Category: PREGNANCY

My Birth Preferences: Planning for a Positive Birth

My Birth Preferences: Planning for a Positive Birth

With the final countdown to baby’s arrival officially on I have finallly gotten around to writing my birth preferences. I say preferences instead of plan, mostly because as anyone who’s ever had a baby before will tell you, birth plans rarely go to plan. With […]

My birth centre Risk Assessment

My birth centre Risk Assessment

When I was pregnant with Florence I was adamant that I did not want to give birth anywhere that wasn’t on the labour ward at the hospital. I wanted there to be doctors on hand immediately should something go awry and I was determined that […]

My Baby Sprinkle

My Baby Sprinkle

This weekend was a busy one for baby and I. We had our risk assessment at the birthing centre and I finally finished writing my birthing plan on Saturday and then today was my ‘Baby Sprinkle’. Me and 12 of my ladies got together for a girly afternoon celebrating our little boy’s impending arrival.

Unlike the huge (and wonderful) Spring time baby shower I had while pregnant with Florence, it was a perfectly quiet and intimate affair this time around. Now just to warn you, the blogger in me failed to get many photographs of today at all, and there is just this one of me from the whole afternoon… super flattering I know. It may not be instaperfect, but it is a memory and those are just as magical. 

We went to Puddings in Maidstone where we had full private access to their upstairs room which was the perfect fit for our little group. By happy coincidence the walls are painted in a sumptuous navy blue which complimented the gold theme of chosen for the decor and of course was a nod to our blue bump. We sat down to a delicious afternoon tea of sandwiches, scones and cakes made in house.

While we did play a couple of games – Guess the size of the bump & ‘Would she rather’ – we were quite limited by the space so instead everyone was invited to decorate a little bodysuit however they wished and the best would be judged by Sean and awarded a prize. It was so funny how competitive everyone became and how into it they were – the room fell almost silent! The final results were amazing too. Among the greats we had a ‘Storm Pooper’, a rainbow and a rabbit but my friend Helena’s ‘Blue Floyd’ Band T design took the top spot. ! It even has personalised ‘tour dates’ on the back!

I also asked everyone to complete a page in a DIY first words book by drawing in a picture to match a letter of the alphabet. My friend has offered to digitise them all and the we are going to have them published as a proper book.

I love how through such a simple and crafty activity baby will have a bunch personalised gifts made with love.

Decor was kept low key (and low budget!) and we stuck with some Ginger Ray accessories, homemade game cards- free printable anyone? Watch this space – and a DIY gold balloon hoop decoration.

We were gifted some beautiful clothes and toys for baby boy which we opened once back at home. It was so nice to spend an afternoon with some of my favourite people, child free and actually be able to have uninterrupted conversation. The cake was just an added bonus!

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Pregnancy #2: Naming our Baby Boy

Pregnancy #2: Naming our Baby Boy

Ahh, here we are again, playing the name game! This time we are tasked with choosing the perfect name for a boy and we’ve found it quite hard so far. I love a good traditional name while Sean is definitely one for more modern choices. […]

Our Mini DIY Maternity Photo Shoot

Our Mini DIY Maternity Photo Shoot

If you’ve been around here for a while then you might remember I had a maternity photo shoot with Alison Lewis Photography while I was pregnant with Florence. The photographs from that shoot are ones I will treasure forever. They perfectly illustrate my excitement and joy […]

What’s in my hospital bag? Packing for a positive birth

What’s in my hospital bag? Packing for a positive birth

I mentioned in my last pregnancy update that this time around I’m going to give hypnobirthing a go for a more positive birth experience. My labour and birth with Florence wasn’t exactly traumatic but looking back, I didn’t feel at all in control and so this time I want to take more ownership of the whole experience and dare I say it, even enjoy it? I’ve just completed my course with The Positive Birthing company and already feel so different and even excited about birthing my baby which has spurred me on to properly pack my hospital bag and get things sorted.

I shared the contents of my hospital bag last time around in this post here and some of the things included will be the same, but there are some other things, more geared to creating a positive birth environment this time too so that I’m the event that I can’t have baby at the local maternity unit, I can still take some of that calming atmosphere with me!

First up, what’s in the bag for me?

For Labour & Birth

Copies of Birth Preferences

Maternity Notes

Vest top & loose nightshirt or dress to birth in

I had every intention of labouring in a bikini in the pool last time but frankly there wasn’t time so I just wore a black vest top rolled up on top of my tummy. In case I can’t have my waterbirth, I’ve also packed a loose nightdress to wear.

Dressing gown

I’ve been ogling at Pink Blush’s range of delivery gowns the whole way through my pregnancy and I finally bit the bullet and ordered one this week. Hopefully it will arrive in time! This is for before and after getting in the pool or if I have to labour out of the water and end up walking around the hospital or birth centre. Plus, it’s super soft and will be perfect for slipping on after having the baby.

Hot water bottle

I’ve found that heat really helps ease my pregnancy related pains this time around so I’m packing my sausage shaped hot water bottle to place around my lower back / tummy in the latent stages of labour to try and just make things a little more comfortable.

Hairbands & hair clips (in an easy to grab pouch!)

Drinks, snacks & sucky sweets

One of my cravings this time around has been fridge cold water, so I’ve just picked up a six pack of bottled water and hope that I’ll be able to keep it cool in the fridge at the birthing unit!

Snacks wise, I’ve gone for tracker bars and jelly babies and I imagine I will end up taking some Granny Smith Apples too because again, they’ve been a major craving for me throughout this whole pregnancy.

Lip balm

Battery powered tea lights

I was really struck by what a difference having the lights dimmed made to a birthing room when we visited the birth centre for our tour and how much more homely and relaxed it made everything feel. I’m taking along some battery powered tea lights and candles to sit around the room whether it’s at the birth centre or on the labour ward to bring a little bit of that chilled out vibe.

Relaxing room / pillow spray (Sleepy Mama)

I plan to tap into all five senses through my labour in a bid to stay as relaxed as possible. This relaxing room / pillow spray from the Natural Birthing Company smells divine and will be perfect for spraying around the labour room.

Cool it Mama & Flannels

I think the thing I remember the most from my labour and birth that I also didn’t really expect was feeling so incredibly hot! They set the birthing pool temperature to 37 degrees so that when the baby is born into the water, it’s less of a shock and he doesn’t get too cold but oh my goodness, with all the contractions and pushing at times I felt like I was being boiled in a soup! This time around I’m going armed with flannels that can be dipped in cold water to put on my head and this Cool it Mama face spritz by the Natural Birthing Company in a bid to keep cool.

Baby’s First Outfit

And for after…

Comfortable nightie, Pyjamas with dark bottoms & slippers

My Expert Midwife Spritz for Bits

Seriously, if there’s one product you NEED in your hospital bag for after birth it’s Spritz for Bits. A quick spray down below each time you go to the loo after having your baby immediately cools and soothes your bits and speeds up the healing process too!

My Expert Midwife Fantastic Skin Elastic

As well as a fab bump moisturiser My Expert Midwife’s Fantastic skin elastic also acts as a great massage lotion and I’m going to get Sean to get clued up on ‘light touch massage’ I learned about on my Positive Birthing Course so it might just come in handy.

My Expert Midwife No Harm Nipple Balm

Big knickers

Disposable knickers

For immediately after birth. They can be taken off and thrown straight in the bin once finished with and will add a little bit of peace of mind. I’ll likely still wear my big knickers over the top for an extra layer of protection.

Maternity pads

Washable breast pads

Shower gel, shampoo, conditioner & make up

iPad

What have I packed for baby?

Cuddledry Apron Towel

We had this exact same towel for Florence and it was the first thing we wrapped her in when she was born. It’s super soft against newborn skin and will be perfect for drying her off if she’s born in the pool.

Muslin Swaddle Blanket

Nappies

We always opt for pampers, just because we’ve never had any issues with them.

Wipes

Cotton wool pads

4 x outfits

I’ve packed all of his outfits into little clear zip lock bags, each one containing a vest, a sleepsuit, a hat, a bib, a pair of scratch mitts and a nappy. The idea is that it’ll save us routing around in the bag trying to find everything and we can just easily grab a pack out of the bag at changing time. One of them is labelled ‘First Outfit’ in case someone else is first to dress him.

Coming home outfit

Grosnug

Mama Designs Blanket

NodPod

Bottles

Dummies

4 x cartons of SMA milk

Gift for Florence

I’ve packed a brand new Hey Duggee Bag with a few of Florence’s favourite things along with some baby related books for baby to ‘gift’ to Florence when she comes to visit.

What’s in the bag for Sean?

Headphones

Camera

Camera charger & fully charged camera battery

Blank SD Card

Clean T-Shirt

Pyjamas

Pants

Change for the car park & Cash for food

Everything is packed into two bags, my Cath Kidston changing bag has everything we’ll need for labour & birth and the rest is packed into a wheeled suitcase. 

 

And lastly, what about Florence?

I’ve also packed a little bag for Florence. Obviously she won’t be coming with us when I’m in labour so will end up being picked up by her Grandma or staying with my Mum and sister. So that there’s no need for them to search the house for the basics they’ll need for her, I’ve packed some essentials as well as some treats in her little ladybug suitcase.

Nappies

Wipes

Juice cup

Snacks

Clean bottle

Pyjamas

2 outfits

Toys

DVD

Magazine

Gift for Baby

There you have it, all packed and ready to go! What was in your hospital bag?

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Pregnancy #2: 34 Weeks Pregnant

Pregnancy #2: 34 Weeks Pregnant

It’s been five weeks since I last posted a pregnancy update and I will be completely honest, there have been a few moments when I wasn’t sure we were going to make it to this point. I think I’d be under exaggerating to say that […]

What to buy (& what not to buy) for a new baby

What to buy (& what not to buy) for a new baby

Okay, so I’ve recently shared our new baby wishlist for baby number two (you can see what was on our wishlist for Florence here) but I’ve since had a bunch of first time Mama’s ask me my tips and advice on what to buy and what […]