The Baby Diaries – Judah – Week Thirty (finding a home)

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The Baby Diaries – Judah – Week Thirty (finding a home)

This week has been so much better because we found a home.  Somewhere we can live as a family.  The girls will have a gorgeous HUGE room and we will have a room for baby boy once he’s old enough to go into his own room.  There is so much packing to do, and moving is so stressful but I’m so glad that we at least know where we are going at the end of next week.

It’s been interesting because James’ parents have come up North (they live on the South Coast) so that they can help us pack.  James is unwell, so I went with my new in-laws to the old house to start packing up.  Also, Alan (James’ Dad) ran me to the hospital for my physio appointment.  Little did I know I would be coming out on crutches.  Not a happy bunny.

I’m not as sick this week, it’s calming down.  Only a handful of times a days instead of constant.  I really hoped it would have passed by now.

My sister is due back from Mallorca at the weekend so I’m looking forward to seeing her, but it’s good timing that we’ll have a home to move into next week as it would be very crowded at my Mum’s.  We’re able to move into the church refuge for our last week next week.  I lived there after my ex left me, will be strange in my old room with a whole family, and pregnant instead of on my own.  I was always so sad there.

In my journal this week –

‘By this stage you probably have the impression you’ve been pregnant forever and may be feeling a bit fed up.  Make sure you talk to your partner about how you’re feeling so you don’t end up arguing over petty things.

THINGS TO DO Start thinking about what you want to include in your birth plan.  Discuss your options with your friends from birthing classes and people you know who have already had children.  Fill in your preferences on page….

How am I feeling this week? 

Energy : great, been packing up our home.  Comes in bursts though and then I’m wiped.

Mood : good, stressed about house and things.  Down about being put on crutches.

Appetite : want food little and often or I’m famished

Cravings : KFC lol, really wanted one for weeks, finally got one this week.

Sickness : Not too bad, occasional

Notes : staying at the ‘rents and Lydia House is stressful.  Not having a home ready for baby.  Put on crutches as my hips keep dislocating and stomach muscles are tearing.

I’m so pleased we’ve found somewhere to live, as exciting and eventful as it has been feeling like refugees at this time.  It really isn’t the best season for it.  I’m just longing to nest but unable to do so… yet.  Very excited for our new home.
//
Baby Diaries

Happy Fourteen Months Eden

Baby Diaries

Happy Fourteen Months Eden

Oh my baby girl, you are growing up so quickly. I cannot believe in 2 months you will be the age your brother was when you came in to the world. It makes me realise how quickly my baby boy had to grow up and not be the baby anymore. He was such a mature big brother and handled your arrival so well when he was still so little himself.

You seem so much younger at this age, I can’t work out if it’s because your brother spoke so much and had started walking at 13 months or if it’s just because you are so teeny tiny. You finally look as though you may be growing out of your 3-6 month old clothes now. They fit you beautifully, I just think you could do with some more wiggle room now that you are trying to walk.

You have been taking the odd step, this is a big thing as before you had shown us that you were capable, you just weren’t interested in trying. Now you WANT to be on the move and everyday you seem sturdier on your feet. You can do the difficult part, you sit in the middle of a room and you stand up without using your hands to steady you in anyway. You must have really strong legs. I have strong legs, they saw me through when I was a dancer and in my days cycling.

I love seeing how much like me you are, although it scares me too. You are very headstrong, demanding, you know EXACTLY what you want and how to get it, and you’re barely 1 year old. I know I will have a difficult job on my hands. I know that I will be reaping what I’ve sown, as I was difficult for my Mum to handle, with my tempestuous ways. I am hoping that I will have a secret weapon though, as if you truly grow to be like me, I should have insight into how to deal with you. I pray everyday for wisdom on how to deal with each and every one of you, and I pray God shows me how to be close with you and for us not to clash too much because we’re alike.

Your idiosyncrasies are hilarious, you absolutely demolish a piece of toast by pulling all the middle out, you never eat the crusts. I think they are too hard on your developing gums and teeth. You can be all ninja when Judah takes toys away from you. A couple of weeks ago, you annihilated him with your kungfu moves, he didn’t know what had hit him. You showed us that although you are tiny you will be able to handle yourself and you won’t just let your big brother push you around anymore.

You are fearless, you jump off things that are way too high for you. I cannot take my eyes off you for a second. You flip backwards off your Dad and my laps at any given moment. You just trust that we will catch you before you hit the floor. So far we have but I dread the day where you may be too quick for us. You always find the most precarious place to sit. You are a natural risk taker already.  You never want to be on my lap when there’s somewhere to explore.  You look so strange crawling around the park in your snowsuit.  I don’t know what people must think of me, but it’s what you want to do and I know you’re little knees and hands are protected.

I’m still feeding you every so often. I fed you in the night last night. I pinched your nose to make you let go when it seemed like you had finished, as last week you bit me and wouldn’t let go despite my cries. You are not as emotionally aware as your brother was, he would’ve been horrified if he made me cry. You tend to laugh in my face, either blissfully unaware, or because you don’t care *haha*.

You absolutely love your brother. To be honest he has barely tried to push you about since you retaliated. You seem on a more even playing field even though you’re so tiny. You both enjoy cuddles, kisses, giggles, winding up Mummy. I love when you sit and have your lunch together. You are my little partners in crime and I look forward to the many adventures that you get up to together.

You get very excited when your big sisters arrive on a Thursday.  You especially love Isis, because she tends to mother you.  We call her the baby whisperer, you will always be still for her when you otherwise wouldn’t be for us.  Isis plays the eldest sister very well and looks after you, I know you feel safe around her even though she’s only eight.  You like playing games with Shayla-Rae.  I think you two will have a close bond as you get older.  You don’t get too much time together on your own at this stage, the other siblings are always around to play with too, but when Daddy had you and Shayla together on Sunday as I ran your brother and sister to their classes and rehearsals, he said he really enjoyed that time.

You are a very well behaved baby, although you are difficult to dress, and it is hard to change your nappy as you never want to sit still.  You are very content pretty much all of the time.  You find ways to amuse yourself and you are very communicative in letting us know what you want.  You can say quite a few words now, ‘Mama, Dada,Nana, Grandad, More, Bread, Milk, Duda (Judah), Isa (Isis), Hiya, Yeah, Ta.  You can climb on and off the sofas and you love to stick your tongue out when you’re concentrating.

You have just started to enjoy watching DVD’s with your brother, although you always seem more interested in pressing on the laptop keys etc. I guess that’s what you see us do so often.  Your brother is very patient with you when you constantly stop the programmes on Netflix from playing by pressing some key you shouldn’t.  He just waits for Mummy to fix it for him.

You still LOVE food, always love food.  You want everything and anything that’s going.  Anyone who has food in a room becomes your new best friend.  People are always amazed when they see you eat as you’re so dainty.  You have been referred to the endocrine department at the hospital and we still have to have your blood taken every so often, but Mummy really struggles to believe that they will find anything wrong.  You are thriving in every other possible way and your Daddy was always petite too at this age.  A little bit more time we will give them to test you, and then we will say ‘enough’, ‘no more’.  I don’t want you hating hospitals as your Dad did just because you may grow later in life as he did.  What’s wrong with being petite anyway?

I’m excited for what this next month will bring.  Your Daddy and I love you very much, as do all of your extended family and I know that as you blossom and grow everyone who meets you will too.

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Happy Fourteen Months baby girl

xxx

dontcallmestepmummy, mummy blog, blended family, milestones, happy fourteen months,
my independent baby

Happy 11 Months Eden

Happy 11 Months Eden

11 months old, baby milestones, dontcallmestepmummy, blended family, step mum, soft play
breaking the rules at soft play

So, my baby girl was 11 months old yesterday.  Wow, it has gone so fast.  Although it feels like she has been here forever, the fact that she is so small convinces me that she can’t be nearly one, can she?  Just in 3-6 months clothes and would still fit in the 0-3 months aside from the length she is still so teeny.  We were at a leadership seminar Saturday afternoon and the people on our table were saying how bizarre it is when James (or I) are playing with her… tipping her upside down, swinging her around and kissing her.  They said their thoughts are ‘argh… stop swinging around that baby’ and then they remember that she isn’t a newborn, she just looks like one.

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mirror selfies

There have been so many new little milestones even just in the past couple of days, I think she is celebrating her 11 months on the earth.  She said ‘ankyou’ this morning when I gave her some of Judah’s toast after she had already demolished hers and her cereal (she eats so much).  She climbed Nana’s stairs today when I was over for a visit.  She stood unsupported for a second yesterday, first time ever.  She’s using her walker at home.

11 months old, baby milestone, dontcallmestepmummy, blended family, step mum, mirror selfie
teeny tiny princess

Words she can say now include :

Nana

Dada

Mama

Judah

Thankyou

Yeah

Hiya

Hello

More

My little baby is not really a baby anymore.  I have tried to ignore it, she still has no teeth, she is so small and light I forget she’s growing up.  I’ve not been able to buy her any new clothes pretty much all year as she hasn’t needed them and then a friend gave me a huge bunch from her little girl who is 6 months younger than Eden.  She still doesn’t fit any of the shoes that we bought her.  0-3 months still fall off her feet, not sure how I will find shoes for my little cruiser.

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munching at Nana’s

Eden was eating her dinner last night at Nana’s and she kept using all of Shayla-Rae’s mannerisms.  It was so strange, to the point where my Mum was saying she had Shayla’s eyes.  Now Shayla has her Mum’s eyes for sure, so that is not true but the little eye-rolls whilst their eyes light up, that is something the two of them share.  So sweet.  So then James and I were discussing if that makes that trait his genetics or if she has learnt this habit from Shayla.  We will probably never know, but I love that they are all so similar even though they have different Mum’s.  It just tightens are family unit all the more.  No-one ever picks up that they’re not all mine unless they chat to me and if the situation demands, I explain.

Happy 11 months our beautiful baby girl, it is going so quickly and I can’t believe that you will soon be one years old.  Daddy and I are so proud of you as are all the family.  Don’t ever change your quirky little ways, we look forward to getting to know you better as you grow and develop.

We love you xxx
//

The Baby Diaries – Judah – Week Twenty-Eight (temporary plumbing fix has finally gone kaput)

Baby Diaries

The Baby Diaries – Judah – Week Twenty-Eight (temporary plumbing fix has finally gone kaput)dontcallmestepmummy, the baby diaries, 28 weeks pregnant

My pregnancy journal made me laugh this week, week 28, the third and final trimester begins.  Here is what it told me to expect :

“You are now on the home straight! – the third trimester – and you should be feeling fantastic, but take care not to overdo it.  Spend some time every day relaxing with your feet up.  This will help to relieve any stress and make you less likely to suffer from swollen feet and ankles – a common complaint during pregnancy.  Your hair should look and feel thicker and healthier – now is a good time to go to the hairdresser’s and get an easy-to-manage hairstyle.”

Hmm… the reality for me wasn’t quite as wonderful as the above as sickness began again with a vengeance.

This is what I wrote in answer to the questions in my journal –

Energy – great, resting loads, getting lots done in the house until the plumbing went completely.

Mood – fantastic, newly married and trying to prepare our home for baby

Appetite – not huge, mainly want toast and little meals.

Cravings – KFC, but trying not to give in to it.

Sickness – not so great, mainly due to pain in hips and stress of home.

Notes : Isis’ birthday party was stressful, sad that we have to leave our home when I had ‘baby corner’ ready.  Have girls all week.

This was supposed to be wind down time for an expectant mother but for us everything was becoming heightened.  The house finally completely  blew up, we had to move in with my parents as our first week as a married couple, and it was half term and we had the girls all week.  Crazy!!!  Again, looking back, we did it though.  Our lives have just always been ridiculously stressful.  Starting a marriage as a blended family is difficult as there are already children involved as you are learning about each other and adjusting to living together.  We hadn’t really had time for a honeymoon period, we were thrown straight into the thick of real everyday living, with real problems.

It’s no wonder the stress triggered my sickness off again, and I was struggling to walk and awaiting a physio appointment for my hips.  I was loving my bump though.  I had been feeling Judah kicking in my tummy since about 16 weeks pregnant, which is really early for the first baby, but, this week was the first time he full on kicked James in the back whilst we were snuggled up in bed asleep.  It was a really precious moment, even if it was a bit of a shock for James.

My favourite quote from the week having the girls with us at my Mum’s, back when Isis called me Alex :

Mum : ‘Isis I love you to the moon and back’
Isis : (silence but cuddles Nana)
(Mum leaves the room)
Isis : ‘Alex, I love you to infinity’ (pause), ‘I know how long it takes to get to the moon. A week’
Me : ‘Mum, I think you’re going to have to change your analogy’
//

The Baby Diaries – Judah – Week Twenty-Seven (our wedding)

Baby Diaries

The Baby Diaries – Judah – Week Twenty-Seven (our wedding)

pregnant brides, dontcallmestepmummy, 6 months pregnant
6 months pregnant

Being pregnant the day of our wedding was actually nice in some ways.  I love knowing that my little man is in our wedding photographs.  In others it was difficult.  I had the girls with me the eve of the wedding so that they could get ready with all the other bridesmaids and feel part of the beautifying experience.  They loved having their hair done by the hairdresser, and I loved having them with me.  This was the first time I had them on my own overnight without James as their new stepmum to be.

I was still being sick the week of the wedding, hyperemesis is a pain.  My hen night was a quiet evening at my friends home organised by my maid of honour, it had a 50’s theme and obviously as I was pregnant there wasn’t any drinking.  Not that I’m a big drinker but that tradition was somewhat lost on me.  I did really enjoy the wedding shower though which involved a treasure hunt around the house and a risque quiz with some answers given by my husband that people had to guess… he can be a bit cheeky.

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we all wore aprons – 50’s theme (although I was surprised hence no updo)

On the Monday, (we were married on the Wednesday) I went for a spa break with my sister, my Mum, and Mum in law to be.  It was lovely, so relaxing, we had facials, massages, I had a spray tan ready for the wedding, we did aqua aerobics, enjoyed a lovely meal.  The only problem was this was the first time I discovered that I had hip problems during pregnancy.  I have hypermobility and this had never been an issue before, in fact as a dancer (in my past) it was always a bonus to be so flexible.  However, whilst we were taking an aqua-aerobics class and I was extending my legs out in the water my hip came out of socket.  It was quite painful but I was able to rectify it relatively quickly and didn’t think much else of it.  It became painful to walk though afterwards and I thought I was going to be in a place where I couldn’t walk down the aisle without crutches *sobs*.  We did have a lovely time away though, and as I now know that it was only a matter of time for this to occur (so much worse in my subsequent pregnancy) I wouldn’t have changed any of it for the world.  I shared a room with my Mother-in-law to be and I felt it gave us a great chance to bond better before the wedding.  I am blessed with an amazing Mother-in-law.

spa break, hen night, pregnant brides, dontcallmestepmummy
my Mum and I about to go out for our evening meal. I had a treatment in my hair.
spa break, hen night, pregnant brides, dontcallmestepmummy
from left to right – myself, the Mother-in-law and my Mum
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my pregnant hair post the treatment in the Spa – wild

So, on Wednesday of this week, we were married.  Exactly one year to the day of when we met…. our little sentimental touch.  It was a lovely day, but again, due to being pregnant, we skipped our own evening do and went straight to the lodge we had booked for our ‘minimoon’  as we had already been to Paphos the month before (when it was safe for me to fly).

first kiss
our first kiss as man and wife

I only captured one picture on our ‘minimoon’ this is unlike me.  It’s James enjoying his first breakfast as a married man.

the morning after, pregnant brides, minimoon, dontcallmestepmummy
the morning after

At the end of the week we had Isis’ 6th birthday party – yes you read that right, 3 days after the wedding…. when we had no home to host it in (read my last post here).  My Mum offered us her place for the party and Isis had a great time.

sixth birthday, dontcallmestepmummy, the eldest
yep, it was a store bought cake, there was enough going on that week *winks*
isis turns 6
the birthday girl – 6

It was certainly a busy pregnant week, you can see why in my pregnancy journal I posted how I had a lot less stress once it was out of the way.
//

the baby diaries, week 27, pregnant brides, dontcallmestepmummy
week 27

The Baby Diaries – Judah – Week Twenty-Two to Twenty-Six (preparing for our wedding)

Baby Diaries

 The Baby Diaries – Judah – Week Twenty-Two to Twenty-Six (preparing for our wedding)
the baby diaries, the monkey prince, dontcallmestepmummy
In the run up to our wedding, the plumbing was obliterated in James’ house.  This is where we had been living since the August previously, it had been his marital home a couple of years prior to us meeting and there were many negative memories there for him.  I had loved being allowed into someone’s home to make it ‘ours,’ James had allowed me in to every area of his life so easily.  I forget sometimes how amazing that was considering both of our pasts, and how well we merged together in the early days.
Being pregnant, unable to afford to fix the plumbing due to an impending wedding, I think it’s fair to say I had a few hormonal melt downs.  I can remember sitting on the bed in my parents guest bedroom crying and telling James that it wasn’t what I’d signed up for.  We were going to be starting married life with an expected baby and practically homeless.  We paid for the plumbing to be fixed temporarily but the problem was much deeper, they needed to dig up all the back garden and it just wasn’t in our budget at that time.  James had been wanting to sell the property and be done with it for a while but I wanted us to pull it back out of negative equity (consequence of his previous marriage split and the poor market) before we let it go.  We ended up letting it go but that’s another story, at the time we were just trying to stay other places whilst we saved up to sort out the plumbing.
I enjoyed staying at my Mum’s for this season, and other friends homes (something arranged through church) although it was difficult James, pregnant I and two little girls all trying to share a room and even a bed for some nights.  Life was certainly interesting back then we never knew what would come.  I was still being sick but nowhere near as often, it was starting to wear off and become less.
Stress levels were certainly high and I was trying not to let it impact on our little man growing inside me.  We worked hard to stay happy in that season as it should’ve been one of the greatest season’s of our lives.  Finances can be a huge worry for many people, just to encourage anyone who may feel buried in finance things at this point, speak to someone like CAP Money or other debt advisors.
Finding funds for photographers and all the last things to be paid was certainly interesting.  Week Twenty-Six James got some criminal damage compensation that helped pay off the last of the wedding things from when someone had broken his eye socket before I even met him.  Perfect timing eh?
It’s safe to say that despite everything we were still so excited for our precious arrival a few months later and were just trying our best to get everything perfect.  I was desperately wanting to nest but no idea where we were going to end up.  I had however created ‘baby corner’ in our bedroom ready, even though it never was used in the end…

//

Potty Training the boy #3 – holidays

Potty Training the boy #3

095

 This week Judah has done amazingly, I wasn’t sure how to do the whole potty training whilst out and about.  I think I care too much sometimes about what people think.  I worry about offending people, or more to the point about them potentially staring and pulling their face at me and especially my children.  I chose to forget about posts I’d seen on facebook, or things I may have seen in the media, the Katie Hopkins of this world, although I find her vile, I would worry about the people who agree with her opinions and how they may be disgusted with how I choose to raise my children.  Well, boo I say, boo to them all.  I thought back to how we did it with Shayla-Rae, and thought, yep, we’re just going to take the potty out with us.
I can count on one hand and with some fingers to spare the amount of accidents that we’ve had all week.  To be fair when we did have accidents it was just down to him being tired and forgetting.  If I spotted him concentrating and looking like he may be doing the dreaded number that comes after one, and say ‘Judah do you need the potty?’, ‘oh yeah’ comes the reply followed by a swift move to the potty.
I don’t know how it will continue as we go down South next week and it’s another new environment, but part of me feels that if we crack it there, after we cracked it at home and now at my parents, then he’s pretty much sorted apart from not always dry at night yet, but we’ve just been putting a nappy on him for bed.  He wakes up, takes it off himself and then goes on the potty, so I’m not too fussy about pushing him to be dry at night.  It will come naturally when he’s ready, 7/10 nights he is at the moment anyway, just can never be too sure.  I definitely don’t trust him enough yet with his lovely mattress at stake.

//

image
sat watching something on the iPad whilst on the potty…hmm…. who does he remind me of?

The Baby Diaries – Judah – week twenty-one (our holiday in Paphos)

Baby Diaries

The Baby Diaries – Judah – week twenty-one (our holiday in Paphos)

week 21

Most people like to use the excuse of ‘eating for two’ when they’re pregnant, although scientifically this is inaccurate.  Your body is actually more efficient when you’re pregnant, your metabolism increases causing you to need about an extra 500 calories a day.  Sorry.

My pregnancy journal as seen notes that your appetite will increase at around this stage.  For me this wan’t the case, Due to my hypermesis gravidarum I could barely keep anything down and as a result had become very fussy, just wanting bland stodgy food like toast, potatoes etc.  I pretty much took my only bump photo on this holiday, I stuck my tummy out as I liked looking pregnant (especially as I’m overweight to begin with, it was nice for a season to look like I had a genuine reason to be fat haha).

Bump_1.JPG

How beautiful is Paphos? and to think this was early February, being in the warm was definitely a welcome break.  I enjoyed being on holiday a lot, we seemed to go at a season and to a resort were most of the people were aged 50+.  Obviously we weren’t going to be out drinking and partying, we had gone all inclusive so that we didn’t need to worry about cost, so I had a lot of virgin cocktails whilst James enjoyed the watered down limitless spirits and cocktails.  James and I decided to embrace the fun and join in most of the activities, I won the darts championship one day, shuffleboard (haha, now I sound old), sucked at the archery and rifle shooting, but obviously as an ex entertainer won their version of X factor singing Leona Lewis’ version of ‘Run’ in the talent show.  We thought it was funny collecting the certificates and there wasn’t much else I could do as on the odd days we did do trips round the ‘Tombs of the Kings’ and to some beaches, and shopping, I was just too exhausted as it was hot and I hadn’t been able to keep down much food.

I have to say the only thing that upset me on this holiday was not having the girls with us.  We kept seeing things that they would enjoy, activities they would be good at, sights we wished we could share.  We vowed not to go away without children again apart from overnight or long weekends at a push.  It was important for us to have that couple time before the babies came along and it continues to be important for us to have dates.  Something we struggle to schedule in but are trying to get better at.

holiday selfie
holiday selfie

We would go swimming every day in the afternoon, so my hair spent most of it’s time plaited to not become a hassle.  I hated dealing with my hair when I was pregnant.  It just irritated me, funny what hormones do to you, I think if I could carry it off a pixie cut would have been adopted quick smart.

Here are the notes I made in my pregnancy journal this week :

How am I feeling this week?

Energy : Good, joined in most of the games, went swimming every day, early nights were still needed though.

Mood : great, had a fantastic holiday in the sun with my hubby to be.  Took lots of photos in and around cyprus with bump.

tomb of the kings
a much needed sit down in one of the tombs

Appetite : very little I can eat on this all inclusive, and I have a very little appetite.

Cravings : mainly salted potatoes ie. chips, hash browns etc. and ice-cream as it’s been hot but my body doesn’t want dairy.

Sickness : not really subsided but travel and heat won’t have helped.

The best thing was I got to spend Valentines Day with my amazing fiance, who was crazy enough to go into the freezing swimming pool, that NO other guests were using.  Daniel Craig eat your heart out lol.
//

Daniel Craig eat your heart out
Daniel Craig eat your heart out

The Baby Diaries – Judah – week twenty (the anomaly scan)

Baby Diaries

The Baby Diaries – Judah – week twenty (the anomaly scan)

week 20

There are a lot of questions you may forget to ask when you attend your anomaly scan, it is so easily done.  There you are seeing your baby looking more like a real human as opposed to the more skeletal version you would’ve seen at the dating scan.  This is when if the scan is clear you can make out whose nose baby has, or even if they have big feet.  It is so mesmerising seeing your child there wriggling around and just that awareness that ‘hey, there’s a little person alive inside of me.’

Again, I was quite numb and unexpectant when I made my list as you can probably tell from above.  I had the ‘Your Pregnancy Bible‘ book and had read it a lot.  So, the questions I had written down where the ones I deemed important to me to check.

I found everything about going for the anomaly scan both exciting and nerve wracking.  I was so nervous that there may be something up with our ‘rainbow baby’ but also was excited by the little tasks such as drinking the correct amount of water (approximately half a litre) to make sure that the sonographer could get the best picture that was possible.

This scan takes a lot longer than the dating scan as they have lots to check, that all the internal organs are growing and at the right size,  Here is a list from babycentre

What will the sonographer look at on my scan?

The sonographer will examine all your baby’s organs and take measurements. She will look at:

  • The shape and structure of your baby’s head. At this stage severe brain problems, which happen very rarely, are visible.
  • Your baby’s face, to check for a cleft lip. Cleft palates inside a baby’s mouth are hard to see and are not often picked up.
  • Your baby’s spine, both along its length, and in cross section, to make sure that all the bones align, and that the skin covers the spine at the back.
  • Your baby’s abdominal wall, to make sure it covers all the internal organs at the front, as well as check the placenta, umbilical cord and the amniotic fluid
  • Your baby’s heart. The top two chambers (atria) and the bottom two chambers (ventricles) should be equal in size. The valves should open and close with each heartbeat. Your sonographer will also examine the major veins and arteries which carry blood to and from your baby’s heart
  • Your baby’s stomach. Your baby swallows some of the amniotic fluid that he lies in, which is seen in his stomach as a black bubble.
  • Your baby’s kidneys. The sonographer will check that your baby has two kidneys, and that urine flows freely into his bladder. If your baby’s bladder is empty, it should fill up during the scan and be easy to see. Your baby has been doing a wee every half an hour or so for some months now!
  • Your baby’s arms, legs, hands and feet. The sonographer will look at your baby’s fingers and toes, but not count them.

The other main thing they will check is where your placenta is lying.  I had placenta praevia which meant that my placenta was lying low under the baby.  They arrange for another scan in your third trimester if this is the case (usually at around 36 weeks) just to make sure that it has moved out of the way of the birth canal.  If this isn’t the case they will usually recommend a caesarean section.

20 week scan
20 week scan

Don’t forget that it’s at this stage that you can find out if it’s a boy or a girl if you want to.  My friends had a student sonographer who took a lot longer and then they forgot to ask even though they had previously intended to. They went the rest of the pregnancy expectant for the surprise and made the most out of it, don’t think they were disappointed with not knowing for long.  I on the other hand would not have been able to cope with that.  I’d have been paying for an extra scan.

You can arrange an earlier sex determining scan from as early as 17 weeks if you wanted to book one privately if you just can’t wait to find out.  I debated this *coughs* control freak.  I looked into the 4d scans, baby scan have places all over the country.  I decided that I would still have to wait for the baby to arrive and it would be good practice for me to get used to waiting.  Pregnancy definitely makes you patient, or teaches you patience in preparation for the baby that will require a lot.

We of course found out we were having a little boy and James was beside himself.  He had decided in his head that he could only produce girls and was very pleasantly surprised.  It was a special thing for me to able to provide him with his first son.  It is hard being an expectant mum in a blended family and this was a special first for us as a couple.
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