35 weeks pregnant – C Section booked

35 weeks pregnantI am 35 weeks pregnant and today we had our appointment with the consultant to confirm baby’s position and book a C Section. Although I had hopes earlier in the pregnancy of a VBaC if baby turned, it has been quite obvious for a while that this was very unlikely. At our initial appointment with the consultant, he was very nice and said we could try for a VBaC if baby turned, but made it quite clear that there was only ever a very small chance of this happening for me.

Because of my bicornuate uterus, there just isn’t as much room for baby to move around, especially as the pregnancy goes along and baby grows ever bigger. There was a chance that she may have turned early on and then stayed head down, but as most babies do not get into the head down position until the last trimester, our consultant did advise that there was only ever a very small chance of this happening. I had hopes, but as the weeks and months have gone on, and as it has become more and more obvious that her head is very much up, I have accepted the inevitable C Section.

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Monkey’s Musings at 28 mths

Regular readers will know that Monkey was a late talker, and there was a time when I worried about his speech development. Then he started talking and let’s just say that I certainly don’t worry anymore – he is a real chatterbox these days and we love it!

So I thought I would share with you some of our favourite words and phrases that he has come out with lately. Questions seem to be the order of the day lately, he is so inquisitive!

 “What you doin there?”

This has to be one of our favourites, and he says it all the time. He has been sayong it for a while but it very much came out as one word so we didn;t really realise what he was saying at first. A very garbled “whauodoiere” was how it started. Eventually we realised what he was saying and his pronunciation is getting clearer by the day. He walks into a room, “Hi Mummy/Daddy, what you doin there?”  He has been sat next to us on the sofa watching TV and will suddenly ask “what you doin there Mummy?” We walk into his bedroom after nap time “what you doin there?” It’s hilarious and another situation where we have realised we must ask him that question quite a lot – as he can only have picked it up from us!

“What’s dat noise?”

Another pretty constant question, generally accompanied with a hand up to his ear. Sometimes it is easy to answer, it’s an aeroplane, it’s a lawnmower, it’s the TV etc, other times it is a bit harder. In the bathy one evening, one of the millions of toys he had in the bath was making a slight noise and the question was repeated endlessly. I heard Daddy try to respond a few times but onviously Monkey wasn’t convinced by his answer so kept asking, and asking, and asking and eventually there was a very loud “I don’t know! It’s just one of your toys!” coming from Daddy as the repetitive question started to drive him completely potty.

My favourite instance was one morning when Daddy woke up early, around 6.30am, I was snoozing happily so Daddy crept out the room trying not to disturb me or Monkey. But it seemed Monkey was already awake and heard Daddy open our door, as immediately there was a shout of “What dat noise? Daddy? Daddy?” from behind Monkey’s door! Lol! Poor Daddy not a minute’s peace!

“What dat?”

Sometimes accompanying “what’s dat noise?” sometimes just about everything and anything. He has to know what everything is! At least we aren’t at the why stage yet, “What’s dat” is usually easier to answer… though not always!!

He really is at the stage where he repeats nearly everything we say and likes to narrate his little life. When we were out playing with bubbles the other day I was chuckling away to myself as he ran after them shouting: “can’t get” “too high” “come back.” It was just so cute!

He  can also be quite demanding and he knows what he wants. Generally revolving around food but I was quite impressed when he  woke up from his nap one day last week and said “Hi Mummy, cup a tea?” We are working on please and thank you, though please currently sounds more like “twease” and thank you is more of an “apfu” somehow. We are getting there though!

Then there are the more random outbursts. One of the most common outbursts is

“PatJessTedBen!” usually shouted as an exclamation. Sometimes when he is angry or upset, or disappointed it’s “Oh no! Oh dear me! PatJessTedBen!” We know he loves Postman Pat but quite why this has become his exclamation of choice I have no idea. It actually started off just as Pat, then PatJess, then PatJessTed, and now has been PatJessTedBen for a while. We keep wondering whether another character will be added. Ajay perhaps? or Charlie?

I could probably go on forever, but these are some of our current favourites. I love being able to have sort of conversatiosn with him and his little personality really shines through with all his chattiness.

What little phrases do you love to hear from your little one?

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Why I love being a SAHM

Being a SAHM isn’t always easy, but I do love it, for many reasons. One of the things I don’t love about being a SAHM though is the judgement that sometimes surrounds it. There has been a few things recently (including someone insinuating that I am a sponger because I don’t work) that has made me want to write this post about why being a SAHM works for me and my family.

Before I go any further, a little disclaimer, this is purely personal and all about me and my family. I do not believe all mums should be SAHMs and I am not judging anyone for the choices they have made or the way they think best to raise and support their families. Different strokes for different folks is what I believe but it can be difficult to talk about the positives of being a SAHM without being seen as judgemental or critical of working mums. That is not how this post is intended, it is purely about me and my family.

There were various things that affected my decision to be a SAHM. I wrote about it at the time here, when I first started this blog, but put simply, this is why I am a SAHM.

The financial side

I know I am very fortunate that we can afford to live on my husband’s salary alone. He has worked really hard to get where he is and works darn hard every day for a business he has built and believes in. Sometimes his head is so full of work it is hard to get him to step back and enjoy family time with us, but I know his work is a huge part of who he is and allows us to live the life that we do. We are by no means ‘well-off,’ we are fairly comfortable but we life on fairly strict budgets and are very careful with our money.

After Monkey was born we were undecided about whether or not I would go back to work part time as of course more money would make things more comfortable. Unfortunately when looking at childcare costs, they would pretty much have negated any earnings I brought in. I never earned a huge salary and particularly if I was part time I would not have earned enough to make it really worthwhile.

I know for many families there are grandparents willing to help but that isn’t the case with us. Monkey’s grandparents are all wonderful and supportive and he has a fantastic relationship with them. But none of them wished to be a permanent carer for him, week in, week out, and we didn’t really want that either. They have lives of their own and have done their years of child-raising, now they want to be the fun grandparents. I am not criticising anyone who does have grandparents who help out with childcare as again different things work for different people. It just wasn’t an option for us or our parents.

This comes back to how lucky we are that we can live on hubby’s salary and I don’t need to work. If we were not able to manage financially without my added income then of course we would have figured something out. I would have found a job working evenings, weekends or early mornings if necessary to fit around hubby’s work and cover costs. I have worked as a waitress and a cleaner before and would not be too proud to do so again if financially we needed it. If I had been the higher earner we would again have figured it out. But we don’t have to, thankfully, as I would hate to be passing my husband like ships in the night!

I know for some Mums, not working or earning money from an outside source leads them to feeling they aren’t contributing. I guess all I can say is that for me, while I know I am not contributing financially, I am contributing. By raising Monkey and looking after him myself full time, it means we don’t have to pay someone else to do it for us. So it comes full circle. I could be earning money but then it would be going out straight away to cover childcare costs, and what would be the point?

Well, I am sure some women would say that the point is that they love what they do, That they need the intellectual stimulation. That they would rather be at work than at home looking after children all day. I can understand that and again don’t judge any woman for making that decision. And I won’t lie, there are times that being a SAHM can feel monotonous, and it can be exhausting, and lonely. But, I do find the rewards of being a SAHM more than make up for it, for me. Plus there are ways to get that stimulation, to break the monotony, without having to go to work. Blogging for one! :) Or doing any hobby that interests and challenges you.

So what are the rewards of which I speak, well this is where I get really happy. This is where I get to the positives that make me smile and puff up my chest with pride.

Why I love being a SAHM

love being a sahm

I know my child better than anyone else. I know how to get him to try something new (even when he is adamantly shouting no). I know his current favourites. Be it phrases, activities, colours. I am the one with him nearly all day everyday and I know how all of his little individual quirks and eccentricities. I was the one who was with him when he said his first word, when he walked for the first time, the first time he counted to ten. No-one else has told me about these developments, I have seen them for myself.

I get to teach him. And take pride when he learns things as a result of the activities we do. I taught him (gradually in a fun, playing is learning way) how to count to ten. We are now working on letters. I am also teaching him about the world, more and more every day. I am teaching him manners, how to treat other people, and how not to.

I’m not saying you don’t get to do these things when you are a working parent but it has to be a bit different when someone else is caring for your child for a significant amount of time. There has to be a level of trust there that they are teaching the same beliefs as you would. That your child doesn’t get away with things with their carer that they wouldn’t with you. For a control freak like me that would be a concern and I like knowing that Monkey is learning what we think is right (we may not get it right all of the time but we are finding our way and it is our way, noone elses).

We have fun and try new things together. One of the ways to break the monotony is by experimenting with new things. doing new things together. This blog is a great motivator for that too as I like to be able to experiment with crafts and activities and talk about them here. Plus there are so many other fab blogs with tonnes of ideas for things to do together! We bake, paint and draw. We build, read and talk. We go on walks and explore the world. I see the world through his eyes.

Even at the moment, at 8 months pregnant and pretty exhausted, I love being with him. I need more help with him at the moment but I miss him when he’s not here, and I love when he comes back. He tests my patience and exasperates me. Some days he drives me potty because he is 2 and can be really irrational and over complicate things. But he is wonderful and funny too. He is kind and loving, methodical and imaginative. He gives the best cuddles and has the most infectious laugh.

I love that I am lucky enough to be the one who sees him at his best, and at his worst. In a couple of years time he will be going off to school and as he gets older he will move slowly but surely further away from his Mummy. He will grow up. I love that I am lucky enough to be able to spend this time with him now. I cherish it.

Just as wanting to go to out to work doesn’t make you any less of a mother, wanting to stay home and raise my children doesn’t make me any less of a person. Any less intelligent or interesting. In a world where so much emphasis is placed on what you ‘do’ and how hard you work, it can be difficult to feel proud of being a SAHM. I sometimes feel that I have to justify to some people why I feel being a SAHM is the best thing for my family and I at the moment. I know I don’t have to, and I very rarely bother. If someone wants to pass judgement then go ahead… but deep down it does bother me. I can’t help it, it just does.

I don’t know whether I will be a SAHM forever, I imagine I will want to work maybe part time when the children are at school, but for now, I love being a SAHM.

Mama and More

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Not My Year Off

Letter learning blanket

My Mum, aka Nanny, is a very clever crafter and loves making quilts. We have so many fabulous quilts in our house, and they are all gorgoeus and so handy for various situations. Her most recent one has to be one of my favourites though. Because this one is a fab quilt for Monkey that as well as being a gorgeous quilt, it also doubles as a fun game! A game that will also help Monkey start to learn his letters.

Nanny has made this gorgeous letter learning blanket with pictures to accompany each letter.

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She has also made a set of matching bean bags with each letter on.

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Monkey adores this blanket and loves playing the letter game. He regularly brings the blanket or a bag of bean bag letters out to me as a clear sign he wants to play the letter game.

He’s actually pretty good at it too, of course he doesn’t always get every letter right (hardly surprising at only  2 1/2) but he does really well. You could easily make a smaller paper version of this game and I actually think it is a great way to just have fun with letters and help with the recognition of shapes with the sound.

So how does it work? 

Well, we lay the blanket out on the floor and tip all of the beanbags out on the sofa.

I then give him the letter beanbags one by one, sounding out the letter and at the moment I also say the word related to the picture on the blanket. I heard somewhere that it helps if you sound letters out as with the phonetic alpabet as it helps when they go to school and are learning to read, so we do that (or as near to it as I can remember!)

For example I give him the D beanbag and say “can you find Duh for Dog” and he runs off to the blanket usually repeating “duh for dog” finds the picture and the letter and then puts the beanbag down. He is very good at putting the beanbag letter on top of the letter on the blanket (rather than just in the square) and more often than not, the right way round. So I am quite impressed with him.

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He is a lucky Monkey having such a talented Nanny and he loves this game! Plus hopefully it is helping him to learn his letters, he is such a sponge and really loves to learn so it is great for him.

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Sing, Monkey, Sing! 28 months

Monkey, like most little ones, has always loved music. A while ago I wrote a post about how he used to sing songs in his head, before he could actually sing the words, it was so cute!

Since his speech development has come on so rapidly lately, we have been waiting to see when this would lead to singing, and he has not disappointed.

Before he could speak, Wind the Bobbin was one of his favourite songs to dance along with, so it came as no surprise when he started singing it, after a fashion. This short video was taken at his Uncle Simon’s house, months ago actually, I just never got round to posting it!

A but rudimentary but very much wind, wind, pull, pull, clap clap clap. He did eventually sing he rest of the song too, but it has to be said, this is no longer a favourite of his to sing!

He loves a microphone toy now and was playing with one in the back of the car a few weeks ago when suddenly hubs and I heard him crooning away into it. Up until now he has just spoken into it, and not used actual words either, mainly a ga ga, which was was his favourite pre-words phrase. I missed the best bit of his singing (you never have a camera on them all the time) but this was still cute.

I think he was singing something about going to the seaside? Bless him hehe.

Just a cute little step to record for posterity :)

Ethans Escapades
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Not My Year Off

Magic Watercolour painting – 28 months

I always like to look out for new activities with Monkey and a couple of weeks ago I saw a post (I’m really sorry I can’t remember where) of an activity I remember as a kid. Magic Watercolour Painting. The premise is simple you draw a picture on a white piece of paper, using a white wax crayon. When you paint over the picture using the watercolour paints, the wax repels the paint and your picture appears.

I thought this sounded simple and fun for Monkey. I thought I could draw something and I imagined him loving the images revealing themselves underneath. We haven’t really done watercolour painting before, sticking to poster paints generally, so I thought this would be nice to try.

I bought some uber cheap watercolour paints, found a white wax crayon and drew somethings on some paper. I kept it simple, drawing numbers (because he loves them) and I also wrote out a Happy Birthday message to his Great Grandpa, thinking it would be a nice picture to give him.

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Sadly we didn’t ever give him that picture, because, well it didn’t exactly work out. It’s not that it was a total disatser, because it wasn’t. Monkey very much enoyed the watercolour painting, although he did for some reason decide everything had to be black (cheerful colour) and sometimes randomly spent some time going from paint to water to paint to water without getting anything on paper, but it was a learning experience and he had fun.

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What was unfortunate though, is that the ‘magic’ side of the activity didn’t really happen. The images just didn’t really appear. Not in the way I remembered or thought they would. Occasionally you could see a bit of a number or letter, but then they seemed to disappear :(

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I wondered if maybe the crayon was a washable one or something, so I found a different brand of white crayon (a more basic one) and tried that, by drawing a clock. Not much of an improvement.

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I then drew some numbers in really thick crayon, going over and over the image so get as much wax on the paper as possible. This gave the best result of the day, in that you can at least see the numbers… but it’s still not really the way I am remembering it!

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Has anyone got any tips? Am I missing some crucial step? I would love to know where I am going wrong with what I thought would be such a simple and fun activity! Monkey enjoyed himself so I’m not too despondent about it but I was a bit gutted it didn’t go quite the way I had planned!

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Lifting the veil of denial

The world can be a cruel place sometimes and you just have to read a newspaper on any given day to see so many horrific things happening. From accidents to acts of atrocity. When you think too hard about it, the world does not seem a very safe place. Scary enough when you are on your own, but as a parent, responsible for the lives of children, it can be extra scary. Hubby and I have a theory that because of this, we all live in a semi-permanent state of denial. Everyone does.

Otherwise we would never step foot outside our front door, or we may never even get out of bed. The truth, that our existence is so fragile and that horrible things could happen at any given moment, is just too terifying for our brains to deal with most of the time. So in general, we live our lives in a state of denial. We try to be careful, but how many of us have done things or allowed our children to do things, that in hindsight could be seen as less than sensible? I know I have. Especially in my younger days when I was travelling, I put myself in what now seem to be obviously dangerous situations, but at the time, just seemed harmless fun.

It may just be me, but sometimes, when driving down a motorway or over a bridge, I suddenly become aware how one wrong move, just a sharp turn of the wheel for example, could lead to a horrific accident. Or if one of the other road users did something like that, how it could be the end of me. When you think about it too much, it can seem amazing that there aren’t more accidents, that we have survived this long. Because even everyday activities carry hazards and dangers that for the most part we all blissfully ignore.

And of course we do. What would be the alternative? A life lived in fear? Never turning on a socket in case you got electrocuted? Never speaking to another human being in case they are a rapist or murderer? Never crossing a road in case you got hit by a bus? What kind of life is that? Of course there is a scale and some people are naturally more wary or superstitious than others, but most of us, live with a veil of denial blurring the edges. We try and be careful and keep our kids safe but we don’t linger too long on the possibilities and the dangers. Because to do so would drive you crazy.

Then every now and then, something happens in your life that briefly lifts that veil. That reminds you how fragile we are, how every day where something horrible doesn’t happen, is a gift. We had an experience like that this weekend. Nothing newsworthy, but something that reminds you that even if you were the most cautious person alive, there would be no guarantee of your safety or survival.

On Saturday evening my husband’s auntie had a stroke. She is in her 60′s, similar age to our parents and not what I would consider “old”. Now I am going to cut to the chase and say there was a happy ending. After a horrible 24 hours or so in limbo with the Drs using the term “if” she wakes up, and with us all trying to prepare ourselves for the worst, she thankfully woke up. She remembers her husband and relatives and can move her arms. Of course she is not out of the woods yet and she has slurred speech, but, she is still here.

But for those 24 hours, that was by no means a certainty. The veil of denial came off and reminded us that you never know what is going to happen. You can be happily living your life, cooking your dinner, and then boom. Something terrible happens. The world as you know it is forever changed. Someone you love is hurt, or worse, gone forever.

I know this is quite a depressing post and I apologise. Believe me I am so relieved that all worked out so well. Hubs and I both slept so well last night, I think because of the emotional exhaustion combined with the relief that things did not turn out so much worse. We have to cling to the positives, that is what keeps us going. So I am going to lower the veil of denial again, move way from the horrible “what ifs” that otherwise would drown me. I am going to remember how lucky we are every day.

Mama and More


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National Trust Blickling Hall

On the way to our little holiday in Norfolk last week we decided to take the opportunity to stop off at a fabulous National Trust property I have wanted to visit for a while, Blickling Hall.

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The Blickling Estate is huge and has so much to do see and do, with a variety of walks and cycle rides you can do. They even have holiday cottages on the estate as there is so much you can do there, much more than you could do in a day!

Because we were just stopping off for a fairly short visit, and because even with my pelvis support I can’t walk as much as I normally would at the moment, we confined our visit to the lovely gardens and grounds surrounding the house. With one of the prime reasons for the stop off being so that Monkey could run around and burn off some energy, we decided not to go into the house.

When we arrived, a lovely lady asked whether Monkey would like to do a scavenger hunt in the gardens, and of course we jumped at the chance. So he was given a lovely little basket and a list of things to find – which included some different seeds, something fuzzy, something round, etc, etc. So we set off to stretch our legs from the car journey, and see what we could find.

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The grounds and gardens are so beautiful and there is so many different paths and directions you can go. Daddy loved showing Monkey the different seeds, such as sweet chustnuts and acorns, and Monkey loved collecting things like sticks and stones and popping them in his basket.

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While we hunted for acorns we found a lovely fluffy looking caterpillar on the floor which Monkey was fascinated by!

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When it was time for lunch we took the basket back to one of the lovely volunteers and showed her what Monkey had collected, and Monkey got a sticker! We could have get all of our, er…. souvenirs but as we were going to the holiday home we decided to leave them behind :)

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After a lovely lunch we had a a bit more of a run around and Monkey was very brave, walking the along a huge fallen tree!

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Soon enough it was time to continue our journey to the holiday cottage. As ever though we had a lovely time at the National Trust house and look forward to visitng Blickling Hall again at some point, hopefully with enough time to see inside the house and see more of the estate!

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Super Busy Mum
Super Busy Mum

Evening fun with daddy

The days are getting shorter and the evenings are drawing in, but for the moment it is still quite warm at least. When Daddy comes home just after 6 in the evening it is family dinner time, but after dinner is very much Monkey and Daddy time. Monkey loves the time he gets to spend with his Daddy and lately they have been very much making the most of the warm evenings and having a lot fun in the garden between dinner and bathtime. Monkey always has loads of energy at this time of day so I guess that’s why it is called the witching hour!

Most of the time I leave them to it but a couple of times lately I have poked my head out to watch the giggles.

Sometimes they do a bit of gardening, and Monkey loves running under the stream of water from the hose if Daddy is watering the plants.

hose fun

Sometimes they just run around like a pair of loonies, or play in the sand pit, or on his climbing frame.

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Whatever they do though they have a lot of fun together and the fun continues into bathtime. There was so much giggling at bathtime the other day that I poked my head in… to be told “bye mummy, close the door” by Monkey. Charming eh? I know when I am not wanted! ;) Made me chuckle and made me very happy to know he was just having fun with his Daddy :)

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ClarinasContemplations

33 weeks & my last physio appointment..

I am 33 weeks pregnant this week and yesterday saw potentially last physio appointment. Not because I don’t need it or want it anymore though. My lovely, amazing physio, who has really helped me so far, is going on Maternity Leave herself today as she is 34ish weeks pregnant! I’ve known the day for her to leave would come, so I was semi prepared for it, but I had hoped there would be a transition to another physio.

Sadly there won’t, because her replacement hasn’t started yet and probably won’t be starting for at least a month. The other physios at the hospital are fully bookd with their own existing patients so there is basically no appointments for me to have. It’s not like I am off the books, I have an “open appointment” which means that if things get really bad I can call and try and get a cancellation with one of the other physios… but my fortnightly sessions are a thing of the past.

I am trying not to worry about this. Trying to positive that I will be ok. Fear has been a big part of my problems with SPD. Fear of it getting worse. Thanks to my physio it hasn’t got terrible, it’s not fun but it’s been manageable and with not long left to go I have to try and be positive.

Hubs is going to try and do the same elbow “massages” that she has been doing for me to release m muscle spasms and I have been thinking for a while about trying out some reflexology as I have heard that can help, and it looks like now is the time to try it!

Hopefully that may also help me sleep as I hate bedtime at the moment. Trying to get to sleep takes hours and leaves me so frustrated and often disoriented as I am just dozing off when my legs and hips start twitching or tingling or I get that sharp stab of pain down my leg. So bizarre when you are just about in dreamland and get jerked awake. I was so confused last night as I was dreaming about someone called Maisie and someone called Joan…. then I was suddenly awake and very cross! Poor hubs too as I often wake him up too with all the constant tossing and turning. Sleep deprivation starts now it seems.

In other news all seems ok, our girl is a right little wriggler and she is trying very hard to get herself head down. The other night I had so many kicks on my right side, which is very unusual for me, that I thought she may be getting close to doing it… then she settled back into the left side of my Bicornuate Uterus again with her head very much up in my ribs again.

It was enough to shock the Hubs though as he has been very much convinced that we will have a C section and suddenly panicked and revealed he is not at all prepared for me to go into labour naturally. I think in his head C section is the easy option purely because it is known, we’ve done it before, we know what happens and what the recovery is like. We will know the date so can arrange childcare for Monkey. He is as much a planner as me and that side of it is definitely appealing.

I am trying to keep an open mind though, we have an appointment with the consultant at 35 weeks to check her position and potentially book the C Section if she is still stuck head up. There is also the little voice in my head that says that a C Section would mean delivery between 38-39 weeks, whereas trying for a natural birth could mean waiting until up to 42 weeks for delivery. An extra 3-4 weeks of pain and sleepless nights. I feel guilty for bringing that into the equation and feel like I should put up with the pain if it means she can come naturally… but I have to admit that it does influence my thinking.

Anyway we shall see! Not the most cheerful of pregnancy updates I’m afraid! Did you have trouble sleeping or suffer from restless legs? Any tips would be gratefully received!

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