Yup. I’m feeling broody.

I’ve been feeling pangs of broodiness for a few weeks now. I can only imagine it’s been initiated because I have recently stopped breastfeeding. George is now 9 months old (say whaaaat) and I guess stopping breastfeeding was the final link away from having a newborn, a baby who depended entirely on me to survive; each ounce of his perfect little body body grown from my milk, and knowing that he was to be our last little mini Jarvis! (that ship has sailed, if you know what I mean…)

feeling-broody

 

Stuart and I only ever wished for 2 children. And to have been blessed with 2 healthy boys makes us feel really lucky. So it’s not that I want another baby, (Although I probably could have been convinced to be fair!) and having worked my way through most of the symptoms I certainly don’t want the pregnancy again, although the labour I would love to go through again, but it’s a concept most likely to only be truly understood by women, to realise it’s ok to feel broody without then trying for a baby, to know that my body will never again be demanded of such a miraculous task, creating a human being.

 

Feeling _broody

It’s not even like my judgement is being clouded of just how tough it was, by now having a perfectly behaved child. George still wakes routinely twice or 3 times each night and is constantly teething, full of cold or coughs. Despite knowing 2nd time around how quickly time goes and to “enjoy the early days” it’s so hard not to feel like we rushed it all again, wanting some kind of routine, our evenings back, more sleep at night…

Feeling_broody

I crave the chance of George falling asleep on me. His warm, milk drunk face lightly drooling on my chest. I think I can count on one hand how many times they have each done it! But now, with a cheeky little toddler running around, even if George did ever fall asleep on me I know it would be swiftly interrupted by footsteps noisily racing towards us.

toddler-running

BUT, this is really just the beginning still. There may not be any more pregnancies, babies or labours for us. But our parenting journey is just beginning and I am so looking forward to what our future holds with our 2 boys, 2 years apart, hopefully growing up to be the best of friends. It’s exciting to be entering the next chapter of our lives, as a family of 4. No more morning sickness, discoloured nursing bras, postpartum recovery. No more desperately trying to get him to sleep for the first time all day before 11pm or trying everything to get him to feed & gain weight. But getting our lives back as Lara & Stuart and not only as Mummy and Daddy. Being able to actually go out with my girlfriends again and drink a regrettable amount of wine come the 6am wake up, to take trips away with Stuart, even just to go to dinner without needing to rush back for the evening feed.

husband-wife

This stage of our lives is over and for that I guess I need closure, it is after all a huge part of life to be saying goodbye to. But with it comes more opportunity to invest more time in our relationship, being able to work more, sleep (a little) more, getting our lives back, our lives which have been enriched by our 2 spirited, cherished boys.

baby-toddler-hugging

 

 

 

 

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Not only is this a great time of year to be having a baby with the warm summer days ahead, but nature provides a pretty amazing backdrop for some pre baby DIY Maternity photos too!

Maternity _photo_shoot

This morning I headed out with Henry and my parents to take some photos of us together as I was beginning to panic that I hadn’t got any of us before the baby arrives! (forever confident about being early!!)

Maternity_photos

Maternity photo shoot

Maternity photo shoot

I wanted to share with you some of our photos to hopefully give you some inspiration into how you can also capture some lovely photos of yourself and your bump with a toddler in tow! I wanted it to be as relaxed as possible and Henry and I played as we would do on any walk to help keep the photography in a reportage style. The beautiful background did all the work! The bright lime green of the grass and trees works beautifully against the piercing blue of the bluebells.

DIY_Maternity_photos

DIY_Maternity _photos

Photoshoot_with_bump_and_a_toddler

I had a professional photoshoot when I was pregnant with Henry, which you can see and read here, but as with everything in this pregnancy I have not been quite organised enough to sort one out this time, but I am so pleased with how these photos have come out and it will be lovely to look back on them as memories of my 2nd, (and last!!) pregnancy! Props to my parents on helping me on the day!

Maternity_Photos

Maternity_photo_shoot

These photos were taken at Micheldever woods in Hampshire, in between Basingstoke and Winchester where the bluebells are beautiful this time of year. We also popped up to a rapeseed field by a railway bridge at Pack Lane on the way to Oakley from Basingstoke, Hampshire which provided a beautiful bright yellow background. 

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Yay, I am now 37 weeks pregnant – so full term! I have now finished work and am fully intending to start preparing for baby number 2, just as soon as I have had 1 more play date with Henry’s buddies or lunch with friends…

Fun in the Sun

For us, preparing for baby number 2 is world’s apart from the first time around. It’s a weird thing because we already have all the essentials from Henry still and each time I think crap, I really need to get organised, I’m not entirely sure what we actually need to do! Sure, there’s the hospital bag for me and for the baby, and I really will get on and do that soon, but the reality is that nappies, a bed, some clothes & for all to go well with breast feeding we are pretty set for the first couple of days, everything else, if not prepared, is just a trip to the shops away if needed last minute.com.

36 weeks

Don’t get me wrong, there’s lots of things we will be getting for them and especially once we know the sex. I just mean the lists and lists of baby paraphernalia, most of which are non essentials, doesn’t seem to exist this time round, or maybe we’re just more relaxed about it all. I will do a further post & video on the hospital bag and my baby bag once they are all packed and ready to go for anyone who needs a list to work from. I do love a good list!

37 Weeks pregnant

Last week we went for a scan to check the presentation, you may have seen from my last vlog (click here to watch) my midwife wasn’t sure if the baby was breech, so Stuart and I went along to have a look at our little baby on the screen again and it was lovely. I am utterly useless at recognising what is on the screen at any time (think Rachel from Friends) – to the point that it takes a good 2-3 minutes of explaining to me what’s what when they are looking directly at us! Once facial features were understood I was cooing away watching the baby opening and closing their mouth swallowing! So cute. The sonographer told us they were already weighing 7lb 5oz – so we are looking at 9lb+ if we go to 40w – Henry was 9 days over so I’m really hoping to not have a repeat of that!

Baby J at 37 weeks

New baby, new hair…

Short hair don't care

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Here’s the next instalment as promised of some of the questions you may be wondering about as you continue on your journey through pregnancy, or things you may have heard but are not sure what they mean.

Heavy legs/Restless Legs Syndrome

The feeling of having ‘heavy’ legs, like they are weighed down with lead, is caused by slow circulation from, you’ve guessed it – hormones! Added blood volume in your system also contributes to this stubborn, annoying pain. Try and keep as active as you can as this will help improve your circulation. You can also try using a cooling leg gel, massaging your calf muscles, using a cold compress on your lower legs or resting with your legs higher than your hips, which eases water retention, improving your circulation.

Restless legs usually occur when you have been idle for a while, or are just about to go to sleep – cos you know, obviously we need further help with the lack of sleep during pregnancy! Symptoms typically peak when you’re 7 or 8 months pregnant and disappear altogether by the time you give birth. There’s no real reason why RLS peaks in pregnancy – some possibly reasons could be an Iron deficiency, folate deficiency, hormonal changes (specifically a rise in estrogen), or circulatory changes. The longer you lay still before going to sleep, the more likely you will get it at bedtime so if you suffer, try and get into bed just before you plan to go to sleep rather than watching a movie in bed for example.

Braxton Hicks

This particular feeling is hugely contributing to my most common pregnancy symptom! I have been getting these every day from around 24 weeks, and some days I get them all day. I wrote about my personal experience of them here but to give you the formal definition these are ‘practice’ contractions that happen throughout the second half of pregnancy (earlier for some mums) They may be painless, but should not build in intensity or increasing in frequency- that’s more likely to be labour! Nothing to be concerned about, they are just your body’s way of preparing for labour and your uterus muscles strengthening – so with the amount I have been having every day, this should mean a couple of pushes and baby number 2 will be out!

35 weeks

Nesting instinct

I am experiencing this loads at the moment – it was actually Stuart who questioned if this is what was going on with me a couple of weeks ago and it hadn’t even occurred to me until then – but I really am! It’s like a sudden urge to decorate, sort out, clean and generally make their homes into a perfect newborn nest! I keep wanting to get everything in order and I am so pleased I now have some time on my hands to sort the baby’s room out and move Henry up to his new bedroom, and finally get around to getting some things for our imminent arrival!

Change table

Pre-eclampsia

I have taken some of this text directly from the NHS website because it is so important that the medical facts are shared as this is a really serious condition which if left undetected could have potentially fatal effects if it turns into full eclampsia. It’s a condition of pregnancy that is tested for every time you attend an antenatal check due to its seriousness. It is particularly prevalent amongst first-time mums.

Signs of pre-eclampsia your midwife or obstetrician will be looking for include:

  • raised blood pressure.
  • protein in your urine.
  • excessive oedema (swelling due to water retention), particularly in the hands, face and ankles.

If left untreated, the following symptoms may develop:

  • recurrent headache
  • blurred vision
  • nausea, with or without vomiting
  • shortness of breath
  • shoulder or abdominal pain
  • vagueness or confusion.

In isolation, shortness of breath, nausea, headache and twinges in your abdomen are often quite normal and unthreatening, but they’re worth mentioning in any case, especially at this stage of pregnancy. If you feel you have any combination of the above symptoms, report them immediately to your midwife, who will probably invite you to come in for monitoring and complete rest until the symptoms abate. You may even be given blood pressure medication, although this isn’t inevitable.

Once diagnosed, you’ll be seen more often than other mums-to-be and may have extra scans of your placenta throughout the remainder of your pregnancy Although mums suffering from pre-eclampsia are sometimes delivered early, most still give birth to perfectly healthy babies.

If you feel any of these symptoms speak to your MW immediately!

Spot the hearts in Union Square.

Decoding your Midwife’s notes 

  • Height of fundus (FH): The fundus is the top of your uterus (womb). The midwife will measure how far the top of your uterus has grown away from your pelvic bone and record this in centimetres. This gives a good indication of your baby’s growth; in layman’s terms the amount of cm’s you measure should bear relation to your amount of weeks pregnant – however they are not taking into consideration more factors of the size/ethnicity of the patient rather than a one size fits all approach.
  • The lie: The ‘lie’ refers to the position of the crown of your baby’s head within your pelvis:
    • O (occiput) – this refers to the back of your baby’s head, which could be facing:
      R – right or L – left
    • A (anterior) – to the front
    • P (posterior) – to the back
    • L (lateral) or T (transverse) – to the side
  • Presentation: The ‘presentation’ refers to which way up your baby is -C or Ceph (cephalic) or Vx (vertex) – head down into your pelvis
    Br (breech) – feet or bottom first

36 weeks

I’d love to hear any questions you might have or what your most common pregnancy symptoms are!

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Well it’s true what they say, the last few weeks of work before going on maternity leave really do fly by!! It’s a strange feeling knowing you’re going to be leaving your job but in 7/8 months’ time, rather than the usual 1 months’ notice period. In my case it tends to draaaaaaaag, and the first 5/6 months really have! But everyone says the last few weeks go by so quickly and as sceptical as I was about this I have to say they are right!

Legally you can begin your maternity leave any time from 11 weeks before the beginning of the week your baby’s due, but of course most people like to work as late as possible because they have more time the other side to be with the baby. With Henry I worked until 2 weeks before he was due, however I wasn’t paying extortionate nursery fees then, so all money was banked and saved…nor was I this exhausted! So this time I have decided to take 4 weeks leave, but I am using holiday rather than maternity leave, so it wont affect me the other side with the time I have off.

Today I am leaving work to continue my journey in motherhood, but now with 2 under 2…well for a week or so!   I have been so busy and so stressed with work recently, but it has been great because it’s not given me a moment to get bored or for it to drag and now the day has arrived!

I’m lucky to have lots of my closest friends off at the same time who are also having babies, so we will all be there to support each other and enjoy these lovely sunny days together with our babies.   I am sooo looking forward to this summer because Henry is that much older and into so many new things so we are going to have loads of fun together.

The baby is going to be really young still, and everyone keeps promising me that the baby “just fits in” so I am sure we will all get through these tough first few months with a newborn and an extremely active toddler with smiles on our faces!

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