Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Mav...meet snow!

Ah it is that most joyous time of year when we don't get our car anywhere near our house for weeks on end. Only this time not nearly as fun as G Kisby says, "careful" an awful lot and refuses to pull me along the slippy bits.

We woke up this morning to masses of the stuff (snow that is) so had to work from home. Once the car is stuck, it is stuck, and there was no way as a fat lass I was walking to the bus / train, particularly when we needed to be back this afternoon for the midwife. I'm also trying to be more sensible and accepting of the fact that falling over might not be as funny this year (twice last year - although managing to save a full open flask of coffee on one occasion by holding it above my head!!! Regretted that move later when the bruising came up on my hip bone)

We did manage to get to the docs though and see the midwife. Full marks for Mav who is still perfectly on track on the growth chart and is head down, legs up, ready to go. All organised and sorted before time (not sure where that comes from - definitely isn't me- as I write this Gaz has skipped off to do a big clean, he hasn't done one for a while and was apparently really looking forward to a decent big clean. I'd like to see how he big cleans up that exposed brickwork and dust in the hall).
Plasterer has confirmed he is coming on 13th Dec so I have officially given up on getting the baby room sorted before Xmas. Mark Bryce has offered us a moses basket though so now feel fine about the fact that Mav will sleep in our room with us for a while anyway. Janet and Mark also gave us a HUGE bag of baby clothes for newborns. Freaked us out a bit, even just having them in the house. Teeny tiny vests and socks - can't actually get my head round the fact that we will need them in around 6/8 weeks. We were also grateful for some newborn nappies and a snowsuit - definitely be needing that!

Saturday, 27 November 2010

NCT update

We have had 2 more NCT sessions since my last update. They were the final 2 sessions talking about antenatal and labour since next week we move on to post natal.

On Wednesday we discussed pain relief and where to have your baby. It was actually really useful to hear about the pros and cons of each option. I think it's good to be informed so that when you make a decision at the time (and it really is individual to every person and there isn't any right or wrong) you know all the consequences. I doubt otherwise, mid labour when offered an injection of drugs to help with the pain, I would either be in a good place to think about it or the midwife would be in a good place to start discussing options in any great depth.
It has helped us to think about a birth plan which at least is a first start in taking control of the process. We are going to go for as natural a birth as possible, a little bit of hypnosis hopefully (we received our very American looking book and CD in the post - G Kisby is really concerned that at 6am in the morning on the way to work I am going to have it on..."you are a strong and confident woman...take control of your world" etc etc) mixed with gas / air and potentially some water bath action. Obviously that is just a plan. Also think it is important to be open to alternatives and I'm not going to be precious or think myself a failure if it all goes to pot and I end up taking every un-natural option available.

We also talked about where to give birth. NCT are very pro home birth and actually I can absolutely see the benefits. Apparently much quicker labours, statistically just as safe as hospital (if not more, thinking about the lack of germs in your own home, particularly ours) and loads of facts around less women needing stitches etc.
Think it is a step too far for us with our first baby and I'm also not sure that I'd see my front room the same after it has been covered in blood and stuff. But all the same really interesting. And if nothing else it has made me less worried about the baby coming quickly and having to give birth at home (with a midwife obviously - I trust Gaz implicitly but I'm not sure about him in a nursing capacity).

Today was a day session (which was a bit annoying since a weekend is so precious) and we took our lunch along. Again it was good - although think could reduce down the time if we cracked on straight away and sped things up slightly. We covered second and third stage labour (I genuinely didn't know there was a third stage) and the various complications or issues that can arise - including cesarean, forceps etc.
The placenta is roughly the size of a dinner plate you say - what the hell? I was thinking it would fit in your palm. I also learnt that no, you can't just pull the cord and get that bad boy out. It is still very much attached to your body at first and that can cause blood loss.

Aside from NCT I did have another slight moment of panic yesterday. Caused by someone in work who genuinely couldn't believe that we hadn't bought anything yet and were no-where near having the baby room decorated. They said it was "amazing we were so laid back when the baby could come early". Hmmmm, yeah. They asked whether Gaz was as laid back, to which I answered, "are you kidding - Gaz is the main instigator of this approach". Anyway last night we had a cheese, olives and crusty bread tea whilst doing some research into best prams etc. (for the record I didn't eat any of the stilton or goats cheese). It isn't that I feel worried about things being finished as much as feeling sad for Mav that his parents haven't got anything ready for him / her arriving. I want Mav to know that we love him/her and are looking forward to him / her arriving. Our friend Kirsty has offered us some fab second hand things at really good prices and when we looked them up last night they also get great reviews.

So, to end on an absolute positive, we have now bought a car seat, baby carrier thing and pram - woooo! We love you Mav x

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Hormonal tears...

We were meant to be seeing the midwife this week but a small incident involving the car and a clutch got in the way. The clutch has been very heavy for a while and making a large squeak- G Kisby had been reassuring me that there was nothing wrong.
So as I drove into Huddersfield, about 10 mins early for my appointment for once, I wasn't surprised to hear a large snap and the clutch pedal go completely loose. My lack of surprise did not mean a lack of distress as I tried to roll away from the junction to a semi safe spot (which happened to be a bus stop).

Curses that we went for that cheaper insurance policy that doesn't give us a courtesy car and means you get through to some nowty woman who won't accept that you can't give her an exact street name. A bus driver then shouted at me for being in a bus stop and a parking ticket attendant started to try and give me a ticket. Poor guy was then faced with a waddling pregnant girl on the verge of tears explaining that she really needed to wee and her car had just broken down. He literally backed off.
Then I cried. Can't recall the last time I cried in public, had to call Gaz who was clearly at his desk and trying desperately to move away from anyone before consoling his crazy hormonal wife (as if I cried!) Weirdly Mav went a little bit crazy and did a load of kicking. I have read somewhere that unborn babies do react to a change in emotions (I think the study was done though on earthquake victims though so not sure it would be strictly right to compare the two).

Eventually I was towed to a garage and given a hefty bill for a car that couldn't actually be fixed. Why are cars so expensive to run?
On the positive, the peddle box was apparently close to snapping which would have meant brakes and all so could have actually been dangerous. And as I was waiting for the unfixable car to be fixed I did pop over to Matalan in the retail park across the road and pick up a great door mat for project porch for just £5. So every cloud...

Gaz went back to Manchester so that Mum could save the day for us again by lending us her car. I can't tell you how grateful I am that in the freezing cold this week we are not having to wait at a bus stop to get to work.

Mav's movements have changed noticably the last week or so. Much less kicking and full on turning. Now there is just an uncomfortable pushing of limbs which creates hard lumps that come out in random places. Can't actually see which limb it may be, when I try to grab one or prod it there is immediate withdrawal. G Kisby has started actually campaigning for the name Mav for real by the way.

Anyway will update on NCT class tomorrow. For now it is time for a hot water bottle in bed with the apprentice...

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Time for a good old list!

How does time seem to speed up over a weekend - I can't believe it is Sunday already.
We've had a productive weekend of work between G Kisby and I. Project porch has been completed and a neat row of enamel tins sit along what was a grotty chipped shelf. Gaz has finished stripping both the hall / stairs and the baby room - great work (to be fair the paper came off in massive strips in the baby room so only took an hour or so - but I won't dwell on this point since on the opposite side one of the walls up the stairs is now back to bare bricks!)

Unfortunately our plasterer has now said he can't come for another few weeks - argh! Bit annoying since we still have a couple of weekends blocked out before xmas to finish everything. Can't be helped though and we would rather wait for him to do it than take a risk with someone we don't know. Gaz, as laid back as ever, happy to see how things pan out. I would normally be exactly the same but just have a slight issue with the fact we have nowhere for the baby to sleep. Mum reckons it is a nesting instinct kicking in. On the one hand I know that Mav will sleep in our room for a while anyway but on the other, it would be nice just to have somewhere to put his/her stuff and not to still have the issue of decorating over what I now realise will be a pretty tough first few months.
We have agreed to compromise. If the baby room isn't plastered before weekend of 17th Dec then we will wallpaper that room. Keep yourself comfy Mav - we still have a lot to do before you arrive!!! (I found a few good sites when looking for wallpaper: www.miss-thrifty.co.uk for tips on saving money and things like Cath Kidson style paper at a lower price and www.urbaneliving.co.uk for fab original 70's print vintage decal cut outs of birds and elephants etc.)

To make us feel better about what we still have to do we turned to a list.
Showing just how much we don't know and our complete naivety, see below our attempt at thinking through what we need to buy for a baby:
  • Car seat
  • Pram
  • Cot
  • Carrier thing (sling or the like)
  • Expressing machine, a few bottles (and a steriliser)
  • Bed linen
  • Clothes - 6 vests, 6 babygros (white), 2 x socks, hat and cardigan
  • Bibs (few?)
  • Blanket
  • Nappies (will go back to the reusable thing)
  • Wipes, sudacrem (that kind of thing?)
  • Changing mat
  • Wash stuff (we weren't sure what you wash a baby with but figured you do wash one)
  • 'Sleeping' bag
Currently we have a baby bath and a play mat. So we will have a very clean baby who is well entertained if nothing else?
Plan to show the list to trusty family (Mum / Fee) to review then will get buying...

Friday, 19 November 2010

Breast is best?

We only just made our NCT class without being late. Turns out Kedgeree takes slightly longer to make than we envisaged (although it was lovely- Yorkshire farm shop smoked kippers - yum and great omega 3 for our developing baby).

Turns out 2.5 hours of breastfeeding is a pretty long time and by the last half hour I really was ready to go. On the whole it was an o.k session. G Kisby remained positive and even showed an interest in knowing where the 'knitted' breast we used for a demo came from. It is probably just me / us but I can't help but want to give some advice on what good facilitation looks like and bring these sessions a bit more up to date. The doll looked about 20 years old and flip charting in groups appears to be the only 'activity'. All this taking place in a slightly cold church hall on plastic chairs means I often feel I have regressed to the early 90's.

Mmmm, my lovely husband has just brought me a large glass of mulled fruit punch as I lounge on the sofa wearing my comfiest maternity leggings and a huge chunky knit.

Anyhow, we did learn something. We were given a pack showing all the benefits to breast feeding as long as possible (something we didn't need to be sold on but good to reaffirm). We also talked through best positions to feed and how best to get the baby to feed for the first time. I thought you had to literally pick up a boob and shove it in, apparently not.
Interestingly if you placed a baby on your tummy straight after birth it would wriggle, using its instincts to get to your boob within an hour. Apparently the best way to start is using that position, you laid slightly back with the baby vertical lying onto you, waiting for the baby to start rooting then it will latch on. It was also reassuring to know that 98% of women can breastfeed, physically, if they choose to.
We were given lots of numbers and contact details for if we need support, but I think it is also imp to note that every baby is different and it may be completely straightforward or a bit of an ordeal but that it is worth sticking with, which we do plan to.

One thing I had completely not seen coming was how often they feed at first. So I am thinking, up once in the night, twice max. Quick go on a boob then back to sleep. I had fully planned to go to our friends 30th birthday parties (both of which happen within a few weeks of our due date) and to get expressing into a bottle asap so I can drink occasionally and get Gaz onto the night feeds.
Apparently this is slightly optimistic (although Gaz is of the thinking that naivety, sorry optimism, is always preferable).
For the first 6 weeks they recommend no expressing since during this time you establish your 'flow' and quantity of milk. Also, it may well be every 2 hours at first. Wo man. How am I supposed to get out and about with those facts looming? On a positive, you can drink 3 times the legal drink drive limit and still breastfeed without it harming the baby - result. Considering I won't have really drank for 9 months I kind of feel twice the legal drink driving limit may have me on the floor?

Anyhow, Mum then arrived to stay for a few nights so it was a quick drive home after I had left a considerable amount of feedback on the form at the end.
Always a pleasure having the Granny over, it even allowed us to justify a Thursday night curry which was great (and involved a toilet trip for me even before we had left the building - I'm not wasting money on milk of magnesia anymore, curry is clearly the answer).

Bring on the weekend...

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Mav learns Riverdance!

30 weeks and 3 days it has taken Mav to learn Riverdance. Good timing I'd say since he / she now hasn't really got the space to practise. Twice today I have had to get up and walk around to try and get some settling down and a bit of comfort (and also to make my way to the cake sale for Children in Need of course - doing my bit - it's all for the kids man).

We have had such a busy weekend that I haven't got round to updating our blog. G Kisby has continued to strip the hall and stairs - now with some urgency since the plasterers (and baby?) are imminent. I, in the meantime, took on 'project porch' which involved clearing, cleaning and painting the entrance to our house. It has been annoying me for ages since you walk into a lovely kitchen through mess. It took slightly longer than I'd hoped, partly due to second coats of paint being required, but I also did stop late afternoon so I didn't leave myself completely exhausted (looking for some praise). It is nearly finished and looks much better.

We are at NCT tonight for 2.5 hours of breastfeeding. Gaz has re-checked the schedule twice as he is quite bemused how we can spend so long on the subject. I will blog again tomorrow -there are sure to be tales to tell.

Oh and lastly, our Birmingham friends who featured on the blog earlier, had baby Freya at the weekend after a 'marathon' labour. Looking forward to one of those. So pleased for them (and a little more nervous still for us!)

Thursday, 11 November 2010

NCT classes start...

I had a quick trip to the hospital yesterday to get an Anti D injection. No real hassle, just a quick stop in and not at all painful.
Then it was off to our first NCT class. For once it wasn't me who wanted to leave at the last minute and by 7pm (the start time) we were still driving up and down a dark road in Brighouse looking for the right address. We finally both tumbled into a room with around 6 couples sat in a circle introducing themselves and quickly gave our apologies.

It was an interesting first session. We talked about what wanted to do over the next 6 weeks then the men went into another room whilst us girls looked at some of the biological aspects of pregnancy up to this point. The good thing is that, bar two couples, we are all due around mid Jan to mid Feb, so can talk through things happening to us at this moment. It was interesting to hear about how your intestines can move up to a ft to make space for your baby and how raspberry leaf has been shown to 'tone' those important muscles used within labour.
Finally we went through 7 cards showing the stages of labour (there are stages!?!) We learnt about a 'show' and some of the decisions to be made along the way. It was more of an introduction than anything else but actually really interesting. We agreed on the way home that we are both pretty laid back about the whole thing (and that G Kisby is lucky to have such a low maintanence pregnant wife).  It was also good that Nicki, our trainer, really doesn't preech about any particular type of labour and is keen to stress that everyone is different and makes their own mind up on which direction to take. We'll no doubt have some more thinking to do at some stage - in fact I then woke up in the night with a busy head full of baby things. Not labour, just I think an ongoing realisation that we are about to have a living baby for whom we are responsible. The group are really nice and hopefully we'll make some new friends.

Today I over did it. As a HR floor we were painting a youth centre in the centre of Bradford as part of us building community links and giving something back. I wasn't sure whether to go or not but decided in the end to drive (rather than get the coach) so I could leave early (as if). I was on refreshments and created 'Hel's caf'. It was good fun but I did pretty much make tea, clear rubbish and then make tea again for 8 hours. I didn't feel it at the time but tonight I am tiiirrred. My legs and shoulders ache so I have had a nice bath and am heading for an early night - hoping that I am feeling better in the morning so can go swimming (need to prove I can still do the same number of lengths!)

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Mav gets his/her first toy whilst Nelly gets grouchy!

I've been grouchy today. Which, according to G Kisby, is o.k since it is a rarity and not the norm. For the first time I have complained about feeling fat and sluggish and winged about not being able to get comfy. I'm sure it is just a blip not helped by 2 long days in work and lots going on.

On a much more positive note, Mav received a gift from his/her Granny on Sunday, which is the very first toy we have had in the house. It is a little bird which squeeks when it bounces. It is very cute, although I still find it a little alarming when I notice it on the dressing table. Are we really about to have toys lying around the place?
We have been excited talking about our new baby this week. G Kisb is fascinated by us not knowing what he/she will look like whilst I realised that we would have a little warm bundle to hold and love and look after. Surprisingly something I hadn't really thought about previously. Mav has had a move around and is now lying vertically, not sure if head down or legs. Either way, with his new size, this is not particularly comfy. A hard foot or elbow keeps popping out above my belly button and today, when he did a particularly big kick, I swear a small amount of wee came out without me having any control of my own bladder. Not a good sign. I have upped my pelvic exercises to twice a day since Fee tells me this is just the start.

We go to our first NCT class tomorrow. Gaz suggested we needed to prepare physically and mentally. He had a point, I had fully planned to dig out the address 10 mins before we were due to be there. Unfortunately we have no idea of the topics or themes of the meetings (which G Kisby is keen to know in order that we formulate / agree our opinions). 
I am worried that my 'in denial' / beauty is pain / 'birth, what birth?' approach is neither widely shared nor encouraged. We have agreed to chat in the car about what I need to not say in order that we retain some credibility as future parents.  
In the meantime G Kisby's main worry was what he should wear. One option was work clothes (pretend to be a high flying business man) - we decided 'the Chill' would undermine this approach. I can't believe we are even having this conversation!!!

Friday, 5 November 2010

29 weeks and starting to feel it...

Not a lot, but a little. Cannot remotely complain since we have had such a straightforward pregnancy so far. Bar the normal tired / sickness of the first 12 weeks everything has been great. This week is the first time I have felt slightly heavy, Mav does appear to have had another wee spurt but he / she has also moved round to be lying horizontally again which has both pros & cons. I seem to be able to eat a full portion this way, but it is slightly more uncomfy at night and generally the movements tend to be more of a 'pushing up' than kicks which don't feel that great.

We went for our normal swim this morning but I didn't manage my normal length quota. I did yesterday but was knackered so today took it slightly slower. Gaz in the meantime seems to have got loads better and is now not even doing breast stroke to break up his front crawl (this does not make me feel any better because although I know it is not a competiton, lets face it, it always is a little bit). My main issue is a wierd muscular kind of pain which I get just down the right hand side low down. I asked the midwife who said it was just ligaments stretching and that I just needed to take it a bit slower when I felt it. Breast stroke legs appear to make it worse so I have adopted my own new stroke which is a cross between a leg kick and a frog leg style. Think tadpole half formed.

Tonight we are watching the fireworks from the warmth of our living room window whilst eating home made treacle toffee, lovely x

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Well done Mav!

We had our midwife appointment today and all was well. Finally got the form to complete for our pregnancy grant (wooo) and collected my Mat B 1 certificate.
It was a different midwife, who was really lovely, and has booked me in for an Anti D injection next Wednesday. She did the measurements and Mav was spot on size wise for 29 weeks - yey - well done Mav. She also had a feel to check where he / she was lying (I already knew the answer, vertical with feet down). However, Mavs did not take kindly to being fondled and she quickly stopped and said, "ooh baby has woken up and is moving, we'll leave it for today, he/she is moving onto a bit of a diagonal".

We are both relived that all is well!!!