Monday 30 January 2012

21 weeks ~ NCT sales and 2nd hand stuff

NCT (National Childbirth Trust) sales are amazing!  They sell second hand baby and child things, everything from clothes and toys to equipment and you know it's going to be of a decent standard.  They have been a life saver for us as we just wouldn’t be able to afford everything brand new.  We even managed to get a carrycot for the pram which we had bought, it had been used about twice!

I know second hand stuff isn't for everyone, but I'm loving it.  Babies are expensive - fact.  If I can get some really nice clothes second hand I'll jump at the chance, one of my friends has given us 4 bags of clothes, there are some lovely things in there.  It's not that I'm against supermarket clothes... they have their place (although I do have a thery on supermarkets taking over the world and possibly moving into baby clothes is another step in that direction) but if I can get hand me down M&S, NEXT etc clothes second hand, I feel I'm helping the world by re-using things and getting some lovely clothes you wouldn't know were second hand anyway...

I always find it's worth having a look on gum tree, e-bay etc even freecycle before buying something new you wouldn't mind buying second hand.  Plus ask around, I've been lent lots of things by friends which they have finished with or they'll have back if/when they have another child.

Another thing which I had been thinking a lot about was our pram, many of the epilepsy books suggest buying a pram with dead brakes, but having looked around for one it became apparent that these don’t exist… when I contacted epilepsy action about where I could get one from they had given me the details of a charity who made adaptions to everyday things to allow disabled people to access them.  They were called remap.   I sent a request online and a few days later got a phone call from a lovely man who organised applications in our area, we organised for him to come over and have a look at the pram.  When he came over he explained that they just charge for the cost of materials as they gave their time for free.  He said he’d never adapted the breaks on a plan but was definitely up for the challenge.  He took the pram away with him to have a think.

Monday 23 January 2012

20 weeks ~ first kicks :)

I had an appointment with my epilepsy specialist in London, Rich came with me as it was probably one of the most important appointments so far.  She briefly discussed what extra things needed to be done during labour but she said it wouldn’t be until nearer the time that they would be able to make a proper plan as it all depended on what happened to my medication levels during the pregnancy and whether I had anymore seizures.  She said that as soon as I was in hospital I needed to have an IV inserted and their needed to be medication available so it could be given as soon as I started to seizure.  She also mentioned the possibility of taking another medication such as clobazam during labour to boost my seizure control but that would be what we would discuss nearer the time.  Although not a lot was decided at the appointment I felt more confident as the specialist seemed confident that I could have a normal pregnancy and labour.  She organised for me to have regular blood medication levels taken throughout the pregnancy, the only annoying thing about that was I had to go all the way to London to have the bloods taken but I’d rather that and ensure they get to the right place than have them done at my GPs and they go missing like they have in the past!

On 23rd January 2012 I first felt baby move, it was amazing, and at first it was just like a little twitch inside but as the days moved on the baby’s kicks got stronger.  I cannot explain how incredible that feeling is, but it made it truly real that there really is a little life inside me, independent and yet fully dependent on me.  From that moment I knew I loved this baby so much.

Monday 16 January 2012

19 weeks ~ anomaly scan

I had my anomaly scan this week, I felt so nervous; this was the scan where they would have a better idea of whether my AEDs and/or seizure had caused any damage to our baby.  Emma met us at the hospital so she could be there too.  I was so relieved when the technician told us everything seemed to be normal and was absolutely amazed at how much detail they could see.  They managed to show the movement of the blood through baby’s heart and kidneys and we could see all of its little fingers.  Baby had its hands up in front of its mouth so it took them a while to check for cleft lip but eventually it moved its hands long enough to check and she said it all appeared normal.  The technician also said that the placenta was at the front and so that was the reason I hadn’t felt baby kick yet so not to worry.  She then asked if we wanted to know the sex of the baby.  We had already discussed this and had decided we wanted it to be a surprise.  There were sort of 2 reasons for this, firstly and most importantly we thought it would be a wonderful surprise to find out after going through the pain and exhaustion of labour.  Secondly is a little more depressing, well I like to look at it as practical.  I still felt like there was a lot that could go wrong and by finding out the sex and naming the baby I think you become even more attached to the baby and also find that the things you buy then become the baby’s possessions even before the baby is here, I didn’t want to feel if things did go wrong I had to get rid of everything.
Having found out that our baby was perfectly average we started thinking about buying the baby some things and that weekend we went out and looked at Prams and baby clothes, suddenly things were becoming very real and very exciting.  We eventually managed to choose a Pram and organised to have it delivered.  We had already thought of names for the baby, we decided if it’s a girl it would be Riley Elizabeth and if it’s a boy, Jamie Benjamin.

Monday 9 January 2012

18 weeks ~ Christmas

I had had a wonderful Christmas with my family, for the first year in a long time Rich and his brother were together and we spent Christmas day as one big happy family.  I had started to feel a lot better, stopped being sick and started eating properly again, I still didn’t fancy chocolate but at least I was eating proper meals again.  It had really started to sink in that I was pregnant and next Christmas we were going to have a little person to share it with, this was our last Christmas just the two of us.  That was both very exciting and very scary at the same time.

On that note Rich and I decided we wanted to get away and go on holiday just the two of us as it could be our last chance.  We didn’t have a lot of money so we settled on going to the Isle of Wight.  I had never been before and we decided to try a B&B we found online.  I have to admit when we turned up I was a little concerned, there was no B&B sign and I really thought we had been scammed.  But as we knocked on the door we were greeted by a wonderful couple, Tania and Peter, they were so welcoming and the house was amazing, it was like staying in a 5 star hotel but in someone’s house (and a lot cheaper!).  We would go out and explore the Isle of Wight together each day (and being January the days weren’t very long and it was very cold) but on returning Tania would have made up Tea and amazing homemade cakes, she seemed to go above and beyond to make us feel so at home.  We would spend the rest of the afternoon chatting to them, by the end of the 4 days we were there we felt like part of the family.  It was just what we needed and we left feeling refreshed and very positive.  We had managed to do so much, from the beginning I was determined not to let being pregnant stop me from doing all the things I wanted to do, obviously there were some limitations but I didn’t want to be the sort of person who uses pregnancy as an excuse to sit around and do nothing but complain about how aweful it was.  Plus having stopped being sick all the time I was feeling really good, the only thing I really longed for was to feel baby move but I knew it was quite normal not to feel baby move until at least 20weeks so I wasn’t worrying yet, just wishing…