Hospital bag – What should you pack?

With an ever expanding belly and time flying like there’s no tomorrow, the question “have you packed your hospital bag” is one that has some pregnant mums to be crying with sheer frustration. What to pack? What will we need? They aren’t silly questions, after all – you’ve not had a baby before so it’s moving into the unknown. Continue reading

Jo’s pregnancy Diary – 40 weeks

I am exactly 40 weeks pregnant today. I have never been this pregnant before. I gave birth to Thomas at 38 weeks and four days so this is a whole new world for me. I was convinced the baby was going to come before Christmas or in between Christmas and New Year. However, he is still in there and seems to be fairly comfortable!!

jo 40 weeksOne advantage of going to full term is that I have been signed off from consultant led care at my local hospital, meaning I can go to midwife led care when I go into labour. I was was in the high risk area when I gave birth to Thomas so am hoping for a slightly more relaxed birthing experience this time. The baby’s weight is estimated to be about 7lbs, so will probably be born a similar weight to Thomas (he was 6lbs 10oz).

Everything in the house is ready to go for the baby and Thomas has even said ‘I want the baby now mummy’ (if only it was that simple) so I think we are mentally ready to become a family of four. I have a sweep booked in with my midwife tomorrow so am really hoping that works and we have our new addition before the weekend is over. If it does not work, I have another sweep booked in for Tuesday before the word ‘induction’ looms on the horizon. I was induced with Thomas (my waters broke and then nothing happened) so I really want to avoid it at all costs.

I hope you have enjoyed reading my pregnancy diary and I really hope to update you with birth news soon! :-)

Jo’s Pregnancy Diary – 36 weeks

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Sorry for the lack of pregnancy diary updates over the last few weeks. It has flown by! I have now finished work and have been busy preparing for Christmas and the new baby at the same time. The last few weeks have had a few ups & downs pregnancy wise too.


On the Thursday I was 35 weeks pregnant exactly, I thought that my waters had broken prematurely. Thomas made me laugh and there was a ‘burst’ and I thought I had wet myself. I went to the toilet and discovered the liquid was not urine. My waters broke early on in my labour with Thomas last time so I know what they smell like. We put Thomas to bed, got my sister to babysit then went up to the hospital to be checked out. ‘Baba’ was monitored for 40 minutes or so and then a doctor checked me to see if my waters had broken. Unfortunately, they could not find any evidence of waters breaking and as I was not leaking, they sent me home and told me to come back in if I was worried about baby’s movements. I do not know whether it was my waters or not but immediately after it happened, the baby started to engage and my bump has noticeably dropped. The picture above was taken in hospital in case it was the last bump picture we were going to get.

Thomas was only engaged for a week before I went into labour so I have been quite uncomfortable for the last week or so as the baby slowly engages further. It has been quite a challenge on some days as I keep on having Braxton Hicks whenever the baby engages more.

Due to concerns over the baby’s size, I have now been moved onto consultant led care at my local hospital. The baby’s weight has dipped below the 50th centile but is above the 10th centile. I have had both growth scans and a Doppler scan to make sure the placenta is doing its job properly. I have another growth scan this coming Thursday when I am 37 weeks exactly. We are seeing the consultant on Friday morning. If the baby is still small on Thursday and they want to get the baby out and do not do this straight away, then they may put our Christmas into chaos which I really do not want. Thomas is really aware of Christmas for the first time and I do not want to miss a second of it unless the baby decides to make a natural appearance of course!!


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On a more positive note, I had a bump cast done at 36

weeks. It was done by my friend and doula Manie of Opal Aura. It was a really relaxing experience and I would highly recommend it. The baby kicked throughout and seemed to have a great time too. Last weekend, we took Thomas to see Santa and his elves at Kiddicare Merry Hill. I wore my new ‘Santa Baby’ t shirt from New Look and very cheekily asked Santa if ‘Baba’ could have his picture taken with him. Santa said ‘Baba’ was the youngest child they had seen so far and very kindly gave him a Christmas present. I would like to thank the staff at Kiddicare for a wonderful time and going the extra mile as always.

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On Sunday evening, my friend Manie very kindly hosted a baby shower for me. We played lots of games including ‘guess the celebrity mum’, ‘guess the chocolate poo’, had to put a nappy on a teddy bear with one hand behind our back and drink orange squash as fast as we could out of a baby bottle. We were served a lovely afternoon tea by Mom N Co Cakes in Stourbridge where it was held. The mince pie cupcake was my favourite. I am definitely going back there again once the baby has arrived. The cupcakes above were kindly given to me by my friend Vandana who has a cake business herself.

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I will update you with the next growth scan/consultant news as soon as I can.

Have you had your waters break prematurely or thought they had. What was your experience like?

Place your bets now folks! Will ‘Baba’ arrive before or after Christmas??

Pregnancy Diary: Jo hits 31 weeks

How is Jo feeling in that final trimester? Here she is to tell us how her second pregnancy is progressing.Jo bump 30 weeks

I am now 31 weeks pregnant. I cannot believe where the time is going. The second trimester has gone by in a bit of blur and I cannot believe in less than three months I will be a mummy of two children! Anyone who has already started the Christmas countdown is in my bad books, as I do not need a daily update of how many days approximately I have left!

The second trimester has had it fair share of difficulties hence the lack of updates on my pregnancy diary. My husband has been in and out of hospital a few times with a kidney stone. It has been removed now but it gave us both stress that we did not need. He is on the mend now thankfully. I am finally seeing someone in the NHS about my knee problem. They think it is a leg alignment problem made worse by the extra weight added by the bump. I have some exercises to do and have been referred to orthopaedics to see if a heel support would help too. We found out at the 20 week scan that we are having another boy so Thomas will have a playmate and we do not need to get anything new which is an added bonus. I was convinced it was a girl before the scan as my pregnancy was so different to before. I am used to the idea of having two boys now!

The third trimester has started with an emergency growth scan as my midwife measured my bump as small. This was probably positional because until last week, the baby has been mostly lying in a transverse position. We had the scan and everything was fine thankfully. It did cause a night of worry for us both though. I had henna on my bump for the second time from my friend Manie who is a doula and runs a company called Opal Aura. Manie put ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’ on my bump as Thomas has been singing it a lot recently and I wanted to give him more connection to my bump and his little brother.Jo henna 30 weeks

I am hoping that the next nine weeks pass by without any complication. I know I am going to be exhausted but have been exhausted all the way through this time. I am looking forward to maternity leave at 34 weeks and am really hoping we do not get too much snow in November, December and January. I would still like to get around as much as I can.

Pregnancy- making it easier

Pregnancy lasts a full 9 months (hopefully) for us ladies, our expanding bellies can cause a whole host of bother, swollen ankles, aches and pains, piles (sorry, but it’s inevitable) and heartburn to name a few.

There are a few tips that can ease your baby bearing days, as we know it can be a very long 9 months!

Take pictures of your expanding tum – We know you may not feel your svelte best, but believe us when we say, you will regret not having pictures of your pregnant belly. Why not stand in the same spot and hold a sign with how many weeks/months you are. It’s amazing looking back and seeing the development.

Each iron rich food, keep yourself and your baby healthy. You really are what you eat these days. More spinach and less chocolate (sorry ladies) the saying “eating for two” doesn’t apply when it comes to the unnecessary treats – some are compulsory of course.

Put your feet up occasionally – slow down! You’ll wear yourself out and it really isn’t good for either of you. You may have to remind yourself to take it easy, but it really is advisable.

Have snacks with you at all times – Eating little and often can really take the edge off morning sickness and nausea. A breakfast bar in your bag is a must, as is a bottle of water.

Try to go for a wee before you go out – even if you think you don’t need to go, it’s more than likely you will as soon as you go anywhere. Your bladder becomes your worst enemy as it shrinks as your belly expands.

Most of all, enjoy it. It doesn’t last forever and soon enough you’ll be run off your feet with nappies, sick and tears. It’s worth every second of discomfort and sleepless nights.