Category Archives: Pregnancy

Will Advice For New Parents

As I am sure some of you know, Stuart and I have recently purchased a new house. During the house purchase, we discussed with our solicitor that we wanted to set up a will once the purchase had gone through. It turns out that we should both have already had one and that until we get married, Thomas is both our next of kin. This was a bit of a wake up call for both of us and something we are sorting asap. I do not want to this happen to other expecting or new parents so here is some advice from solicitors about wills.

Now you’re no longer a couple, but a family with a new baby, as well as choosing a pram and car seat you should be writing a Will to ensure your child is cared for if anything happens to you.

Why should I make a will when I’m still young?

Sadly 60 per cent of people die without making a Will and then it’s left to the courts and the state to decide how children are cared for. By writing a Will you are making sure your wishes for your children’s welfare are carried out.

Can I say in a Will who will look after my child or children if I die?

Yes, you can appoint a legal guardian who you know and trust to care for your child or children if you and your spouse should die. This person will be responsible for making decisions in your place.

If I don’t make a Will what would happen to my property, money and belongings?

If you don’t make a Will the State will decide how your assets are distributed, regardless of your wishes, and if there are step children in the family the situation could be complicated.  Making a Will stating how you wish your assets to be distributed ensures your wishes will be carried out.

How can I ensure children from a previous relationship are cared for in my Will?

If there are stepchildren in the family a discretionary trust Will or a mutual Will can be used to ensure their future welfare is protected.

What is a discretionary trust Will?

This type of Will is suitable if you decide to leave half of your estate to a child from a previous relationship and half to your current spouse and children. You can put up to £325,000 into a trust for the child from a previous relationship and he or she would benefit from the trust when your spouse dies. This means your spouse and children can live in the family home but the money in the trust can’t be touched.

What is a mutual Will?

To make a mutual Will you and your spouse have to name the same beneficiaries to be left agreed sums of money when the second spouse dies. Each will would contain a clause to say that neither of you can change the Will without the other’s consent. This means that if you die first a child from a previous relationship will still be provided for and your spouse has access to all your money for his or her life time.

Visit www.mylawyer.co.uk to find out more.

* This is a sponsored post*

Advertisements

Maternity/Newborn Photoshoot with Jay Mountford

When I was pregnant, I was actually quite proud of my body and my bump and I wanted some way to remember it by. So when I saw @jaymountford/ @cosmicgirlie on Twitter did maternity/newborn photo shoots, I jumped at the chance.

Jay’s website show the quality of her work and wide variety of the pictures she can take. I can only show a small selection on the blog from both shoots. I was 36 weeks pregnant when we did the maternity shoot. We had never had one done before so we will both a bit nervous and did not know what to expect. She instantly put us at ease and we laughed our entire way through the shoot. I know see my garden in a different light too as Jay used light and angles of the shots to show it in a completely different light.

For the newborn shoot, Jay came when Thomas was 10 days old. She took her time and made sure that we were happy with every stage before proceeding. She really understood our wishes as new parents and even taught us a couple of baby calming techniques too. We had a great time on this shoot too, despite us feeling jaded due to lack of sleep. Thomas looks amazing in the photos and it is such a great way to remember the start of his life, as he has now changed so much already.

Jay has written about her experience of the maternity shoot here. I cannot wait to see what she thought about the newborn shoot too. Thank you Jay for a wonderful time and an amazing experience.  🙂

Winner of The Yummy Mummy Breastfeeding Giveaway

Thank you to everyone who entered my Yummy Mummy Breastfeeding Giveaway. I am pleased to announce that comment no 17 by Leonie Kay (@blogatwit) is the winner. If you can please email your address to joskitchen@hotmail.co.uk, I will get the prize sent out to you as soon as possible. Thank you again to everyone for entering 🙂

Thomas’s Birth Story

After experiencing Braxton Hicks the previous week, when my hind waters broke at 9am on Friday 28th October 2011, it was with some relief and not a little trepidation.  At first, I thought I’d had a little accident, I ignored it but after 30 minutes I realised what had happened and phoned the hospital.  I spoke to a midwife and was asked to go into Maternity Triage to be examined.

While waiting to be examined, my fore waters went in the middle of the hospital corridor.  We were seen by a midwife who confirmed that my waters had indeed gone and unless labour started naturally, to return at 7am the next morning to be induced.

I had a couple of contractions overnight but nothing spectacular.  It was just enough to cause both my partner and I too get very little sleep that night.  By 7am the next morning we were back at the hospital, this time for the duration.

The hospital was very busy and except to be told to get on a bed in Triage, I did not get seen for the next 2.5 hours.  I was unable to have a pessary for some reason so the midwife gave me a membrane sweep and I started contractions immediately.  It was now 11am so I started walking round the hospital to get things moving. I had irregular contractions throughout the afternoon which I coped with by using a Tens machine.  By 6pm they started coming more regularly.

By now I’d been fitted with two cannulas, one for the Syntocinon to advance the labour and the other for the saline drip and the antibiotics (to prevent infection as my waters had broken over 24 hours ago).

At 7pm we were moved into one of the birthing suites, given the antibiotics and started using gas & air. Once the foetal heartbeat had been checked I was given the Syntocinon then pretty much left to it, until my temperature went through the roof.  Everyone was worried that I had picked up an infection but it turned out that someone had left the room temperature at 27 degrees.  No wonder I was hot!

My contractions intensified and I started relying on the gas & air more.  The baby was also head-butting my pelvis between contractions which was really painful.  By this time it was 10pm and I had been in active labour for 2 hours but having strong contractions for the last 11 hours.

A doctor was called in as the foetal heartbeat started dropping.  He indicated that the Syntocinon may be causing the baby stress so they turned off the drip.  The heartbeat continued to drop so a decision for an Emergency Caesarean was made.   By this time, I have to admit, I was relieved as I couldn’t take anymore.  The thought of dropping off to sleep and then when I awoke my baby would be there for me was overwhelming.

I was quite high on gas & air by this point and I could barely see the page when I signed my consent for the surgery.   As I was trying to sign the form my partner had to point out that I wasn’t actually left handed, the shocked look from the Doctor…quickly placing the pen in the right hand.  Job done, I’d be in surgery within 15 minutes.

At that moment, I had the overwhelming urge to go to the toilet and I mentioned this to the midwife.  She checked downstairs and realised that I was fully dilated.  She informed the doctor that a caesarean was no longer required and that it would be a natural delivery after all.

My plans were foiled… No chance of the easy out, I would have to push instead.

I started pushing and the midwife told me off for putting more energy into shouting than pushing down.  I got the technique soon after and the head started coming out.  What seems like ages later, but was in reality only 1 hour and 20 minutes … the head was out.

After this, everything seemed to happen really quickly and the next thing I know a baby is being placed on my chest and covered with a blanket.  All I could see is an amazing head of hair and two beautiful eyes.

‘What is it?’ I asked the midwife.

‘Dad, would you like to check?’ She replied.

He was busy staring into the baby’s eyes the same as me.  Spurred into action by the midwife he checked under the blanket.

And it was a boy!  Thomas James had been born.   I had an active delivery for my placenta which I hardly noticed and 4 stiches.  We were left doing skin to skin for an hour.  It was such an amazing, exhausting, exhilarating and tiring experience, for both of us parents!

Thomas James

Born 11.36pm on Saturday 29th October

6lbs 11 ½ ounces

Many thanks to Stuart for his support and love during my pregnancy and his help during the birth. He co-wrote the birth story with me as I forgot some bits due to being high on gas & air! 🙂

Many thanks to all the staff at the maternity unit at Russell’s Hall Hospital, Dudley. You all do an amazing job!

Weeks 36-38: The End is Near!

I cannot believe I am 38 weeks pregnant. It only seems like five minutes ago that I was announcing the news of my pregnancy to everyone.  The last couple of weeks have gone very fast. We had a maternity photoshoot with Jay Mountford and I cannot wait to see the results of the photoshoot. I have never had a photoshoot before. It was a bit strange but we had lots of fun. I will share some of the photos with you as soon as I can.

At 36 1/2 weeks, I had a scan and we discovered that my placenta had moved out of the way so we are go for a natural birth. At the scan, we found out that the baby’s estimated weight was 7 lbs 2 ounces which is higher than expected. Because of this, I had to have a gestational diabetes test. This turned out to be negative for diabetes which is good. My midwife thinks Bump had a growth spurt but that it has eased off now as there is no more room for it to grow.

I have still been going to Bumps & Babes and coffee mornings with my local NCT branch. I have volunteered to help them and I am now a publicity officer looking after their Facebook and Twitter activities. I look forward to helping more once the baby has arrived.

Over the weekend, I went into false labour. I had backache, period like pain and some contractions which started Friday afternoon and carried onto Saturday morning but then stopped. Stuart and I got excited and thought it was the real thing but it was not to be. My midwife thinks I will give birth in the next two weeks as the baby’s head is nearly fully engaged. I am hoping it will be sooner as I have been feeling really uncomfortable for the last few days. My midwife says this is a good sign and that I am mentally and physically prepared for the birth. I really cannot wait to meet the little one now! 🙂

Weeks 31-35: Basketball into Beachball!

I cannot believe it has been a month since I last updated you on Bump and I’s progress. How very naughty of me! I apologise for my tardiness. I don’t know where the last month has gone to be honest.  I had my two weeks signed off on sick leave after my bleed which flew by, went back to work to finish stuff off for a week and I am now on my second week of maternity leave.

At the moment being on maternity leave feels like being on holiday. I am still getting used to being at home all the time and being able to do things when I want to. Shopping in a supermarket in the middle of the working week is a joy that I am loving. You can actually get round the shop unlike on a Saturday. We have brought everything for the baby and have it in piles all over the house. Our nursery is currently still a spare room but Stuart has ensured me that this will change in the next couple of weeks.

Stuart and I have joined our local National Childbirth Trust (NCT) branch and I have been going to ‘Bumps and Babes’ and open house coffee mornings meeting parents from all around our local area. I love it and am looking forward continuing this on and volunteering to help run things for the NCT once the baby has arrived.

My bump seems to have grown to a massive size over the last month. I looked at myself in the mirror yesterday and wondered where the beachball had come from. The last time I looked I had a basketball sized bump. The good news is that it is all baby. I haven’t put on much extra weight at all. 🙂

We started the antenatal classes at our local hospital this week. I thought I had seen everything until I saw a knitted uterus! I thought the session was ok but I did not really learn anything more about labour than what I could learn from a book. Stuart found the session more useful.  Last night we went to a breastfeeding workshop. After reading about Hayley’s experience, I was slightly sceptical about what I could learn from the session. However I didn’t need to worry. The lady who ran the session was well informed, amusing and went through all the benefits and possible problems we might have. I am very lucky that the support network for breastfeeding ladies seems quite good too.  I decided ages ago that I wanted to breastfeed the baby. This session did not change my mind and make me want to breastfeed successfully even more. After the knitted uterus at the antenatal class, I was not surprised when they brought out a knitted boob to teach us how to hand express.

Next week, we have a busy week with a midwife appointment on Tuesday, a bump photo shoot with Jay Mountford on Wednesday, another antenatal class on Wednesday night and my 36 week scan on Friday to see if my placenta has moved and I can have a natural birth. *Fingers crossed* 🙂

Website Review: BabyDeco.co.uk

A few weeks ago, I was asked via Twitter if I would like to review BabyDeco.co.uk. As we are currently sorting out our nursery and in need of inspiration, I jumped at the chance.  BabyDeco is a one stop shop for ideas and inspiration for decorating your baby’s or toddler’s room. There is a gallery where people can upload pictures of their nursery to give ideas for others. There is a resources section with lots of hints and tips to help you decorate your nursery, including some DIY things to make.

In the shop section, you have access to many merchants who supply a wide range of nursery furniture, beddings and accessories. We are doing our nursery in the theme of Winnie The Pooh as it is my favourite. I did a search within the shop section for Winnie The Pooh and came up with a few things I would like to get for Bump including My 1st Winnie The Pooh Soft Toy, Tomy Winnie The Pooh Dreamtime Light Show  and for when Bump is a bit older, we can get him or her a VTech Winnie The Pooh Walker. Overall, I was very impressed with BabyDeco and recommend it to anyone in need of ideas and inspiration for their child’s room. 🙂

Week 30: The Hospital Stay

Hello everyone. Sorry for the massive delay in between posts. We spent a few days sorting out the house preparing for Bump’s arrival, a few days in Cornwall and then I had a hospital stay. There will be more about the hospital stay in a minute but first, the picture above was taken at 29 weeks and 5 days pregnant at Lizard Point in Cornwall. It was quite windy as you can see but it was sunny too. We had a great time. Its a lovely part of the world and I urge you all to visit it soon 🙂

After returning from our few days away, I went back to work and just got on with my job as normal. I had a midwife appointment in the afternoon  and I went to do my sample for her before I left work. I looked at the toilet paper and saw that it was covered in blood. I looked into the toilet and saw that it was full of blood. I was surprised and shocked but thought that it was nothing serious, possibly haemorrhoids. I drove home and went to the toilet again and the same thing happened. By this point, I was getting more worried and as soon as Stuart got back we drove to my doctors and saw my midwife virtually straight away.

She checked me over and said that I should get to my local hospital and take a few things and prepare to be kept in overnight. We drove to the hospital, about 15 minutes away and went straight to Triage. They asked me to give them another sample. I tried but it was full of blood again.

Bump was put on a foetal monitor and I was monitored for contractions. Bump’s heartbeat and movements were fine. I was then seen by a doctor who told us, they wanted to give Bump some steroids, through my thigh to help the lungs mature and create more mucus. I could have one now and another in 24 hours time.   I knew then I was going to be in hospital for at least 24 hours. We were both a bit panicked and scared by this point. The baby can’t come now. We are nowhere near ready for its arrival. This and all sorts of silly things started going through my mind.

I was moved to the maternity ward and left to start my first ever night in hospital. I heard more women in labour then I ever wanted to hear. Its not much fun to listen to at 2am in the morning! My bleeding eventually stopped at 7am. I had already been told that I had to have 24 hours bleed free before they let me out  so I knew I was in another night at least. Bump and I were monitored 3 or 4 more times during the day, with the baby’s heartbeat only dropping below 100 once. They were looking for 100-160 beats a minute. I saw another doctor who told me not to worry, that they knew my placenta was low and that I would be scanned at 36 weeks to see where my placenta was. This seemed a bit silly to me as there was obviously a problem now and they were not really doing anything about it.

Stuart treated me to some lovely maternity/nursing pyjamas from Mothercare and I settled in for another night in hospital. The next morning, Bump and I were monitored for one last time and saw another doctor who said that I should have a scan in the next few days to find the source of the bleeding and check the baby’s size. I was also signed off work for two weeks and told to take it easy. We could go home. Yipeeeee!   I was told to come back if I saw any more blood, had sharp pains, reduced baby movements or my waters break. I was also advised by my midwife to start my maternity leave early.

I had a scan a few days ago. Bump is growing fine and is exactly the size they expect it to be. My placenta is partially blocking the exit route so I have Placenta Previa. They were unable to find the source of the bleeding so I have been told again to take it easy and rest as much possible as I am more at risk of another bleed now I have had one. They will rescan me at 36 weeks to see if the placenta has moved as the bump has got bigger.

Sorry for rambling on a bit. I really wanted to share my experience with you all. Have anyone had a similar experience? I would love to hear from you

Thank you for your support as always.

Jo and Bump x