Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas everyone! And remember, it's not about what's under the tree, but more importantly, who's around it :-)

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Pregnancy update 12 weeks

Last week we had our dating scan, it was very emotional for us. When sonographer applied gel and started looking at our baby, first few seconds I thought that we wont see anything, that nothing will be there, of course I was wrong. We saw baby moving, it's heart..

Visible changes in my body: it seems that my belly is growing, but as I'm above average weight it's hard to say 100%

How do I feel: sick most of the time, plus I started having headaches

Cravings: still none

Any other changes: still suffer from increased sense of smell, driving me mad

Baby: baby is now around 2 inches long and the size of a plum (about 2.5 inches/6cm), and is growing rapidly. Baby's face is beginning to look more human. Eyes, which started out on the sides of the head, have moved closer together. Ears are almost in their final positions on the side of the head. Inside his/her body, organs are performing more complex tasks. Liver is making bile and kidneys are secreting urine into bladder.

What changes did you have at 12 weeks?

Friday, 29 November 2013

My booking appointment with a midwife

Last week I have received a letter from hospital saying that they booked a community midwife home visit, which I had this Thursday.
I wrote a list of questions to ask, prepared my pregnancy notes and information about my previous illnesses.

Midwife seemed quiet reserved which made me think that it doesn’t really work for me as I would like to find common ground with a person I am going to see throughout my pregnancy as it was literally quiet impossible.
Overall, I didn't enjoy my first ever experience with the midwife, if you remember I did mention in one of my previous posts that I feel like I'm on my own here with my pregnancy, still feel the same way.

First of all, the midwife was from the wrong area, not the closest to our house, so I had to ask her to refer me to our local children's centre, meaning I would need to wait till beginning of next year- my 16 weeks appointment.

Secondly, after she left I looked at my pregnancy notes and she ticked lots of boxes saying “discussed” and things never been discussed or leaflets given.

I feel like I am back to square one, its my first ever pregnancy and I feel neglected, next weeks I'm going to be 12 weeks, which deems to be dangerous trimester and no one examined me internally or externally. Maybe it is normal I don’t know that, for me it is certainly far from being normal...Do I need to be more forceful?!

Was it different for you or similar?

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Personal Planner review

I like to buy quirky things, but when it comes to card holders, organisers (diaries, planners) I prefer simple, understated, cheap things. The organiser I use at the moment was bought for 99p. And I'm extremely happy with its size, colour and was actually planning to buy similar one for 2014.

Few months ago I came across Personal Planner and I totally liked the idea of creating my own customised planner. I was lucky enough to win one, thank you, Tracy from WhiteLily Green.

It's very quick and easy to create one.

1. You can choose from various sizes and prices

2. You can choose front and back cover from options offered or upload your own image

3. You can choose inlay design

4. You can choose additional back pages front and back cover from options offered or upload your own image
5. You can choose owners info page  front and back cover from options offered or upload your o

I certainly like the idea of customised planners, but I would like to see more value options as well as a bigger variety of sizes for those who cant afford expensive things, but want to have something trendy.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Pregnancy update 8 (10) weeks

Last week we were brave enough to tell our close relatives that we are expecting. I feel so relieved now, I needed a little bit more support and understanding from people, who know exactly how I feel.

In my previous post I mentioned that booked appointment to see midwife. Few days later I received a letter from a hospital saying that I will see a midwife and have dating scan, I am thrilled, but worried that it will be rushed..but we have to wait and see..


Visible changes in my body: when I wear trousers it feels a bit tighter in a waist area

How do I feel: nauseous, sick

Cravings: I have more things I don’t feel like eating than cravings

Any other changes: increased sense of smell driving me mad- feel sick when my hubby uses deodorant, feel sick when I'm in the kitchen while hubby cooks; just generally anything can trigger my sickness. Yesterday I felt sorry for myself, couldn’t stop crying.

Baby: According to the time when we conceived our baby I am sure baby is around 8 weeks, but according to doctors calculations its 10 weeks (which still doesn’t make any sense to me). I guess we will get proper due date on our first appointment with a midwife.

How did you deal with sickness?

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

My first antenatal (booking) appointment booked! Yay!

I know its been only a week and a bit since I have told my GP that I'm pregnant, but today (actually last night) I have decided to chase up my local hospital to see if they received my referral.

Good news- they did receive it, but bad news for me- my first antenatal appointment will be only in 3 weeks, which makes me 10 or 12 weeks pregnant.

You may disagree with what I am going to write next, but as a first time mum-to-be I'm worried that it takes ages to see specialist and discuss all issues, questions etc. 

For me it is very important to know and be reassured that my baby and I are fine and everything is normal..I feel like I'm actually on my own with my pregnancy at the moment, yes I have supportive husband and Internet, and any questions can be answered with one click, but I prefer to speak with a real person, specialist, to do millions of tests etc etc. That will make me happy and satisfied and less worried.

Did you feel the same way when you were pregnant?

Friday, 8 November 2013

6 weeks (8 weeks) pregnancy

Early in October I started feeling weird period pains, period wasn't due yet but I felt that maybe I am pregnant and did a test, which showed 1 stripe. Even though I was a little bit upset I still had faith and took few tests with us on our honeymoon. In the middle of our holiday we found out that I am pregnant.

My husband was totally calm, but I felt that deep down I am panicking, I guess started realising that from now on our lives have to change for good.

We really enjoyed the rest of our honeymoon, I didn’t have any problems with nausea or anything else. But possibly the fact that our flight back home was like a never ending moment (7 hours flying, then transit for 9 hours and then another 6 hours flying) since then I didn’t feel that great.

As I didn’t really know what to do – to go to see doctor straight away or to wait, I did a small research via Internet and called few Gps and only after that called my gp to book an appointment. Appointment was very brief, she checked my blood pressure at least 4 times, gave me Emma's Diary magazine, and my Pregnancy note book (which will have information about myself and baby development throughout my pregnancy).

Visible changes in my body: breast are a bit bigger

How do I feel: tired, nauseous, worried (I check every time if I have bleeding, thinking am I still pregnant) and at the same time happy when I feel sick, as it means baby is still there.

Cravings: just everything I feel like (my cravings change every day)

Any other changes: stopped drinking coffee in the morning, started drinking green tea, have weird after-taste after every meal or snack (very annoying), wake up in the middle of the night to go to toilet (which isn’t great as after that I cant fall asleep), breast tenderness, increased sense of smell, I also have lots of spots like before period.

Baby: According to the time when we conceived our baby I am sure baby is around 6 weeks, but according to doctors calculations its 8 weeks (which still doesn’t make any sense to me).I guess we will get proper due date on our first appointment with a midwife.

Did we tell anyone: I am very tempted to our closest family members. It is impossible to hide from my mum and not to tell her, but I am still trying to convince her that I am not pregnant. After we came back from holiday she said straight away she said my face changed, my voice changed and was asking loads of question if I am pregnant..)

How did you feel at these early stages?

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Our Honeymoon

Hi there!
It feels like it has been a long time since I've been here, all because me and my hubby had our belated honeymoon. Due to some problems we had to delay it almost for a year, but finally we made it and here is my photo report. Enjoy!

Monday, 7 October 2013

Review- Turtlemeter (baby bath toy and thermometer) by Ozeri

I have been given an opportunity to review Turtlemeter- the Baby Bath Floating Turtle Toy and Bath Thermometer by Ozeri.

“Turtlemeter has been designed to help ensure that bathwater is at safer and more comfortable temperature for a child”.

I have opted for a Turtlemeter, as it looks funky and just something different to a world famous rubber duck.
At the front and back of Turtlemeter packaging you can find an overview of the product including age grade, pros of the product and summary of digital display readings. 

Inside packaging we have a lovely Turtlemeter, which includes 3 AAA batteries, product registration form and a leaflet with more detailed information about a product, instructions, warnings, replacing the batteries and warranty information.

“The Turtlemeter works by measuring the bathwater temperature every second, and displays the current temperature on the centre of the LCD screen. The LCD also provides a colour-coded backlight based on the measured water temperature. The colours are Blue if the water temperature is Too Cold, Green if the water temperature is Just Right, and Red if the water is Too Hot”.

So far I found one minus- temperature reading are not adapted for the UK market. As it is an American based company temperature reading are in Fahrenheit, which is not very helpful if you are living in the UK. 

Overall, it is a funky and easy to use product. I will certainly use it in the future, even though it is a bit of a hassle to convert temperature from °F to ºC, i will possibly use a converter and/or physically check the water myself. 

P.S. I have adapted grammar from leaflets and packaging into British English.

Disclamer: We were sent the Turtlemeter for the purpose of a review. All views and opinions are honest and my own.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

The Lion King (my story)

I’m sure most of you have watched or at least heard about Disney animated musical “The Lion King”. If not, here is a summary:
“The Lion King presents the story of a lion cub’s journey to adulthood and acceptance of his royal destiny. Simba begins life as an honoured prince, the son of the powerful King Mufasa. The cub’s happy childhood turns tragic when his evil uncle, Scar, murders Mufasa and drives Simba away from the kingdom. In exile, the young lion befriends the comically bumbling pair of Pumbaa the warthog and Timon the meerkat, all three of them live a carefree jungle life. As he approaches adulthood, he is visited by the spirit of his father, who instructs him to defeat Scar and reclaim his rightful throne”.

The cartoon was released the same year as when my dad died. Since then I saw a connection between me and Simba. Possibly every weekend I had my own time of me watching cartoon and crying, I felt that I am not alone in my sorrow.
That was a horrible time to be honest with you, I was 8, I remember this day like it was yesterday. I was preparing to go to school and waiting for my mom to drop me off and for my elder sister to come from school.  Waiting and waiting, no sign of mom or sister, so I sat on a stool by the window waiting for them both to come.

And then a phone rang, I picked up the phone and there was a male voice telling me “Your dad died”, I thought it’s a phone prank or wrong number so put the phone down (What else you can expect from  8 year old). Then phone rang again, the same man telling me the same thing “Your dad died”, I put the phone down.
Few minutes later my mom and sister came home, they were a bit weird, upset more like. So I asked what happened, my sister said she got “C” for one of the subjects, which was virtually impossible for my A-star sister, I thought that “now I understand why she is so upset I would be too if I knew I had C”. So little did I know.

Couple days later mom told me that my dad died, it was the end of the world for me and still is. Next year it is going to be 20 years since he died and it feels like I miss him and need him more and more. He is the missing piece in my life. I don’t care was he good or bad, I just know that regardless of all the things he would be my perfect dad, the dad I needed all my life.
I know you can’t turn clock back, but if only I had a chance I would give him the biggest hug in the world and would never let him go...

In July this year me and my husband went to see The Lion King Musical, somewhere in the back of my mind I thought and even made a joke about it that I guess I need lots of tissues with me. And when the show started that very second I had the biggest waterfall. It all came back to me, all my memories of sitting on a sofa, watching the cartoon and crying because my and Simba’s dads died and the pain reminding me that he is not with us, but will be always in my heart. 

Friday, 13 September 2013

Almost everything you need to know about ovulation

I thought that there are people (like me) out there who don’t know much about it. Hope this post will help you to understand things better.
Please note, as I tried to make post more relevant to me there will be no mention of cervical mucus, basal body temperature thermometer.

First of all, menstrual cycle counts from the day you get your period (its cycle day 1).

Ovulation is when an egg (and, occasionally, more than one egg) is released from the ovary, and it’s the fertile time of your menstrual cycle.
You must have sexual intercourse during the period spanning one to two days before ovulation to about 24 hour afterwards. The reason: sperm cells can live for two or three days, but an egg survives no more than 24 hour after ovulation- unless, of course, fertilization occurs.
Your fertile days are the days leading up to ovulation, the day of, and the day after. You start to become fertile about 5 days prior to ovulation, are very fertile the 3 days prior, and at your peak fertility the day before and the day of ovulation. You are also fertile the day after ovulation, as your egg can live for up to 24 hours.
Figure out when your next period is due to begin and count back 12 to 16 days. This will give you a range of days when you will probably be ovulating. For women with a 28-day cycle, the 14th day is often the day of ovulation. To use this method, you must know how long your cycle usually lasts.
Once you know when your egg will be release from your ovary, you can plan to have sex during your most fertile days: from three days before ovulating through the day of ovulation.
You have a range of days for baby-making sex because sperm can survive for five to six days in your body. (Your egg survives for only about a day). That means if you have sex on Monday, sperm can survive in your fallopian tubes, waiting for an egg to float by, until around Thursday- or maybe even as late as Sunday.
If you’re not sure when your fertile period will be, here’s an easy rule of thumb: Hit the sheets every other day.
Another tip: If you and your partner are waiting to have sex until your most fertile time, make sure you haven’t gone through too long of a dry beforehand. Your partner should ejaculate at least once in the days before your most fertile period. If he doesn't there could be a build up of dead sperm in his semen when it’s go time, and dead sperm can’t get you pregnant.

Hope this was helpful! 

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

I want a boy!

* Edited 05/02/2014 none of the methods we tried worked for us as we are having a girl!
I know some of you may say that it does not matter what gender is your baby, of course, I will be happy if it is a boy or a girl, but our plan at the moment is to conceive a boy.  

So I decided to Google “how to get pregnant with a boy” or “how to conceive a boy” first few websites had absolutely ridiculous suggestions,  to be honest even couple of suggestions from Askmum website were a bit weird to me, but I guess we just have to try it.

Askmum: Before even having sex, your partner can increase his sperm count by wearing loose-fitting trousers and sponging his scrotum with cool water, which is good for making boy babies. When it comes to doing the deed, you and your partner should do it doggy style, and you should try and climax first. The best time to have sex is just after ovulation.

TheBabywebsite recommends:
-          Time your intercourse exactly on the way of ovulation
-          Aim for sexual positions that promote deeper penetration
-          Monitor the pH level of the vaginal environment

The Shettles Method is a child conception idea that is reputed to help determine a baby's sex. In order to have a boy insemination should occur as close as possible to the moment of ovulation so that the faster, Y-sperm arrive first and achieve conception, according to the theory. When seeking a girl insemination the couple should seek to have sex 2½ to 3 days before ovulation. Shallow penetration coupled with the sperm deposited close to the entrance favors female conception because the area is more acidic, which inhibits the weaker Y sperm, according to the theory. To allow the Y sperm to reach the egg first (which supposedly moves at a faster rate), deeper penetration should be sought, to deposit the sperm at the least acidic area near the uterus opening (Wikipedia).
Mentioned “suggestions” are similar, the only difference is that the latter is described in more scientific terms.

Wish us luck!!!

* Edited 05/02/2014 none of the methods we tried worked for us as we are having a girl!

Thursday, 5 September 2013

My visit to a family planning clinic


First of all, I do apologise if I offend any of you (if you or your family members are NHS staff), this is my experience which I felt that I need to share with the world.

If you remember my post preparing for a pregnancy I have shared with you that I was planning to visit my GP to discuss the matter.

Before visiting my GP I wanted to be a little bit prepared even though I had a feeling that we can’t really discuss all issues within 15 minutes and more importantly will we even discuss things I thought we should discuss?!  I have prepared a list of most all my health problems I had throughout my life and prepared a blood pressure log.

I have to say straight away that on many occasions I have been disappointed with NHS services and before seeing nurse I wasn’t expecting a miracle! On the day of my appointment with a nurse from family planning clinic I showed her my blood pressure log, mentioned previous health issues I had. She did not show any signs of concern at all or did not even suggest that I can have any issues with me planning a pregnancy.

From the website of my GP: “Services include pill checks, Depo-Provera plus reviews, high vaginal swabs and chlamydia screens. She also issues Levonelle for emergency contraception and carries out coil checks (six weeks post insertion and annual reviews)”.
 To my disappointment none of the checks were offered, none of them took place. The only useful advice was that I need to take out coil 3 months prior to trying for a baby as my period needs to go back to normal and that I should take folic acid for 3 months as well (which I already knew).

After I came home and briefly spoke about this experience with my husband we decided to go to a local sexual health clinic/ family planning clinic (I am still wondering how come it is called family planning) where I had my coil removed. I wanted them to take other tests as well, but unfortunately they could not perform tests.  So i had to go to a different hospital for that.

I have decide to give another go with my GP and booked another visit to GP  this time with a male doctor. What I liked is that he was reassuring, went through many questions I had, but said that “why to treat something which does not exist” (can’t agree with that, to be honest with you). 
On the way home I was thinking but what if something is wrong with my ovary etc etc.?! I guess the whole medical system is different from my motherland that’s why it takes me some time to adjust to it. But overall he was much better than doctors and nurses I visited before, he referred me to do ECG and cholesterol blood test, which is very useful as well.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Preparing for a pregnancy

Although pregnancy is a great happiness to every family, and it is better to get ready for it so that the baby will be born strong and healthy.

As i am an organised and responsible person, so for me it was very important that before i decide to have a baby my husband and I are prepared for it mentally, physically, that we are healthy enough.  Therefore I have decided to visit my local GP to discuss the matter with a nurse from a family planning clinic.

According to Patient website most pregnancies go well and without any major problems. But, it is wise to reduce any risks as much as possible. So, a reminder of things to consider before becoming pregnant, or if pregnant...

Things you should do:
  • Take folic acid tablets before you get pregnant until 12 weeks of pregnancy.
  • Take vitamin D supplements when you become pregnant.
  • Have a blood test to check if you are immune against rubella, and to screen for hepatitis  B, syphilis, and HIV. Ask your practice nurse to do this.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Include foods rich in iron, calcium and folic acid; also, some oily fish.
  • Have strict food hygiene. In particular, wash your hands after handling raw meat, or handling cats and kittens, and before you prepare food.
  • Wear gloves when you are gardening.

Things you should avoid:
  • Too much vitamin A - don't eat liver or liver products, or take vitamin A supplements.
  • Listeriosis - don't eat undercooked meat or eggs, soft cheese, pâté, shellfish, raw fish, or unpasteurised milk.
  • Fish which may contain a lot of mercury - shark, marlin, swordfish, or excess tuna.
  • Sheep, lambs, cat poo (faeces), cat litters, and raw meat, which may carry certain infections.

Things you should stop or cut down on:
  • Caffeine in tea, coffee, cola, etc - have no more than 200 mg per day. For example, this is about two mugs of instant coffee, or one mug of brewed coffee and a 50 g bar of plain chocolate, or two and a half mugs of tea.
  • Alcohol - you are strongly advised not to drink at all.
  • Smoking - you are strongly advised to stop completely.
  • Street (illicit) drugs - you are strongly advised to stop completely.
  • Liquorice - reduce your intake if you eat lots of it.

Other things to consider:
  • Your iodine intake and perhaps discuss with your doctor about iodine supplements.
  • Immunisation against hepatitis B if you are at increased risk of getting this infection.
  • Immunisation against chickenpox if you are a healthcare worker and have not previously had chickenpox and so are not immune.
  • Your medication - including herbal and 'over-the-counter' medicines. Are they safe?
  • Your work environment - is it safe?!
  • Medical conditions in yourself, or conditions which run in your family.
  • Screening tests for sickle cell disease and thalassaemia.

According to NHS choices website:
  • Folic acid. Take a 400-microgram (400mcg) supplement of folic acid every day while you're trying to get pregnant, and up until you're 12 weeks pregnant. This is advised due to the fact that folic acid reduces the risk of your baby having a neural tube defect, such as spinal bifida. A neural tube defect is when the foetus's spinal cord (part of the body's nervous system) does not form normally. Women with epilepsy, diabetes and other medical conditions are recommended to take a 5 milligram (5mg) supplement.
  • Stop smoking.  Smoking during pregnancy has been linked to a variety of health problems including premature birth, low birth weight, cot death (also known as sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS), miscarriage and breathing problems/wheezing in the first six months of life.
  • Cut out alcohol. Don't drink alcohol if you're pregnant or trying to get pregnant. Alcohol can be passed to your unborn baby, and too much exposure to alcohol can affect your baby’s development.
  • Keep to a healhy weight. If you’re overweight you may have problems getting pregnant, and if you’re      having fertility treatment it’s less likely to work. Being overweight or obese (having a BMI over 30) also raises the risk of some pregnancy problems, such as high blood pressure, blood clots, miscarriage      and gestational diabetes.
  • Infections.  Some infections, such as rubella (german measles), can harm your baby if you catch them in pregnancy. Most people in the UK are immune to rubella. If you are thinking about having a baby and don’t know whether you are immune, you can ask your GP to check.
  • If you have a long-term condition or chronic condition, such as epilepsy or diabetes, it could affect the decisions you make about your pregnancy, for example where you might want to give birth. While there is usually no reason why you shouldn’t have a smooth pregnancy and a healthy baby, some health conditions do need careful management to minimise risks to both you and your baby. Have a pre-conception discussion with your specialist or GP.  If you’re taking medication for a condition, don’t stop taking it without consulting your doctor.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Changes in my life

Having a baby is a big step in any parent’s- to-be life. There are days when I think that I am 100% ready for this and then there are days when I am not so sure about it.
I have to admit, but please don’t tell anyone ;-) that I am lazy, I like to have relaxing times on a sofa watching something or browsing web, I can stay at home and feel comfortable being cosy there rather than outside.  And I guess I have to enjoy it more now as soon it will be a luxury!

Having a baby will change most of the things in our lives, it will be a good change as a baby is a result of our love. It will be a start of a new life for 3 of us with going out and about to places suitable for babies, trips by bus or train, sleepless nights and no time for make up or me time. Entertaining our baby to fill his/her days as well as ours and I am looking forward to that. But it is about the right time to make these changes in our lives, right?!.