Our journey from poppy-seed to baby

November 3, 2011

7 weeks and 5 days old – it’s a baby!

Filed under: newborn,parenthood — by drjose81 @ 6:08 pm
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Well, Poppyseed is most definitely a baby now 🙂 James Frederick arrived 5 days late in the end, and had to be ‘encouraged’ out via induction after my waters broke but no labour started. We had the pool blown up ready and everything…ah well.

Anyway, I’ll get around to posting about the labour at some point, so on to the main topic of interest – being a mummy!

The early days

Lots of parents, upon learning of our newly gained status as mum and dad, said “ooh it’s a special time, enjoy it”. Sorry, but in my opinion, the first few days were hell, to put it bluntly. A combination of getting to grips with feeding, adjusting to very broken sleep, feeling like I’d been run over by a bus (courtesy of labour) and generally coping with the mahoosive change that is caring for a newborn meant that neither of us would repeat the first couple of weeks if you paid us. And let us not forget those bloody hormones wreaking their havoc! Those parents I mentioned? Well, I think nature has a nifty memory-loss trick or else the human race would have died out (or at least be full of one-child families).

Breast feeding

When I was pregnant I read enough on forum threads to know that breastfeeding (or, bf) could be tricky. Wow, that turned out to be the understatement of the century. From the get-go we had issues – James wasn’t interested in feeding for the first 24hrs which led to every nurse, midwife and their dog giving their opinions/advice on the matter. Added to this my left nipple is a little ‘shy’ (not completely inverted but needs a little encouragement) and this makes latching a bit harder for him. Unfortunately our bf journey has continued to be rocky with James being tongue-tied (picked up at birth but deemed not needing further action) leading to us getting him snipped privately at 4wks due to extreme pain on latching (mine). Sadly he has learnt bad habits in those 4wks which are proving hard to break… My poor nipples go through phases of feeling like he has razor blades for teeth 😦  and we’ve come close to giving up but are persevering for now.

Becoming a parent

Has been a complete shock to the system! Your life really does revolve around this little person and opportunities for ‘me time’ (or even ‘shower and s**t’ time!) are few. It’s a huge sense of responsibility being a parent and understanding that this baby relies on you for its very existence. There’s no ‘can’t be bothered’ or ‘too tired’ allowed – and no going-home time either, it’s 24/7 🙂 We were very lucky in that Mr S had the first 5wks off work and we managed it together – I fed and he changed :p

and finally…bonding

Bonding is a funny old thing. You can’t really describe or quantify it, so knowing what it is (and isn’t) can be pretty hard. Many a time in those early days did I ask Mr S – ‘what do you feel when you look at J?’ and, ‘how do you know you love him?’ Might sound awful to some, but I didn’t get that rush of love when J was first placed on my tummy after pushing him out. In fact, Mr S says I said ‘what’s that?’! 😮 In the early weeks I’d look at him and see a cute baby, but not necessarily my baby, if you know what I mean?

And now? Well it’s slowly growing in me I think. Having him full time during the days now Mr S is back at work has helped I think. As has the fact that J is starting to respond to us with smiles and noises. I do feel the occasional ‘rush of love’ when I look at him – not generally the times when he’s screaming t’is true… 🙂

So the long journey that is pregnancy has ended and the long (never-ending?) journey of parenthood has begun. We’re trying to make the most of it and enjoy being a family, because, as everyone always tells us, it’s flies by far too quickly 🙂



September 5, 2011

Week 40 – due date!

Filed under: pregnancy,third trimester — by drjose81 @ 7:30 am
Tags: , , ,

Yep, it’s time to come out Poppyseed 🙂

Evidently none of my previously listed ‘pre-labour’ symptoms meant anything as….I’m still preggers. Discharge has continued to be thick and creamy, heartburn has calmed down a bit, SPD has flared up again (joy), and I have had some painful cramps….but usually preceding a big poo!

As everyone says, when you’re in labour ‘you’ll know’, so I’m going with the philosophy of trying to ignore any ‘symptoms’ until they are un-ignorable.

So, my due date – and how shall I occupy myself? Quite like the idea of wandering around town and then when asked ‘ooh, how long left?’ I can reply ‘today!’ and watch their faces go into shock! I think people worry that you’ll spontaneously go into labour there and then…if only.

It’s very strange not knowing when labour will start; it seems it could be without warning, or there could be signs like losing plug, bloody show or waters breaking. But it could just start with contractions. Who knows. Mr S is convinced that Poppyseed will come today, on his due date, and also said yesterday that he’s ‘bored with Poppyseed now’ and wants him to come out 😀 I am finding myself wondering if my shower/food shopping/bedtime will be the last one before giving birth, but I know I need to stop thinking about it so much.

Now the countdown really begins as the policy for this area is to let you go 12 days over before considering things like induction. The problem is, 12 days over is a Saturday so they would want to induce on the Friday – which is Mr S’s graduation ceremony 😮 I think I can refuse induction but by then I might just want him out… Seeing the midwife on Wednesday so will discuss contingency plans/possible scenarios then.

Come on Poppyseed, you’ve got 10 days to come out! 🙂

August 31, 2011

Week 39 – 5 days to go…

Filed under: pregnancy,third trimester — by drjose81 @ 7:18 am
Tags: , , ,

So this time next week I could be a mummy…

I’ve never done this before so don’t know what I’m looking for, but I thought I’d log any potential ‘early labour’ symptoms I’m experiencing:

  • lots of thick discharge
  • mild to moderate period-type cramps, coming and going during the day
  • lots of Braxton Hicks, sometimes pretty uncomfortable and extending into the tops of my thighs (?!)
  • increase in heartburn 😦
  • pretty regular…if you know what I mean

But who knows if any of that means anything!

Pulled a muscle in my bump last week – no idea how – and ended up at the hospital getting monitored just in case the pain was being caused by something more worrying. All was fine and poppyseed was active as ever 🙂 They were pretty short staffed though so I was triaged in labour & delivery (instead of MAU) in one of the rooms used for delivery 😮 It was very strange being in there but served as my tour of the unit I think. Hopefully I won’t see it again…

I’ve realised I completely neglected to mention the antenatal classes we took recently. It was four sessions run by Surestart and the NHS, covering topics such as breastfeeding, labour, pain relief, newborn care and bonding. To be honest there wasn’t much they said which I haven’t already read on a forum or in a book – but I think Mr S found some bits useful so that was good. Each session was 2 hours long and I found it a bit much – especially as they were 4-6pm, right when I need food! The midwives running it were also completely bonkers… As for the opportunity to meet other expectant parents, well, there were a few young mums (with their mums) and hardly anyone made it every week. So no sociability will come of that.

I’m getting to the point now where I’m wondering whether I should book things into my diary or not! It’s probably best to keep busy – I can always cancel and going into labour is a very good excuse 😉

As for my to-do list for maternity leave, it’s getting there… Have cooked some meals for the freezer, half-done his pram blanket, nearly finished all the washing, bought nursing bras, hired a TENS machine (better late than never!) and….packed my labour bag finally!! Still got those corrections to do though and maybe poppyseed knows that and is waiting…hmm.

Still can’t quite believe I’ll be giving birth to our baby within the next two weeks. As I’m typing he’s squirming around inside me but I think if I really understood there was a fully-formed baby inside me, it’d blow my mind!

Well, it will become indisputable soon enough…September tomorrow so time to get bouncing on that ball!

August 21, 2011

Week 38 – 14 days to go!

Filed under: pregnancy,third trimester — by drjose81 @ 11:21 pm
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So, it’s after midnight meaning I am now 38wks pregnant 🙂

Sleeping continues to be elusive and painful – I’m settled on the sofa for the night typing this 😦 it’s pants cos Mr S and I don’t get to cuddle – but he needs his sleep too. SPD pain is ok during the day, but lying on my left side seems to be the worst possible position for me. Unfortunately, lying on my right seems to induce hideous heartburn, and lying on my back is a distant memory. So it doesn’t leave an awful lot of options for sleeping! Hence resorting to being propped/sat up on the sofa to sleep…

I STILL haven’t packed my labour bag….oops. I thought it would be quite straightforward, but actually not certain how to pack it given it would be for in case of transfer – and that would only generally be in an emergency, so could mean c-section or anything. I figure Mr S can pop home for any bits needed if I stay in a while – so I’ll pack as if for one day and night maybe? Need to have all Poppyseed’s clothes washed before I can pack them, so that’s been holding me up so far. Have all his newborn stuff washed now, and half the 0-3. Can’t believe how much washing there is to get done before he’s even here!

We picked up the pram last weekend 🙂 It was very strange seeing Mr S wheeling it home :D; we’re very pleased with it and had a good play. I also ordered a Moby wrap and need to practise putting that on with a teddy maybe 🙂 Bought some tiny newborn disposable nappies – and we’re pretty much ready for him now.

Both of us would be quite happy if Poppyseed put in an appearance anytime now really. We’ve done the whole preparation thing and the only way we’ll learn is by experiencing it for real. Unpacked the birth pool and checked the tap connectors and size of the pool in the dinng room. Moved all the furniture around to make room – and it’ll stay like that now until we need to blow up the pool. Ooh er.

As for any ‘signs’…well, I’ve been getting some mild period-type cramps and a bit of backache – both of which I’ve had none of the whole pregnancy, so who knows what that means?! Definitely increased discharge but no sign of the plug or a show. I probably need to have at least the due date in my mind – and any earlier will be a bonus. Nevertheless, have been bouncing on my birth ball a lot lately 🙂 Also need to get those dissertation corrections out the way…(although have only just been sent the right report having been sent the wrong one beforehand!)

Come on Poppyseed – we’re ready for you!

August 13, 2011

Week 36: 23 days to go – and relax

Filed under: pregnancy,third trimester,Uncategorized — by drjose81 @ 3:41 pm

Woohoo for maternity leave 🙂 Started last Monday – although had an assignment to hand in on Wednesday, so didn’t officially feel like mat leave until after that.

Now it’s the weekend, and I keep catching myself realising that I have NOTHING pressing to do!! It’s bliss. Yes, I have my dissertation corrections to get done, but no whole assignments – ever again! So far, I’ve done the wedding photobook album and the birth pool has been hired and delivered 🙂

Had the homebirth visit from the midwife, and it felt very freaky talking about MY labour after reading so many other people’s stories 😮 We’ll be full-term on Monday, so technically poppyseed could arrive anytime from now really.

And, I’d be quite happy for him to come sooner rather than later – mainly due to sleep issues… It’s getting harder and harder to get comfy in bed, and I’m up a few times a night to pee anyway. SPD had improved a lot – physio gave me an oh-so-sexy white support belt and some exercises to do on the ball – and the pain really settled down. Note the past tense 😦 Last night was awful – I was up from 2.30am – 5am – then the 3hrs sleep I did manage (until groin pain woke me up) seems to have aggravated my SPD somehow – and I now feel like my groin has been stamped on by a horse 😦

I’m still growing too – and following a bigger-than-dates measurement at my 34wk appt, all seems back to normal at the last one (36wks) so the midwife reckons poppyseed is an average sized baby, and probably 8lbs or so if he goes full-term.

I still can’t quite believe I’m going to be a mummy in between 3-5wks…it doesn’t seem real somehow. Unlike Mr S, who is getting more excited by the day and says he can well imagine it all now 🙂

We’ve set up the nursery now – well, as much of a nursery as we’ll do in this house. It brings it home when all the little clothes are sitting in the new chest of drawers. I find myself sitting in there every now and again – just contemplating the massive life change we’re about to experience. Last things to do are, pick up the pram (tomorrow) and stop avoiding the inevitable and pack my labour bag 🙂 I need one ready, in case of transfer but also just to have it all in one place when I go into labour. Oh, and we need to buy some disposable nappies for the first few mad days. Other than that, we’re all set pretty much…

The countdown begins (or continues, given that 9 months is a LONG time)

July 28, 2011

Dad’s Yoga

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Glen @ 9:03 pm

This evening I attended a special “Dad’s” evening at the exercise class Mrs. S has been attending for the last week. The most interesting aspect of the evening was when two mothers told their birth stories. Both had very different experiences, and it reinforced the view that the whole birth process can be very random. In fact, the whole concept of a “birth plan” seems a little pointless considering the bewildering amount of factors that come into play once labour kicks in.

Seeing the mothers with their babies also made me feel eager to get to the birth. Mrs. S is obviously in a lot of discomfort at the moment, which is difficult for me to handle. It’s the classic “helpless bloke” situation where I can only offer sympathy. I’d much rather us be in the situation where we have the baby and I can take more of an active role.

In any case, I’m sure our last few weeks of “freedom” will go quickly and we’ll be sure to make the most of it.

July 27, 2011

Week 34: 40 days to go – sleep? what’s that?!

Filed under: pregnancy,third trimester — by drjose81 @ 4:21 am

Well, it’s just gone 5am and I’ve been up since 4am when I gave up on sleeping for the night. It’s been getting gradually worse – when I lie on my left I do get some sleep, until my dead hip/leg pain wakes me up; when I lie on my right, poppyseed kicks the hell out of me and it also seems to bring on heartburn; and unfortunately lying on my back is not feasible anymore with thise bowling ball on my front! Added to this, my tossing and turning doesn’t help my SPD pain – and the whole sorry mess wakes up Mr S too, so we’re both knackered and snappy the next day! I know everyone says this is preparation for the big event – but I need my sleep!

I’ve got a physio appt for my SPD at 9am so I’m hoping for a miracle solution… Since I last posted, the pain has gotten a lot worse and I feel like I’ve been kicked in the gonads (if I had any…) by a horse 😦 Probably not helped by my three steps of running at the weekend (well my brother did bet me he could get to the cashpoint first… – he did) and subsequent trek around a car boot sale…oops.

Despite drinking water like a fish (do they drink water?), I seem to be getting a lot of Braxton Hicks. Yesterday evening they seemed to last for ages and wouldn’t go away when I got up and walked around/sat down and rested. Will mention it to the midwife at the 34wk check up today.

Counting down the days until I start maternity leave at the end of next week now 🙂 Can’t wait to be able to nap during the day for a start! I thought I’d compile a list of things to do, both in preparation and to keep me occupied:

  • create a wedding album (finally!) with Bobs Books, and little ones for the parents
  • make a blanket for poppyseed (crochet squares or material, not decided)
  • wash all poppyseed’s clothes and nappies and organise
  • go through DClin notes and file/pack away
  • attend Bumps and Babies breastfeeding support group
  • swimming? need to buy a maternity cossie for that one though…
  • SLEEP!!
  • cook and freeze meal portions for when he’s here and we can’t be bothered
  • hopefully have one last weekend away together when the weather cheers up
  • get fitted for nursing bras and buy those and feeding tops
  • buy stuff for labour bag and pack
  • buy birthing pool and accessories
  • relax – read, go to the cinema, go to coffee shops
  • have a pedicure/massage

Oh, and do my viva corrections too….but that’s not a nice fun thing so it’s not going on the official list!

I’m officially feeling huge and cumbersome now – and there’s still potentially 6-8 weeks of growing left! As long as his head isn’t abnormally large… 🙂

July 18, 2011

Week 33: 49 days to go – growing, growing, growing

Filed under: pregnancy,third trimester — by drjose81 @ 9:18 pm
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I’m writing this sat in bed – and there’s a rather large bump in the way so I’m having to squint to see the screen!

Last time I said I thought I’d feel bigger at 30wks than I did – well, I feel big now 🙂 still not huge,  but definitely like I’m lugging a bowling ball around on my front. Particularly today bump feels heavy and tight; still quite a bit of growing to go yet though! He’ll put on 1/2 lb per week now apparently – and I’ll put on 1lb a week. Eek. Weighed myself on the Wii fit the other day and I’d put on about 1.5 stone since getting pregnant. The Wii also says I’m officially overwieght! There’s no function for informing it I’m pregnant unfortunately…so it might get a shock when loads of it just ‘falls’ off when he’s born 🙂 I hope that’s what happens anyway…

Had a bit of a worry last week when my SPD seemed to get a lot worse all of a sudden. I had visions of being increasingly immobile and panicked about all that’s left to do – let alone the fact I need to finish my placement on schedule in order to avoid having to return after maternity leave. But, touch wood, this week it’s much improved and has settled down a lot. It still hurts like hell to turn over in bed – and my pelvis generally makes a sickening ‘clunk’ noise when I sit up in the mornings – but I’m pleased it seems to be stabilising.

Writing of things left to do, last weekend we took the plunge and went to Mothercare and Ikea to get the majority of outstanding items we need. Successful shopping trip and bought: bouncing cradle, bath support, cuddle robes, some more reusable nappies (on sale), grooming set, chest of drawers, change table, changing mat, nightlight, car-shaped rug, and cellular blankets. We’ve started to sort the spare room out too, which is a bigger job than I’d anticipated. Just gotta build the furniture now and fill it with cute little clothes and nappies 🙂

On the one hand it feels like there’s not much time before he’s due – but on the other it feels like ages. Although probably not half as long as it’ll feel when I’m overdue! Lots of people reckon he’ll come early, and I can’t help but feel he might do mainly cos mum had all us three at 38wks ish. But I also know that most first-time babies are overdue and it’s best not to get your hopes up in case you go over… I’d rather he was born in September than August for the school-year aspect – but he’s gotta come before 16th Sept as that’s when Mr S has his graduation ceremony! No pressure poppyseed…

June 29, 2011

Week 30: 68 days to go – the long and winding road

Filed under: pregnancy,third trimester — by drjose81 @ 8:51 pm

So, definitely in the third trimester now 🙂

It’s strange – when I was earlier in pregnancy I thought that 30 weeks sounded sooo far along! But now I’m there, although I definitely feel pregnant, I don’t feel as big maybe as I thought I would. I also feel like there’s still quite a long way to go before D-day and plenty of time to get all the bits sorted that we need to.

I’ve been going to the pregnancy yoga/exercise class for a couple of weeks now and it’s good. I was surprised how many mummys-to-be were there and it’s too many really to easily talk or get to know people. The class itself is teaching labour breathing and relaxation – and involves a bit more exercise than I’d anticipated! Good to tone those arms and thighs though 🙂

We’ve booked onto antenatal classes now – we’ll be doing four evening sessions run by Sure Start and aimed at first-time parents, so there’s stuff about looking after a newborn as well as the birth aspect itself. I still need to organise a tour around the labour ward – just in case we end up having to go in.

Five weeks left of work now and can’t really wait until I can focus exclusively on becoming a mummy 🙂 Still got quite a bit of work left to do though 😦 including my dissertation viva next week, as well as an essay due that week too and a case report not long after that. My concentration is rubbish at the moment and it all feels a bit too much to cope with 😦 Not long now though.

I’ve noticed my appetite is steadily increasing – but the list of things I can’t eat due to heartburn-inducing tendencies is so long that I’m struggling to find things to satisfy my hunger. Loving crisps at the moment – and still craving fruit and veg so it’s not all bad!

So, Poppyseed could be here in between 7 and 12 weeks…..eek. The end is in sight 🙂

June 4, 2011

Week 26: 93 days to go – the waiting game

Filed under: pregnancy,Second trimester — by drjose81 @ 10:29 pm

Oops, it’s been a few weeks since I blogged 🙂

So, we’re into double figures!! Wahey! It feels like time is passing both slowly and fast – can’t believe I’ll be a mummy in about three months. Scary.

Pregnancy is progressing normally it seems; getting bigger and today was probably the first day I noticed that bending over is getting less comfortable! Poppyseed is kicking away most of the time, sometimes on my bladder 🙂 We’ll be in the third trimester soon – although exactly when is debatable as some sources give 27 weeks as the cut off and others say 28 weeks. I also signed up to pregnancy exercise and yoga which starts next week. Should be good for learning some breathing techniques and such – also to meet other mums-to-be.

Building up a good stash of clothes for Poppyseed now; lots of little blue things 🙂 We made a list of all the stuff we need the other night; not doing too bad but still quite a bit to get. I guess I’ll need to pack a hospital bag even if I plan a home birth – I wouldn’t fancy running around trying to sort it all out whilst contracting! Starting to think a bit more about the birth…but not too much 😉 I’m open to the idea that you can’t plan labour – I will write a birth plan, but I know that things can change without much notice. Nevertheless, I’d like to try with only gas and air.

We got our first cloth nappies through the post the other day – known as ‘fluff’ by those into cloth nappying. Some of them are soooo cute! We’ve had a bit of a nightmare with one online company and I’m hoping it hasn’t put Mr S off the idea. He seems up for it so far though. I think we’re both starting to think about what it might be like when Poppyseed is actually here…it’s a bit daunting and I guess we can’t really imagine it until it happens.

It feels a bit like we’re in limbo – all these changes are on the horizon, but for now we’ve got to get through the next couple months. For me that means completing my doctorate, and for Mr S it means finishing up his job as redundancy looms at the end of August. It’s going to be a turbulent few months for us, where the only certainties are that a baby will be born and Mr S will finish his job. The rest, including where we will live, is for now unknown.

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