Thursday, 29 January 2015

35 Week Pregnancy Update

Today I am 36 weeks and five days pregnant and have only twenty three days until my due date. 

Firstly, please accept my apologies for how late this post is, I've been so tired this week and just haven't had the energy to even pick up my laptop. 

There wasn't much in the way of symptoms in week 35, just the usual tiredness and sickness in the mornings when I got up early.

I've put on weight which is actually a welcome change! Despite people telling me that no weight gain is no cause for concern I can't help but worry. It was only one pound so nothing major but still, a relief to have put something on. My total pregnancy weight gain is now three pounds.

My bump at 35 weeks + 6 days, maternity outfit post here. I had my work's leaving do a week before finishing work as that date better suited people, I had a lovely time and couldn't get over the amount of goodies that my colleagues had put together for me and baby.

Kitty really is my fur baby, she loves being tucked in when she is in the right mood. \\ I received a good luck card and a super cute little book from C&G Baby Club. 

Saturday, 24 January 2015

What I Wore, Maternity : My Work Leaving Do

I finish work on Wednesday next week so decided to have my leaving do yesterday, at 35 weeks + 6 days pregnant. I'm still quite fussy with my food so just went along to the local Wetherspoons as I am absolutely loving their pasta alfredo with salmon at the moment. With it being a Friday evening at a pub I wanted to make a little bit of an effort with my outfit so decided to wear my new maternity/nursing dress from Yummy Mummy, teamed with ankle boots, black tights and red lipstick it ticks all of the boxes. 

Maternity/Nursing Dress - Mamalicious via Yummy Mummy*
Black & Gold Bracelet - Christmas Present
Watch - Michael Kors
Gold Heart Bracelet - Primark
Ankle Boots - New Look (old)
Lipstick - Mac, Russian Red

I absolutely love this dress, it fits perfectly and is super flattering when pregnant, post pregnancy it can then be worn as a nursing dress. There is a breast feeding panel which is easily accessible via the zip. The plan is that the front pleats allow plenty of room during pregnancy and then act to hide your post pregnancy tum. I can definitely vouch for the pregnancy side of this dress, it fits great and is super comfortable. 

Not only did I have a lovely evening last night but I was also presented with this delightful surprise. Some of my colleagues put some baby essentials into a box for me and this is the result. I can't believe how much stuff there is, and what is best is that it is all stuff that will be used loads!

P.S. I am aware that there is a cat photo bombing almost every photo, it was feeding time and they weren't happy about waiting until after Spencer finished taking photos of me for their food! 

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

My Breastfeeding Hopes & Fears with Medela

With this being my first baby I'm not really sure what to expect when it comes to feeding. I am hoping to breast feed and also express milk so that both Spencer and I can bottle feed my milk when need be. This kit from Medela* will hopefully make both aspects a little easier. 

I have already had a little milk leakage so I am hoping that this means my milk will be in ready for babies arrival. 

I have no problem at all with people who chose to breastfeed in public, it is completely natural and if people are comfortable doing it then I have nothing but respect for them. I, however, am too scared to breastfeed in public. In an ideal world our baby will happily switch from breast to bottle and back to breast again. This way I can express after each feed and store this milk in readiness for outings or simply if I need a break/Spencer wants to spend some time with baby we have my milk ready. At parent craft class we were told that baby never completely drains the breast so it is a good idea to express after each feed so that the body knows to produce more milk. 

With this in mind when I was given the chance to ask Sioned, Medela's Lactation Consultant, three breastfeeding related questions one that I asked was: If I express how long will my milk keep and is it suitable for freezing?

  • At room temperature it is advisable to use immediately but on a cool day you can store for 4 hours.
  • In the refrigerator – place your expressed milk at the back of the unit as the temperature is more constant - this will keep for 3-5 days on average. Check and smell the milk and if it smells off it may be that the live enzymes have started to break it down
  • In the freezer you can store it for 6 months but you need to defrost and use it up within 24 hours.

You hear so many stories about how breast is best and there is always so much pressure on new mum's to breastfeed, I wanted to know if breastfeeding really is best for both mum and baby :

Yes, it truly is. Breastfeeding is not just about nutrition it also has immunological and neurological properties that support health and development.

Human development
Human babies are born neurologically immature as the human brain is not fully developed until the age of 2 years and there is no way a 2 year old human head would pass through the female pelvis.
The relationship a baby has with its mother builds upon trust, intimacy, love and affection and breastfeeding is so much more than food. The hormone oxytocin - the ‘love hormone ‘ is high in labour and in the first few days for all mums but it is also released by mum and baby when breastfeeding.

From a nutritional point of view the human baby digestive system is ready to feed from its own mother

  • There is very little waste, very easy to digest
  • It is full of nutrition that is ever-changing to your baby’s needs
  • Has the right amount of fats, vitamins and minerals, protein and carbohydrates that your baby needs
  • The essential fatty acids in breastmilk support brain and eye development and help with setting up the brain nerves and neurone network and eye development lastly the immunological benefits.
  • Breastmilk is alive and ever-changing! Mum’s antibodies are transferred across the blood milk barrier and if mum is exposed to the winter cold etc. she will make her own antibodies and her baby also gets some to boost, support and protect their own immune system to fight infection and viruses.

On a risk side there is also current evidence that breastfeeding provides a protective factor against SIDS as babies who are breastfed are less likely to be unwell, co-room for longer with their parents. From an anatomical and physiological view the upper airway is protected for longer in babies who are breastfed compared to those who are formula bottle fed.

There are also health benefits for mums too –
The longer you breastfeed for, and amount of babies you breastfeed the greater the protection against
  • Breast cancer, ovarian cancer, osteoporosis , improved mental well-being,
  • You also burn off the pregnancy stores, reduced time off work if you are breastfeeding as your babies are healthier and not poorly in nursery.
  • And you can feed any time anywhere without all the paraphernalia associated with formula feeding.

The last question that I asked was diet related, if I breastfeed will I have to maintain a similar diet to as I do when I am pregnant, i.e. avoid alcohol, soft cheese, etc :

It is advisable to continue with the same recommendations, minimise the caffeine intake,
watch your alcohol intake, an occasional glass of wine is okay, avoid unpasteurised dairy, make sure you cook raw meats completely. You also need to take vitamin D supplements and Vitamin B12 if you follow a vegetarian diet.

Thank you Medela and Sioned, if I wasn't sure about breastfeeding before you really have sold it to me and given me some very useful information.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Review : Tuff Luv iPad Cover & Camera Bag

I have been looking for a bag for my DSLR since I first had it, over a year ago, and have failed to find one that a) I like and b) is affordable. I saw this particular bag on Jenna's Christmas present post and just had to buy it as it ticks all of the boxes for me, it is pretty, reasonably priced (most I've seen are ugly or overpriced), holds my camera and a few extras.

There is thick padding to sit in between my camera and my lens to stop them knocking on each other which means that my expensive camera and lenses should be well protected. There are plenty of little pockets to store extra bits like USB cable, spare batteries and even a few essentials such as my house keys, phone and bank card.

Overall I am very impressed with my pretty new camera bag and am looking forward to taking it with me on my next outing.

My iPad case had slowly started falling apart so while I was on the site I decided to have a look at their iPad cases. I was quite shocked to find this beautiful secret garden print case reduced to £7.50.

The case slides into the elasticated supports easily and doesn't budge once in them. The stand is very good and supports the iPad incredibly well. There are four support slots which gives quite a wide variety of levels for the iPad to stand at. The one main downside is that the case isn't rotatable, which when using apps like Instagram can be a little annoying as they are portrait view only which means holding your iPad rather than being able to stand it up.

Another slight flaw was that the case has a slight pink line on it (bottom picture) from the elasticated strap. I did buy the case in the sale though so am not going to complain about this, I would imagine that if I paid full price this wouldn't have been the case, my guess is that this has happened as a result of it sitting around in storage for a while.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

34 Week Pregnancy Update

Today I am 35 weeks + 1 day into my pregnancy journey and have 34 days to go!

I start my last but one week in work tomorrow, exciting! I have my work leaving do this Friday and my baby shower with friends on Sunday so have a lot to look forward to next weekend. 

I'm back to going to the toilet a lot, this combined with the fact that I'm not getting the pains in my right hand side as much now make me think that baby has shifted a little. 

Things are starting to get uncomfortable now, I feel as though I am running out of space. Baby seems to be fighting my ribs for space at the moment, sitting up straight helps a little but if I sit up real straight for too long my back aches, can't win! 

Baby has started kicking things off my stomach now which is quite funny, I'll be trying to read in bed on my iPad and it is bouncing around due to baby kicking it! 

My belly button hasn't protruded out yet and I have no obvious Linea Nigra so I am hoping that these two will stay away. 

I've stayed the same weight again which means that I have still only put on 2lbs. I mentioned this to the midwife at my parent craft class as I'm a little concerned, I thought that I should be putting on at least 2lbs a week now as baby is growing. She said that it was nothing to be concerned about, when my bump is being measured it is showing as growing so it just means that I am loosing weight and baby is putting on weight. I will mention this again at my midwife appointment on Wednesday as it is nice to have a second opinion. 

My bump at 35 weeks, I've really slowed down growing now, I seem to have got big really quickly and now not a lot is changing \\ My new favourite combination, pancakes, Maltesers spread & banana \\ delicious melt in the middle chocolate puddings from the Co-op.

Spencer bought BN biscuits home the other day, I couldn't help but sing the song! \\ I had an envelope in the bedroom, Bob obviously had to get in it and attack us every time we walked past him \\ Not sure what to think of the toffee Kit Kats, I prefer good old chocolate \\ beef stew in the slow cooker. 

Saturday, 17 January 2015

What I Wore, Maternity : 34 Weeks Casual Dress

Maternity Dress - New Look
Maternity Coat - New Look (now reduced to £12)
Black Pumps - Primark

These photos were taken in Cardiff Bay last weekend when I was 34 weeks pregnant. Dresses, tights and pumps has become one of my maternity staple outfits. I have recently bought maternity jeans which I am starting to wear more often, though as I only have one pair they are quite often in the wash when I want to wear them. 

As I say time and time again, there really is no need to pay a lot for maternity clothes, I bought this dress in the New Look sale, I think I paid £9 for it. The coat was one of my most expensive maternity purchases as I paid (almost) full price for it because I was desperate, I did have a £10 discount code which helped ease the pain a little! I am so glad that I bought the coat, it still does up over my stomach and it looks nice. I initially planned on buying a cheap, larger coat in Primark before deciding to part with the cash and buy a maternity coat, but to get one that fitted me in the stomach meant that it looked ridiculously large on the back and shoulders, and would probably be too small in the stomach by now. 


Thursday, 15 January 2015

Afternoon Tea : The Angel Hotel, Abergavenny

I've blogged about High Tea at The Angel Hotel in Abergavenny once before, you can read that post here, we went again in November and as it is over a year since the last time I went I thought it was worthwhile writing about it again. I had nothing but praise for the food and service the last time around, so how was it one year on?

I bought Spencer a voucher for high tea for two for his birthday back in February, as is life time flew by and we still hadn't booked in so decided to go for our Wedding anniversary in November. The voucher came nicely presented printed on card.

On the last occasion that I visited The Angel Hotel we paid an extra £2 per person for a private room, this time we sat in the dining room along with the other diners. This was a lot more formal and quite uncomfortable at first. The tables are very close together and you can hear the conversations of the diners all around you, and they can also hear your conversation. As the room started filling up it became a little more relaxed but still felt very formal, hence the not so great phone photos as the setting just wasn't right to pull out my big DSLR! 

The afternoon tea is served on vintage crockery which is how I like it, I find that vintage crockery adds a certain charm to it. 

The high tea came with a layer of sandwiches, a layer of pastries, a layer of cakes, an individual tiramisu each, a warm scone each, cream & jam and of course, tea.

We received two of each sandwich and pastry so were able to try one each, however, there is only one of each cake. We opted to cut each cake in half so that we both got to try each one. The good thing about this is that you get to sample a wider variety of cake, the obvious downside is that you may not want to split your favourite cakes! 

One of the things that I love about The Angel is the huge choice of tea, you can view the menu here where you will see that there is a lot of choice.  The menu seems to have been updated since our visit as I can't find the teas that either of us chose on this menu. Spencer had a black vanilla tea and I had some form of rose tea. We were offered other teas but we were both satisfied after one pot each.

We were both so full by the time that we ate the sandwiches and pastries that we ended up taking all of the cakes home with us. These were taken away and boxed up for us ready to collect on the way out. 

At the time of booking I mentioned that I was pregnant so couldn't eat certain things. Upon arrival the waitress checked with me what I could and couldn't eat pretty much straight away. They adapted the sandwiches to me which is why my sandwiches look a little samey as I had some duplicates instead of those that I couldn't eat. The pastries weren't adapted for me which resulted in Spencer stealing a few of mine! 

High Tea at The Angel Hotel, Abergavenny is currently priced at £26.80 per person. 

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Pregnancy Appointment : 31 & 34 Week Midwife Appointments

Both of these appointments were routine Midwife check-ups which involved testing my urine, blood pressure, measuring my bump and listening in on the baby's heartbeat with a doppler.

All of my checks came out fine at both appointments. 

The Midwife didn't fill in the exact heartbeat of baby on my notes at either appointments, but did state that the heartbeat is regular, at the 34 week appointment she actually commented on how impressively regular it was, seems as if we have a very calm baby.

Baby isn't yet engaged but is still head down, although in a bit of an odd position, there is something (midwife thinks a leg or arm) sticking out of my right side, this is nothing to worry about but probably is the reason that I keep getting sharp shooting pains in my right side.

Baby is no longer measuring as large, we are now exactly on the average line which is a relief! 

I asked if/when I do a birthing plan. My midwife said that there is no point in doing one as it goes completely out of the window, as a result she doesn't intend on going through one with me. I received some advice on labour and pain relief at my parent craft class so I'm not too concerned about this. My midwife did say that there is a specific section in the back of my notes where I can write a birth plan myself, there is also a template available on the NHS website, but she doesn't really recommend filling one in as it often leads to disappointment. I mentioned that I want a water birth and wasn't sure how I make the hospital aware of this. It is simply a case of requesting one when I phone up to be admitted, again, this may result in disappointment because they only have a limited amount of birthing rooms with pools so these may be full, and also, if the maternity ward is particularly busy they will be 'all hands on deck' which means that the birthing pools won't be manned and aren't available for use. 

I am now being moved to two weekly appointments as my due date is fast approaching.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

33 Week Pregnancy Update

Today I am 34 weeks + 1 day pregnant and have 41 days to go! 

I'm back to work and back to being sick most mornings, baby really does not like forced wake ups. I only have three weeks left in work and have used holidays so that the next two weeks are four day weeks and the third week is a three day week, so excited now and things are starting to feel very real. 

I'm still not getting up to go to the toilet in the night which is absolutely brilliant, though I am busting by the time I wake up! 

I noticed the other day a little bit of leakage from my breasts. Without wanting to sound disgusting both myself and Spencer noticed a funny smell coming from me, like gone off milk. Neither of us could work out why I smelt, I decided to have a shower and when I took my bra off the smell was worse, on examination I discovered white around both of my nipples. I don't seem to have had it since, or if I have it hasn't been as smelly as we haven't noticed it again. This got me super excited as I am hoping to breastfeed so leaking milk already has got to be a good sign. 

My feet are starting to ache and swell a lot more now, if I'm on my feet for any long period of time they start throbbing and I get super tired. I don't know how people who are on their feet all day in their jobs cope during pregnancy! 

I haven't put on any weight this week, my total pregnancy weight gain so far remains at 2lbs.

The Nursery is coming along nicely, we put our decal up yesterday and are so pleased with how it turned out. The decal came from eBay and took ages to apply, my feet were killing afterwards! I'll be posting about the decal and the rest of the nursery when we semi-finish it all (we won't be finishing it fully until after baby is born as we will be adding pink or blue touches depending on the sex of baby).

We went to Cardiff today where we did something pretty exciting which was pick up our pram! We opted for the Baby Jogger City Mini from John Lewis, after a lot of trouble ordering on-line we went to the shop to purchase it. The on-line service really let us down, the order was cancelled four times in total due to an IT problem, the main issue is that the money is on hold as a pending transaction in our bank account, as you can imagine we are currently down by quite a bit of money! We have sent a complaint email and have been updated to say that they are investigating the problem and that the refunds team will get back to us once they have looked into it.

While in Cardiff we went to Crepeaffaire for the first time which was delicious, I'll be writing a blog post about it shortly. \\ My bump today at 34 weeks + 1 day, I seem to have slowed down on the growth front. \\ I love our new cats in hats calendar. 

Monday, 5 January 2015

32 Week Pregnancy Update

Today I am 33 weeks + 2 days pregnant and have 47 days to go.

Both myself and baby really appreciated the Christmas break, I had the most ridiculous lie-ins ever (I'm talking 11:30 - 12!) and didn't feel guilty about it at all because I'm pregnant and deserve the rest! I also wasn't sick once during the break, but was sick on my first (and only day during week 32) day back. I've decided that baby is lazy like myself and Spencer and doesn't appreciate being woken up by the alarm and rushing around. The break has got me really looking forward to starting my maternity leave, I only have four weeks left in work which is very exciting. Most people were down in the dumps returning after the lovely break, I on the other hand am bouncing around smiling and counting down! 

Strangely I haven't been getting up to go to the toilet in the night like I usually do once a night, I'm not sure if this is because I haven't been drinking as much while I've been off work (in work I tend to get dehydrated quickly due to the heat and constantly talking on the phone) or if it is because baby has changed positions. I really hope that it isn't due to a change of positions as baby has always been in the perfect position so far in my pregnancy. I have a midwife appointment Wednesday so will know then if baby has moved.

Baby's kicks are now getting to feel uncomfortable, I guess this is because the baby is bigger and stronger which is obviously a good thing, just makes sleeping a little more of a pain than it already was! 

I put on another pound which brings my total weight gain to 2 pounds.

Spencer and I on New Year's Eve. I love my selfie stick.

I won £10 on a scratchcard that my auntie gave me for Christmas \\ You can almost tell what I've stencilled on to my hot chocolate, not bad for a first attempt \\ Kitty being Queen of the Castle \\ My baby scrapbook has arrived and is something that I will get started on soon (or may just leave until my maternity leave kicks in), I bought it here.

My bump at 33 weeks \\ Food at our local Table Table \\ I picked up a bargain Yankee Candle in the sales, it smells amazing.