Sunday, 17 February 2013

Hospital bag essentials

I know that I am quite a long way off from B day but my motto is 'it can't help to be prepared just in case'! So, with this need to be in control, I have started a list of things to include in my hospital bag so that I can get this sorted in the next few weeks.

There's quite a few lists available out there to help, although they all seem to add / miss something off that is on another one, which can make it all a bit confusing. Cow And Gate have a short and simple list - but mine seems to be way longer already. I guess it's down to personal preference (I for one need a lot of lotions and potions every day, let alone when I may be going into hospital for a while and have the whole labour thing to contend with). For ease, I think I'll pack one for and one for baby to help stop things getting muddled up.

Here's what I have so far, in no particular order - it may get longer or may be edited down, so let me know if there's any essentials you took with you that I may have missed:

For me:

Eye mask
Spray bottle
Face wipes
Hair bands and brush
Mini toiletries - shampoo, shower gel, toothpaste, dry shampoo
Nipple cream
Lip balm
Sanitary towels
Dressing gown
Nursing bra
Breast pads
Bikini top
TENS machine
Birth plan and green notes
iPhone with contraction timer app
Music and headphones
iPad with films and shows
Money in change
Make up
Washing bag
Snacks and drinks
Comfy clothes to go home in

For baby:

Lotion / sudacrem
Sleepsuits (4, in 2 sizes)
Going home outfit
Muslin cloths


Saturday, 16 February 2013

Don't forget dads!

Being pregnant is great, in my opinion. Sure, I have been very lucky to date - touch wood - with no sickness or anything really serious to worry about (a bit of heartburn now and again and some soreness in my hips at night). I am certainly getting bigger and things are a little more of a struggle but really, so far so good.

I'm proud of my bump and it is nice to have something to talk about, even with strangers, who are keen to pass on their well wishes and to ask you how you are, do you know what you're having and so on.

But there's often someone missing when it comes to squeals of joy and the Spanish inquisition - the dad-to-be. As a mum-to-be, I am very conscious of including Stephen as much as possible, sharing the feelings I have, telling him when baby moves and discussing decisions together. But when you look at baby magazines, websites and programmes, the dad is often an afterthought.

Two friends of ours have just become parents and the dad said that the day his son was born was the most wonderful and the most traumatic time in his life. He could see what was going on and he felt powerless to help his wife. I can't help but think if the magazines, websites and programmes tried to speak more to dads or to show their side of the pregnancy story a little more, dads, mums and children would all benefit as a result.

Stephen often reads up on things and makes suggestions to me but it must be hard to know where to go for information. This article on was an interesting read for mums-to-be and this book sounds like it would be a good source of information whilst being a fun read for dads too.

Comedian Jason Manford last year wrote a touching blog on the subject of daddyhood, following negative posts he received on Facebook by some idiots. In short, the internet trolls said in response to the best wishes Jason sent to Gary Barlow and his wife when their daughter was sadly stillborn, that 'losing a child who hadn't been born wasn't as tough as losing a child who had lived properly'. Obviously this is a highly sensitive topic but the response Jason posted was beautifully written and hit the nail on the head. As well as covering the devastation of losing a child during pregnancy or otherwise (something my family has unfortunately experienced), Jason portrayed the feelings and emotions that dads go through from the moment they know their partner is expecting and I thoroughly recommend you read his blog as everyone can learn something from his story.


Friday, 15 February 2013

Celebrity bump pals

I read in The Best Friends Guide to Pregnancy about how once you know you're expecting and a famous person announces their news around the same time, you'll instantly feel a connection to them. You'll want to keep tabs on their progress, find out what they are eating, how their bump is looking, what their baby name will be.

This does kind of hold true for me. Fearne Cotton, someone I have always liked, said she was going to become a mama just before I found out so whenever there was a story on her - usually about what she was wearing - I'd been keen to read how she was getting on. I'm not a fan of her, but Coleen Rooney is also expecting in May like me so when pics of her on the beach were in the press last week, it was nice to see another lady going through the same thing as me.

Another celeb I can relate to is Holly Madison - yes, the former Playboy bunny and Hefner's former Girl Next Door. She recently said in an interview that she's still getting used to pregnancy and that it's still a 'foreign abstract feeling' which I can really understand.

Although I feel baby moving at regular intervals during the day, it's still hard to comprehend there's a little human being in there. I think because we decided not to find out if bean is a boy or a girl, it makes things a little distant from reality. We know we're going to be parents but our daydreams and plans for the future can only go so far as we do not know if we'll have a son or daughter. As mentioned earlier on in my blog, we have had names picked for many years and if we knew the sex of the baby, we'd be able to start saying 'I wonder if little Jimmy will take after his dad and be 10 feet tall' or 'what if little Jenny talks as much as her mum?' (Note: these are not the names we have chosen by the way, just there as examples!).

By knowing the sex, you can't help but think ahead to the kind of person in much more detail than if you didn't. Because we do not know, bean remains a little mystery to us and I think that's some of the magic of meeting them for the first time.

Preparing for the last three months

So sorry for not blogging in a while - things have been a little crazy in the O'Hanlon camp and I just haven't had the time to do very much at all for myself or baby.

I'm currently at 28 weeks, so I have officially entered my third trimester - oh my god! How did that happen?? Up until now I have been feeling really prepared but with an extremely busy work month behind me, I feel completely lost when it comes to the next three months. I haven't read my baby books in ages, I don't have much information yet about the local Parentcraft classes and we haven't visited the midwifery centre where I'm thinking of having the birth.

I know it's unlikely that anything will happen and that I still have 12 weeks to go, but I also know how quickly 12 weeks can pass by as we waited that long to tell our friends and family our news in the first place.

Hubs wants me to start thinking about my hospital bag just to be on the safe side and we'll have to plan our exit strategy for when labour starts - not least because we'll be leaving our three furry friends at home and won't know how long we'll be away for! (Note to self: start stockpiling cat and dog food).

I'll be seeing my midwife on Tuesday and hope that the children's centre will call me back about the Parentcraft classes - if I need to do five weeks of these, I am fast running out of time!

One great thing is we have all the baby's things, except for a few items which are on our gift list, and hubs decided to surprise me last weekend when I returned home from visiting friends by having painted the nursery. I first mentioned our decorating plans here, but now the room has been painted a soft creamy yellow shade and has instantly become our favourite room in the house. It just feels like a happy space, not just a nappy place! We'll save the rest until much nearer the time but it feels good to have made a start on this.

So, this weekend, I plan on putting my feet up (I really am starting to feel more cumbersome and know I need to slow down a bit) and will swot up on the latest chapters in my books.
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