Friday 29 August 2014

My Second Pregnancy: 38 Week Consultant Appointment & Hospital Admittance

I have had the worst 24 hours of my life. I set off for my routine consultant appointment at 2pm yesterday fully aware of what would happen. I've been to enough of these appointments; blood pressure, urine check and scan. 

As soon as I handed over my urine sample, the nurse tested it and said "3 + protein". My heart sank. When I'd been admitted to hospital to have C there were 4 +. The doctor asked me to pop up onto the bed to check my blood pressure and it was high with the diastolic number being 95. I was then given my scan and baby looked fine and is estimated at around 7lbs. She spoke to me about her concerns and said that they might want to induce me either later that night or the following day. I was always led to believe that I wasn't eligible for induction as I'd had a previous Caesarian. 

She explained that they couldn't induce using their usual method of a hormone gel because there is a risk of scar rupture. I could be induced using a Cook balloon which is inserted into the cervix and it breaks your waters. She then had me remove my jeans and underwear to check if my cervix would be ready for it if need be. This was the most uncomfortable and painful experience of my life. It didn't help that I saw blood running down her gloved hand afterwards! Apparently my cervix is still quite high but she could get it to about 1cm - not a lot! She then consulted another doctor over what to do with me. 

When she came back, she told me that they had decided to admit me to the ward and they took some bloods. Cue me ringing Chris quickly as he was due to start work shortly. I needed my bags and we needed to arrange childcare for C. Luckily, his mum lives around the corner and she really helps us out when we need it which is fab. 

I was hooked up to the monitor to check mine and baby's heart rates as well as baby's movements but all was fine. My blood pressure was starting to drop a little too (lowest being 88). Chris dropped my bags up around dinner time but as we didn't know what was happening yet, he went home to C as we wanted to keep things as normal for him as we could. My blood pressure continued to be checked at regular intervals and the diastolic number even went as low as 77 on one occasion. My urine was also coming back with just a trace of protein which I thought was very odd.

Chris came up to see me at visiting hours (6.30-8.30) and at 8.15pm, I had another blood pressure check. It came back in the high 80s again. As this wasn't too high, I asked what the plan was. Realistically, I wanted to go home with Chris and by this point I was missing C a lot. The midwife came back and said that the doctors weren't able to come see me so I would be staying in and they'd come in the morning. I was so upset. I was on a noisy ward and being away from Chris and C, I knew I wouldn't sleep and I was right. I think I saw every hour on the clock during the night and even when I did fall asleep, I couldn't get into a deep sleep. I kept jumping and waking myself up.

This morning, my blood pressure was high again at 94 but urine was still clear of protein. The doctors came round at 10am and checked my reflexes which were brisk. I was told that if my blood pressure was back down under 90, I could go home. I had it checked at 11am (94) then 12pm (92) so at least it was going in the right direction. I was hooked up the monitor to check our heart rates and babys movement again and, as expected, all was fine. After lunch, around 1.45, I had my blood pressure checked again - 85. I had never been so happy. Home time!

The midwife will come out to my house tomorrow to check my blood pressure so if it's high again, we'll work it from there. I was also given an antenatal appointment for Thursday when I'll be 39+3 (if I haven't gone into labour already) and I'll probably be given an induction date. Okay, so I may be home with the baby still in my belly, but I've never been more glad to be in my own house cuddling my little boy!

Wednesday 27 August 2014

My Second Pregnancy: Blood Pressure Checks & a Monofer Infusion

The past couple of days have not been fun. 

Yesterday, I had a follow up appointment at DOU (Day Obstetric Unit) to be hooked up to the Dynamap machine which would take my blood pressure at regular intervals (every 5 minutes in my case). I have had so many problems with blood pressure throughout both my pregnancies that I feel like a bit of an expert! I know that a diastolic (bottom) number of 90 or above is high. All six of my readings came back between 92 and 96 so obviously, I worried. My urine came back clear of protein and after a doctors check, they didn't think that pre-eclampsia was coming back. The diastolic number at my booking appointment was 84 so because it wasn't a huge jump, they just think I had slightly high blood pressure to begin with. I, therefore, don't meet the threshold for them to medicate me and try to reduce my blood pressure, I just need an eye kept on me and was told to come back the following day (today). My iron levels were also deemed too low so I needed a Monofer infusion the following day (again, today). 

I arrived at 9.30am and I knew I'd be there til at least lunchtime. The midwives were all so lovely and I had my blood pressure checked first and a quick listen into the baby's heartbeat. My blood pressure came back with the diastolic number at 85 which I was really surprised about seeing as it was a bit higher only yesterday. The baby was absolutely fine too. 

I had a cannula fitted (I'd forgotten how much I hated that!) and saline dripped through. I was then given 900mg of Monofer intravenously. This seemed to take forever and the hospital doesn't have wifi - nightmare! They did feed me tea and toast though so that kept me happy for a while! Once the Monofer drip had finished, I just needed another quick saline one to ensure that I got all the remnants of iron then I needed to stay a further half an hour just to make sure I didn't have a reaction or anything but all was good. I did feel a bit dizzy and lightheaded once I stood up though. 

I've been advised to go to Admissions if I feel a bit odd or ill but I'm back to the hospital again tomorrow to see my consultant so I'm sure I'll be fine until then. At this rate I'm gonna be sick of looking at hospitals! On the plus side, my iron levels should start to creep up but it isn't a quick fix. I don't need to take my iron tablets for a week, thankfully, then when I start them again I'll only need one a day! 
Tuesday 26 August 2014

A Present for a Big Brother from a Little Sister

As soon as we found out that we were expecting a second child, I knew we had to get C a present from her. We uhm-ed and ahh-ed over what to buy. Do we just get him a toy that we know he'll like? In the end, I decided to make him one. Now, my craft skills are non-existent but he isn't even 2 yet. I highly doubt he'll mind if it's not perfect!

Regular readers will know that I get a Nonabox subscription and every month, it arrives in a sturdy purple and grey box. This is where I started. I took a box and covered it with coloured card and wrote his name on the lid.

Inside the lid, I printed a little poem (in Mickey Mouse font even though he probably won't even realise it!) and 'I love my big brother' sign.

Inside the box, I filled it with:

1. Bubbles! C loves bubbles and he could spend hours trying to catch them and watch them in amazement. This six pack only cost £1.50 from the party accessories section of Tesco.

2. No. 1 Brother t-shirt. I picked this up in Primark months ago before I'd even decided on making this box but when I was putting it together, I knew I had to include it. It was only £1.50!

3. Sweets! I don't make a habit of giving C too many sweets but I thought they'd be a nice treat for him. I've included a pack of Tayto Onion Rings, 2 bags of chocolate buttons (milk and white variety) and 2 flumps.

4. 2 toy cars. C is obsessed with cars at the moment and he loves to wheel them around on the floor making "brum" noises. These were only £1 each in Poundland.

5. 'My New Baby' by Rachel Fuller. I loved books as a kid and I wanted to pass that on to C. Quite early in my pregnancy, I bought him 'There's a House Inside My Mummy' and he did pick up on the fact that there is a baby in my tummy and he likes to pull my top up, say "baby" and kiss it. 'My New Baby' is so lovely as it's designed to help siblings adjust to a new addition. I picked this up for £3.59 on Amazon.

6 & 7. A colouring book and markers. I've mentioned so many times previously about C's artistic flair. His favourite thing to do is draw so I'd be crazy not to include these. The book was £1 in Poundland and the markers were only £1.50 in Tesco's 'Back to School' section!

Okay, so I didn't break the bank in making this box for him but I know that everything inside will go down exceptionally well and that's all that matters!

Did you buy your first born a present from their new sibling? What did you choose?

Monday 25 August 2014

My Second Pregnancy: 38 Week Bump Update

I'm 38 weeks pregnant and I feel like crap. 

I had a blood pressure recheck on Saturday morning as it was borderline at 124/91 at my consultant appointment on Thursday. This time, it came back at 140/88 so it did seem to be going down. There was, however, protein in my urine but as there was also leukocytes the midwife put it down to a urinary tract infection rather than pre-eclampsia so she has sent my sample off for testing. 

This week I have had horrible lower back cramps and shooting pains in my pelvis. I don't know if this is anything to do with the baby getting ready or just symptoms of a UTI. 

I'm at DOU tomorrow morning for another blood pressure check and more bloods are to be taken to see if my iron levels are progressing but I will update on that tomorrow. 

I still have swelling of my feet, ankles and legs. My face and hands seem to be a bit puffy too and I'm getting the occasional headache alongside a cloudy head, if that makes sense! I'm unsure if I'm actively looking out for these pre-eclampsia signs but I guess we'll find out tomorrow. 

According to Saturday's check the baby is 4/5 palpable which I think means 1/5 engaged? Hopefully we aren't waiting too long for her arrival now as she is an estimated 6lbs 13oz already! 

Friday 22 August 2014

C at 23 Months

I'm seriously finding it hard to believe that in a months time, C will be turning 2! It doesn't seem like that long ago that we held his 1st birthday party. 

Firstly, his speech is continuing to come along fantastically. Over the last 6 months, Chris and I had been very worried that he wasn't saying very much but in the last month he has learned to say: 

  • Pascal (he's obsessed with Tangled!)
  • Nice
  • No
  • Mr Tumble
  • Bogey (thank you Chris!)
  • Bubbles (but he pronounces it 'buggles')
  • Ball
  • Book
  • Me
  • All done
  • Sorry 
  • Toast
When he uses his markers, he can tell us what each colour is too. I am so proud of him! He also knows the number '2' when he sees it written. We often sing 'Baa Baa Black Sheep' to him and he tries to sing the end. He doesn't quite know the words but he does his best with the tune. 

With the new baby coming, we're trying our best to use the buggy less. We don't drive though so we are usually out for most of the day. C would get too tired if we left the house without it so one of is would push the buggy while the other has C on his harness for a bit. 

He is still obsessed with opening and closing doors, cupboards and drawers and if he have the fridge open, he'll run over to close it. He has also started to tidy his toys away into their toy boxes before dinner. I think he's going to be a very neat and tidy child - hopefully! 

Every time I give him a bath, I'd get him to say 'bye bye' to his bath toys and get him to hand them to me to put them away before I lift him out. He's now started to do that of his own accord whenever he is ready to get out. He'll hand me a toy, look at the toy storage bag and say 'bye bye toys'. Adorable!

He's recently rekindled his love for the book 'Me' by Emma Dodd. He will bring it over to us, say "me!" then have us read it to him. When it's finished he'll say "oh" sadly so we'd have to repeat it. Over. And over. And over. He loves it! 

Thursday 21 August 2014

My Second Pregnancy: 37 Week Consultant Appointment

How can things change so much in one day?

Yesterday, I posted about seeing my community midwife and everything looked fine. Today was a completely different story and I've just had a rubbish day if I'm totally honest. 

Firstly, Chris had to work so this would be the first hospital appointment that he wouldn't be able to attend with me but seeing as everything was fine yesterday, we assumed nothing would show up today. I left C at Chris's mums and I'm really glad I did now!

My appointment was for 2.45pm but I didn't get called in until 3.35pm. Cue a tired and grumpy me, worried about leaving C for so long and being bored out of my mind because Chris wasn't with me. 

I'd pointed out my swelling but did say that it had been checked out yesterday and that I was advised to just elevate my legs and stay off my feet as much as possible. She had a little feel of my legs and checked my reflexes. 

I was given a scan and everything looked fine with the baby and she was wriggling away. My blood pressure was checked and it had gone from being 120/80 yesterday to 124/91 today. That made it borderline. Protein and leukocytes were also found in my urine so that was sent off. Last night and today, I noticed that I have been seeing 'floaters' (but wasn't overly worried as my blood pressure was fine yesterday) so all these symptoms together aren't great. 

The doctor left to speak to her colleague about "what to do". I was terrified. The last thing I wanted was for them to keep me in overnight. Luckily, as my BP is only borderline, they want me to come back on Saturday morning and Tuesday morning to get it checked. I'll also go back to see her on Thursday. 

My iron levels are still really low so after my surprise blood tests yesterday, another 4 tubes were taken today. I was given another script for iron tablets and of they don't pick up, I will need to be given iron intravenously. 

I'm keeping everything crossed that today has just been a bad day and my BP will be fine on Saturday. It just really sucked being there and being told all of this information on my own. 

I got back to pick up C and the first thing he did was give me a massive cuddle. Just what I needed <3 
Wednesday 20 August 2014

My Second Pregnancy: 37 Week Midwife Appointment

Today I had my last appointment with my midwife. I've had really bad swelling in my feet/ankles and legs but I was pretty sure that it was normal swelling as I've had no other pre-eclampsia symptoms. I wore leggings and pumps to show the midwife and she asked if I had any pain in the back of my calves (which I haven't) so it just seemed that it could be down to being at this stage plus the heat. 

My blood pressure came back at 120/80 so it was perfectly normal and like I expected, urine was clear. My bump is measuring 36cm but that's fine as I've always been a week behind. 

As my iron levels were so low at 28 weeks, I needed them checked again because I'm so close to the birth so this meant I needed more blood taken - always my favourite thing to hear! :(

According to my notes, the baby is still cephalic thankfully, but free. I wonder when she will start to engage?

I see the consultant at the hospital tomorrow for some reason (I don't know why they've given me appointments so close) so I'm imagining that nothing will have changed! Maybe they will scan me again, I love seeing her :) 
Tuesday 19 August 2014

Lamaloli Kids Clothing - Review

Lamaloli are an online clothing store that cater for both adults and children. I'd never heard of Lamaloli before but after a quick browse at their website, I was in love with all the branded kids clothing. C is a huge Mickey Mouse fan and they stock a fab range.

I was very kindly offered the opportunity to try out some kids clothing for C. I opted for one bodysuit but the lovely people at Lamaloli sent us three! How lucky is C?

The first thing that caught my eye was the bright colours. C would love them. The logo on the bodysuits are printed on and, very surprisingly, they haven't cracked or started to peel after a few washes. One of the first things I look for with clothing is how well stitched they are and I can happily say that I have no complaints about these bodysuits.

Each bodysuit has three poppers at the bottom and two at the left side of the neck. C is 23 months old and I opted for age 24mth as he's still comfortably wearing 18-24month clothing. They did seem a little tight around the bottom but I can't complain too much!

Apologies for blurry photos - trying to take pics of an active toddler proves difficult for me at 37 weeks pregnant!

Overall, we love these bodysuits. They are fab quality at a really reasonable price. They fit well, pass the washing machine test and C seems really comfortable in them. I love that they are the real (licensed) deal too!

You can find out more about Lamaloli at their website, Facebook and Twitter.

(Disclaimer: We received these items free of charge in exchange for an open and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Monday 18 August 2014

My Second Pregnancy: 37 Week Bump Update

I'm 37 weeks pregnant. 

I can't believe it - I've cooked a baby to full-term! 

This week has been very hard. I've had a lot of pains with the main one being cramps in my lower back which radiate up my spine then make my neck throb? I have no idea what it is but some people have told me that it sounds like sciatica :(

In addition to this, I've had more frequent Braxton Hicks. My feet and ankles seem to have swollen quite a bit too and they just get worse as the evening goes on. 

I'm not sure if my bump picture shows, but I do feel like the baby is lower down now. I'm feeling constant pressure down below (almost as if my waters could go at any minute!) and the pain in my rib is gone. I'm guessing that this is because she is moving down and getting ready to be born. 

At this stage the baby weighs around 2.8kg and measures roughly 49cm from head to toe. Now, not much is happening in way of development. It's just a waiting game now!

Saturday 16 August 2014

Jumbo Games Planes Giant Foam Floor Puzzle - Review

Jumbo Games are a company that sell a wide range of toys, games and puzzles. Last month, they added a new item to their pre-school selection - Giant Foam Floor Puzzles. They come in lots of different characters such as Jake & The Neverland Pirates, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Minnie Mouse, Planes and Doc McStuffins.

C was lucky enough to be sent one of their Planes puzzles to try out. The puzzle is aimed at children aged 3+. Although C will only be 2 next month, he took to it really well. There are only 9 pieces so it's easy enough for your child to work out which piece goes where. The puzzle pieces are made from high quality EVA so that they maintain their original shape. This is great as C tends to bend and throw things about.

When completed, the puzzle is 89x89cm which, I think, is a perfect size (we only have a small living and C's bedroom is only little too!) but if you buy any of the other puzzle characters, you can join them all together! I think C will be wanting the Mickey and Jake ones too! He loved seeing the finished image and ended up mainly using it as a playmat when he had completed it.

All in all, this is a great quality product and has seemed to withstand my sons forceful playing, shall we say!

You can purchase your own Giant Foam Floor Puzzle from Amazon for £14.99.

(Disclaimer: We received this puzzle free of charge in exchange for an open and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Friday 15 August 2014

Baker Ross Crafts & Toys

A few weeks ago, you may have noticed a shiny new badge in the sidebar of the blog - I'm a Baker Ross Blogger!

C loves to draw and paint. I think he'd draw all day if he could so I always knew that I wanted to encourage his artistic side (I've bought him a whiteboard/blackboard easel for Christmas - shh!). When Baker Ross contacted us about becoming one of their bloggers, I jumped at the chance. I knew C would love it. I did think he might be a little small for some of the crafts as there isn't a lot for his age (23 months) but he seems to really be picking things up quickly recently.

Baker Ross sent C a little box of goodies which included:

I wanted to let C work away on his own as much as possible so naturally, he used the poster paint sticks with the A4 card first. 

The A4 card is really thick card which is great for a toddler as he tends to get a bit frustrated when the paper he's drawing on wrinkles. 

The solid poster paints are fab! Such a great idea. They have a more crayon than paint texture and they easily twist up when you child has used quite a lot of it. It doesn't rub off the card either. C is just learning his colours at the moment too so he's is enjoying telling me what colour each one is.  They don't give off a strong chemical scent. We did get some on our hands but they came off really easily with soap and water.

Next, we tried the mini plastic buckets and foam ladybird stickers. C had never used stickers before so I wasn't sure he'd know what to do with them or even if he'd freak out over having them stick to his fingers. 

He initially didn't know what to do. He tried to put a sticker inside the bucket but I just had to show him once how to stick it on (I obviously removed the label for him) and off he went like a pro, decorating them all. 

The buckets are made from sturdy plastic and C loved that he could place on and then remove the ladybird stickers to put them on a different bucket if he wanted to. 

Next was the 3D sailboat kits. I knew that this would be a bit tough for him but he tried it anyway. Each bit of the boat is made from foam (with the exception of the wooden stick for the sail). I did 'hand over hand' to try and get him to do it but he got a little frustrated that he couldn't do it himself. You need to thread the foam bits onto the stick then put the anchor and lifebuoy foam stickers on. C was happy enough to put these on for me. 

The stretchy dinosaurs are fab quality. C, however, wasn't really amused by them. It may have been because the texture is a little slimy. He did like to throw them as they bounced. Maybe when he is a bit bigger he will enjoy them more!

The ducks were a huge hit and also taught him how to say 'ducky'! He really took to them and even gave them hugs. He liked counting them as he placed them on the table too. They will be a new staple at bathtime! 

C has had so much fun with all of these arts & crafts goodies. They kept him entertained for a good few hours and the fact that they are all really good quality made me a happy mummy. We had no tears or tantrums over things breaking or ripping!

You can find out more about Baker Ross at their website, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

(Disclaimer: We received these items free of charge in exchange for an open and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Thursday 14 August 2014

Milton Travel Steriliser - Review

Last week, you may remember that I posted reviews of Milton's Combi steriliser and Portable Soother steriliser. In addition to these, we also received their Travel Steriliser to try out.

My parents live a 2 hour walk away (I don't drive) and we go to visit them every Saturday. As the journey is so long, we stay all day so it gave me the perfect opportunity to give the Travel Steriliser a go. Similarly to the Combi steriliser, it can be used in the microwave or using the cold water method.

I did the microwave method first. All you need to do is wash all of your bottle parts in warm, soapy water (rinsing in cold water) then pour 60ml of water into the steriliser and insert the parts (bottle facing down) and put the safety vent down. The safety vent increases the temperature inside which in turn leads to better sterilisation. The steriliser should be placed inside your microwave upright but can be put in sideways if your microwave is too small. Mine is a compact microwave so therefore had to go in sideways. Our microwaves highest wattage is 700W so it had to go in for 6 mins. Alternatively, it goes in for 4 minutes at a wattage of 850-1000 or 2 minutes at 1100-1850W. 

I really love that this steriliser can be used with the cold water method too so you don't need to panic if you are staying at an accommodation without microwave access. This method, like the microwave one, is so easy. Wash your bottle and parts in warm, soapy water then rinse in cold water. Place everything inside the steriliser but with the bottle facing upwards this time. Pour water into the bottle so that it overflows and hits the 1.25L fill line. Then, add ONE QUARTER of a Milton sterilising tablet (or you can add 7.5ml of Milton sterilising fluid). Close the lid, put the safety vent down and gently shake it. Wait for 15 minutes and your bottle will be sterile. I love that the sterilising tablets have little crosses on them which make them easy to break. 

Both ways left my bottle looking clean and ready to use. The steriliser is watertight, BPA free and you can keep your bottle inside for 24 hours and it will be kept sterile. I will definitely be taking it everywhere we go!

You can purchase your own Milton Travel Steriliser from Amazon for £10.95. You can also find out more about Milton at their website, Facebook and Twitter.

(Disclaimer: We received this item free of charge in exchange for an open and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own).

Wednesday 13 August 2014

Toddler Meal Ideas: Calzone Roll

Recently, we found ourselves in a bit of a rut. It seemed that we were always feeding C the same types of food and it just led to him getting bored of them which made us struggle to get him to eat. We needed new ideas!

A couple of days ago, we tried our hands at a calzone roll. 

All you need is:

Pizza dough (we cheated a little and used a Jamie Oliver kit!)
Grated mozzarella
Serrano ham
Tomato purée
Tomato & pepperoni pizza sauce

The Jamie Oliver kit made things so easy. You just need to add water to the flour, knead the dough, place in a container with cling film to cover and put it in a warm place for half an hour to expand. 

Once it had expanded, we rolled it out, mixed the pizza sauce with a little tomato purée to thicken it and spread it evenly on top. 

We then added half the mozzarella, some Serrano ham pieces, salami pieces and then more mozzarella on top. We scattered some herbs over to season. We folded in the sides then rolled it up, placed it on a baking tray and baked on gas mark 8 for 18 minutes. 

We then served it with some veggies. 

It was such a lovely change for us, absolutely delicious, didn't take very long to make or break the bank! C really enjoyed it too!

 What meals do you feed your toddlers? I could use some new ideas!