, by midnight my blood pressure had risen, the baby’s heart beat was dropping with each contraction and I hadn’t progressed past 5.5cm. By this time, I was in excruciating pain (make no mistake, labour IS excruciating!) and so crying out for an Epidural. The Epidural was amazing! I was even able to drop off to sleep for a little while! However, by 3.30am I still hadn’t progressed, baby was still struggling and due to my last c-section, the Doctors didn’t want me to labour for much longer due to the pressure on my old scar. The decision was made to take me to theatre and perform an emergency c-section (again!). I won’t lie, I was a bit disappointed not to be able to give birth naturally as intended but by this point all I wanted was a healthy baby by whatever means necessary and I was too tired to care!

At 4.43am, Harry Eric was born weighing 7lb 10oz. The first four minutes of his life were the scariest moments of mine. I felt them pull him from me and whisk him off to my left. A few seconds of silence passed and then I heard the midwife call out, ‘I need help NOW!‘ in a tone which I only recognized as shear panic. Suddenly an alarm was ringing and several doctors were bundling into the room and surrounding my baby. I could hear a midwife saying, ‘come on, breath‘ and the look on my husband’s face said it all. I can’t tell you what was going through my mind at that point – you can probably imagine the worst possible scenarios I was preparing myself for. My husband, usually the reassuring one, wasn’t even able to reassure me that it was going to be ok when I asked him if my baby was ok, and that was what scared me the most. The longest 4 minutes of my life passed and suddenly I heard a sound which will stay with me forever – my baby took his first breath and let out a cry. Thank God.

I was in hospital for 3 days but up and out of bed after a day. My recovery has been a lot LOT quicker than my previous c-section and I think this is due to it being a lower class of emergency and so the surgeons were able to take their time on me more – not to mention the fact that I wasn’t as ill as I was during the birth of my first son and so my body not as tired. Little Harry is just perfect and I have found my second baby a breeze compared to my first. In fact, it’s my toddler which is the hard work!

I will be back on here soon to tell you more about Harry, how my toddler is coping with the new arrival and all of the difficulties I am facing now I have two children to juggle, but right now, Harry is demanding to be fed and I have promised to take Sidney swimming so I have to go… I sure am busy now!

Bye for now!

37 weeks pregnant

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Yes, I made it! My baby is now ‘fully baked’ and if he were to come today, he would most probably be fine! It’s the best milestone to hit, ever! I am no longer at work either, maternity leave has officially begun PLUS I have just sent off my final Open University English assignment for the year so I can now sit back, relax (as much as possible with a two year old!) and wait for Baby C to arrive!

I have had a lot of weird sensations this week – I have been feeling quite nauseous at times, have had a bit of an upset stomach for the last two days, have had a lot of Braxton Hicks and am feeling a lot of pressure on my pelvic floor (as though Baby C is going to bust his way out!). I am hoping that this means things are very close because the sooner he makes an appearance, the better – I’m FAR too uncomfortable to want to go on for longer than I have to now. My back and hips are killing me, I’m tired and everything is a real effort to do. I felt exhausted on Tuesday but luckily my sister-in-law came to the rescue and took my two year old out for the day to give me a rest. It did the trick as I felt a lot better the following day – thanks Abbie!

I went to see the consultant again today and baby is now fully engaged! She has booked me in to see her again at 40 weeks but I really hope that I won’t be needing that appointment. It’s funny, I’m saying this now, but as soon as I have the baby, I will be wondering why I didn’t savour these remaining nights of undisturbed sleep!

Will next weeks post be post-natal? We shall have to just wait and see…

36 weeks pregnant

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Really feeling it now. Sleep is becoming so disturbed now due to lower back pain and I wake up each morning with such sore hips! I think this is probably what it feels like to be really old. Even the muscles at the top of my inside legs are hurting – I feel like I am holding a bowling ball between my legs! One week until the baby is classed as ‘full term’ and then I shall be writing him an eviction notice and willing him to come out!

I have started to get a bit of an itchy rash on the bottom of my bump. During the last few weeks of my last pregnancy, I developed an itchy rash called PUPPS. It was absolutely awful and spread all over my belly and down my legs. The itchiness was unbearable! All I could do was spread camomile lotion on it and try not to scratch. I am REALLY hoping that this isn’t the start of that again.

My husband spent Saturday working on his old crib which he found in his mum’s loft. I was pessimistic at first as it looked so dreary when he first pulled it down, however, after a day of sanding, priming and painting, it has come up lovely! (see pic) I have ordered a mattress and can’t wait for it to arrive so that I can get it all ready and see it all complete.

It’s my last week at work this week. Although I shall miss it, I am glad to be leaving this week, as by 3pm, I struggle to stay awake now and feel I need some time to relax before the baby arrives. I’m not one of these woman who feel content spending all day, everyday at home with the kids – last time I went on maternity leave, I really missed the buzz of work and find working three days a week a perfect balance of being ‘mum’ and being ‘Kelly’, so I’m a little apprehensive about leaving if I’m honest. I am planning to take nine months off but I reckon I’ll be gagging to get back after six! Kids are fantastic, but it’s nice to have a little slice of life which doesn’t involve baby wipes and kids TV.

35 weeks pregnant

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Wow, check out this picture I have put together! The first is of me at 35 weeks pregnant with my son in 2009, and the second is of me this week… I think I look pretty much the same shape and size as before? I wonder if my bump would look any different if I was carrying a girl? (Something which I am not planning on finding out by the way!)

This week I have had the munchies again – I have been eating for England! Today for breakfast I had cereal, followed by a fruit and grain bar at 10, a huge scone with cream and jam at 12, a sandwich and an apple at 2, a yogurt at 4, sausage casserole with a jacket potato for dinner and a box of Malteasers before bed! My daily intake usually consists of cereal, a sandwich, (occasionally a sneaky chocolate bar) and my dinner. I am going to have to blame the baby and insist that he must be putting on lots of much needed weight this week!

The baby demanded I ate the huge scone with lashings of cream and jam, and the family sized box of Malteasers, honest!

We have finally bought the last remaining items which we needed this week – a baby bouncer chair, a play mat with things which hang down for baby to grab at, a mattress for the crib and a baby bath. The crib, I must add, still needs work. Nathan found it in his mum’s loft and it happens to be the one which him and his siblings slept in as babies. It’s a lovely crib but needs a good clean and fresh coat of white paint. Will look lovely once it’s finished – a task for my husband at the weekend I think! The baby bath was a bargain. Found it on ebay and won the auction at an amazing price of 99p! (I say won, but I was actually the only bidder!) Am off to pick that up at the weekend from a seller who lives 10 minutes away from me. So glad I checked on ebay as I was going to buy an identical one from Mothercare for £15.99! (I could spend the £15 which I saved on chocolate perhaps? Hmmmm…)

Been feeling ok this week but I will certainly be happy to have my body back to myself in a few weeks time. Sleeping is becoming so uncomfortable – I keep waking up with a sore back or hips and whenever I roll over, I wake myself up because of the extra weight I’m trying to pull over with me. Only five weeks left but I am secretly hoping that it is only going to be two or three. My hospital bag is packed so I’m all prepared now… I think!

34 weeks pregnant

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This week has been a pain in the hips! Literally! I have been waking up in the morning with such achey hips and lower back. I’m thinking that this is probably everything softening and my hips widening ready for birth! (ouch!) Well, I have always wanted curvier hips so maybe this time I’ll get them? I have also noticed my skin playing up a bit this week. Do you remember me moaning about dry, itchy, old-man elbows a few weeks ago? Well, they cleared up after a few weeks by themselves. However, it appears that they are making an appearance again! I also seem to have an itchy red patch running down my leg too – and all this just as summer approaches and I get the chance to get my limbs out from under the thick winter clothing – just perfect.

Off to Butlins this weekend with my husband, son and parents. Will be a nice weekend break for me to relax and for my son to run riot and have fun with his nanna and granddad. I’ve been looking at all the activities and it seems he’s going to have a blast – Barney & Friends show, Bob the Builder show, toddler disco, messy play time, soccer tots, swimming and loads more for him to get his teeth into! I really can’t wait till he has a little brother to share all of this with. It will be great to see them having so much fun together.

The due date is feeling rather close now. I have begun packing my hospital bag and have written my birth plan – which isn’t really a plan at all seeing as you can’t really ‘plan’ how a birth is going to go, it’s more like a ‘wish list’ containing the pain relief I would and wouldn’t like etc. I have opted for gas and air as much as possible and chosen to avoid Pethidine (because it made me so sick and feel drunk (but in a bad way) last time) and an Epidural (because it slowed my contractions down too much last time and I didn’t like the feeling of being in labour but feeling like nothing was happening) if at all possible.  However, I’m sure it’ll be a different story once I’m in labour and I’ll be screaming for it all! SO… should Baby C decide to arrive early, I’m pretty much prepared!

Jobs for next week – order a baby bouncer chair and get the crib down from the loft!

33 weeks pregnant

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Lots to report on this week! I had an antenatal appointment yesterday and it seems that baby C has spun around and so no longer has his back against my back! I thought this may be the case because my lower back has been feeling a lot better the last couple of weeks – it appears all that work on my hands and knees has paid off! Also, that pressure on my cervix was as I suspect – baby is 3/5ths engaged! (which means the top of his head has started to drop into my pelvis ready for the big day!) This makes it all seem so close now!

This week I also attended the ‘Birth Choices Clinic’ where I sat with a midwife for an hour and we went over everything which happened during the birth of my first son in order to try and make a decision on whether to have a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarian) or a caesarian section this time. I found it really helpful actually. The midwife had all the notes from the previous birth and so could see exactly what happened and give me all the pros and cons of each choice. After a discussion with my husband that night, we have decided that I am going to go for the VBAC if I make it to the due date with no other problems. It was made quite clear to me that at any point during labour, if my blood pressure rises and I am worried, I can request a caesarian (providing I’m not ready to push of course!). This has given me a lot of reassurance. Also, the midwife told me that she has never seen a woman go through pre-eclampsia during two labours – apparently it’s quite rare to happen the second time around. Let’s just hope I’m not the exception!

My conjunctivitis has now cleared up (hoorah!) but I have been  left with a blurry right eye! (oh bugger!) Oh, and now I have come down with a cold! Will I ever be clear of sickness?!

We have been living at my husband’s mother’s for nearly two weeks now and though we are made to feel very welcome and there are no real problems I know of, I am struggling to settle with the idea. My maternal instincts are battling against me and screaming, ‘you need to get you and your family in your own house!‘ I am really really trying to compress and hide these feelings for the sake of my husband (who seems quite happy there) and for the sake of our savings, but I feel it slowly eating away at me the closer the arrival of my second child gets and I’m sure he can see it in me. I am still working three days a week at the moment so am not there a great deal, but I’m so scared that in three weeks time, when I’m on maternity leave and so there all the time, that it will drag me down and become obvious. It’s only been two weeks so I suppose I’m still settling in – maybe in a few weeks I’ll feel differently and start to feel more at home? I just miss my own space, my own furniture, my own little family hideaway. God I miss that.

32 weeks pregnant

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I need some advice from other mums this week please – is it normal to be feeling bouts of sudden pressure on my cervix? I mean, I’ll be sitting down and suddenly it will feel like the baby is pushing down so hard, his head is going to pop out! I don’t remember feeling this with my first son. Maybe it’s his head engaging? Such a weird feeling! I just hope he stays in there for a few more weeks!

I don’t know if the baby has moved position yet and swiveled round to face the correct way but I have certainly been doing everything I can to encourage him to. We moved into my mother-in-law’s this week and so I have been doing a lot of jobs which involved me on my hands and knees, such as unpacking shoes, clearing out cupboards etc. My back doesn’t feel as sore and so I’m hoping that this is a good sign! Either that or I’ve just got used to the pain! The move went well and my son has settled in splendidly! I thought that he’d at least have a few restless nights, but no! Has slept like a log in his new room. That’s a weight off my mind.

I was only saying a couple of weeks ago that there always seems to be something wrong with me, wasn’t I? Well now I have damn conjunctivitis! My son had it a few weeks back and so I probably caught it from him. His cleared up within a few days of applying antibiotic drops, mine however is still at large after a week of drops. I went back to the doctors Tuesday and have been given antibiotics (again). I think this is the third time this pregnancy that I have been on them! I really hope they do the job because my eyes are so sore and bloodshot – I look like a junkie!! I can not wait for my immune system to return to its previous strength!

I’m going to start thinking about my hospital bag this week. I already have 2 nighties (with straps for easy feeding access!), a nursing bra, a pair of slippers, 5 baby vests and a going home outfit for baby packed. Now I just need: BIG cheap knickers, sanitary towels, bra pads, a going home outfit for me (maternity top and leggings and NOT a size 8 tshirt and jeans like I packed last time thinking that my belly would just ping back after one night!), travel-sized toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, body wash, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, makeup remover wipes, hairband, kirby grips, lip balm), a towel, snacks, nappies, baby wipes, muslin cloth, maternity notes… am I missing anything?? Jeez, I’m going to need a suitcase!

31 weeks pregnant

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This week , I had another scan. In the UK, you normally only get two; 12 week and 20 week; but because I am classed as ‘high risk’, they gave me an extra one called a ‘growth scan’. I arrived and the first thing the sonographer asked me was if I had any problems. I mentioned my terrible lower back pain (which is getting worse!). After a minute of scanning my bump, the sonographer smiled and said, ‘that explains the back pain then – your baby is in the occipito posterior position‘. This means that my baby’s head is down and its back is against my spine instead of facing the other way round. Apparently this causes extra stress to the mother’s back. So no wonder I have been feeling a lot more achey than I was when I was carrying my son! It’s not just because I am two years older after all! Ok, so the baby facing the wrong way and causing me temporary back pain is all very well, but how does this effect the birth if he hasn’t spun round by then? After some quick Googling, I have found that babies in the OP position mean a slower, longer and more painful labour! Oh God. So maybe a C-section may be on the cards after all. I have until 35 weeks to make a decision, let’s hope he spins around. I have been advised to get down on all fours and wash the skirting boards to help encourage him to turn round – fat chance of that happening the way my back feels at the moment!

We move house on Friday so lots of packing and sorting out to do over the next few days. Can’t wait to put all the baby clothes into his set of draws actually. At the moment they are all just sat in a vacuum pack bag on the floor, ready for the move. I bought a cute little coming home outfit for him a few days ago – a blue and white stripey all-in-one romper suit with matching hat. It’s so tiny! He will be here before I know it!

Pics above are obviously of the scan – pic 1 shows side profile of Baby C with his thumb in his mouth. Pic 2 shows Baby C with his head turned to face the camera. Not as clear as the 20 week scan pic but I guess this is because they can’t fit him all on the shot now he’s so big!

30 weeks pregnant

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Well, the lower back pain has certainly kicked in this week! I feel like a bit of an invalid actually – every time I try to do too much (and when I say ‘too much’, I mean, not a lot at all), I get awful back pain and have to sit down. At the weekend I had a small list of household jobs to do – clean the bathroom, vacuum the upstairs, load the washing into the machine and do some dusting. I finished the bathroom and collapsed on the sofa exhausted! It’s so frustrating, especially as we are moving house next week and so all I want to do is get stuck into the packing! I have been getting little bouts of feeling nauseous this week too. They do say that you start to feel bad in the last trimester again and they weren’t joking! I feel like an over-inflated beach ball!

Starting to get a little nervous about the impending birth now too. I think, now I have hit 30 weeks, it is feeling really close – realistically, the baby could come at anytime from 37 weeks so I may not have long at all. Memories of my son’s birth are starting to come back to me and I’m starting to remember just how painful those contractions were! I still have the option of a planned c-section of course and this option is looking more attractive every day! Got a ‘Birth Choices Clinic’ appointment to attend in a couple of weeks where I will sit down and discuss all my concerns with a midwife and get some advice – hopefully this will help me make up my mind.

Quite looking forward to the move next week now. Although I am still very nervous about the thought of moving into somebody else’s home, I am eager to get all of our stuff in and settle down before the new arrival. My husband is going over there to decorate our room this weekend so that it’s nice and fresh for us. My ‘nesting’ is still at large and so the thought of a good clear out and then placing all of our stuff into a nice clean, newly decorated room, is lovely. I am cleaning a lot at the moment – I just hope my mother-in-law doesn’t get offended when I start vacuuming under the sofas and scrubbing the kitchen cupboards! It’s nothing I wouldn’t be doing in my own home, I’m just a bit OCD at the moment!

Is chivalry dead?

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I had the joy of catching the train into London on Monday. Being 30 weeks pregnant, the thought of pushing my way onto a busy train, finding a seat and then navigating my way through the London underground with a million impatient commuters was filling me with dread. I have got to the point in my pregnancy where my hefty bump is beginning to take its toll on my lower back – I can’t stand for more than fifteen minutes without feeling like I have walked the marathon or getting leg cramp. I spent the whole night before worrying about the thought of having to stand for an hour on the train if all the seats were already taken. My husband assured me that someone would spot the bump and let me sit, but I wasn’t so sure; I was dubious – are people as considerate in the city?

I was over the moon to find that the train I caught at 9.12am was pretty empty and so finding a seat was a breeze. However, once I was in London, the underground was a different story. The doors to my first tube train opened to reveal a tightly packed carriage of people. I quickly scanned the seats for an empty one, but to no avail. I headed toward the back of the carriage where the four ‘Priority Seats’ were positioned, each boasting a bright blue sticker which explained that these seats were for the ‘less able – disabled, pregnant or less able to stand’. I hovered by these seats, occasionally placing my hand on the lower part of my back to emphasise my bump and signal the fact that my back was pretty damn sore. Was anyone going to notice, or even care? On one side was a young couple in their late twenties. The girl was flicking through a magazine and didn’t even look up, the guy just glared with a vacant expression and continued to tap his foot to the music he was listening to on his headphones. On the opposite side was an older man, late forties, in a suit, and a woman with a large suitcase. The man briefly glanced up – this it is, I thought, surely any man of this generation would give his seat up for a pregnant woman? But no, he looked back down and continued to flick though his sodding newspaper. It was the woman with the suitcase who noticed me and immediately jumped up, offering me her seat and telling me that she has children and so knows what it’s like to be carrying around that extra weight all day. I thanked her whole heartily, shooting the newspaper man an icy stare as I sat. My next train was pretty much the same – Priority Seats mostly full of middle-aged men and it was the one young Asian girl who jumped up to let me sit. The men just watched as she gripped hold of the rail and joined the other standing passengers.

So is chivalry dead? Are the times when a man would willingly give up their seat for a woman gone? Or is it just the City which has killed all signs of the true gentleman with its rat-race culture? I honestly thought that if anyone was going to give up their seat on that first train, that it would have been the man with the newspaper. When the woman jumped up, dragging her huge suitcase with her, I presumed that he would follow, letting us both sit, like a true gentleman should. Or am I being too old fashioned? Sexist even? Maybe all of the ‘equal rights’ which us women have pushed onto society have taken their toll and men now expect us to lie in the bed we have made for ourselves. We can open our own doors, stand on a train and walk our own backsides home in the rain. It is a shame and I truly hope that the age of the gentleman is not dying – I at least will be bringing my own son up to be one and I hope other mothers do as well. Long live ‘ladies first’!