Pregnancy Update | Weeks 35 & 36

Luckily my 34th week was uneventful, especially after the mix ups from the week before. If you missed my last update you can read it here.

Week 35
I'm slowly getting more and more tired now. I remember this from when I was pregnant with Alex but it's harder this time around as I have a toddler and can't just have a nap when I need one! God I miss napping... I've also had my consultant appointment this week. The night before the appointment I spent throwing up. I'm not sure whether this was a nerves thing or whether this was down to dodgy food but once I'd been sick and got some sleep I felt a bit better in the morning so it could have been a combination. I had my cholestasis bloods and monitoring before my appointment with the consultant, and that went well.... And then it went downhill from there. We sat in the waiting room for the consultant and once we were called in she said I needed a quick scan there and then just to check baby's size. Baby is estimated to already be approx 7lb and her tummy is measuring almost 3 weeks ahead. Back in to see the consultant who didn't give us an induction date like we had thought was going to happen but told us we would be back in 2 weeks to discuss further and get a date then.

Mother's Day also came around this week and I was spoiled with a card and flowers and a lovely meal out at Pizza Express (I have been craving their dough balls for the last few weeks!)

Week 36
I'm starting to not cope with dropping Alex at pre-school - the last few weeks he's started crying as I leave him. With all the pregnancy hormones flying around my system at the moment, I just head home and cry. I am really struggling with this. He's never been one to cry when he's dropped at nursery, he usually goes off and plays without a fuss so it's completely out of the norm. The start of the week was a quiet one, it all started getting hectic from Wednesday!

Wednesday - Bloods and monitoring once again all done, took a little longer than I had hoped due to her having hiccups which caused the machine to keep losing her heartbeat. Then me and the little man headed to Little Rascals for a bit of soft play with a friend and her 2 children followed by a trip to my parents.

Thursday - a quiet day ending in disaster. Somehow I managed to get a sickness bug and ended up being sick every half an hour from 11pm. I headed to our local out of hours service who gave me an injection to help stop it. I'm not 100% convinced it worked though.

Friday - I managed to get some sleep from between 9am and 12pm which seemed to help the nausea and sickness ease off.

Weekend - the whole weekend was spent sorting and getting everything out of our bedroom so that we could paint. A huge thank you to my mum and dad who did most of the hard work moving everything and doing all the painting. We also ordered new carpet and a new bed and bought new furniture - another big thank you to the in laws for making this happen.

It's all very scary that we will most likely have a newborn in the house before the carpet is fitted or we get our new bed! But I'm also very excited to finally have another room in the house completely done up.

Next week brings our next, and most probably our last, consultant appointment. Time is just going so fast! I might do weekly updates now leading up to the birth due to so much happening so quickly. So for this update, here's the bump!

2018 | 1st Quarter Round-Up

At the very end of 2017 I posted a what's in store post (just because I am sick of resolutions) about what is to come this year - things that are definitely going to be happening and things that I would like to happen.

I thought I'd try and do a bit of a round up each quarter throughout the year, let you know how it's going and what I can tick off my list!

So, how is it going? To be honest, so far it's been tough. I thought it would be a lot easier than it has been, but I'm trying to remain as positive as I can because all the pregnancy hormones mean that I will just cry at anything.

On to my list. First up is having a baby! Obviously this will happen so will be nice to check off my list!

Next is a holiday. Last year we had our first holiday together as a family and we headed off to France. It was a little cold and rainy but we enjoyed ourselves all the same. This year we are heading to Cornwall sometime around June/July so we should have some lovely warm weather to enjoy. We will be going with our in laws as we have done and this is all booked now so we are definitely going!

Ah, now we have more time to blog. I said that I would have more time to blog with being on maternity leave but it's actually been the opposite. If you've read my recent pregnancy updates you will know that I have been diagnosed with Obstetric Cholestasis and this means weekly monitoring and blood tests as well as bi-weekly scans and regularly seeing the consultant. All of this, plus having an almost 3 year old means I don't have as much extra time as I would like. I am trying though!

And I haven't exactly been making time for myself either. Because of all the appointments it's just not been possible.

Losing weight is one I'm not going to attempt until our little girl has made her appearance - so we'll just ignore this one for now.

This one kind of makes me laugh. Getting engaged. I said I wouldn't get my hopes up but Valentines Day came around and there was a small part of me that thought "maybe, just maybe" - alas, my ring finger is still bare and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little disappointed.

And last but not least is YouTube. I said I'd like to start YouTube this year but I'm just not sure what it is actually going to do for my confidence. This is very much still a possibly/possibly not - time will tell.

So far this year hasn't quite gone according to plan. It started with a diagnosis of Obstetric Cholestasis, then the whole family got ill and we still aren't recovered yet, and I am just about ready for summer to arrive! But that doesn't mean the rest of the year can't improve. The first 6 months of 2017 were not great and each month was worse than the last. And then we found out we were having another baby and all of a sudden the year picked up and didn't seem so bad - so I'm remaining positive (at least I'm trying to!).

How are your 2018's going so far?

What's In Baby's Hospital Bag?

I see so many YoutTuber's do videos on what they have put in their baby's hospital bag when they are pregnant and, as I am now into my 35th week of pregnancy, I thought it would be cool to do a blog post on what I've put in my baby's hospital bag. I've also done a post on what's in my hospital bag, which you can read here.

Unlike with my son, I've tried not to pack too much for baby. I've tried to make sure everything I take fits in baby's changing bag. This time around, I've opted to buy a new changing bag and I've gone for the Babymel Ella in Navy Striped. I'm loving it so much. It comes with a changing mat and bottle insulator, and is wipe clean inside and out. I am also going to make sure Alex's old changing bag has a few things in it just in case we need any extra bits, then Tim can always just grab the bag and not worry about what he needs to put into it.

Anyway, now you know what changing bag we have, here's what's inside that bag (along with photos, of course).

5 Sleepsuits & 5 Vests - These include her first outfit (which will be a white vest with a pink and white striped sleepsuit. Alex's first sleepsuit was a blue and white striped one so I thought this one would be cool), spare clothes and what she will wear to go home in (I'm thinking either the Daisy duck sleepsuit or the Little miss Chatterbox sleepsuit)

~ Little Miss Chatterbox & Daisy Duck sleepsuits from Morrisons ~ Set of 3 pink sleepsuits from Tesco ~
~ 3 short sleeved & 2 long sleeved - all from Tesco ~

A cardigan - My mother-in-law knitted this when I was pregnant with Alex but he never got chance to wear it. I want this to be what baby girl comes home in.

Hats - because not matter what time of year baby's are born, they always need a hat as they lose so much heat from their tiny heads.
Scratch mitts - Almost all sleepsuits that are sized 3-6 months or smaller have built in scratch mitts but I thought I would take some along just in case.
Bibs - It's unlikely she'll need a bib in those first few days but as Alex was a sicky baby, I thought I'd go prepared! Plus, two of the sleepsuits im taking cane with matching bibs which are just adorable so I couldn’t exactly leave those behind!

Hat & Mitts set (Tesco) ~ Scratch Mitts, pair (Tesco) ~ Bambi Bib, part of a set (Primark) ~

Muslins - Muslin squares are the absolute best. They are super useful for everything from lying baby onto to wiping up any dribble or sick.

~ Muslins (Primark) ~

Nappies - A pretty obvious one but they're in the bag. We will be using disposable nappies as opposed to reusable ones just because of how easy they are. We are opting for Pampers as they have a wetness indicator on the front. When the nappy is dry there is a yellow line and this turns blue the wetter the nappy gets.

Baby Wipes - Newborn babies skin is super sensitive and it's not recommended that you use wipes. Midwifes will recommend the use of cotton wool and warm water. Because I don't like the idea of fumbling around for a bowl of water and cotton wool when you have the dreaded poonami. Instead, this time I have opted to buy Water Wipes. They are 99.9% water and 0.01% fruit extract so they are completely natural and sensitive for those first few nappy changes.

A blanket - Our little girl is due to be an April baby. When Alex was born, it was a really warm April. We can't be sure that will be the case this time and so I want to make sure that we can wrap her up if it is feeling a bit cool.
Nappy sacks - Not for use with dirty nappies but for any dirty clothes. The last thing you want to do is mix dirty with clean and then have to wash everything again once you get home!
Dummies - We used dummies with our son as he used to 'suck' in his sleep which caused a bit of restlessness until we caved and bought some dummies (boy am I glad we did!). So this time we are going to cave and buy some so we are prepared. If we don't use them it's not the end of the world but they are there if we do need them.
Milk - I wrote a post about my birth story, which includes my breastfeeding story. It didn't go to plan and was the main cause (coupled with the fact I had a category 1 emergency cesarean) of my PPD and anxiety. This time I have made the decision to bottle feed straight off the bat to try and avoid any drop in my mental state. I've already been dealing with pre-natal anxiety and I don't want to take that through to post partum. If I don't have to struggle with it and feel like a failure, then I don't want to even put myself in that position. So, because I've made the decision to bottle feed, I am required to take in milk for our baby girl whereas it was provided for Alex while we were in hospital.

And that's everything. There are a few of the items that aren't in the pictures, like the milk and dummies and nappy sacks but these items kind of speak for themselves. I've purchased a box of pre-made formula bottles that come with sterile teats. The bottles we have bought for baby are the Avent Naturals ones and the newborn starter set comes with a dummy so I'll also be taking that with us. I am fully aware that everyone has an opinion on feeding and would kindly ask that this remain a positive space and any negativity towards bottle feeding is kept away. My opinion is that fed is best and that a happy mummy = a happy baby

I hope this has helped anyone in the situation of packing their baby's hospital bag who might have been struggling. I've packed basically what I used when I was in hospital last time and I don't think I have over or under packed. Time will tell!

UPDATE: Since writing this, I've added another sleepsuit to the bag which is one that was bought for us by the lovely people I work with at Tree Tops Kids Club as it is a smaller size than what I have already bought, and if I do end up getting induced early then she is likely to be a bit smaller. I've also bought another blanket from Morrisons  that has Tatty Teddy on it and it's super cute!

Pregnancy Update | Weeks 33 & 34

Time just seems to be moving so fast now! I don't know whether that's because of the weekly appointments I am now having or something else but I'm sure that around this point in my previous pregnancy time just slowed right down and the last 30-40 days felt like 3000-4000 days! So here's what's been happening during my 33rd and 34th weeks.

Week 33
In for monitoring a bit earlier this week as the appointment has been coincided with this weeks scan top save me having to make more than one trip up to the hospital. Scan first and then on to monitoring. Scan went ok, but baby girl is now measuring above the 90th centile for weight and I now have to repeat my GTT. This information has proved to be overwhelming and I sat in the waiting room sobbing. I'm having far too many appointments and it's really starting to get to me. I know it's for the best and it's to keep and eye on us both but it's simply just getting a bit too much for me. Especially because my first pregnancy was really straight forward. I was very lucky to have a midwife who was so so so caring to do my monitoring. She understood my frustration and made sure she stayed with me as  much as she could. She made me a cup of tea while I was hooked up to the monitor and she was just amazing - Thank you Nikki (yes, we have the same name!), you really helped and although you probably won't see this, I can't thank you enough and I just wanted to put it out there. She couldn't get any blood from me so I do have to go back Wednesday or Thursday to the Phlebotomy labs at the hospital to have them done but I've gotten so used to having bloods taken that it doesn't bother me anymore.

Bloods were taken on Thursday and were taken without issue, so big thumbs up there. I then had a text from the hospital (loving that, it's super handy. Thanks Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust!) reminding me of an appointment on 2nd March..... which is weird because I haven't made an appointment for then and neither have I had a letter or a phone call to make said appointment. One quick phone call later, it turns out it's for my repeat GTT. If I had kept that appointment it would mean I would be up the hospital on 3 different days next week. Luckily the lady I spoke to was really understanding and has arranged for it to be done on the same day as another appointment I already have, phew!

Week 34
I did it! I managed to go 6 hours for my liver scan without food or drink! I felt awful afterwards but I did it! Turn out I have gallstones. I've not been in any pain with them nor did I have any symptoms that they might be there. It's only because of the Cholestasis that I needed the scan! I'm not sure what this means yet but I see the consultant next week so I should find out then. I've also had a repeat Glucose Tolerance Test and that went fine as did this weeks monitoring.

Apart from the snow (as much as I love snow, is anyone else just ready for a bit of warmer weather now?) this week has been pretty uneventful! Next week I have my consultant appointment to discuss baby girls delivery and whether I will need to be induced or not! So that will be in the next update. Over the weekend I also published a post on what I have put in my hospital bag, if you haven't it yet be sure to do so here! I've also done a post on baby's hospital bag too which will be up in the next day or two which, let's face it, is much more exciting than big knickers and maternity leggings!

So, here's bump and the next update will be in the next couple of weeks!

What's In My Hospital Bag?

I see so many YouTuber's do videos on what they have put in their hospital bag when they are pregnant and, as I'm heading into my 35th week of pregnancy, I thought it would be cool to do a blog post on what I've put in my hospital bag. I've also done a post on what I've put in baby's hospital bag too which will be live in the next few days.

Because you never know what is going to happen, no matter how much you plan for it, you also never know how long your stay will be. With my son I was in for a total 3 nights. He was born late on the Tuesday and we went home Friday afternoon. I hope I won't be in as long this time around as I'd like to make sure I get to see my son as much as possible too. So, what is in my hospital bag? I'm going to start with what's in my toiletries bag. My toiletries bag itself was a set of 4 cosmetics bags from Next and they are currently still in stock as I write this. I'll only be using the big clear bag as the others in in use for other things at the moment.

What's Inside?

Nivea Everyday Travel Essentials Set - I wanted to get myself travel sized items as they are perfect for a couple of days and nights and they don't take up a great deal of space. So when I spotted this set I thought it was perfect as it has everything I wanted to get (Deodorant, Lip balm, Make up wipes & Shower creme) plus the added extra of some  moisturiser, just in case my skin gets really dry.
Travel Hairbrush - I picked myself up a little hairbrush from Primark (I think it was about £1.50). It has a floral pattern on the back and is perfect for giving my hair a bit of a brush during labour (if I'm feeling up to it) and for after that first shower.

Maternity PadsBreast Pads - I remember when I had my son, I didn't need to pack maternity pads as they were available on the postnatal ward in abundance (as were protective sheets to put on the bed to lie on). But this time I plan on taking some just in case they are not as readily available. If you are using this as a guide on what to pack for yourself (firstly, congratulations!) then you will need plenty of maternity pads. Yes, it is like wearing a brick between your legs (TMI) but you will bleed. A lot. Even if you are planning a cesarean section. So I'm taking a pack of 20. I'm also taking breast pads. I can't remember when I started to need these last time but I didn't use more than 40 pads as I didn't breast feed in the end. I'll be taking 6-8 pairs.

Aussie Miracle Moist Travel Shampoo & Conditioner - I remember loving that first shower, but I had taken so much shampoo and conditioner that it took up so much space in my bag that could have been saved for something else.

Travel Toothbrush & Toothpaste - Pretty self explanatory, but once you've had baby and reality starts to set in, you start to notice the gross things - including that you haven't cleaned your teeth in 2 days!

Hair bands & Hair grips - I love those clear spiral hair ties, they don't snag your hair and they don't leave that crease in your hair that regular elastic ties leave! I use mine all the time so will probably will already be wearing it when I go in so I'll be popping some regular ties in the bag just in case.

Hair Brush - I've bought myself a little travel hairbrush from Primark. It's cute and it was super cheap!

Make Up - I have a large make up bag and a small one (both of which are Disney and from Primark). I'm taking this small one which contains the essentials (compact mirror, foundation, concealer, brow pencil & mascara) plus a new beauty blender for the foundation should i choose to wear it.

Hand Sanitiser - I'll be taking some antibacterial hand gel in with me just to make sure my hands are free of germs at all times and also smell nice at the same time.

Spray Water - I've got a can of Magicool from the summer last year and will be taking that with me in case I get too hot.

Medication - I'll also be taking any medication that I'm on. Currently they are Omeprazole, Ursodeoxycholic Acid and Ferrous Sulphate.

Pinch Provisions Minimergency Kit - I've had this little kit for a good few years now, and I love it. I've used a couple of bits out of it but so far I've not needed to use too much out of this little kit and I am popping it in with my toiletries because you just never know!

And now onto the rest of my bag. I've followed the NHS guidlines to a certain extent but I've also tried to remember things that I didn't use last time and also things that I didn't take that I really wish I had.

I'm going to be using a weekend bag that I bought many moons ago from The Old Bag Company. It's a good size and has lots of compartments to put all my necessities in.

Nightshirt/Nightie - To try and save that last shred of dignity during childbirth! I've bought a pair of cheap ones from Littlewoods.

Pants & Socks - I've bought a pack of black full briefs from Tesco. Black because they don't get ruined as easily and full briefs because if I have to have another cesarean then they are so much more comfy as they don't sit along the scar line. And I'm not a fan of bare feet so when I'm not wearing my flip flops then I will most definitely have a pair of socks on. I've just bought a pack of Tesco Basics black socks.

Bra - Simply because it's nice to put on a clean bra after hour of labour. I only have 2 at the moment that fit and are comfy, so I wear one while I wash one so I'll be popping the clean one in much nearer the time.

Flip Flops - I took slippers last time and wished I had taken flip flops instead as at least flip flops can be worn in the shower and around the ward.

T shirt & a Hoodie - Tops for all weather eventualities.
Maternity Jeans & Maternity Leggings - because I know I won't be fitting into my pre-pregnancy jeans just yet and will want something comfortable to come home in. My jeans will be going in when I need to put them in as, like my bras, I only have 2 pairs.

Plastic Bag - Just for putting any dirty underwear and clothes into.
Phone charger - Just in case we have more than just an overnight stay!
iPad - So I have some entertainment in the event I can't sleep or that we are in for longer that I anticipate.
Camera - Because babies are cute and I want to take lots and lots of photos of our daughter!
Snacks & Bottles of Water - For both myself and Tim while I'm in labour. Tim was exhausted while I was in labour with Alex and I think if we had been prepared and had some snacks and drinks for him he might have coped a little better. I've also bought a water bottle from Primark to take for me. Childbirth is hard enough work without having to muster enough strength to sit up and drink from a standard bottle so I've bought myself a bottle with a straw so that it's a little easier.

The last few items will be going in over the next week or two as I am still using certain things such as my phone charger and iPad.

And that's it. I will obviously be adding Hospital Notes to the list but as I will be needing them for the midwife appointments between now and giving birth, I'll just be leaving these on top of my bag so they are ready to go!

Pregnancy Update | Weeks 31 & 32

After a hectic few weeks, I'm back with another update!

Week 31
This week has seen appointment after appointment. It starts on Tuesday with our growth scan. She doing absolutely fine. Confirmed to be head down, which is exactly what we wanted to hear as I'm planning a VBAC. She is alos measuring almost exactly where she should be *phew* which mean I don't have to repeat my glucose tolerance test for gestational diabetes! Yay!

Now Wednesday. We started our day by heading out to Little Rascals to meet my friend Laura and her brand new baby boy, Theo! He is such a cutie and I had genuinely forgotten how tiny newborns are! On to appointments. Next up was my weekly blood test and monitoring and an appointment to see the consultant. I got my bloods taken a little later than planned so I had to then head to see the consultant under the premise that I would return to be hooked up to the monitor to make sure baby girl was ok. I was under the impression that the consultant would be discussing what was going to happen regarding her delivery. Nope. We discussed that fact that my growth scan went ok, what exactly cholestasis is and what it means, the fact that my iron levels have dropped and finally that I needed to go back in 4 weeks time.... Disappointed doesn't really cover it. I had really high hopes for knowing exactly what was to come so I could prepare myself. But I am going to have to wait another 4 weeks for that! When this was all over I went back for monitoring and after 15 minutes I got the all clear.

This was supposed to be it for appointments but after a sleepless night, Thursday morning I called my GP to see if could get seen that day as I spent pretty much all night just coughing. And as it turns out, I've got another chest infection and more antibiotics. I can't wait to finally feel more like myself again.

Week 32
A brand new week, and I'm still coughing! I don't feel as bad as I did though so I'm hoping that means I'm now starting to recover. Baby girls has been extremely active which is really good although it's starting to get a little uncomfortable as she grows and is starting to run out of room! My monitoring this week went really well. The midwife I saw this week was lovely and as a bonus she managed to get bloods from me really easily and I didn't even realise she'd done it! I'm booked in for another growth scan next week and am to have these every 2 weeks just to keep an eye on baby girl!

So here's my 32 week baby bump and I will see you in a couple of weeks for my 33 to 34 week update!

Things I Wish I'd Known | 2nd Pregnancy Edition

There are always things people don't tell you about being pregnant. And it's usually because people don't like talking about the gory stuff - but the gory stuff will happen whether we talk about it or not! There were so many things I wish I had been told about when I was pregnant with Alex because I would have felt a little more prepared. I thought that I already knew everything I needed to this time around because, well, I've done it before! But 2nd pregnancies aren't always the same and here are 5 things I have found have been different from my first pregnancy that I wish I had known.

1. It's more nerve wracking than a first pregnancy. I think this is because you're quite naive in first pregnancies. Even if you've seen friends go through it already you have no idea what's normal or what can go wrong. The second time around, every pain, twinge, hour of non-movement sends you into panic mode and you automatically assume somethings wrong. And then there's the worry about labour and birth itself.... it's a never ending whirlpool of worry.

2. Everything stretches and gets bigger much quicker. I had a bump a similar size to my 26 week bump at 18 weeks this time around! I'd been told you're usually bigger with your second but I didn't realise everything happened so quickly! I've been in maternity jeans since 12 weeks!

3. You forget how pregnancy 'feels'. I always thought I remembered my whole pregnancy with Alex. But it turns out I really hadn't! I have said to Tim on numerous occasions 'I don't remember this with Alex' but I get a response that actually I mentioned complained about that last time... (me, complain? Never!)

4. It's totally different. So, you remember everything from your previous pregnancy? Congratulations on your brain not being like mush! Now forget everything and treat it like you've never been pregnant before. I have been told that each pregnancy is different, but I have also been told that they won't differ that much at all. I guess it will be different for everybody, but I really wish that I had known how different my pregnancies were going to be, just so I could maybe feel a little more prepared.

5. It's much more tiring. It makes sense really but I just assumed that I would be ok and that I would be able to work right up until my due date like I did with Alex. Big mistake. Obviously with a toddler and no longer working behind a desk I was going to feel more tired, but I never dreamed it would be this bad!

It’s really important to remember that this is my experience and while other may agree, your 2nd pregnancy may not actually differ at all from your first! Everyone is different!