Friday, 10 May 2019

WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU ARE EXPECTING | TRIMESTER 2

I'm writing this during the latter stages of trimester three and can honestly say that trimester two for me was the easiest and most comfortable trimester out of the three. It encompasses weeks 13-28. It's during this period that lots of women tell the world that they are pregnant. For me this was when the pregnancy started to feel more 'real.' You will have had your 12 week scan by this point and will hopefully feel less anxious following this. You will also have your 20 week anomaly scan to look forward to during this trimester.


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Wednesday, 8 May 2019

38 WEEK PREGNANCY UPDATE

I am 38 weeks pregnant and am nearing my due date. I finally have packed my hospital bag and babies bag too. With my maternity leave officially starting this week, I’m counting down the days to her arrival!


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Wednesday, 1 May 2019

37 WEEK PREGNANCY UPDATE

I am 37 weeks pregnant and am now considered full term. This means baby could come any day now which is very exciting. I've had quite an eventful week this week as I have seen my consultant, VBAC specialist nurse and my midwife and had an unexpected trip to the hospital. I remember previously saying how uncomplicated this pregnancy had been. I think I spoke too soon!


HOW FAR ALONG?

I'm currently 37+1 weeks pregnant.

HOW IS BABY DEVELOPING?

Baby now weighs over 2.9kg (6.3lb) and at just over 48.6cm (19.1in) is the size of a small watermelon. 

Baby is now considered full-term and could arrive at any time. Over the next few weeks she will continue to gain weight and in particular fat as she starts to fill out. Baby's organs are developed enough to sustain her outside of the womb now.

HOW AM I FEELING?

Fatigue wise - I'm feeling I've hit my limit in terms of tiredness. I feel permanently exhausted and with very little energy have to force myself to do everyday activities. I've not started feeling the urge to nest yet - so I'm having to make myself get on with that side of things. Sleep is becoming more sporadic as I am now waking throughout the night with leg cramps, general discomfort or a need for the toilet. My bump is very large now so I wake every time that I wish to change my sleep position.

This week I have felt far less breathless. That is because baby has now turned and is no longer breech. I can feel that baby has dropped down and this has provided great relief to my lungs - breathing just feels so much easier. Heartburn is still an ongoing issue but I have found what works for me in terms of managing it. Milk or milkshake sorts it out quickly.

HAD ANY APPOINTMENTS RECENTLY?

I saw the consultant and the VBAC specialist at 36+3 weeks. I'd previously had a community midwife appointment where the baby had been deemed to have been in the breech position. My consultant looked through my notes and was happy with my blood pressure. She checked babies position and was unsure of whether she was still breech or had in fact moved into a head down position. She sent me for a presentation scan which confirmed that baby had turned. I had felt some huge movements over the previous few days but it still came as a surprise. My consultant then measured my fundal height which is now showing as just above the 90th percentile.

Next up I saw the VBAC nurse. I still would like a VBAC as long as everything goes to plan. She had previously spoken to my consultant about my birth plan. The two things that need to happen from their point of view is constant monitoring - standard after a c-section birth and active management of the third stage. This basically means that my placenta will need delivering with the aid of an injection and midwife support to reduce the risk of post-partum haemorrhaging. I had a haemorrhage after having Jack so this is something they want to actively manage. In terms of the constant monitoring I would like the ability to be active during the birth and the CTG machines restrict that. My hospital luckily have telemetry which is a wireless version of the machine that I intend to use during labour.

At 36+6 weeks I saw my community midwife for my 37 week check. My blood pressure was severely elevated at this appointment and at its peak measured 160/100 and then 150/110. My urine came back with no issues but I was sent to hospital to be checked. At the hospital my urine was taken  again and this time it contained traces of protein. With my blood pressure still elevated, I had a full set of bloods taken to see if I was suffering from pre-eclampsia. Over the following four hours my blood pressure returned to a normal level and my bloods came back negative. They allowed me home from the hospital as I await further test results. I'm currently awaiting a count on the level of protein in my urine. The hospital have said that if it is raised they will contact me and that I will then need to return to hospital. Otherwise I'm due back on Thursday for more blood pressure and urine checks.

As you can see, I have had quite an eventful week. I'm just trying to be sensible and rest more.

If you are pregnant I would love to hear how you are getting along. Leave me a comment below!


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Monday, 29 April 2019

HOW I FEEL ABOUT BEING HIGH RISK IN PREGNANCY

When you hear the words high risk spoken about in terms of pregnancy, you may immediately start imagining the absolute worst case scenarios that could happen at any point in pregnancy. In actual fact being classified as high risk during pregnancy is more common than you might think. Whether this is down to complications in a previous pregnancy, a high BMI or other medical factors - it doesn’t necessarily mean you will suffer complications.


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Wednesday, 24 April 2019

36 WEEK PREGNANCY UPDATE


I am 36 weeks pregnant and have made it into the last 4 weeks of pregnancy. I have just started my Annual Leave which will connect to my Maternity Leave. It has been lovely being at home over the Easter period and making our last memories as a family of three before becoming a family of four.




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Tuesday, 26 March 2019

30 WEEK PREGNANCY UPDATE


I am 30 weeks pregnant and have made it into the last 10 weeks. I’m even starting the weekly countdown now. With my due date getting nearer and nearer, I’m starting to really get the house sorted ready for our new arrival.





HOW FAR ALONG?

I'm currently 30 weeks pregnant.

HOW IS BABY DEVELOPING?

Baby is now at least 41.1 cm (16.2 inches) long from head to heel and weighs the same as a coconut. She is now weighing in at around 3.3lbs. Between now and my due date, her length won’t increase but she will still continue to put on weight. Her organs are still growing with her bladder now passing water through it. Her arms, legs and body are now also in proportion with her head. 

HOW AM I FEELING?

As I move through the third trimester, I’m now starting to feel the fatigue really ramp up. I’m still working and find being on my feet all day quite uncomfortable. As baby continues to grow, my back is definitely feeling the strain. Backache and heartburn are continuing to be an issue for me. I am also finding myself get out of breath very easily - going up the stairs leaves me gasping for breath. I also am walking a lot slower and am generally moving around at a more relaxed pace. The ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ as I get off the chair have also increased. Sleep wise I’m finding it difficult to initially get comfortable and if I wake in the middle of the night, I am really struggling to settle back off to sleep. 

HAD ANY APPOINTMENTS?

I’ve had my gestational diabetes results through and thankfully they were good - I don’t have diabetes. My 28 week blood results came back with my iron levels looking strong. Just goes to show that even though I’m feeling tired, my body is still getting what it needs. I saw my midwife at 29 weeks for my 28 week appointment. My blood pressure is now teetering on the edge of becoming concerning but thankfully I haven’t had to go to the hospital regarding this yet. My blood pressure came in at 138/78 - it needs to be under 140/90 to avoid further checks. I am expecting it to slip over that threshold soon. At this point in my last pregnancy I was already on blood pressure tablets and had been admitted into hospital several times so I feel like I’m doing quite well so far. I got to listen to babies heartbeat which was lovely. The midwife did listen to it for a lot longer than usual so I was initially slightly concerned but all was perfectly fine. During this appointment they measured my fundal height. It came back as 29cm and was on the 50th percentile.

Coming up I have my 31 week midwife appointment next week as well as my first meeting with my health visitor. In my area, the health visitors also visit expectant mums during the third trimester something which didn’t happen in my first pregnancy. 

If you are pregnant I would love to hear how you are getting along. Leave me a comment below!

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Monday, 18 March 2019

REVIEW: MAGFORMERS WOW SET - 16 PIECE SET


Jack loves all things building and construction related.  He often spends time building and making cars, houses and sometimes even entire towns out of his toys. His favourite construction toy is his set of Clicformers. These durable building blocks have provided hours of fun in our house. We have been looking for an alternative to these for quite a while and came across Magformers quite recently. These magnetic building blocks looked fantastic so when we were asked to review a Magformers set we jumped at the chance.



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Wednesday, 27 February 2019

28 WEEK PREGNANCY UPDATE


I am 28 weeks pregnant and have finally made it to the start of the third trimester. I am starting to feel like I’ve been pregnant forever so it’s nice to be in the final trimester and starting the countdown to my due date,


HOW FAR ALONG?

I'm currently 28 weeks pregnant.

HOW IS BABY DEVELOPING?

Baby is now at least 37.6 cm (14.8 inches) long from head to heel and weighs the same as an aubergine. She is now weighing in at around 2.2lbs. Her heart rate is beginning to slow down but apparently her heart still beats twice as fast as mine. Baby can hiccup now so any small rhythmic movements in my womb could be down to this. I remember feeling this a lot when I was pregnant with Jack. At this point, I’m not entirely sure if I’ve experienced the little one hiccuping yet. All of her internal organs are now maturing and preparing to function on their own at birth. Babies eyelashes are now formed and her eyes are able to produce tears.

HOW AM I FEELING?

I’m finally over my cold and sinus infection and in that respect I am starting to feel lots better than I recently have done. My bump is beginning to really grow now. I am definitely getting more backache because of this. As my bump grows, I’m even finding myself waddling a lot more. I seem to be unable to get up of the settee quietly either - simple movement now gets accompanied by a sound effect. Heartburn and even nausea seems to be back with avengeance. I’m just trying to eat smaller meals and take on regular fluids to maintain a good hydration level. Sleep wise as expected I’m beginning to notice a real change. I struggle to get comfortable and even when I am I tend to be woken up by a sudden urge for the toilet or even the slightest bit of noise outside.

HAD ANY APPOINTMENTS?

I have just had my 28 week bloods taken at the hospital. This is something that is usually done at 28 weeks pregnant. I’ve also had my Glucose Tolerance Test. This tests for gestational diabetes. It basically involves fasting the night before (I was only allowed to drink water) and then having bloods taken in the morning. I then had to sit in the hospital for two hours before having another set of bloods taken. I’m currently awaiting my results from this.



If you are pregnant I would love to hear how you are getting along. Leave me a comment below!

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Thursday, 21 February 2019

26 WEEK PREGNANCY UPDATE




I’m six months pregnant and nearing the end of the second trimester. I feel like my pregnancy is starting to absolutely fly by. 



HOW FAR ALONG?

I'm currently 26 weeks pregnant.

HOW IS BABY DEVELOPING?

Baby is now 35.6cm (14in) long from head to heel and weighs the same as a red cabbage. Baby’s response to sounds is growing more consistent as her brain becomes more developed. She can hear much more clearly now and may even be able to pick out mine and Wayne’s voices now. This is great for bonding. Baby’s lungs are continuing to develop as the airways continue to branch out. Baby is inhaling and exhaling small amounts of amniotic fluid which is essential for lung development. Baby’s eyes are now beginning to open. The womb is pretty dark but they could follow a torch if it was shine on your outer stomach. 

HOW AM I FEELING?

I’ve really struggled the last few weeks in terms of general health. I’ve been pretty unwell with a bad cold and sinus infection. It’s definitely been more difficult being unwell when pregnant as there is far less I can take in terms of medication. I have been unwell for two weeks now so it’s definitely taking longer to clear too. In terms of symptoms I’ve been suffering with headaches. Headaches can be concerning at this stage in pregnancy as it can be a sign of pre-eclampsia. However it has coincided with my sinus infection so I’m suspecting it is linked to that. 

I also have started to struggle with heartburn and my back has definitely been aching more as the baby has grown in size. My sleep is generally being affected now. I’ve brought myself a pregnancy pillow as a combination of baby movement and needing the toilet is really disrupting my sleep. I can definitely feel a change since my 23 week update in terms of general fatigue.

HAD ANY APPOINTMENTS?

I've had my 25 week midwife appointment last week. The midwife checked my urine, blood pressure and we also listened to babies heartbeat. My blood pressure is measuring quite high at the minute. Blood pressure over 140/90 usually requires further monitoring and a hospital visit. My first measurement was 155/77. Thankfully it came down for the next measurement. I suffered with high blood pressure in my pregnancy with Jack and both myself and my midwife feel that this pregnancy is heading a similar way. My midwife said to expect to be going to the hospital following my next appointment as by that point she thinks my blood pressure will have risen above the recommended guidelines. I have had both my flu vaccine and whooping cough vaccine now and will be seeing the midwife for my gestational diabetes check when I am 28 weeks pregnant. 

If you are pregnant I would love to hear how you are getting along. Leave me a comment below!


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Tuesday, 12 February 2019

ESSENTIEL VIE SKINCARE | REVIEW

During pregnancy the focus is often on making sure you look after your growing baby by eating well, taking folic acid and attending any antenatal appointments. You can often forget about yourself in the process and often forget about self-care. Pregnant with my second child, this couldn’t be truer. 
I actually didn’t own any pregnancy/new mum self-care items until Essentiel Vie kindly sent me samples of their range to try out. Stocked in Boots, the Essentiel Vie range is a cruelty free brand made for mums. The brand is completely natural and caters for all areas of skin care from stretch mark recovery to daily moisturisers. Essential Vie products contain no chemicals. They are cruelty free, vegan friendly and purely plant based.

Within the range is three products. These products aim to simplify a mum’s skincare routine. As a parent, I don’t have time to be applying fifteen different skincare products to my skin. I need something that is quick and effective. I was sent the Multi Purpose Anti Stretch Mark Oil, the Hydrating Moisturisor and the Nipple Cream. 

The Hyrdating Moisturisor has a lovely texture and contains a blend of hydrating plant oils and extracts to nourish and rejuvenate dry tired skin. It can be used across the face or body and applies well to skin. I remember the early days as a mum to a newborn and will be using this when my second baby arrives. In those early days as a parent, I barely had time for a hot cup of tea never mind a complex skin routine so this will do the job perfectly. I tend to have dry skin during pregnancy with my skin also suffering when I am tired or unwell. 
In my first pregnancy with Jack, I didn’t use anti stretch mark oil. I just remember how angry and red my stretch marks looked as my pregnancy progressed. Now I look at my stretch marks as something that triggers a memory of an important time in my life. I grew my darling little boy for 9 months and they are a testament to that. The Essentiel Vie Anti Stretch Mark Oil is a multi-purpose oil enriched with Argan Oil and Vitamins A and E. It aims to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. I have been applying this twice a day as instructed and look forward to seeing if this reduces the appearance of my stretch marks. My stretch marks will never disappear nor would I want them to but I would be happy to see them look slightly less aggressive. 
The Essentiel Vies Nipple Cream is unscented and aims to keep skin soft and supple whilst providing relief for dry-chapped skin. It is entirely safe for baby meaning it can be used whilst breastfeeding. It can also be used on cradle cap and eczema prone skin so it is truely multi-purpose. I haven’t used this product much as I’m keeping it back until I have had baby number two. I’m intending to breastfeed for a few weeks and will use this then.
I have used both the Hyrdating Moisturisor and the Anti Stretch Mark Oil and thought they were good value for money and applied well. I’ve never used a plant based product before and for that reason the scent of the items took a bit of getting used to. It was lovely to know exactly what was going onto my skin though and it’s something that I’ve definitely become more aware of. 
Available online at boots and in store, these products really do simplify a mums skincare routine.
Disclaimer:  I was gifted these apps in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.








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Tuesday, 22 January 2019

23 WEEK PREGNANCY UPDATE


After my 17 week pregnancy update, I had every intention of updating regularly. Unfortunately anxiety in and around the 20 week period of this pregnancy led to me just not wanting to update until I’d had my 20 week anomaly scan. Thankfully after a second scan all looks brilliant with baby number two!




HOW FAR ALONG?

I'm currently 23 weeks pregnant.

HOW IS BABY DEVELOPING?

Baby is now 28.9cms (11.4in) long from head to heel and weighs the same as a large mango. Baby is becoming sensitive to sounds. Apparently over the last few weeks sounds have become much clearer. If I sing or talk to my bump - apparently she might hear. Baby is moving around now and I’ve felt and seen quite a lot of movement too. Jack in particular has loved watching my tummy move as the baby does. 

HOW AM I FEELING?

I'm feeling so much better. I’ve felt anxious for the last two and a half weeks. When we had the 20 week scan they couldn’t see quite a few of the babies organs due to her position. I wasn’t too worried about the sonographer not being able to view the heart as baby was breech and was lying awkwardly. My concern was with her brain. At the first scan they were unable to see her Cavum Septum Pellucium. This is an important part of the babies brain. The 10 day wait for the second scan was particularly difficult for me. Thankfully everything was fine. The second sonographer couldn’t understand why the Cavum Septum Pellucium was not seen the first time. She did feel confident that it was there but sought a second opinion to confirm. The immense relief I felt upon hearing that all was ok was immeasurable. I had held off buying any items for the baby but am finally looking forward to doing some shopping. We also found out the gender of the little one and am delighted to be having a little girl.

Physically I’m feeling much better than previous weeks. I have more energy and am really enjoying feeling the baby kick and move. My sleep however is becoming more disrupted. I just cannot get comfortable. I’m going to see if a pregnancy pillow makes any difference. Let’s hope it does!

HAD ANY APPOINTMENTS?

I've had my 20 week scan (twice in fact) and also have been to the VBAC (vaginal birth after Caesarean) clinic. After having a Caesarean section and post-partum haemorrhage in my first pregnancy, I really want to have a more natural birth this time. I’m going to look into hypnobirthing and have discussed my birth options with the VBAC nurse. I will need constant monitoring during labour but apparently the equipment allows for movement as I really do not want to be stuck on a bed in labour unable to move. The monitoring equipment even allows for a water birth so nothing is really out of the question.

If you are pregnant I would love to hear how you are getting along. Leave me a comment below!


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Monday, 7 January 2019

MY GOALS FOR 2019

 
When I was younger I often set New Years resolutions. These would usually be centred around healthy, fitness and dieting and would usually have been completely forgotten by the second week in January. I cannot even comprehend how many gym memberships I have taken out and not used over the years.



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