Monday 30 April 2012

Full Term Baby Here We Come! 24 Weeks, 5 Days

Because of my history of high blood pressure with Callum, the Midwife hadbooked me an extra appointment than is normal for a second pregnancy.

She called the other week to say she could no longer make the appointment and recommended I make the appointment with the Dr instead for BP and Urine check. This I did and the appointment was Wednesday just gone!

It was good news – whoop, whoop! My BP was 124/78 which I think is the best it’s been for ages – years probably! In addition, there were no signs of either protein or sugars in my Urine! I didn’t have evidence of protein last time but I was worried about the sugars – the amount of chocolate and sweet stuff I’ve been eating recently, I was fully expecting this to be high so good stuff!

This really does feel me with confidence that I will go full term with this baby!

There are chances, of course (there are always chances) that this one could come just as early or earlier and, as the Dr reminded me, its not for certain that my high BP led to my waters breaking early – and I really didn’t do myself any favours that day after my hike around London, two meals of spicy food and a short jog (as much as an 8 month pregnant lady can jog) from the car to the Chinese, it really wasn’t surprising – but it could’ve been a factor and anything that points away from this is reassuring to me. The biggest fear, of course, is baby coming even earlier!

All this being said, you bet your life if 15 August arrives without baby making an appearance, I’m booking a trip to London to hike around half the city with a spicy pizza for lunch and a spicy Chinese for dinner (whether I puke it up or not!!!) – although I wouldn’t want a premature baby if I can help it, there were advantages in Callum’s case of only being just shy of the 37 weeks (he was born about 36+4 – which they class as 4 weeks prem), he was a good weight (5lb 15oz) both in terms of delivery for me and healthy for him, apart from a spot of jaundice and low blood sugars, he didn’t have any health risks or need any special care.

So the advantages were:

  • His size! It was painful enough squeezing this little one out…I do not want to experience much bigger!! Also, I do believe his size was why I didn’t tear.
  • I never got to that stage where I felt bored, frustrated and over with it all in terms of the pregnancy. When I hear others talk about those last few weeks of pregnancy, I’m always relieved I didn’t have to experience it – especially going over due and having the constant phonecalls of “I hadn’t heard from you for 8 hours are you OK, is it happening now?”. In contrast, when people asked me how long to go they’d often pipe up with “ooh, not long now” and I’d be panicked and say I wasn’t ready yet. I wasn’t ready (mentally – physically, I’d been ready for weeks with my hospital bag packed, nursery decorated etc!) and didn’t want the last few weeks to go quicker than I was ready for!
  • I’m pretty sure the first few weeks were easier for us because all Callum did was sleep all the time. Everyone says the first 6 weeks are the hardest – I wondered what they were all going on about. Then 6 weeks hit. Just as everyone else said things get harder, I was a mess!

So, as soon as I reach term – bring on the pineapple, long walks, spicy curries, sex, acupuncture, reflexology, evening primrose, raspberry leaf tea, nipple stimulation, caster oil – this baby will be coming out!

For anyone who hasn’t already read my birth story and has a few hours to kill, you can find it here.

Monday 23 April 2012

Baking with a 3 year old

Created from a combination of cooking experiences with my 3 year old!

  1. Get 3 year old exciting about cooking
  2. Get out cookbooks to look up recipes
  3. Find a recipe for biscuits
  4. Go to get ingredients ready
  5. Realise you don’t have right ingredients/enough quantity
  6. (at this point, you could go ahead and make biscuits but to a fewer quantity than recipe adjusting the ingredients but, in my experience, this never works! I’ve tried several times)
  7. Look up a new recipe.
  8. 7 recipes later…child is looking bored and losing interest in baking
  9. Find a cake recipe
  10. Get ingredients ready
  11. Give 3 year old eggs to break in bowl
  12. Me: “A little harder…a little harder….NOT THAT HARD”
  13. Fish out bits of egg shell and clear up egg from worktop
  14. Say calmly to 3 year old “No don’t eat the egg, you mustn’t put your fingers in it”
  15. Weigh out caster sugar
  16. Me: “Stop putting your fingers in the egg”
  17. Add sugar to egg
  18. A little less calm “stop putting your fingers in, stop trying to eat it!”
  19. Turn on mixer, 3 year old insists on holding it and turns it up to full power
  20. Wipe egg & sugar mix off your face, 3 year old’s face, work surfaces and walls
  21. Try the mixing again ensuring 3 year old’s fingers are well away from controls yet still holding the mixer
  22. 3yo: “Is it done now” Me: “not yet, bit longer” (repeat times 30)
  23. Weigh out and sieve flour
  24. Child insists on holding the sieve and shaking it vigorously
  25. End up looking like 2 snowmen
  26. Wipe off as much of the flour as possible and add in a little extra to make up for what was lost
  27. Turn back for a second to put sieve away, turn back to see toddler eating mixture
  28. Slightly more raised voice “Stop eating it, leave it alone”
  29. Fold in flour
  30. Child adds in another spoon of unsieved flour while you are distracted with the folding
  31. Child shakes in salt that you left out from gathering biscuit ingredients at step 4
  32. Getting a little stressed “NOOOO, we don’t need salt in this recipe”
  33. 3yo: “but I want salt”, Me (through gritted teeth): “no, this recipe doesn’t use salt, it wont taste very nice”
  34. Wrestle salt off child as he is trying to add more salt
  35. Go to get out cake tins – realise part of the tin you need is elsewhere after making a cake and taking it to a relative/friend a year ago
  36. Make do with 2 slightly too big cake tins instead
  37. [Shouting] “STOP EATING THE CAKE MIX, you can lick the bowl and spoon in a minute!!!”
  38. Distribute mix between tins
  39. Go to put tins in oven
  40. Realise oven isn’t on
  41. Set oven to required temp and wait
  42. and wait
  43. 3 year old starts shaking flour packet
  44. You don’t clear it up and resign yourself to the pasty white look!
  45. You DO put away ingredient packets you no longer need
  46. Oven heats up and you place tins in oven
  47. 3yo: “Is it ready yet?” Me “No, I’ve just put it in the oven”, 3yo:”I want cake, mummy, I want cake…Mummy, is it ready now, I want cake…can I have cake now?” Me: “NO, Not until the beeper goes off and when its cool”
  48. Get ingredients ready for butter icing – remember from when you went to get ingredients for biscuits at step 4 that you didn’t have enough butter – still don’t have enough butter – use clover!
  49. Help child sieve icing & cocoa powder into butter
  50. Clearly having not learned from last time – end up now a white and brown marbled snowman!
  51. Wrestle fork off child who starts stirring mixture before there is no dry mix left in the butter
  52. Beeper goes off for cake, tip out the crispy biscuits (meant to be cake) onto cooling wire
  53. “Mummy, I want to see cake, I can’t see cake, Mummy where’s cake, I want to see”
  54. Once biscuit/cake cooled, spoon on mix
  55. Poor yourself LARGE glass of wine, break off 2 bits of biscuit/cake, sod the cleaning, sit down and consume
  56. Go to answer doorbell and wonder why the gas man gives you a peculiar look!

All things Pregnancy, 23 Weeks, 5 Days

Just a general pregnancy update from me.

It took a while into the second trimester but I’ve been feeling really well and much more like the normal me recently. So much so that I often get a little shock when I catch a glance of myself in the mirror or lay down in bed at night to see a protruding bump!

Then someone asked me how I was feeling on Saturday morning so I said, truthfully, that I was feeling good and would be happy if I could stay feeling like this for the remainder of the pregnancy. Why did I say that? I clearly jinxed myself! By the end of the day I felt like I’d morphed into an old woman. It started lunchtime – I’d gone in my friend’s' car (we had our two friends and their children visiting for the night) to show her where the supermarket & pharmacy were. When we got back and I went to get out the car I got a shooting pain through my pelvis like I was all out of line. I couldn’t put any weight on my right leg without crying out in pain! I could hardly walk for a bit. Then every time I went to stand after sitting down for a while I could hardly stand straight and felt all stiff. By the end of the day I felt like I’d been doing a vigorous exercise class and it was the morning after!

I guess I need to take that as my warning to slow down! I’d spent 1.5 days spring cleaning that week and perhaps these aches and pains were a result of that!

I guess my pelvis is starting to move about now too – although I thought any significant moves would be later along in the pg in the third trimester! I guess not!

I have a few things on my mind at the moment relating to delivery. First one being the hospital we go to. I’m not feeling the confidence with Poole Hospital. If they’d allow tours or for me to see the labour ward, perhaps I’d feel a bit different but considering I wont ever even see the hospital until its time to give birth as my appointments are all held at Bournemouth Hospital (a lovely hospital but only a MW-led unit so no drugs!!! – of the type I’d be after anyway!), I’m really not liking what I’m hearing from other people about the place. I’ve heard it resembling a bunker on more than one occasion.

The other thing I’m not happy about in going there is that they don’t offer mobile epidurals. I really don’t want to be restricted to lying on my back for the duration of labour and have the joy of being fitted with a catheter which, from what I understand, means you are more likely to spend longer in hospital. I had a mobile epidural with Callum but, although I was pretty restricted to the bed because of being hooked up to bp monitors etc,, and although the top ups failed, I was able to wiggle around and go to the toilet if I wanted. I’d still rather have a mobile epidural where the top ups don’t work rather than a full on epidural that glues me to the bed unable to move.

Going by my last birth plan, I’m sure after saying all this, that will be exactly what happens despite my best intentions – I get glued to a bed on my back with a catheter – as labours and births are so unpredictable and so often does not go according to plan but the best I can do is make efforts in the right direction to getting the plan I want.

I did think that Poole or Bournemouth were my only options. However, I’ve since heard I could go to Salisbury!

So, I’m going to contact Salisbury hospital to discuss what options there are and, if they offer a tour, I’m going to take a look.

Salisbury is further away to travel than Poole – 30 mins opposed to 15-20 but its worth looking into!

I guess another thing that must be on my mind according to my dream last night is breastfeeding and getting baby to latch on…to both breasts!

Last time, Callum and I took until the last night/day in hospital (C was born on Tuesday & we left on Friday) until we both finally got it and we never really got the hang of my right boob as I have a slightly inverted/flat nipple! But I must remember i) it was my first time breastfeeding a baby; ii) Callum was early and it is common for early babies to struggle with latching on at first; and iii) I was too self-conscious to ask for help,. This time I’ll have the advantage of having done it before, I’m more determined to ask for help if I need it and go to support groups and, all things being well, this one might have a better chance of getting it from the off…! We wont know until we get there.

But there have been things I’ve learnt, from my own experience and that of others which I’m going to try. The support groups being one of them but also, to start using Linsinoh right from the start (it was my saviour last time when I discovered it and, a little secret for those that don’t know, its fantastic at protecting sore little bums at night with bad nappy rash!!!) and I will try Medela nipple shields on recommendation from a friend who also didn’t take to breastfeeding immediately and tried several brands.

Whoever said breastfeeding is natural is lying! I hate that saying as it makes you think that its easy and both your baby and your body will know instantly what to do without any assistance – often it is not that easy and requires patience, persistence and a high pain threshold to cope with the needle sharp pains in your nipples!!!

Which might make you wonder why I am bothering to try again – I know, it surprised me but I do think I stopped last time just as I was getting into the flow of it (pardon the pun) and, if I do manage to get this baby feeding off both boobs then I think it will be worth the effort and initial pain (that does get better) in the beginning!

Positives I did learn from last time were that I’m not going to wait for 6 weeks until my flow is established before expressing and bottle feeding – I do believe Callum never had a problem switching to bottle because he had both breast & bottle from the start. This is also what I understand from other people’s experiences too and those that solely breastfed (from breast) and didn’t use a bottle at all until much later often had a much more difficult transition period – some babies never mastering a bottle! I want Stuart to share in the feeding so I can have a break from time to time!

Finally, to end on a high, Stuart finally felt the baby move last night – woohooooooo! Kicks and wiggles are in full swing as I am typing now! I think I am calling her Wiggles or Wiggly while she is in the womb as that seems to be what comes to mind when I talk about her.

Wednesday 11 April 2012

Daddy is The Man!

Its all about Daddy at the moment! Callum cries for Daddy when he isn’t there, asks regularly if Daddy is coming now? Is Daddy going to be there? Is Daddy home etc?

An over-hungry tantrum the other day concluded with a 10 minute continuous dialogue of “I want Daaaaddeeeeee”

When Daddy is around, he can’t get a minute’s piece. Callum is glued to him and wants to go wherever he goes and wont let me do anything…not even cuddle him

Not that I ‘mind’ as such in a jealous way! Of course, I would like the odd cuddle now and again but there are benefits – Daddy has to take him to the toilet, get him dressed, give him his breakfast, pick him up, etc. Although it can be inconvenient – it is often a lot easier if Callum would just let me do things occasionally, especially when Stuart is busy doing something else. Not to mention it must be quite exhausting for Stuart sometimes.

But I know how these things work and, after 3.5 years, I’ve learnt that it swings both ways (it I said not he! far too early for that!). One month it will be all about Daddy then the next month it swings back to me and I can do no wrong, am the only one that can kiss his knee better, put him to bed etc.

But then, since finding out I’m having a girl, the little girl I’ve always dreamed of, everyone keeps telling me that girls are “Daddies’ girls you know”. Looks like, if Callum keeps this current Daddy phase up, I may become redundant. So, a nice holiday somewhere hot sounds nice…who needs a Mummy anyway?

Friday 6 April 2012

Putting a price on fun!

Last night I had a rare opportunity to go out for the night. Well, we both did, Stuart and I. It was a work event and as it fell on the Thursday before Good Friday we thought we’d get a babysitter and both go. I had already been thinking of getting a babysitter so we can go out for dinner anyway so it seemed like a good idea.

A contributing factor (though of course not the main or only reason) for us moving to Bournemouth was to be near family. We realised how hard it is to bring up children when you don’t have your family near by. And, of course, a big benefit of being near them is the opportunity of a free babysitter!

However, this doesn’t happen as often or as easily as you’d think. Firstly, there is now my brother and family, my sister and family and ourselves all down this way, all sharing my parents’ kind services. I am transported back to being a kid again when I saw my brother and sister always asking for lifts from my parents so I rarely did but when I did it was always on a night they were busy themselves or just wanted a night off to themselves. My parents are wonderful and my Mum will always put herself out to help us when she can and I am incredibly grateful for all she does but I also appreciate that looking after kids when you are at retirement age is hard work. Not to mention, she is recovering from an ankle operation. Plus I don’t like to take her for granted so I hate asking her. I get nervous and fear her saying no. Not because of the rejection but because I know that if she says no she will feel bad herself for not being able to help and I just feel so much guilt!

But it isn’t just down to my parents, my sister-in-law loves having Callum and has always said if ever we need a babysitter to ask. She has looked after Callum a couple of times. But this weekend is her Birthday weekend so I don’t like to ask. Plus, she has only asked us once if we can help out and we’ve had to say no because its our anniversary. I’d really like to be able to offer our services to her before I feel like we are taking her for granted too.

And then there is my sister. I know she will help out when she can but she has 3 children already so I hate to burden her with another!

In addition to all the above and my ‘mental’ issues with each situation, Thursday is a work day. Each of our babysitting options really require us getting Callum to their house…probably for similar reasons to mentioned above. Maybe more my guilt than there inability but if someone is doing us a favour, I like to make it as easy as possible for them. Being as we were working during the day and then we are off on a day trip today, making picking up this morning difficult, it wasn’t going to be a viable solution to ask family.

So,that leaves the familiar method to many – the Babysitter!

We have a benefit over when we were in Surrey as now we have the nursery staff on hand. Great! Callum’s old nursery didn’t allow it. This one, the Managers don’t encourage it, but it is up to the individual nursery nurses if they want to do it so they stay out of it. This is brilliant and I was thrilled when I found out. I asked how much and the lady I spoke to said usually around £6 but, again it was down to the individual.

When we asked the first time, I think we paid £7 per hour for 4 hours then rounded it up a couple of pound to £30.

Last night I made the mistake of forgetting to ask until we were out! I sent the text thinking the worst it would be was about £8. I was wrong…back comes the text….

“Ern, its entirely up to you. I normally get given about £10 an hour but like I said its entirely up to you.”

What could I say…you’ve probably sussed out by now I’m a wimp! Read above again if you don’t believe me. I couldn’t say when we were already out…”actually, we are only willing to pay you £8”.

So, £10 a bloody hour it was – that’s £40 for 4 hours!!!! On top of whatever Stuart and I each pay out for our drinks etc because we are both out!!! Nowadays, if I spent £40 on drinks alone, I’d think I had had an expensive night but now we have the £40 (at least) on top of whatever we spend!! That makes for one very expensive night. OK, I didn’t actually spend much myself…about £10, but assuming Stuart (who stayed out for about 4 hours longer than I) spent £50 getting rounds, food, entrance fee to clubs etc (so a conservative guess) we are looking at £100 for us both to go out for ONE night!!!!

So then there’s the added pressure to enjoy myself to make that money worthwhile.

I’m sat, pregnant, drinking soft drinks, with 95% of the people I’m out with outside on the balcony smoking in the freezing cold, while I’m inside with the 1 or 2 other people being deafened by a live band unable to hear a word the other two are saying.

Was it worth the money? NO! Was I enjoying myself? Not as much as I would like, no!

It was with a heavy heart I went home at 10.30pm (the original plan being to leave at 11.30) and thought of what I’d much rather be spending the money on.

Then I was in bed by 11.30pm thinking about how I’d just like to go out on a date with my husband and no one else! My new year’s resolution was to go out on a date with Stuart  once a month. We are now in April and how often has that happened? Zero! A big ZERO times! Everytime we get an opportunity to go out it is for someone else’s celebration and we have to use up one of our babysitting chips.

Also, I haven’t been out on my own without Stuart since about October when I went to stay with a friend. Everytime an event is planned for just me, its cancelled.

I’m feeling a bit over this going out lark! Looks like I’m destined for nights in front of the tv with my fluffy socks and chocolate for the time being! Feeling old and pregnant!

Wednesday 4 April 2012

Dancing Shoes – 21 Weeks

I’m in need of a name for unborn baby girl bump. We have a name for when she is born but I don’t want to start calling her that yet while she is still growing inside me. Can’t really explain why but it doesn’t seem right to yet. So I need another name. A girly name.

With Callum we called him Flump (hense the url for this blog) but I soon went off it and so I’ve been hesitant to name this one this time.

The closest I’ve come so far is Bubba girl but its a bit of a mouthful and still doesn’t feel quite right.

Anyway, moving on.

Bubba girl (will do for the time being) has moved up a tad and is starting to kick a bit stronger now – actually, less like kicking and more like dancing. I am surprised to say this but I’m really quite enjoying them…more than last time. And as if on cue…there she goes with her dancing between my pelivs & bellybutton. I get excited when I feel her. I’m pretty sure I was more matter-of-fact about it last time.

They are more like actual movements than just flutters now. She also continues to bounce on my bladder like a trampoline at times so I have to be careful not to let it get too full.

However, you still can’t feel it really from the outside. Stuart still hasn’t felt it. I’m pretty sure it wont be long….especially when I’m laying in bed at night.