Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: we’re engaged!

Week: 34 Waist: 40 inches (+ 1.5 inches, possibly owing to engagement) Feeling: Nice and comfy It’s official: the baby’s head is engaged. The midwife confirmed the momentous milestone on Tuesday morning, but I already knew because I felt it happen last Friday. I cannot describe the relief – my whole bump has dropped a good inch or so, meaning I can breathe again, eat a whole meal again, I no longer have heartburn and my whole upper body feels free. I’m so much more comfortable – for now. The realisation this had happened sent me running to Boots for all the necessary for my hospital bag, which I’ve now started packing. It also reminded me how unglamorous the immediate aftermath of child birth is. Big pants, breast pads and super strong night-time pads (or ‘wadding for every orifice’ as Misery Guts helpfully called them) are now in a bag by the bedroom door, as are new born nappies and enough pound coins to feed the hospital car park for a day or so. […]

I need a food net umbrella – for a baby

I swear both our cats knew I was pregnant before I did. Our eldest, Eddie, has been following me around from the word go, while our youngest, Daisy, was instantly more loving than usual. Eight months on she curls up alongside my bump at every available opportunity (pictured), and Eddie is never far away. Both of them are quite happy sitting on top of my bump even though the baby now kicks back as they paw before settling down, and when the baby shifts position they simply shift too. I’m guessing it’s all to do with pheromones, but either way, it’s got me thinking about how loving and cuddly they’ll be when the baby actually arrives. Eddie will probably run a mile, as he did with BB, but I don’t trust Daisy one bit. She would curl up on or alongside BB whenever she could (pictured), meaning a cat net for the moses basket is definitely in order. […]

Aldi maternity clothes: you could get more than you bargained for

As a forces child I spent several years living in Germany, where our local supermarket was Aldi. I used to like going there because of the bins of totally non-supermarket and often pointless items, like watering cans in the shape of gnomes and solar sunflowers for the garden we didn’t have, which ran up the middle of the shop. As of next week those UK bins are now going to contain a ‘capsule’ collection of maternity and baby clothes, and I’ve been sent a few by way of sneak preview. There are dresses (£11.99, pictured), leggings (£6), tops (£9.99) and even a nappy changing bag (£14.99). The range is part of Aldi’s ‘specialbuys’ collection, which go in store every Thursday and Sunday and are only available while stocks last. It will be interesting to see how long these stocks last. […]

By |September 12th, 2014|Beauty, Breast feeding, Family life, Fashion, Parenting, Pregnancy, Reviews|0 Comments

Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: it’s no surprise my waist has expanded this week

Week: 32 Waist: 38.5 inches (+0.5 inches) Feeling: Crampy legged I’m pleased to be able to report my craving for chicken soup now appears to have passed. In fact I don’t think I’ll be eating any for a very long time. Instead I’m eating and drinking other things it would never occur to me to consume normally, like squash (the liquid kind). I’ve been ridiculously thirsty throughout the entire pregnancy, and lately I’ve really been fancying squash, which I haven’t drunk for years. So when the nice people at Vimto kindly sent me some samples of their new no added sugar Squeezy water enhancer they came at the perfect time. […]

Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: procrastination, procrastination, procrastination

Week: 31 Waist: 38 inches (+ 1 inch) Feeling: Sore armed thanks to whooping cough vaccination (for baby, not me) It might be September next week, but I’m still too scared to actually do anything to prepare for the baby’s arrival in case something goes wrong. I told myself I’d start a ‘to do’ list after we got back from holiday, but now that time has come I’m procrastinating. It’s not even a lengthy list, but includes things that mean it could Really Be Happening like unpacking BB’s new born clothes, buying tiny nappies and packing a hospital bag. Things that really do need to get done, preferably before going into labour. […]

Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: hello third trimester

Week: 28 Waist: 37 inches (-0.5 inches…again!) Feeling: Coming down with a cold, worst luck The quest for decent maternity clothes continues. When I was expecting BB in 2011 there was a plethora of inspiring ranges to choose from, and I remember having to rein myself in to curb the spending. What’s changed? Last month I ordered four tops from H&M – nothing fancy, several vests and a ‘smart’ top – but the fabric was so thin it was virtually transparent so I sent them straight back again. Instead I’ve spent the last few weeks in a (non-maternity) maxi dress from Peacocks, which is just the ticket in this hot weather. Sadly this isn’t going to see me into autumn though, and it was while pondering this that I stumbled upon what actually appears to be a nice selection of affordable outfits to house my growing bump. And you’ll never guess where from: Asda. That’s right, you did read correctly. […]

Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: bye bye second trimester

Week: 27 Waist: 37.5 inches (+0.5 inches but 0.5 inches less than week 25) Feeling: Like I’ve swallowed a stick sideways It looks like we might have made it: against all the odds (it seems to me) this weekend marks the final days of the second trimester. There’s no doubt the baby is getting bigger. According to the midwife he or she is transverse, meaning they’re lying across my tummy sideways. And don’t I know it. With the placenta at the front acting as a kind of ‘shield’ I’m feeling all the baby’s movements to the extreme left and right, and sometimes behind, which feels very odd as this never happened with BB who was most definitely at the front. I also feel like I’ve swallowed a stick horizontally with the skin straining to accommodate it, so am slapping on the cocoa butter with even more zeal than usual. […]

Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: my waist has got SMALLER

Week: 26 Waist: 37 inches (-1 inch) Feeling: Still chickeny Oddly, my waist measures a whole inch less than it [...]

Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: I’ve gone over to the elastic side

Week: 25 Waist: 38 inches (+ 2 whole inches!!) Feeling: Properly pregnant owing to new ‘over the bump’ jeans My plan to make do with low-rise jeans for the duration of the pregnancy has been thwarted: the button on my Levi’s simply won’t stretch any further and, not wanting to ruin them, I’ve gone over to the elastic side. I’m talking full-on maternity jeans with an ‘over the bump’ elastic panel (below – I’ll spare you a picture of me actually in them – it’s not a pretty sight). Misery Guts laughed out loud when he saw them and I can’t say I blame him. They weren’t what I intended to buy at all. I intended to find a non-maternity pair that simply fitted, but when the sales assistant in JoJo Maman Bebe enthusiastically encouraged me to try them on I was too polite to refuse. Oh. Lordy. They are sooo comfortable I was instantly converted. I knew as soon as I pulled them up and before I looked in the mirror I had to have them – I didn’t care what they looked like. Like my over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder maternity bra, which also isn’t a pretty sight. […]

Would you have a ‘Viking baby’?

How far would you go to have your ‘perfect’ baby? Apparently more and more Brits are turning to Danish sperm banks because they’d like ‘Viking babies’ with blonde hair, blue eyes and a strapping build. Online sales at one of the largest sperm banks in Denmark are up a massive 20%, with wannabe mums getting the stuff Fed-Exed to the UK with next day delivery. One can’t help but wonder if so-called ‘Nordic noir’ TV shows such as Borgen are to blame – I’m thinking actor Pilou Asbaek (although is he actually blonde?) My curiosity piqued, and with my journalist hat on, I decided to try and find a mum who specifically sought out a Danish sperm donor to find out why she did it. I came across Jessica McCallin (pictured), who single and approaching 40 realised she was facing a now-or-never moment in life. […]

By |July 16th, 2014|Family life, Health, News, Parenting, Pregnancy|0 Comments

Shock horror: I’m running in pregnancy

Week: 24 Waist: 36 inches (no change) Feeling: Pretty good Dare I admit it? I’ve been running throughout my entire pregnancy and with the sixth month almost upon us I’m still clocking up around 12 miles a week. It’s now clear I have a baby on board (pictured) and it’s amazing how many people I’ve been running past since we moved here 18 months ago have suddenly started smiling and saying hello. Which is heartening. When I was expecting BB and carried on donning my trainers it wasn’t long before I discovered people seem to view pregnancy as some sort of illness, requiring one to sit on the sofa and eat crisps for nine months. I also discovered – and became increasingly infuriated by – people who dished out their advice on the subject despite having no medical knowledge whatsoever. ‘I’m not ill, I’m pregnant’ I would find myself saying over and over again. Having run six to nine miles at least twice a week for more than 10 years, there was no question in my mind that hanging up my trainers in favour of the sofa would be more of a shock to my system than continuing to pound the pavements. Every pregnancy book you find will tell you – assuming your blood pressure is ok – to continue your normal levels of activity as far as possible. What’s more, I love it. Why would I stop? […]

Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: chicken soup for the soul (or baby)

Week: 23 Waist: 36 inches (+0.5 inches, possibly owing to Misery Guts’ work trip to the Cadbury factory) Feeling: Chickeny I’ve developed my first pregnancy craving: chicken soup. And not just any old chicken soup. It has to be fresh (tins are a no-no), it has to have actual pieces of chicken in and there can’t be any other ingredient other than chicken (sweetcorn is the stuff of the devil). I realise it’s been one of the hottest weeks of the year, but I can’t get enough of the stuff. I’m sipping as I write. It’s now got to the point that my local Tesco has been sold out of its Creamy Chicken Soup for three days in a row, and I’ve had no option but to move on to the Finest version instead, which oddly isn’t as nice (forget Covent Garden, have you seen the fat content?) […]

Miscarriage care campaign victory!

Just two weeks in there’s a victory in the next phase of Mumsnet’s Miscarriage Care Campaign: following a live webchat with mums last week shadow health secretary Andy Burnham MP has pledged to include better miscarriage care in Labour’s 2015 manifesto. At first I wasn’t sure if victory was the right word to describe the commitment – the cynic in me asks what good being included in Labour’s manifesto will actually do – but the fact is that without Mumsnet raising the profile of this issue and without mums like me sharing our first-hand experiences and demanding action this wouldn’t have happened. So in my book that’s a victory. […]

Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: why can’t I just sit back and relax?

Week: 22 Waist: 35.5 inches (no change) Feeling: Like an overactive worrywart With the 20 week scan out of the way and all looking good, I’m now worrying the baby is going to come early. Too early. I’ve spent the last four months silently praying we make it beyond the next milestone: 8 weeks, when my last two babies died, 10 weeks, when the last miscarriage was actually diagnosed, 12 weeks, when we see whether everything appears to be ok or not, 16 weeks, when apparently the risk of miscarriage dramatically drops, and then 20 weeks, when again we see whether everything appears to be ok or not. I hadn’t really allowed myself to think beyond the 20 week scan, and now we’re here it’s almost as though my subconscious self is saying ‘you must have something to worry about’ and finds a new anxiety to harbour. […]

Why is NHS miscarriage care still so poor?

Ok, so I said I didn’t want to write about my miscarriages. However, this week Mumsnet published the results of its Miscarriage Care Survey showing that the treatment and support women receive following miscarriage is often less than ideal and fails to meet official national guidelines. Did you know that half of women who miscarry have to wait more than 24 hours for a scan to find out if their baby is still alive, and are treated alongside women with healthy pregnancies? Or that 58% of women wanted counselling after miscarrying, but only 12% were offered it? In a bid to improve NHS miscarriage care and lessen the trauma of pregnancy loss Mumsnet is calling for the three main political parties to pledge to improve the system, based on its Code of Care, by the end of the next parliament. Of course achieving this means women like me need to speak out about our experience, or nothing will change. There is no doubt elements of my care were less than ideal, and despite considerable – and unusual – encouragement from Misery Guts I have felt absolutely no desire to blog about it. But if sharing my story means another woman doesn’t have to face what I did, I will. So here goes: […]