Friday, 30 May 2014

In defence of the NHS

THE National Health Service gets a huge kicking; we have all seen the negative headlines in the press.

But I can honestly say Pam and I have been treated so well this pregnancy, yes we are a ‘higher risk’ because of her diabetes but I could not ask for more as a first time dad to be.

From the moment we went to the doctors to get everything confirmed and start our pregnancy journey, everything has been linked up, joined up and well just worked!

I don’t know how other first time mums and dads felt but the moment we got the blue cross on the pregnancy test, I felt we were making a journey into the unknown.

But every step of the way we have been told what’s happening next and never had to chase any appointments.

We even have a hilarious (well to me anyway) situation that all of Pam’s obstetrician midwife and scan appointments came through in one envelope, mapping the road to Jacob’s birth.

I will accept that we are probably getting a better standard of service because we have a diabetic pregnancy but it’s really allayed my nerves and fears.

We met our wonderful diabetes link midwife today and she is a delight, very welcoming and engaging even with me which was a nice surprise.

Our obstetrician was lovely as well and certainly broadened our minds about the birth, Jacob even made her smile when he yet again ensured his heartbeat was loud and clear.

The diabetic consultant was great as usual, was delighted with Pam’s HBHN1 levels but very level headed and offered us some great advice with her changing diabetic needs.

And then the laser eye treatment…which went very well and again although I was worried, my pregnant wife was again in great hands.

Sometimes I doubt the NHS but I can honestly say in terms of this pregnancy, I do indeed #lovetheNHS

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

My c-section experience!

NO I haven’t gone mad or had a weird dream, last night at our excellent Birth Choices workshop, the lovely Helen and Jo staged what the room would be like for those facing a caesarean section.
The only caveat was a dad had to play the part of mum to be on the table (three chairs pushed together). And given the fact I fancied a lie down (and probably have a pregnant looking belly myself!) I volunteered my services.
Everyone else in the group was given roles to show who to expect in the theatre if the need arises or when you go in for the section.
Not only that but various tags listing the equipment which a mum would have put on her were attached to me with pegs and string!
It was an excellent way to showcase what will happen and I think really opened many of the mums eyes and credit Jo and Helen for staging such an exercise to break down the barriers.
As a man I know I won’t face the experience from the table but what struck me was that it’s actually a little intimidating lying there with people standing over you.
I wonder whether any mums who had sections felt like that or was the knowledge you would soon meet your baby enough to make you ignore any feelings of fear.
I can only repeat what I said on an earlier blog, if you are parents to be in Worcestershire, do find out more about Jo and Helen’s classes. They are good value and very intimate so you are not part of a huge group.
Neither of them preach any particular approach to pregnancy or birth, they tell you whatever you feel you need to know.
Follow the link to find out more!

Friday, 16 May 2014


SO we have reached 'V Day', 24 weeks, meaning our gorgeous little Jacob (I know he is, he'll inherit his mother's genes) would have a chance of surviving if things got out of hand.

A lot of mums say things drag but whether it's new dad optimism or what I have found the last 12 weeks have fled by. From January until the end of February, when we weren't telling anyone, it dragged.

Since then we have a bump, kicking, wiggling and major decorating of what will become a nursery taking place.

We have a name, we have people offering to buy us things and we, in 14 weeks, will be parents...eeek.

To mark the occasion, I thought we should finally share a picture of this bump that me and Mummy Smurf have already grown to love.

But a weird thing happened, Jacob looks like he went and hid as I am sure the bump looks bigger than the pic! See what you think!

Friday, 9 May 2014

School is in session!

So we went to our first class on Tuesday, a taster session run by the lovely Helen Hunt and Jo Lederer.

It's a venture into the unknown for us both obviously but apart from one couple, we were in a small group of similar first timers which instantly made things just a bit more relaxing.

But we need not have worried, Helen and Jo made things very relaxed and easy to understand, having a small group really did benefit us as we felt we were being helped directly rather than being addressed as the ladies would have had to do had it been a larger crowd.

After a quick preamble, Helen and Jo split the group into smaller groups to look at pictures of women and men post birth and asked us our thoughts. I was surprised just how open I was about my own feelings but glad I was not alone and one of the other couples quickly boosted my confidence which was lovely.

Following that it was a boy/girl split time so the mummies could talk properly about the birth where we men were given a beginners guide, Helen was great with the guys though, not patronising and tackled a delicate matter in a way I think us embarrased guys could understand! It was amazing to see just how much goes on when bubs comes down the birth canal.

On the whole it was a fabulous evening, we only intended to go to that class to give ourselves an introduction but we are now going to the next three! Knowledge is power and all that

If you are parents to be in Worcestershire, take a look at their website (link below) because it's a great experience and breaks down more than a few barriers.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

One hugely special moment

SO Mummy Smurf went to bed early as she was exhausted. I go up for a cuddle, something we have always done since we met as I often don't go to bed until MUCH later.

Anyway since Jacob has expanded the living quarters and begun moving, I have often spent most of the time with my hand on Mummy Smurf's belly and already felt the vibration like movements and the odd prod as I said on the last blog.

I can't feel proper real movements yet which does make Mummy Smurf a little unhappy I think but I like the fact they have some time together!

But anyway back to tonight and one of the best moments of the pregnancy and yes of my life, happened at around 8.45pm.

As a joke, I put my hand on her belly and asked Jacob to kick 'for daddy'. For the life of me I never once thought he'd do it.....

But amazingly I got a little kick back! Mind blowing to say the least and my followers on Twitter will already see I've likened this pregnancy to Christmas every few days. There is always something to get excited about!!

Thank you Jacob, thank you son, it's been an awful week at work. It's like you knew I needed a huge boost!

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Almost kicking time!

I THINK our little Jacob is about ready to start playing football with Mummy Smurf's insides!

During my regular tummy time (she doesn't mind, honest) instead of getting a vibrating sort of feeling on Saturday night I got the gentlest of prods.

Mummy Smurf is 22 weeks gone now and has a lovely  tummy which I insist looks wonderful but she just looks at me with 'I feel fat and you're an iditot' face..

And movements are getting a lot more pronounced now, strangely during live sport as he kicked away during some football at the weekend and, bizarrely, to the snooker last night!

The noise, the movement and well everything is still blowing me away massively as you can tell from the insane number of blogs on the subject.

On a related subject, Mummy Smurf has now left behind her pre pregnancy sized clothes, limiting her wardrobe massively, she has discovered clothes from when she was up a clothing size though.

My question for mums, did you go up a size or did you look to pick up some cheap maternity wear from NCT sales and the like?

Class time!

THE day has arrived, we start learning about pregnancy, birth and babies today with a class in Worcester all about options for labour and birth.

Strangely feel like the first day at a new school, not going to know anyone there and wondering whether we will be welcomed.

Of course we will as the only other people there are parents to be in our position but you can't help wondering how it will go.

We are looking forward to it, Mummy Smurf is getting very keen on learning about the birth, she accepts its going to sting so that's a good start.

It's another part of the pregnancy where I know I will have a back seat of sorts as the class will all be about the mums and their tums but I think it'll be interesting none the less.

Let's see how it pans out!