The Whole Nine months… [Part 2]

Good afternoon readers! I’m excited to share Part 2 of Becky’s pregnancy diary with you particularly as last weeks Part 1 was so popular! I’m also delighted to tell you that Becky’s pregnancy is now over – Becky had a beautiful baby girl on Sunday 14th of October – Constance Elizabeth, who weighed in at a very cute 7lbs 8oz. Mum and baby are home now and doing well – I can’t wait for a cuddle!

My heart melted when that little face landed in my inbox!

Now, lets finish the rest of Becky’s pregnancy guide.

THE KIT…

Despite the lists you may be bombarded with during your pregnancy, you don’t need a huge amount of kit before you have the baby. If, like us however, you have no idea where to start, I can thoroughly recommend a nursery advice appointment at John Lewis. Ed was sceptical when I told him we had an appointment booked. He assumed we’d leave with a list containing overpriced items we’d never use. He was pleasantly surprised.

You can use the service like a wedding list and give your list number to family and friends if they want to buy you a gift. We however used it as a two hour advice session for prams and nursery essentials and a shopping list tool for ourselves. Your list is compiled by the nursery advisor you see and you can then add or remove items from it online. You can spread the cost by purchasing items here and there but they’ll be stored for you until you arrange a one off delivery that suits you. It’s also good to watch the prices on your list before purchasing each item as John Lewis will price match any competitors’ current offers. The service is free and you get a voucher for a hot drink and piece of cake in the cafe. What’s not to like?

Your pram is likely to be the most expensive piece of kit you purchase so make sure you do your research. We went to 3 different shops to look at the different options that would suit our lifestyle. We spoke to advisors in each shop and then went home to research reviews, videos, and advice online. I then went back on my own to try collapsing, lifting and pushing each pram on our shortlist. After all, I’ll have to manage it once Ed’s back at work. The best advice we were given was to look ahead to the longer term. Think about what you might need in a year or two’s time when your baby has grown and will the pram you are purchasing for your newborn baby be able to adapt for your future needs?

PREPARATION FOR LABOUR…

There are two camps to fall into here…….Knowledge is power v. Ignorance is bliss. Early on in my pregnancy I thought I’d fall into the latter but as time has ticked on and I’ve exposed myself to more and more information I’ve found that I definitely fall into the first camp. I’ve signed up to every workshop or learning session the midwives have offered me on labour and breastfeeding. We’ve also attended NCT classes (these are often oversubscribed, so be sure to book early). Along with what I’ve learnt at yoga, I feel almost excited about my labour, as if it’s a challenge like a marathon that’s just around the corner. I don’t think you can ever be prepared for what’s ahead but with a little training, you can certainly feel a lot more confident about tackling it.

THOUGHTS FOR THE FUTURE…

It may seem a long way off but if you are planning on returning to work, you need to think about childcare early on in your pregnancy. We started looking at nurseries when I was 30 weeks and couldn’t be guaranteed the days and dates we really wanted for the end of my maternity leave. At the time, we were planning over a year ahead. It’s a very daunting prospect to choose childcare before you’ve even met your child but as we’re in the middle of the biggest baby boom since the 1950’s it’s something you just have to get on with.

MY FAVOURITE RESOURCES…

Online:

NHS choices – sign up to the parent information email to get a weekly newsletter relating to your week of pregnancy.

Gas & Air – written by a Mum and Midwife. A refreshing, down to earth, and personal insight into the labour ward and motherhood.

Mumsnet

Books:

Your Pregnancy Week by week, Lesley Regan – This has been my no nonsense pregnancy encyclopaedia. It’s got the reassurance of being like a school text book.

The Rough Guide to Pregnancy and Birth, Kaz Cooke – A humerous book giving sensible advice amongst witty diary entries following the authors own pregnancy. Split down into short sections for each week which makes for very easy bedtime reading.

Hypnobirthing, Marie Mongan – I haven’t attended hypnobirthing classes, nor did I purchase the accompanying CD. The book was recommended to me as a resource to learn relaxation, breathing and visualisation techniques to help during labour. It certainly helps to reassure you if you are frightened by the prospect of labour. It may seem a bit ‘hippie’ for some but you can learn more about hypnobirthing here. I have found it ties in very well with the breathing and relaxation techniques I’ve learnt in my yoga classes.

Babies: The Mumsnet Guide: – Another recommendation that I’ve recently purchased. I’m only just delving into it now that my pregnancy and labour books are coming to an end. Well, I’ll need something to read in hospital won’t I ?!

Apps:

What to Expect – A concise app that gives you a weekly update comparing the size of your baby to a different vegetable or fruit as well as providing you with a countdown. It’s American so take some advice with a pinch of salt but it’s a fun and easily accessible resource to have on your phone. Be warned, things start to become scary when you reach butternut squash!

I’d love to hear any of your thoughts on this or anything about your own pregnancies that may help other bump free ladies. I’ll try to check in regularly to answer your questions, but please bear with me if I don’t reply straight away!

Becky x

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26 thoughts on “The Whole Nine months… [Part 2]

  1. Congratulations! She’s gorgeous!

    Not pregnant, or planning on being anytime soon but these posts are really good for helping with knowing what to expect. Although I may well now have nightmares about giving birth to a watermelon!!

    xx

  2. Aww, she’s beautiful Becky. Congratulations! Love the name too. 🙂

    Also pregnant, and love all your advice, but we’re on a tiny budget.

    We’re getting almost everything second hand, apart from car seat and mattresses for moses basket and cot. Also bought the Gentle Birth Method book, rather than NCT classes. Bought a baby yoga CD, book and excercise ball for £5 from NCT sale. Been swimming at local public baths a few times. Trying to keep active, but without the expense of classes. Also the nearest these classes are to us, is Chester, which is still over half an hour away.

    Finding all the baby and pregnancy information mind boggling.

    xx

    • Hi Katie,

      Sounds like you’ve done fantastically well with the budget. You’ve made me realise I left out a sizeable chunk of information about secondhand stuff which I’ve also taken advantage of. I’ll blame the baby brain!

      I searched eBay every night for the bits we needed and found a bargain moses basket with loads of bedding. My favourite secondhand purchases have been the furniture for the nursery which hopefully I’ll be able to share with you all soon. The cotbed I bought was actually thirdhand but you wouldn’t know it if you looked at it now. The John Lewis list for us was kept very basic and we used their price match policy to get the best deal we could on the car seat, mattresses and the few electrical items we purchased.

      I completely agree that any exercise you do needs to be convenient and affordable. I also swam at the local pool and was lucky enough to live in an area where the midwife run aqua natal classes cost £1 a session!

      Enjoy the yoga….it really did get me through labour.

      • Thank you. Yes yoga is great. I’ve been doing it about once a week, but hearing that it got you through labour I might try the recommended 20 mins a day. Wow, even frugal me would do aqua classes at £1 a session.

        eBay is my new favourite app.

        Congrats again, and well done.

        xx

  3. What a sweet person – such blue eyes. Many many congratulations Becky – both on your gorgeous daughter and on another excellent, super-helpful post!

  4. She’s so beautiful! We have friends with a Constance, will she be a Connie? I love traditional ‘old fashioned’ names… So lovely.

    I’m hoping labour went well for you and that you’re enjoying being at home with your gorgeous girl. So excited to meet mine, all the more so now!

    Congratulations to your lovely little family xx

  5. Congratulations Becky! What a gorgeous baby girl! Thanks for another great post, I’m really excited about all these as I go into week 14 next week. Really helpful thank you x

  6. Congratulations! She is so cut and her name is lovely too!

    I have loved these posts and I’m sure they will be useful if we ever have a baby! X

  7. Hi everyone,

    Thank you so much for all of your lovely comments. I’ll fill you in with the full story soon but the birth went almost as well as we could have hoped for.

    It’s the most overwhelming experience I’ve ever had. We’re so pleased to be home and are totally in love with our little girl.

    B xx

  8. Shes gorgeous – I LOVE the name I’m going to put Connie/ Constance on my baby name list!! I would recommend buying very little before the birth – I have a cupboard of things that I thought were essential that I never used, I think you can get a little carried away with the excitment of the first baby (or was that just me?!). For giving birth being fit and healthy helps and being informed on your options, but other than that personally I don’t think anything can prepare you (although thats proably not that helpful to people that are pregnant!)

  9. Congratulations Becky on your gorgeous little girl, I bet you’re both over the moon, it’s such an amazing and somewhat surreal experience bringing them home, you just think ‘what do I do now??’ Best thing we’ve ever done though!! I hope she brings you much joy and happiness (and not too many sleepless nights!). Your Aunt sounds awesome, what a great person to be named after.

    I would definitely say accept all donations, to keep or to borrow, they grow out of stuff so fast. If you can borrow a moses basket that’s always a bonus (you can always get a new mattress if you don’t want to use one that’s been used before) as I found Isabella wasn’t in it for that long in the end as she outgrew it. Check out the ‘Nearly New’ sales as well, I think NCT run them but get there early and get ready to move fast!!

    A book which I loved is one that I bought for a friend a few years before I got pregnant and she ended up lending it to me….’The Best Friends’ Guide to Pregnancy’ by Vicki Iovine, it really tells you things as they are and it’s informative as well as funny. I used to read it on the bus on my way to work and just sit there laughing.!! My friend has now just bought me ‘The Best friends Guide to Toddlers’, should prove interesting 🙂

    Enjoy every minute of these precious first moments and I’m looking forward to your updates, it’s aways lovely to hear other people’s experiences xx

  10. I’m not planning to have anymore as I have 2 lovely girls but what I would say to anyone planning or waiting to have a baby, as much as you can plan and decide What you would like during your birth always remember you may not get what you want! I planned to have a natural birth, ended up with lots of drugs, a spinal and an assisted delivery! I wanted to breast feed, I couldn’t, I had no milk! I wanted to go home straight away- i was in a separate hospital to my baby for 24 hours and then was In special care for a week with her after that. As this was not want I wanted (or expected) I found it very difficult to deal with, I was so upset by not being able to feed my baby I cried for 2 weeks after finally leaving hospital and then whenever anyone mentioned it or I saw someone breast feed I burst into tears. I hadn’t even bought any bottles or equipment as i was that adamant I would only breast feed so we even had a mad dash shopping trip on our way home to buy everything! . I did manage to breastfeed with my second child and the 2 births couldn’t have been more different. So I’d just say don’t get hung up on what you want to happen its hard if it doesn’t go to plan, just take it as it comes and be prepared for it to change.

  11. What a gorgeous baby, congratulations and beautiful name too! Such a good read – not being at bump stage yet myself, but living through friend’s pregnancies at the moment, and really good, down to earth advice that I’m going to pass onto them & retain for myself when that stage comes! Looking forward to more baby related blog pieces, thank you! Rx

  12. Congratulations Becky, Constance looks adorable. I found your post/s really useful and fun to read I’m pregnant with our third baby now, but still it’s an excellent reminder of what’s ahead – because you do forget! Some great advice all in one place. And I found the bit about the pregnancy nausea spot on to my experience this pregnancy! Best of luck and enjoy all the fun and adventures with your beautiful girl xxx

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