May

… Remember me…? I’m not going to give you the usual “it’s been crazy/busy/hectic” (though it has been).
I have been filling times being pinned to the sofa with a baby who refuses to sleep so I often get my glasses whacked off my face as I wrestle him into submission and he finally drifts to sleep and then I have been working on my family tree as well as having Disney videos (Phil, Emma and Ben ones, Steph & Jeff ones, and SeeYaReelSoon ones all on YouTube).
My family tree on ancestry has an impressive 188 people on it, the furthest I have traced back to are my 4 times great grandparents on my mum’s side but I still have to find their birth years & through the community I have for information from a few people who are distant relatives of mine, the most recent being a gentleman whose grandfather was the brother of my 2 times great grandfather. I am waiting on a letter from my grand aunt in Australia for information on her father as he has me completely stumped, and I sent her pictures of Dylan too 🙂 once I have that information I will be using my 14 day free ancestry trial which I have been saving for when I hit the wall and cannot find anymore information as I have been doing it all using their free access weekends though its limited in the records you have access to. I would also love to know about my great grand uncle who died in 1916 by accidental drowning while in the navy. I clearly have been spending far too much time watching lots of episodes of “who do you think you are” whilst stuck on the sofa!

I so wished I was having the time to work on Dylan’s album… According to that I am still pregnant and just had my 12 week scan so I am terribly behind, but unless it’s on the telly or I can do it on my phone, it seems lately it just isn’t being done. Otherwise I run errands, play with Dylan, try and squeeze some housework in and then to get Dylan to nap I hold him in my arms and catch up on my shows (teen mom 3, generation cryo, goodnight sweetheart, the upper hand, who do you think you are & undercover boss). It has got to stop though, ditto the taking up the entire double bed at night time, and he will be forced to sleep in the cot.

Thankfully at baby group I met a mummy who lives around the corner from me with her daughter who has got me into a course for “Learning through play” for 2 hours a week with a free creche (it’s fab, we spend about an hour or so going over syllabus and then spend time with the children in the creche and do an activity with them) and this week I also started a cookery group at another local school which also has a free creche.

It’s hard to get my head around the fact Dylan is now 7 months old! Time has disappeared away from me. I have a mere 2 months left of maternity leave left and then I need to find a new job, and we are also going to look at moving as we are only in a 1 bed flat. It’s all getting really overwhelming thinking about it all.

33 weeks

How is it October already? I remember thinking back to March when this part of the journey began and both me and Gareth thinking that November was forever away… Now it’s right around the corner and even with so much planning and years of making the decision for the right time, it still doesn’t quite prepare you for the fact that within just 7 weeks we will be responsible for another human being. Some days I can’t get my head around it but know that it’s coming and sometimes it doesn’t even register in my mind and I feel like it won’t hit me until our baby is laying on my chest after giving birth.

It truly has been crazy times so far, and I wouldn’t have gotten through it all without my darling husband by my side and both cheering each other on as we go along and the support… Next month without a doubt will be one of the hardest, as hubby’s job has been relocated and the commute will be torturous, even more so with the lack of sleep with a newborn (whenever baby arrives) and the fact that me and baby won’t get to spend as much time with him in the week as we would like. Even more grateful for the fact my aunt lives around the corner and my parents and my brother with his family lives just down the road so I have them all nearby should I need them, and a fantastic online community that I belong to with a mixture of first time mums with the same questions as me and mum’s who have been there before and are a wealth of information of things that worked for them willing and ready to share with us “noobs”. I feel incredibly grateful to the people I work with as well. In just 3 weeks I go on annual leave which then goes straight into my maternity leave. They provided me such a fantastic opportunity to work with them and I couldn’t have asked for more wonderful, compassionate and understanding people to work with either. When I was at my absolute lowest after grieving and being made redundant after 8 years in my job back in January, they took me in and took a chance on me. When we had a tough start to the pregnancy and not to mention the last month or so with the health issues I have been having and have been in and out of the doctors and hospital more times than I care to remember over all that time, they were so accommodating. I can already foresee me getting rather tearful on my last day! The preparations continue, and as I am full term from Halloween we are frantically going over checklists and doing everything we can to make sure we are all done by the end of the month, just in case. Well old wives tales suggest that you follow your mother when it comes to birth, I was 3 days early and with my brother who was due in September she actually ended up going into labour that summer, but luckily the doctors were able to stablise her and she then went on to give birth to him on his due date! Then there are the health problems I have which can mean I am higher risk (but doesn’t necessarily mean I will!) of having the baby early. So it just makes sense to be prepared by then I suppose! We do have the cot up ready to go: Untitled I have been doing lots of baby clothes washing, organising everything so I know where I am (thank you evernote for saving my sanity!)  I have labelled boxes of clothes for when baby grows out of the newborn and 0-3 month clothes and the mini drawers next to the cot that used to house my craft supplies are also labelled so that when daddy helps out, he knows where everything is and goes 😉 My checklists are being whittled down to the last few bits, and even though I started it back a couple of months ago now, the one thing that is proving difficult has to be the hospital bag. Lots of items that has been recommended by previous mums, some of which I’ve packed and I feel like I don’t even want to know why they suggested them! It appears to be a general theme amongst the community anyway, possibly because once it’s packed it’ll be a bit more real (you know, forget the cot being up and the pram, baby bath, car seat etc all taking up space in our little flat and having them all ready to go… Once the hospital bag is packed, that’s it! LOL!) My mum took me out at the weekend to pick up my labour nightie, changing mat (an awesome Lion King one! There is a huge Disney theme with this baby I would like to point out!) and black towel (again, something suggested by previous mums and you just try and not think about why they suggest that it be black, and why it’s best to use an old t-shirt or a cheap nightie that you don’t mind if it gets ruined.) It’s slowly coming together. I think I just require some snacks and make sure the cameras are charged up and pack baby clothes, and clothes for me for after. I’m in the mindset that as scared as I am, it needs to be done. Baby has to come out eventually! And while being terrified of the unknown, everyone knows that freaking out and tensing up will just make it all that much worse… Though ask me again while I’m actually IN labour and I might be saying something completely different by then HAHA! As for those health problems, my colitis was still continuing to give me grief, not to mention struggling with the general pregnancy complaints (hello sexy cankles! Haha!) Untitled The IBD nurses had to speak with the consultant and explain the meds I had been given as well as the advice but still nothing was working and I was finally switched off the steroids I was put on a few weeks back, much to absolute relief as they weren’t working and I was struggling with them, and switched to a different type with a much higher dosage from 5mg up to 30mg. The leaflet made for some scary reading but I was assured little one would be fine & I now have to carry a card around with me that mentions my new meds in case I’m in an accident or to show anyone who needs to treat me. And I will be on them up until around my due date (ish) as I need to decrease the dosage by 5mg each week as it can be dangerous to just come off them at a high dose. And seriously? 5 days in and I cannot believe the difference already, even that afternoon of my first dose (I have to take them with breakfast) and I am finally feeling hopeful that these will work and help me get back into remission! I’m having a little side effect which in the grand scheme of things is tolerable. It will take a while as my body needs to adjsut to all the changes, and as my hubby came with me to one of my appointments and asked as I had been doing so well up to the third trimester, if it could be baby putting a bit of stress on my body and causing the flare which they agreed was highly likely. So I may find within months of giving birth, if I haven’t already, I could be back into remission as my body will have recovered.  Though at the moment, I have a heck of a lot of meds to take! Untitled My mum often explained what it was like when she had me, and while I understood what she was explaining to me, it was as if I never truly *got* it. But from the beginning when I thought we were going to lose this little one and the absolute relief and joy when we realised all was OK, and over the months having this bond and being with baby 24/7, feeling movements and hiccups and not being able to sleep so playing “guess the limb” at 4am as I sit and watch a foot, bum or a hand poking out the side of my tummy… I am just so ridiculously in love with this little person and I’ve not even met them yet. Even if the little person in question likes to poke and prod around my left hip and make me wince and yelp, and the movements are becoming much stronger that pain has been inflicted! I had another consultant and scan appointment and baby’s growth is continuing to be average, which I could not be more relieved about! Especially after the continued flare I have been having. And, yeurgh – yup more blood tests done! Baby is so low down though they could not measure the head but femur length and abdomen are all hunky dory! I have never been a baby person, but I always knew I’d love to be a mummy some day and as my mum explained that she was the exact same as me (seriously, I have a photo of me and my cousin’s daughter on her christening. I couldn’t look anymore terrified or awkward if I tried!) but she said as soon as you hold your very own baby in your arms, everything else goes out the window and your mothering instincts kick in. And I cannot wait 🙂 And here’s my 33 week bump picture: Untitled We’re on the home stretch, and looking forward to spending some quality time with the hubster this weekend as he will be back to normal for a few weeks before he has to settle into his new permanent routine of commuting to Bristol every day for work, so we are going to make these weeks count!

31 weeks

Our pram arrived last Saturday! Hurrah!

Gareth putting pram together

 

My clothes are getting super tight! I think I need some new (but cheap!) PJs. I love my flannel jammies to death!

PJs are getting tight!

 

I got the Whooping Cough jab as I had it as a baby and when my mum told me what she went through with me, it was a no brainer! I didn’t feel a thing when it happened, however for a week afterwards… My poor arm ached and I couldn’t sleep on that side… Alongside not sleeping on my front or my back… I was pretty limited!

Whooping cough jab

 

More blood tests done, and the person doing the test couldn’t get anything out of my left arm so had a go at my right arm… Ouchy! I have been a human pincushion lately, essentially having tests every other week 🙁

Two attempts for blood test!

 

Bumpy is getting bigger! Though I went from measuring a week behind to a week ahead and at my last appointment on Thursday was measuring a week behind again, but as it’s only a week either way it’s not an issue.

 

Bump 29 weeks

 

And here is little one from our (late 28 week) scan at 29 weeks after turning up for the appointment (and I booked the day off work!) to find out no one had actually booked me in for the scan, only the consultant appointment which was pointless as the consultant needed the scan, so I had to go back a further 2 times within a week. But on the Wednesday when I saw baby on the screen, I just felt so much better! Having caught up from being a little behind, baby is now bang on average though I have another scan on 30th September, and as I have been having a full blown Colitis flare for going on 4 weeks now which is always scary for me the best of times, I’m keeping everything crossed that growth will remain nice, steady and average.

 

Baby at 29 weeks

 

I have been at my wits end for the last couple of weeks having been put on steroids which have been making me a bit poorly on top of the colitis symptoms I’ve already got, and though I see an antenatal consultant they cannot actually help me and I have to speak to the gastro/IBD nurse and they are short staffed, so it’s been a bit of a headache to say the least! I last spoke with them on Thursday for some more advice and I need to call them back yet again at the end of this week coming up and I still need to take steroids, as they spoke to me the previous week saying not to call before Wednesday just gone and see how I get on as the steroids take up to 14 days to work. Made no difference and was still flaring so I called back to be told to eat more fibre and call back on Friday. After speaking with one of the colitis communities I was advised by them to forget the latest advice and head straight to A&E. Though I am worried, last night A&E seemed a bit drastic to me, and I seemed to be a little bit better until this afternoon. I’m glad we didn’t go too far, we headed to Toys R Us to look at more baby stuff and came home, and I was aching already from the pelvic girdle pain but I got home and haven’t been feeling too great since and have been really poorly where I was just reduced to tears. I just want some help & most of all that it’s not affecting the little one and the only one suffering from this me.

Doctors, hospital & tests, oh my!

It has been quite the week so far, but with everything that’s been going on the last few weeks that I hadn’t blogged I just had to fit it in this week, no excuses!

Just this week I have had doctors visit, hospital visit, midwife visit, a ridiculous amounts of blood taken for various tests as I also had quite a scary turn with my colitis on Tuesday night that saw me visiting just in one day visiting the doctor who then got me in to the hospital that afternoon. At my previous midwife appointment, my bump was measuring a week behind (24 weeks at 25) and this week at 28 weeks bumpy is measuring 29 weeks. Well, after the colitis flare (which is easing up each day! yippee!) this is a huuuuge relief! I’m really looking forward to my scan on Monday now to see how the little one is doing where I was worried before. Though my poor arm after all the blood was taken and it bruised, actually turned blue during the last 2 vials that needed to be done, is very sore at the moment… and my beloved husband hasn’t given me any sympathy… Boohoo!

This is my pregnancy journal as it stands so far, mainly just talking about the falling pregnant part up to the 12 week scan. I really need to get the first scan at almost 8 weeks in there, I can’t believe I forgot that!

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And hubby has been playing with his Back to the future lego!

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How I’m using Evernote to help plan for the baby

If you haven’t checked out Evernote (videos), then I highly recommend that you do 🙂 I’ve have been a casual user for a couple of years now, just keeping ideas noted down and some images just like I would in a regular notebook but it’s super handy to have them with me everywhere I go in digital format, recipes I find online, and notes on scrapbook page ideas (and photos to go with it) while it is still fresh in my mind. I have even taken some of my paper notebooks with my doodles in them and have them backed up to Evernote! I have the set list from Hanson’s Birmingham concert back in November 2011 nicely noted down in here while I was at the concert as I didn’t want to forget, a list of our Disney DVD collection, and Christmas gift ideas which I add to each year when inspiration strikes. It’s funny how much I’ve come to love this handy little tool!

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But the one thing that has made me a heavy user of late is preparing for the baby…

My notes include:
Images of baby clothes (newborn, 0-3, 3-6, 6-9 & 9-12) [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][I started a “Baby Clothes” notebook specifically!] Baby clothes wish list clipped from the web/images snapped from catalogues
Birth Plan
Weight gain
Budget advice clipped from Bounty website
Notes to take to my next midwife appointment so I don’t forget what to mention
Images of 12 & 20 week scans
“Thank you” so I can remember as we go along who we get gifts from so we can write thank you notes
My Milestones (When felt baby move, bump measurements)
Copy of my MATB1 before I sent it off to my employer
My Maternity notes… Yes, I sat and “page captured” all the pages from my Maternity Notes book (and best of all it’s now searchable!), my notes are with me EVERYWHERE in my pocket… Much relief!
Baby scrapbook notes, typing out information to include into my scrapbook before I write them down onto the journal cards.
Copies of hospital letters (also page captured and searchable)
“Baby essentials” clipped from Babycentre/what baby needs, taken from various birth group ladies
“Hospital bag” noted from websites/birth group ladies
Money notes (SMP/Maternity allowance information, Links to benefits/cost of childcare)
Checklist of what we still need to buy baby

baby notebook

I hope my list inspires you to give it a try :)[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Those hormones

Another “day in the life” day and its a particularly odd one. We have had glorious weather for a while now but today its miserable, however we have the windows open because its been pretty warm yet outside its quite cool in some areas. While sitting in my car at lunch it felt positively autumnal outside yet I had to have my car windows open as it was stuffy inside. Very peculiar day indeed.

The Yahoo crew that followed Joy Prouty (see previous blog post) have got the news piece up and you can find it here: http://screen.yahoo.com/family-road-174616910.html.

Its officially V day tomorrow, this means my baby is viable so if born s/he will have a 50% chance survival rate and as the weeks progress the odds increase. Just such a relief to get this far 🙂 I have however been suffering with the old hormones, and a few rude strangers have certainly seen the worst of it, but to be fair they did deserve a bit of earache for being so damn rude. But I have found one moment I want to cry, the next I am absolutely seething angry! There are some happy moments in between too, I have literally been all over the place emotionally!

So what has been happening around here lately…?

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I have been catching big spiders!

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Parents treated me to some Lucky Charms ^_^

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Playing with Elijah

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and being taught all about The Gruffalo by Oliver

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Finally doing some baby shopping!

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and taking a more recent selfie as my hair has grown tons and I have been wearing it back in a ponytail more and more recently. Just a little longer and it’ll all fit up without the smaller bits of hair being pinned back by a hair clip 😀

So much for a 3 day rest!

Last week I had 3 days off work where I had every intention of resting up and catching up on some much needed sleep (thank to suffering with allergies keeping me up at night and the 3am ish pee I have to take every night)

What I actually did was turn the bedroom upside down!

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All my scrapbooking supplies ended up all over the place!

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And clothes too!

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But as we are limited on space and can’t fit in a chest of drawers I thought I would empty out my craft tower as my little table would be going but then I thought we could probably use it to store some clothes in 🙂 The tower is small enough that even with the cot in, I’m sure it would fit in OK.

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And while I was on it sorting out the wardrobe and clearing space, that the middle part with the shelves would be for baby supplies!

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What an exhausting 3 days that was! And now I have a pile of stuff to get rid of. Clothes will be donated and I think I will sell all the craft stuff as a bumper lot for cheap on a local site. But glad that’s sorted and one less thing to do!

19 weeks tomorrow

And now I have a proper bump! It’s hard to believe I am 19 weeks tomorrow… 1 week away from being at the half way mark! Now if only the hospital would hurry up and send me my 20 week scan date through, it seems like I’m the only one in my November group to still be waiting 🙁

 

Pretty cards

Ah, so excited because my persnickety prints order arrived! I had some of my 3×4 and 6×4 digital cards printed up, from various designers like brittish designs/sahlin studios, digital design essentials and one little bird designs 🙂
I have seriously got to get some 6×4 photos printed. I need some photos to put in my albums! I have gone a little bit nuts with the cards, I have a bunch of simple stories cards in addition to the ones I had printed and I am awaiting my Midnight edition of Project Life to arrive which I pre-ordered months ago 🙂 I cannot wait! But what use are the cards if I have no printed photos to use them with 😉

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I had some laptop issues which are now thankfully resolved & it is working again so I don’t really have much of an excuse. I’m taking 3 days off work starting with today, to catch up on some rest and sleep, as at 17 & a half weeks I appear to wake up every few hours! But in addition to that I have some serious sorting out to do around here. We need to make some room around here, and that means I need to go through my craft supplies and that my mini craft table needs to go later on this year to make room for a cot. That in itself has been a headache. There was one we wanted but even though our bed is up against the wall (that’s my side of the bed, not sure for how much longer though as I need to climb over my husband in the night to pee. I never have to get up in the night normally but I won’t be able to climb soon lol) the cot was too big for our bedroom, unless we wanted to try and squeeze between the bedside table past the cot and have a narrow passage to the wardrobe & built in cupboard! We have since decided on a winnie the pooh cot bed but need to double check the measurements, it is smaller than the other one though and in sure it will be OK. I have several albums in my cupboard for my cousins kids that I need to finish off and give to them to clear some more space! I have a heck of a lot of work to do.

I have also started on Taz’s album, and while putting it all together this morning, I realised I actually need to print some more little “filler” cards. I used Digital Design Essentials “A Dogs Life” kit. And I may have put in an order at Crafty-Charlie for some more page protectors, and to switch Taz’s album to an orange one and use this green one as either a pregnancy/baby’s first year or December Daily (I’m not sure whether if we find out baby’s sex whether I may just get a pink or blue album instead for that!)

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And I have also done this for my Project Life album:
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But one thing that made us chuckle, we asked Oliver what he thought his new cousin was going to be and he said a girl, and when asked if he wanted to kiss baby (in my tummy), he said “No, I will wait until it comes out!” Love him! Gareth originally thought baby was a boy but the more he thinks about it, he thinks it’s a girl. My brother has 2 boys and we found out my brother in law’s baby, due roughly 4 weeks before our baby is also a boy. I have already said I have no idea what baby is, nor would I like to guess!

Where’s my glow?

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I have been getting lots of freebies for baby, and with such boxes as my Cow & Gate and Aptamil (above) with the company logo all over the packaging, I have no doubt our postie knows our news LOL!
My latest colitis appointment was a relief, I was told to double my current meds so we can put off having to take steroids a little longer. Though my symptoms have all kind of combined into my pregnancy symptoms. Everything I have read so far say how in the second trimester things get easier and you have a pregnancy glow… Well I am still tired (could be colitis though) but one thing is for sure the feeling that I am breathing fire which I’ve had since the beginning, is definitely baby related! 😀 I have the teenage outbreak over my face, but I’m savouring it all, but just wondering where that elusive glow is!

It’s strange, even though it’s been in the planning stages for about 2 years (tracking periods, wanting to be married for long enough that we got to enjoy the time just the 2 of us, assessing where we were in our jobs and when we felt ready etc) It still doesn’t seem real. I often just take a moment, sit and think “there is a baby in my tummy!”

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Start of a new one

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I have Taz’s collar & his blanket. I miss him so much 🙁

But it’s about time we had some good news…

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Thankfully we can start telling people, that we are expecting 🙂  Which is a relief because of baby & colitis bloating, I’ve been trying to hide this…

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Still far too early for me to be showing (due date is November 21st)! I look forward to when the bloating goes down and I get a proper bump 🙂