Monthly Archives: February 2011

T minus 2 weeks. First false alarm.


So I’m 38 weeks’ pregnant today, and if you’d spoken to me at 1am this morning I would have said there was a 50:50 chance I’d be fully en route to baby #2 by now. Just after midnight I woke up with tummy ache which came and went in waves. Going to the loo didn’t make any difference so I lay there for another hour or so contemplating things and wondering about the imminent logistics if I was going into labour; including:

  • Had my dear BF taken a sleeping tablet which would mean he’d be completely hopeless at getting the car seat out of the loft and, needless to say, driving me to the hosp
  • What to do with the toddler. We have two friends on standby, which is fine in concept, but less so at 2am in the morning when you’re wondering whether to call them, and their own consequential logistics for getting children to nursery etc.
  • The fact it’s one of the friend’s birthday’s today and I really didn’t want to wake her in the small hours, but if I did, would I remember to give her her birthday card?

Anyway this went on until about 2ish, with intermittent period-pain style aches (just like labour last time), and then I went to the loo again, had a full bout of diarrhoea, and then back to bed thinking it’s either now or never. No one else in the house had an upset tummy, despite us all eating the same things, and it’s been known for labour to empty your bowels to try to clear the way.

However as it was I had a cuddle from the BF and went to sleep until about 7ish when the toddler woke up. So no labour after all.

This is a Good Thing as I have lots of work to do today and still need to choose a carpet for our bedroom (we are sleeping in the spare room at the mo). But I really might start packing my hospital bag properly soon. So far it contains:

  • Pyjamas
  • 4 bottles of isotonic drink
  • Pack of maternity pads (nice) left over from last time
  • Packet of jaffa cakes
  • Oh, and a packet of nappies for newborns.

I had bought a jumbo packet of Jelly Babies (as recommended by the antenatal class), but unfortunately left them in the car and ate them all within 48 hours. Which also, interestingly, was not good for the digestion.

Pregnant and feel like you’re sitting on a rugby ball?


Vaginal varicose veins. Umm, nice.

One of the few pregnancy ailments that are barely mentioned (understandably), but now that I’m suffering I’m finding that most others are in the same boat (particularly second-or-more timers). Basically the weight of the baby and the increased blood flow to that area means that the veins are filling up with blood and it’s not flowing easily through them.

On the plus side, they should subside post birth (I’ve had reports that this happened).

On the negative side, they can burst during birth (also reported by a close friend) leading to potentially serious blood loss for the mother. The person this happened to had quite severe veins and had to sit on icepacks when pregnant just to ease the discomfort and heaviness.

Mine are apparently ‘mild’ (though things do feel swollen in that department) and the birth centre, which doesn’t have a labour ward attached to it, where I want to give birth in 2.5 weeks have said I don’t need to worry.  The midwife there said if they burst they’ll tie a knot in them (I think she was joking). The pregnancy yoga teacher said to focus on pelvic floor exercises on short, sharp bursts, rather than long holds, to try to encourage the blood flow.

I think it’s interesting that, at least in the UK, you can go through a pregnancy without anyone actually having a look around that area. So if you don’t feel confident enough to mention that things are uncomfortable, I imagine that lots of people experience these varicosities without any explanation of what they are, just putting them down as one of the many ailments of pregnancy that we just grin and bear.

More on that list later…

Cream tea economics


Even I balk at £4.75 for a large stale scone and not enough jam.

Obviously scone turnover in February is not what it is during the summer (hence stale-ness). But why the jam pots are never generous enough I have no idea.

And the price is extortionate for what you get, but on the other hand, is there any interest for [the National Trust, in this case] in reducing its food prices? Would it affect demand? In this context, I think not much: people have already paid to enter the Trust property; they expect to pay extra for teas (et al), and I don’t believe there are hoards of people who’ve paid to come in to the grounds but who wouldn’t pay for tea if they wanted it. There’s always the odd bod who’s brought their own sandwiches, but not enough of them that reduced prices would encourage them to switch in a sufficient volume to bring extra profits to the Trust.

A bit of competition, that’s what we need…