22 April 2013

2nd Trimester

Last week we had another antenatal appointment. This time we saw the consultant herself, rather than one of the junior doctors, and I'm thrilled to say that a home-birth is back on the table! The consultant said that though my medical history was complex, when you broke it down there was nothing to raise her concerns.

She also told us that the placenta is attached to the front, which explains why the baby's movements have been muffled. Apparently it acts as a pillow, softening the blows. I suspect this is a blessing, as our baby seems to be a wriggly thing! I think I'd be feeling rather sore already considering how many thunks I do feel!

Since we had the 20 weeks scan, I've spent several days searching through baby names books and sites.  We're looking for English/Irish names generally, and trying to avoid anything in the top 10 list the last couple of years. Unfortunately I've mostly complied a very long list of names we don't like.

I've also come up with a new pregnancy symptom this week. It seems like my stomach doesn't like being squished, so I've been having reflux type problems. Moving to smaller meals and reducing how much cheese and potatoes I eat seems to have helped, but it's making meal planning rather challenging.

Plans for our Step Down Nursery are going quite well too. I'm half way through recovering our second-hand glider, and I've managed to snag a few more ebay bargains I hope I can share soon. And even though there aren't many babies in our Quaker meeting, we've discovered that many of our members have grandchildren looking to pass things down! I'm trying my very best to be patient, as things seem to magically work themselves out - if I can just wait long enough!

12 April 2013

20 Weeks Scan

It's hard to believe that it's only been six weeks since my last scan. The weeks have flown by, but I did find the first few quite difficult. I was fine with the idea that I was pregnant, but I couldn't connect that to the idea that there would eventually be a baby. I didn't look pregnant and didn't feel pregnant, there was just this constant possibility that something had gone wrong. I just couldn't think about it - which has made writing extremely difficult.

But in the last week the baby's movements have become more regular, adding a bit of reassurance that things are going well. I still don't look especially pregnant though, just a bit podgy. Luckily I found a brilliant Next dress hidden in the back of my closet. It was always prone to making me look pregnant -even when I wasn't - so it accents my bump perfectly now.

Yesterday we had our twenty week scan. It seems our little one doesn't enjoy the scans as much as we do. It wriggles and hides from the scanner, shielding it's face with it's hands. Unfortunately for me, this meant the ultrasound technician really had to dig into my belly with the scanner - I felt quite bruised and sore the rest of the day.

Luckily everything seems to be fine. The technician had me worried for a bit as she spent a long time examining the spine, but then I remembered my family has a history of spina bifida. Not sure it's really realted, or if it's normal to take about eight photos of the spine - but it certainly made me feel better to have a reason. In the end despite all the wriggling and thrashing, we were rewarded with this profile scan.
We did find out what it is, but I'm afraid you'll have to wait a while before we share the news - feel free to make a guess in the comments though!

8 April 2013

Looking for Cloth Nappy Advice

I know there are lots of cloth nappy experts out in blogland, so I'm hoping you can give me a bit of advice!

My sister-in-law has given us what's left of their Bambino Mio Birth to Potty Set which they purchased in 2007.
So we have 24 small nappies (size one) and 24 large nappies (size two), which is brilliant.

What we're short on is the nappy covers. We only have one newborn cover, one small, three medium, one large and one extra-large, but my sister-in-law suggests many have lost their water-proofing.
Obviously I need to buy new covers, but at £10 each I'm not sure I want to commit a lot of money to a system I've never used before. To buy all the recommended covers would be about £160 and I've seen the whole Birth-to-Potty pack on offer for just £190 - which may be much better value for money as you also get more nappies and extra bits with that. If I decided to just start with what I need, the Birth to Potty set seems to suggest I'll need four new born covers, three small covers & three medium - which is still nearly £100 to replace.

So I'm wondering what experienced cloth nappy users would recommend. I also suspect that some of you may have used Bambino nappies with a different brand of cover, so I'm hoping for some alternative suggestions too.

What would you buy if you were in my position?

A bit of background for those who only just found my blog: We're really committed to cloth nappies for their environmental benefits & waste reduction. It's very unlikely we'll have a second child to so won't be using them over multiple children. And unfortunately due to poor health ease of use is also a necessary consideration.

4 April 2013

A Revolution in Shopping

We all know that many of the best shopping bargains are found online, but it's so hard to evaluate products from just a few pictures. You end up torn between buying a bargain product you may be disappointed in or paying over the odds for something you've seen in person. But the face of shopping is changing with the opening of ten new Kiddicare stores across the country. I was invited along to a special blogger event for the opening of the new Kiddicare Aintree store. Though it was a bit a trek for me on public transport, it was well worth the journey!
The new Kiddicare stores are combining competitive internet pricing with the benefits of traditional brick & mortar stores. Every product is marked with a digital price tag, which updates automatically to match their online prices - so you know you're always getting the best Kiddicare price.
But they are also offering the huge range of products you find online, in a store where you can get your hands on them. You have no idea how excited I was when the first thing I spotted as I walked through the doors was the Uppababy G-Luxe Pushchair. I've been desperate to try one out, but no where else seems to stock them! (Plus it was about £10 cheaper than the best price I've seen.)
And check out their huge selection of car seats. This wide range of products is perfect for parents with special needs or health concerns, as you can try out all the buckles, handles and controls to find what works best for you.
The Aintree store is quite spacious and has large sections devoted to car seats, toys, high chairs, clothes, bedroom furniture and push chairs. One of my favourite sections was the safety gate zone. I've run into enough baby gates in my life to know they're not all created equal, but when confronted with just a stack of boxes there's no way to know which ones will drive you 'round the twist.
Kiddicare have a neat corridor where you can try opening them. I nearly had a panic attack when Mr Goldfish managed ping the handle of one across the room (and we still couldn't get it open). Luckily after a short struggle we managed to clip it back on and scuttle away in embarrassment, but that's a model we won't be buying when our time comes! We did find a few gates we liked though, and we've added them to our mental list for the future.
After the struggle I've had finding maternity clothes the last few weeks, it wasn't long before the clothing section was drawing me in. I'm afraid the Kiddicare maternity wear section is a bit small at the moment with just the two racks, but I'm told it's something they are looking to expand in the near future.
When it came to the toys I was thrilled to find they even stock a whole aisle of eco-friendly Hape Toys. We were so pleased with the Mighty Mixer, e-Offroader and Stormy Seas game we bought as Christmas presents, I'm sure I'll be back for more Hape toys soon!
What makes Kiddicare special though isn't just the shopping, the whole store is family friendly experience. I appreciated the water coolers that were dotted around the store, as I'm still in that wibbly phase of pregnancy. There's also a nursing nest for mother's looking for a bit of privacy and I found the Mummy & Child toilets really cute!
We ended our trip with a visit to the Kiddicafe. The other Mum's in our group were really impressed with the Kiddicare children's meals, which allowed you to select a sandwich, drink, and snacks all for just £3, making it affordable for a day out.
And for the Mum's they offer Starbucks' coffee and cakes! (Fine, if you want to be all healthy and sensible there were sandwiches too!)
Overall I was really impressed with the store. They have a brilliant selection of products to choose from at really competitive prices, plus they offer some fab customer service and family friendly atmosphere. They also offer handy services like free car seat fitting and winter buggy MOTs. The store plans to become a part of the community too, by hosting play groups, antenatal classes and baby yoga just to name a few.
If you've a little one on the way it's well worth the trip out to your nearest Kiddicare, to suss out your must have items. I'm sure we'll be going back soon, but I'm surprised by how highly I now regard the Kiddicare website too. It's definitely going to be one of my go-to shops, both on online and on the high street, from now on!

Disclosure: I was invited along to the free blogging event and received a goody bag of baby items. However all opinions are my own.