Tag Archives: Pregnancy

Competition time!

Very sadly one of my Twends (Twitter Friends) Caz Arnold aka @dougggie sadly lost her father very suddenly on Christmas day.  The reason for this post is that Caz is currently in the middle of raising money for the Dogs Trust Arctic Dogs Sledding Challenge.  As you can imagine this has knocked her sideways and she is appropriately focussed on her family and unable to put much energy in to it.  The lovely Dany from Tums2Mums, a specialist hypnotherapy practitioner for fertility, pregnancy and childbirth and who helped me with both my pregnancy & birth of Baby G, has put together a great competition to help raise funds, as the meerkat on TV says “simples” …

The prize – 3 lucky entrants will win my complete 5 x Hypnosis for Childbirth mp3s worth £26. If you’d like to find out more about these mp3s click here

To enter – All I ask is that you click on Caz’s fund raising link at the bottom of this page and put a minimum (more if you want) donation of £2. All names will then be entered into a draw. In order for you to be contacted please ensure that you put the following information in the comments box when making your donation:

Tums2Mums competition and either your Baby Centre or Twitter ID. If you do not have either of these please leave your name and then tick the box that enables Caz to see your email address and she will then make sure your prize reaches you. Your email address WILL NOT be used for anything other than ensuring that should be be the winner you get your prize.

The competition will close at midnight on 9th January 2010 and the winners will be announced on or shortly after 10th January 2010.  This competition will be promoted on a number of other notice boards, if you are willing and able to promote it please do so – the spirit of this is to help a friend out in need, start the year with good karma, click on the link and donate.

To enter and make your donation please click here http://www.justgiving.com/cazarnold/

Thank you for helping me help a lovely lady and a worthy cause.

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I’m late and irritated …

Overdue_stampI’m late, I’m late, I’m late for a very important date … well I’m not but baby number two is and I’m blaming her fathers gene’s for this (already & guaranteed not for the last time!)

So our estimated due date of Monday 5th October has been, gone and I’m three days into extra time and still cooking this baby.  I am no longer able to answer the phone due to the massive irritation that is induced by people calling asking “have you had the baby yet?” – clearly not – clearly in 2009 the digitial era dominated by mobile communication & social networking tools we would have found a way of letting people know – grrrr! 

Don’t get me wrong I love hearing from friends and most of our family but my major irritation comes from those people who haven’t actually bothered to even check in by phone, email or text for most of the last nine months.  Makes me want to scream & shout “so now you want a piece of my new baby do you?” – yeah pretty sure its the hormones!  But I do feel cross and I do feel hurt they haven’t bothered, not interested in me the baby carrier but now seem to want my baby, ok I know I sound like a looney!  The truth is that whilst it will all get put down to my hormones I’m actually quite upset by some folk whom I regard as close friends that I just haven’t heard from for months and months.  I’m not talking about close friends who are single or without children, those without I understand don’t understand, I’m talking about close friends with children of their own too.  People who I care about and make time to check in with to see that life is treating them and theirs ok.  I feel like my socialising limited self got dumped when I declared myself pregnant back in March/April time.  Its second time around so unlike with Lil’ H I’m not even a willing designated driver!  So lets just strike it down to hormones but just for the record I’d be lying if I didn’t say I hadn’t been upset by this over the last few months.

yayasI also know I have a number of amazing friends, both near and far away – my own sisterhood of ya yas – Carrie, Tiff, Mich, Izzie, Sarah – you know who you are and mwah, I love you, you’re ace!  I also know I have amazing parents and need to say a big THANK YOU to my mum and dad, Grandma & Grandpa to Lil’ H and baby number 2, who really couldn’t help more, they do much for us I’m too embarrassed to say it all.  But if I say they look after Lil’ H at least three half days a week and I still have only ever washed 2.5yr old Lil’ H’s clothes when mum is on holiday and he is always in clean ironed clothes it will give you an indication of the scale of assistance we get from them. 

So I will sign off, still here, still in one piece, still pregnant … soon, soon, soon, please let it be soon that I am back here posting with happy new baby news!  Claire x

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Baby weight sweep stake!

Inspired by the sweepstake OMG We’re Pregnant is running for guessing the arrival date & time of their first baby who is due later in October I thought a guess the baby weight sweepstake would be fun! 

So here you go, here is the bump, note head excluded due to lack of care or inclination to do hair or make up – I’m sparing you that for your own good people I assure you!

DSC02456

With a week to go, due this time next week Monday 5th October, so I am potentially looking at a further three weeks (please god no!) already one false start behind me, a reflexology appointment booked for tomorrow morning and a membrane sweep booked on Friday I feel arrival is imminent.  But what will she weigh?! 

OK, the facts – its a girl, she’s my second baby, my bump measures about 40 weeks, my first baby was a boy and arrived weighing 6lb 15oz (3.14kg)

Winner wins max smug points!  Sorry no prize but if anyone has anything they’d like to donate as a prize, please do drop me an email and we can change that – claire@dandelionlounge.co.uk

Baby weights in pounds and ounces, conversions will be done with the google calculator, all entries need to be in the comments for this post please!

Good luck!  Happy Guessing!

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Boy or Girl – to know or not to know?

boy_girl_symbolsOver at A Mothers Secrets, a place where mothers swear to tell the whole truth and only the truth, a suggestion from OMG We’re Pregnant for posts about finding out the sex of your baby while pregnant has inspired me to put my fingers to the keyboard and share my thoughts and experiences on the subject. 

My experience is with two pregnancies.  The first we didn’t find out the sex until I delivered my baby and my second (current and last!) pregnancy we have found out is a girl, so I have experienced one pregnancy not knowing and one pregnancy knowing. 

Whilst my personality is extrovert and often seemingly spontaneous, my nature is very much that of a planner.  I very much lead with my head and deal with facts rather than thoughts and ideas.  So, rewind the clock a couple of years to 2006 and everyone was amazed that I didn’t find out whether I was expecting a boy or a girl with my first pregnancy.  During this pregnancy I held a senior role in a large Plc, working silly hours with many days and nights spent away on business trips.  The main reasons I didn’t find out what I was having were… see, the planner in me wants an ordered list! :

  1. We wanted the news to be a surprise
  2. It didn’t matter to us, we had no experience of, or stuff for, babies – be they a boy or girl
  3. It limited how much planning, doing and shopping I was able to do (very successfully on the shopping front!)
  4. Both sets of first time Grandparents-to-be also wanted the sex of our baby to be a surprise on arrival

On my side of the family the eldest child is a girl for generations gone by – my Great-Great Grandmother, Great-Grandmother, Grandmother, Mother and me are all the eldest child.  As my pregnancy, my bump and other peoples guesses progressed, I became more and more convinced I was having a girl.  Still I never bought anything pink or blue, I was Mrs Unisex – all about the neutral, white & creams!  We had a nickname for our bump, “Baby Boo” and spent 40 weeks coming up with names for Boo’s arrival – we had agreed a name for a girl and had a short list for a boy.  Then baby arrived and “its a boy!” Mr L told me excitedly … having survived over 36 hours of labour, followed by nearly two hours of an assisted delivery I had completely forgotten that at the end of all this would be the long awaited “surprise”.  The truth is that the “surprise” part completely missed me as I was reeling from post delivery shock and stitches! 

Baby Boo was dressed in his unisex cream baby gro, “Baby Boy Lancaster” was written on his wrist and ankle tags and his cot was labelled “Unknown Lancaster”.  These bracelets and this label are in his first year memory book and I feel so bad about them, it looks like we weren’t bothered.  But post labour and delivery I just couldn’t confidently answer the question “do you have a name for him?” There was no surprise, there was a shock, that Baby Boo was not a girl.  In fact it was such as shock that I think it took me a good three weeks to get used to Lil’ H’s name because I just thought for no reason what so ever he would be a she.  That said I wouldn’t change it for the world.  I adore Lil’ H with all my heart and know he will be a great Big Brother in just a few weeks time.

When it came to second time around, I felt strongly about finding out the sex of our baby and my reasons were not directly related to my experience of Lil’ H’s arrival, certainly not in my mind anyway.  Our reasons for finding out second time around were: 

  1. We wanted the news to be a surprise – at a time that I would be able to appreciate the news
  2. We had four suitcases of grown out of boys baby clothes, if this one wasn’t to be blue they needed new homes.
  3. With a toddler in tow time to prepare, do & shop is limited, knowing focussed the to do list & makes it easier
  4. Both sets of Grandparents in hindsight confessed to be frustrated by not knowing during the first pregnancy!
  5. This will be my last pregnancy and my only opportunity to experience a pregnancy knowing

Interestingly in writing this post the reasons for not finding out and finding out are pretty much the same just from a different perspective.  The perspective of a second time mum-to-be with a toddler, still working, but now for myself on my own terms but still short of time!  I don’t deny finding out is for mostly more practical reasons.  It has afforded me the three months that I have spent selling Lil’ H’s clothes on eBay.  I don’t have a nickname for my bump this time around apart from “baby number two” however I know what her name will be (nope I’m not sharing!) and feel closer to her for it.  I have enjoyed choosing outfits for her, rather than looking through the limited choice of unisex items and have been able to take advantage of discounts and sales.  I definately had and enjoyed my “surprise” moment at finding out – we were told 80% likely a girl at the 12 week nuchal scan which was confirmed at 20 weeks.  It has been great to be able to talk to Lil’ H about being a big brother and having a little sister.  Grandparents-to-be have knitting needles loaded and clicking with pink & lilac wool and sewing machines humming with similar shades of fabric for bunting & playmats. 

Before I sign off it is worth pointing out that “knowing” isn’t definate and my birth plan does state “We have been told that the sex of this baby is a girl, it will be a shock if not!”  I will write a sequel post when she arrives on if knowing influences me during labour, delivery and those first weeks.  But for me I’ve experienced both and they were both right for me and my family at the time of my pregnancies.  Knowing was neither better or worse, just different.  So I guess the killer question is … if I was to have a third child would I find out?  There is no answer to that question because I will not be having a third pregnancy and if I was there would be way bigger questions to answer than is it a boy or a girl … it will be a full on case of “I’M A PREGNANT LADY GET ME OUTTA HERE!”

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Group B Strep Screening

I am 36 weeks pregnant today, so seven days from being “full term”, 28 days to due date with potentially a further 14 days on top of that if “baby number two” decides its not time to arrive just yet! 

So today, at 36 weeks pregnant its time to do my Group B Streptococcus (GBS) Screening Test.  It needs to be undertaken between 35 and 37 weeks gestation and I wanted to share my why’s and the how’s for the benefit of other mums-to-be and to help support and raise awareness of the most common cause of life-threatening infections in newborn babies in the UK.  GBS infects around 700 babies each year in the UK of whom sadly 75 or so die and around 40 survivors suffer long-term problems as a result.  Source:  Group B Strep Support  If GBS is identified prior to labour the treatment is both very straight forward and successful with intravenous antibiotics given to the mother during labour to prevent them passing the the infection to their baby. 

I first heard about GBS when one of mums friends lost a grandchild to the infection, one of those terribly sad friend of a friend stories.  I had never heard of GBS then and I am not alone, with figures reporting up to nine out of ten pregnant women have ‘never heard’ about Group B Strep bacteria.  When I became pregnant with Lil’ H my mum was insistent I be tested for GBS so I asked my midwife to be tested and was told that they don’t test for GBS.  It was then that I became aware that the NHS does not routinely test for GBS.  Back at home, a cup of coffee and a few Google searches later and I was shocked mums-to-be weren’t being tested but I did find the GBS home testing kit available free of charge. 

So when I reached around 35 weeks pregnant with Lil’ H I did the test myself at home, sent the kit off for processing (this costs a nominal fee of £32) and had the results texted back to me.  The results were negative but I was reassured I was entering the unknown of the delivery room with at least one box ticked!  Admittedly there were a thousands more unknowns awaiting me in there with the gas & air, but both my mum and I certainly got some peace of mind from knowing that there was just one less thing to worry about.  I tested myself last time and I’m testing myself this time too.

One of my Tweeting and Blogging buddies, the lovely Violet Posy, encountered Group B Strep when her daughter Lily was born, thankfully her traumatic journey has a happy ending.  To read Violet Posy’s from the heart post about the events surrounding Lily’s arrival and her battle with the GBS infection just click here

I test myself for GBS because …
The NHS doesn’t test me.
The implications for my unborn/newborn child are life-threatening. 
I have shoes, handbags, a mobile phone and meals out which cost more.
It takes less than 5 minutes, super quick and easy.
I don’t know why I wouldn’t.

Strep_Screening_TestThe Group B Streptococcus Screening Test Kit is supplied and delivered free of charge.  There is a small cost of £32 to cover the laboratory costs of processing and providing the results.  Money which I feel couldn’t be better spent.  I got my free kit from www.MumStuff.co.uk, for your own just click here

Update 16th September – the results are in click here

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The Hospital Bags

OMG its time to pack the hospital bag!  I have 31 days to go to due date and until Monday that felt a lifetime away.  My friend S is due 17 days before me and in my head (completely illogically I might add) I was “in the clear” until her baby arrived.  On Monday I missed a call from S and then got a text saying … “my waters broke last night” … OMG that’s 18 days early!  WTF early is not in “the plan”! 

I called S and I think I just may have just swore at her as my own panic took hold – I just kept thinking it can’t be her now because that means its me next!  Early was so not in either of our plans that I had to do a dash to the doctors to collect her Pethidine prescription, just in case, as she was planning a homebirth.  Then over to Boots to collect her tens machine, got both, sorted ready to go and I guess baby changed its mind because nothing happened & S was induction bound at 8am on Wednesday morning.  All went well and to wrap up on the cause of my panic buying the contents of my hospital bag, S gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Sadie Suzanne, who arrived weighing 6lb 5oz in the afternoon on Wednesday 2nd September.  Everyone is doing great and couldn’t be happier and I’m going for a squeeze of the newbie later today! 

So if number two were to arrive early like it happened for S we’re talking about me having 13 days to go.  That is a whole lot less than 31, that is like the week after next and that eventuality I am totally and completely not ready for.  On reflection I think the truth is that my preparations for my first baby were more than excessive but that for baby number two I’ve been as disproportionately unprepared as I was over-prepared last time.  Over at OMG We’re Pregnant she’s packing her bags for beans arrival so having read her list and the recommended post by Kelly at A Place of My Own  I have been galvanised into packing my bags and there are four of them for me this time … mine, Mr L’s, baby number two’s (I think that has become her nickname, its crap isn’t it?!) and big brother to be, H. 

Here are the lists – have I got it covered?  Do you have suggestions/recomendations/alternatives – I’d love to hear them from you. 

For me, mum to be
1 x Maternity notes and birth wishes
1 x Baggy T-shirt for labour & delivery (destination – the bin!)
1 x Pyjama’s, dressing gown & flip flops/slippers
5 x knickers (old – again destination the bin!)
1 x nursing bra
2 x sox
12 x Maternity towels (need 70 in total but not planning to stay in long & can always send home for more)
1 x change of clothes, still maternity mind, to go home!
1 x Washbag – hairbrush, bobbles/clips, toothbrush & paste, shampoo & conditioner, showergel, deodorant
1 x Make-up bag – waterproof mascara, tinted moisturiser, lippy (played this game before – far too many hideous photos taken of me to mention, going to make a concerted effort this time!)
1 x Bath towel
Labour “accessories” – tens machine, homeopathic kit, chocolate, 8 hour cream, Evian water spray, flannel
1 x baby gift for the big brother to be (H can’t read so I am safe to share that baby is bringing him “cranky the crane”)

For Mr L
Shorts, t-shirt, underwear & sox
Drink & snacks
Stuff to share the news with – camera & video camera (charged!) and iPhone & charger
Money, in coin form for parking & vending machines!

For Baby Number Two
3 x vests/bodysuits
2 x babygros
1 x nightdress
2 x cardigans
1 x swaddling blanket
1 x packet of newborn nappies
1 x hat
1 x pair of scratch mits
1 x car seat & blanket

For Big Brother to be, H
Bound for Grandma’s house with his trunki packed with …
4 x t-shirts
3 x trousers
3 x vests
3 x sox
2 x Pyjamas
1 x “yoo-hoo”, 1 x George – favourite teddy sleeping buddies!
4 x dummies
Shoes, wellies, coat & waterproofs
Pull ups & bedtime nappies
Baby monitor

So that’s the lists made, this weekend will see the bags packed then next on my “to do list” is to properly stop, sit down and put some thought into my birth plan wishes – we all know it doesn’t go to plan!

Please, please, please lovely visitors and readers let me know your thoughts, suggestions and do point out any oversights – I will appreciate them all!

Very many thanks, Claire x

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Pee + Two blue lines = Pregnant

A call for contributions from http://www.amothersecrets.com via http://www.perfectlyhappymum.com has inspired me to cast my mind back to 2006, my pre-pregnancy and baby days and the moments when I found out I was pregnant, first time around with the bump formally known as “Baby Boo”, now known as H and also this my current bump.  No nickname yet and unlikely to get one given we’ve less than 7 weeks to go!  So here are my stories of how I found out I was pregnant, both the first, and this, the last time! 

The first timeMy husband, R, and I decided back in 2005 that next year would be the year we would try for a family, so dutifully packed as much “last chance” stuff in as possible into 2005 arriving hung-over but ciggie and contraception free in 2006!

We both worked away from home and each other a lot at the time, add to that a series of skiing trips, stag and hen do’s and our main conception challenge was our work and social lives! Anyway it was the August bank holiday weekend and we had good friends coming up from London to stay for the weekend, a long time planned weekend and hugely anticipated bender, always fabulous times. I felt fine, but I had noticed a metallic taste in my mouth for a few days (I had the books so knew this could be an early pregnancy symptom). That said we were 7-8 months down the line of this trying for a baby business (closer to 12 months and a trip to the doctor for further investigations, than only just started) and I was silently aware that I may be starting to imagine pregnancy symptoms, in other words desperation was secretly, silently starting to creep in!

So minus 1 hour to the arrival of our friends and a great bender of a bank holiday weekend, I thought I’d better do a quick test “just in case” a conflicted trip to the loo – aware of the weekend I would miss out on if it was positive. I did the test, handed it to R declaring “I don’t expect it to be positive but just in case” I sat back down to my glass of wine. Less than a minute later, one sip no less, R handed it back to me with a smile, a kiss and my first “congratulations”.

I spent the rest of my bank holiday weekend with good friends and this great secret, nursing glasses of drinks and surreptitiously losing them on tables or passing them to R for consumption! That marked the start of my pregnancy which culminated in the safe arrival of H 40 weeks later.

This, the second (and last!) timeYou may not agree, but I think having a second baby is a much bigger decision than having the first. That said life as you knew it has been entirely revolutionised to the point of being unrecognisable by the arrival of the first, so adding another babe to the mix isn’t going to be the same life changing experience as it was first time round. Check back with me after October 2009 for the reality of that statement!

So round about when H was 18 months old, walking, starting to talk, growing in size, confidence and independence – my baby was more toddler than baby – sniff! The subject of baby number two started to get some airtime between me and hubby. Having booked a fab place away for New Year with friends and their daughter who was the same age as H in the Cotswolds, I was adamant that having been either pregnant or with baby under one for the last two festive seasons I would not be pregnant this New Year! No sir-ee, my long awaited festive fest would not be compromised by a blue line on a pregnancy test, absolutely not, no way José! But we agreed to give up contraception for our New Year resolution (please note no ciggies to give up this time!)

My surprise Christmas gift was a shopping trip to Milan with two great girlfriends, including my pal, S, who I was letting my hair down with most successfully with at New Year! OK, a quick intro, these two girlfriends are great girlfriends. We’ve not been friends for a huge amount of time, only since being pregnant (I met S at NCT) and from our babies being tiny (me and S met J at the post natal classes I nicknamed “Baby school” when the bubs were a few weeks old) . Anyway tickets, hotel reservations & guide books received and gold stars handed out to the husbands for initiative & co-ordination we were in early January and planning shopping, restaurants, lunch destinations and places to be seen with Martini’s with and J discovers she is pregnant. Fabulous news of course, but a weekend trip to Milan is a tough call in those first few early weeks. We had a fabulous time, we had lie ins, shopped a lot for both babes and ourselves, had lie ins, ate very expensive gelatos, had lie-ins and S and I drank martini’s – a lot! Did I mention we had lie ins?!

So we get back and the following week S appears for the weekly Wednesday morning maracas session, looking a bit, shall we say peaky, and announces that she’s just found out she’s pregnant too! Martinis – Oops! Again fabulous news of course, but you know what in sneaked a teeny bit of jealousy, my two Bessie mummy friends were going to be in newbie territory and I was going to be left out. Nasty Mr Jealousy was quickly followed by a more familiar and equally unpleasant face, Mr Desperation. It was later that week that I took the last bits and pieces out of the suitcase which had been slovenly left on the bedroom floor (I was born to have more domestic help than I have I’m sure of it!) and unpacked the tampons I had taken to Milan … I repeat unpacked the tampons I had taken to Milan … when was I due on? Was I in fact late? How had that fact managed to escape me?!

We hadn’t even been trying long enough to get to the buying test stage so had none in! So a test was purchased in the next supermarket shop, I did the test when H was in bed and like the first time handed to R for interpretation. Again, seconds later, there they were, two thick, very blue lines. We were both so shocked we found ourselves laughing and in disbelief we also did the second test which confirmed both the pregnancy and that unbeknown to us three girls on tour in Milan, Martini’s in hand, we were all pregnant at the same time again but this time for the second time!

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