What we’ve bought for our baby…

When it came to buying things for the baby we started quite late.  This was my choice more than anything because I’m a natural born pessimist and I anticipated the worst to happen from the very beginning. At 5 weeks I had some bleeding and as I was also working that day I remember doing the long slow walk from my department to A&E and checking in thinking I’d lost my beautiful baby.  It was too early to scan so we had to go back a week and a half later to be told the baby was growing as it should be and there were no signs of miscarriage.  Since the day I saw those two little lines to, the day I sit and write this I’ve worried more about this baby than I think is physically possible but we’re almost across the finish line (currently 38 weeks and full term!! eek!) and although I’ve left myself with little to no time to fully enjoy the pregnancy I’m now letting myself breath a sigh of relief and I’m enjoying the nesting stage.

At around 7 months we finally bought our own home and had a joint house warming/baby shower and were lucky enough to be given a lot of the things on the list above from friends and family.  It was only after that we started going out and buying the rest but even so I think I’ve been quite restrained up until very recently.  I may have had a baby clothes binge/splurge in the Next sale and picked up quite a few little sleep-suits in various sizes and I’m not even sorry!

The list above I think is quite restrained, I’ve tried to keep it to the essentials and spent a lot of time reading about what other mothers had bought for their first babies and how much of that was actually useful, and I’ve broken it down into the following categories.

Travel

  • Car seat – if you want to take your baby home from the hospital you need one of these.
  • Pushchair/buggy – if you want to take your baby out of the house, you need one of these.
  • Rain cover for pushchair – if you live in England, this will come in pretty handy.
  • Travel blanket – again, read above reasons for these.

Bed/Sleeping

  • Moses Basket/bedding – We’re planning on keeping baby with us for the first few months at least and the cot will be in baby’s room so the basket will stay with us.
  • Cot/Crib and all the bedding that goes with it.
  • Sleeping bags – these will be used mainly for daytime, around the house use and will come most useful in winter.

Changing

  • Changing station/Mat – we are lucky enough to have a built in changing station in baby’s room but the mat is useful for bringing downstairs during the day.
  • Changing bag – currently being used as my baby’s hospital bag but essential for on the go.
  • Nappies/wipes/barrier ointment – do I really need to explain these?!

Feeding 

  • Breast pump – If you’re planning to solely breast feed you obviously don’t need one of these but I’m planning on expressing and bottle feeding so that hubby can also do some of the feeds.  I think there’s a lot of emphasis on mums to feed and bond with their babies and rightly so but why should fathers miss out on some of that bonding?
  • Bottles/Sterilizer
  • Nursing bras
  • Muslin cloths

Bath time 

  • Baby Bath
  • Bath Support – I’ve heard newborns can be wriggly
  • Water thermometer – safety first
  • Top and Tail bowl – One side for washing baby’s face and the other for washing baby’s bum!
  • Hooded towel

Baby Clothes – my favourite category by far!

  • Vests – I’ve bought half sleeved and full sleeved as we’re having a winter baby
  • Sleepsuits/Babygrows – I could shop for these for hours!
  • Snowsuit/Pramsuit – for when we bring baby home
  • Hats – I have big ones, small ones, ones with little ears and even a double pom-pom number!
  • Scratch mittens/socks and little booties – I could stare at these all day!

Electrical and extras

  • Baby Monitor
  • Bouncer/Rocker
  • Playmat – more for when baby is a little bit older and being tortured with tummy time.
  • Cot mobile/night light – just because we’ve been gifted these but also a nice extra to have.
Continue Reading

Pregnancy freebies – Emma’s Diary

Who doesn’t love a freebie, I know I certainly do and these are pretty cool I guess, amongst all the wasted paper in the form of leaflets you do get a few little bits for you and baby to try and even some money off coupons if you then wanted to go on and buy the full size products.  What I did was download the free Emma’s Diary app, filled it with my details and clicked onto the offers tab, and just claimed the ‘Mum to Be Gift Pack’ (shown above in the picture, the pink one) and the Bump to Baby Gift Pack (shown in the top picture, the purple one).  Now be warned you will have to sign up with your personal details such as name, address, email and details of your baby’s due date so expect some degree of spam to arrive in your inbox.  You will however also receive weekly update/progress emails which I quite look forward to.  They explain some of the things you may be experiencing during that particular week and how your baby will be developing and how big they might be.  I find I always looks forward to these emails but then I’ve loved tracking my baby’s progress since it was the size of a poppy seed!

So what do you actually get in these gift packs?  The pink Mum To Be pack contains everything you can see in the picture plus a shed load of leaflets and a Babies R Us brochure.

  • Boots trial pack of newborn nappies – 3 nappies.
  • Metanium everyday barrier ointment – 15g tube.
  • Lansinoh nursing breast pads – pack of 2 pads.
  • Palmers cocoa butter massage lotion for stretch marks – 50ml bottle.

I think these packs are available from either Boots or Argos but I would advise getting it from Boots.  I’ve heard the ones in Argos only contain the Lansinoh Breast pads so you’ll definitely get a few more freebies from Boots.

The Bump to Baby pack is a little bit more geared towards when you’ve had the baby but still has some useful little bits along with plenty more leaflets and coupons for your recycling bin.

  • Lansinoh breast milk storage bags – Pack of two
  • Lansinoh nursing breast pads – 2 Pads
  • Lifecake personalised new born baby bunting
  • Pampers Newborn nappy – 1 nappy
  • Metanium everyday barrier ointment – 15g tube.

The green lLabour Information’ pack pictured above you will only receive from your local GP or midwife and as it says on the pack it’s only available from 34 weeks but seeing as I just picked this up this week I thought I’d mention it in this post as you will eventually receive an email to say you are now eligible for this.  This has to be my favourite pack of the lot actually not because of the freebies but because of the Guide to Labour and Birth which comes inside.  It’s packed full of all the little bits of information you’ve probably been googling about with some of those big words explained and will take you right through from preparing for labour and a hospital bag checklist, pain relief options, signs of labour, to the actual stages of birth, possible complications and even covers after your baby is born and all the newborn checks.  I’ve really enjoyed having a read of this at bedtime, I’m one of those people that likes to be prepared for any sort of situation.

Continue Reading

Products that helped me through the Second trimester…

I recently wrote quite a lengthy post about things that helped me through the first trimester but also wanted to do one for the second trimester.  A lot of the things I mentioned in the first post still very much apply as you transition into the second trimester such as the pregnancy vitamins, support pillow, water bottle etc but I found that my symptoms either changed or became slightly more aggravated in the second trimester and I just needed to make adjustments for them to remain helpful.  For example instead of just sleeping with the support pillow in between my legs to relieve some of the pressure on my back and pelvis I found that I also needed to bunch it up at the head end and sleep elevated because my heartburn became horrendous as the days went by.  I think I’ve found a good routine now to try and minimise my heartburn but that brings me onto the first thing I couldn’t have survived without during the second trimester:

Gaviscon

 footer_teaser_01

I may as well have invested in shares in this company with the amount of Gaviscon I’ve consumed throughout this pregnancy!  I started off with the liquid form but very quickly found that I couldn’t stomach the taste and whenever I would vomit I would get half digested, lumpy bits of Gaviscon which is NOT pretty!  So I moved onto the chewable tablets and found I couldn’t really stomach the taste or the chalkiness of them either, now I swallow the chewable tablets whole with some water and find that it still helps, just without the gross taste on my tongue.

Milk and plain yoghurt 

milk and yoghurt

As much as I wanted this to be a drug free pregnancy is as much as I’ve actually ended up having the exact opposite!  I went from refusing to even take paracetamol to having to take every anti-sickness drug known to man but as much as I can I’ve tried to keep it au natural.  So my night time routine for as long as I can remember now consists of a few spoonfuls of plain greek yoghurt and a glass of cold milk for the heartburn.  Where those fail is where the Gaviscon comes in.  Also, woman to woman, you will probably get a bout of thrush at some point during your pregnancy.  Don’t rush out and pick up the Canesten, slather on some plain yoghurt!  Hey we’re all women here, we can talk about putting yoghurt on your vagina but in all seriousness, it really helps soothe the external symptoms and I’m a firm believer in it’s PH balancing properties too.  One thing I will say though as a healthcare professional myself is do always tell your midwife or GP if you suspect you have thrush and let them know you are using a more natural approach to treating it.  It may end up being the case that you need medical intervention for more serious infections and recurrent bouts of thrush throughout pregnancy can also be an indicator of other more serious conditions such as gestational diabetes so before you crack open the Danone get yourself tested, check if it’s ok and then enjoy! You’re welcome!

 

Moisturiser (the oilier the better) – one thing I started doing quite early on is moisturising my more prone to stretchmark areas in the hopes that I would be one of those women who got no stretchmarks at all!  I’ve since come to know that stretchmarks are genetic and if it runs in your family you will probably end up with them anyway, no matter how much I bathe in oils.  That hasn’t stopped me from trying my best to keep them to a minimum.  I’ve always had dry skin but since getting pregnant my body resembles a shriveled prune and when it’s dry, it itches and flakes! Fun times!  So my advice is to opt for an oil, this is what has worked best for me.  I’ve slathered on olive oil after my showers, even coconut oil as I’m also strangely addicted to the smell and am currently using a spray on oil from Original Source, their products are vegan and cruelty free so I have some peace of mind when using it but in all honesty, this was on offer at Boots when I picked it up, it smelt good and when you’re starting to resemble a beached whale and find it harder and harder to bend down and moisturise your legs and feet, you need a spray on oil!

Cheap leggings and granny pants – Another pearl of wisdom for you here – Dont’ buy maternity clothes! Especially not in your second trimester when your body is only just starting to grow and change.  I didn’t follow my own advice, I was so excited to be pregnant I went to topshop and went maternity shopping crazy!  Those jeans are not comfortable and the dresses don’t fit anymore.  Pick up some cheap but comfortable leggings and just buy regular clothes you like but in a size or two bigger because anything with the word maternity on it will come with a hugely inflated price and realistically you wont even need them until probably your last month or two of pregnancy.  Also buy some granny pants!  The uglier the better because those tend to be the most comfortable and don’t be ashamed to pull those babies as high up over your midriff as physically possible!  Embrace the comfort of huge cotton knickers because as you get bigger, you’ll worry less about looking sexy and more about what feels good.

Pelvic floor exercises – Now this isn’t a product but just another bit of friendly woman to woman advice, start doing your pelvic floor exercises as soon as you find out you are pregnant!  The earlier the better and put no limit on how often you do them because as you get bigger things will start to become slack whether you like it or not and you will have oops moments when you sneeze! When you have a growing child’s head firmly planted on your bladder no amount of squeezing will prevent that from happening unfortunately.  I’m just preparing you for the inevitable and the more prepared you are, the less frequent and less embarrassing those oops moments will be.  This is also where those trusty panty liners will swiftly become your new best friends and if you have a little leak, nobody will be any the wiser.

Continue Reading

Second scan – 20 weeks

scan picture

Well it’s taken me long enough to type this little post but I wanted to document the moment even so as it was probably one of the highlights of my pregnancy so far and as far as pregnancy milestones go, the 20 week scan, also known as the anomaly scan, is pretty much one of the biggest events.  It’s known as the 20 week scan but can happen anytime between 19-22 weeks as this is when all major organs of your baby can be seen clearly by your sonographer.  The aim of this scan is to not only to decipher the gender but to check that all major organs such as the heart and brain are developing as they should.  They will also look at your baby’s hands, feet, face and spine and even the lips (looking for cleft lip).

The anomaly scan was the highlight of my pregnancy personally, we got to spend about half an hour looking at our baby be measured literally from head to toe.  The length from top to toe, the circumference of the head and torso, little arms and legs were measured as well as a good old look at the four precious chambers of the heart beating away.  The positioning of the placenta is measured and noted as if the placenta is lying low (known as placenta praevia) this can affect your birth.  Your due date is also confirmed from the measurements of your little one and if there were to be any abnormalities now would be the time you would be told about them.

For us it was just amazing to witness how thoroughly in depth the sonographer went, she was much nicer than our 12 week sonographer.  She took the time to explain everything she was looking for and why.  If you’d like to know more about what the different conditions are that your sonographer will be checking for during the scan the NHS website is pretty good for explaining all the conditions.  We also chose to find out the sex of our baby so she had a good look at the end for us and was able to give us a clear idea of whether we were having a little boy or girl.  We’ve chosen to keep this a surprise for our nearest and dearest so I wont mention it here in case they happen to come across this post but the main thing is our little bear cub is growing as they should and is happy and healthy and we cant wait to meet them!

Continue Reading

Those kicks give me all the feels…

pregnant

If you are as impatient as I was when waiting for this little wriggle bug to kick then you probably want to know when you will begin to feel those flutters for the first time.

Being a nurse and working in a hospital I spent every spare minute I had gathering valuable intel from my more experienced colleagues and mothers desperately seeking an exact date for when I would get my flutters, I was even disappointed and my anxiety went through the roof when I would get asked if I’d started feeling movements yet when I hadn’t and would constantly think something was wrong.

Speaking to one of my colleagues she said I should start feeling flutter-like movements at week 17 and so as soon as I entered week 17 I was expecting butterflies galore!  When this didn’t happen I was disappointed but most of all worried – was my little flutter bug okay in there?!

I then did what any first time anxious mother would do and headed straight for good old google!  I hate to admit it but google has been my friend throughout this pregnancy (sorry, not sorry).  After doing a bit of reading and speaking to my midwife I learned that movements can be felt between weeks 17-22 and it differs for everybody.  What was interesting was that first time mums may not feel kicks as early and usually begin to get their flutters a few weeks later.  Have a little read of the NHS website and it will give you a bit more of an idea about what your little one will be doing between weeks 17-20.

I first felt what I believed to be my movements at around mid week 19 and it wasn’t what everybody told me it would be, there were no butterflies or tummy-turny sort of movements it was more like little bubbles popping in my lower belly but it was still the most amazing feeling in the world!  Since then (I’m currently 26 weeks as I write this) those little snap crackle pops have been the highlight of my days.

As the weeks go on your baby will establish a bit of a pattern with his/her movements.  Mine are usually first thing in the morning, last things at night as well as whenever I’m eating or drinking.  Sometimes I talk to the little scamp or give the baby a little nudge to get a movement but mostly I’ve let him/her establish their own routine.  It’s also good to keep note of these movements and their schedule as it will help you gauge whether movements have decreased.  Should this happen contact your midwife straight away, they may call you into hospital for a quick scan to ensure baby is fine and not just having a lie in!

Continue Reading