Sunday, 27 December 2015

One Month to go?

I'm now 36 weeks pregnant so as people keep telling me this means that I could have the baby any day now. It might also mean she's 6 weeks away. It's a fun waiting game. Every time I have any of the signs of early labour I feel the need to share with my partner that the baby might be coming. I'm fairly sure that when I do go into labour he won't believe me.

I'm feeling good with my PGP, restless legs and heartburn not yet getting any worse, and only an increase in backaches and getting increasingly out of breath as my lung capacity gets squished.

The reality that the baby could be here is making me panic slightly about what I need to get ready. I've lost count of the number of times I've said I need to pack my hospital bag, but is it packed yet? Maybe tomorrow.

Ten things I will be putting in my hospital bag:
  • Change for parking at the hospital.
  • Chocolate (I haven't been able to eat any for ages due to my heartburn, but having something to keep my energy up during or post labour would be helpful so I plan to reunite myself with my favourite food).
  • A bikini top and t-shirt. I hope to have a water birth, but I'm not keen on the idea of having so many spectators to my nudity.
  • A breastfeeding nightdress, bra and socks so I can do ward chic.
  • My phone charger (I'm hoping not to be in hospital for long, but my phone is always an essential)
  • Baby wipes. With my daughter I thought I would get in trouble with midwives if I used wipes instead of cotton wool. Then I tried cleaning merconium poo with cotton wool and water. Wipes it is.
  • Newborn nappies.
  • Newborn baby clothes, something cute for the early pictures.
  • A present for M from her baby sister.
  • A going home outfit for me. Something comfortable and stretchy.
And ten things I probably won't:
  • A mini bottle of champagne
  • Paper pants. I would rather buy some cheap big cotton ones and chuck them away afterwards, I can't believe paper pants are comfortable.
  • A video camera. I have half jokingly asked my partner to take some photo's from the business end though.
  • My DSLR. While I would love to have some beautiful newborn pictures I don't think I want to be worrying about the safety of my camera while I'm in labour.
  • Mood lighting. It was suggested on my NCT course that the lighting in hospital rooms isn't helpful for a relaxed labour and we might want to bring some more gentle lighting?
  • Music. Another suggestion for a more relaxed labour, but I'm not sure I would be comfortable boogieing around the labour ward.
  • Formula/ bottles. If I have problems establishing breastfeeding this time round there will be time to buy these and I would rather hand express into a syringe.
  • Anything to read. I'll have my phone with kindle app, but I hope to not spend so long in hospital that I'll want to do lots of reading.
  • Body lotion or anything to confuse the baby from my "special scent".
  • Teddies etc for baby. They only entertainment my baby will need is me, and maybe her Dad.
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Thursday, 24 December 2015

Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents


I have some empathy with Jo March. Christmas isn't just about presents, but a big part of Christmas is about traditions. These vary from family to family and evolve over time, but we all have things that we do at Christmas time which help us feel Christmassy and enjoy ourselves more.

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Thursday, 10 December 2015

Pregnancy Bingo

There are many things I love about being pregnant. Getting a seat on the Tube and feeling my baby moving around in my tummy are my top two, but let's face it, pregnancy is hard work. I'm not sure if it is worse for the pregnant woman or her partner who has to put up with support her. Actually I do, it is much worse for us ladies.

The bingo grid below with a white rectangle covering most of it and the words: Pregnancy Bingo, Will you get a full house? www.countingtoten.co.uk

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Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Back with a Bump

What do you mean you didn't notice I was gone? And you over there, what do you mean, who am I? Maybe it's time for some reintroductions. I'll go first.

My name is Kate. Unfortunately that isn't unique enough for social media so on Instagram and Twitter you will find me under the cunning pseudonym @EssexKate. It's inventive huh? 

Guess where I live? Yep, Essex. Just on the edge in a lovely place called Loughton. Once upon a time it was much less known than the neighbouring Chigwell. Now Loughton has become famous thanks to TOWIE (The Only Way Is Essex well illustrates some of our residents, but isn't representative of everyone. My skin for instance is closer to the colour of milk than an orange. I also don't say "reem", "vajazzle" or "well jel", well maybe the last one).

Since the last time I was blogging my personal life has changed a wee bit. I am no longer with my husband (sad face) but I have a lovely supportive partner we'll call G (big smiley face). Yes there is a story there, but too many people are still too raw for me to share.

My beautiful daughter M is now 4 years old. She continues to drive me crazy, make me laugh, fill me with warmth and make me cry. I wouldn't change her for the world.



Family photograph by Leah Van Zyl

I have a bump. It's quite big now. In fact I'm just about to finish work for a year. By which I mean the paid work that I commute to every week day. As anyone who has had a baby knows the real work is the kind that is 24/7 and involves a small crying, pooping bundle of awesomeness. That work is meant to start at the end of January.

It's been a tough few years. My life plan laughed in my face and went skipping off to a theme park. I was made redundant a year after coming back from my last maternity leave. I got a new job. I decided I wasn't happy with the new job, and got another one at the same place. The people I work with now are lovely, supportive and generally a great bunch of people who work very hard. I work for the NHS.

To accompany all the job changes my marriage broke down. I used to believe marriage should last forever and you should work at it no matter what. At some point I had to choose between staying in my marriage and finding a way to be happy again. I chose me.

Choosing me wasn't without it's drawbacks, the biggest of which is now I only have my beautiful daughter 50% of the time. It is great that her Dad wants to be involved, but I miss her whenever she's away.

It has taken my daughter a long time to adjust to the separation and she still says things like "I wish you and Daddy lived together", but she is settled, happy and doing well. The challenging behaviour as she starts to realise the possible impact of having a younger sibling is creeping in though.
32 Weeks and a bump
32 weeks and a silly face
I've spent a lot of time reflecting on how I got here. Trying to truly appreciate what I have, how lucky I am, what is great about me and my limitations. I don't want to forget the past and I don't want to make the same mistakes again. 

So there are 10 things about me. Just a quick "Hello" really. Feel free to say "hi". I look forward to catching up with you all now I'm back.
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