Thursday, 27 August 2009

Mmph

I have around 8 hours left at my workplace. I have handed over everything and am supposed to be fixing other people's bugs.

Why has my sense of smell gone nuts again this week? I can smell the very fat lady who sits 2 desks along... not too terrible, but still a bit sweaty.

She's lovely, but soooo big. I'm 8.5 months pregnant and she makes me look like a stick. I'm carrying 10kg of belly around and I'm struggling, how much harder must it be for her with easily double that? How do fat women cope when they are pregnant too? They must die!

I should go for a walk around the block, it's a stunning day and I'm sitting at my desk reading blogs and smelling people. But walking is SO not fun lately - it makes my back and feet ache.

I have a haircut booked for a bit later - it will be the last one before the baby comes. I don't know why but they have stopped washing my hair when I go and just spray me with water and cut it. Cold water. I'd ask why but I don't want to pay an extra $20 for a hairwash!

Ok, make that 6 hours... off for my haircut now!

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Preggy Update

Week: 37 and 3 days

I now see the Obstetrician every week. BP good, baby heartrate good. The baby is 2/5 "dropped" into my pelvis. I got all excited thinking this could be a sign of early labour, but it seems the baby can drop many weeks before delivery. It just makes things a bit more uncomfortable for me as there is even less room for my bladder!

Weight: 81kg
Bump: 104cm

Hmm, no gain from last week. I'm putting that down to me having a mad craving for fresh fruit and being too tired to cook dinner so I have had strawberries and yogurt for the last 2 nights instead!

Tonight I'm going to cook up a huge pot of leek, cauliflower and potato soup with fresh bread. We can eat that for a couple of nights and I'll freeze the rest. I have begun stocking the freezer with servings of homemade lamb curry, thai chicken and bolognaise. The sort of thing you can defrost, throw some 5 minute pasta in boiling water and have a good meal in no time. I don't like takeaways much, so I'd prefer to have a stash of frozen homemade meals instead.

Milord's sister has offered to come to us from Brisbane for a week at the start of October to help out (she is in her early 50s with 2 teenage daughters). That's really sweet of her - Milord's parents are no longer with us and my family is on the other side of the world so we're a bit isolated here. By October, if she arrives on time, the baby will be about 2 weeks old.

I hope Milord's sister realises that most of the help will be required around the house. "She's not going to be our slave!" said Milord "I'll be doing the cooking and cleaning. She can just take the baby from time to time."

Hmmph. Seriously, when the baby is not on the boob she'll most likely be asleep, especially in the first few weeks. At which time I will want to sleep (I intend to shower and get out for a walk with the pram at least once a day, but if sleep is what I need then I have no shame about having a nap). Milord will be back at work after 2 weeks in spite of broken nights. What we will need is someone to whizz around with the vacuum cleaner and prepare a hot meal! I will have to come up with a firm but tactful way to communicate this.

When IrishMILF had her baby 9 weeks ago her mother, sister and aunt all arrived from Ireland for a month. And did hardly anything for IrishMILF! Again, because the baby's needs were served by boob and sleep there was nothing required in that department, but when IrishMILF said that she'd love a homecooked hot meal she got brushed off and was so annoyed that she didn't ask again. She is still annoyed about it, and with good reason!

Mom is coming to us for nearly a month mid-November. Considering that she tends to take over the cleaning regardless, and did a brilliant job of cooking for me when I was in my 1st trimester and couldn't bear the smell or taste of most foods, I know we won't have an issue with her helping around the house! Plus by then our baby will be about 2 months old - awake more and feeding less often - ready to be handed to Granny for a bit of dandling while SaffaChick goes for a long bath.

What else? As we are past 37 weeks we are in the "zone" for our baby girl to arrive at any time. I am paying special attention to every Braxton Hicks, gas pain and joint ache just in case it's the real deal. I bet she comes late!

Oh here's a funny thing: My elderly Greek neighbours have had a go at Milord because I am still driving the car. I am avoiding germy Swine-Flu-infested public transport so I don't have much option... and when I walk (3 blocks) up to the shops for groceries they have a go at him because I'm carrying shopping! Heh. What am I supposed to do? I have to get to work and do the shopping somehow.

Milord has also voiced concerns about me driving. "What if the contractions start and you're doing 80km/h?" Hmm. I dunno. I assume the first few contractions are more of a horrible discomfort than a knife in the guts, and that I will be able to drive home or at least pull over safely and call for help. Anyone out there had their labour start while driving?

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Whassup?

Mmm, how boring is this blog lately? Even the DIY has paused so I can't write about that! Pregnancy this, baby that... I don't think a mommy-to-be can help her blog becoming a "Mommy Blog", but you'd think there was something else going on, right?

Lets see. The weekend before last we had IrishMILF, her hubby and 8-week old baby boy over for Sunday lunch - the first guests since doing up our kitchen! They were suitably impressed. I cooked a superb pork roast (a deboned leg that I rolled around crushed rosemary, garlic, sage and orange chutney) with roasted potatoes and sweet potato, accompanied by steamed carrots and brocolli and gravy. The crackling turned out perfect, as did everything else. I'm still learning my new oven - it's more efficient than I'm used to and I over-crisped a few things, but no-one minded.

Then IrishMILF and I stayed chatting at the dining table with tea and chocolate while the boys messed with the Xbox on the other side of the room. The baby was really good, although he doesn't like being put down and won't nap for more than 15 minutes at a time. Of course, being out at a friend's they weren't about to let him grizzle so I don't know if they're a little more relaxed at home... I hope so.

IrishMILF is a model mommy. She did a fully natural birth from which she has completely healed. Breastfeeding worked from the first moment, she hasn't had even a sore nipple and the baby is growing like mad. I think she got so fed up with other women's horror stories that she's making a point of not complaining about how hard it all is, but even so I'm full of admiration. I'll be chuffed if I cope half as well as she does.

Urk, there I go, mommy-blogging again. I don't think IrishMILF and I talked of anything else either... maybe we should implement a baby-talk-free hour whenever we get together. Anyone think that will work?

This past weekend was very quiet. Milord went out with the boys on Friday night and came rolling home completely blotto at 1am. At which time he insisted on watching some cricket on the telly... where I assume he fell asleep because at 2am there was a crash from the living room as the remote fell to the floor, and then he took himself off to sleep in the spare bed. He can't remember turning on the cricket by the way...

When he surfaced at 10am on Saturday he still reeked of alcohol and he was feeling rather under the weather. He hasn't been out for a night like that in a very long time - and probably won't again now for a very long time! I made him a couple of bacon and egg sandwiches and he spent the rest of the day on the Xbox while I read books nearby.

On Sunday he felt ok but lazy, so we slept late before going out for brunch. In the afternoon we put the pram together, tidied the baby's room and went on a nappy-buying trip. Then I set a chicken roasting and we watched movies. A lovely relaxed weekend - just my style at the moment!

It is my last week of work. I'm finding it more and more of a struggle, and luckily my team is being very sweet about me working short days. I got home at 5 last night, had a snack and a cup of tea, and when Milord got home at 6 I was in bed preparing for a nap! He pottered around while I snoozed for an hour, made himself a cold chicken salad while I nibbled on strawberries, and we were back in bed at 9pm.

Mom keeps telling me that she doesn't remember being particularly tired in pregnancy. Mom, I love you, but you were 20 the last time you carried a baby to full term! 20! And when you had me you were still only 25...

I'm 37.

It is my choice to be a "mature" mom, but damn pregnancy is exhausting. I shudder to think how I'm going to be with the next one when I am even closer to 40 and with a toddler to wrangle.

Tch, is that me blogging about pregnancy again? Just not much else happening in my brain, sorry!

Friday, 21 August 2009

Preggy Update

Week: 36 and 5 days

Weight: 81kg (total gain: 9.5kg)
Bump: 104cm (total growth: 17cm)

I can't describe just how disturbing it is to see a number on the scale beginning with "8".



All is well although I get verrrrry tired in the afternoons. I now leave work at 4pm, get home around 5pm, and flop on the couch before Milord gets home and I start getting the dinner together. I start work at 8am so it's still an 8-hour office day - Milord gets up at 7am so there is no point trying to have a lie in, plus getting in to the office at 8am means I miss the worst of the traffic.

One week of work left. I cannot wait to stop!

Everyone now asks me when I'm due (although no-one [unwelcome] has touched my belly so far. I must project a "don't-touch-me" aura. It probably helps that it's winter and I wear a voluminous coat outdoors). I keep getting told that I'm carrying small/neat/high. My weight gain has followed the projected curve (for an average 12 kg gain, based on my slightly overweight starting weight) amazingly though, so it's not like I'm thin or anything.


I had to go and look up the breakdown of pregnancy weight gain again, because if the baby and placenta are 5kg what on earth else am I carrying around?!

Me:
Uterus 1.1 kgs
Breasts 0.5 kgs
Blood 1.4 kgs
Water 1.9 kgs
Fat 2.2 kgs
Subtotal 7.0 kgs

Baby:
Fetus 3.4 kgs
Placenta 0.7 kgs
Amniotic Fluid 0.9 kgs
Subtotal 5.0 kgs

Total 12.0 kgs

Nearly 3.5kg of extra blood and water! No wonder I am puffy. I have swapped my wedding ring for a silver celtic design ring I used to be able to wear on my middle finger - it is nice and comfy on my ring finger now.

This week at work I cleared my desk and took home all personal items so if the baby arrives I can abandon whatever is left. I've also cleared all personal stuff off my work computer. On Sunday we will be 37 weeks, and "full term". The baby can safely arrive at any time. I don't have any premonitions of early labour, but better to be prepared, right? I wanted the baby carrier installed in the car already, but Milord has booked it for 38.5 weeks... oh well, if she comes early that will be his problem to sort out!

Still to do:
Finish packing the hospital bag.
Assemble the pram.
Stockpile more nappies.
Cook and freeze meals.
...relax and sleep and make the most of couple-time!

Monday, 17 August 2009

Hospital Bag

I've started readying a suitcase to take to hospital for the birth. These are mostly things suggested by my mommy friends, plus a few items found suggested on the internet. My hospital supplies everything for the baby, but not so much for the mom.

Labour:

  • Birth Plan x 4
  • Ante Natal Card
  • Medicare Card
  • Lip Balm
  • Water bottle
  • Juice
  • Sweets
  • Snack bars
  • Chocolate
  • Big t-shirt
  • Milord's snacks
  • Milord's swim trunks so he can join me in the shower/bath
  • Games
  • Books
  • Camera

Post Labour:
  • Champagne (yeah baby!)
  • Chocolate
  • Bras
  • PJs
  • Slippers
  • Dressing Gown
  • Cheap chuckable panties
  • Maternity Pads
  • Breast Pads
  • Nipple cream
  • Nipple shields (just in case)
  • Toiletries
  • Hair Dryer
  • Squeezy water bottle to wash down there
  • Own pillows
  • Glasses
  • Vitamins
  • Panadol
  • Baby nail scissors
  • Laptop
  • Speakers
  • Internet USB stick
  • Headphones
  • Camera
  • Phones
  • Phone/camera/laptop chargers
  • Books
  • Earplugs (for when Milord takes baby for a long walk)
  • Vaseline
  • Dummy (just in case)
  • Clothes SaffaChick and Milord
  • Coming home outfit and wrap - baby (2 just in case)

Anything obvious left out?

Friday, 14 August 2009

Preggy Update

Week: 35 and 5 days

Measurements:
Weight: 80.5kg (+9kg since start)
Boobs: 103cm (+5cm since start)
Ribs: 87cm (+5cm since start)
Waist: 102cm (+15cm since start)
Hips: 105cm (+7cm since start)
Thigh: 60cm (+2cm from start)



Huh. I used to be skinny!


Ok, so here I am near the end of week 35. In just over a week my baby will be "full term" at 37 weeks, and it will be safe for her to arrive if she wants to. On the one hand I can't wait to meet her and I'm sick of being pregnant, and on the other I'd like to finish up at work and have a couple of weeks of chillout before she gets here!

Last weekend we had a day of "Parenting classes", which mostly focused on breastfeeding. Geez they push BF hard. Yes of course I intend to breastfeed but the pressure to do so and not to move onto formula if it's too hard is immense. We also watched a newborn get a bath (oh so cute), had a go at swaddling dolls, and talked about sleeping and settling and so on. We learned a lot and I think Milord enjoyed this class more than the birth one.

On Monday I had my Ob checkup. BP good, baby heart rate good and she's still head-down in a good position. He says that my placenta is well out of the way so I don't need a C/S. He also tells me the baby is a tad below average size, and I'll have no trouble squeezing her out! I like my obstetrician - he's about my Dad's age, dry sense of humour, never keeps me waiting, doesn't waffle, and any info I need he is totally clear about. Actually, he reminds of my Dad a lot...

I've started snoring like crazy now, apparently. My reaction to Milords distress is somewhere between "Oh gee, that's not very ladylike" and "Hah! Payback, you bastard!". There is so much extra fluid in my body that when I lie down my sinuses swell and I snore like a man. It's a common pregnancy symptom and there is nothing I can do about it. I'm generally a bit puffy - I'm not sure how much longer I'll be wearing my wedding ring as it's getting tight. I can also see puffiness in my face, but I don't have cankles so I'm happy.

I've begun drinking raspberry leaf tea as it is supposed to help the uterus "get toned" which will help with labour and the shrinkage afterward. I'm pretty sure it causes me some Braxton Hicks contractions when I drink it... These Braxton Hicks are wierd. They feel different to every woman, and I'd been assuming I wasn't feeling mine but now I think they are manifesting as a feeling of deep pressure - as if the baby is swelling to twice her size for a minute. I get them when I walk around, and they make me waddle for a moment!

Last weekend I had enormous trouble sleeping. I had indigestion and reflux every night and the baby never seemed to stop moving. I got pretty worried thinking this was going to be my lot until the baby arrived! However, it seems directly related to what I eat and if I avoid the following for my evening meal I'm fine and sleep like a log: starchy carbs, cheese, spicey or oily food. So, no more pizza or Indian takeaways! We've been on salads for dinner this week and I'm ok. Phew. Of course this means I snore more...

Hey, something I didn't know: I already have colostrum (pre-milk breastmilk) available in my boobies. We learned in the class that it had probably been around since week 20 to 28. I know IrishMILF had been leaking from week 20, but as I haven't leaked at all I assumed there was nothing there. Once we were home I had a go at hand expressing, and got a couple of drops from each boob - cool!

On the subject - I'm a bit worried about the discomfort in my future around breastfeeding. I know the professionals all say that if the latch is good there will be no pain, but I also hear loads of mommies say the chomping is jolly sore even when the latch is right. At this point the pros say "Oh that? That's not pain. And after a couple of weeks your nipples will toughen up and it will go away." A generation ago our mothers were told to scrub their nipples to toughen them before the birth, but today they say "Argh, don't do that!". Because BF doesn't hurt if you're doing it right. Apart from the "That's not pain, you wuss" initial nipple tenderness. Yes I'm confused.

Sooo, I have decided to express a drop from each boobie every morning until the baby gets here to get them used to some rough handling. I have read that this can kick-start labour, but then I've also heard that overdue moms have had no joy from using it as an induction device, so whatever. I'll let you know how the toughening up goes (right now it's a bit sore)! I'll also be doing the lanolin and sunshine thing once I'm home full time.

2 weeks of work left. I am getting very tired and achey in the afternoons now and have begun to reduce my working hours. Of course the team doesn't really appreciate this but I don't care! Yesterday I was packing up at 4:30 when an analyst arrived at my desk...

"You aren't leaving already are you?!"
"The baby wants to go home."
"Oh. Wow, yes you do look tired."
"Thanks"

Thursday, 13 August 2009

House Renovation 2009 - Week 13

This was the house on Sunday, after we ran around cleaning up because a friend was coming to stay the night.

"Where's the TV" asked Mom the other day.


Kitchen with most of the stone worktop installed. The splashbacks have since been added...


Looking the other way. Milord is in the process of painting so we have items masked. New dining chairs!


Laundry - and dumping ground!


Baby's room, looking towards the cot. That white basinette will be in our room for the first few months probably. The ball is for rocking on during labour... yay.


Baby's room looking towards the window - and the spare bed.



Still fiddley bits to finish up, but all the big work is done. It feels like a home now!

Friday, 7 August 2009

Preggy Update

Week: 34 and 5 days

Weight: 80kg (+1.5kg since last week)
Bump: 102cm (+1cm since last week)
So, still growing like crazy! I hope it slows down - I have 5 weeks to go and don't really want to gain another 5kg.



I now have the classic pregnancy shape. My belly button hasn't popped yet but it is totally flat and stretched. It's very sensitive too, which considering it hasn't seen the light of day ever in 37 years, makes sense.

We had another scan this week to check on my placenta, which was too close to the cervix at 19 weeks. The good news is that it is now 4.5cm away from my cervix, and google tells me that anything over 4cm is safe. I'm seeing my doctor on Monday and obviously I'll take his advice, but I expect him to say a vaginal birth will be fine. We also double-checked baby's gender, and she's definitely a girl! I wouldn't reject a boy, but we have a girl's name picked out and have been gathering lots of pink clothing so I'm glad she's still a girl.

I've gone through all the goodies that people have been giving us and I was surprised at just how much we have been given! I washed all the baby clothes and bedding etc and it took about 7 loads and in the end our bed was covered in piles of cuuute pink and pastel items. We also have been given toys and bottles and high chair and bath and and and... people have been so generous! Apart from disposable things like nappies I think we have everything we need for her now.

The baby's room is currently a mess as I need to get into the drawers and empty and clean them before I can pack stuff away. We also still have a few items in there that are waiting to get moved into the roof out of the way. We have a guest coming over the weekend so now I have an incentive to get that room shipshape asap.

We started ante-natal classes last Saturday - these run for 2 consecutive Saturdays at the hospital where I'm giving birth. Last Saturday was the "Birth" class. We toured a delivery suite and a post-natal suite (both quite nice), discussed labour and birth and pain relief options and watched a couple of disturbing videos. Tomorrow is the "Parenting" class - breastfeeding and bathing and sleeping I guess.

My sister asked me why Milord had come along to the classes... Most of her friends with babies in South Africa are not white and it seems in the non-white culture the man does not get involved in the birth at all. Well, in Australia it would be very peculiar for a father not to be involved in the birth of his child. While a lot of the information might be aimed at the woman at least he'll have that knowledge to draw upon when she can't speak during labour!

The other night my mother referred to her contractions (having my sister - I was an emergency c/s) as "twinges", and said that between her waters breaking (right at the start of the twinges) and getting to the hospital my sister almost made an appearance. To which I say: "Oh please, oh please, oh please, let my labour be fast with mere twinges too!"

In Australia it is normal to stay in hospital for 4 nights after childbirth (fully covered by our health insurance). It sounds like this is unusual compared to other countries, and we'll be taking full advantage. Milord can stay nights on a sleeper couch if he wants to, and there is a night nursery if you need a short break from your baby (yes yes I know, but if we were at home Milord would be taking her from time to time to give me a break anyway).

Ages ago a friend offered to organise my baby shower, and then I heard nothing more about it. The other day I risked being rude and pushy and asked her if she still wanted to do so, and I believe it is going to be at the end of August. Over here any gifts at the baby shower are token and it's more about just celebrating the impending arrival of the baby, so I'm not being greedy, I just want an afernoon of tea and cakes and champagne with a bunch of women talking about babies!

House Renovation 2009 - Week 12

I keep forgetting to take photos! "I'll just clean up a bit first..."

We have the main kitchen stone benchtop in place, but they messed up the measurements for the splashbacks and high counter so we're still waiting on those. Milord is fed up with our kitchen people now and has taken on harrassment duties - which is brilliant because I'm rubbish at confrontation!

I am loving the kitchen anyway. I have a sink! And a hob! And a dishwasher! I can cook a meal and clean up without moving more than a couple of steps in any direction, while carrying on a conversation with folk in the lounge or dining areas, or while watching TV. I'm very very happy. I have been celebrating with grilled chops and roast veg, fried steaks and salad, and awesome stir-fries (so Milord is very very happy too) - I may start blogging my cooking again!

The spare loo and handbaisin in the laundry are plumbed in, and we have lights and an extractor fan in there too. We still need an exhaust vent cut for the tumble dryer so I have to direct a flexible exhaust tube out of the door when tumbling but that's not a big deal.

Milord got rid of all unnecessary materials from the backyard last week, and although there is still some stuff stacked around the edges I can at least see my garden furniture again.

I found a fantastic deal on brown leather dining chairs and replaced our manky white fabric stained chairs last week. I have hate hate haaaaated those chairs since I moved in with Milord 4 years ago, and then during our renovation they got left under a leak for a couple of months and are truly disgusting now. Bye bye nasty chairs! We would love to reupholster our lounge suite in the same leather but just don't have the cash...

Still outstanding:

  • Painting of walls, ceiling and trim in the living room, and staining of fences and woodwork.

  • Skirtings.

  • Mozzie screens.

  • Remaining kitchen stone splashbacks and high counter

  • Washing line in the backyard.


Not much left to do - and Milord and I are capable of doing it.

We had our mortgage advance approved and are just waiting for the funds to clear. Then I will pay off the builder, plumber, electrician, council and credit cards - leaving us with... nothing. All I wanted was to be debt-free before the baby comes, so this is just fine!

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Third Trimester Solicited Advice - Part 4 - for the bloke

I also asked the Daddies to come up with some advice for Milord:

Stuart (UK)
You will feel absolutely useless for the first 6-8 weeks, more so if Saffa Chick is breastfeeding. Your primary function is to look after mom. Constant reassurance is good, once again, especially where breastfeeding is concerned. That’s about it until baby is a bit bigger. Most of all just enjoy, it may seem like an eternity of sleepless nights and nappies, but before you know you’ll be chasing after a cheeky 2 year old!

Andrew (Australia)

  1. You will most likely be the one to cut the baby's umbilical cord so have a camera handy if you want a photo. (Milord hasn't decided about this yet)
  2. Should things not quite go to plan and a Caesar is required, you should advise the obstetrician prior to the birth should you want to watch the surgical procedure,as things are likely to get quite hectic should they need to switch procedures. the last thing they will want to deal with is a father wanting to ask if he can watch the procedure. I videoed M's birth, but arranged it in advance. (No bloody way is Milord going down the business end!)
  3. Don't plan to work for the first two days as you will be shagged from lack of sleep. It will most likely be you walking with bub in arms in the wee hours of the morning whilst Saffa Chick gets that much needed rest. I went to work the following morning after walking the hospital halls and it was miserable.
  4. I don't think either of you are squeamish, however, when they want to do the heel prick, it can tear at your heartstrings a tad to see your newborn getting jabbed in the heel to draw blood (many times over).
  5. Although we requested anybody with the slightest sign of a cold or flu to stay away, there maybe some selfish fool that just can't resist seeing you and bub and turn up with the lame excuse that "they will not stay long" or "I'll step outside if I am about to sneeze". Say thanks but no thanks and send them home.
  6. Not sure if you are intending to stay the first night or two in the hospital, but we found it to be great to share the moment. You will be of great help when dealing with the midwives. We found that each midwife had a different and compelling reason to do things their way. This can get frustrating and emotional. Staying will be great to help manage and decipher some of that bullshit.
  7. Enjoy every minute as their little lives seem to accelerate so fast. There is nothing to show you how quickly time passes than to have children. I know you have heard this before. I can't believe that our little baby S turns 5 this Thursday.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Third Trimester Solicited Advice - Part 3

More replies from my friends all over the world…

My questions were:
What are the 5 lifesaver items you took to the hospital?
What are the 5 most important things to have ready for the newborn at home?
What have we probably not thought of or not been told?


What are the 5 lifesaver items you took to the hospital?

Nikki (South Africa)

  1. Lip Ice
  2. Slippers (slightly large ones 'cos your feet might swell up - mine did!)
  3. Juice
  4. My own breakfast cereal (maybe your hospital food is better than ours)
  5. Muslin burping cloth for baby


Shane (South Africa)
  1. DUMMY/PACIFIER
  2. Moetie for baby's cramps
  3. Nice gown for yourself & slippers so you can feel a bit glam (this made Milord laugh – "That is SO Shane" he said)
  4. Moetie for your nipples so they don't get chafed /cracked if you're breastfeeding (bloody sore when that happens)
  5. Ummm...


Kate (UK)
  1. Birth plan highlighting EPIDURAL as a must
  2. Sanitary pads - super dooper absorbency and lots of them


Tara (UK)
In hosp bag I only needed pads (lots), nightie shower gel and glucose tablets and food for after. All rest was just a mission to carry in so didn't bother second time round.

Mel (Australia)
Well am sure you know everybody's experiences will be different as no two
seem the same! As you know I was placed on a monitor from the arrival at
hospital so couldn't move at all so everything I took to the hospital
didn't even make it out of the bag - scented candles, massage oils, music
to relax in the bath with! Guess you will have to take what you want to
and hope you get the opportunity to use! Also once epidural in you will be
bed bound (and unable to eat after) so don't get too early or leave too
late ....I can't comment on labouring as such but understand this is very
tiring and you get really thirsty ....I used Gas & Air for about 6 hours
which was manageable until the epidural went in ... Bliss.....

Heidi (New Zealand)
  1. Water
  2. Wheat bag
  3. If you are going to have epidural (highly recommended) take some cards, as you may pretty much lie there for hours waiting to dilate - and yes C and I played cards
  4. Baggy PJs / dressing gown, you won’t feel like wearing much and comfort is most important.
  5. Glucose sweets (nothing too big or rich)


Bronwyn (UK)
Have you been learning how to breathe, see if you can find classes that teach this, it really helped, I went without any painkillers, almost till the end and then ended up having gas and air. To me it felt like I was really drunk, I sobered up again at the end, just before she arrived.
Something nice for baby to wear, lots of pads and cheap panties that you can throw away(disposable knickers if you prefer, but I found these terribly uncomfortable), I was lucky I didn't bleed too much, but we are all different and it is better to be prepared.

Tracey (South Africa)
  1. It is good to have linen savers, for you bed and portable changing stations.
  2. Take big comfy panties, I had stretchy maternity panties - we're going for comfort, not sexy.
  3. Also, I found cotton knit pajamas good, and a nice big t-shirt that doesn't pull anywhere and covers the boobs nicely.
  4. Breast pads, of course.
  5. Lip ice, and drink lots of water - I was so thirsty. The hospital aircon added to that.

What are the 5 most important things to have ready for the newborn at home?

Nikki (South Africa)
  1. I'm sure you'll have everything at home for baby - don't think we forgot anything.
  2. Maybe a nightlight...
  3. Comfy chair for breastfeeding (if you are planning to breastfeed)


Shane (South Africa)
  1. Cot, blankies, mobile, clothes
  2. Nappies, wipes, good bum cream!
  3. Patience
  4. Endurance
  5. love....


Kate (UK)
  1. Portable bed eg. Moses basket
  2. Tiny nappies
  3. Baby play mat/gym
  4. calpol (infant paracetamol) - and I guess some kind of colic medicine too - eg. infacol.


Tara (UK)
  1. For home: they don't need much.
  2. Saline nose drops for sniffily babes. Easy to give just before feeds and helps clear gunk so can feed more easily.
  3. Basket with water bottle muslin remote etc you can pick up for feeds and have with you. You get very thirsty when breastfeeding.
  4. Comfy chair for feeds. If breastfeed evening cluster feeds can last forever.
  5. Lots of babygrows as shit leaks. Napisan for putting in with poop covered clothes.
  6. Lots of muslins.
  7. Breast feeding cushion helps.


Mel (Australia)
Gory bits .........sorry
Make sure you have lots of maternity (surfboard size) pads in abundance for
home, you may well need these for many weeks (up to 8 is not uncommon - I
was almost 10 ..) ...... also makes taking a bath a no-no/and or messy for
a while .......if breast feeding the nipples get very sore probably and
may even bleed - Lucy suggested paw paw lotion which did work but I found
the Lansinoh brand better ... also the soap free hand washes are really
useful and convenient as you will be constantly washing your hands prior to
and after picking up bub. IF you have an episiotomy don't sit down too
quickly - ice packs do help to numb but are weird to wear as cold and
wet ... the healing takes a while too (you can try perineal massage from
now onwards if you want to avoid this - can't guarantee will work though).
In hospital you may get conflicting advice from midwives - this is quite
common - just stick to what you think works for you as they can get bossy

Heidi (New Zealand)
  1. Bassinet or cot
  2. Change table
  3. Cotton wraps (10)
  4. Old fashioned square cloth nappies which you use for spills (from breasts or babies mouth) you go through lots of those.
  5. Disposable nappies. I wouldn’t worry about any other kind of nappies in the first few weeks, disposables are easiest when you are tired.


Bronwyn (UK)
  • When you get home, it is good to have some essential oils waiting for your bath to help you heal in case you get cut or tear, lavender oil - calming and soothing, tea tree oil and course sea salt, mix altogether with a table spoon of milk and put into your bath, this helps with the healing process. I had a bath in the morning and evening to start with and it really helped. Get somebody to help you the first couple of times as it is a bit uncomfortable and a little sore getting into the bath, but it really does work. The one thing I learnt having a baby, is there is no longer any shame, embarrassment about the way you look goes completely out of the window...
  • When Baby gets home, we had a Moses Basket in our room, and a v-shaped pillow for breast feeding. Do yourself a favour, get a 2nd hand electrical breast pump, I was completely against buying certain things 2nd hand to start with but you sometimes use these things a couple of times and buying new is so expensive. They all get washed and sterilised so it isn't too bad.


Tracey (South Africa)
  • Once home, I'm sure you have your cot, changing table, baby bath, baby clothes and nappies. I went through so many nappies. I would have just changed D, and he would present me with a new "nappy situation" as we call it. So, I've learned to wait a bit, a wet nappy is not such a big deal, and then change when necessary, or the nappy gets really wet and mommy reflex action kicks in.
  • I didn't need a monitor, we get so tuned in to baby sounds that I wake up when I hear a baby murmur. And then, I sometimes don't even hear Dave get up to take a shower!
  • There is so much stuff that we don't really need, but are nice to have. So don't worry too much. I insisted on a proper changing table, that had to be the right height, drawers etc, which we bought. And now I'm not even using it with D.
  • Baby wipes are good, but I usually clean baby's bum with water and cotton wool as well. It helps prevent nappy rash.

What have we probably not thought of or not been told?

Nikki (South Africa)
The NUMBER ONE most important item that I could not have done without was copies of both 'What to Expect When You're Expecting' and 'What to Expect in the First Year'. Take these to hospital with you, absolute lifesaver when everyone knows better & you get conflicting advice from everyone ranging from Mom to friends to the neighbour to your hairdresser's assistant to the random stranger that stops you in the street!!

Shane (South Africa)
Heck, I don't know. Baby needs to Sleep, Eat and answer the call of nature. Burping is a biggy too! Cramps are horrible things

Kate (UK)
Breastfeeding is not necessarily going to happen easily - my nipples were ripped to shreds the first time round. Lansinoh nipple cream and a breast pump (and whale's support) got me through!

Mel (Australia)
Sleep when you can and don't try and do everything - some things aren't
necessary and others can do what you can't, but no-one can do what you can
with the bub! Sorry if this all seems doom and gloom but hopefully useful
to know in advance so not too much of a shock and always a bonus if they
don't happen to you! Also baby will probably determine a lot of what you
do, i.e. when you shower, sleep, eat, go out - this gets better but the first
few weeks can seem a little shocking as you discover you no longer have
control ..... !

Heidi (New Zealand)
Babies don’t [have to] survive on breast milk alone. It’s absolutely fine to give them a bottle at any time. S lost 12% body weight and was basically starving and they even then could not actually say the word bottle/formula. They are Nazis here about that and I am sure they are in Aussie too. Don’t take any bullshit and give the baby formula if your milk has not come in enough - especially if bub is big.
Rotate between: feed; nappy; burping; cuddles; different position when they cry. It’s always one of the above.
Always trust your instincts even when your partner says the exact opposite and fights you on it.
Don’t panic. You do have the innate skills to deal with any motherhood situation and you find out more about yourself than you ever believed existed. It is the Best Journey you can ever take yourself on.

Paula (South Africa)
I think the best advice to give you is to find someone you respect and trust and listen to them and only them as you will get everyone and their aunt telling you what to do.

Bronwyn (UK)
You will be fine, it is in all of us, and it does come naturally, it just takes some of us a little longer, but we all get there. The best advice I can give is listen to what your heart and head say, you know what your baby wants and needs, sometimes it doesn't feel like it, but trust your instincts. Taking advice form other people can sometimes be confusing, listen to what they say and use what suits you, you will know what to do when the time comes. There is so much conflicting advice, just go with what you feel is right.
I hope I haven't confused you and scared you in any way, having a baby is the most exciting time of your life, you experience so many emotions, but remember to enjoy every minute of it, it is so special.

Tracey (South Africa)
NIPPLE CREAM, NIPPLE CREAM, NIPPLE CREAM!!!!
About a month before little one arrives, it's a good idea to rub your nipples with lanolin cream. I found Lansinoh to be the best, worth it's weight in gold, to be frank, there is quite an assault on your nipples when baby feeds. They say if baby has latched correctly it shouldn't be sore. But my goodness, there is a lot of nipple action every few hours around the clock!!! I was very sore with L for quite a while, no bleeding or anything that bad, though. I had some laser treatment in the hospital - you can ask for it - and the therapist told me that I could get some sun on them, 10 min in the morning and 10 min in the afternoon. And, well, it's not as exciting as tanning topless, but it does help!!!
Actually, it is all worth it, and something unbelievably special to be able to breastfeed. I ended up feeding L for 5 months and another 4 months after that, including 2 bottle feeds, when I went back to work. Now, with D, I was more prepared, I had a big tube of Lansinoh, and everything was fine. And I'm still breastfeeding at 6 months.