Friday, 31 May 2013

Review: AngelSounds Heart Doppler

A friend of mine nearing the end of her pregnancy gave me this to use and I have loved it. I would never have bought one, but I definitely recommend this purchase for all parents to be. It has worked amazingly well from my 13 week stage; I have always been able to find Baby C’s heart beat without much drama searching for him. I didn’t drag Mr.C to my 16 week appointment so he didn’t get to hear the heart beat then so he has been able to listen at home. The first few times he would always get really nervous when I pulled it out incase we couldn’t find it; I of course had read all the information and knew not to panic if we couldn’t find the heart beat. This came in particularly handy when I slipped down the stairs, I spoke to the maternity unit in my Local Hospital and all they would offer is a listen of the heartbeat, this saved me having to go and sit in the ward for three hours waiting, I would have obviously done this is if I had any pains but luckily I didn’t, all that extra padding on me must have helped.
It’s so great for family too; my Mum, Nan and Sisters have all had a listen. It is the first thing my four year old Niece asks for when she comes round to see me, she loves playing nurse and putting the gel on and finding the heartbeat herself, she does a very good whooshing impression.

Nurse Keira

We also had a play at listening to everyone else’s heartbeat, mine was beating incredibly clear compared to everyone else’s, and I guess it is working twice as hard at the moment.
I haven’t used the other features but there is an option to record the baby’s heartbeat or even your own to play back to the baby once he is here, apparently it will be a familiar calming sound for him.
I am always so proud when I am able to locate the heartbeat straightaway, although he is getting a lot more active and seems to keep moving about.
Have you used a heart Doppler? Do you think it will reassure you or make you constantly want to check all is well?

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Week 23

Not sure how much more I can keep growing

Weight Gain: 2lb.
Symptoms: Killer rib ache whenever I’m sitting down, unfortunately this is most of the day! It’s only on my left side though, not sure why that is, but I think the pain is just everything being shoved upwards to make room for Baby C. I have discovered a little trick for instant relief; I just lift my left arm up and hang it over the back of the chair, just to stretch and open everything up. I look pretty odd in the office but it helps, so tough!
Stretch marks: Had a little scare this week and nearly cried in front of the mirror until I realised that what I thought were stretch marks were actually just creases from where I had been laying.. overreaction much? It’s fair to say that I lathered on the Bio-oil that night.
Movement: Lots and Hard, I can even see the kicks from outside now. Finally Daddy Clarke got to feel a real kick, it shocked him how hard it was and he kept asking if it was normal! I’m glad he now knows what I am going through as a human punch bag for Baby C. Weirdly I can also see my tummy beating, I know it’s my heart beat obviously but it’s amazing to see how hard our pregnant bodies are working, does anyone else have this?
Maternity wear: New work trousers, a maternity bra/Sling and a maternity dress. I have also caved and ordered some new work tops, I was planning on living in baggy non maternity shirts but my new work trousers are nice and loose so I need tighter tops and my non-maternity ones keep allowing my belly to poke out (not a good look) I’ll let you know how I get on
Belly Button: In
Wedding Ring: On
Best moment: Mr. C feeling his little boy kicking about
Worst moment: Thinking I had gained stretch marks.. Phew! I really need to learn to accept this, or just research laser removal more??
Looking forward to: Decorating the nursery, I have bribed Mr.C with his last lad’s holiday as long as the house is fully ready before he goes! Needless to say that day the room was cleared and the wallpaper stripped. I have chosen to go with a Farrow and Ball colour, called Borrowed light. I’ll update our progress with photos soon.

Monday, 27 May 2013

I'm a FitMama

Photo courtesy of

A friend of mine introduced me to FitMama and I love it!!! FitMama was founded by Maria Behenna, she is well known for her pre and post natal exercise and educational classes, and by personal experience she is lovely, very welcoming and very very informative. Her FitMama Partner is Lola Turvey, all my pregnancy classes have been with Maria but I am told Lola too is amazing and very inspiring. 

The class is held in Basepoint Basingstoke, a studio that's just the right size for the class, not too spacious but not too crowded either. Class starts with an introduction from every lady, how far gone they are and any news, either problems they have had or scan updates etc. Maria is always full of really helpful advice for anyone suffering with the ailments of pregnancy (my Dioralyte saviour in fact.) I have met ladies that have just had the dating scan up to those who are days overdue!! I'm hoping I keep the energy to keep up regular visits once I'm waddling round (even more so than now)  

The class ends with a 5 minute relaxation session, the lights are dimmed and calming music played, during which Maria tells us what strong women we are (let’s see if she is right in 17 weeks time) 

The class is not only great for feeling better about yourself but also for socialising with other pregnant ladies. I am very much looking forward to Post-Natal exercise with the FitMamas and unlike any other exercise class Baby C can come along too!

How are you staying fit during your pregnancy??

Friday, 24 May 2013

Week 21


According to Mr.C I was looking rather round.

Few Statistics for you

Weight Gain: 14lbs!!!! I have never seen the scales starting with double digits, until now. BUT, my non maternity jeans do still fit with the button up (worn under bump) So I’m thinking/Hoping that it’s all bump and not rump. I was told that my face looks no fatter than normal, so that’s a good thing, right? Sort off? Maybe I need to start some chin exercises just in case!
Symptoms: Eased off this week, we were on our Babymoon, so no night-time cramps which I am now putting down to being sat at my desk all day. More distracting walks around the office it is... The plane journey wasn’t too comfortable even though we did pay for the front seats.
Sretchmarks: None yet! But if the whole ‘genetics’ thing is to be believed it won’t be long (Sad face) Thanks for that Mother.
Movement: Lots and Lots, mostly when I am relaxing. Hubby thought he felt a tiny kick but he wasn’t sure, I think he was expecting his hand to be blown away.
Belly button: Still an inny (Just)
Cravings: Unfortunately not eating anything that can be excused as a craving!
Wedding rings: Still on, and even during the hot weather on holiday.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

20 week Scan

Pink or Blue

Since finding out we were expecting we decided we weren’t going to find out what we were having, but as the date became nearer and nearer we both started to change our minds. Mr.C had a feeling that we were having a boy, actually it was more than a feeling, he was adamant it was a boy. I had a feeling too, not as strong as his but when I was picking unisex clothes I always had it in my head that they were too girly, never were they too boyish. I left the decision down to him (they need this sometimesJ) He was so sure that we were having a boy I was really happy when he said he wanted to find out an hour before the scan, if we were having a girl, he would have a few months to get his head around it.
The 20 weeks scan is more worrying than the 12 weeks scan, they take all kind of measurements, if they do it more than once you think there is something wrong, you don’t think of the more logical reasons. Our Sonographer at Basingstoke Hospital was lovely, every time she took a measurement she told us what she doing and letting us know all looked well. She even showed us the front of babies face although she did warn it would look rather ghostly, it did!
She left the sex of the baby till last, and told us it was fairly obvious we are having a BOY!! We are both other the moon to be having a little boy. I always thought I would want a girl but when it came down to it, I had a slight preference for a boy, My family is full of girls, our poor little boy will be dressed in fairy wings before he can kick a football.
I am really glad we found out now and it is of course a personal preference. Finding out the sex has certainly made the whole thing feel more real. IT has become a HE! And if he is anything like his Daddy we are going to have both hands (and legs) full
Did you find out what you were having? Are you going to find out? Have you been swayed by what other people want you to do?

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

11 things about Pregnancy

Being pregnant is such an overwhelming experience for any lady to deal with and like everything there are certain things I have loved about being pregnant and some things that I haven't enjoyed quite so much. I wouldn't say there are things I 'hate' about being pregnant as I know it will all be worth it in the end!!

Things I love

1. Feeling Baby Clarke kicking- I first felt baby kicking around 18 weeks, first of all it wasn't really a popping sensation that some people describe, it was more like a reflex feeling, you know the kind of feeling you would get when you hit your knee as a kid to make your leg kick, it just comes out of nowhere. Now at 22 weeks, I don't stop feeling kicks and punches, we have one very active baby, and even Mr.C got to feel for the first time this week, after 2 weeks of trying!!

2. Attentive Husband- Mr.C has been pulling out all the stops recently, even bringing home Bio-Oil and Dioralytes (these little bad boys are coming in very handy - see below)

3.  Nail growth- I have the tiniest nail beds ever, seriously one stroke of a nail brush covers my whole nail! However since being pregnant my nails have grown incredibly well and are much stronger than they have ever been.

4. Shopping- of course! Any excuse. I love buying nice little treats for myself, I deserve them, right? And of course buying everything for baby. We jumped the gun a little and already bought our nursery bedding before our 12 weeks scan, who can resist a sale? Not me.

5. FitMama- I'll do a whole post on this shortly, but in jest, it's a pre-natal exercise class, combining Yoga, Thai Chi, breathing exercises and educational sessions.

Things I dislike

1. Tiredness- I didn't suffer any mentionable morning sickness but during the first 12 weeks I was exhausted, I would fall on the sofa at 5.45pm every evening and not be able to physically move, thankfully this didn't last long and so far my second trimester has left my full of beans.

2. Bad Skin- Again this is temporary, during the first trimester my skin suffered terribly not even my usual Liz Earle skin care routine help. It wasn't acne I was suffering from but blotchy skin on my face, not even makeup could hide. Luckily this has passed, I was even told today ' I look better pregnant' Maybe 'the glow' is finally kicking in??

3. Boob and Back ache- most likely related. All that extra weight is really putting a strain on my back. I have found a heated wheat bag to really help, that and a nice back massage from Mr. C.

4. Sleeping on my side- I am a front sleeper and sleeping on my side has not been going down to well, the weight of the bump really doesn't help with back ache, I have to switch sides every hour as I wake up and the side I am on is numb. It's recommended that you sleep on your left side, well good luck with that I say.

5. Lack of clothes-This has become such a chore, I have resisted in buying anything maternity apart from a bra, and work trousers. I have just ordered a work dress and trousers so I will let you know how I get on with those

6. Leg Cramps- these have probably been the worst thing I have suffered, to the point where I wake up at night and can't talk where they are so painful, prompting Mr.C to jump out of his side run round and stretch my leg out of spasm. I have also had to dump my M&S shopping trolley half way around to go and sit in the car and stretch out my foot. Dioralytes have been my savior, they are usually given to kids after a bout of diarrhoea for re-hyrdration, but if you are suffering like me these are totally worth the foul taste, they really help put all the goodness, salts and water back into your body. If you can't find these a good alternative is an energy drink containing electrolytes - lucozade etc.

What are your struggling with being pregnant? Are you missing certain foods? Or are you totally loving pregnancy?

Monday, 20 May 2013

Growing rather the Glowing

I hadn't intended on creating a blog so please excuse the quality of this pics and I promise they will get better. Unfortuanlty the weekly bump photos I have taken mostly involve nudity and trust me, no one needs to see that pre-pregnancy let alone in all its 'blooming' glory.





I'm not quite sure what happened in Week 12 from AM to PM but the bump sure did grow during those 12 hours, the night time shot was actually taken the evening before the morning one, so don't panic too much if your bump double (triples) in size, apparently bloating and water retention are the main causes. I still think I was huge for 12 weeks- at this point the pregnancy was still under wraps so disguising the bump couldn't really have continued for much longer!

I think weeks 18-20  I finally got past the 'maybe she's just put weight on' stage. Bump is well and truly growing, a lot of my friends weren't showing at this stage but I heart my Bump, it feels so real and it certainly came in handy on our Babymoon in beating the usual rush off the plane, a little belly rub and a stretch of the back soon got me to the front of the plane (what? There has to be some benefits, right? :-) 

I'm 22 weeks pregnant tomorrow and starting to feel the strain so I will stat weekly updates and pictures.

How's is your bump developing? Did you notice a dramatic change during morning and night?

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Saturday, 18 May 2013

12 week scan

Waiting for our 12 week scan seemed to take forever, not only did I have to keep schtum but it's a worrying time, all you want to know is that your little creation is healthy and growing as (s)he should be.

It was amazing to see our little Baby C on the small screen being very active with every wobble needed to take the Nuchal meausement, a few star jumps and lunges on my side also helped to get baby in good position to take the measurement.  I think it's difficult for Daddies to feel involved up until this point but Andi was very interested in all the technical bits and bobs, pointing out babys spine and heartbeat... Made everything feel so real and maybe a tiny bit scary.

How was your first scan?

My First Trimester Essentials

1. Bio-oil- I am dreading getting strecthmarks!'I am a goddess who earned her stripes' I don't think so!!! It's hard enough to accept all the changes your body goes through so there is no need to add strecthmarks on top of everything else, and yes, they may be genetic but there is no harm is trying to reduce them. I hate the feeling of cold creams, so bio-oil has been great for me. I am now 21 weeks and no stretchmarks yet (touch wood)

2. This is a great book, written for Mums by Mums. If you haven't checked out Mumsnet yet, then it's worth a look, it's great to get an idea of what baby names are popular and what peoples thoughts are. And trust me, any of those questions that you are too embarrassed to ask, someone would have asked it before and Mumsnet is the place to find it.

3. Ok, so my Husband hasn't quite got round to reading all of this yet, but I have had a little browse and it starts from conception right through to code words to getting rid of visitors who have overstayed the welcome, so if we start using words that make no sense, it's time for you to go! ;-)

Oh, and in case you were wondering the author states it's perfectly safe to continue sexual activities as long as it’s with your partner"- funny right,? Yeh, not so much.

4. If you struggle to get your daily 5 fruit and veg a day then these are great for reassurance that your body is getting all the vitamins you need. They also contain the RDA of Folic Acid.

5. I am one of the very lucky ones that found a cure to morning sickness early on. I never ate breakfast before falling pregnant but I would wake up starving, the thought of anything that early made me feel worse, but I found a cereal bar really helped to settle my stomach without having to sit down and take time out to eat. Don't just rely on this for breakfast though, once I was at work and wide awake (ish) I feel much more able to face a bowl of porridge.

Is there anything that helped you through those hard first 12 weeks? Apart from your bed.....

Friday, 17 May 2013

So.... We are having a Baby Clarke

Finding out we were going to have a new addition to our little family didn’t come as a huge surprise to us, but seeing the positive result is still such an overwhelming feeling. I had a feeling that something in the month of January was a little bit different even before missing a period, about three quarters of the way through my cycle I was having slight cramping pains but didn’t put it down to anything in particular; it wasn’t until a work colleague pointed out that I was massaging my chest at my desk did it strike me that I was pretty sore, I hadn’t really taken any notice to how sore they had been. On my way home from work I nipped into the chemist and bought a pregnancy test (Yes! a week before I was due) the test was negative so I didn’t think anything of it.
A week later, a day before my due date, Mr C asked if I had taken a test, in his words “you have been more argumentative than usual and I have refrained from answering back” that was his clue that I was pregnant, I obviously had noticed no change in my attitude, and I am always right, right? I went to the chemist and bought 2 tests, the first test came up positive, I told Mr. C, who remained calm and told me to do another, unfortunately I can’t go to the toilet on demand. I had a cinema date with a friend to watch ‘Life of Pi,’ apparently the story will ‘make you believe in God’, it didn’t quite help with that but it did make me realise how uncomfortable it is to drink a large Coke, whilst watching a 3 hour film and not being able to run to the loo, and all the time wondering if I was pregnant. As soon as I was home, I did the other test, bringing it down for Mr. C to be the first to read, he has it in his head that he is funny, you will notice how unfunny he is throughout the blog, his first reaction was to congratulate me and tell me I would make a really good single Mum, reading my unimpressed reaction to his humour, he followed up with a kiss and cuddle and if I recall a few swear words. We both remained pretty calm by all accounts, neither of us wanted to get our hopes up too much, at least until we had a let it sink in.
So that’s the story of our positive test result, We are now just over half way, 21 weeks and 3 days to be exact, and it has already been an exciting/tiring ride. I love hearing everyone else’s stories, how did you find out? Does your husband also have difficultly judging when he can and can’t make crap jokes? 2013 is certainly the year of the Baby, I know so many people who have either had a baby this year or are expecting, it’s going to be one lovely maternity leave, until then I hope you enjoy the trials and tribulations of our pregnancy stories.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Mums the word

Anyone who knows me will know I cannot be trusted with secrets, don't get me wrong if someone tells me something first hand then I won't tell a soul, but if I happen to hear something from someone else then please do not expect me to keep it to myself, the blame lays with the initial 1st person- see how I defend my huge mouth? Deciding with Mr. C to keep our happy news to ourselves until our first scan is probably one of the hardest things I have had to deal with during my pregnancy (so far..) Although I didn't manage to keep it entirely secret, my best friend was the first to find out, mainly because she forces me into drinking copious amounts of alcohol so I knew I needed her on side! It was so exciting to tell her; it made her cold walk to the Curry House with me that little bit easier! I also told a couple of work colleagues, largely to explain my shirt buttons popping off. Hubby also let slip when his best man told him he was expecting, little did we know at the time that are due dates are a date apart!! I think I did pretty well, I don't think anyone quite believed us when we told them, everyone was so shocked, not about the baby but about me 'keeping mum'