Thursday, February 28, 2013

Today's the day

Today is induction day. Or D-Day as I am calling it. I shall be 40 weeks on Saturday, i.e. the baby's official due date and my consultant wanted to induce me just before term because of my blood pressure. Apparently it's standard procedure.

So, tonight at 8pm I shall arrive at the maternity ward (as long as there is a bed for me!). I will be hooked up to a monitor to check the baby's heart rate and all being well, induction will begin. This involves a gel this evening, inserted you know where and then again 6-10 hours later. If that doesn't work then it will be discussed with me that induction is attempted again or there is the option of a Cesarean.  If the second attempt fails, then it will definitely result in a c-section. This thought doesn't bother me too much. I think I'd prefer to labour 'normally' but I would rather my little boy be born safe and well and that's what really matters. 

When induction was first mentioned to me about 5 weeks ago, I couldn't wait! I liked knowing that I wouldn't go overdue and I had a vague idea of when it was all going to happen. I went to see the consultant yesterday for the last minute checks and, even though I had to be firm and make them to keep to today's date (they wanted to wait until Sunday after violating me and declaring that my cervix is, so far, 'unfavoruable') I am now very, very nervous. 

Today is the day I have waited for and planned for 9 months and even longer if you consider this baby was very much planned. Everything has been in preparation for this moment - to go into hospital and come out with a baby. But, as excited as I am, I am also very scared. Which I think is normal. I have never ever spent a night in hospital in my entire life. I will also be away from hubby overnight, as I very much doubt that I am going to go into labour with the first attempt at induction. I think, at the moment, that's what is scaring me most. Also, my life and indeed hubby's and my life, are about to change forever. We led in bed this morning and he said this would be the last time we would be alone for the next 18 years or so! Our lives are going to change, but, I hope, in the best way possible. 

So, my kindle is charged along with my Iphone and I have a book and a few booklets about babies and breastfeeding etc, so that I can have a read and get prepared and I have something to try and take my mind off it, as I doubt I'll sleep very much during tonight. If I do go into labour, hubby will be allowed to come back obviously, but he is probably going to have to leave me about 10.30pm. 

Everything's ready for the baby and so really now, it is just a case of being patient, hoping induction works and if not then well, what will be will be. I think or I hope that by Sunday/Monday I should have a baby! I cannot actually get my head around that idea. It's very strange. 

So, thanks for reading my pregnancy journey the last six months, I hope I haven't bored you. And thanks to all those other bloggers who have helped me get through pregnancy, particularly Charlotte, at Write Like No One's Watching. Her blog has been invaluable! It's just comforting to be able to read that what I've been going through, I am not alone in and it's normal. 

Today begins a new chapter of my life and I can't wait....

mummystartingout x

Saturday, February 23, 2013

My Dotcomgiftshop wish list

With my birthday coming up next week, I thought I'd put together a little list of some things I have my eye on from the Dotcomgiftshop website, just in case the hubby sees, haha!

I love home wear stuff. I don't know when it began, but I think I do have a slight obsession with goodies for the home. I'm always on the look out for little candle holders or trinkets etc. I have also been searching for cushions for our strange coloured sofa for ages. It's like a burgundy red leather colour. Sounds rank, but I assure you it's not. It's lovely and was gifted to us from my aunt and uncle. But I just can't seem to find decent cushions to match it. Until I saw the ones below!

I came across the Dotcomgiftshop online store about two years ago, not long after hubby and I moved into our little cottage that we live in now. We rent and therefore we can't do anything too dramatic to the cottage, but we can make it home with 'things.' I have to admit, I have only ever bought something from the website once because we live on the Isle of Man and they used to charge £9.95 delivery, which I just couldn't justify paying. However, I still popped on to their website, almost daily (haha) and that's how I discovered they have reduced their delivery costs to £2.95- yey! This is much more affordable. So I started pottering my way through their website and came across the following lovelies that are definitely on my wish list!

First of all, as I said above I have been looking for cushions for our sofa. I don't want anything too modern as that theme just wouldn't fit with the style of our house: it's a very old style farmhouse cottage, so whenever I do buy things for the home, I try and ensure they fit this theme. Anything too modern just looks a bit silly. So when I came across these cushions, I knew that they would be perfect!

Patchwork hippy Love cushion £9.95

Patchwork hearts cushion £9.95

Patchwork songbirds cushion £9.95
Next, I came across this fabulous cake stand on Charlotte's blog, Write Like No One's Watching and loved it! However, I would like to use it to store nail varnish and perfume in in my bedroom! 

Vintage cream 3 tier cake stand £8.95

I found this little trinket jar that looks so so cute. But again, I think I would put it in my bedroom for earrings and rings etc. I think it's a bargain! 

Strawberry trinket jar £2.95 

Recently, our kitchen seems to have developed a red theme. No idea why. It started out with a red washing up bowl, as I was sick of the horrible regular grey ones you can find. So I bought a red one. Since then, I have a thing about red and these I thought would look fab in our kitchen!

Red kitchen scales £19.95

Three tier red and cream cake tins £34.95
I love hanging wall signs and Dotcomgiftshop do some fab ones. I particularly like these and I would  hang them in our kitchen. 

Hanging wall sign £4.95

Hanging wall sign £4.95

I also love coloured glass and think these would look fab on our kitchen window sill either with candles or little flowers in! 

Set of 4 hanging jam jar tea light holder £7.95

I came across these little retro milk bottles as well, again I though they would look fab with flowers in, perhaps little daffodils for spring! 

Traditional school milk bottle £2.95

Finally, as it's coming up to Easter I was having a look at their Easter decorations. They always have bargain decorations on their website and these for £1 each, are fab ways of decorating the house cheaply for Easter! (heheh excuse the pun there!)

Easter chick hanging decorations, set of 2, £1

Hanging Easter chick decoration £1

Hanging metal rabbit £1
Easter bunny hanging garland £1

My maternity pay doesn't allow me to stretch to everything on this list, unfortunately! But I shall be adding some of the items to my basket and hoping the birthday fairies are very kind! 

mummystartingout x

Thursday, February 21, 2013

What to pack in a hospital bag

In reality I actually had no idea what to pack in my hospital bag. It was though, something that I looked forward to doing from around 20 weeks and I was itching to do it for ages. However, I resisted, not wanting to tempt fate or anything and I finally managed to complete it last week. Since then, I've remembered a few little extra bits that I've thrown in, but they weren't necessarily the essentials. I think I've done pretty well but by all means, please suggest anything you think I might have missed that's important!

For research purposes I have read A LOT of blogs lately on what people packed in their hospital bags and I think I've got it about right. I hope so anyway! We live on an island so if I have forgotten anything, hubby won't be that long nipping home to get it for me haha!

So here is what I have packed....

Button front nightie
Nightshirt and leggings (to wear after birth)
Black tracky bottoms
Black vest
Black loose top
5 pairs of old knickers which I intend to throw away after
2 pairs of disposable knickers (just in case! Although, I really don't want to use these)
2 pairs of socks (I've heard that your feet can get very cold in labour?)
Black Belvia bra
Bikini (I really want to use the birthing pool, but that all depends on my blood pressure on the day)
2 towels

Headphones (to go with my iphone for music)
Paperback book

In my toiletry bag there is:

Mini shampoo and conditioner
Fragrance free shower gel
Dry shampoo
2 hair bobbles
2 hair clips
Bio Oil
Sachets of Palmer's body butter
Mini toothpaste
Lansinoh nipple cream

I got sent a little package in the post from Aptamil which had a free sample of bubble bath in it from a lovely little website called Boo Boo, who have now changed their name to Love Boo. They specialise in lovely products for mums to be and new mummies and also babies. The bubble bath was yummy and it felt like I was having a treat when I used it. I was having a look at their website the other day and I really fancy popping their Super Stretchy Miracle Oil into my hospital bag! My tummy has gone really dry lately as it is so stretched and this sounds lovely to slather on after birth.

Food bag -
4 x lucozade sports drinks
Box of cereal bars
Multipack of mini Cheddars
4 x packs of Dextrose (these are also for hubby)
Bag of haribo!
Pack of biscuits (again, these are for hubby as he needs something in case his blood sugar drops as he is diabetic)

As yet, I don't have a nursing bra, which is starting to put me on edge now. I like to be organised. It's not for lack of trying, I just haven't been able to find one I like. However, a couple of blogs I've read have mentioned the  Carriwell Seamless drop cup nursing bras. The other day I was reading A Mummy's View Friday Favourite blog post and she was reviewing the very same bra from a website called Boobie Milk. She said it was great and would really recommend it. Boobie Milk is a nursing and maternity underwear online shop run by a lovely sounding lady called Karen, who, if you live in the West Kent area, will come out and measure and fit you for a bra! This sounds fab - I would love someone to come to my home and measure me properly. However, since I live on the Isle of Man, I doubt Karen is going to trek over here on the ferry just to measure me! So, I will have to do it myself. However, Karen is very thoughtful and she gives very clear instructions on the website on how to go about measuring yourself, so with the help of hubby that is tomorrow's task! She also offers free returns, just in case you measure yourself wrong or the item doesn't fit right etc. I have struggled to find a nursing bra that I like:  M&S seem to have a good range but they are all a bit frumpy looking for me. I had a look in Mothercare as well and their range didn't seem very supportive and a bit flimsy. Quite a few people have suggested the Carriwell nursing bra and I am very tempted to buy it from Boobie Milk. It gets really good reviews and looks a bit more modern and funky than the boring cotton ones on the high street. I want to feel like myself still and just because I am breastfeeding, doesn't mean I can't feel good about myself!  They seem to have an offer on at the minute that you can get the hipster briefs in the same colour with the bra for £25!

If you haven't done so already, you really should pop along to A Mummy's View blog and catch up on her posts. She has very recently had a baby and her blog is all about being a mummy and being pregnant. It's a lovely read and I spent a couple of hours the other day reading back through her blog posts!

I really don't know if I have enough or too much. But like I say, we don't live that far away and I'd rather have too much than too little.

Do you think I have missed anything vital out here?

mummystartingout x

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Recipe: Risotto

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen quite a few pictures of this dish! I LOVE risotto. Probably a bit too much. There seems to be something in this one I make that has an addictive quality. I find myself popping into the kitchen later on in the evening and scooping spoonfuls of the leftovers out! Even when I am stuffed!

Anyway, I thought I would share the recipe with you. It is really, really tasty and it is my absolute favorite dish. The hubby likes it, but not with the same enthusiasm that I have, he is more of a steak man to be honest.

150g chorizo (I just buy either M&S cooking chorizo or a chorizo ring from Tesco)
1-2 chicken breasts, depending on how greedy you are! I've started to just use one and I think it's actually better
1 red pepper
2 cloves of garlic
1 red onion (I have used a white one in the past when I found myself with no red onions and the recipe still worked, but I do think red is better)
1 litre chicken stock (you could also use veg if you prefer)
1 teaspoon of dried parsley
1.2 teaspoon paprika
Approx 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese (depending on taste - you could add more if you prefer, or take some away!)
1-2 tablespoons of butter
Salt and black pepper
350g arborio risotto rice
Olive oil


Slice the chicken and the chorizo. Chop the red pepper into chunks and do the same with the red onion and garlic, you don't want the onion too small.
Add a good lug of olive oil to a wide pan and allow to heat. Add the pepper, garlic and onion and allow to soften. Keep stirring or the garlic will catch and burn. Once nice and soft, add the chorizo for about one minute to let the lovely oils come out of it and then add the chicken. Stir for a few minutes so that the chicken looks a nice pale colour all over but not cooked through. Now add the rice and stir around so all the rice is coated with the oil from the chorizo. Now start adding the stock - I add about 3/4 to begin with and then leave it to cook for about 10 minutes before adding the remaining stock. At this point I also add the paprika. It will probably take between 25-35 minutes for the rice to cook, but you must keep checking it and ensure that for the first 10 minutes or so the rice is submerged in the stock to ensure it cooks.
After about 25 minutes, taste and check the rice is cooked but still with a slight firmness. Dot the butter around the rice and stir in so it melts. Now add some salt to taste and grind some black pepper into the rice. Stir around and cook for 5 more minutes. Now add the Parmesan and parsley. Tip - don't add the Parmesan until you are nearly ready to serve as it can dry the dish out and become a bit sticky if you cook it for too long with the cheese in it. Check the flavouring and add more salt and pepper or parsley if you wish.


Let me know if you try it.

mummystartingout x

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

School dinners v packed lunches?

Does anyone remember what their school's dinners were like? I never had them at primary school, my mum always sent me with a packed lunch but I do remember every now and again persuading her to let me take some money on a Friday at high school for pizza and chips. What I do remember about school dinners, particularly at primary, is the smell - the yucky gravy and mash potato smell.

Working in a variety of schools, I have had a bit of experience with what school dinners are like now and, unfortunately, they vary depending on the area the school is in, the type of school (i.e. private or comprehensive) and the 'tyoe' of student that attends. Generally my experience has been bad, in terms of choice, nutritional value and indeed taste, but that's not to say that all school dinners are terrible.

If you are a member of Netmums or you read the papers, you may remember a story that came out a couple of weeks ago regarding school dinners. Basically, Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent, who are food advisers to the government, decided to make the bold statement that packed lunches should be banned and all children should eat a healthy school meal. I am not sure we would find a parent that doesn't want their child to eat 'well.' However, as we've seen from the likes of Jamie Oliver not all schools are providing healthy and well balanced meals for the students. Netmums posted the article on their Facebook page asking for parents' opinions on the topic and boy was there an outcry!

Schools getting involved in what children eat has been a very controversial and also contradictory topic for me for some time now. My step daughter is allowed to take a 'snack' at her primary school for morning break, which I believe a lot of schools now do. This snack is supposed to be nutritious and healthy. So, no crisps, chocolate, cake, biscuits, sweets etc. They can take fruit, veg sticks, cheese, yogurts, Mini Cheddars, Snak a Jaks etc. Now, don't get me wrong, I certainly do not advocate that children have chocolate or sweets for a mid morning snack, but what annoys me is that they are allowed 'Snak a Jaks,' which, depending on the flavour you choose have just as many, if not more, calories than Walkers French Fries or Quavers! So what are they actually tyring to advocate here? They also deign to dictate what a child at their school is allowed in their lunch box, if they choose to have packed lunches. This is extremely childish of me I know, but it really grates on me that they feel they have the right to tell us, as parents, what our children are allowed or not allowed to have for their lunch. Is that not the job of us, as their parents. Rightly or wrongly, aren't we allowed to decide for ourselves what our own children eat?

This is why I got so wound up by these so called advisors' statements. Now I say so-called, because as I dug a little further into this story I discovered that Dimbleby is apparently one of the owners of a chain of restaurants (that I'd never heard of) called Leon. If you take a look at their children's menu (which is available online here) you will see that it consists of only three options - chicken, fish fingers or meatballs. Granted each dish is served with brown rice (bleurggh) rather than chips but where are the options for vegetarians? I really don't think this man is in a position to 'advise' that parents' rights to choose what their children eat for lunch are taken away from them, when he co-owns a restaurant where vegetarian children aren't even catered for. And what about other healthy and nutritional options such as jacket potatoes, or pasta? Why must children have to eat brown rice if they are going out for a meal, that is, quite likely, supposed to be a treat? I very very rarely give my step daughter chicken nuggets or fish fingers, in fact I can't even remember the last time she had them, but really, is a one off as a treat so harmful?

Dimbleby and Vincent state that another reason packed lunches should be banned is also cost. They say that if all children had school dinners, this would save parents £2 billion a year that could be used to fund the school canteens. Hmmm. My step daughter's school meals are relatively cheap (£1.95 per day) compared to some schools but I still think that I can provide a healthy and nutritious but yet enjoyable and filling packed lunch for less than that each day. In fact I know I can, I do it for myself every day of the week!

It's interesting that they announce their recommendations amongst the horse meat scandal really as it's been brought into question what actually goes into school meals. I saw on the news that schools in Lancashire for example, have had their food tested and have had traces of horse meat found in the 'Shepherd's Pie.' This is hardly going to help bolster the adviser's recommendations. In fact, quite the opposite I would suspect.
Again, I suppose the way I feel about it is rather childish in a way. I am completely for healthy eating, especially in children. But that (should) starts at home. My step daughter eats what we do - i.e. fresh veg every day, a source of protein and some (small portion) carbohydrate. I know what goes into the food I cook. I ensure we get a variety of foods. Of course, we have treats, but we eat fresh food every day. I am completely against someone telling me what I can or cannot feed my child. I know there are parents out there that send their children to school with chocolate or crisps etc for their lunch and who don't get a healthy, well balanced meal for their lunch or indeed their dinner in the evening. But wouldn't money be better spent trying to educate these parents about the different types of food and how to put together well balanced meals? Schools are there to educate, not dictate and before they even begin to demand that all children eat school meals, they really need to look at school menus. In a school I've worked in in the past, chips were on the menu nearly every day. As were jacket potatoes and soup and a different dish each day, such as cottage pie. But leave teenagers to choose what they want for lunch and the majority go for chips. Who can confidently claim that chips five days a week is better for children than a packed lunch, made by parents, with a variety of different food sources? At the moment, I'd rather take my child out of school for lunch than let them eat the crap that the majority of schools are serving - I mean haven't these advisers seen the work Jamie Oliver did and what came out of his research into school dinners?!

Am I just on my high horse or do you believe we, as parents, have the right to decide what our children eat?

mummystartingout x

Monday, February 18, 2013

Yes, I am still pregnant

Ok, rather sarcastic title for this post. But I am getting seriously hacked off with people saying 'any sign of baby yet?' or 'has he not arrived yet?' or even more annoying, 'when do you think you might have him?' errm, well let me just bloody well ask him when he's thinking of making his appearance you moron! And yes, sorry I have had the baby, did I not tell anyone? That's why I'm still walking around sporting a massive bump. Arghhhh, ok rant over.

I am only 38 weeks pregnant, so actually, he isn't even late. I don't know why I seem to be getting all these enquires so early on.

So a bit of a bump update...

He is now 'fully' grown and apparently doesn't get any bigger now before labour. Thank god for that. He constantly has his bum either in my left or right ribs, depending on his position of the day and it's getting a bit uncomfortable. Although not as uncomfortable as it was a couple of weeks ago, which could be down to the fact that last Wednesday he was 3/5 engaged - yey! Although, that doesn't mean anything and labour can still be weeks off.

I must be honest and say that the past week or so has been a bit shit (sorry). I had been told at my last consultant appointment (when I was 35 1/2 weeks) that I would be induced between week 38-39. I was given another consultant appointment for last Wednesday and assumed (incorrectly it turns out) that we would get there and they would give me a date for induction. Since I turned 38 weeks preggo on Saturday I thought they might have brought me in today. But no...

On Tuesday, around tea time, I started getting the most intense pains in my lower tummy and what felt like shooting pains down my bottom (sorry!!). They came in waves around every 5 mins for 4 hours and I thought it might have been the start of something. I went to bed as I couldn't get comfy sat up or stood up and I managed to get a bit of sleep. However I awoke really suddenly at 3am and I could feel something wasn't right with my hands and face. I had a look in the bathroom mirror and they were both really swollen. The baby was having a rave in my belly and I started to get a bit worried, thinking that he was in distress. Anyway, I knew we were at the clinic in a few hours so I tried to get some sleep. The swelling went down but I tested my blood pressure and it was sky high. I got to the consultant appointment and the midwife asked how I was so I told her all that had been happening. She took my blood pressure and it was high and she said I had protein in my urine again. She then listened in to the baby's heartbeat and went off to get a doctor. Cue immediate panic. He came in and had a listen and said it was quite fast (but it has been fast on and off all throughout this pregnancy) and that there may be a bit of a skipping on it. In light of all my results and this they said they were admitting me to the ward upstairs. They wanted to do a CTG trace of the baby's heart rate and monitor me. They said that it was likely they would just induce straight away.  They also arranged for a scan of the baby and sent me on my way. I was really starting to panic now, although I was hoping that they would just induce me there and then. Anyway 7 hours later, they discharged me. The baby's heart rate baseline figure came down as my blood pressure and pulse came down, so they think they are connected. The scan showed no abnormalities on his heart and everything seemed ok. The doctor who discharged me said to keep an eye on my blood pressure and any episodes of reduced movements to give them a ring. The pain that I got the night before, could be down to the baby starting to engage since he was 3/5 engaged that morning.

So since then I have been a wreck. If the baby doesn't move for a couple of hours I freak out. And I mean freak out. I was a worrier before, but this has stepped it all up a gear. I am really fed up of feeling like this now. I want to enjoy the last week or so and look forward to finally having this baby in my arms, but I am so worried that I have convinced myself something bad is going to happen! It doesn't help that the baby is a monkey sometimes and he has very active days followed by very quiet days, which of course then freaks me out as he isn't moving as much. However, I am trying to calm down a bit. He does move every day and he moves more than the minimum and if he doesn't I know that the ward are just a phone call away and I will just have to call them and probably have to go in.

So, I am very much pinning my hopes on my next consultant appointment on Wednesday. I will be 39 weeks on Saturday and so I am really hoping that they either induce me on Wednesday or bring me in by the weekend. If they don't, well, I really don't know what I will do or how I will feel. I'll probably cry on them.

So all in all, not feeling too great at the moment. I am trying to rest and get some last bits done, like clean the windows. But I am finding I have to keep sitting down for a rest. I feel like rubbish. I can't really go anywhere or do anything as no energy and I am running out of clothes that fit me. I feel like a scruff, constantly wearing leggings. If I ever see another pair of leggings after birth it will be too soon!!

These last couple of weeks of pregnancy are tough, much more than I thought. What were the last few weeks for you? Any recommendations?

mummystartingout x

Blog maintenance

Please excuse my blog over the next day or so if it keeps changing and looking funny. I am currently trying to find a layout and style that I am happy with.

Keep reading!

mummystartingout x

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Alcohol and Pregnancy

If you ever followed me on instagram or Twitter last year, you might remember lots of pictures of wine...! I do like wine. And I always said I didn't know how pregnant women gave up alcohol for nine months when pregnant (or in my case, just wine, I could live without any other alcohol really, I'm not an alcoholic!).

So when Wriggly Rascals asked me to write a guest post for their website about alcohol and pregnancy, it gave me some time to think about my attitude towards alcohol now that I actually am pregnant. You can view my post by clicking here. I have definitely found giving up alcohol easier in pregnancy than I thought, perhaps it's the fact that I want to keep my baby safe. It's often a touchy subject and there is a lot of conflicting advice out there as well, especially with regards to what's 'safe' and what isn't.  It would be really great if we could get other womens' opinions on this topic as well and how other women have dealt with it, so please pop along and complete the short survey about your own views of alcohol and pregnancy by clicking here.

I only recently discovered the website Wriggly Rascals and I'm so glad I did. I had been searching for practical, useful and informative advice about parenting and pregnancy and their website fits the bill! It was set up by Shona and Mike, who found that, during pregnancy, Shona particularly, had so many questions and found all the vague and useless information that's out there, frustrating. So she decided to set up a website where parents and parents to be could go for practical and useful tried and tested information. The site now features guest posts for pregnant mums and indeed parents on a massive range of topics, such as alcohol in pregnancy like I wrote about, but other issues that we often think about such as baby development and how to cope as a single parent.

Their website is fab! You must pop along and have a look around and don't forget to follow them on Twitter  and Facebook.

mummystartingout x

Monday, February 11, 2013

Meal Planning Monday 11/02/13

I haven't joined in with Mrs M's Meal Planning Monday for a very long time, in fact, since I was on my old blog. Now I am having to be careful for a few months with money because of maternity leave, I have gone back to planning our weekly meals so there is less wastage and produce lasts better.

So here is this week's meal plan:

Monday - Chilli and ginger pork stir fry
Tuesday - Chilli con carne
Wednesday - Chicken and chorizo risotto
Thursday - Home made burgers
Friday - Out for lunch so no dinner required!

You can join in with Mrs M's weekly meal planning here.

mummystartingout x

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Anxiety In Pregnancy

I've always been a worrier, probably since around the time I left school. I don't know why; nothing significant happened at all, perhaps I just became more aware of the fact I was growing up and adult problems started to affect me.

I used to be worse, everything, literally EVERYTHING worried me - money, relationships, job, parents, college/uni work, etc etc. I made everything seem so much worse than it was and therefore made the worrying worse. I got into a lot of debt when I went to uni and I felt constant anxiety about being able to afford payments on my cards and loans, what would happen if I couldn't afford to make those payments and also what my Mum would do if she found out about the level of debt I had (she did, eventually, which is probably a story for another day!). I think this debt worry escalated my anxiety issues and since then it has never really gone away.

My anxiety is much better now than it was. I think, as I have got older, I have definitely learnt to deal with it better and more maturely. I've sorted out issues I had with money and I don't worry about it like I used to. Although, other issues have replaced this I suppose, as they do as life changes.

One massive thing I did worry about and was anxious about for quite some time was my wedding. When the (now) hubby proposed, it was the best time of my life; we were so happy, so excited and so content. And this was what worried me. I convinced myself something must be bound to go wrong. After the initial honeymoon period of engagement, receiving cards, flowers, well wishes, people asking about plans and dates etc, the anxiety started to creep in. It got worse in the few months leading up to our wedding. I worried that, at some point before the wedding, he would turn around and say it was all a mistake and he didn't want to get married after all. I couldn't comprehend that this was actually happening to me and that I WAS getting married. I never believed that this would happen for me - and I don't know why. I'd had some serious relationships before the hubby, and besides one of them, I had always been the one to break things off. It's not like I had had a terrible break up and hadn't gotten over it, or something similar had happened to me in the past and I was worried it would happen again. I just couldn't believe that this was happening to me. It got worse the closer the wedding day got and the night before the wedding I didn't sleep at all, I was so convinced that he wouldn't show up or that we'd get down the aisle only for him to say err actually no, I don't want to marry you. Fortunately, this didn't happen! And the moment we exchanged rings and said 'I do' and I looked at my now husband, I realised his love for me and how happy he looked and I wondered what I had been thinking all that time. I felt guilty that I'd mistrusted him and hadn't believed in our relationship. It's weird now because I rarely worry about us. I know we are happy, we have arguments like any normal couple, but we fit and work together and I know that if there was to be something wrong, he is open enough to tell me.

However, my anxiety issues seemed to return when we started trying for a baby. It took us around 11 months to get a positive pregnancy test and all throughout that time my anxiety got the better of me. I convinced myself it was never going to happen, I thought there was something wrong with me (hubby already has a daughter so I knew it couldn't be him) and I laid awake at night, worrying that if we tried to adopt we might not get accepted. Anyway, 11 months after we started trying, we got pregnant and then the real anxiety began. I've mentioned before on this blog that I've been worried about things going wrong, just as all pregnant mums do. But I don't feel I've coped very well with it. I think I could have been stronger, believed in my body a bit more to know what it's doing and try and actually relax and enjoy being pregnant. But I haven't. Some days I have been consumed with worry about this baby. I've worried when I haven't felt him move in an hour. Just last night, even though he had been very active since 8am that morning, I worried when I went to bed that I hadn't felt him since about 9pm. I laid awake until well after 1am willing him to move, prodding him to see if I could wake him etc and then freaking out when I couldn't feel his heartbeat in the normal place. I must have nodded off and woke again sometime after 2am and he was wriggling away, just like normal! This has been the norm on and off for the past 5 months or so, since I started to be able to feel movements. To be honest, it's exhausting.

I've read a lot of heartbreaking stories lately about parents loosing their children or things going wrong in pregnancy.  I worry these things are going to happen to me. The same feeling I had before my wedding comes back to me - that I just can't believe this is really happening to me. I can't yet see the end result, just like I couldn't about my wedding. I've tried to enjoy these last couple of weeks being pregnant but worry that by doing that I am 'jinxing' something.

I don't know why I have such anxiety issues. I don't enjoy it and it worries me that this could spiral after birth into PND. I've never had any sort of depression in the past, so I don't think I could be 'predisposed' to it, like I've been told some women are. But I don't think I am emotionally strong and that concerns me. I suppose acknowledging this is a step forward. I don't know whether it's bad enough or serious enough that I should speak to someone about it. Writing it here helps in a way and I try and read all the blogs I follow of women with new babies who are just getting on with life as a mum and I will myself to believe that I can be like them.

Have you suffered with anxiety? Any advice?

mummystartingout x

Monday, February 4, 2013

Our Week #5

So this week marked the start of my long awaited maternity leave!

Monday - despite not having to get up as early as usual, I decided I wanted the car for the day, so I took hubby to work and then went to Tesco. Ooohh excitement. Although, it was really nice to walk around the shop leisurely at 8am with hardly anyone in there! I then went to M&S and had a latte in the cafe and sat and read a magazine for a bit. I then went around the shops and bought a few nail art pens, which I can't wait to use! I also picked up a few more bits for the kitchen in red. I don't know why, but I seem to have developed a red theme in our kitchen. 
The pram and car seat arrived today! It took most of the evening for hubby and I to put together and work out how it goes, but it's fab and I love it and I just can't wait to use it! 

Tuesday - I decided that I really needed to get my hospital bag packed and ready to go, what with only having four or five weeks to go. So I did that and then sorted out all the cot bedding and made the cot up. I put all the moses basket bedding in the wash ready and tidied the house round a bit. Before I knew it, it was time to go and get the step-daughter from school and pick hubby up from work. 

Wednesday - Today was my 36 week check up with the consultant and growth scan. The scan was all fine, although I did note that when they did the head measurement, it was coming out at nearly 38 weeks, eeek! But they didn't seem concerned one bit! 
I then went to see the midwife, before I saw the consultant, who did bp and urine and that was all fine and then she listened in to baby. She said that his heart rate was a bit up and he was a bit excitable so she had me on a trace monitor for half an hour, where he continued to remain excitable! She was about to send me up to the ward to be monitored, but the consultant came in and said he was happy enough with it. She did not look impressed at being undermined by him, but she did what he said. He said that it had come back down and there was lots of accelerations where there should be... but he didn't really explain what that meant. 
Anyway, the consultant started talking to us about what would happen in the next few weeks. I am under the care of the consultant as I am classed as having a higher risk pregnancy because of my pre-existing high blood pressure. He said that he wouldn't let me get to 40 weeks and that I would be induced between 38-39 weeks! I could have kissed him! I know really that a natural labour process is best, but I am so so uncomfortable and desperate to meet our little guy that I just want him here. I'm also freaking out all the time, especially if I don't feel him move for a few hours, so I really just want him here where I can see him and keep an eye on him. So the sooner that happens the better! So I have my next appointment on the 13th February and a date for induction will be discussed then, unless my blood pressure gets any higher in the meantime and they will take it from there. So all in all, it was a very successful appointment. It also makes it all the more real again. I will have a baby (all being well) in  about four weeks!! If not less! It definitely means we now have to be very organised in the next couple of weeks and ensure everything is ready. 

Thursday - Today was the first day I didn't have the car and since we live in the middle of nowhere it was a good opportunity to catch up with the ironing and a bit of blogging. I had neglected my blog a bit and I am still not happy with the look of it. I thought I wanted it to be very girly and pink, but now I am not so sure. I want it to be sleek and simple. So I spent the afternoon playing around with that. It still isn't right, but I just don't know what I want to do with it.
I also had a couple of exciting deliveries from The White Stuff and Amazon. A few tops and a snuggly cardi from The White Stuff, which you might have seen on instagram if you follow me and a new draining board from Amazon. Yes I get excited about draining boards!
I also spent all afternoon debating whether I like wedge trainers or not and trying to find some online to buy... In the end, I have decided that no, wedge trainers are not me. I don't know why. I saw them on someone else, who looks much cooler and stylish than me (and who also isn't nearly 37 weeks pregnant!). I still want the Converse Dance trainers from Office, so I think I will wait and get those. 

Friday - Today I had arranged to meet another pregnant woman from a facebook group I joined of women due in February. We arranged to meet at a coffee shop just down the road. I was really happy to meet someone on the island who is also pregnant as all my friends are in the UK really and I don't really know anyone else that's pregnant that I am friendly with. It was really nice; we chatted about pregnancy, our families etc and then said we might see each other in hospital in a couple of weeks! 
I then went to Tesco and did our weekly shop and went and did the school run to pick up the step-daughter. I then picked hubby up and we went to see one of hubby's very close friends. She has the most amazing house, particularly her kitchen and I love going there! 

Saturday - Hubby and I realised that this weekend was the last full one (we only get step-daughter one full weekend a month) we would have with just the three of us, all being well. So we felt that we should do something nice with the step-daughter, as pretty soon the attention and focus is probably going to be on a baby. So we took her bowling. Surprisingly I didn't win! I am normally pretty good at it, but bowling a 7lb ball is not a great idea at this stage of pregnancy! Anyway, it was still fun and the step-daughter had a great time.
All Saturday though, I worried a bit as I hadn't felt baby move a lot. I was getting to the stage where I was going to call the maternity ward and ask what they suggested, but he started moving and since he has been as wriggly as ever. He must just have been having a rest! Saturday's tend to be a bit quiet with him for some reason anyway. 

Sunday - Hubby decided to take us out to a little coffee shop and get some lunch. I had a cheese and tuna panini - this is very weird as I am not normally keen on tuna and especially not hot! But it was yummy and it was the thing I have most enjoyed eating for about a month. I am really off food, I don't know why. But I am also starting to get severe heartburn when I do eat and feel sick, so I am having to start being careful what I do eat.
We then dropped the step-daughter off and hubby and I had a little walk on the prom. We found a charity shop that was open (on a Sunday!) and nipped in. Hubby found a board game, a bit similar to Scrabble, called Upwords, which is fab! So we bought that and came home and spent the afternoon playing that. I won! I never win at board games so I was pretty chuffed.

And that was our week again. It has been a really enjoyable first week off and now the serious tidying and cleaning begins from Monday!

mummystartingout x