From poppy seed to pumpkin: 32 weeks pregnant

Today I am 32 weeks pregnant, and I have some good news. I went for a scan to check the position of my placenta today and…. it’s moved which means I don’t have to have a caesarean! If you have been reading my previous pregnancy updates you’ll know this is something I was really worried about. I had almost convinced myself that the placenta wasn’t going to have moved so that I wouldn’t be too disappointed when they gave me the news. It took a while to find out as well. When the sonographer did the normal ultrasound the baby’s head was in the way so although she could see where the placenta started, and it was quite high up, she couldn’t see the all important lower edge. That meant I had to have an internal scan to get a better view and she measured the placenta as being 4.6 cm from the edge of the cervix. According to the doctor who we saw after the scan, if the placenta is on the front then a gap of 3 cm is enough but if it’s only the back (as mine is) then they need 4.5 cm before they will sign off on a vaginal birth.

I’m so happy my body decided to play nice and I can go back to thinking about where I would like to give birth rather than having that choice taken away with me. I’ve not really been thinking about the possibility of a home birth these last few months because I didn’t want to get my heart set on it for it not to happen. We now have the choice between the home birth or going to the midwife-led unit at the hospital where Toby was born. I still don’t really know what I think would be best at the moment, I swing from one to other every five minutes. I think I need to write down the pros and cons of each and see if that will help me come to a decision. I’m just thankful that I now get to make that choice.

Apart from the placenta news everything else was fine with the little man. We even got to see his face (sort of) on the ultrasound today. I’ve not been feeling too bad on the whole. I’m still getting ligament pains in my bump quite regularly, despite doing my best to avoid any movements that might bring them on. There are lots of wriggles and kicks still, although at times it’s a bit more squirming than anything else. Sometimes he manages to get himself in a really uncomfortable position that gives me pain in my bump, back and hip. It was really bad last weekend but a lie down helped him move and get into a different position. At least with only one more week at work to go I can hopefully get a bit more rest over the next couple of months and things won’t get too much more uncomfortable as the baby grows and has even less space to move!

I see the midwife again in two weeks and I’ll have another update then. Perhaps by then I might be nearer to making a decision about where I want to have this baby!

32 weeks pregnant

From poppy seed to pumpkin: 30 weeks pregnant

I’m now 30 weeks pregnant (plus a few days), and I can’t believe that means there are only 10 weeks to go! I’m actually hoping this one comes a bit early like his brother did, I’m certainly hoping there’s more like 9 weeks left rather than 12!

30 weeks pregnant

Things are still ticking along nicely. I saw the midwife at 29 weeks and everything was fine. She couldn’t get a good position to hear the baby’s heart beat but we could hear the blood pulsing through the cord, and the little one was giving her a good kick at the time so there were certainly no concerns! The only thing that came up at the appointment was that I found out my placenta is actually overlying the cervix, not just low-lying as I’d thought. Apparently it was in my notes but the sonographer didn’t mention it at the 20 week scan. My extensive Googling on the matter (I know, I really shouldn’t) tells me that there is less chance of the placenta having moved if it is actually covering the cervix so I was quite upset about that. I had been holding on to the hope that it would have moved by the time we have the scan to check at the end of next week but it seems like that might be less likely than I’d hoped. I’ve been trying to think of all the advantages of having a caesarean in case that is the way it goes. So far I’ve come up with: 1) It will be easier to arrange for my mum and dad to look after Toby if I know when I’ll be in hospital and 2) I won’t be in agony every time I do a wee for a week after giving birth. That’s all I’ve got so far – can anyone help me out with any more advantages because I’m really still not sold on the idea!

Other than placenta worries I’ve been doing OK. My bump seems to be huge now, and my little monkey is still as wriggly as ever. It seems to be a bit more bums and heads than arms and legs most of the time now so isn’t quite as painful. I’m still getting some ligament pain in my bump, particularly if I’m lying on my side without support from a pillow, and when it comes it’s absolute agony. My lower back and hips have been quite sore lately too, particularly when I’ve been on my feet a lot which is somewhat unavoidable when I’m still teaching full time. I’m so looking forward to the summer holidays and starting maternity leave – less than three weeks to go now!

Emotionally I’m all over the place at the moment to. I seem to have been doing no end of crying over the last few weeks. Sometimes over things that are worth crying about, but mostly about the stupidest things. Barry is being a superstar about it all – he always knows when I just need a hug or when I’m crying about something daft and he can make a joke to cheer me up.

This post doesn’t seem to be very positive but really, everything is OK. It’s just hard being this pregnant with a demanding toddler and working full time with equally demanding teenagers!

My next update will probably be after I’ve had the next scan at 32 weeks to check the placenta. Hopefully I’ll have some good news but I’m trying my best to mentally prepare myself for it to be the news I really don’t want to hear.

Which? Birth Choice (and giveaway)

Deciding where you would like to give birth is a big decision when you are expecting a baby and there are lots of different factors to consider. There is a lot to think about when you are preparing to have a baby, whether it is your first or you’ve got a whole brood at home already. To make the decision about where to give birth a bit easier the consumer group Which? have put together the Which? Birth Choice website (they do more than just review washing machines you know!) to help you decide.

Which Birth Choice

There are several different options available, although as a first time mum you might not be aware of them all. I know when I was pregnant with Toby I didn’t really give it that much thought. I just assumed I would give birth in hospital. My local hospital doesn’t have a maternity ward any more so I had to go to a hospital about half an hour away. As I was considered ‘low risk’ I was able to give birth in the mid-wife led unit which is part of the maternity unit. I know the decision isn’t always as straight-forward – you may have a choice of hospitals or birthing centres, or there is always the option of a home birth to consider.

The Which? Birth Choice website includes lots of helpful information about the different options of where you can birth, as well as expert advice on things like water births, pain relief and who might look after you during labour. There is also a unique birth choice tool which can help you make your decision. By answering a few simple questions and giving your postcode the tool will give you the options which may be best suited to your circumstances.

As well as using the Birth Choice tool, the lovely people at Which? also sent me three birth boxes, each containing things I might need or find useful in each of the different birth settings.

Hospital Birth

In the hospital birth box there were all sorts of things that would definitely make a hospital birth more comfortable; an eye mask and ear plug set for those noisy maternity wards, an iTunes gift card to fill my phone with music or movies for those early stages of labour, the all important charging cable – no one wants a dead phone when it’s time for those all important announcements! There were also flip flops for those swollen feet, a fan, lip balm, snacks and a very handy water bottle with a built in filter. If you give birth in hospital you may have to stay in for a day or two and all these things would really come in handy.

Birth Centre

In the birth centre box there were hair bobbles (very useful for most people but not something I’m likely to need!), a hot water bottle to help ease those labour pains, or equally the after pains you get for the few days after the baby is born, a dressing gown and slippers to keep you nice and comfortable for both during labour and after the baby is born, and lastly a spring water spray to keep you nice and cool whilst you are in labour.

Home birth

Lastly, the home birth box contained a birthing ball – I loved my birthing ball during my last pregnancy for helping me to get more comfortable and it was very useful in the early stages of labour too. There was also a waterproof mattress cover – essential to keep things clean when you are giving birth at home, a lavender aromatherapy room spray which can help to relieve tension and stress, and lastly a lovely receiving blanket for after the baby is born. In this box there were also some extra Cowshed products, such as moisturisers, stretch mark oil and body washes for both me and the baby as an extra gift from Which?

There is so much great advice on the Which? Birth Choice website and I would definitely recommend you take a look if you are unsure about where you would like to give birth. And as for me? Well, unfortunately for me it isn’t quite as straightforward as just deciding for myself. In three weeks I will have another scan to see if my placenta as moved away from my cervix. If it hasn’t then I will have to have a caesarean and this will be in the consultant-led unit of my nearest maternity unit. If the placenta has moved enough to allow a vaginal birth but is still close to the cervix then I may be able to give birth in the midwife-led unit where Toby was born. And if at has totally moved out of the way and there is a low risk of complications then I might still get the home birth I was hoping for, and which the Which? Birth Choice tool also recommended for me.

The lovely people at Which? are also giving you the chance to get your hands on three birth boxes worth £250. All you need to do is test your knowledge of the different birth choices by answering the questions in the widget below (Hint: Take a look at the Which? Birth Choice website if you aren’t sure of any of the answers!)

From poppy seed to pumpkin: 27 weeks pregnant

I’m a bit rubbish with these pregnancy updates aren’t I? It’s been a month since my last post – I am now 27 weeks pregnant and entering the third trimester! This pregnancy still seems to be going very quickly compared to my first.

27 weeks pregnant

I’m still feeling OK although I seem to have the boniest, pokiest baby in my tummy at the moment. He is always poking me and it’s really painful! They aren’t kicks, more like being prodded really hard from the inside. I was just reading that apparently the level of amniotic fluid has reduced by this point meaning I can feel the baby’s movements even more. I don’t remember it being this painful with Toby though – although with him the placenta was on the front of my uterus and I think that can provide a bit of cushioning!

My bump is definitely growing, and although I don’t think Toby really understands what’s going on he does now point at my tummy and say ‘baby’ (or more like ‘babby’ actually) and he gives it kisses too. It’s adorable! Although it’s actually more burying his face in my bump and saying ‘mah!’ I just hope he’s as sweet when his little brother is actually here.

Bump kisses

Last weekend I went to my friend’s house and we sorted through all the baby clothes that Toby and her twins had. I had given all Toby’s stuff to her when he grew out of it as her twins are three months younger so we had to sort it all out to see what I was going to get back again and what we were going to sell when we do a baby market in a few weeks. Seeing all Toby’s old clothes again was quite emotional (or maybe that’s just the hormones!) and I can’t believe how tiny his newborn stuff was!

We also bought a new pushchair which I was very excited about it! It’s an Uppababy Vista which can be used as a single or a tandem so we can start using it straight away and I’m going to sell our old one at the market too.

Other than that, I’m trying not to get too stressed at work, which isn’t always easy when dealing with uncooperative teenagers. I do find it harder to keep my cool when I’m pregnant, even though I know getting wound up and shouting isn’t very good for me or the baby. Only six weeks to go until the summer holidays (and maternity leave) at least so it’s not all bad!

I’m finding it a bit odd this time round that I don’t to see the midwife very often – apart from the two scans I have had I’ve only seen the midwife once and won’t see her again for another two weeks yet. I’m not sure when my next appointment will be after that, probably the next thing will be the scan at 32 weeks to check the position of the placenta (keep your fingers crossed that it’s moved please everyone!).


Maternity Matters~ Ghostwritermummy

Review: Original Theraline Maternity and Nursing Pillow

If you’ve ever been pregnant you’ll know how difficult it can be to find a comfortable position to sleep in. When I’m not pregnant I sleep flat on my tummy so sleeping on my side isn’t a natural position for me. As your bump grows it can get even more uncomfortable as the weight of it needs supporting to avoid it becoming painful.
When I was pregnant with Toby I got quite sore hips towards the end of my pregnancy and I used a cheap bolster pillow in bed. It did the job but the stuffing soon got flattened and it wasn’t as supportive as it could have been. We now use it as a back support on the chair in Toby’s room so I knew I needed to get something new this time, and when my hips started to hurt about 3 months into my pregnancy that need became a bit more urgent! Which is where the Original Theraline Maternity and Nursing Pillow came in. I was delighted to be asked if I wanted to review this pillow as it was just what I was looking for.
Theraline Nursing pillow
First of all this pillow is huge! It’s longer than I am tall, which makes it perfect for finding a comfortable position. It also has plenty of filling, and the clever micro-beads me you can mould it to whatever shape is best for you and there’s never any sagging. The only slight negative I found was that at first I found it wasn’t always easy to get the pillow into a comfortable position – it can be a bit tricky to shift the micro-beads around to get them in the right place but I’ve now been using the pillow for a few months and I find it much easier to get it how I like it. I tend to sleep with the lower half of the pillow between my knees and ankles, the thicker middle part under my bump and then I cuddle the top part which helps me avoid a stiff neck or sore shoulders.
Original Theraline Maternity and nursing pillow
The Theraline Maternity and Nursing pillow is available in a large variety of patterns and colours, and with covers made from different fabrics. I went for the Waterdrops Purple in High Quality Twill which matches the colours of our bedroom but there are lots of other options available too. The material is lovely and soft making it very comfortable for sleeping with. Both the cover and pillow itself are machine washable which is great too. It also comes with a bag which is ideal for storage or if you are going away whilst pregnant or nursing – I know I’ll be taking my pillow with me when we go away next week!
Theraline pillow
For the moment I am only really using the Theraline pillow for sleeping but it also makes a very good back support for reading in bed or watching TV on the sofa. It is easy to bend in the middle to make a v-shaped pillow to use when sitting. As the name suggests this pillow is also very useful as a breastfeeding (or bottle feeding) support after the baby is born. I did find getting into a comfortable position to feed Toby very difficult and ended up using loads of pillows and cushions, and even then I found I quickly got back ache. I am hoping that the Theraline pillow will make things much easier this time round.
Theraline make a variety of different pregnancy and nursing pillows so if you don’t want something quite so big as the Original Maternity and Nursing pillow then I’m sure you will still find something to suit your needs.
This pillow (including the cover) has an RRP of £44.95 and can be purchased from the Theraline online shop and from Amazon. This may seem a bit expensive for a pillow but having tried a cheaper alternative (and a more expensive one) I would say that it is definitely worth the investment. Since I started using the pillow three months ago my sore hips have almost completely gone and I get a comfortable night’s sleep every night, even if it is sometimes interrupted by a crying toddler! I’m sure the pillow will get plenty of use after the baby is born too, to be honest it’s so comfy that I might still sleep with it even when I’m not pregnant!


**Disclosure: I was sent the Original Theraline Maternity and Nursing pillow in return for this review. All opinions are my own.

We're going on an adventure

From poppy seed to pumpkin: 23 weeks pregnant

Today sees me turn 23 weeks pregnant, now well and truly over half way, especially if this one decides to show up early like Toby did!

Pregnancy week 23

On the whole I’m feeling good. I seem to remember this was the easiest stage of pregnancy last time too. I’m not feeling too tired any more and I’m not so big that everyday tasks become difficult. It is getting harder to pick Toby up and carry him, which is starting to cause so problems. He just doesn’t understand that I can’t pick him up as much as I used to (particularly when I drop him off or pick him up from nursery) so I end up doing it anyway but I am getting an achy back and some ligament pain in my bump that probably wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t have a two stone toddler!

About a month ago I started getting really sore hips, especially for the first hour or two after getting up. I had this in my last pregnancy too but it didn’t start until much later so I was worried I was going to have to put up with it for most of this one. Last time I bought a memory foam mattress topper but had taken it off the bed after Toby was born because Barry reckoned it was giving him a bad back. Anyway, that’s back on now (folded in half so it’s only on my side of the bed) and that, along with the Theraline pregnancy and nursing pillow that I’ve been sent (review coming soon folks!) my hips have been much better the last few weeks and hopefully they’ll stay that way for a while yet.

I saw the midwife last week and everything is looking good. I got to hear the baby’s heart beat again and I’m feeling lots of movements too now – it’s so reassuring to feel the little fella wriggling around in there. Barry even managed to feel him kick too the other night which was lovely. They didn’t measure my bump this time as apparently it’s too early and I don’t have to see the midwife for another 6 weeks now. I suspect when they do start measuring I’ll measure big just like last time, even though Toby ended up only being 6lb 10oz, I’m hoping for a similarly small baby this time, it was hard enough pushing Toby out, I don’t fancy trying to get anything bigger out of there!

So physically I’m not doing to badly at all, emotionally though I am finding this pregnancy much more difficult than last time. It’s not that anything about the pregnancy itself is really worrying me (apart from the low lying placenta and possible c-section that I’m trying not to think about), but I’m definitely finding my emotional reaction to other situations is much harder to control. I wrote the other day about Toby’s nursery wobbles, and I’m sure I would find it difficult even if I wasn’t pregnant, but I find that the tears come a lot more readily than they would normally. I guess that’s just something that comes with the territory and I’m lucky that Barry is massively supportive and is always there when I need a good cry.

I don’t think I have much else to add at the moment, oh apart from that I bought a couple of tiny baby sleepsuits this week and some newborn cloth nappies – they are so teeny tiny and cute! I can’t believe Toby was ever that small but he was, and it won’t be that long before we have another tiny human on our hands. And I bought these matching leggings for my boys. I was going to get them for Toby and then I just couldn’t resist buying the little ones too. How cute?!


Maternity Matters~ Ghostwritermummy

Review: Bravado maternity and nursing bras

When I’m pregnant I’m all about being comfortable so as soon as I found out this time I ditched my underwired bras and headed straight back to the comfort of maternity/nursing bras. I still have the bras that I wore when I was pregnant and breastfeeding Toby but some of them are looking a bit sorry for themselves to say the least. I was on the look out for some new bras but being a 36G I find my choices are sometimes a bit limited so when the people at Bravado got in touch to see if I would like to try two of their maternity/nursing bras I was very happy to give them a try.

Essential Embrace Nursing Bra

Essential Embrace Nursing Bra

The Bravado Essential Embrace Nursing Bra is made from Bravado Dynatex fabric which is a combination of cotton and microfiber. The breathable fabric has a four-way stretch so it can mould to your changing shape throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding. The bra has a full drop cup for easy access when feeding, and this also allows for that all important skin to skin contact.

I received the Essential Embrace Nursing Bra in black with purple piping in size 36 FF/G. I found the bra fits well and is very comfortable. As I’ve found with all non-wired bras and having quite a large chest this bra doesn’t quite manage to avoid the mono-boob look, but this isn’t really a problem. The material of the bra is quite thick and so feels very supportive. I also like the full drop cup, I found this style much easier when feeding Toby. The clips are easy to open, even one handed. The bra has four sets of three hooks at the back and also included with the bra is a bra-extender which I think is a great idea. I know in the latter part of my pregnancy with Toby my ribs really expanded so having a bra-extender will mean this bra will still fit comfortably and I won’t have to buy another size. Bravado even include some extra clips/hooks with instructions which allow you to convert the bra to a normal non-nursing bra when you have finished breastfeeding. To be honest I don’t know if this is something I would be bothered to do but I think it’s a great added extra which again would help extend the life of the Essential Embrace bra.

Essential Embrace

The Bravado Essential Embrace Nursing Bra is available in white, chai (skin-toned) or black and from size 32 B/C to 36 HH/J. It has an RRP of £34.00.

Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra

Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra

The Bravado Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra is made from soft stretchy material, and as you may have realised from the name it is seamless so there are no bits to rub or irritate. There are pockets in the cups which hold foam inserts designed to hide nipples or breast pads, these are removable if you wish. I normally avoid any sort of moulded cup as I think they tend to make my already ample bosom seem even bigger but that isn’t the case with these inserts. There is a wide stretchy band that sits under the bust which makes this bra very comfortable and the stretchy fabric means it can easily accommodate your changing shape throughout pregnancy and nursing. Like the Essential Embrace Nursing Bra, the Body Silk Seamless has a full drop cup and the clips are very easy to open. It also comes with the kit to convert it to a regular bra when you no longer require it for breastfeeding.

Body Silk Seamless

I found the Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra to be very comfortable but I do have a few niggles. This bra does not come in regular bra sizes, it is sized as small, medium, large or extra large. I had to get the extra large in order for the cups to have enough material to cover my boobs but this means that it is quite loose around my ribs and rides up a bit at the back. The other problem, similar to with the Essential Embrace bra is that it does not separate my boobs leading to a rather sweaty and not entirely attractive mono-boob. Like I said, this is a common problem for me with non-wired bras but I did find it slightly worse than usual with the Body Silk Seamless. Lastly, the stretchy material, although very soft and comfortable, did not provide me with a huge amount of support. It was fine for most things but I definitely needed to be careful I didn’t run down the stairs! With all this in mind I would recommend the Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra for those of you who are perhaps a bit smaller than me in the boob department, it is incredibly comfortable but for someone who is a G cup it maybe isn’t the best option out there.

The Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra is available in a selection of colours and has an RRP of £30.

I obviously haven’t had a chance to try these bras when breastfeeding yet, so I’ll be back with an updated review after our little bear arrives in August.

**Disclosure: I was sent these Bravado nursing bras in return for this review. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

We're going on an adventure

From poppy seed to pumpkin: It’s a . . .

Yesterday I had my 20 week scan. Everything is looking great with the baby; everything is where is should be and the measurements were all right in the middle of the ‘normal’ range. It was lovely to see the baby again, and to see that little heart beating away.

We did find out that I have a low-lying placenta which is close to the cervix at the moment. I’ve been booked in for another scan at 32 weeks and hopefully as everything grows the placenta will move up and out of the way. If it doesn’t then I’ll be looking at a caesarean section and my plans for a home birth will be out of the window. There’s absolutely nothing I can do to change it though, whatever is going to happen will happen. So I’m going to try my best not to think about it or worry and just hope for the best. Apparently, in the vast majority of cases the placenta does move up with the growing uterus and doesn’t cause a problem for delivery, let’s just hope it works out that way for us.

At the end of the scan the sonographer asked if we had any questions…so it was time to ask the big one…can you see the gender? And so here it is, the big news!

It's a...

Yes, another boy! Toby is going to get a little brother. If you read my gender preference post then you’ll know I was kind of hoping for a girl, and I was a bit sad for an hour or two but I’m fine now and looking forward to having two little boys running around the place!


Gender preference?

This time next week, all being well, we will have found out the gender of our baby! When we were having Toby we found out at the 20 week scan that we were having a boy but decided to keep it to ourselves, although I did tell my mum and dad because I kept almost accidentally telling my mum every time I spoke to her anyway! This time though, if we can find out then we’re quite happy to share the news with everyone.

Gender preference

So the big question is what is it going to be? Another boy? A few people have asked me if I have a preference whether it is a boy or a girl and the honest truth is that if I had a choice then I would like a girl. I think this mostly comes from the fact that I grew up with an older brother who is exactly two years older than me (to the day!) and barring a few childhood arguments we have always got on really well. Toby will turn two in the month before this baby is due so there’s going to be a very similar age gap as there is between me and my brother. I think having grown up with a brother I don’t know any different and I just can’t imagine having two boys!

There is of course the slightly more frivolous reason for wanting a girl, which is that there is so much more choice when it comes to girl’s clothes! Every time I go to buy clothes for Toby I’m always drawn to look at all the lovely girls clothes you can get. And if I had a girl she could wear dresses in summer and show off all our cute cloth nappies too!

I’ve always said I only want two kids so whatever this one turns out to be will be it. I really have no inkling what we are going to find out at the scan next week, and of course above all else, I just hope that the baby is healthy. I’ve been trying to convince myself that it’s going to be another boy so that if it is I won’t be disappointed and if it is a girl it will be a happy surprise. Either way I’m glad we get to find out now and have plenty of time to get used to the idea whichever one it is. I guess all I can really do for now is just wait and see what next week reveals. (And don’t worry, all will be revealed here too!)

It’s something we don’t talk about very much but did you have a preference when it came to the gender of your baby? How did you feel if the gender wasn’t what you were hoping for?

Maternity Matters~ Ghostwritermummy

From poppy seed to pumpkin: 16 weeks pregnant

I realise I haven’t been doing an awful lot on the pregnancy update front since I made the announcement a few weeks ago. This is mostly because I don’t really have a lot to update!

Pregnancy week 16

I’m now 16 weeks pregnant and I remember from my last pregnancy that this bit between the 12 and 20 week scans felt like the longest two months ever. I’m now at the stage where I don’t really feel pregnant. Apart from the tiredness and occasional dry heave (!) I don’t really have any pregnancy symptoms and seeing as I’m not the thinnest of people when I’m not pregnant I don’t even have a discernible bump yet. I’m not feeling any movement yet either so generally I’m just feeling fat and tired rather than pregnant! I’ve not had any cravings, I’m doing my best to eat sensibly rather than my ‘I’m pregnant to I’ll eat whatever the hell I like’ attitude of my last pregnancy. I’m hoping that I won’t put on quite as much weight this time either.

I know I should probably just be making the most of this bit, it won’t be long before I’m noticing the physical effects of pregnancy much more. For now though I’m just plodding on, trying to get as much sleep as I can and trying not to worry that something might be wrong while I wait until it’s time for my next scan at the end of March. Hopefully we’ll be finding out the gender of the baby then and I’m sure it will all start feeling a lot more real.

Oh and finally for all you fruit and veg watchers out there, the baby is now the size of an avocado! I will start taking bump photos soon too – as soon as I get a spare minute during daylight hours…