Archive for January, 2007

Downer

January 31, 2007

Yesterday Hannah had an appointment with the local midwife. That went well. Her BP is still quite normal (120/80).

Today we went to see a couple of identical houses. They are in an estate on the edge of Cowes. I don’t think Hannah was too impressed. As usual with modern houses the rooms were smaller than we are used to. It was difficult enough for Hannah moving to our current house having got used to the enormous rooms of her Mum’s house. There are plenty of places to see in Cowes, the only difficulty is finding the time to see them. One thing Hannah is not doing at this stage of the pregnancy is slacking off the pace of her working life. On Saturday we have two agents coming to value the house, and one viewing to do, and that is all she could fit in around her lessons. We can’t do viewings on Thursdays or Fridays because of Hannah’s community choir on the former, and ‘Anything Goes’ on the latter. Crazy.

She says it has been a week since any sickness, and she has been eating plenty. We’re having lots of baked potatoes at the moment. The cheese craving seems a long time ago. At the moment she is getting some down moments, and I know she is having some upseting dreams about things going wrong. In the next couple of weeks the books say the mum will start to feel the baby moving, and I hope that will cheer her up.

Regardless of that Hannah has been very active on eBay. Several toys have already been bought, and even although our shopping trip in Glasgow at Christmas was meant to have bought her maternity wardrobe, there have been a couple of dresses ‘won’ in the last week. Another item that pops through the door with regularity are bras. It seems her bra size changes every week, and the change is never smaller! I’m told that this is causing some pain though. Smilies avoided at this stage.

We’re also waiting for the phone to ring as my sister-in-law and brother are expecting their second child any day now. Good luck to them, and we hope it all goes well, and our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Budgets

January 28, 2007

While putting together a budget for this year, and thinking about how much we can afford for a new mortgage, I had a look for the cost of a child in the first year. I found a couple of interesting sites, which those reading this blog who are about to have kids, or still yet to have them, might find useful.

The first is a survey by the Liverpool Victoria about the cost of bringing up children to 21. Apparently this is increasing faster than house prices.

The second is a bunch of calculators provided by the Financial Services Authority. It includes a very fullsome page for calculating a budget before and after having a baby. The suggest cost only adds up to around £2200, whereas the Liverpool Victoria cost for the first year is around £7800. That’s a lot of difference!

More Hospital Time

January 23, 2007

Though it has to be said it was very quick and efficient hospital time, hats off to St Mary’s.

Today Hannah had a couple of routine appointments. The first was an antenatal one with her consultant, Mr Ridley. There was no waiting (we must have been first in of the day at 9am). We did nearly get a surprise scan, as one of the midwives was so desparate to get an expectant mum under a trial ultrasound machine that she grabbed Hannah before realising she was the wrong patient! Apparently they have been given funds to renew the ultrasound machine because it is 5 years old, and is losing power, though it works fine . Hopefully we’ll get some nice photos at later scans.

Back to the appointment, and the check-up from Mr Ridley. Well, really he didn’t do much checking, he just read the notes, was disappointed that Hannah had an electronic gadget for reading and storing blood sugars rather than traditional paper and made positive noises. The midwife did the actual checking. She had a listen to the baby, and we got to listen too. So we got to hear his heart beating for the first time. We were both much moved by that. Hannah said afterwards she was panicking for the 10 seconds before the midwife located the baby in case something was wrong, but it was just the midwife searching around. Overall, they were quite happy, and the biggest concern was the Mr Ridley wasn’t happy with the 20 week scan day, and wanted it a day earlier.

Hannah then had a diabetes checkup, or rather it was an hour until that appointment, so we popped into the main hospital for a cuppa. Then to the Diabetes Clinic. A little bit of waiting but not long, and we saw Hannah’s regular consultant. He said Hannah had done ‘extremely well’ with her control and he was happy with progress too.

I guess I should mention our arguement in the antenatal appointment when asked what week we were at, and Hannah said 16 weeks, and I said 15. The midwife told us not to argue over it. Hannah was right. Info on week 16 is here.

Wild Weather

January 21, 2007

Last week during the gales, I was unable to go to work because all ferries between Cowes and Southampton were cancelled. For some idea why, you can see footage of the waters around Cowes here: stormy weather.

I wonder if our child will take up sailing early on, given our location.

Nothing to See Here, Move Along

January 20, 2007

Really this is one of those updates to say there are no updates.

Our decorating is finished, and now we have to start dressing the house to make it look nice for selling. Hannah had a very successful day teaching the PSHE certificate to teachers and nurses on Wednesday. It was the last day of the course and the students were very complementary of her teaching. She has had a couple of bouts of morning sickness over the past week, but I think she is sleeping well at the moment. We are debating what to do for our Easter holidays, and Hannah keeps suggesting ‘baby shopping’. Sounds hideous, and probably very expensive. I was waiting for IBM’s results in order to gauge the likely size of my bonus (nothing in the region of the City bankers’ bonuses). If it is big enough I might buy a new PC. I’ll need a new one to edit and hold all the inevitable video footage of the new child. (It’s amazing what can be justified by a new baby .)

Results and Happenings

January 18, 2007

Hannah had a visit to the local midwife this week, which went well. While she was there she got her HbA1c results from her last trip to the hospital, and good news, it was down to 7.1, which is as low as it has been for years and years. This is an excellent time to have a good HbA1c because it indicates that during the crucial period of baby development (limbs, organs, brain) Hannah’s control has been very good.

Over the past week we have had some decoration done to the house in preparation for putting it on the market. This is nearly complete now and we can start putting things back in place and making the house nice.

Baby Names

January 14, 2007

I can see this being a contentious issue, as I am sure it probably is for many parents-to-be. The other day, on the way to the cinema, Hannah was reeling off a number of candidate names, some of which I liked, most I didn’t. She seems to want to decide on a name for each sex and just go with that, whereas I would rather have a shortlist and name the baby when he is born. I don’t think you can give a child a name without meeting them. At the cinema, when the closing credits were rolling, Hannah was reading the names and deciding which she liked. This was very bad because it was an American film, full of those weird names that Americans come up with because of their pan-European culture. Anyway, the film was quite good, if a tab depressing (‘The Pursuit of Happyness’, misspelling intentional).

Back to baby names, the BBC had an interesting article on the subject a couple of months ago here, about how people are trying to avoid the trend, but instead building it and ending up with popular names for their children. This is something we will have to buck. There is also an article giving the most popular names for 2006 here.

I am sure Hannah and I will have many discussions about names over the next months, and she will have far more ideas than I will. So long as we have a shortlist come the birth day, and have not restricted it to two names, I’ll be mildly content.

Consultant Visits

January 11, 2007

This week Hannah has had appointments with our paediatrician and her diabetes consultant.

The paediatrician appointment was the first with him. Our local midwife had said that this appointment was not going to be particularly exciting so I didn’t go along with Hannah. He was a happy with the progress of the baby.

Today Hannah had her regular diabetes checkup (though she left the house without her insulin pen, another pregnancy absent moment). Unfortunately her HbA1c was not ready, and that is the most important measurement of diabetes.

Scan Explained

January 6, 2007

The baby’s head is on the right hand side, and he is facing downwards. You can clearly see his spine running along his back along the upper side of his body. His legs are over on the left and were very active during the scans.

Marching Down the Corridor

January 6, 2007

We had the second scan this morning. Although it could have been the second and third scan.

The appointment was at 9:30 this morning, and we were there a little late. Hannah was straight in to have the scan, and I got let in a back door after parking the car. The pictures were amazing, so much better than last time. It is amazing how much change there has been in a little over three weeks. The baby was kicking and waving his hands (I will use his as the majority of people seem to think the baby is a boy). At one point he even rolled over and changed from lying upwards to downwards (or the other way, it’s confusing). After the initial checks by the sonographer, she wanted to measure nuchal fold, which is somewhere on the neck. The sonographer wanted to get just the right lie of the baby, but he was being stubborn and refusing to move, and was happy kicking around with his legs and head. Hannah had to bump her bum up and down on the bed, lie on her side, go for a march down the corridor, but to no avail. As 10 approached, they suggested we go out and wait for the next couple of have their scan, which was expected to be quick, and Hannah go do some jumps etc in the waiting room. Thankfully for Hannah it was empty and she bounced around for 10 minutes. It was disappointment when we went back in as the baby still was lying the wrong way, though he did tease by having the roll mentioned earlier. So no success on getting the measurement from the nuchal fold, which gives an indicator of the likelihood of the baby having Down’s. It was vital to get this measurement today because the baby was almost past the size he can be to take this measurement. After today he would be too big, and the next indicator for Down’s would have to be a blood test at 16 weeks, which is only 60% accurate, compared with 80% from the scan.

The next suggestion was that as they had had a cancellation for their last appointment we could return at 11:45. We had been hoping to go to the opticians because Hannah misplaced her glasses in the car yesterday, no doubt in a pregnancy absent moment. We decided to head home, and return for a dash before going to the opticians. We returned home and Hannah had a sleep. When we got back in the car to head back to Newport I miraculously found Hannah’s glasses, and saved us the visit to the opticians and hence gave more time to have a last go at the scan. Success. Onwards back to the hospital, and a further result when the sonographer (who is also a midwife) rang up the parking people so we didn’t have to pay another £1.20 for 10 minutes parking. Hannah popped on the table, and immediately the sonographer was happy with the position of the baby and took her reading. The results were good, with a 1 in 3500 chance of the baby having Down’s.

So, despite a lot of jiggling around by Hannah, the morning was successful, and the baby continues to grow well, and the early indicators of his health are still good.