Thursday, 10 April 2014

Tired, grumpy and grouchy. 36 weeks!

It was never my intention to step away from the blog for so long! I haven't stopped writing posts, I've just stopped publishing them. Everything I write has an under tone of fed up and grumpy. In fact if The Husband was being entirely honest he would tell you I am completely grumpy, grouchy, short tempered and generally a pain to be round right now...but then The Husband knows better than to climb into a cage with a sleeping lion, and would NEVER be honest! 

Many people think that once your past the 12 week mark, pregnancy is easy, what could go wrong now? For me its not that simple. I find the first trimester hard, the second trimester is relatively easy, but the second I hit the 3rd? The paranoia kicks in again. With every little twinge or sensation I wonder if something is going wrong. 'I've gotten so far,' I think, 'please don't let anything go wrong now. My baby is relatively safe now, capable of surviving outside of my uterus, so why wont they just take him out?' The answer to that is simple, although my uterus is a dangerous place to be, its also the safest for him right now until he is ready to make his entrance into the world. I know this, but the crazy that goes around my head is relentless and all consuming. I want to be a normal pregnant person and enjoy the final stages of pregnancy, the last few weeks as a family of 4, with 2 children before the chaos starts with a newborn, but my head just wont switch off. When you add this crazy to the general fedupness and tiredness of being 36 weeks pregnant, it just doesn't make a pretty scene!

I keep reminding myself there is just 4 weeks to go until my due date, in fact, just 30 days today! I'm looking forward to seeing Pop again tomorrow at another growth scan and then discussing with my consultant the plans for labour. Pop is now the size of a honeydew and has pretty much finished developing. He has his own personality and his sleeping and awake patterns are very much already determined. Suddenly its all getting so real, and in just 4 weeks time I will be a mum of 3 under 4? Who decided that was a good idea!

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Could a table really make that much of a difference?

To say the morning breakfast routine is a little relaxed in our house would be an understatement! The husband gets up with the girls at 6am, he gives them a breakfast bar in-between turning on Cbeebies and jumping in the shower. Then when the girls have finished their bars they'll come and find me, I give them dry cereal (neither will eat it with milk!) whilst snuggling in front of the tv and then as the whines of 'I'm hungry' start up, they get the option of fruit.

The whines never really stop though. I can usually fend them off with distractions until 9.30/10am when I give them a snack, but as soon as they are finished, its back to 'muuuuuuummmmmm I'm hungry'. At 11.30 its lunch time and the girls are apparently 'starving'. Lunch time is another meal that is eaten in front of the TV, the girls are distracted and I I can get on with household chores, blogging or grabbing a 30 minute nap while they are watching a DVD. It's never long before the crys of  'I'm hungry', 'I'm starving', 'please can we have a small snack' start up again and needless to say, the relentless whining really does go on all day until they go to bed. I find myself throwing processed sugary snacks their way as It cheap, its easy and I'm just so tried with the pregnancy I don't have the energy to do anything more than open a packet or butter a scone.

The husband and I decided this couldn't continue we're not teaching them healthy habits for later life, so after a little research, decided breakfast needed a complete overhaul, as did their diets in general. They were eating far too much sugar and not enough protein for breakfast and maybe that was why they never felt full and then the processed sugary snacks weren't helping the situation. So breakfast became, wholemeal toast with peanut butter, eggs or beans, Wheat-a-Bix or vegetable omelettes. I offered fruit when the inevitable 'I'm hungry' whines started and tried out some low sugar home made snacks like wholemeal apple muffins. But it didn't make any difference, I started to wonder if they really were this hungry and I would never succeed in filling them up!

Then, last night whilst flicking through the TV, I came across 'Secret Eaters'. They were doing an experiment with 2 families and the results were really quite interesting. One family had their evening meal in front of the TV and the other had their meal at the dining room table with little distractions. They were then given some snacks and board games to play, and the amount of snacks they ate were secretly recorded. Surprisingly the family who ate in front of the tv ate 98% more snacks than the family who had eaten at the dinner table. Even taking into account the small sample size (2 families) and existing habits (maybe the TV family are big evening snackers), 98% is still a considerable amount more!

The Husband and I were shocked, the psychology behind the experiment was that when you sit down at a table to eat, the brain processes it as a meal, it says, 'I'm eating now' and records the meal in the brain. When the meal was eaten in front of the TV or other distraction device, the brain would 'forget' all about the meal and still insist that it was hungry because it hadn't eaten. The husband and I have always been big advocates of having a family dinner around the table each day, but had never really considered other meals. It always seems so much easier just to sit them in front of the tv with a DVD or Cbeebies so I could get a few moments peace, but how is this simple act affecting their diets?

After discussing it last night, we decided to try our own experiment. From today all meals are to be eaten at the dinner table together with whoever is home. So far I am shocked, since finishing breakfast neither child has mentioned the hungry word! They've found other things to complain and whine about, but not that they're hungry. Its early days yet, but could it really be that simple? Could eating at the table really make that much of a difference?

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Tuesday, 18 March 2014

The long awaited question

Wot So Funee?This weekend I decided it was about time to tackle the baby's bedroom, and turn it from a dumping ground for baby paraphernalia and things the girls have grown out of, to a room where I would be happy to put a baby (I know he wont be in there for around 4-6 months, but still somewhere to store clothes, nappies, somewhere to get him changed etc)

Part of this process has been putting the crib together and setting it up in our room, this has caused big girl to finally ask one of the questions we have been waiting for 'how is he going to come out?' I am pleased to say, I completely chickened out! I kept to the basic simple facts which went along the lines of 'well, when Pop decides he's ready you will go to Nana's house with Baby Girl, then Mummy and Daddy will go to hospital where mummy will scream a lot and then the midwife will hand the baby to Mummy while Daddy cries!' OK so a little sketchy on the details, but the basics are there right?!

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Monday, 17 March 2014

32 weeks and fed up already!

I have no motivation at the moment. All I want to do is stay in my pj's all day, eat chocolate and sleep. I am fed up, grumpy, grouchy and not the nicest person to be around and I'm only 32 weeks! The Husband is being very sweet, after already doing this twice before he was fully expecting it, and has been throwing chocolate in my direction whilst telling me how amazing I look.

In reality I'm starting to look like a Weeble, the ones that wobble but don't fall down, that's also how I feel. My insides are now taking a hammering from Pop, I don't think there is an organ left he hast kicked, punched or pushed against in the last week...This is starting to sound like a really grumpy post, maybe I need to inject some positivity into it. The problem is I'm not really a positive pregnancy kind of person!

I saw my consultant this week, and had a growth scan. Pop is doing really well and at the moment is a 'normal' size, and by that I mean on track to be around 8lb when born, much better than the 10lb 9oz Baby Girl was! It was nice to be able to see his little face and hands again, it was also confirmed that he is most definitely a boy. The sonographer was very keen to point out that he kept showing her over and over again, so much so it was getting in the way of her job! He was breech at the scan, but I have a sneaking suspicion he has since turned. I had a very uncomfortable sleepless night where he was spinning and pushing against me and then the next day his kicks and punches were in different places, I can feel his head has moved and I'm pretty sure I can also feel his bum. He's not quite head down, but transverse is better than breech and is on its way to head down! Its really good news as because of the problems in my uterus a manual turning of the baby is so dangerous, so a ELCS would be my only option, and I'm really scared of having one.

At 32 weeks Pop is the size of a squash. In terms of growing and development its all rather boring, he's getting his first lot of REM sleep this week but other than that its all about putting on weight and gaining strength in his lungs and other organs ready for the outside world. Although he is developing and working on his handshake!?

(In case you're wondering where I get my random information from, it comes from a variety of places like Mumsnet, Google and the NHS antenatal book I was given whilst pregnant with Big Girl. I pick out the most random first then the bits that interest and fascinate me!)

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Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Its Finally Finished ~ My Living Room

I am so excited to say I have finally finished decorating our living room! We started just after we moved in by changing the lights and buying new leather sofa's (on account of our sofas having been destroyed by baby sick!) and then just before Christmas we fitted a new fire place especially for Big Girl so Santa could come and find us. We decided we needed to re paint before the fireplace went in and if we were repainting, the wall paper needed to be changed too and it just snowballed from there! This week we hung the last picture on the wall so let me show you around.

We've gone a bit Nextastic and every time we go into next Big Girl points things out and very loudly exclaimed, 'We have that mummy!' But I am just in love with all their Spring/Summer pieces I couldn't resist adding some of them to my home. First I saw the cushions and fell for the picture to match, just the thing to go over our brand new fire place! The stripy cushions are from Homebase and I found them in the sale, having had 2 children with reflux, I didn't want to tempt fate too much and buy expensive cushions, been there and done that! But the next ones are machine washable and although the Homebase ones say dry clean only I've had success hand washing them very carefully after an accidental hot chocolate spillage.

The photo frame on the fireplace is also from Next and I was planning on putting in a photo of The Husband and I, but felt the You & Me words worked well in the room. I saw the cute little candle sticks in Homebase and thought they finished off the fire place perfectly.

I found this cute oversized brandy glass in the Range and although I'm not a huge fan of pot-pourri, with daily nappy changes and baby Girl still suffering from the odd reflux episode, it really helps to keep the house smelling ok-ish! I also found the table lamp and cute LOVE letters which work perfectly on our refurbished DVD cabinet.

On the walls I found a heart wreath from the Range, it was in the wedding section and is made to have rings attached for a little ring bearer, but after drilling a small hole in the back I think it looks just beautiful! I also have this cute little word art canvas from Gorgeous Handmade Gifts, (you can find out all about them here) and think it works perfectly as its not too big. I also found this cute little word plaque from Next, the first time I saw it there was 1 left and I walked out without buying it. When I went back the following day it was gone! I was heartbroken (yes its just a plaque, but I'm pregnant and have raging hormones! ;)) We searched the catalogue and internet but unfortunately it was a store item only. I literally went in every day until it appeared again and was so happy when it did!

I got the little Ottoman from Dunelm Mill, its leather and can be wiped clean (important when you have children!) and also fold-able so if I ever wanted to put it away to make more room for the toys I can (or I could just store the toys in it!). Its perfect for storing comfy blankets the girls just love snuggling under in the evenings or for elevating swollen pregnant ankles at the end of the day!

The curtains were a bargain in the sale from Dunelm Mill, although they aren't perfect, with little greasy fingers around and 2 children who love to wrap themselves up in them, they will do for now!

Finally just after Christmas The husband spotted this picture frame in Matalan, it was a little damaged so they gave us a discount for it as it was the last one! I've thrown some photos in it for now but can't wait to replenish them once Pop is born and I have some more gorgeous new born photos to add!

Practically speaking I also need some kind of storage area for the new baby, with 3 children going upstairs each time to change a nappy isn't going to work! so a set of drawers or a box to store nappies, wipes, bibs muslins, baby grows and vests is needed somewhere in the room. I would also love to put a carpet in the room as in my opinion it can warm and finish a room, however with one child potty training and another highly probable refluxy baby on the way its just not practical. Possibly next year we will, but we really need to get out of the baby stage first. 

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Tuesday, 11 March 2014

How to survive a consultant appointment

I managed to get to the age of 21, only seeing a consultant once for my asthma before it all went down hill! I'd hardly ever spent time in a hospital, but one day that all changed. I went to my Dr for some advice and before I knew it I was having regular check-ups and surgery! Then getting pregnant I saw an obyn initially because of that surgery, then there were complications. Once Big Girl was born she started seeing a dietitian and a consultant, I got pregnant again and was fitting my obyn appointments around hers, baby girl came along and she got her own consultant and eventually dietitian, I had more consultant appointments after a seizure and finally sent to a different consultant about the CFS/ME.

Looking through the calenders in the past 2 years I have attended no fewer than 4 hospital appointments each month, some months it has been as many as 8! This week is one of those crazy weeks where everything collides and we will spend more time travelling to and attending hospital appointments than we will spend at home. First thing Wednesday morning I have a obyn appointment here in Weston,  followed by an afternoon appointment in Bristol with Baby Girls ENT consultant, and then on Friday we are back in Weston for Big Girl to find out why she is having so many UTI's.

Sometimes it can feel like no sooner we have been discharged from one consultant we are on a waiting list to see someone else about another problem. As we see so many a month, I thought it was about time I shared my top tips for surviving hospital appointments!

1) Be prepaired to wait.
Hospitals rarely run on time, its not anyones fault in particular and getting annoyed isn't going to speed it up. So just be prepared, take enough time off work so you don't feel stressed and if you have children with you take snacks and drinks. In these situations, bribery is the key to good behaviour.

2) Don't be intimidated.
Sometimes its very easy to let the consultant do all the talking, to let them tell you how you should be feeling and what you think about it all. Be assertive and just because they have seen it 100's of times, does not mean they have seen you 100's of times.

3) Write down your questions before you go, and ask them all!
Its very easy to forget what you want to ask when you are put on the spot, so take a list of all those questions that have been spinning in your head for the last few weeks. Don't feel rushed and skip over 'non-important' questions, if they were important enough to write down, they are important enough to ask!

4) Take a pen and paper.
10-15 minutes is a very short amount of time to take in an awful lot of information, especially when you may be feeling vulnerable and overwhelmed. There is no way you will remember everything that has been said, so write down the key points for you to refer back to later.

5) Don't be scared to ask for explanations
Consultants tend to use big medical words ordinary people have little understanding of. If you are unsure of what they are saying ask them to explain what they mean, after all its your health, or your child's health, they are talking about.

And finally Don't Panic! If you feel overwhelmed take someone with you, a little moral support can go a long way!

Do you have any tips? What would you add to the list?

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Monday, 10 March 2014

Siblings ~ March

Big Girl is now 3 years and 5 months and baby girl is 2 years and 1 month

They have loved the arrival of the sun these past few weeks and we are taking the opportunity to re-design the garden to be child friendly.

Like any siblings they fight and argue at times and I have to step in and separate them, however on the whole they enjoy playing together and are building a special relationship, I find it funny when I'm excluded from games and told I'm too big to play!

They are getting so excited about the arrival of Pop and are asking almost every day if they can go to Nanna's so he can come out of my tummy now. Both girls are now putting dollies, teddies and comforters up their tops so they look just like mummy! I'm looking forward to seeing how our family dynamic is going to change and in-particular how the girls are going to feel with the realities of a new born baby boy in the house!

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