Making Changes | It's Time

2 weeks & 3 days. That's how long since my last post. And even then, my posts have been few and far between because having 2 kids is hard. It's very time consuming. But I love it. I love both my children more than life itself.

So, quick update. Post natal depression & anxiety have reared their ugly heads but this time I have caught my symptoms earlier and accepted it and the help that has been offered (a huge thanks to YouTuber Sqaishey for her video on mental health awareness and accepting help) - so fingers crossed I can come out the other side a lot quicker this time. Ellie is doing well, I'll be posting an update on her at 3 months, and the next few months are busy busy busy but I'm going to keep trying to write posts. I 'm sort of in a bit of a slump when it comes to content ideas that aren't parenting and motherhood. I might start doing a few reviews, maybe a bit of gaming - I dunno, we'll see!

I also hit a point of being totally fed up with myself the other day - even more so than when I wrote my Road to Positivity post. I hate the way I look and how I feel. I immediately hopped onto google and started looking at the best ways to get fit and have decided to join my local gym and start a few of their classes. I'm also going to join Slimming World, and I have asked my sister (who lost a butt-ton of weight and looks fantastic!) for a bit of support and advice along the way - and she has graciously agreed!

Here's to a new me!

Making Changes | The Road To Positivity

I have always pegged myself as a positive person. Outgoing, bubbly, easygoing. And very recently, it hit me like a big bus of depression. I'm no longer that positive person I used to be.

Dun dun dun!

Upon this realisation, I immediately started thinking about how I could go back to being that person again. And, very quickly, realised that is so unrealistic as that person didn't have 2 children. She didn't have bills and a house to run. In short, I will never be that positive girl again.


I can be a newer version. I can be a much more mature positive woman. I just need to try. I need to find what works for me. I need to cut out the negativity and surround myself with positive people and 'things'.

After I had Alex I suffered with PND, and now that I've had Ellie I can feel myself slipping down that same road again. This is the last thing I want. I hated who I was during that time of depression and anxiety and I still hate the person I am now. My self esteem is at an all time low and it's time I put a stop to it.

And so, I want to bring you guys along for the ride. Upon my realisation that I am in fact Miss Negativity, I immediately hopped onto YouTube to hunt for tips on how to stay positive even when times are tough. The end result from this was that I had made myself feel more negative as all these people were so positive that it made me sad that I wasn't like that. I did find a couple of useful videos (including this one from Rebecca Meldrum - I love her by the way) and I have a few things I can try now. The consensus seems to be that it's actually ok to have a bad day - you don't need to be positive 100% of the time. It seems a bit backwards but punishing yourself for having an off day is just going to make you feel worse. The other everyone advises to do is to work out what is causing the negativity and fix it. Where is the negativity coming from? Is it other people? Or is it coming from yourself?

So, I'm now of to brew myself a big pot of Positivi-Tea (get it?) while Elliedocus sleeps and try and find my 'happy place' before picking Alexsaurus up from pre-school.

If anyone has any book recommendations or YouTube channels or anything that can help me on my journey to being a more positive person - please, let me know.

Birth Story | Ellie

Ellie is now 4 weeks old. 4 weeks! How on earth did that happen?? As she turns 1 month old, I thought it would be a good time to share my birth story. And boy am I pleased to have a positive birth story to write.

My birth story with Alex was a really difficult one to put into words, it was long and tiring and by all accounts quite traumatic (although I am aware that others have had much much more traumatic births than me, this is how I felt and still feel for my experience). Although Ellie's birth wasn't as straight forward and plain sailing as most positive birth stories, and on paper it was still fairly traumatic, I still feel that this was an extremely positive story and I wanted to put it out there that although a birth might not be easy, it can still be positive.

I want to start at my 37 week consultant appointment. We went ahead to this appointment ready to finalise how our baby girl would be delivered. At the previous appointment we were given a few options to discuss and choose from - all of which seemed to end in a caesarean section. After 2 weeks of discussion and tears, I made the decision with Tim's help that we would opt for an elective caesarean. We booked the operation for 4th April and went home with our pre-op and section dates in the diary feeling a whole mixture of emotions.

The pre-op date came and we went along not really knowing what to expect. I had bloods taken in preparation, signed paperwork to say we understood the risks of a caesarean and had my usual weekly monitoring and were then sent on our way. Me and Tim then decided that we would have a TGI Friday's lunch to celebrate the end of our pregnancy as we did at the start after our 6 week scan when we found that we had a baby with a healthy heartbeat on board.

The rest of the week was spent clearing our bedroom in preparation for our new carpet. This was fitted on the Wednesday morning and then that afternoon my mum popped over and between me and her we put together the furniture we had got from Ikea and getting our bedroom all ready for baby's arrival the following week.

All of the hard work we had done earlier in the week took it's toll and my back would not stop hurting, however we had plans for the Friday to go over to my friends house so our sons could have a bit of a play. Throughout the day I experienced a few painful braxton hicks but thought nothing of them. I even managed a fish & chip shop dinner that evening at the in laws!

Within a few hours of returning home I noticed that there was a pattern to the braxton hicks and so started timing them. When it was evident that they were lasting 50 seconds and coming every 5 minutes we called the delivery unit and was told to go in just to be checked over. Both me and Tim fully expected to be sent home - this would not be the case. I didn't get chance to see Alex one last time as my only child.

I was checked over and examined to be told I was at 1cm and that they would keep me in (although I'm not 100% sure why - I think it was because I was so uncomfortable and possibly because of how long my previous labour lasted. Or it could have been because of the cholestasis). Tim stayed with me, I had a couple of doses of Pethdaine, and eventually at around 4am on the Saturday, I called my mum. She came to the hospital and we sent Tim home to get some rest. I had a third dose of Pethadine and even tried using a bath as pain relief. I found I was able to breath through my contractions as they got stronger, even if they weren't as controlled at Tim, my mum or the midwives would have liked. I started on the gas and air but made sure that this time I used it to try and help control my breathing rather than as a pain relief method.

I eventually asked for an epidural and this was granted. It took 2 attempts but eventually it was in and I slowly started to feel a bit better - even managed a bit of sleep. Eventually they had to stop the epidural for a short while as my blood pressure was dropping which was causing baby's heart rate to drop. This made everything a lot more difficult until I was eventually allowed to start it up again.

They continued to monitor the situation and after a while a doctor came to speak to me to say that I wasn't progressing in my labour and although they could let me go until I was fully dilated and assist with forceps, baby was already getting stressed and it would be more beneficial to do a caesarean. As this is what was planned and I had mentally prepared for anyway, I was happy with this. Especially as I just wanted her here safe.

It was stated that it would be a category 2 section, albeit a 'swift' category 2. They started preparing and Tim was given his scrubs and I was wheeled down to theatre. No sooner had we got there and I had been hauled onto the operating table, the 'swift' category 2 section very quickly turned into a category 1. She needed to be delivered fast. My blood pressure had dropped even more and her heart rate had dropped even lower.

And then, before I could even question when they would be starting the operation, we were informed that, at 9:28pm on Saturday 31st March, our little girl had been born. We could only watch at this point as she was taken straight over to the baby doctor and midwife. We could only watch as our baby girl lay lifeless and being given oxygen through a mask. A few times they lifted her little arm and it flopped back down onto the table. It was only 60 seconds but it felt like an eternity. Then, she cried. And they called Tim over to see our daughter. He was able to take some pictures before being handed her to bring across to see me.

It may have been quick and we may have had a panicky minute after she was born, but I feel like all in all my labour and birth was a much more positive one. I can remember much more of it - although those memories seem to be fading fast, too fast.

Post-Partum Update | Week 3

If you weren’t aware, 3 weeks ago I gave birth to my beautiful daughter. It was a positive birth all in all (birth story coming soon!) and I thought I would try and do post partum updates as we go along.

We’ll start off with my baby girl. Ellie is doing really well. We’ve had all our midwife appointments and have been discharged from midwife care. She only lost 3oz of her birth weight by day 5 which had all been put put back on and then some by day 10. She’s not the best sleeper at night and we are having a few difficulties there which we are working through. We also think she suffers with colic and might also be a tad constipated. Last week we had to take her to the GP because she had spent 5 hours screaming through the night and hadn't had a dirty nappy in 5 days. Since then we've had a few dirty nappies but she does seem to go at least 2-3 days in between. Only when you become a parent does talking abut poo become normal!

Ellie is changing day by day and I already can't wait for the first milestones - the first smile, the first laugh and when she can interact with us.

Onto my recovery. It's up and down to be honest. Let's start with the downs and end this post on a high. First off, physically. My scar is taking longer this time to heal compared to my section with Alex. I think this must be down to having to run around after a toddler this time as well as looking after a baby. I decided to jump on the scales for the first time since May last year and I'm a stone lighter than I was then! That means that I am lighter coming out of pregnancy than I was going into it! Onwards and upwards there!

And mentally? It's not been the best. I've been extremely weepy. Everyone knows about the baby blues, but they only last that first week at most. I haven't shown any signs of stopping my teary days as yet. PND is definitely lingering and I'm trying my hardest to fight it and keep it at bay but if I'm being completely honest, I'm struggling. And it's very difficult to ask for help. It's like it's a sign of weakness. Like I can't look after my own children. The reality is, those difficult moments where you have your toddler testing boundaries and your newborn crying for what seems like hours, when it's actually only 5 minutes, feel like the whole world is crumbling around you and you feel like you can't cope and start questioning why you ever thought you could do this whole parenting malarkey for a second time and this time with 2 to look after as well as yourself.

I need to make sure that I keep an eye on my mood and how I'm feeling and make sure that the first sign of things getting worse that I make an appointment to see my GP.

As for the positive side, I'm loving having a newborn around again. It's really nice having a newborn and a toddler as I feel like I get the best of both worlds (even if that does come with the worst of both worlds too). It might not seem like much but my two children take up the most room in my heart and most of the time I'm beaming with pride that thee two beautiful human beings are my own. Me and Tim together are raising these gorgeous kind hearted people and I love them very much.

We Had A Baby

In my last post, I questioned whether my 38 week update would be my last update. I never thought this would actually be the case as proved by the lack of bump photo. I never got chance to take a final bump shot.

Me, Tim and Alex would love to introduce our beautiful daughter and sister, Ellie. She was born 10 days early and we are all totally in love.

I will be writing up my birth story over the next couple of day to post in the next couple of weeks. I am actually really excited to write this one a I feel that I actually had a positive birth experience this time around!

I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their continued support throughout my pregnancy. I'm also really thankful I have this blog as I have loved keeping a log of everything I've been doing and feeling right to the very end.

Pregnancy Update | Week 38

You always get that point in pregnancy where you start wondering whether this could be your last 'new week'. And I've now started asking myself when my last 'Pregnancy Update' will be and when my 'here's baby!' post will be written.

I'm really struggling now. Not just physically but mentally. Actually, scrap that, mainly mentally. Of course pregnancy is physically demanding - for example, we went for a walk which completely ruined my back. Totally regretted it afterwards. But god it felt good to get out and about. But I'm talking about the dreaded D-word. Yes, I've felt myself slipping into old patterns of depression and anxiety, and it's too bloody hard to get out of. I've found myself questioning whether I'm a good mum, whether I can cope with 2 children and whether Alex is going to hate me. Actually I've pretty much convinced myself that he will. That he'll think that I've replaced him and don't want him anymore. None of this could be further from the truth. But his behaviour over the last week hasn't exactly helped with these thoughts. He's been clingy and disruptive - which is not like him at all. People always say their kids are so good and they're really lucky, but he genuinely is so good and we really are incredibly lucky - to the point where I am expecting a devil child this time - and all this playing up is totally out of character for him. I guess time will tell.

Our appointment this week, it went well until they tried to take blood. The person doing it this week opted for a vein slightly lower down my arm and it's bruised like a peach! I'm going back for another appointment Tuesday next week for more monitoring so hopefully baby girl will behave!

On a non-pregnancy related topic - our new carpet has been fitted and our new furniture is up and in! I'm so excited our bedroom is finally looking like a bedroom again! The only thing left to arrive is our new bed but that's not due until baby's due date! So I'm hopefully going to have a lovely comfy new bed for when I have had baby!

Pregnancy Update | Week 37

As a stated in my last update (if you haven't read it yet, you can do so here), I am going to try and do weekly updates from now as time is going so quickly and so much is happening!

So this week has started with me feeling extremely tired exhausted. Alex has had twice the amount of energy as he normally does (at least that's how it feels) and I've been struggling to cope. The last few weeks of pregnancy are really hard, and with an almost 3 year year old they're even more difficult.

This weeks CTG & Bloods were a little longer than normal due to an episode of reduced movements. Normally when I get hooked up to the monitor baby girl takes an instant dislike and starts trying to kick the monitor pads off my tummy! But this time there was hardly anything. She eventually moved and the midwife was happy to send me home with the advice that if movements were at all reduced throughout the day then I was to call back and return for additional monitoring. Luckily her movements increased and I felt a little more comfortable.

Onto the consultant appointment. I'd been panicking over this all week. In fact for the last 2 weeks. It would be the day we would discuss the final method of delivery for baby girl and when that delivery would be. We were seen about half an hour after our actual appointment time, and saw a different consultant. He was actually very blasé about the whole thing, but we eventually got everything sorted. We will be having another appointment next week but this time it will be at the hospital where she will be delivered - as will all our future appointments.

With that done, we can now focus on getting the final bits ready. We have decorated our bedroom (well, my mum and dad did all the hard work!) and have had new carpet and a new bed ordered, and bought some new furniture from Ikea. Now we just need to hope that we can get the carpet in, furniture up and bed delivered before this little monkey makes an appearance!

The bump shot will be in next weeks post as I tend to take them every other week - see you then!

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!