A look back over my pregnancy – ‘Resident Blogger’ Lindsay

RB pic - LindsayOn the eve of her induction, Resident Blogger Lindsay looks back on her pregnancy as she prepares to meet her little boy. I’m excited to be welcoming another new arrival to the BFB family!

Lindsay blogs at www.newcastlefamilylife.co.uk

It seems so long ago since I wrote my very first Blogs For Babies post introducing myself – I have just been so busy and lots has been going on pregnancy-wise since my last post when I was 31 weeks. I am now 38 weeks and I cannot believe I am now nearing the end of my pregnancy already, so I thought that I would write about a look back on my pregnancy.

I found out I was pregnant with baby number three all the way back in January when I was around 7-8 weeks pregnant, and it was a shock as I had only recently had surgery to remove my gallbladder and my youngest daughter Sophia was only seven months old.

I was really lucky that I sailed through the first trimester with no problems or sickness at all. I had my dating scan in February which showed I was 13 weeks pregnant and was given the due date of 26th August 2014. I was placed under consultant-led care due to my blood pressure being slightly high and having blood pressure problems in my first pregnancy, and it was decided that it was best for me to be put on the blood pressure medication labetalol to control things. I was also prescribed low-dose aspirin to try and prevent pre-eclampsia as I was at risk of this.

The second trimester flew by with no problems; we did not find out baby’s sex at the 20 week scan as it had its legs crossed but when I was 28 weeks I had a routine growth scan and we found out we were having a little boy. I was so shocked at this as I had been so sure we were having another little girl!

The third trimester has been a bit more difficult as baby has been measuring small on the growth scans I have been having throughout my pregnancy, which could be a side effect of the blood pressure medication I am taking. I also had to go into hospital to be monitored due to reduced fetal movements at 34 weeks but thankfully everything was fine.

I have also been so tired and had no energy at all which I had just put down to running around after a one year old and the heat – being pregnant during a heat wave is no fun at all. But I was diagnosed as having low iron and luckily iron tablets have made me feel normal again.

lindsay bump
Lindsay’s lovely bump!

Apart from those few niggles though I am feeling very lucky that I have had such an easy and enjoyable pregnancy. Obviously now I am nearing my due date I am getting uncomfortable, tired and hormonal but I really have loved every second of this pregnancy and I will be sad when it comes to an end.

It has been decided that due to me being on blood pressure medication the safest thing for me and baby is to induce me at 39 weeks so I am all booked in for an induction on Tuesday the 19th August – exactly one week before my due date.

I have mixed feelings about the induction; I am happy to go through with it as the doctors think it is for the best and all I want is a healthy baby. It will also be nice to not go overdue for once as I went overdue with both my girls and it’s not nice. I have also been induced before in my first pregnancy so I know what to expect. But I cannot help feeling nervous in case things do not go to plan and I need a c-section, or something goes wrong with baby, and also because I know from personal experience that induced labours hurt more then natural ones.

It seems so strange to think that this time next week I will definitely have had my baby; it seems like my whole pregnancy has flown over. But I cannot wait to meet our little boy and become a family of five. Look out for my birth story in the next few weeks and I look forward to sharing with everyone what life is like as a busy mum of three with two under two and a tweenager. Wish me luck – I think I am going to need it!

Follow Lindsay on Twitter @nefamilylife


Ready for Baby C – Hannah Clarke

hannah clarke 3The lovely Hannah wrote one of our first posts on Blogs For Babies back when she was 22 weeks pregnant. Now at 36 weeks, she fills us in on how her pregnancy has progressed as she gets closer to D-Day!

Hannah blogs at www.buddingsmiles.co.uk

My first Blogs for Babies post covered a bit of background about me and the story of my pregnancy up to 22 weeks. Well, I’m currently 36 weeks pregnant so felt an update was due as really, Baby C could appear any time over the next 6 (please make it 4!) weeks!

hannah clarke 1Midway through my second trimester when I last wrote, the feeling wonderful phase continued for several more weeks. At 27 weeks and 4 days I stood and walked my way around London in the blazing sunshine, cheering on my darling husband who was running the marathon. The very next morning, at 4am, we then set off on a plane to Paris. You can read about both of these wonderful but exhausting events on my blog, but suffice to say we were both exhausted! It was such a proud time, seeing Phil run the marathon, we had a great weekend and he did so well.

hannah clarke 2Paris was tiring, but so much fun and we managed to see and do pretty much everything we wanted to. In both cities, we got around on foot or public transport and I am so happy to report that I was offered a seat on EVERY train, metro and bus that we went on, without exception. I would never have asked for a seat unless I was really struggling, but I was touched by the fact that the situation never even arose. In a time when we often moan about society and manners, it’s lovely to have had such a positive experience.

Baby C was pretty worn out by all the travelling and had a quiet couple of days in Paris. I noticed the slight reduction in movement so made a point of spending an evening relaxing and the moment I got into the bath those wriggles and kicks started again with Baby C’s usual excitement! I wouldn’t say I worried when I noticed the reduction, because I knew part of it was likely to be that I’d been so busy I had probably missed a lot of movement even though it had in fact been there. I had my maternity notes with me and if my bath and relaxing evening hadn’t have worked, I wouldn’t have hesitated to new ambassador logoseek advice. I’ve become an Ambassador for the fantastic MAMA Academy and one of the key things we promote is #MyPositivePregnancy, which involves being confident to know your baby’s movements and when to seek medical advice. It’s so, so important for women to feel empowered enough to contact a midwife if they feel something is even slightly wrong, because this is your unborn child’s health and life and a Mummy is the one and only person in the entire world who can tell if there is a change.

By the time we got home I was 28+1 and the busy week was certainly taking its toll. I spent all of Easter Saturday making a 3-tier Hummingbird Bakery Carrot Cake (recipe on my blog) so by Easter Sunday I was exhausted! Around this time, things started to get a bit tricky at work too. My job as a Work Related Learning Trainer in a special needs school means being out and about for 4-6 hours of the day, Monday to Friday, with only a 30 minute lunch break in the middle. Between work placements with the students on nature reserves, in supermarkets and in the local university, I was also on my feet a lot and this started to cause issues with my hips and pelvis.

My husband did 2 out of the 3 hours of our daily drive, which I really appreciated as sometimes just lifting my foot on the pedals would cause quite a lot of pain. My aqua yoga classes were, and remain, absolutely amazing in helping me to relax and loosen my achey joints a little bit. Being specifically for pregnancy, the teacher knows exactly what we can do without causing ourselves issues and I’ve also met some wonderful friends whose children Baby C will grow up with.

As the weeks wore on I was struggling to sleep at night due to hip pains, heartburn and all the usual pregnancy joys! At my 31 week midwife appointment, I explained what my job entailed, including the commute, and that I wasn’t sleeping well. My midwife was not happy that I’d been doing so much and immediately got my GP to sign me off. The following Monday, at 31+5, I went into work and handed the note in, feeling incredibly awful as I did so!

I wrote a post about self confidence in pregnancy last week and a lot of the need to write that came from the manner in which I ended up finishing work. I’d prepared myself, my students and the work placements for a specific date on which I would leave and I was riddled with guilt and – in my mind – giving in two weeks before that date came around. I told myself that it wasn’t my fault a replacement hadn’t been hired, as this had caused some issues with regards me not being able to relinquish any responsibilities, but still I felt that I had let my students down.

The first week or two were really tough; I also then had some major emergency repairs which came up on a rented property we own, so they needed sorted (and paying for) immediately, then in the same week we found out that my Nan had received funding and would be going into care the very next week. All of those things piled up in my mind and I struggled to pull myself together.

A change came at about 33-34 weeks when I met up with some friends, went out on a brilliant date night with my husband and got the nursery painted. It felt so positive and really helped to lift my spirits.

hannah clarke 4As I said, I’m now 36 weeks and I feel like I’m in a really good place. As of last week, Baby C was 1/5 engaged and I’ve had a constant pressure with some pains very low down so I’m really positive that he/she is staying head down now ready to make a grand entrance into Mummy and Daddy’s life. Walking is interesting at times with Baby C being so low, but I really don’t mind because it means we’re on track ready for labour, whenever that may happen! My blood pressure is nice and low, my bloods all look fine and I’ve even had a few nights in a row when I’ve slept through – Bonus!

I’ve written a third trimester round-up, which will be followed by weekly updates until Baby C arrives, so please do pay me a visit and keep your fingers crossed for me that we don’t go too over and have a nice, natural labour! Whatever happens though, I’m so excited to know that it really won’t be long until Phil and I meet our son or daughter, it’s a wonderful time and one to be treasured.

Thank you for reading and I look forward to introducing Baby C to you very soon when he or she has a name and isn’t just ‘he or she’ anymore!

Follow Hannah on Twitter @BuddingSmiles

Budding Smiles – ‘Resident Blogger’ Hannah

hannah clarke picBlogs For Babies is just starting out on the road to building a lovely community of parent bloggers sharing their stories, so we are more than happy to introduce you to Hannah – just starting out on the road to parenthood! In fact, we’ll let Hannah introduce herself…

“Hi! My name’s Hannah. I’m a 27-year-old wife to Phil, travel-loving, Tottenham-supporting, outdoorsy country bumpkin with two cats, five chickens and an ever expanding bump.

Mine and my husband’s first precious little baby is due July 9th. I have recently started blogging about my pregnancy and am loving being able to share my stories. I hope that you enjoy reading my blog as much as I enjoy writing it.”

In this first guest post from Hannah, she tells us more about herself and we welcome ‘little bean’.

Hannah blogs at buddingsmiles.co.uk

As a teenager I wasn’t content at school, and then I wasn’t content at college, so I travelled. I went to Canada, Brazil, Peru, Thailand, Singapore, Australia – It was amazing and it taught me what the shy, nervous child I’d been could actually achieve.

The following few years weren’t easy, I left home in 2008 for a relationship that was doomed from the beginning and so by 21 I was living alone and working 50+ hours a week to pay my bills . It wasn’t all bad, I have an amazing family who have supported me through thick and thin and in August 2011, I went to Devon for a week with my cousin.

Single for two years, she decided to join Match.com, but only if I did it too. Reluctantly, I set up the most basic of profiles and duly set my iPod to one side, forgetting about it. That night however, I received an email to inform me that someone had ‘winked’ at me on Match. I clicked the link to see what his profile was like…

15 months later, basking in the Cambodian sun and perched atop a tower at Angkor Wat, the man who had cyber winked at me asked me to marry him. In September 2013, Phil and I became husband and wife in a beautiful ceremony at a gorgeous farm in Ashbourne.

2013 was a crazy, wonderful year. I saw the year in with my new fiancé at a huge street party in Cambodia. From there we spent four days living high up in a tree house in Laos, zip lining through a jungle inhabited by gibbons. On to outdoor rock climbing in Thailand and then we were back in Blighty and having an offer accepted on a lovely country cottage whilst planning our wedding.

We moved into the cottage in June and began renovating – every room needed attention – then we got married in September. Having been married for five blissful weeks, November 1st became another amazing day to add to the 2013 list when the magical words ‘Pregnant. 1-2 Weeks’ appeared on a digital pregnancy test.

We told a few people straight away, wanting to share our joy with those closest to us but also wanting to build a support network should our little pip not be strong enough. In the weeks leading up to the first scan and to Christmas, I was exhausted, constantly nauseous but unable to be sick, sensitive to smells to the point of giving up eating meat and too bloated to fit properly into my regular jeans.

None of that mattered when, at our 12 weeks scan, a clear, perfect image appeared on the screen. Our little bean – we’d taken to fruit and vegetable references – was wriggling, kicking and waving at its proud Mummy and Daddy.

We told the rest of our close friends after the scan and everyone was over the moon. My nausea began to ease, my bump began to form and at our 16 week midwife appointment the wonderful sound of our baby’s heartbeat filled the air.

hannah clarke scanAt 19+1 we had our second scan and by then I had started to feel tiny flutters. Baby Clarke stretched and yawned, being very well behaved and not sharing its gender with us so that we can still have a surprise on the big day.

As I write this post, I am nearly 22 weeks gone and I can honestly say that I adore being pregnant. No, my body isn’t the slim line one of my wedding photos. Yes, I get sore hips, trapped nerves in my back, I become tired easily and I miss eating rare steak and runny eggs. Is it worth it? Without having even met my baby yet, the answer is an unequivocal yes! I get to feel the growing mini human inside me kicking and moving. I get to watch my belly jump about to baby’s own private beat. I get to love this child for the rest of my life and that makes any sickness, pain or discomfort fade into oblivion.

I’m so excited to be blogging about my life and my pregnancy. I’d love for you to join me and be part of this incredible chapter in my life. Thank you for reading xxx

Follow Hannah on Twitter @BuddingSmiles