Monday, December 28, 2009

Postpartum Shockers

I knew my body would undergo significant changes when the baby came, but there are a few that really really took me by surprise:
  1. Swollen Feet and Ankles - I had swollen feet and ankles towards the end of my pregnancy, but they have been much worse since the baby was born. My midwives have all told me this is normal.
  2. Smelly Feet - I have never, ever, ever, EVER, EVER had smelly feet in my life. Even Robin thinks they smell cheesy. I think it's something to do with all the fluid in my feet right now.
  3. Belly - Okay, now I never expected to have a flat tummy after the birth of my son BUT I didn't expect to look six or seven months pregnant by days 3 and 4 either. With the baby gone, I wonder what it is that's taking up all that space????
  4. Sore nipples - I was really surprised how quickly my nipples became sore. By the end of Day 1 they were cracked and bleeding. Apparently this is down to bad technique. But still ...

I'm sure I will be adding to this list as the weeks go on :-)

The Birth Story

Last Monday I was experiencing sharp stabbing pains in my cervix which didn't feel like period pains - and because we had every reason to believe it could have been an infection Robin and I decided to get it checked out at the hospital. What a MISTAKE.

Monday 2pm

I saw a midwife in triage who made me feel totally stupid. She was one of those nurses that sort of rolled her eyes at everything I said. Worst of all, she did an internal which left me feeling wholly violated. It felt like she'd thrust her fist up - no warning, no kind words of encouragement, nothing. If I was in pain before this, I was in agony by the time she'd finished.

The long and short of it all is that she told me there was no way of telling if I had an infection or not and that I wasn't in labour. At this point I was only 1cm dilated and the baby's head 2/5 engaged. I cried all the way home in the car, confused as to why I was feeling so much pain, and traumatised by the care I'd received at the hospital I would soon be giving birth in.

Monday 3pm

To make matters worse, after the internal examination, the pain intensified. By 3pm I was having regular waves of fairly intense pain every 20 minutes or so lasting around 15 seconds each along with a tightening in my upper abdo. But since I 'wasn't in labour' I decided to do some shopping and get a few last minute presents wrapped.

Monday 11.45pm

At 11.45 that evening I stood up, felt a pop and a torrent of fluid gushed down between my legs. I kid ye not, it was a torrent. Then I noticed the waters were dark green with flecks of what looked like spinach in it. PANIC! This was, I later learned, the most serious kind of meconium stained amniotic fluid.

Tuesday 12.30am (half past midnight)

Robin and I got to the hospital in double quick time where I was examined and admitted. At half past midnight I was 1cm dilated and feeling a lot of pain.

Tuesday 7am

Seven hours later I was still only 1cm dilated.

Tuesday 11am

Four hours after that I was only 2cm dilated and in a significant amount of pain. So the decision was made to induce labour.

Tuesday Midday

By midday I'd been given an epidural and was hooked up to a Syntocinon drip.

Tuesday 4pm

Four hours later (after a nice long snooze) I was 10cm dilated and ready to push.

Tuesday 4.30pm

After only half an hour of pushing, Elliot Broden Huffer arrived. The midwife plonked him straight onto my belly which was truly one of the most amazing moments of my life. And the rest - as they say - is history!

After such a bad start with the midwife from Hell, my labour and Elliot's birth ended up being a wonderful, positive experience. The midwives were friendly and reassuring and gave me all the support I needed and wanted.

It wasn't the 'natural' birth I'd hoped for; I couldn't walk around to alleviate my pain because I was hooked up to a monitor and I couldn't use the birthing pool either. In some respects it feels as though I cheated because I had an epidural and it took away ALL the pain.

After Elliot was born the midwife told me that I'd never actually been in established labour because I'd never gotten beyond 2cm dilated. Whaat? All that pain and I wasn't even in labour???? Boy, do I have a new found respect for women that do it au naturel.

And as for Robin - WOW! There is nothing glamorous about giving birth; it's an undignified, bloody and messy business. Yet Robin (who is squeamish at the best of times) was a tower of strength to me and an absolute gem with his words of gentle encouragement. He didn't cut the cord but he did see the baby's head crown. And the look on his face when he held Elliot for the first time will stay with me until my dying day.

So there we have it. My birth story. The end of one chapter ... and the beginning of a whole new one with my healthy, happy, gorgeous little baby.

Link to photos:

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Elliot Broden Huffer

Just a quick post update ...

Elliot Broden Huffer arrived safely on Tuesday 22nd December at 4.32pm weighing 8lb 6oz.

I couldn't possibly be happier if I tried.

Merry Christmas everybody xxx

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Membrane Sweep

I saw the midwife this morning and had the membrane sweep that I was hoping for.

First she had a feel of my belly and told me that the baby is barely engaged. Nooooo!

Then did an internal and told me that I have a posterior cervix, which means my cervix is facing backwards rather than forwards. Nooooo!

Essentially, she had to reach around the baby's head to do the sweep. At one point she said 'hello baby' and told me she was touching the baby's head. How weird is that??

My understanding of a posterior cervix is that it often moves to an anterior (forward facing) position during labour. If it doesn't, however, it can lengthen and exacerbate the labour and make it slightly trickier for the baby to manoeuvre his way out. This can result in a forceps rotation or ventouse delivery.

My worry (if you can call it a worry) is that I have a posterior cervix anyway. I've had several smears and examinations over the years where the professionals have indicated my cervix is 'quite far back'. Does that mean it has less chance of moving forward during the labour?

Anyway, the long and short of this morning's antenatal appointment is that I'm not going to experience labour any time soon. Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Paranormal Activity

I did a ridiculous thing the other day!! I took myself off to the movies to see Paranormal Activity on my own! I thought I would be fine, since it was a matinee showing. And, to be honest, after watching the movie I was fine.

Hey, it was spooky, but not THAT spooky ...

... or so I thought until 3.3o the following morning.

I woke with a start, convinced I'd heard something downstairs, and lay frozen in fear for the next two hours. I have never been so frightened in all my life.

How am I supposed to potter round the house with a baby in the wee hours when I'm too scared to even get out of bed??? What an eejit!!!!!

Coughs and sneezes spread diseases

Hmm ... I spoke to my mom on the phone yesterday and she is full of cold, which puts me in a tricky predicament.

A good friend of mine - Jackie - visited last week and one of the bits of advice she gave me (having had winter babies of her own) was don't feel bad about banning sick relatives from holding the baby.

Following the birth of her first child she'd reluctantly allowed a relative to cuddle the baby, despite being full of cold. She simply hadn't had the confidence to say no and what she ended up with was a sick newborn baby.

I know that you can't protect babies from coughs and colds forever - and breast milk is supposed to help them build up an immunity to such things - but I want to give my poor little munchkin a chance to settle into the big wide world before he's subjected to the horrors of a blocked nose and sore throat.

Clicking and popping in the womb

**YAWN **

5.30am and I've been awake for hours already ... I guess it's something I ought to get used to ;-)

Anyways, I thought I would do a bit of research on something that has been puzzling me for weeks. When the baby moves in my womb I sometimes hear and feel a 'click' or a 'pop' where his elbow and knee is. It's definitely NOT hiccups. Huffer Jnr has hiccups all the time and they have a really distinctive (and obvious) sensation. These clicks and pops happen randomly when the baby is moving. And maybe only once a week. It sounds like a bubble popping, but I have a slight sensation of being flicked too.

I've never been overly concerned by this. I assumed my baby just had clicky joints. And to be honest I thought it would take me hours to find anything on the subject as I've never heard of anyone else having a similar experience. But lo and behold, I found this within minutes of Googling the subject (you've gotta love the Internet) ...

The 'clicking' phenomenon is not documented in midwifery or obstetric text books. Therefore it is hard to know what really causes it. One plausible explanation may be that the baby's joints are rubbing or 'clicking' as they move, but we cannot be certain. In our experience, women who have noticed 'clicking' have gone on to have healthy, normal babies. Therefore we do not think it is anything to be concerned about. Perhaps it will just remain one of those strange mysteries of pregnancy?

Oh well, I love a good mystery!


Okay, so here I am just three days away from Huffer Jnr's due date and I feel like crap! Seriously, for the past few days I've been really really tired. Snoozing all the time. It's weird; my head says one thing and my body says another thing. For example, my head is screaming HOUSEWORK NEEDS DOING ... but my body simply doesn't have the physical energy to get it done.

Then, to make matters worse, I woke up this morning with a headache and nausea. Boo hoo. I HATE headache and nausea.

I've looked at the forums and most of them point to a surge in hormones. It could also be the body's way of cleansing itself before it flicks the labour switch.

But I'm worried! And the reason I'm worried is because Robin and I went out for supper last night and I had some monkfish which tasted decidedly odd. It was so rubbery I suspect it might have been heated up in the microwave more than once. Why oh why did I have the fish??? What an idiot!!

The baby is still happily moving around, so I know he's okay. He's got hiccups as I write this. But I really couldn't bear having food poisoning ... not NOW!!

Fingers crossed it's just the hormones!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The NCT Club

I had a spot of lunch with the NCT girls today. We're all due around the same time, so it's fun to compare bumps and 'symptoms'. It amazes me how similar all our bumps are ... although some of the others' bumps have dropped already. Mine is still up around my ears somewhere. Only one more week until my baby is due. Well, it's six days, seven nights to be precise.

One of the girls who is due on Tuesday had a membrane sweep at her last antenatal appointment. The website describes a membrane sweep as follows: Membrane sweeping is done by your midwife or doctor. While internally examining you, she will simply "sweep" a finger around your cervix (neck of your womb). The aim is to separate the membranes around your baby from your cervix. This releases hormones called prostaglandins, which may kick-start your labour.

Yikes. I wonder if I will be offered one next week!!!

I've had a look on the internet and there are lots of old wives tales about how to kick start labour. The one that grabbed my attention was this one. I found it on one of the forums: My mum used to be a midwife and she says that loads of people have sex to induce labour ...

I like this idea! No, I LOVE this idea :-) Sadly I can't infuse Robin with the same degree of enthusiasm. I think he thinks it will damage the baby. Either that or he's keen to enjoy as many lie-ins as he can before the baby arrives. Dang! Short of pinning him down, there's not much I can do. He's definitely got me by the short and curlies on this one.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The weighting game ...

Okay, since I'm twiddling my thumbs waiting for Huffer Jnr to arrive, I thought I would have a bit of fun with predictions:
  1. He will be 52 cm long
  2. He will have a fine layer of dark hair
  3. He will weigh 8lbs 2oz
  4. He will be born on Wednesday 16th December at 3.21 in the morning
  5. He will have the most beautiful face I have ever seen on a human being (hey, I want to get at least one prediction correct!!!!)
How freaky would it be if they ALL came true!!

Okay, night all.

Is it a sign??

I am so excited about the impending birth of my baby boy that every little thing has become a sign of labour. I woke up in the early hours of Friday morning with what felt like period pain (a sign??) On Saturday morning I woke up in the early hours with acute backache (surely a sign!!) Saturday lunch time I had a runny bottom (gotta be a sign, right??). This afternoon I felt sick (I'm sure I read somewhere that's a sign??). A twinge here, a pain there (all signs) ...

I know I will know when it's happening for real ... but come on already!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-)

Hippo Feet

My feet swelled up good and proper yesterday ... and were still swollen when I woke up this morning. They looked exactly like the hippo feet in the attached photo. You've gotta love pregnancy :-)


Okay, something else no one warned me about was ... the antenatal snoring. I have started snoring so badly it's keeping Robin awake. As far as I am aware I never snored before.

The reason for my snoring is that from quite early on in my pregnancy I have gone to bed most nights with what feels like a blocked nose. This congested feeling is caused by the extra progesterone whizzing round my system and causes me to sleep with my mouth open ... which in turn makes me snore!

For most women, snoring in pregnancy will be caused by the same thing. However, you only have to do a quick Google search on pregnancy-related snoring to uncover some horror stories. For example in 1999 the BBC reported: women who snore when they are pregnant may be at risk of developing dangerously high blood pressure that could threaten their lives when they give birth (whaaaaat??) Other phrases I came across during my research included: retardation of the foetus ... neonatal morbidity and mortality ... predictor of preeclampsia ... lower birth weight and lower Apgar scores ... sign of excessive weight gain, etc etc etc.

Pah! I'm pretty sure my snoring is a hormonal thing and that as soon as the baby is born and my hormone levels have reverted back to normal, the snoring will cease. (She says with fingers crossed).

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


I could have sworn I felt the baby's knuckles last night. It was near my bellybutton, where the skin is thinner, and where the baby's hands would be ... and it felt all knobbly. So cute :-)

I've had a couple of sharp twinges down below in the last couple of days. And I mean really sharp. They made me think that maybe a pain-relief-free labour is just wishful thinking, lol.

Nah, I'm still keen to experience nature's miracle as nature intended ... but I'm not stubborn enough to say no to a shot in the spine if push comes to shove.

My midwife told me yesterday that she'd assumed this wasn't my first child because I've been so relaxed about this pregnancy. I'm pleased she said that.

Some people think that because I ask questions about the worse case scenarios I'm being negative. I'm not. I think knowledge is power. And actually, asking questions like how does a baby get starved of oxygen at birth when it's not even breathing yet, is a sensible question to ask. Incidentally, when I asked this at my ante-natal class I didn't get an answer. I was told that it was extremely rare and that I shouldn't worry about it. I felt like saying; hey, I'm not worried about it, I just want to know. It's about empowering myself.

I wake up every morning now thinking, will today be the day I meet my little button? The excitement is mounting :-)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Counting down the days!

Hurrah! I'm finally on maternity leave and it already feels good. I don't feel as stressed or emotional as I have been.

In fact, I had a midwife appointment this morning and my blood pressure was a perfect 120/80. The baby's heartbeat was nice and strong too, so all good.

I've decided that I want to listen to my Christmas CDs when I'm in labour. They always put a smile on my face and fill me with hope and positivity.

I can't WAIT to meet my baby!!


Whoops. I bumped my bump on the corner of the table today. It feels bruised, even though there's no visible mark. I hope Huffer Jnr didn't feel it.

It's tricky negotiating the ol' bump around you know!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Antenatal blues

I was supposed to go to an NHS breast feeding clinic this morning and I didn't. I just couldn't face it. Those antenatal blues won't leave me alone. I still feel enveloped in a cloud of sadness. At the moment I feel like running away - just me and the bubs :-(

Hopefully I'll feel better later today.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Doctor Schmoctor

I have to tell you about a recent visit to the doctors' surgery.

I had a routine appointment with the doc at 36 weeks, which found blood, protein and extra white blood cells in my urine.

The doc sent my urine off for analysis and told me to call back on Friday for the results. If there was an infection, she would prescribe me antibiotics. If it came back clear, she wanted me to come back on Monday so they could do some further tests.

Sure enough the results came back clear, and the receptionist (reading my notes) reiterated what the first doctor had said about coming back on Monday. So on Monday, armed with a fresh urine sample, I went back to the surgery for an appointment with a different doctor. The second I walked into the doctor's room I knew it was going to be one of those consultations.

Doctor: How can I help you?

Me: (Explained the story) ... and so she asked me to come back today.

Doctor: (Already losing patience)... but why?

Me: I don't really know.

Doctor: **SIGH** If I had a penny for every white blood cell found in the urine of a pregnant lady ... I don't know why she asked you to come back.

Me: Umm ...

Doctor: As far as I'm concerned there's no reason for you to be here.

Me: I don't want to waste anyone's time ...

Doctor: Do you FEEL okay?

Me: I feel fine.

Doctor: And you can't remember why she wanted you to come back??

At this point I became visibly upset, and suddenly the doctor started backtracking. He told me that protein in urine should ALWAYS be taken seriously and that I wasn't wasting his time at all. He told me he wanted me to hand my urine sample in at reception on my way out so that it could be sent off to the labs for more testing and he made an appointment for me to return a few days later so he could check my blood pressure.

Needless to say, on my way out I cancelled the appointment and threw my urine in the bin!

Giving me the elbow!

Only 3 more weeks until D day and I'm hoping and praying he's not late. My bump has changed dramatically in the past few days. It's dropping I think; at least I can't rest a cup of coffee on the 'ledge' any more. Plus I sometimes feel a sinking feeling in my chest; like the pressure has been lifted from my lungs and they're filling with air. Is this the quickening that people talk about?

A strange but remarkable thing happened the other evening; and had Robin not been sitting next to me when it happened, it would have seemed too unbelievable to share.

My belly button has totally stretched out and now resembles a flat disc of shiny, pale scar tissue. I was sitting on the couch and the baby was wriggling about, like he always does after food, when something pointy (like a little elbow) poked right out through my belly button! I kid ye not. It poked out by about 1.5cm before I pushed it back in again.

I was amazed, if not also a little freaked out by this and I'm now a little obsessed with his elbow ...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Nursery pics

I thought I would share some nursery pics with you.

Copy and paste the following link into your browser (hopefully it'll work):

NCT Antenatal Classes

Robin and have been attending NCT Antenatal Classes for the past two weekends. It's not what we imagined it to be. For example, we didn't have to sit on the floor and practice breathing exercises (I feel cheated) and, much to Robin's delight, there were no gruesome childbirth videos to watch. Having said that, there was soooooo much to take in that I can barely remember it all.

The main points (that matter to me) are:
  1. Pain relief - we have a choice of water, gas and air, pethidine and epidural.
  2. Don't get in the bath at home until your contractions are lasting a minute. Any shorter than that and the warm water could slow down labour.
  3. Contractions should be timed from the start of one to the start of the next one.
  4. Go to the hospital only when your contractions are 2 to 3 minutes apart.
  5. Breast feed exclusively for 4 weeks before introducing the bottle if you want to share feeds with your partner.
  6. It's okay to have the baby in the bath with you from birth (if you're prepared to be pooped and wee'd on).
  7. It's best not to use soaps, shampoos or lotions on the baby for around six weeks.
  8. The optimum room temperature for a baby is 18 degrees.
  9. The umbilical chord should fall off at around 10 days.
  10. It's okay to take the baby out and about from birth.
  11. First stage of labour is the contractions, second stage is pushing and third stage is placenta delivery.
  12. It takes ages to get from 1cm to 5cm dilated, but 5cm to 8cm happens really quickly.

Another bonus of the NCT classes is that we've met some really cool people who are expecting babies around the same time as us. Happy days.

St Peter's Counselling Session

My appointment with the counsellor, Zarah, on Monday was great. She spent two hours (5 til 7) getting to the bottom of why I was feeling so emotional.

After discounting the whole fear of labour ... fear of the unknown ... fear of being responsible for another human being nonsense (none of which I feel), we eventually deduced that I have a fear of dependency.

After twenty years of being a self-sufficient, independent career woman, earning my own wage, I am quite terrified of being financially dependent on Robin (or any man for that matter).

I didn't realise how much of a subconscious worry it was until the session.

Zarah tried to get me to look at it from Robin's perspective in that he had an idyllic childhood with a full time stay-at-home mom. By wanting to replicate that for his own child (which he does), he is acknowledging the importance of the mother's role. I shouldn't, therefore, feel like I'm not worthy of spending his money.

It's a simple enough concept to grasp ... but I'll have to work at it for a while. I will miss having my own money to spend on luxuries, but I assume that once the baby arrives, my perspective and focus will change anyway.

All in all, I feel the session was helpful and I don't feel quite so helpless about the money side of things.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The pram

The pram arrived yesterday - the same one that's been in the news for chopping off little fingers!!

I couldn't believe it. We (Rob) ordered it online on the Monday evening and on the Tuesday morning it was all over the news:

Maclaren recalls 1 million strollers after severing of childrens' fingertips!

Sods law ...

But anyway, it's here now and it took me and Rob over an hour to fit it all together. Talk about Rocket science!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Flying into London ...

I had an interesting day yesterday.

After waking up at 5 again, and crying until around 6.45 when I woke my fella up I decided that I would call the midwife and find out if it's normal to feel so down before the baby arrives.

I called the number that was in my medical folder and was really impressed and comforted by the service I received (thank you St Peter's Hospital Maternity Unit).

The woman who answered the phone was unable to help me but put me through to the labour ward. The nurse in the labour ward listened to my concerns and told me that she would get a community midwife to call me back. Within 20 minutes I had a call from midwife called Zarah who spent 27 minutes trying to help me make sense of my feelings.

The upshot of all of this was:
  1. She didn't think it was hormonal. Apparently, there's no reason for my hormones to change dramatically at this point in the pregnancy.
  2. She didn't think I should be working. My job, managing a team of writers, is stressful. Zarah told me that lots of women who choose to work right up until the last minute are not doing enough to prepare their minds or bodies for the physical and psychological traumas that lie ahead.
  3. She thought I was subconsciously fearful of the labour (I disagree about this one).
  4. She was concerned that I had no friends or family living nearby and told me to make the most of any clubs or classes that I could attend for local support.
  5. She told me to inform the doctor of how I was feeling, as people who are prone to depression or PMT (like me) are also prone to post natal depression. By talking to the doctors and midwives about it now, they can keep tabs on me once the baby is born.

I felt a lot better after talking to the midwife, but it hasn't helped me decide whether to leave work earlier than planned. I know my baby and me are more important than money, but by finishing work a week or two early I will lose between £500 and £1000 - that's not just money, that's the promise of some care-free times ahead ... just me and the bambino and a couple of bucks to get out and about in the big wide world.

I do think that work has a lot to do with it. But my strategy for the next two weeks is to slow things down. I have already outsourced some of my work to freelancers (I don't know why I didn't do that sooner) and I am handing the rest over to my maternity cover, Amanda, sooner rather than later.

It's a tricky, tricky position to be in. I didn't realise that the 'juggling' of mommyhood and work would happen before the baby was born.

I guess that's a sign of the times. And I can't complain. I have a wonderfully healthy son almost ready to be born, a good job, a lovely parner and a warm home. I have more than most - I know this. I just wish the cloud would lift.

Actually, a really good analogy of how I feel is this:

I lived in sunny South Africa for four years (1996 to 2000) and loved it beyond words. To me it was home. I felt at peace living there (ironic I know). At least twice a year I would come back to the UK to visit my friends and family and each time it was the same ... I would fly out of Johannesburg on a bright, sunny, warm day with wide open blue skies and a sense of belonging ... and 11 hours later I would fly into London; miserable, dreary, drizzly London with it's lonely, heaving, oppressive grey skies ...

Well, right now, I'm flying into London and already counting down the days until I feel the warmth of the African sun again.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The lows and the highs of month 9.

I'm still feeling pretty blue at the moment. It's something I will definitely run by the doctor next Wednesday as I don't want the arrival of my most precious baby blighted by any of this sadness.

Hopefully, the two weeks in between leaving work and having the baby (all being well) will be enough time for me to relax and take stock of all the changes that are about to take place in my life. I really need some time to let it all sink in. Luckily we have bought everything we need for the baby (apart from bottles) and the nursery is finally ready ... so by the time I leave work I will have absolutely bugger all to do except sleep, eat and dream about meeting my little fella for the very first time.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sock shock

One of the biggest challenges of my pregnancy so far?

Getting my shoes and socks on and off!

I've had to add an additional five minutes to my morning routine so that I'm not late leaving the house. Nightmare.

Why did no one warn me????

Boo hooooooo

There must have been a shift in my hormones over the past week or two as I have done nothing but cry. It's awful. I just feel so low. The smallest thing sets me off; Robin joking with me (his jokes are pretty bad); the cat meowing; missing a train ... I know I'm overreacting; I'm actually thinking this when I'm crying, but at that moment in time it just feels like the world has come crashing down around my ears.

I hope it's just a passing phase :-(

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The baby and wee

Okay, so it was a bit of an interesting trip to the hospital this morning. First things first, as soon as I arrived they gave me one of those long thin urine sample pots and asked me to wee in it. Now, I don't know about you, but as a woman, I may as well be trying to pee through the eye of a needle. Add a huge bump to the equation, effectively blocking off my view, then you're just asking for trouble. Needless to say I got wee all over my jeans, the toilet seat and the floor. Not a good start.

Then came the scan and whilst our baby is growing perfectly (he now weighs 5lb 6oz) his kidneys are still showing signs of swelling. The term hydronephrosis has been used and there are many causes for this, which they won't be able to establish until he's born. So unfortunately, once he's born he may need a kidney scan and possibly some antibiotics. This made me sad. I'd hoped to be in and out of hospital quickly ... and I just can't bear the thought of those strange men in white coats whisking my precious little button away for even a second!! There is, of course, always the chance that things will clear up before he arrives, but he's had the swelling since fairly early on in the pregnancy so I have my doubts.

Here's hoping the Christmas angels bring him a perfect pair of kidneys for Christmas.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Early mornings

Another 6 o'clock start. Hopefully it'll be a less painful and emotional day than yesterday!

I'm going to avoid wearing jeans today as I think they might have had something to do with the tummy pain yesterday. They do feel tight around the lower abdomen - where they sit just below my bump - when I'm sitting down.

I don't know what's worse though, the physical pain that comes with jeans or the psychological pain that comes with exposing my legs!


Tears and tummy pains

I had a weird day today. First of all I woke at 6 and couldn't get back to sleep again. Then my tummy started hurting and went on hurting for the rest of the day. (The pain was low in my abdomen and felt like trapped wind mixed with period pain.) Then I was walking back from HR at around 2pm when I suddenly - and quite inexplicably - burst into tears. I subsequently spent ten minutes in a toilet cubicle sobbing my heart out. I also had a strange knotted feeling in my chest ...

I'm assuming it's the hormones.

Apart from these minor hiccups, I'm still extrememly excited about meeting my little man in a few week's time. Tomorrow we have our final scan. They want to check his kidneys, but I'm hoping we'll get another picture of his little face.

Lying in the bath tonight, I could make out his shoulder, his knee, his back and his bottom with my finger tips. It was a lovely feeling :-)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

34 Week Appointment

I had my 34 week midwife appointment this morning and ended up seeing an amazing locum! She was ace. She was a lot older than the previous midwives and really took the time to listen to what I was saying. She took each of my concerns seriously and congratulated me on my positive birth attitude. She also told me exactly what position my baby is lying in, which I really enjoyed. His head is engaged (not fully though) and his bottom is just under my ribs. His movements, particularly his stretches, make a lot of sense to me now.

Apart from slightly low blood pressure (110/80), the only other area of concern is a minor 'show' that I had last week. I'd shrugged it off until the midwife told me in no uncertain terms that there is no such thing as good blood loss in pregnancy. If it happens again I have to call the doctor straight away. Whoops!

Oh well, only another 4 weeks at work then I can finally relax!

Monday, November 2, 2009

To love a child

I remember being told, many moons ago, by a mother that I could never understand what it is to truly love a child until I've had one of my own.

I can't tell you how much this has chewed away at me over the years ...

How can anyone make that assumption? How can anyone assume to know the capacity of someone else's heart? Are they saying that adopted parents have an inferior love for their children? Or that adopted children have never felt the full force of true maternal love??

I am six weeks away from the birth of my first (and very much longed for) child, and I still disagree with the statement. I can imagine it's a different kind of love, but certainly not an inferior kind.

Ask me again when I'm holding the precious little peanut in my arms ... but I really don't think I'll feel any differently.

Choosing a pram

Robin and I have not been able to decide on a pram for several months now, partly because it's all so flaming confusing!!

Do we get one with three or four wheels. Do we get one with a carry cot or not? Will it fit in the boot of the car when folded? Does it need attachments for the car seat? Does it fold down with one hand? Does it fit in the aisle of a small supermarket? Does it have good reviews on the website? Does it have the necessary seals of approval? What did Which Magazine say about it? Is it the right colour? Does it come with accessories or are these extra? Do you need a PHD to recline the seat? Will it tip over backwards if you put a shopping bag on the handles? Do the breaks catch when you're going up steps? Are the handle bars adjustable? Is the shopping basket underneath easily accessible??

Questions, questions, questions!!

After whittling it down to a shortlist of just two - Mamas and Papas Luna and the Maclaren Techno XLR - we finally took the plunge and made a decision ...

... the Maclaren!!

To be honest with you, I don't think it's the most stylish looking travel system and it's by no means the cheapest, but it consistently got the best reviews. If I could combine the aesthetics (and the neat folded-up size) of the Luna with the functionality of the Maclaren, I'd be a very happy lady indeed.

THE NAKED BUMP: 33 weeks and 2 days

At 33 weeks, people are still telling me I have a 'neat' bump. I don't really mind any more because I know the button is healthy and happy.

I love, love, love being pregnant but I can't wait for the birth either.

Seriously ... the closer it gets the more I find myself thinking about it and the more excited I become.

I don't understand why I am made to feel uncomfortable and foolish for wanting a natural birth. People tell me it's a romantic notion ... what the heck does that mean?

I'm convinced that the fear of pain can inhibit the body's ability to actually cope with it. So I choose (at this point in time) not to fear it. I pray that my brain sends out the right chemicals at the right time to help my body cope with the job it's been designed to do.

Don't get me wrong. I don't expect childbirth to be pain free. But I don't expect it to be unbearable either. Why would Nature do that to us? And if it does become unbearable and I ultimately resort to pain relief then so be it. But at least I will have given it a shot.

I'll have done it my way.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Reality Bites

Okay, it's week 31 and the honeymoon period is finally over.

In the past week I have suffered from all manner of aches and pains including swollen ankles (my usually bony ankles are looking more like marshmallows these days) and the dreaded piles which were so painful on Friday and Saturday they had me in tears. I am genuinely more worried about the effect labour will have on the Emma Freuds than I am about the labour itself. Seriously, a red hot poker Edward II style would have been less painful ... and there was blood too. Not nice. Luckily I have an appointment with the doctor on Wednesday so it's top of my agenda. Rob is coming with me for a bit of moral support, which means I won't be able to do my usual down-play the symptoms routine. In addition, the not-so-nice hormones are back with a vengeance, leaving me grouchy and miserable and it doesn't help that I've been suffering from insomnia too. Grah!

What else can I report? Well, the little tinker seems to have discovered my ribs and is constantly getting his feet tangled up in them. But - as much as it makes me cringe - I love the feeling of him moving around inside me and I wouldn't have it any other way. I grow to love my little man more and more every day and can't wait to meet him in nine week's time.

Adieu x

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A bump - at last :-)

At last I have a bump. Last week TWO people asked me if I was expecting. I was so happy. With only two months and a week to go til D Day I thought I would take a piccie to celebrate.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Small Bump Complex

So here I am, six months pregnant and every one's telling me what a small bump I have. Even the midwife commented on it this morning. When I lay down on the couch she said, "Wow, I don't think it's going to be a big one!" (referring to the baby I assume). Only after measuring the bump did she concede it was in fact the right size, but because I have a long body it doesn't "show" so much.

Funny thing is that when I look in the mirror my tummy looks gargantuan.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

25 Weeks, 3 Days - 4D Scan

We just got back from the 4D scan, which was a wonderful experience. We learnt so much about our baby.
  1. He is definitely a boy.
  2. He is CUTE!
  3. He looks like his dad.
  4. He has big feet and long legs.
  5. He is camera shy.
  6. He likes to nestle his face into things.
  7. He weighs 1.8lbs
  8. He likes to touch his face (scratch mitts a must methinks)

The sonographer commented a number of times on how much he likes to nestle. She said he will definitely like being wrapped up tightly and held close. Aww.

Still images taken from the video can be found here: Share this album with anyone by sending them this public link:

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Pirate Ships in the Night

SOOOOO excited!! Robin and I just bought the most awesome looking light shade for the baby's bedroom. It's a pirate ship. Shiver me timbers!!

25.5 Centimetre Bump

Did you know that the length of your bump, from your pubic bone to the top of your womb (fundus), in centimetres should correspond roughly to the number of weeks pregnant you are?

I discovered this when I went to the doctor's on Wednesday for a routine check up. The results?

  1. Blood pressure - perfect.
  2. Bump size - spot on at 25.5cm.
  3. Urine - healthy.

So all in all, me and the baby are doing a-okay.

Alien in My Tummy

Forgot to tell you; I was lying in bed the other night when Huffer Jnr decided to do some acrobatics. The result was a fantastic display of belly ripples and distortions. At one point my tummy lurched all the way to left as the baby stretched out his little body. I have to admit that even I gasped when I saw that. And Robin's face was a picture!!

Making a start on the nursery

So when do you start transforming the spare room into a nursery? It's a tricky decision. Start early and it feels like you're tempting fate. Leave it too late and you run the risk of not finding what you're looking for in time ...

Robin and I decided that six months would be a good time to start thinking about the baby's room, which seemed like aaages away until this week when we realised I was almost six month's pregnant. I can't believe how quickly the time has flown by! I'm almost into my third trimester. We're talking seriously pregnant here.

So, after a quick Internet search, we took the plunge and ordered a cot. Well, strictly speaking it's a cot bed. It's from John Lewis, is antique pine and cost £147 (excluding mattress). Bargain. Love it.

Have to say, it's all beginning to feel very real now that we have baby furniture!

Pregnant Wench

I was lucky enough to be invited to a recent Sega event through work, which culminated in a medieval banquet and fancy dress. My lovely colleagues decided I should go as a pregnant wench. Thanks guys!

The Benefits of Being Pregnant

I was standing in a rather long checkout queue at Sainsbury's the other day when a member of staff tapped me on the shoulder and told me I could use the empty Fast Track till. It's the first time I've being given special treatment on account of being pregnant. Yay.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

3 Men and a Baby

Robin went out drinking on Wednesday with two of his work colleagues who recently became first-time fathers. When I collected Robin from the station later in the evening he informed me, rather tipsily, that the the three of them had talked about babies ALL NIGHT LONG! Apparently they'd discussed everything from childbirth to breastfeeding to baby farts and stretch marks. HILARIOUS!!!

What's even funnier is that I find myself asking Robin more questions now than he asks me AND ... he knows the answers!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Walls have ears ...

My tummy was making some extraordinarily loud gurgling noises this evening whilst digesting some coleslaw. This seemed to make the baby kick and wriggle like crazy. With all that noise going on in there the poor little sausage was probably thinking LET ME OUTTA HERE!!

Talking of sausages, one pound equals EIGHT sausages. So Huffer Jnr is approximately the same weight as eight of Walls' finest. Mmmmm.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Teddy Boy

Uh oh. This is Robin's idea of a cute outfit for our little baby when he's born. Not so sure myself ...

Remote Control

23 weeks, 2 days

I was lying on the sofa watching a movie this afternoon - Man on Wire (boring) - and had the remote control on my stomach when Huffer Jnr decided to do some kick boxing. I can't believe that such a little leg almost has the strength to send a remote control flying.

Friday, August 21, 2009

A foot of baby

My baby is 12 inches - or a foot - long this week, so to celebrate I thought I would post a picture of one of his feet.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Anomaly Scan - WARNING: may contain boring stuff.

I'm looking at the measurements from last week's scan and working out what it all means. Very tricky indeed.

Okay, so we have lots of measurements taken in millimetres.

Each measurement is shown on a graph which has a line down the middle indicating the 'average' point. A dot either side of the line indicates whether the measurements fall above or below the average (but still within a normal range).

Sooo ...

Fluff-bucket's 'normo-gram' measurements are as follows:
  • Skull/head measurements x 3 (BPD 57mm, OFD 73.3mm, HC204.7mm) - all above average.
  • Transcerebellar Diameter (TCD) - 22.6mm - average. (The measurement correlates almost exactly with gestational age and is used to help determine gestational age more accurately.)
  • Cisterna Magna (this is a tricky one to figure out ... I think it can indicate brain abnormalities if measuring over 10mm) - 6.4mm - slightly above average.
  • Nuchal Fold Thickness - 4.9mm (I believe anything under 6mm is considered normal).
  • Abdominal Diameter and Circumference measurements x 3 ( TAD 55mm, APAD 49.6mm, AC 164mm) - all average. (These measurements can help determine the baby's weight).
  • Femur Length (FL) - 37.7mm - slightly above average.
  • Estimated Fetal Weight (AC/FL) - 451g (1lb) - average. (Apparently there is a correlation between the Femur Length and the Abdominal Circumeference that helps determine the baby's weight.)
All in all nothing to worry about; I think the Fluff-bucket might just be okay.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A bump at last!

Hurrah ... I have a bump. Not a huge one, but a bump nonetheless (see pic). To celebrate, I treated myself to a T-shirt that says Hands off the Bump.

On another note, Rob and I have two names that we sort of like. I'm sure there will be tonnes more in the next four months or so ... but you'll have to wait until D Day to find out what we decide.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

It's a ...

... BOY!

We had the big 22 week scan today. The big scan. The sexing scan. And we found out that we are having a BOY! My sister heard me cry out in surprise from the waiting room - then heard me exclaim "I wasn't expecting that." I was convinced I was having a girl.

The baby's profile is very similar to Rob's particularly round the upper lip, which pleases me greatly.

The scan went well apart from a potential issue with the right kidney which had a little too much fluid in it for the sonographer's liking. Apparently the fluid should not exceed 5mm width and it measured 6.6mm. This suggests Prenatal Hydronephrosis (or swelling of the kidney) which is more common in boys and affects one in every 100 babies. There are several reasons why Prenatal Hydronephrosis happens including obstruction ... reflux (i.e. urine traveling back up into the bladder) and posterior urethral valves ...

At 6.6mm it would only be a mild case, but the sonographer requested that we come back for another scan at 34 weeks so that she can monitor the situation.

Funny thing is that Rob has the dodgiest water works of any human being I know ... I just hope the baby hasn't inherited them. Poor little fluff bucket.

Monday, August 10, 2009

How accurate are these websites?

In three day's time I will be 22 week's pregnant and according to one popular pregnancy website:

The baby now weighs almost one pound/ 430 grams
and measures nearly 11 inches/ just over 27 centimetres long.

With my 22 week scan only days away, I'll be interested to find out how accurate these figures are.

Watch this space ...

Scans booked

I've got two exciting things to look forward to. Firstly is my 22 week scan on Thursday where I fully intend to find out what sex I'm having (fner fner) and the second exciting thing is the 4D ultrasound that I've booked in for the 6th September. I can't wait. It costs £150 and you get a half hour video of the 4D scan and some photos (as well as a few other bits and pieces that they throw in to make you feel like you're getting your money's worth).

To be honest I think that having a 4D scan is priceless. Just a few years ago the average ultrasound scan just looked like white noise with the fuzzy outline of a baby somewhere in the middle. These days you get crystal clear (almost) images of your child inside your womb. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the little person who keeps you awake at night by kicking you in the ribs ... yet who might as well be a million miles away, separated from you by the thinnest piece of skin (okay, and a couple of inches of fat in my case).

People ask why I want to know the sex ... or to see it before it's born and my response is why not? I will be 25 weeks pregnant when I have the 4D scan. The baby will be a fraction of its birth size. It will be a remarkable insight into its development and a glimpse into a world that, let's face it, is as mysterious and wondrous as the furthest reaches of outer space.

Of course, it also has something to do with impatience. I am one of those people who is driven demented by presents under the Christmas tree. If only I had Xray vision!!

Anyway, it's all booked and the deposit is paid for. Now I'm counting down the weeks, days, hours, minutes and seconds until I see my baby's precious features for the very first time :-)

Tell me it SNOT true.

So I'm doing an Internet search for all the stuff I need to buy before the baby arrives and I stumble across a gruesome device called ...

Nosefrida the snotsucker. I kid ye not!!

Essentially you put one end of this nasal aspirator into your child's nose and the other end in your mouth and then you ... suck. According to the description it's doctor-endorsed, hygienic and effective but for someone like me who wretches at the sight of someone sniffing, it's a nightmare come true.

Mmmmm. Bogey smoothie through a straw anyone??

Bump in the Night

I just realised, whilst listening to the baby's heartbeat via the AngelSounds doppler, that my bump doesn't disappear when I'm lying down. It stands proud and firm. Huzzah. I'm really beginning to feel properly pregnant now.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Insomnia and hiccups

I hardly slept a wink last night ... not sure why. I guess I must be feeling stressed. On the bright side, it did give me an insight into when the baby is most active during the night. Between 4 and 5 the baby was moving around a lot and even got hiccups. They say that by 20 weeks your baby has established sleeping patterns. Judging by last night I have some really early mornings to look forward to over the next year or three :-)

On the bright side ...

I had a look on the Internet and found some images that show what the baby will look like at 21 weeks (in just three day's time). He or she is around 27 centimetres long and weighs around three-quarters of a pound :-)

A weight on my shoulders ...

I have to confess I cried my eyes out tonight. Why? Because I couldn't squeeze into a pair of size 16 maternity trousers in the shops after work, that's why!

I expected to gain some weight during pregnancy (I would have been foolish not to). But growing more than a dress size - so soon - has really knocked me sideways. I've always suffered from a degree of body dysmorphia, and for a period of my life even succumbed to eating disorders. But this had pretty much disappeared by the time I reached my thirties. I'd stopped worrying about what I looked like and learnt to accept my body. But NOW ...

I keep on telling myself that it'll be worth it in the end (and I'm sure it will be) but right now it all seems like a little bit too much too quickly :-(

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Weight Gain

20 weeks + 2

OMG ... I just weighed myself and I've put on a stone. I now weigh 12 stone 4lbs. Yikes. All for a good cause though.

On a seperate note, I woke up this morning with an ache (verging on pain) in my right kidney. Going to try and drink plenty of fluids today ... in between hanging the bedroom door :-)

Friday, July 31, 2009

Bladder Blues Continued ...

Called the doctor's surgery to get the results of my urine sample and it came back normal.


I was hoping there was something that could be fixed. I guess I'll just have to put up with the bladder blues for a little bit longer.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Half way there

I'm 20 weeks pregnant today - yay! Half way there.

So far I've been really lucky, suffering hardly any ill side effects from the pregnancy. No sickness, no food cravings, NO BUMP (I'm still in my regular clothes - just), no mood swings, no weird smell sensitivity and no stretch marks ... yet.

All I've had is a couple of weeks with a spotty face, 2 days of indigestion, sore boobs and a week of haemorrhoid hell. That's it. Oh, and an almost constant need to wee ... but hopefully that'll sort itself out soon.

I suspect the next 20 weeks will be a bit more taxing (I'm already feeling breathless) but I'm looking forward to my body changing as the baby grows and facing up to the challenges those changes might bring.

Ear ear

I was reading a week-by-week guide to pregnancy on iVillage and at 20 weeks it stated the following:
It may now be possible for your partner to hear your baby's heartbeat by placing his or her ear against your bare lower abdomen. If you can't hear it right away, try the other side. Listen every day and you will be rewarded with a tiny, fast, rhythmic beat.
Wanting to see if it was true I got Robin to place his ear on my belly. He didn't hear the baby's heartbeat ... but he did get kicked in the ear!

That's the second time he's felt the baby for himself.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Bladder Blues

19 weeks + 4 days

My bladder has been troubling me for weeks now. I've been feeling desperate to wee all the time, but only producing small amounts of urine.

In the last few days it suddenly became much worse and this morning it felt like my bladder was about to explode, yet when I went to the loo, there was hardly any urine at all. Plus my kidneys were beginning to feel 'achy'.

After a quick trip to the doctor's surgery they discovered some blood in my urine. Now I have to wait three days to find out what the problem is and see if I need some antibiotics.

Fingers crossed it's something that can be treated so I can have my bladder back to normal.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Baby's getting stronger day by day

18 weeks plus 5 days pregnant today.

I can feel the baby moving throughout the day every day now. I can tell that it's grown in a week because the movements seem so much stronger.

Last night whilst lying in the bath - very still - I actually saw my stomach (just above my pubic bone) move when the baby kicked. Is this the earliest anyone has ever seen their baby kicking or is this fairly normal?? I thought it was awesome and screamed downstairs for Robin to come quickly ...

He then spent five minutes staring at my stomach to no avail.

On the downside, I am piling on the weight. This is because I have stopped cycling five miles a day. I need to find another way to burn off the calories otherwise I will be enormous by the time the baby comes and that will make me sad :-(


I have only two words to say:

Haemorrhoids :-(

Germoloids :-)

Friday, July 17, 2009

18 weeks and 1 day pregnant today.

At 18 weeks my little peanut can hear ... and is a whopping 15 centimetres long from crown to rump (head to bum). That's HUGE!!

This is pretty much how my belly looks right now; nothing that screams PREGNANT. Just a few too many pies, lol.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

My baby's heartbeat

I'm sooo excited.

Using the AngelSounds doppler that I bought a few weeks ago, I have found a way to record and share my baby's heartbeat.

Click HERE

First you can hear the baby's heartbeat, then you can hear mine, then you can hear them both together. Woot woot!

Acid reflux

17 weeks + 5

I've started getting heartburn when I go to bed. Pooh. I didn't think this would happen until much later.

It's not too bad at the moment as it passes in minutes. But I suspect it can only get worse ...

All fine and dandy otherwise.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Dwindling appetite

So much for the old 'eating for two' adage. My appetite has, thus far, been smaller than it was pre-pregnancy. This morning, for example, I could only manage three of my four pancakes.

I know, I know ... Rob was shocked too. (Didn't stop him eating my left-overs though).

Kicking daddy's hand

17 weeks + 3

Robin felt the baby kick this morning! It was awesome. His hand was in exactly the right place at the right moment for what was one of the baby's strongest kicks to date.

'twas a wonderful moment :-)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

16 week antenatal

16 weeks and 6 days pregnant today.

It was my 16 week antenatal appointment yesterday where I met my midwife for the first time. I have to say I'm not feeling overly inspired by her ... she was pretty dull, as was the appointment.

She took my blood pressure (100/60) then listened to the heartbeat, and that was it! Appointment over.

Oh, I also found out that I don't have syphilis, HIV/AIDS or Hepatitis and my blood group is O+.

My next appointment is for a scan at 22 weeks where I'll find out whether it's a boy or a girl.

The baby is still sitting really low in my tummy - it's so low it feels like it's sitting in my nether regions. But the midwife seems to think this is fine, even though I need to wee constantly during the night. Hopefully the baby will move upwards soon; there's plenty of room to spare, and I want my bladder back!!!!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A kick

I'm 15 weeks and 5 days pregnant today and I'm almost 100% sure I felt a little kick. Actually it felt more like something did a little somersault just where we've been hearing the heartbeat. It was awesome.

I've felt little flutters before now, but nothing quite as distinct as today's.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Baby's Heartbeat

After a couple of week's of anxiety over a distinct lack of pregnancy symptoms (no sickness, no obvious bump, no tiredness, no hunger, no more sore boobs, no more acne, etc., etc.) I invested £30 in a fetal doppler (baby heartbeat listener) called AngelSounds.

It arrived this weekend, along with a bottle of ultrasound gel, and boy was it worth the money.

I decided to try it out on my own at first and, try as I might, I couldn't hear anything other than my own heartbeat. Then Robin tried and within 30 seconds he'd picked up the baby's heartbeat. To make sure it WAS the baby's heart we counted the beats - 150 per minute compared to my slow, heavy 75 per minute.

I feel SUCH relief :-)

Even better, you can hear the baby moving around too - it makes a whooshing sound as it does.

Highly recommended.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A bump ... or just too many pies??

15 weeks today.

I can't wait to have an obvious baby bump :-)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Nuchal Results

14 weeks and 1 day today.

Got the results of my Nuchal Translucency test yesterday and the risk of downs is low. 1 in 1,100.

I think I have a little bump starting to appear. I can't imagine it's just me getting fat (although I wouldn't be surprised with the amount of crisps I've eaten this week). It's all in one place just below my belly button and it feels a little bit harder than fat would.

Hurrah. I can't wait to have a proper bump.

Well meaning others ...

I've noticed that people feel the need to warn me about what horrors await: sleepless nights; exhaustion; dirty nappies; messy house; lack of money; loss of identity; blah blah blah ... and that's before they even get to the Hell that is labour and childbirth.

It's so disheartening.

I KNOW it's not going to be a bed of roses. I'd be foolish to think otherwise.

BUT I'm looking forward to having a family of my own; the love that comes from a mother-child bond; the joy that comes from witnessing each and every milestone; the pleasure that comes from seeing him or her smile ...

That's what I CHOOSE to think about right now, because soon enough I'll be finding my own way through motherhood and making my own decisions about what constitutes Hell and what doesn't.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Fear's creeping in ...

So here I am, 13 weeks and 5 days pregnant with all sorts of hazardous thoughts whizzing round my head. Why don't I FEEL pregnant? Has something gone wrong? Am I still pregnant? What if something has happened to the baby? What if I go for my 16 week antenatal appointment in 3 week's time and the midwife can't hear a heartbeat??!

If only I could look inside my tummy and just see that everything is okay, I'd be happy. Or even better, a daily ultrasound. Now THAT would be awesome :-)

I'm guessing these are normal fears for a first-time mom. I can't wait until I've got a bump, then I might feel more relaxed - at least I'll be able to see that the baby is actually growing!

In two day's time, my precious little button will be around 9cm long. Wow.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Scan 12 weeks, 4 days

Last Monday was the second scan and this time round the baby was 'old' enough to have the Nuchal Fold or Nuchal Translucency test (where they measure the width of strip of fluid in the baby's neck). Rob and I had already done some research into this and knew that anything in the region of 3mm could indicate downs. As it turns out, ours measured 1.3mm. I also had bloods taken and haven't heard back from the hospital so I assume the risk is low.

Our appointment was at 9.20, but when I went in for the scan, the baby was fast asleep. My heart skipped a beat when I saw it lying there as still as a stone. I asked the sonographer if she could see a heartbeat - which she could - and whether it was normal for a foetus to lie so still - which it is. To make matters worse, the baby was curled up which meant the first crown to rump measurement was shorter than it should have been.

No amount of prodding and poking could arouse the little button, so I was told to leave the room and walk around for a while to try and wake it up. After twenty minutes of walking, jumping, hip swinging and invisible hula hooping, the baby was awake and an accurate crown to rump measurement of 6.34cm was taken. So all good.

Estimated Date of Delivery (EDD) is 17th December. It seems so far away!!!

I still don't have a bump as such. I just look like I've eaten a few too many pies. And I have no other symptoms apart from a spotty face and sore boobs. Rob is loving the boobs already - this morning he asked how long they'll last after the baby is born, lol.

Tempted fate and bought a little baby toy this week. Have promised it will be the only one until the 20 week scan. Standing at the checkout waiting to pay for the toy I imagined holding my baby for the first time and nearly burst into tears. I must try not to think about these things in public :-)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Names I like ...

Violet Marceline Bailey Huffer (for a girl)

BIG FAT ZERO for a boy.

At the moment we like Vincent after the Tim Burton cartoon but no one else seems to like it. Plus, Rob doesn't like Vince or Vinnie, which is what the child will inevitably be known as.

Ideas are welcomed; we like uncommon names and Ye Olde English sounding names too.


Yeterday's ultrasound went well, except our little button was two days too young to have the nuchal fold testing - doh! He or she was 11 weeks 1 day (a whopping 44mm long) and the earliest they can do the test is 11 weeks 3 days. On the plus side, it means we get to go back in a week and do the ultrasound all over again. I can't wait.

He or she was having a lie down on the bottom of my womb but was clearly wiggling its little legs about. The funny little white blob above the baby is part of its leg.

When we go back in a week's time we'll get some exact dates too. Given that the button is now 11 weeks 2 days, I estimate the 17th of December.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Booking Appointment

I had my booking appointment last Wednesday with the midwife. The booking appointment is where the midwife asks you all about you and your partner's health as well as your family's medical history. I also had some blood taken and was asked to provide a urine sample. The appointment was an hour long but most of that time was spent filling in forms. From now on I have to take my own paperwork to and from each appointment. I also have to take a urine sample with me to every appointment - niiice.

The midwife was concerned about some funny turns I had a couple of years ago, so as a precaution she's referred me to a consultant at the hospital. I see the consultant in two week's time.

I still can't believe I'm pregnant. Most of the time I feel anxious that there's been a mistake. What if I go for my scan on Friday and the sonographer can't find a baby!!?? Or worse, there's a baby in there but there's something wrong with it. At the moment I'm not feeling particularly pregnant, which doesn't help.

Rob discovered on the Internet that my local maternity unit isn't a particularly good one - yikes! I know I really shouldn't be worrying about it yet, but when you read about mums and babies dying you can't help but wonder if you'll be next. Another hospital nearby rates highly in reports so I might chat to my midwife and see what my options are.

Roll on Friday for my scan!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Early Days

I found out three weeks ago that I am pregnant. Yay! My boyfriend and I are shocked but happy.


I'm 37 and this is my first child.
It wasn't planned.
I was on the pill when I conceived (Micronor).
I have no idea how far down the line I am (the pill caused my periods to stop way back in January).

The doctor and I have guestimated that I'm around nine weeks. But I will probably get a better idea when I see the midwife on Wednesday.

At the moment it doesn't seem real. The only things that make me believe I'm actually pregnant are my boobs (which are really REALLY sore), a spotty forehead and an almost constant need to wee. Oh, and four home pregnancy tests - all positive!!

Before I knew I was pregnant, I felt exhausted all the time. Really, really tired like I'd climbed a mountain. I was in bed at 10pm, two hours earlier than normal and I was also feeling more stressed out than usual.

One of the more unexpected side effects of being pregnant is how thirsty I feel. I've never felt so parched in my life. I used to hate drinking water but now I crave it!

I can't believe I'm going to be a mom in around six and a half months time. I will only believe I have a little human being growing inside of me when I see it with my own eyes. Luckily my ultra sound scan is only two weeks away.

For the record, I think it's a girl.