29 articles Tag pregnancy

Why is an Invasive Ultrasound Important?

transvaginal_ultrasoundIf your doctor has scheduled an invasive ultrasound, you’re most likely asking yourself, “What does this mean?” At this point, your mind is racing with all sorts of thoughts- Is something wrong with my baby, Why do I need this procedure, and Are there any risks? There are many reasons that would constitute your obstetrician scheduling such a procedure. During early term pregnancies, an invasive ultrasound is often the only way to get a clear picture of what is happening within your body as the fetus is too small to be visible during a regular ultrasound. If your doctor has concerns regarding your due date or your medical history, he or she may order this procedure to ensure there are no complications.

An invasive ultrasound, also called a transvaginal ultrasound, is a safe and simple procedure. Similar to a regular, surface ultrasound, this procedure works by emitting sound waves from a wand called a transducer into your uterus. These sound waves bounce back and return to the machine, forming a picture on the monitor. The only difference between a transvaginal and a surface ultrasound is the shape and location of the transducer. During an internal ultrasound, the thin transducer wand is placed within the vagina instead of being swept across the abdomen. Due to the placement of the wand, this form of procedure is best suited for early term pregnancies, particularly before the ten week mark, as it is able to give a clearer picture of the miniscule fetus.

One of the most common reasons for an obstetrician scheduling this early stage procedure is history or concern of an ectopic pregnancy. If you have previously had an ectopic pregnancy, or someone in your direct family has experienced one, then it is likely that your doctor will want to rule out this complication immediately. Ectopic pregnancies can be life-threatening for a woman, which means early diagnosis is imperative. If another test comes back inconclusive or abnormal, your doctor may want to run further tests. An internal ultrasound is a rare opportunity to ensure that your growing fetus is safe, healthy, and correctly placed. This form of ultrasound is also great for double checking the placement of the placenta, as well as correctly identifying the number of fetuses.

While the description of the procedure may sound uncomfortable, rest assured- it is painless. If safety for your unborn child is your concern, know that your doctor will not suggest anything that would put your baby at risk. Invasive ultrasounds emit no radiation and pose no known risks to the mother or fetus; they have been used consistently since their inception in the 1980s with no documented side effects or safety concerns. An invasive, or transvaginal, ultrasound can be an important tool in the development of your baby and the treatment of any complications that may arise. If you have concerns or questions about the procedure, your obstetrician is your best resource and ally. It is important to keep in mind that your doctor will only order a procedure that they feel is necessary in the successful treatment of you and your baby.

This post was written for Mums the Word by Glenn Josephik. Glenn is an account representative and the marketing coordinator at MedCorp LLC, the industry leader and premier business source for used portable ultrasound systems. You can follow Glenn Josephik on Google+.

Maternity Matters Linky – Week One

So, here it is, the first ever #MaternityMatters link up and I couldn’t be more excited about it! Susanne and I cannot wait to read all of your posts and shared articles, as well as helping and supporting other parents along the way. We’d love you to go along and comment on as many other posts as you can, but remember that this is a place of love and kindness and try to let that show in your comments.

When you link up, please feel free to grab our badge and when you share your post, tag @jaynecrammond and @ghostwritermumm so that we can share your post far and wide.

The #MaternityMatters linky will run fortnightly and you are welcome to link up both new and old posts, and as many as you like. Each week we will pin all the posts onto relevant boards. Please also feel free to grab our lovely new badge and stick in on your posts so that anyone reading them can come along and find all of the others.

MaternityMatters~ Mum's the Word



No More Babies?

baby clothes bundleCan you believe BB is almost 5 months old? How can it possibly have gone that fast? Being the dinky dot that she is (more about that in another post), she’s only just gone up to wearing 3-6 month sized clothes and yesterday, I sorted and bagged up all of her newborn and 0-3 month sized stuff to make way for the clothes that fit her. Once I finished, I stood looking at the bag full of tiny rompers and scratch mits and suddenly I felt desperately sad.

I never thought I’d have kids.

Years of gynae problems, starting age 11, meant that it had always been made very clear to me that I’d probably find it hard to conceive, so I galvanised myself by “deciding” that I never wanted kids anyway; a pre-emptive strike against heartache and disappointment. Then I met Husband and things changed. Sausage was conceived after about 18 months of trying and so commenced one of the most miserable pregnancy and labour experiences that one could ever endure. I never wanted to repeat the experience again. I genuinely considered having my tubes tied.

But, bad memories fade and heartache is more of an occasional throb once time has passed, and instead of thinking about what could go wrong if we had another baby, we started to think about all of the things that could go right. We wanted Sausage to have a sibling, an ally in the world when Husband and I cannot be, and we couldn’t see how having another Sausage could ever be a bad thing, so off we went on our mission to try again. And it worked. Quickly this time, as BB was conceived after just 3 months.

Another miserable pregnancy, but in different ways this time; no oesophagus-tearing morning sickness this time, but insulin injections and a million hospital appointments, leaving me weary and more than ready to never be pregnant again by the time BB came along.

And, come along she really did.

The labour was beautiful, a healing experience for both Husband and I, though the subsequent weeks were anything but. BB was diagnosed with a cows milk allergy, but only after about 14 weeks of pain and misery; we were told is was colic, then reflux and she was tried on two different formula milks, Gaviscon to add weight to her food, ranitidine to try to stem what was assumed to be acid reflux, lactulose to deal with the subsequent constipation caused by the thicker milk…making a bottle for my baby ended up being more like using a chemistry set.

As a final attempt before referring her to a paediatrician, our GP recommended that we try her on Nutramigen, a formula milk made without cows milk and almost immediately it was like we had a different baby. The 6-hour screaming sessions (please believe me when I tell you that is NO exaggeration) stopped and suddenly BB was laughing and smiling more often, sleeping through the night and able to get through the day without pain and discomfort. I could have kissed our GP, though I fear she may have objected somewhat. It changed all of our lives.

We’ve started to find balance.

I can do things with Sausage without having to worry about BB screaming all the time; she’s still a fairly vocal baby and she’s been teething for a few weeks, so things are by no means perfect but they’re a whole lot better. Better, I’ll take.

So, what does my sadness at packing all of the baby clothes up mean? Is it my body’s way of telling me that I do want another baby at some point? Many of the clothes I put away were Sausages’ first, then stored and passed down to BB. Looking at some of those precious little babygrows and knowing that they’ll never have another one of my babies in them again makes me feel more than a little bereft.

But.

And there are SO many ‘buts’.

I’m now over 30. I’m lucky to have managed to have two healthy children already and having another increases the chances of something going wrong. I really don’t do ‘pregnancy’ very well. I still have a bunch of weight to lose that I was supposed to get rid of before BB even came along. We don’t have the space.  Having another means splitting ourselves into even smaller pieces to make sure they’re all being cared for.

And yet, despite all those buts, I still can’t get my head (or my ovaries) around the thought of never doing it again.

Maybe its just my hormones.

Durex Real Feel Review

32680_DUREX_real_feel_pack_home_landingOkay, so my blog usually focuses on family life, so a review of condoms is a bit of a far cry from my usual content, but since BB was born I’ve not had a chance to arrange a more permanent form of contraception, so the opportunity came along at just the right time. Durex Real Feel condoms are made from a special new material which feels as close to the real thing as you’re going to get whilst being protected and the best part is, they’re latex free. Here’s me, talking about them a little bit more:

 

 

Durex has a dedicated site for their Real Feel condoms, and there’s a whole bunch of other bloggers over their talking about their experiences with the product, so do head over there to get the lowdown on what everyone else thought of them, as well as all of the ‘technical specifications’!

Why My MAD Blog Awards Nomination Means More to Me Than You Could Imagine…

MAD Blog Awards

Last week, the finalists of the MAD Blog Awards were announced and I was absolutely blown away to find out that Mum’s the Word had been shortlisted in the ‘Best Pregnancy Blog’ category. This meant that not only had people read my posts about being pregnant with BB but they’d enjoyed them enough to nominate me for an award. That, in itself, is incredible and I can honestly say that I’m grateful to have even got this far. However, there’s a couple more reasons why being nominated for a pregnancy blogging award means so much to me.

When I met Husband in early 2006, I didn’t want kids. Or, what I should really say is that I’d managed to convince myself that I didn’t want kids. I’d suffered with gynaecological issues since the age of eleven and was told that my irregular periods and polycystic ovaries meant that it would be very difficult, and potentially impossible to conceive. My barriers went up and instead of allowing my body to dictate what my future held, I tried to regain some control by telling myself that a childless future was a conscious decision.

Meeting Husband threw a spanner in the works. He didn’t want kids either to begin with but eventually our love for each other meant that we both came around to the idea. We knew it would be difficult and could potentially end in disappointment but we took a ‘let’s see what happens’ approach.

It took about a year, but eventually we struck gold. If you’ve read Mum’s the Word for a while, you’ll probably know that my first pregnancy was a nightmare and my first birth even worse. In fact, the trauma of what happened was so great that I vowed never to have any more children. I suppose, in a way, the trauma is also what led me to start blogging – I was depressed and felt isolated, so I decided to give myself a way to pour my thoughts out.

In the meantime, I also started Maternity Matters with Susanne from Ghostwriter Mummy, a place to collate news, birth stories and other maternity related posts, our attempt to help other parents who’d been traumatised like us. It was a resource for lots of parents, but I think on a more personal level it was an attempt by both of us to draw something positive from what had been a dark time in our lives.

Life went on and Sausage grew into an amazing little human. A human who, eventually, started asking for a sibling. It took Husband and I a long time to come around to the idea of having any more kids, but ultimately we decided that we wanted to try. It must have been something that was definitely meant to happen as it took less than 2 months after having my implant removed for me to fall pregnant again! I hadn’t started my blog until Sausage was 2, so this was my first time blogging a pregnancy.

Nothing was straightforward and between potentially heartbreaking decisions, worsening gestational diabetes, crippling SPD, high blood pressure and a long stay in hospital I’ve had plenty to write about over the last 11 months! On top of this, we’ve been sent some amazing products, as well as being chosen to be ambassadors for Britax and MAM, and also been asked to write for other parenting sites too. Pregnancy seemed to bring with it a host of opportunities.

But, you see, it’s not the nomination, or the freebies, or the opportunities which make this so amazing (although they are obviously a HUGE deal), its the fact that I sit here with my biggest baby, my incredible big girl who is so brave and clever on one side of me and my tiny baby with lungs like Pavarotti on the other side of me, both sleeping soundly and that never in a million years did I think that I’d be blessed with not one, but two kids. Pregnancy was not something that was supposed to happen for me, but not only did it happen twice, I’ve been nominated for an award for writing about it.

And that, my friends, is a miracle.

If you’d like to vote for Mum’s the Word to win Best Pregnancy Blogger at the MAD Blog Awards, please go HERE to vote. Also, you can see the list of other nominees in my category below.

Circus Queen

Edspire

It Started with a Squish

Me the Man and the Baby

Sit Down, Love. Have a Cup of Tea…

I’m a live and let live kind of person, you know? I don’t hate anyone because of what they are or what they do, if it’s legal/consensual/doesn’t hurt anybody else. But there have been a string of articles in the papers recently which are seriously making me resent the women they’re written about. Meet Crystal Green and Lea-Ann Ellison:

cuppa

 

Crystal is a martial arts champion who has continued her training right the way through her pregnancy and Lea-Ann has stirred up a whole shit-storm of controversy after posting pictures of herself doing weight-lifting whilst heavily up the duff.

Now, I’m from the Charlotte York school of pregnancy – her doctor tells her that running is fine for her to do because it’s something that she’s always done, so I’m sure that both of these women are fine to continue the levels of activity that they were doing before they fell pregnant (although, the weight-lifting one scares me a bit, I’m sure you’re supposed to be careful lifting heavy things whilst pregnant…?). But, as the title of this post suggests, I do feel like taking both of them to one side and saying “Come on, pet, why don’t you sit in a comfy chair and watch some telly?”.

Having a healthy pregnancy is vital and while part of me admires these women for their get-up-and-go during their gestation, I also can’t help but feel that they should be taking it easy, even if it’s just a little bit. I’m sure they’d look at my sedentary ass and hyperventilate at the thought of sitting on their butts for 9 months, but surely there’s some sort of middle ground.

There’s no way I could do either kick-boxing or weight lifting at the moment. Do you know why?

BECAUSE I’D WEE MYSELF.

That’s right, people. The combination of having had one c-section and being pregnant again means that the only safe place for me to sneeze or blow my nose at the moment is sitting on the loo, for fear of letting an involuntary stream of urine escape when my stomach muscles are engaged in such a way, so squatting down and attempting to heft a barbell around would undoubtedly end in some sort of dirty protest from my pelvic floor.

And, aside from the wee, do you know what happens when I so much as dare to separate my knees at the moment? A loud *CRACK* emanates from my pubic bone and I tend to spend a minute, holding the front of my fanny, trying to recover from the pain.

It’s not so much that I think these women are making me look bad, it’s more of a culmination of the “womens sanitary product advert effect” (catchy name, huh?). Anyone aware of TV in the 80’s and 90’s will know that women were besieged by images of other women, who through the use of subtext and blue water in a test-tube were hinted at being on the blob, yet they rollerskated with herds of Dalmatians, went running, partook of a spot of yachting and engaged in a whole load of other activities to demonstrate how UN-BOTHERED they were by their periods.

Which is great. If that’s what you want to do, then go for it. However, most women I know choose to wear jogging bottoms with a hot-water bottle in the waistband, eat chocolate and carb-based snacks and watch shit TV. WHICH IS ALSO FINE.

All I’m saying is, whilst being active is great, pregnancy is also a time to be gentle with yourself, be happy with the changes in your body and, if the mood takes you, have naps in the afternoon. Women are awesome and we can do awesome things, but sometimes, admitting that you need a rest is just as awesome as swinging a kettle-bell around. Don’t let the standards of others make you feel bad about your own choices.

There endeth the sermon…but mostly because it’s nap time.

Pregnancy Hormones: Diary of an Unhinged Fatty

onedoesnotsimplyI’m almost 25 weeks gone now and the last few days have brought a new development in my pregnancy.

I’ve turned into an emotional wreck.

Okay, so anyone who knows me well enough will know that I’m not exactly the most…stable person at the best of times, but this is like some whole new level of emotional turbulence. Let me give you an example: yesterday, Husband and I were standing at the queue in Waitrose and there was a man, probably in his late seventies or early eighties, in front of us waiting to be served. The contents of his basket were a single serve apple crumble and a Radio Times. Upon seeing the loneliest collection of items ever, I proceeded to burst into tears in the middle of the supermarket. The thought of this poor old man, sitting alone with only the TV for company, eating his apple crumble made my heart hurt. I felt terrible for crying, though I’m pretty sure he didn’t see my woeful sobbing, but I just couldn’t help it.

It’s not just sadness that gets me, either. I’ve written before about how people’s lack of manners gets to me, especially when driving, but that seems to have escalated now too. I gave way to three people in a row the other day, two of whom failed to thank me, and I felt so cross about their ignorance that I could feel my pulse in my fingers. I sat in my car thinking (amongst plenty of words beginning with ‘f’ and ‘c’ that I won’t write here…) that I genuinely hoped every single one of those people tripped on their seatbelt on the way out of their cars and knocked their front teeth out. I was SEETHING.

As I said, I’m not exactly a measured person at the best of times – I’m a bit of a match-head (can I blame my ginger genes for that? They do say redheads are more fiery and my Dad is as red and fiery as they come!) and do tend to react before I properly absorb a situation, but it’s like that side of my personality had been amplified by a thousand times.  I keep thinking of that quote from Fight Club…”I am Jack’s raging bile duct”

I’m fairly sure it’s the pregnancy hormones doing it to me, and they aren’t going away any time soon – I’ve got 13 weeks left of being a human incubator, so I’m guessing there’s going to be plenty more tears and rage between now and the end of February.

If anyone has any tips with how I can ride this roller-coaster without losing my mind completely, I’d be really grateful for the advice. And do me a favour, don’t suggest “The Little Book of Calm”; my love of Black Books has rendered me terrified of tiny tomes.

“Before 24 Weeks”

I’ve blogged before about being pregnant with diabetes and one of the implications of this is that I need to travel to London to have a foetal cardiology scan, to check that the baby’s heart is developing properly. Various scheduling issues have come up, mostly to do with the fact that St. Thomas’ appointment plan means I have to be in London either at the crack of dawn or just before the afternoon rush hour, making travel tricky. We had an appointment planned for the Thursday in half term, but decided to postpone it as the idea of dragging Sausage to London during half term, on Halloween no less, then trying to get her home on the tube during work-kicking-out time just didn’t appeal, especially as she’s not a huge fan of stairs, having lived in a bungalow her whole life.

When I called St. Thomas’ to change the appointment the lady on the other end of the phone started to make the appointment she stopped and said “Oh, wait, how far gone are you? How far gone will you be on the 18th?”. We worked out that I’d be 23+6 on the day of the scan, but the lady at the end seemed unsatisfied with my answer. She said “We like to have these things done, you know, before 24 weeks”. At first, her subtext didn’t penetrate my thick skull, but after I put the phone down, it hit me like a ton of bricks.

“Before 24 weeks” was her way of telling me that I needed to have the scan done in time to be within the legal limit for abortion, should there me any major issues with the cardiac scan.

I was told about the scan weeks ago and until now, I’d viewed it as a bit of an embuggerance because of the London factor, not something that would be a deciding factor in whether the pregnancy should be allowed to continue. It had never occurred to me that this could be a life or death situation.

Husband and I are pragmatic enough to have had discussions in the past about ‘worst case scenario’ situations, agreeing that we wouldn’t feel right about bringing a child into the world if we knew they’d have a severe disability which would leave them ill or in pain for the rest of their lives. It would be selfish of us to put our sadness at losing a child above the quality of life of another human being and I strongly feel that it’s our responsibility as parents to bear the brunt of this decision.

Having said that, the thought of getting this far in a pregnancy and having to terminate made me feel sick with anxiety. We already knew that our child is a little girl, we’d discussed names and even bought her her first item of clothing. She’s a person to us, not just a blob on a screen and we were seriously struggling with the idea that we may have to end her life.

I’m a strong believer in choice, not just for women but for humans in general, and I believe strongly also in a woman’s right to abortion, so I’m not objecting to termination on any sort of moral level, but this is a life that we intentionally created, a life that we already love.

Last Saturday, we had a nice lazy morning, spent lounging around the house, and the three of us (plus Chuck) sat on the bed for about an hour, playing music to my bump, waiting to see what sounds the baby would react to. As it turns out, she’s a huge fan of Aretha Franklin and The Beach Boys, as well as her big sister’s voice, and Sausage felt her move for the first time. It was amazing but almost added to the anxiety and sadness that I was feeling ahead of my appointment.

Yesterday, I travelled to London to have the foetal cardiology scan done, and I’m delighted to say that, in the words of the consultant who scanned me, “the baby’s heart is perfect”. Today, I’m 24 weeks pregnant and I finally feel like I can start to enjoy the pregnancy, knowing that we’ve had all of the major tests completed and everything is hunky dory at this point, but it’s been a tough few weeks up until now. I don’t know what I would have done without my Husband, who’s been a rock during this time, soothing my anxiety and wiping my tears when I needed him to, as well as my group of EPIC online friends (they know who they are) who’ve provided me with support from all over the globe.

Today, at 24 weeks pregnant, I feel very blessed.

Two Festive Looks from Next Maternity Wear

With Christmas right around the corner, I’ve been thinking about what I’m going to wear over the festive season. Getting bigger means that comfort is important, but I’d still like to be able to look glam too, so when the lovely people at Next sent me two outfits, one glam and one comfy, to keep me going over the Christmas period. Here are my outfit plans:
Comfy Maternity Wear

GLAM

Maternity Glam

I’m so pleased that I can dress up or down over Christmas, and the stress of finding something to wear is well and truly removed, which will make the festive season so much easier for me.
What do you think of my choices?
(I was provided with two tops and two pairs of trousers for the purposes of the review, the accessories were not provided and I received no other payment for this post)

The Importance of Comfortable Shoes

img_category3Yesterday, I went to London for a Google Mums event, which meant dropping Sausage off at school, heading straight for the station, jumping on a train, various tubes, walking around in several circles while I looked for the right building an then doing it all again in reverse and getting home in time to collect Sausage from school again. Once I got home, we realised that we didn’t have anything in for tea, so the three of us hopped into the car and went straight to the supermarket for a quick shop (which turned into the inevitable full trolley, hour-long jaunt).

By the time I got my out of my shoes, I realised that I’d been wearing them for over 10 hours and my feet were killing me. The combination of being pregnant and on my feet all day long, meant that my feet were seriously suffering. I’m not sure that I want to replace all of my shoes and boots, so I started looking at the benefits of orthotic insoles. Insoles could provide me with a budget-friendly solution to uncomfortable shoes, which is pretty important given that having a baby can be so expensive! The other benefit is that orthotics actually help to adjust your gait and posture, which will be really important for me as I get bigger, especially as I’m contending with SPD as well.

Womens Vionic shoes are another option if I want to go for a properly constructed shoe to help with comfort and posture and there are some great options out there, both smart and casual for any occasion. They’re all designed by a podiatrist, which means that you can trust them to be seriously kind to your feet and the retro bowling-shoe style casual pumps would look great with jeans or combats.

Now, excuse me while I go and dream about comfortable shoes!