Project nursery – the plan

So we have established I am too tight to pay for Mamas & Papas to fully furnish the nursery – but I do love the range. We have decided to buy a few key items – probably some of the toys and the musical mobile – and use their overall colour scheme.

The plan goes something like this:

  • Knock down the brick-built weird wardrobe thing.
  • Mortar-up the top of the wall to neaten it up, and put a decent piece of ply / mdf over the top (what was formerly the base of the wardrobe, and is current old floorboards) to create a shelf type area.
  • Brick up the redundant ventilation grill on one wall.
  • Get a plasterer in to skim all of the walls – when we moved in, they had 3 layers of wallpaper on, and when we stripped it off (hoping we could paint it) we realised why wallpaper had been used! We replaced the wallpaper for the short term (while the room was an office) but now we want to get it ‘right’.
  • Paint 3 walls white / off-white / very pale cream. Colour to be decided!
  • Paint 1 wall teal – similar to one of the M&P photos in my previous entry.
  • Instead of buying the starry wallpaper, we’re going to make some printing block stars up using wooden blocks and probably either high-density craft foam, or slightly textured lino. We’ll then print our own pattern directly onto one of the white walls, using the M&P colours (teal, pale blue, orange, purple, pink, green, but not the brown – instead we’ll use grey).
  • The grey / stone furniture that M&P sell is gorgeous, but we are lucky enough to have inherited a cot-bed. It’s pine, so we’re going to sand it right back and paint it grey. This also has the advantage that we can make any of our furniture match (we’re also inheriting a nursing chair, and will then buy some drawers – more on that later).
  • The remaining 2 white walls are not massive, because one has the door set into it and the built-in wardrobe (which is going, but will be replaced by shelves or something) and the other has the window set in it. I think we’ll hang some home-made bunting along it, or will choose these walls for hanging pictures or a clock etc. I’d quite like to make some 3D pictures in box frames of the various Timbuktales characters – so the sun, the boy and cat in the boat, the bird with the umbrella, maybe the rabbit and hedgehog.

And that’s a far as we’ve got for now… I’m impatient to get going!


Project nursery – inspiration

Aah, sweet interior design. We bought our house 2 years ago and at the time decided the smallest bedroom was destined to be a nursery. It’s been an office until this point, but now it’s time for change!

As many couples have to, we are working on a budget. We both really love most of the Mamas & Papas nursery ranges, but they are simply way out of budget so we decided to take inspiration from them and buy a few key pieces. So here’s the inspiration…

Mamas & Papas Timbuktales range – all images below are credited to M&P.

As for cost… well, as an idea, some of the items in the above photos are:

  • Coverlet – £86
  • Star-covered wallpaper – £20 a roll (to do 1 wall in a fairly small room, we’d need 2 rolls)
  • Curtains – £85
  • Curtain tie-backs – £25
  • Mobile – £32
  • Bunting – £22.50
  • Lampshade – £28.50
  • Knitted blanket – £36

And so on, and so on. Next stage – planning what to do!

Busy busy!

12th July 2013:

My last entry was just after the first anomaly scan. Since then, time has whizzed by! Being a teacher, the end of term tends to get rather hectic and my days seem to have consisted of working, getting home and collapsing on the sofa, and sleep!

We had our second anomaly scan at 22+1 so that the heart and spine could be double checked – all ok! The sonographer also confirmed the gender which was great! We’ve managed to keep it secret so far…! My husband was able to come with me this time, which was the first time he had seen a scan since the CVS ones. He was fascinated!

At 23+5 I was a passenger in a car that was hit by a lorry – fortunately everyone was ok, but it was a bit of a shock. I went into the antenatal assessment unit the next day and they checked my vitals (all ok) and then palpated my abdomen and listened to the baby’s heartbeat. Everything seemed ok which was a big relief! She also measured my bump (fundal height) for the first time – I measured at 25cm, so only 1cm ‘too big’ really.

Today I had my 25 week MW appointment (I’m 25+3) and again all seems ok – my bump measured 26cm which the MW was happy with. Normal BP, urine, oedema, feeling regular movements now. We started talking about breastfeeding and cues from the baby – I’ve been so focused on the pregnancy, it suddenly makes the end seem close when we’re talking about caring for an actual child!

Anomaly scan – nearly halfway there!

3rd June 2013:

Anomaly scan day! This was booked in after the early dating scan (the one that put we 3 days ahead) so it’s a tiny bit early, at 19+6. Still within the appropriate range though. Before I launch into the scan details, a quick catch up of the last 4-ish weeks…

My hips haps unfortunately got worse. I get pain down the outside of each thigh, and what feels like sharp hot needles right in the hip joint. It’s make worse by walking, but also by prolonged sitting! I’ve seen two women’s health physios so have so exercises to do, and I also ordered a sacro-iliac support belt which has made a huge difference already.

I didn’t feel any more movements for a couple of weeks after the first few, which may have freaked me out (I sort of assumed once you started feeling them, that would be it!) but I have been occasionally using my doppler and found it really easy to find the heartbeat. I’m restricting myself to twice a week, but it’s been nice to share with my hubby too.

So, back to the anomaly scan. It was so exciting and emotional to see, because the other 3 scans we have had were all before the CVS results, so I was always conscious that if the results went the wrong way, we wouldn’t ever meet the little bean we were seeing on the screen.

The detail was incredible! The sonographer looked at the brain, skull, spine, heart, kidneys, bladder, stomach, limbs, feet, top lip – everything, really! The only trouble was, little one wasn’t full cooperating – it had flipped tummy-down and was pressing the spine up against the top wall of the uterus, so although the spine itself was clearly ok, the sonographer couldn’t check the skin covering (which is important). She was also unable to check every bit of the heart as the baby had folded its arms over his chest, so although everything looks good so far, we needed to rebook for a couple of weeks time to double check the other bits.

Finally, last minute, my husband and I decided that we did want to know the sex, but still planned on keeping it secret from all friends and family. Hubby couldn’t come with me to the scan, so I took in some paper and an envelope and the sonographer kindly agreed to write down what she thought it was (on the understanding that it was never 100%) and sealed it in the envelope for me to take hope and open with hubby.

He opened it and told me, which was a lovely way to find out – but we are still telling everyone that we chose not to find out!

Was that a kick?

12th May 2013:

Two good things this week!

At 16+1 I think I felt first movements. It felt like a ‘swoop’ as if I’d driven over a hump-back bridge, and sort of like butterflies. The morning sickness has trailed right off – I’m only sick maybe every 3rd day now, and I generally don’t feel too bad the rest of the time, so feeling this little movement was very reassuring!

At 16+3 I had my ’16 week’ midwife appointment. Blood pressure normal, urine normal, no oedema etc so all looking good so far. Then she asked me if I wanted her to try and listen to the heartbeat – well, of course! She found it straight away and found it to be a healthy 150bpm. It was amazing hearing it – I have since ordered my own doppler to use at home.

On the negative side, my hips have started to twinge – I hope it’s not the start of SPD; my sister suffered badly in both of her pregnancies so I’m very aware of it!

2nd trimester and the paranoia doesn’t end!

23rd April 2013:

14 weeks today and officially in the 2nd trimester. A quick thought on trimesters and dates (yes, you could have predicted that, with my dates and numbers obsession). There appears to be three main ways for calculating trimesters:

1) The whole pregnancy (40 weeks) split into equal thirds – so 1st tri is from 0+0 until 13+2, 2nd tri is from 13+3 until 26+4, and 3rd tri is the home stretch, from 26+5 until d-day.

2) The gestation period (38 weeks) split into equal thirds, so 1st tri ends up being the longest as it has the extra 2 non-pregnant weeks at the beginning added on, so ends up lasting until 14+4, with 2nd try from 14+5 until 27+3, and 3rd try from 27+4 until the end.

3) By developmental phases. 1st tri is until all of the organs have developed at about the end of 13 weeks. 2nd tri is therefore from 14+0 until the end of 27 weeks, when everything is perfectly formed but needs to continue to mature. 3rd tri is all about the cooking time, from 28 weeks onwards!

Personally I think the third method works the best, hence lumping myself into the second trimester category now. Hurrah!

Sadly, I was under the illusion that on hitting the magic 2nd tri marker, morning sickness would magically vanish and take with it the paranoia of miscarriage, as it is always stressed that the first 12 weeks are the riskiest. Neither of these are true! My sickness has eased slightly – it begin to get a little better from 12 weeks, but I am still being sick daily. I am equally paranoid… in a way, the lessening sickness makes this even worse because I still don’t feel pregnant apart from the sickness, and that’s going away! You just can’t please some people!


Nappies. The choices!

I want to use ‘real’ nappies – ie reusable ones. I’ve never really considered that we might use disposables – I guess because my parents used old fashioned Terry’s squares with all of us, and my sister used cloth nappies with both of her children, so it seems like the norm to me.

I like the fact they are softer on the baby’s skin – would you really opt for paper pants over cotton ones for yourself? They save money in the long run, are meant to help with potty training, and are better for the environment – yes, even taking into account the additional water and electricity needed to wash them.

But the choices! Wow!

As much as I love google, in this case, I didn’t know where to begin. Somebody then recommended The Nappy Lady, guru of all things related to cloth nappies! Her website in itself is hugely informative and I was relieved to see that products have moved on significantly since the days of large squares of cotton towelling to try and fold, and giant nappy pins that seem lethal when combined with the flailing limbs of an uncooperative infant. Nappies now are usually shaped, elasticated even, with poppers and velcro. Hurrah! They even come in pretty colours… this was immediately looking like it might be an expensive addiction.

Lovely colourful prints available!

The Nappy Lady offers an amazing advice service – all for free! I had to fill in a comprehensive questionnaire including information about:

  • Whether I had children already
  • Whether I planned to have more children in the future (to use cloth nappies with)
  • Laundry facilities
  • Priorities of nappy features – eg quick drying, non-leaking, aesthetics, ease of use, natural fabrics – all of which I had to rate in order of priority

I then got a detailed recommendation list back, explaining not only what she suggested would suit us as a family the best, but why. The recommendations I have received are (in brief):

  • Bamboozle Stretch – these are the main nappy bit, with elasticated legs for better fit and reduction of leaks, and as they are all shaped they are supposedly easy to put on.
  • Motherease Rikki Wraps – these are the waterproof outer layer to put over the main nappy.
  • Triple-layer boosters – basically cloth pads to pop inside the nappy, particularly overnight, for extra absorbency.
  • Bumgenius Freetime – all-in-one nappy (not a 2-parter) for daytime use only – they’re not as good absorbency / containment wise, but would be easy to put on when out and about or for the in-laws who are pro-disposables.

Lots to think about, more research to be done, and excuses for shopping lie ahead!