21 February 2013

13 Weeks - The Booking In Appointment

After chasing up a couple of missing referrals, I finally got my booking in appointment for earlier this week.

I'd really hoped that this appointment would include our 12 week scan as I was desperate to know everything was all right. Plus we were already at 12 weeks +5 days, which didn't leave much time for the Down's test. Unfortunately a scan wasn't actually scheduled, but luck was with us.

After being weighed and measured, we were called in to give our medical histories. The poor midwife thought my medical history was never going to end! She'd also never booked in an IVF pregnancy before, so discovered a whole new page of questions. Unsurprisingly the midwife decided my medical history was complex enough that I should have an early appointment with the consultant.

So to get all the tests done in time I was told I'd get the next available scan appointment. When we spoke to the Ultrasound department we discovered the local schools are on half term - and thus the next week was completely booked. Luckily the receptionists were lovely and with a few phone calls they managed to squeeze us in the same day.

The moment I saw our little one on the screen, it suddenly became real. It was surprisingly clear, but I was a bit worried the baby was so still. The midwife soon fixed that, as she tilted the table so my feet went in the air and started prodding my stomach - from that point on it wouldn't stop wriggling. There were thrashing arms and kicking legs - it seems that like me, our little one isn't fond of being woken up!


Now that we've finally made it past the 12 week milestone I guess I'll finally have to make a decision about maternity clothes. I've been searching the internet for tips and suggestions, but most seem to depend on having a decent wardrobe in the first place.

As things stand at the moment I have one pair of trousers that were a bit tight before I got pregnant and one pair two sizes too big (I can just about take them off without undoing the zip or buttons). I have one zip up jumper I stole off my husband four years ago and a men's winter coat, neither of which had much room around the hips in the first place.

So I think I'll have to buy a new pair of trousers and a comfy cardi at the very least. So far I've been on three shopping trips with the intention of buying something, but I find shopping and trying clothes on quite difficult. Traipsing from store to store trying to work out what I need and what will actually fit generally has driven my pain levels so high that I can't make decisions any more and I end up leaving in frustration. I've tried to narrow things down by searching online first, but so often something that looks great online just doesn't work in person.

So I think that's the goal for the weekend - hopefully I'll actually buy something but if nothing else I hope I can narrow the selection down to just a few options.

17 February 2013

The Big Reveal

This weekend there's a big family wedding down in London, and it seems the perfect opportunity to tell my husband's parents and siblings our wonderful news.

The problem of course is that back in September we told everyone that our IVF had failed and we had no intention of trying again. It's tricky, in that we didn't really change our minds - faced with the same situation we'd make the same decision. It's only because we were offered something new that we took another chance.

It's not going be an easy topic to bring up, so I started looking for a cute way to let our family know. I happens to have been my mother-in-law's birthday last weekend, so a belated card seems the perfect opportunity.
My husband uses an unusual spelling of Nanna, so a personalised card was the obvious choice - plus it would let us add our scan photos. After checking out all the personalised card companies, Funky Pigeon seemed to be the only one which would allow me to print images inside the card.
Unfortunately we won't get our twelve week scan till the Monday after, so we could only include our two early scans.

The big reveal was a smashing success. We were all at a restaurant for dinner the night before the wedding, when we gave my mother-in-law the card. Her mouth fell completely open and my sister-in-law catching sight of the scans jumped out of her chair, knocking it over and nearly taking out a poor unexacting diner as he walked past with his full plate.

The news quickly spread through the family to grandparents, aunts and cousins. To our surprise we learned we weren't the only ones with news. At Christmas two of my husband's cousins also announced they were pregnant.

So there will be four little bundles joining the family this year!

9 February 2013

UK Baby & Toddler Show

Over the last month or so, signs have been popping up around Liverpool advertising the UK Baby & Toddler Show. I really enjoyed The Baby Show, until I discovered it's links with DSEi, the world's largest arms fair. So I hoped the UK Baby & Toddler Show might be a guilt-free alternative.

I spotted half price discount tickets on both Living Social and Groupon, but after contacting the show on Twitter, they were kind enough to send me a couple of complimentary tickets. Rather than bore Mr Goldfish by dragging him around, I decided to invite a friend who's also looking to start a family.
Our first surprise was when the tickets arrived! Those who ordered their tickets early were also sent a Vital Baby Bottle, an Ella's Kitchen fruit pouch, and a vintage scarf. It was an unexpected surprise, that sparked our enthusiasm for the day.
The event was held at the Liverpool Echo Arena, which is conveniently near Liverpool One and the Albert Docks, we arrived early just as the doors were opening. There were some interesting differences, while other shows seemed to focus of baby products, the UK Baby and Toddler Show seem to be a source of local information. A quick scan of the schedule revealed several seminars we were interested in.
The first speakers were from the Liverpool and Wirral Sling Library. They offer practical advice about baby wearing and suggestions about individual slings. The library also lets you borrow slings for a couple of weeks so you can try them out. For products that are often difficult to find in stores, this is a brilliant service. I'd visited their website before attending the show, but I always feel a bit of anxiety about seeking advice from people I don't know. Through both the seminar and visiting their booth, I came away more confident that I could contact them in the future.
There were also seminars by the Liverpool Women's Hospital on Active Birth and the Wirral Women and Children's Hospital about Water Births. While both talks were short, both speakers were positive and friendly - which made it easy to ask questions.
Of course there were also shopping opportunities. There were stands where you could try out different pushchairs, browse reusable nappies, baby blankets and cushions. I was pleased to see stalls bursting with bright vibrant patterns, like the Peekaboo Shop pictured below. I'm so tired of cream and pale pastels!
Over all it wasn't quite what I expected, but I was very impressed that there was over an hour's worth of seminars we were interested in and plenty of local information.

3 February 2013

Step Down Nursery : Beginnings

10 weeks pregnant:

It's pretty obvious my blogging has taken a rather big hit over the last month, and I think this can mostly be put down to the absence of pain killers and chronic nausea. So while my brain has been struggling to function I've kept myself busy scouring the internet for nursery ideas.

Once again I'm struggling to find a balance between my designer training and our Quaker ideals. The designer in me wants to go out and buy awesome products and create a gorgeous modern nursery, while my Quaker ideals of living simply and sustainably keep asking "do we really need that?". Everyday is a closely fought battle between the two, but luckily I also have a compulsive need to find a bargain - which gives our Quaker ethics an extra edge.

I've decided to see how much stuff I can buy second-hand (as second-hand goods have a much smaller carbon-footprint). There's an additional challenge in that I need to plan for my physical limitations as well. For example I'm looking for a bedside cot which allows me to lower the side completely, so I wouldn't need to lift a child over the rail. Even with specific models in mind, I don't think it will be too hard a challenge. I've already spotted several possibilities in just the last few weeks, and I've obviously months to go.

I have acquired my first bit of furniture though. I spotted this Cosatto Hogarth Dresser going for free on Preloved. It has a few superficial scrapes and scratches, but it's nice and solid. I think a few colourfully lined baskets could really spruce it up.

It's probably a little bigger than we'd like for our tiny nursery, but I'm quite pleased with our first acquisition.

Step Down Sunday
Have you made any Steps Down this week? Leave me a message in the comments!

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