Friday, 31 January 2014

Aches & pains

I knew it wasn't going to be all moonlight & roses. 

With less than 4 weeks to go, 3 weeks & 4 days to be precise. The joys of the last leg are really starting to set in. Everything so far, aside from a little acne, gas and weight gain has been rather easy really. As I read "what to expect when you're expecting" each week, I am always surprised by how few symptoms have effected me.

Physically, it has all been going quite well. Mentally, it is also going well... although since attending more and more antenatal classes, and reading more around labour, I am still to freak a little about the reality of what's to come.

This is, of course, all to be expected.

Wednesday evening, I suffered my first bout of pain and real worry (since those early days of pregnancy when I was constantly terrified that one shove too many on the tube would end this amazing journey for me). 

Around 10pm a sharp pain started on my left side. To be specific, the pain was in my lower abdomen just underneath the bump, only on the left side. These are the words I typed into Google over and over again. Nothing really came up, much to my surprise. A lot of people experienced aches and pains throughout pregnancy but most of them suffered it on their right side, not the left.

I am not going to over-exaggerate. I wasn't going crazy with worry as throughout the night (the pain stopped at 6am so it was an utterly sleepless, frustrating and at times desperate evening for me) Baby J was moving and hiccuping away. If he hasn't of been, it would have been a different story.

No matter what position I got into, how I arranged myself of my pillows, the pain would just not let up, It was constant, which before you ask is how I knew that I wasn't in labour!!!

The next morning at 6.30am I dropped the hubs at the station, I was so tired. I was so low. He told me to take him but 1. I was up anyway, and 2. it was raining. Also, the pain had stopped at this point, I was just feeling more tired than I've ever felt and concerned as to what the pain was.

At 7am my mum came round and we waited in pain, accompanied by daytime TV waiting for my midwife to pick up the phone, or return my messages.

Eventually she did, and she was sure I was fine but wanted to see me. After a thorough examination, she concluded that it was a trapped nerve. Apparently we have a lot of nerves in this area and this sort of pain is quite common at this stage of labour. I was very delighted to hear that it will most likely return soon, and keep coming back for the remaining of my pregnancy!!! 

I really don't mind being in pain. I am just relived to know what it is, and that the baby is ok. 

I suppose this is the start of real pregnancy. The month before you get your prize where your body is stretched beyond belief making it impossible to every get comfy and making random aches and pains a normal  part of daily life.

As I said at the start of this post, it can't all be moonlight & roses... you have to earn your prize don't you!!!! 

I can't say that I am looking forward to the next few weeks... I said in an earlier post that I am going to enjoy these next few weeks of pregnancy... I am starting to think that this comment may have been a little naive....


Sunday, 26 January 2014

My Baby Shower

After much planning (and baking) on my mothers part, and much assistance from me (I produced 4x banana breads, a cheesecake and enough brownies to feed a rather large army) the baby shower day finally arrived. 

A decent amount of deliberation and internet shopping had solved the issue of 'what to wear?' In all, five dresses were purchased and four were swiftly returned. It is hard to look good when you're pregnant as I am sure most of you know! Whilst I had my heart set on a gorgeous Isabella Oliver Talbot ivory maternity tunic and was so excited to unwrap the beautifully packaged item when it arrived last week, I am sorry to say that the cut just didn't suit me and so the dress had to be returned. Instead I decided to return to my old faithful, the brand whose dresses always fit me perfectly (despite being a little on the long side) 'Seraphine'. 

After Friday's midwife appointment I decided to make a little detour on my way back to the sticks popping to the store on Marylebone High Street. After hunting around in the sale items (I am due in 4 weeks so felt I had to!), I found a gorgeous navy shoulder lace maternity shift dress which with a little tugging in the right places (it is a little long for me so ruched the bottom up tad) fit perfectly. Finally I'd found a dress I was comfortable in, that was appropriate but most importantly, that hugged me in 'the right' places and showed off Baby J as well as possible.

Suited and booted I headed over to my parents house to help with the preparation. What I didn't expect upon arriving was that everything would be done, and done good!!! My mother and I are incredibly close and very similar in many ways, yes this can lead to ferocious arguments at times but it also means that when it comes to each other... we don't go halves. I mean, we don't ever do things by halves to be honest but we particularly go all out when it is for each other and yesterday was no exception.

My mother is an amazing baker and feeder. These combined attributes meant that there was enough food (sweet & savoury) to feed all the guests 10 fold with plenty to spare (my entire freezer is currently bursting with a variety of un-touched delicious leftovers ready to be defrosted and tucked into when guests start to arrive to meet Baby J.)

The images below should give you a wee taster of what I am talking about. Not only do we love to eat, but we love to celebrate and any opportunity is grasped by both hands by myself and my mother (Baby j is going to be one spoilt little boy!!)

The day really was just beautiful. Games were played, two to be specific. One organised by two of my best & oldest friends where a playlist was devised of "baby related' songs (e.g. baby love, bye bye baby etc). Guests had to identify and shout out the correct song & artist to win. Sadly my team lost... I blame the baby brain! The other game was organised by my sister-in-law and was very cute. A ball of string was passed around and everyone had to cut the string to the length that they guessed would fit perfectly around my bump. 

Never in my life did I imagine that I'd let a room full of people stare at my stomach (pre baby a very troublesome area for me!!) and measure it for fun!! I was pleased though that only one persons string didn't go around me, everyone else (including the hubs, who had arrived by this stage... he didn't want to miss out!!) had grossly over-estimated how big I was, which if I am honest made me very happy!! The winner of the game was the hubs auntie who was bang on, very impressive!

The only strange part of the day was seeing people off. There were around 35 guests so for the most part, I now won't see people until after the arrival of Baby J. Whilst this of course obvious, it is a strange reality. Next time I see a lot of my friends & family I will be a mum, the hubs will be a dad and we will be a proper family. Not only that but people will be grandparents, great-grandparents, great aunts, uncles, cousins and so on. For a lot of people the arrival of our son means a lot and now that the shower is over, I can't help but realise what the next big diary date is.

Yesterday was a very special day, and one I'll remember for a lifetime. Baby showers are perhaps a little indulgent, and "American" but if nothing else, they are a wonderful excuse to get your nearest and dearest together to eat a lot of cake,  for one last time before life changes in a big big way.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

The "Baby Bucket List"

Following this weeks check-up with my midwife, I now know that Baby J is slightly larger than the average baby, I also know that he is currently in the OP position (not ideal I know...) but I am not obsessing over this (much...) as I am hoping that he'll move over the next few weeks. 

 The size point is interesting, if not somewhat ironic given that I've dealt with dozens of comments throughout my pregnancy relating to my "little bump". 

Whilst now, it is flattering to be told that I look small (although those comments have slowed as I've packed on the pounds... I must lay off the brownies!) some people have over stepped the mark by asking these types of questions...

"Is the baby ok given that you look so small?"
"Was he smaller than the average baby?"
"Was I worried?"

I've also dealt with a number of comments like this: "my sisters cousins brothers wife is due 3 months after you and she is way bigger than you... why is that???"

It seems that it is me who (up until about 10 days ago) was small, not my little boy. He is perfectly sized... a little larger than average perhaps but at least he'll (hopefully) be a robust little boy! People really should mind their own business shouldn't they!

Today is the 25th of January (for the next 30 minutes anyhow), the day before my baby shower, two days before my mums birthday and exactly one month before the arrival of my son (well, if he's on time that is). 

Given that I am now nearing the end of this pretty enlightening journey, I can't help but wonder when he will arrive. Of course, this is wasted energy. Not even he knows when he'll be ready to grace us with his presence. 

All the essential items have now been purchased, the hospital bag is packed, the books have been read and re-read, the last of the anti-natal classes will take place next week, the house is sorted and I am as 'relaxed' as I'll ever be. 

Technically I am ready. Now it is over to him (or the big guy upstairs... dependant on your beliefs!) Don't get me wrong, I am not desperate for it to happen now. I am relishing these last few weeks of pregnancy. As you'll know from reading the blog, I have loved being pregnant and have been blessed with a very easy ride but I am starting to realise that the journey is nearly over.

My life, in a few weeks will no longer be my own. A little boy will be entirely dependant on me 24/7. Yes the hubs is going to make a wonderful father and his life is going to change so much too, but he will go back to work after his paternity leave and I will be left to "hold the baby" as the old expression goes. I will be running the show and no doubt running around in a whirlwind of nappies, muslins and exhaustion. I know it sounds unpleasant but I am so so excited.

Tonights pledge. Rather than wishing the next 4 weeks (or 6... or 2 eeeeeeeeek) away, I am going to relish them.

I have wished up a short "baby bucket list" (I do love a good list). This list is based on pearls of wisdom shared by friends & relatives & includes ten things that I plan to tick off before the arrival of Baby J.

1: Go to the cinema at least twice
2: Lie in everyday 
3: Eat breakfast in bed every day
4: Spend as much 'quality' time with the hubs as possible
5: Read the papers in bed on Sunday's
6: Have brunch 3 times 
7: Indulge in at least one beauty treatment (nails don't count as I have them done regularly)
8: Go for at least one romantic date
9: Blog as much as possible
10: Read one non baby/pregnancy related book

This may sound like quite an indulgent list but I am convinced is it achievable and important to fulfil as most of these things will not be possible for some time after I have given birth

I'll let you know how I get on... wish me luck!!!! 

Reality really is starting to hit me... wow, life is about to change.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

I'm scared

After weeks of denial "it can't be that bad" and avoidance "what's the point worrying about something that has to happen" the fear has finally hit me. 

In truth, I am utterly terrified about the whole thing, and there is no point trying to rationalise with me. I know that it is a means to an end, I know that there is a fab prize at the end, I know that women have been doing it forever, I know that women give birth all over the world in varying conditions and in most cases it is absolutely fine.

I know the facts. 

I know the stats. 

It isn't that I am worried that something will go wrong. I have every faith in medical professionals (and medicine for that matter) I suppose for me, it is the fear of the unknown. As you may know, if you've read the blog before, I am quite the control freak and 'somewhat' neurotic. These attributes pose several issues with regards to labour. Issue 1, I can't control when it will happen. This is most distressing for someone like me. Issue 2, I am worried about how I will behave. Whilst I hope that I am rationale, and mature. I fear I will not be. I fear I will panic and become overly stressed and start saying all sorts of mad things.

In this weeks antenatal class, we talked a lot about labour. The different stages, the various breathing techniques etc. Whilst this is all wonderfully interesting and useful, I know myself and therefore know that the second labour arrives, all of this will most likely disappear from my mind.

If you read my last post (the hospital bag) you'll know how super organised I am. Don't be fooled, this for me, is all psychological. The more I can plan & feel prepared the calmer I tend to be. The likelihood of me remembering one thing in my bag (well bags) on the day is very small. Whilst normally my over zealousness with regards to planning provides a long stretch of calm, this time it hasn't really worked. 

I keep imagining the moment I feel that first contraction. The funny thing is that when this moment arrives, I imagine I will feel a sense of relief. At least then I will know that it is actually happening, rather than living in the dark. 

I wish I could go back to how I felt before. Entirely numb to reality. The closer I get, the more I have to deal with it otherwise I imagine I'll struggle with it even more on the day.

I am sure you'll all tell me it is fine and that worrying is pointless, but I can't help it. Consider this can of worms officially opened!!!! 

Sunday, 19 January 2014

The Hospital Bag

As last weeks anti-natal class was focused on "the hospital bag" this week, I've made it my mission to get it sorted. It's not that I've been putting it off up until now, it's more that I know myself. I know that the minute I decided to get it packed, my obsession with it would kick off. 

This is a bit embarrassing, but the other reason that it's taken a while for me to sort is because I've been waiting for the 'green light'. I always get made fun of by the hubs and my mum for doing everything so early. I pack roughly a week in advance for holiday's, I lay out clothes the day before a big event, I even lay the table (sometimes days) in advance of friends coming over for dinner. What can I say, I am a planner... it's just me.

It would be a lie to say that, whilst up until last week I hadn't actually started packing the bag... nothing was done in preparation. Over the last few weeks I've been speaking to a number of mummy friends, reading blogs, books etc collating everyone's advice to create one master list. This was aided considerably at last week's anti-natal class when certain questions I had were answered and more advice was imparted.

So, here it is. My hospital bag list which is everything but alphabetised. A lot of women I am sure have their own views on what is necessary, I imagine half of this stuff isn't 100% necessary but I am someone who feels comforted by lists & stuff and now that everything is now tightly packed into my two separate bags (See below for an explanation) I do feel 'a little' less overwhelmed than I have been feeling of late.

- 2x nighties
- Energy drinks & bendy straws (for birthing partner to hold for you dependant on the position you are most comfortable in)
- Hair bands (dependant on hair length!)
- Barley sugar (boosts energy & apparently ok to take regardless of medication)
- Dextrose tablets (to energise birthing partner)
- Evian spray (chill if possible in advance or upon arrival at hospital for relief during labour)
- Ice packs for back ache (I have the ones that you sort of break to make them go cold)
- Music
- Camera

- Newborn nappies (I went with Pampers No1.)
- Baby wipes
- Sudocrem
- Antibacterial wipes (for hygienic purposes)
- Vaseline
- Cellular blankets x2
- Baby vests x3
- Baby grows x3
- Baby hat x2
- Muslins x2
- Going home outfit

(It seems like a lot but you don't 100% know how long you'll be staying)

- PJs (some women opt for nighties for ease, I am just more comfy in PJs)
- Nipple cream 
- Breast pads
- Sanitary towels (I went for normal pads rather than the big maternity ones, they were a bit overwhelming, I packed x3 packs)
- E45 (apparently skin gets very dry after labour)
- 2x nursing bras
- Towels (if you plan to have a bath afterwards)
- Lavender oil (apparently soothing in a bath after labour)
- Snacks and drinks (for you and birthing partner, I went for cereal bars, rice crispy treats and Lucozade)
- Note pad & pen 
- Cotton wool balls
- Arnica 
- Overnight toiletries
- Slippers and flip flops (flip flops for shower)
- 4x black knickers that you can chuck after
- Change of clothes for me and birthing partner (hubs)
- Feeding pillow

I know it sounds like a lot, but I like to be prepared for everything!!! 

Here is a real insight into my neurotic personality, not only has this list been typed up and printed ready to slot into the correct bag but I've put each item into an individually labeled zip lock bag... 'Why', you might ask? This is for ease, I didn't want to take (I also had no choice unless I wanted to take 3 suitcases) all the packaging with me for everything, so breast pads, sanitary towels etc have been removed from their packaging and I just thought it easier to do it this way so the hubs knows exactly what is what! 

In case you're interested, I have a separate list on the go of key items to have at home, not everything on this list has been purchased to date but I am working my way through it. It is my baby shower next week so I'll focus more on this list after that, as I imagine some of it will be ticked off then.

- Baby Calpol
- Card"e cap cream
- Digital forehead/ear thermometer
- Baby nail clippers/file
- Steriliser
- Bottle warmer
- Bottle brush
- Bottles and newborn teats
- Aptamil 1 powder (for back up)
- Plastic washing up bowl

- Cotton wool balls
- Baby olive oil
- Baby bath wash
- Baby bath
- Bath thermometer
- Baby towels

- Vests
- Babygrows
- Cardigans
- Socks

- Moses basket
- Fitted sheets for Moses basket x3
- 2x cellular blankets
- Muslins x20
Room thermometer

- Pram
- Car seat
- Isofix base
- Changing mat & bag

- Playmat
- Bouncy chair
- Toys
- Swing chair

- Sangenic bin

There you have it, everything that I HOPE I need for Baby J. As I say, some of it is probably unnecessary but I always like to be & feel prepared!

The one thing not on my list is a breast pump... I 100% want to breastfeed but until I know I can I am not going to buy one. I feel that if I have one, I will feel pressured by it (silly I know). Most of my friends purchase their breast pump well in advance of labour, but as I always say, each to their own. We have a Mothercare just down the road so I plan to send the hubs to pick one up if & when I need it.

I hope this is helpful.. I will say this. With 5 weeks to go, and nerves/reality starting to kick in, writing this list, doing all the shopping (I did one big online shop on and then shopped around for the additions) and putting everything together was very lethargic and has made me feel a little more relaxed. That's just me, nothing makes me happier than list making and ticking ;-) I really am selling myself aren't I!!!

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

It's a numbers game...

5 weeks, 6 days...

The number of weeks and days pregnant I was when I first discovered the news.

5 weeks, 6 days...

The remaining number of weeks and days of my pregnancy (if Baby J arrives on time)

It's funny really isn't it, those first 5 weeks and 6 days of my pregnancy flew by, largely because I had no idea I was in fact carrying a little foetus at that point! )needless to say, the days and weeks that followed before the 3 month scan most certainly made up for the blissful ignorance of the early days)

The remaining 5 weeks and 6 days of my pregnancy, I am assured by a number of trustworthy sources will do anything but fly by. 

Personally, I still find that days are whizzing by and I am still very light on my feet, enjoying exercise and mobility as much as the next girl. I am sure though, that as the days go by, and Baby J continues to bloom I will feel more and more sluggish and that magic day will seem like it's never going to arrive.

Pregnancy is a numbers game.

A waiting game broken up by milestones, milestones only achieved by time. The 3 month scan, the 20 week scan, the growth scan, the kick first felt at week XXX, the days his nose is formed, the stage at which is bones develop, the early days when you first hear a heartbeat and so on.

I often joke that food defines my pregnancy (not the act of eating... this time, the references made in all the books to various fruits & vegetables at different stages of the babies development... a cantaloupe, a lettuce, a tomato, a sweet potato and so on) it really is time. 

Time defines which fruit or veggie baby's size resembles that week and time dependant on your situation can either disappear on you in the blink of a hat, or it can draaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaag... like those science lessons that (for me) were spent clock watching in agony...

I hope this isn't one of those things where i've spoken it now, so it will come true... like up until now I've not bragged about how quick my pregnancy has been but now that I've openly posted about it my luck will change and the pace will slow down... considerably.

One thing I do know is that time is running out so I've got to get my act together. In truth, those fears I've read about in all those books are starting to sink in... I don't really know what I am doing... yes I am buying all the gear, now drive a suitable mummy mobile and have a pretty little nursery all ready, but what do I really know about being a parent? 

Up until last week's anti natal class I thought that my water would break in a dramatic fashion either in the middle of Tesco's or whilst out to dinner with a group of friends, that I'd be a laughing stock and shock the world into rushing me to hospital for the imminent birth of Baby J... how wrong I was. Yes this might happen... but it most likely won't. As an impatient person I fear that the reality of labour is going to be a tough one for me to deal with!!!!

I wonder what I'll learn at the class tonight?? Hopefully more dreaded truths about things I don't know.

5 weeks, 6 days...

The number of weeks and days pregnant I was when I first discovered the news.

5 weeks, 6 days...

The remaining number of weeks and days of my pregnancy

5 weeks, 6 days...

The time I have to prepare myself for the biggest change I'll ever face & the time I have to learn how to be a parent.... hopefully a good one.

Suddenly I'm hoping he's late...

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Getting back on the horse

Throughout my pregnancy, people have been telling me the importance of exercise. How good it is for me & Baby J, how much easier it will make labour if I am fit and so on.

Truth be told, 33 weeks ago I was the fittest I have ever been. In the run up to my wedding, I went on an exercise overload and for the first time in my life started to really enjoy that burning sensation felt from a serious workout session.  

Like most women, I was terrified the first three months of pregnancy. Given my situation (falling pregnant having JUST come off the pill i.e. without a natural bleed) the risk of miscarriage in my case was higher than usual so the last thing on my mind was a good workout. I could barely get through my commute without breaking into a sweat for fear of being pushed or tripped by some vicious commuter.

After getting through the stress of the first three months, the second trimester hit me like a tonne of bricks. I was shattered. I may not have suffered morning sickness, but I certainly suffered exhaustion. Work at this point was tough. By 3pm I was dizzy & dazed feeling almost jet lagged. As I am sure you can imagine, exercise was once again the last thing on my mind.

I honestly was worried most days that I would fall asleep in a meeting. I am bad sleeper generally so used to feeling a bit rough, but this was something else. This actually hurt.

You know that thing where you sort of drift off whilst sitting or standing up but are quickly jolted back to reality with a head flick? I am not sure I have described that very well, but that's what happened to me, all the time. Walking for 10 minutes "did me in" for the day which I found pretty tough as I am an active person. I rush around (normally) at 100 miles per hour juggling several things at once so this feeling of fatigue that I just couldn't fight was new to me and if I am honest a little upsetting. I decided to embrace it rather than getting to upset by my new reality by eating all those delicious treats I'd deprived myself of forever... if I was going down, I was going down in style! (This was short lived, but wonderful!)

I am not sure if it's stopping work, or if it's the joys of the third trimester BUT my energy level has taken a shift for the better in the last few weeks.

Yes, I've had a few sleepless nights, (I imagine that's normal) but I can honestly say that over the last few days I've felt more like the old me than I have during the entire pregnancy. Ironic I know as Baby J is now the size of a watermelon and I am officially a pro-waddler.

Not only have I felt like me, but I've craved that sweat that can only be achieved through a good workout. Being 33 weeks pregnant this is a tough craving to fulfil but one I cracked today.
As ever I woke early. 

I thought that maternity leave would mean long days filled with reality TV and grazing on rubbish food, but I've realised that my days literally fly by. Given our recent large purchases e.g. our first home, money is tight at the moment so I can't go on shopping sprees or long lunches with friends. I am being the most careful I've ever had to be which is challenging but achievable with careful planning.
If you know me, you know I love food so a large part of my day is spent preparing dinners, making pack lunches for the hubs or preparing meals for when Baby J is here... it is actually really fun working to such a tight budget... it feels like I am achieving something everyday!

Anyway, as I was saying I woke early today. After breakfast and my morning chores (washing, ironing etc) I decided to do a pilates DVD. It's one I was given ages ago but never tried.. Erin O'Brien's "Complete Pregnancy Fitness". It was weird digging out my old workout gear... it really has been a while!

I was a little nervous at first that I'd really struggle, but I had nothing to worry about. I am still (weirdly) fit and loved every second of it. It was more intense than I thought it would be, but I can't tell you how good it felt to sweat again!!! She starts off slow in the DVD but there is a good fifteen minutes of proper exercise, followed by a long but needed cool down session. 

For a while, I really wanted to find a class I could go to do yoga, pilates or something similar. I have to say though, doing it in your own home is so much more pleasant (not to mention convenient) No one was judging me, I could break whenever I needed the loo (a lot!) and the best part... it cost nothing!

Once I'd finished, I went and met a friend to walk his dog in the park. I ruined a perfectly good pair of trainers (soaked through and so so muddy) but it was great and I can't tell you how much better I feel having done some real exercise rather than yoga (which is fab, but doesn't quite get the heart racing) or light walking.

Part of the reason I wanted to write this blog post, was to remind myself (on tired days) just how good exercise can feel and how important it is for the body as well as the mind. I feel energised but relaxed, happy yet calm.

(For your reference, the image above is not fairytale. This was my tube stop for some time and this was my reality on an almost daily basis)

I'm all set tomorrow to do it all over again ;-) I really hope I keep it up!

Monday, 6 January 2014

Style over substance?

Before you ask, this blog post is not a homage to Frances from the British Bake Off... it is actually car related! I am pleased to say that after months of discussion, deliberation and well, debate our family car has now been purchased!

In case you are unfamiliar with our story, here is a little recap. The hubs and I return from our wonderful honeymoon, which followed are spectacular wedding and found ourselves rather down in the dumps...

Life was back to normal, and that feeling of elevation had well and truly faded. A week or so before the  wedding Percy had packed in. Percy was my long time partner in crime. My little Polo that had taken me through my teenage years... off to University and back again, and accompanied me through most of my twenties. After a sad farewell, we parted. 

As we always have had one, we felt it important that we had a car (although at this point we were living in a flat close to town so didn't REALLY need one).  To cheer ourselves up from the post wedding blues, we decided to treat ourselves to a fancy pants car. Now please note, at this point I was in fact pregnant but utterly oblivious to the fact. 

In a moment of madness, we purchased a second hand Audi TT and suddenly felt on top of the world. Weekend driving trips around Europe were being planned, and we felt excited again. 

This feeling was short lived. 

A week or so after purchasing our new toy, we discovered I was pregnant. After the emotional roller coaster slowed, and the reality of having a baby started to sink in, we realised that our lovely car was pretty much the most impractical car on the road. Whilst it isn't pitched as a two seater, the back seats are so tiny (so not compatible with a car seat!) Even if they were, the front seats only bend forward, they don't roll so you'd most likely injure a baby, and yourself in the process of trying to get the child in!

For a long time, we decided to ignore the issue and plan everything for Baby J aside from this.

Over the last few months, the subject has come up again and again. The problem is that we are both young and both felt that we weren't ready for the "big family car".

We looked at a lot of cars. Yes a number of them looked cooler/funkier than the big space wagon types but given that we'd agreed to keep the TT (we couldn't face selling it so soon and losing so much money on it! plus the hubs really loves that car) I really didn't want to make another mistake. I also am not one of these people who wants to change their car every few years. 

This weekend our research came to a head. 

Cars had been test driven, arguments had been had and research (price, safety etc) has been conducted.

It came down to two cars for us.

The Golf Vs. the Qashqai

One is obviously the younger, trendier car. The other is practical, safe and something we could keep for a long long time.

One more test drive??

After whizzing around town in the Golf, I had one more hard look at the boot space. We'd taken our pram with us to get a real sense of space. After angling it in, and seeing the majority of the boot filled up, I had to listen to my head over my heart. Baby J is (I hope) the start of our family, not the end and I need a car that can be with us for the foreseeable future.

So, in the battle of the The Golf Vs. the Qashqai, the Qashqai won. 

If I am honest, it is a little terrifying. I am still in my twenties after all and I am driving what I class as a "mummy car" but I am very soon to be a mummy and this is, I hope the first of many mature decisions I will have to make.

I imagine you all think I am a little nuts... who thinks this hard about their car choice? Who ties the decision to so many factors? 

The answer is me...

No longer and I the girl about town, running to meetings in my heels, constantly attached to my phone. I am now a wife, and nearly a mother living in the burbs with two key roles (for the next little while anyway) looking after Baby J & the hubs and I know that this car is going to help me do it. 

Hopefully it will help me do it for lots more babies too ;-)

Friday, 3 January 2014

Braxton Hicks

Up until earlier this evening, I was led (by my body) to believe that "Braxton Hicks" was another delightful pregnancy symptom destined to pass me by. 

I've been spared a lot of the negative symptoms thus far, such as morning sickness, nausea, stretch marks... my belly button has even popped out yet, so stupidly assumed that because they hadn't hit yet... they wouldn't.

 Not only was I wrong, but I learned that my pain tolerance is even lower than I thought. It's funny, there have been so many things that I've read about online, and in my library of books that I've not experienced that at times I've felt a little detached from other pregnant women.

The books told me that Braxton Hicks could kick off any time from the 20 week mark, as I am now into my 33rd week... I assumed my time had passed. This evening it happened. It's funny how much more you worry about things when your pregnant. 

If I wasn't pregnant, the pain would I am sure have been dismissed as relatively bad period pains. That's what they feel like. The only difference is, that this pain let's up a little. It sort of comes in waves (as I imagine contractions do) the pain lasted around 30 seconds and sort of felt like my entire uterus was ceasing up. After 30 seconds (I may be exaggerating here... it felt like 30 seconds but knowing me was actually 15) the pain subsided for a few minutes before starting again. This went on for 15 minutes or so, by which time I'd tweeted (thank you to those who responded, very comforting & informative) read a bunch of articles, facetimed my mum in Miami, whatsapp'd my mother in law and texted two friends, both of whom are new-ish mums. 

What did I learn from this panicked research? 

I was of course fine, and this was of course normal. 

In fact, it's better than normal. My body is preparing for labour and the more this happens, the more "ready" for my labour my uterus will apparently be.

This week I have experienced two new things. 1. Braxton Hicks (which my body is still recovering a little from) 2. hiccups.

Baby J has had hiccups 4 times in 2 days. For me... Baby J's hiccups are a wonderful thing for me to experience. They are a reminder that this pregnancy really isn't about me... it is about him and they are a reminder that he is a real little person living inside of me. 

As silly as it sounds, I believe that a lot of people get caught up in the pregnancy/labour experience when really it is about one thing... the baby. Whilst my pain threshold is low and I am sure that labour will be unpleasant (to say the least) I will not (and I hope you won't either) be forced by books or opinions to lose sight of what's important.

Recently a lot of people have handed me advice (opinions) about labour, breast feeding, motherhood and so on...

" you must have an epidural"
"under no circumstances have an epidural"
"breast feeding is vital for a new born baby"
"you have to get them into a routine from day 1"

The way I currently feel is this... I have no birth plan (don't get me wrong, I have done my research and know what sort of thing I want but nothing is written or concrete)

My plan is to see how I feel on the day and not put too much pressure on myself. Yes I'd love to go through labour with no pain relief (having said that, if tonight's pain is anything to go by, I imagine I'll be crying out for drugs!!) and breast feed Baby J immediately but life isn't perfect and I just can't stand the pressure. 

As my due date looms I will not allow myself to be fearful about labour, I am solely focused on what comes after. I will not watch 'one born every minute' & I will not be told what to do or not do. I will listen to advice and stories, I love advice and stories, that's why we are all here and why we all talk to each other but I don't think scaring or bullying each other is right... it just makes the whole thing too scary and too easy to fail at...