Packing The Baby Bag

storksak bobby changing bag

As the induction was kind of sprung on us very last minute, packing both mine and the baby’s bag has also been a bit last minute. I hadn’t even ordered a baby changing bag until a couple of weeks ago as I simply hadn’t found anything I liked! In the end I settled for the Storksak Bobby in Black. I hadn’t actually seen it in real life until it arrived but it’s just what I was looking for, not too big (some of them are beasts!) and really lightweight. I had previously ordered the Babybeau Sophia but it was so heavy and didn’t seem very practical so that went straight back. H didn’t approve either as it pretty much just looked like a handbag. We had also looked at the PacaPod Mirano as we quite liked that it came with removable pods, however it was really big and I felt like I was carrying a suitcase around, so much to H’s disappointment I discarded that one also.

The Bobby does however come with one removable, insulated pod for keeping food cool/bottles warm etc. so we aren’t missing out on that fun factor and it also comes with a removable changing mat and lots of inside and outside pockets. Although my own handbag is one big hole of ‘stuff’, I’m hoping to be a bit more organised when it comes to the baby’s bag! Having packed for a few night’s stay at the hospital, the bag is currently very full (and the pod is being used for my own hospital snacks!) but as I won’t usually be taking so much with me, I think it should be the perfect size.

I’ve packed three baby outfits as a starting point, as H can always nip home and get more if we need them. As baby is scheduled to be pretty small, two of the outfits I have picked for him/her are in ‘tiny baby’ but unfortunately this is all I have in tiny baby so the other is newborn.

IMG_1416

The first outfit is an all white sleepsuit with raised white stars from Boots. I think they have one of the best ranges for gender neutral and i’ve bought most of our clothing from there. It comes with a matching hat and with it I have just paired a white muslin, white bodysuit and white and grey starry bib.

IMG_1417

The second is also from boots and came as part of a newborn set. As I mentioned, we bought a lot of this range so I was able to match everything very well! I’m not too keen on the bib (i’m not a fan of wording and mummy and daddy type things) but as it all matched, it’s been packed.

IMG_1418

Finally is The White Company sleepsuit I bought very early on in the pregnancy with grey stars all over. I also bought the matching hat and my friend bought me the little bib. I have then teamed it with a white and grey starry muslin and bodysuit.

IMG_1632

The rest of the bag consists of lots of nappies, nappy cream (although I am unsure whether I am going to use it at every change and maybe just use it when it has nappy rash), talcum powder, cotton wool and also water wipes. I want to keep chemicals away from the baby’s skin as much as possible at first so I will be using warm water and cotton wool for nappy changing but when this is harder, at night for example, I have bought WaterWipes. They are made of 99.9% water with no chemicals so are just like using water and cotton wool and all natural. I have also included a gorgeously soft blanket from George at Asda and an elephant comforter from The White Company, both of which I received at my baby shower.

it’s crazy to think the next time these come out they will be on Baby G!

My Birth Plan

This week I had my 36 week midwife appointment to discuss my birth plan. Having been doing pregnancy yoga, which focusses a lot on natural birth and breathing techniques, along with some hypnobirthing practice, I already had a good idea of how I wanted my birth to go. If all goes to plan (which I’m well aware is highly unlikely!) I’m actually feeling quite confident about the whole thing! Below is what I’m hoping for:

  • Hypnobirthing – one of the first things I informed the midwife about was the fact I had been practicing hypnobirthing. She was really positive and said that it’s really good and really helps so that was good to know. Letting them know also means they should allow me to be left alone and in a quiet, calming atmosphere as much as possible, with any questions directed to Harry not myself.
  • Where I’m giving birth – although after hearing and reading lots about it I quite fancy a home birth, I’ve opted for hospital and as I am low risk it should be possible to give birth in the midwife lead birth centre. This just means that it is a more natural environment with access to birth pools, birthing balls, CD players, dim lights and aromatherapy machines.
  • Use of the birth pool – big fat yes. This is the bit I am most certain that I want so hopefully I will be able to use it at some point during labour.
  • Induction – it’s actually your own choice to get induced if you go past your due date and having read a lot on it, I think I would rather let baby decide when he or she makes their appearance. Induction also means a more painful labour as the hormones are artificial therefore the contractions are more intense. I’ve also been told by numerous people that if I was to be induced I will need an epidural as it’s so painful and this is something I really don’t want. It would also mean I couldn’t have a water birth. So this will be a ‘I’ll see when the time comes’!
  • Second stage of labour – in a lot of hospitals, women are coached into pushing however my body should naturally feel the need to push when the time is right. I’ve learnt all the breathing techniques to ‘breathe the baby out’ so I want to give this a whirl!
  • Delayed cord clamping – when I mentioned this, the midwife said it is now mostly standard practice in most hospitals so that’s good. It just means that the umbilical cord isn’t clamped until it has stopped pulsating the final bit of blood to the baby.
  • Skin to skin – again something that is done as standard in most places now, I’d like Baby G to be out straight on my chest for skin to skin and if it’s not possible for me to do this, then baby will go to H.
  • Hold baby for at least an hour – this just encourages bonding and breastfeeding and helps to calm the baby so if possible I’d like the baby to be with us for an hour before being taken anywhere!
  • Breastfeeding – yes. If it works!
  • Managed third stage – they often give you an injection to speed up the delivery of the placenta but you can opt out of this. I’ve initially said I’m happy to deliver it naturally but not too bothered if they need to give me the injection either.

And that’s about it along with H’s only request to cut the cord! It will be interesting to see how much of this actually goes to plan!

35 Weeks

35 weeks pregnant bump

Last weekend my friends and family threw me a beautiful baby shower, which was so lovely. My sisters and cousin organised it all with my mum so it was just a chilled afternoon sat in the conservatory and garden at my parents’ house. We got soooo many presents for Baby G including lots of very cute little baby grows! Once I got home I was so tired but sat for about an hour sorting them all into sizes and put them all away in the drawers in the nursery. It all seems very real now! To top off my lovely weekend I had Monday off work so managed to lay in until 10am and just chilled the rest of the day as I realise I wont get to do that again, probably ever!!

IMG_1366

On Tuesday we went to see our friends and their 9 day old baby boy. He was gorgeous and I had lots of cuddles, trying to get my head round the fact it will be us in a few weeks time! The birth sounded pretty traumatic (that’s all I ever seem to hear these days!) but I like to know the details so that I’m prepared if it happens to me. She ended up having an emergency caesarean and a blood transfusion but looked so well just 9 days after the birth, which was reassuring.

I’m starting to get things ready for when I leave work now so I have been quite busy which has made the weeks go even quicker. I’m still struggling into London three times a week and I had a couple of bad days with my SPD. Even walking from the taxi to the train is a real mission! I’ve also started to get delightful stabbing pains in my cervix now that are so painful they literally stop me in my tracks. After some googling this seems pretty common at this stage as the baby burrows it’s head further down. I also experienced sciatica for the first time – again really painful! Luckily it seems to come and go relatively quickly.

To end the week we met up with our NCT group for drinks (of the non-alcoholic time for the ladies, boo!) as it’s the last chance we will get now before all of our babies start arriving, the first is due next week!

34 Weeks

34 weeks bump

Following my ‘worst week ever’ last week, things haven’t got much better so I decided to move my maternity leave forward a week this week. I had two weeks annual leave to use up so I have managed to take these first and then start maternity leave officially on the 26th August. This now means I finish work on August 7th, three weeks before the due date and I can’t wait. I already have plans to deep clean every room in the flat, start actually putting things in the baby record book and cook a load of meals that I can freeze to limit on cooking once Baby G is here!

IMG_1319   baby-burberry-cardigan

I went for a lovely afternoon tea with my school girl friends at the weekend and they bought us a very snazzy monitor that has a camera so you can watch the baby and talk to it and it also plays womb sounds (interesting!), white noise and music so hopefully we’ll have a lovely content baby…! They also bought Baby G a beautiful Burberry white cardigan (one of my friends works there – this isn’t usual baby gifting protocol!).

baby-nursery-artwork

All the baby antics and presents got Harry and I excited so we got out the pram for a practice run on Sunday which was fun! There are so many attachments and combinations it’s a bit confusing but I’m sure I’ll get used to it! I’ve also now added some artwork to Baby G’s bedroom which is now almost complete.

The cramping has continued this week, nothing too painful just like period pains low down combined with my pelvic pain just walking around Dunelm with my mum for about 20 mins on Sunday was more than enough! Sleeping has become increasingly difficult as it’s as if my pelvis completely comes apart at night and moving positions is agony let alone trying to get out of bed every hour to go to the toilet. I was in so much pain Tuesday night that I could barely walk from the bed to the en suite just a few feet away so had to work from home – luckily this is something I can actually do quite easily! The lack of sleep also means I’m completely shattered most of the time and it doesn’t take much to tire me out. I’m also SO hot ALL the time – H thinks this is hilarious as this is how he feels all the time when I’m usually freezing apparently!

It was our last class of NCT this week and a previous couple bought in their new baby with them so that we could all ask them questions. Baby Molly was just 5 weeks old and I couldn’t believe how tiny she was! She was born at 6lb12 and was now about 7lbs (she lost some weight in the first few weeks) and all I kept thinking was Baby G is scheduled to be even smaller! Being able to quiz someone who had so recently gone through birth and was a new mum was really helpful, even if her birth was a bit traumatic! She had ended up getting induced which sounded very painful so I’m praying Baby G will come on time and I can have the water birth I want…wishful thinking?

33 Weeks

33-weeks-pregnant-bump

This week has definitely been the worst so far and I can’t see it getting much better now. It’s as if all the symptoms from the first trimester have reared their ugly heads again. I have been feeling sick, tired and still have a loss of appetite however I’m making up for my lack of food with fluids as I am constantly thirsty, which also means I am constantly running to the toilet – usually every 30 minutes which has become increasingly annoying! I also can’t sleep due to my SPD which has been getting worse and now feels as if my pelvis is actually coming apart so I never seem to catch up on sleep… I don’t think I will be for a few years yet!

baby on board

This week has also been the first week that I have had to commute to London for work which I don’t think has helped. I made the mistake on my first day of getting the tube. Having done this journey before when I used to work in London, I was convinced it would be easy and not too far to walk. However with SPD pain getting increasingly worse in my pelvis (reducing my walking pace to zilch), carrying a laptop and handbag, battling the crowds and all at 33 weeks pregnant, it was not fun. I have since resorted to getting taxi’s to and from Euston which has definitely helped and I can always get a seat on the train on the way in however one night on the way home I had to walk through 3 carriages and find a spare seat as no one would get up. On another occasion it was an elderly man who offered me a seat which unfortunately I had to take it as simply walking from the taxi to the train is so painful now. I still have 4 weeks left of work before maternity leave but at the rate things are going at the moment I am going to have to take each day as it comes and possibly have to move this forward. I have already come home one night this week in tears as I was just so tired and fed up! I’ve also been getting more cramping down low in my pelvis.

I saw the midwife this week for my 32 week appointment (slightly late!) and everything is looking good. She explained that the tightening’s I’m getting across my stomach are actually Braxton Hicks contractions. I always thought they were the baby pushing up but they were happening when I was there and she pointed them out. I’m getting them very regularly now, sometimes every 2-5 minutes for about an hour. She also had a feel of baby and said it’s sitting very low down now, leaving lots of space at the top and it’s likely to be the Braxton Hicks that are keeping baby nice and compact, low and ready to go! She was also able to feel everything really clearly as apparently I’m ‘all baby,’ which I also enjoy as I can feel individual feet, legs and elbows so clearly, it’s as if there is nothing in between!

IMG_1302

NCT was good this week and I actually really enjoy going. We learnt about life after the birth with baby this week which involved nappy changing, breastfeeding, sleeping arrangements, signs of postnatal depression and what a day with a newborn will be like. This has made me feel much more confident about bringing the baby home as this was something I was beginning to worry about now that we only have a few weeks to go…!

32 Weeks

32-weeks-pregnant-bump

This week has been quite an eventful one and it now feels like D day is definitely getting nearer! Our weekend consisted of lots of socialising and bbq’s as the weather has still been lovely. Everyone was commenting on how small I am and I even had a family member perform the old ‘ring on a necklace’ gender test (I don’t know the correct terminology!)…apparently it’s a girl!

However at Sunday’s bbq I began to get low down cramping coming every 20 minutes or so and after a couple of hours this progressed to pains right across my stomach and feeling very sick. H had had a couple of beers so I was driving us home but half way I was in so much pain and feeling so sick that we had to pull over and swap. These continued in waves once we got home and H was getting progressively more worried so I ended up phoning the labour ward just to check everything was ok. They concluded that as they weren’t getting stronger and they weren’t at regular intervals that it was probably just some strong Braxton hicks and to have a bath and some paracetamol. The bath definitely helped and they went off a bit, although I woke up the next morning with the same pain and nausea and my stomach was pretty sore from all the contracting so decided to work from home and take it easy.

We had our 32 week growth scan on Thursday and we discovered that baby G is now head down and in the perfect position for birth – eek! We couldn’t see much as the baby is now so big… well it is actually measuring on the 10th centile which is the smallest line of normal, however everything is in proportion and growing at a steady rate so they aren’t worried. Although even the sonographer and consultant commented on how small my bump is! It should mean that baby will be about 6lb 6ish when born which sounds great to me – I do not want a big baby! We learnt about giving birth at this week’s NCT class and I definitely do not want it to be so big that forceps or ventouse need to be used, it all looked and sounded very traumatising!

For the rest of the week my nausea has still been on and off and my appetite is still non-existent. I have just completely gone off food, in particular meat, so H is finding it very hard to feed me these days! The SPD has continued but it isn’t getting any worse which is good. We went to see Ed Sheeran play at Wembley on Friday and were standing which I just about managed, it’s more the walking (or waddle) which is a problem.

The nursery is now coming together as the cot arrived this week so H set it up (I will do a separate post on this once it’s totally complete). The pram and moses basket also arrived so it all feels very real now; there isn’t much else we need to get!

31 Weeks

31-weeks-pregnant-bump

It’s been the hottest week of the year this week, including the hottest day in a decade or something so you can imagine how this feels at 7 months pregnant. As H’s brother kindly sent myself and his sister this week ‘I just love a heatwave…said no pregnant woman ever’. Spot on. However of course my body decided to give me an awful cold this week to go with the heat so I haven’t felt very well at all. I had Monday off work and struggled through the rest of the week trying to breathe between the blocked nose, lack of air and growing lack of space in my lungs!

pregnant heat wave

I’ve also developed a complete lack of appetite and have gone off all food which I’m not sure is related to the heat, my cold or just pregnancy. As it has been combined with spells of nausea I think it may just be pregnancy related.

Prior to the cold, last weekend we went to a wedding reception and I actually managed to stand most of the night in heels which surprised me. I’ve also managed to walk a bit more this week on my lunch breaks, even if it is getting to an increasingly slower pace.

I think the walking may have encouraged the baby to turn last night too. It has been moving like crazy all week but mostly just trying to push its way out of the side of my body! However, last night I had a big burst of cramps across my stomach and back and felt quite sick. I lay across my birthing ball and rocked a bit and it went off but throughout the night I was getting lots of cramping and pressure low down and Baby G was wriggling about a lot. This morning the baby feels in a completely different position to usual as I can normally feel what is a head or bum (who knows) out to the right and legs down low on the left. Now there is a lot more baby up higher, more room at the sides and if I feel down low it’s now hard where it was soft before. I’m hoping this means Baby has turned but we will be able to find out later this week for sure at our 32 week scan!